Posts Tagged ‘Tarot: Suits’

► “Tarot and Archetypes” /

“Collaboration with Resa McConaghy” 💢:

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Introduction:

“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time”.-
(T. S. Eliot. “Four Quartets”: Little Gidding).

This is the third post of a series on Tarot (See these two previous posts: Tarot: “Most Relevant Generalities / Major Arcana” and Tarot: “Minor Arcana”).

The following post was written in collaboration with my friend Resa McConaghy, from Graffiti Lux and Murals and Art Gowns. (See brief bio below).

Here, we´ll analyze how certain cards from both Major and Minor Arcana are “archetypes”, and could therefore be related to Greek Mythology. Our pivotal benchmark, as expected,  will be the Rider-Waite tarot deck.

We´ll then see how examples of Street Art (Murals and Graffiti) could have equivalents in certain Tarot Cards. We could say that such Symbolic images appear once and over  again as expressions of a common collective unconscious. We´ll talk further about this.

We´ll finally dig further into the Major Arcana and the so-called “Journey of The Fool”, which is a graphic expression of Joseph Campbell´s Hero´s Journey,  as it appears in his book “The Hero with a Thousand Faces”. 

Although there is not such scheme in the Minor Arcana, we can also find certain schemes, involving recurrent narrative sequences. These archetypical patterns provide Minor Arcana with a sort of recurrent cyclic structure, as it happens with the “Journey of the Fool”.

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About Resa McConaghy:

Resa is a canadian artist, costume designer and author. 
She hosts two blogs: Graffiti Lux and Murals and Art Gowns.
You can find her version of this post here. Furthermore, Resa has written a book, “Nine Black Lives, available on Amazon. Find Resa on Twitter, too!. 
(Disclaimer: All murals photographs were taken by Resa and/or featured on her blog Graffiti Lux and Murals. © Resa McConaghy. 2018). 

Check out Resa´s Blogs: •Art Gowns: http://artgowns.com/ •Graffiti Lux and Murals: http://graffitiluxandmurals.com/

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I. ►Tarot and Greek Mythology:

A. ►Major Arcana: The Magician:

The Magician is associated with the planet, Mercury and carries with it skill, logic, and intellect. The number of the Magician is one (1), the number of beginnings. The Magician is a psychopomp, a bridge between worlds: the World of the Living and the Underworld, a guide of souls.

In the Marseille French deck this character is called Le Bateleur, “the mountebank” and he is a practitioner of stage magic. 

In the Marseille deck, the table  has a square top and three legs. This is because the card represents, among many things, the Great Pyramid of Giza, in EgyptThe Pyramid has sides of three and a base of four. The Magician’s table has three legs and square top. The letter associated with the card is “B,” known in Hebrew as Beth. This term means “house” and connotes the “House of God.” In Egypt, the Pyramid was considered the House of God.

Infinity symbol.

The curves of the magician’s hat brim in the Marseilles image are similar to the esoteric deck’s mathematical sign of infinity (as we see in the Rider Waite deck). 

In the Rider Waite deck, this symbol also appears in the Strenght card, as well. 

Similarly, other symbols were added in the Rider Waite deck. The essentials are that the magician has set up a temporary table outdoors, to display items that represent the suits of the Minor Arcana: Cups, Coins, Swords. As to the fourth, the Wand, he holds it in his hands. These four suits represent the four elements. Water, Earth, Air and Fire, respectively.

The Magician. Table (Left: Rider Waite. Right: Marseille).

In the Magician’s right hand is a wand raised toward heaven, the sky or the element æther, while his left hand is pointing to the earth. This iconographic gesture has multiple meanings, but is endemic to the Mysteries and symbolizes divine immanence, the ability of the magician to bridge the gap between heaven and earth. The Magician’s robe is white, symbolising the purity and innocence found in the Fool but his cloak is red, representing worldly experience and knowledge. He is surrounded by flowers, symbol of fertility and possibilities.

This card entails feeling centered and committed and being creative. Reversed, the Magician can indicate greed, deceit, manipulation and using one’s skill for negative ends. It can reflect trickery and cunning and mental confusion. Plus, the Magician reversed often suggests that you may be out of touch with reality and struggling to bring yourself back down to earth.

 

The Magician reminds us of Hermes, the Messenger of Gods. Hermes had several attributes and represented many things. Hermes was the Olympian god of herds and flocks, travellers and hospitality, roads and trade, thievery and cunning, heralds and diplomacy, astronomy and astrology. Besides, he was the herald and personal messenger of Zeus. He was also a god of science and wisdom, art, speech, eloquence. And, most importantly: “the God of Writing”.

Hermes´ equivalents were: In Roman Mythology: Mercury. In Norse Mythology, Odin and for the Egyptians, Thoth (also known as Theuth). Hermes Trismegistus could be a representation of the syncretic combination of the Greek god Hermes and the Egyptian god Thoth. Hermes, the Greek god of interpretive communication, was combined with Thoth, the Egyptian god of wisdom, to become the patron of astrology and alchemy. In addition, both gods were psychopomps, who guided Souls into the Afterlife.

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B. Major Arcana: The High Priestess:

In the 18th century Marseilles Tarot, this figure is crowned with the Papal tiara and labelled La Papesse, the Popess, a possible reference to the legend of Pope Joan. 

In the creation of the Rider-Waite tarot deck this card changed into The High Priestess, who appears sitting between the pillars of Boaz and Jachin (which has a particular meaning to Freemasonry).

Other variants that came after Rider-Waite are the Virgin Mary, Isis, the metaphorical Bride of Christ or Holy Mother Church.

In the The Rider Waite deck, the High Priestess is majorly associated with Persephone, Isis, and Artemis (previously: Selene).

Selene is the Greek Goddess of the Moon. She is the daughter of the Titans Hyperion and Theia. Besides, Selene is sister of the Sun-God Helios, and Eos, Goddess of the Dawn. In classical times, Selene was often identified with the Goddess of Hunting, Artemis, much as her brother (Helios), was identified with Apollo.

 

In the Rider Waite deck, the High Priestess sits at the gate before the great Mystery, as indicated by the Tree of Life in the background. She sits between the darkness and the light, represented by the pillars of Solomon’s temple, which suggests it is she who is the mediator of the passage into the depth of reality. The tapestry hung between the pillars keeps the casual onlookers out and allows only those initiated to enter.

The pomegranates on the tapestry are sacred to Persephone. They are a symbol of duty (because Persephone ate a pomegranate seed in the underworld which forced her to return every year).

The blue robe the Priestess is wearing is a symbol of knowledge.

She is also wearing a crown, symbolising the Triple Goddess.

The phases of the moon (Triple Goddess Moon).

The High Priestess is associated with the Moon. Like The High Priestess, the Moon is also feminine so it symbolises fertility, hormonal influences and the mysterious side of femininity.

As mentioned above, Selene and Artemis were Greek Goddesses related to the Moon as well.

The solar cross on her breast is a symbol of balance between male and female.

In her lap, she holds the half-revealed and half-concealed Torah, representative of the esoteric teachings and higher knowledge. The moon under her left foot shows her dominion over pure intuition. The palm indicates fertility of the mind and the cube on which she sits is the earth. The planet associated with the High Priestess is the Moon.

High Priestess. Rider Waite deck. Details: Pomegranate and Moon.

The High Priestess could also be identified with the Shekhinah, the female indwelling presence of the divine. She wears plain blue robes and sits with her hands in her lap.

She has a lunar crescent at her feet, a horned diadem on her head, with a globe in the middle place, similar to the crown of the ancient Egyptian goddess Hathor.

The scroll in her hands, partly covered by her mantle, bears the letters TORA (meaning “divine law”, for the jewish tradition). The High Priestess  conceals the last letter, “H”, beneath her cloak. The Torah contains Jewish laws in the form of the five books of Moses. Great spiritual knowledge and wisdom is to be found within the Torah. The fact that part of the name is hidden indicates mystery and concealment.

The High Priestess is a card of mystery, stillness and passivity.  This is not a time for action of moving forward.  Instead The High Priestess suggests that at present you should retreat from your situation. When The High Priestess shows up Reversed, it suggests inability to find your inner voice or to look beyond.

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C. Major Arcana: The Chariot: 

In the Rider Waite version, there is a chariot standing in the middle and two sphinxes are at the bottom, on both sides.

The sphinxes´colors are reversed, pretty much like a Yin-Yang symbol. (See image 3).

The sphinxes highlight the idea of standing still. The man doesn´t move forward. And yet, there is a probable good outcome.

1.

2.

The sky is yellow representing hopes and prospect.

The stars on the curtain and the Sun in his forehead also stands for hope and trust.  He seems to follow his own intuition and light… His own star. (See image 1, above).

The latter is a recurrent symbol in the tarot deck, as we can see in the Hermit card (See image 1, below) and the Star card (See image 2).

This card represents power, and also it emphasizes the importance of balance within oneself.

3.

The driver has a Sun on his head. We can see rising and falling moons close to his neck. 

The complementary nature of these two opposite forces tend to echo the sphinxes … pointing out to Balance. 

The little red top below the wings ad in the middle of the chariot represents Lingam and Yoni, which entails the connection of two extremes (the “Golden mean”).

The card represents Victory, reaching goals. It entails self-control, balance and discipline. If the card is reversed, it means lack of determination or focus, low self-esteem, defeat or confusion.

This card can be related to Plato´s allegory of the Chariot, as it appears in his dialogue “Phaedrus”.

As he tries to explain the tripartite nature of the Soul, Plato uses an allegory.

He says that a chariot (representing the Soul) is pulled by two-winged horses, one black and mortal; and the other white and immortal.

The black mortal horse is obstinate and wild. The immortal, white horse, on the other hand, is noble, and a lover of honor and modesty and temperance.

In the driver’s seat is the charioteer. His destination is the ridge of heaven, beyond which he may behold the Forms, the absolute Knowledge.  This is a very turbulent ride, as the horses are led by opposite forces. The rider needs to keep the horse in balance. He represents the rational part of the Soul. The Black horse represents man’s appetites, meaning the part of the Soul linked with instincts. The white horse represents man’s spirit, the spirited part of the soul which seeks honor and victory.

This allegory highlights the importance of balance, integration and self-control. The two horses and the charioteer totally echo the characters on the Chariot card. Instead of horses, there are sphinxes, though. But the general meaning is strikingly similar.

The Chariot card also remind us of Helios (later on Apollo), the God and personification of the Sun in Greek mythology. Helios was  portrayed as a mighty charioteer, driving his flaming chariot (or gleaming horses) from east to west across the sky each day. 

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D. Minor Arcana: Three of Cups:

The Three of Cups is a card of celebration and accomplishment. Three young maidens dance in a circle with their golden goblets upraised in a toast of joy. Their arms reach out to each other and they connect through their emotions and their friendship with one another. The ground is covered with fruit and there is a general sense of abundance and happiness. Each woman in the Three of Cups has a laurel wreath on her head. Wreaths of this type have long been a symbol of victory and success.


At the women’s feet lie various flowers, symbolising joy, beauty.

The Three of Cups represents celebration, festivity and socializing. More broadly, the Three of Cups indicates the end or conclusion of any problems you have been experiencing, particularly those that relate to your interactions with others.

When the Three of Cups reverses it can suggest lack of emotional growth, losing touch with friends, over-indulgence, and gossiping.

This card seems to epitomize the Ancient Greek Charites (also known as “Three Graces”).

The Charites were reputed to be the essence of beauty, charm and grace. They were associated with the Nine Muses, who presided and inspired arts and sciences.

The Charites were three goddesses, who were sisters between them. From youngest to oldest: Aglaea (“Splendor”), Euphrosyne (“Mirth”), and Thalia (“Good Cheer”). Frequently, the Graces were taken as goddesses of charm or beauty in general and hence were associated with Aphrodite, the goddess of love.

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E. Minor Arcana: Nine of Swords:

The Nine of Swords shows a woman with her head in her hands, sitting up in her bed. She appears to have just woken up from a bad nightmare, and is obviously upset, fearful and anxious following her dream.

Nine swords hang on the wall behind her. The base of the bed is decorated with a carving of a duel in which one person is being defeated by another. All those Swords are weighing heavily on her as she sits in bed. These are all the Swords she has accumulated on her journey. The Figure in the Nine looks in despair and bereft of any logical thinking. She is in a terrible state of sorrow and feels she cannot share her problems or express them properly. 

The Nine of Swords is the card of fear and nightmares. However, the troubles alluded to in the Nine of Swords are primarily of a psychological nature and do not necessarily indicate suffering in your external reality. That is, it is what is inside your mind that is creating the fear and anxiety. The dreadful worry associated with the Nine of Swords may also come guilt, shame or your conscience eating you up. On the other hand, it may be you who is the victim.  

Reversed, the Nine of Swords indicates that you are working yourself up and becoming incredibly stressed and anxious when, really, this does not have to be a complicated issue. It is also possible that you have already worked through this period of worry and depression and are beginning to make a recovery.

The Nine of Swords somehow reminds us of the Erinyes (or Furies). According to the Greek poet Hesiod, they were the daughters of Gaia (Earth) and sprang from the blood of her mutilated spouse Uranus.

The Erinyes were mainly goddesses of vengeance.  They could be either the angry goddesses, or the goddesses who hunt up or search after the criminal. Hence they were associated with punishments, mainly in the shape of remorse, shame, regret, sorrow and guilty feelings. The wrath of the Erinyes could lead to disease, illness and dearth. This is mostly what happens in Aeschylus’ “Oresteia”. Euripides was the first to speak of them as three in number. Later authors named them Allecto (“Unceasing in Anger”), Tisiphone (“Avenger of Murder”), and Megaera (“Jealous”). They were depicted as ugly, winged women with hair, arms and waists entwined with serpents.

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II. ►Tarot and Graffiti:

According to Carl Jung, myth making is an inherent part of the unconscious psyche.  Myths typically have a number of rituals associated with it and secondary elaborations and expressions. Art is an example.

How about Street Art?. Well… Street art is usually created as a means to convey a message connected to artistic, political and social ideas.  In any case, Street Art could reveal and express archetypes. 

Archetypes consist of the mental representations of certain motifs that may vary a great deal in detail without losing their basic pattern. These archetypes manifest themselves in the form of symbolic images that appear throughout the world as expressions of a common collective unconscious. 

Tarot embodies archetypes behind which lie similar archetypical meanings. And the same applies to certain graffiti or murals. So let´s see how Tarot and Street Art get juxtaposed in an artistic way.

Resa McConaghy presents us some murals from her great blog “Graffiti Lux and Murals”, illustrating the theme of the Tarot. Let´s take a look…

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III. The Journey of The Fool in The Major Arcana:

Joseph Campbell explores the theory that important myths from around the world which have survived for thousands of years  all share a fundamental structure which he calls the Monomyth.
In laying out the Monomyth, Campbell describes a number of stages along this journey.
The hero starts in the Ordinary World and receives a call to enter an unusual world. The hero ventures forth from a familiar world into strange and sometimes threatening lands.
If the hero accepts the call, he might have to face tasks and trials, alone or he could have assistance.
At its most intense, the hero must survive a severe challenge, often with the help earned along the journey. They may achieve a great gift or Boon which most times results in the discovery of self-knowledge.
The hero must then decide whether to return with this boon, often facing challenges on the return journey as well. If he is succesful in returning the ordinary world these  gifts may be used to improve the world. 
Campbell proposed we view this as symbolic of the individual’s departure from their conscious personality, into the unexplored regions of their unconscious in search of the “ultimate boon”,  the unrealized potentials hidden within.

Campbell´s scheme echoes the Journey of the Fool, as displayed in The Major Arcana. 

People interpret the Journey of the Fool in various ways. It represents the process of the life cycle (childhood to middle age to old age). More often it is used to illustrate the process of spiritual development of the individual.

Following the Major Arcana´s cards and stages, people begin in a state of innocent ignorance represented by the Fool (card 0),  as he begins the journey, and pass into a final state of enlightenment reflected by the World (card XXI)After the World (perhaps paradoxically, maybe logically), comes the Fool again, as in many versions one is thought to be beginning the journey again, simply at another stage of knowledge. 

Well get  into the stages of the Hero´s Journey, as proposed by Joseph Campbell in his book “The Hero with a Thousand Faces”. And, simultaneously, we´ll present certain different Major Arcana cards exemplifying the particular phases of the journey. (Note that not all the stages are covered. But most of them, are).

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Joseph Campbell´s Journey of the Hero.

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References Jouney of the Hero/Journey of the Fool (Major Arcana): 

  1. Call to Adventure: The Fool.
  2. Meeting the Mentor: The Hierophant.
  3.  Test and Trials: The Chariot.
  4. Approaching the Innermost Cave: The Hermit.
  5. Meeting the Shadow Self: The Devil.
  6. Ordeal: The Tower.
  7. Boon: The Star.
  8. Refusal to Return to the Ordinary World: The Moon.
  9. Dark Night of the Soul: Death.
  10. Resurrection: Judgement.
  11. Third Threshold: The Hanged Man.
  12. Mastery of the Two Worlds: The World.

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IV.  Is there a “Journey” in the Minor Arcana?.

How does archetypal interactions might work in Minor Arcana?:

The Minor Arcana does not typically have an overall story or narrative to connect them that is specific to the Tarot alone.

However, one thing we can notice is that Minor Arcana cards also follow a “narrative progression”.

And that this seems to apply to all suits. We´ll provide examples. In order to methodize this, we´ll bring up a book that Colleen Chesebro kindly provided to us. The book in question is “The Writer and the Hero´s Journey”, by Rob Parnell.

In page 43, the author says:

“When telling a story, your overriding concern is to provide a platform from which you can derive conflict. Conflict is drama is story. But in order for drama to be compelling, you must create believable characters first”. He then states that the best way to create good characters is “by providing scenarios in which your characters are tested and can interact convincingly with other characters”.

We´ll use Parnell´s tips to demarcate certain progressions in certain implicit narrative sequences. These interactions could be subtle, but they are arranged in a systematic way, as stages. Hence they provide Minor Arcana with  a coherent and recurrent cyclic structure in the form of implicit narrative sequence. Pretty much like the Journey of the Fool in Major Arcana.

Parnell mentions the following “archetypal characters” (not necessarily people, they could be ideas, institutions, etc) who often interact with the main character:

  1. The Hero’s Sidekick, sometimes called “the Reflection” because they represent the hero’ s inner self as he was before the challenge.
  2. The Hero’s Nemesis: A bad person, sometimes a situation or an institution the character is fighting against.
  3. The Hero’s Love Interest, (not always necessary to a story though).
  4. The Hero’s Mentor: The person who the character/”Hero” goes to for advice or guidance.

Here are some examples of archetypal correspondences:

1 Sidekick: The Five of Wands, considered from the Ten of Cups. The latter represents Harmony and alignment; while the Five Of Wands represents disagreement, tension, conflict.

2. Nemesis: The Three of Swords, considered from the perspective of the character included in the Nine of Swords. The first card represents heartbreak ad rejection; whilst the Nine of Swords depicts someone who is depressed or concerned about certain things. We could say he is somehow  fighting against the ideas the Three of Swords represents.

3. Love Interest: Clearly this card: The Two of Cups. Representing: Love and partnership, and considered from any other card (“character”).

4. Mentor: King of Swords and Queen of Cups. Plus King and Queen of Pentacles seem to be characters that could well fulfill this role. King of Swords provides organization and quick thinking. Queen of Cups, emotional safety, calm and compassion. King and Queen of Pentacles represent discipline; and nourishing security, respectively.

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Conclusion:

Symbolic images have appeared throughout time, and all over the world. Whether they be myths, motifs, images in dreams or ritual, they are all manifestations of the unconscious psyche.

These symbols vary in detail, but like the many different decks of Tarot cards, meanings remain the same. They are archetypal. 
These archetypes are experienced by all. The “collective unconscious”, as proposed by Jung in his theories relating to psychology and myth, shares an innate psychic language.

 A.E. Waite had put it in different words, but in the end aligns with the thought that “secret doctrine” is interred in “the consciousness of all”. We may expose our intellect to many creative ideas and philosophical practices, as life and time relentlessly progresses. Not just our bodies mature, but our ideas, ideologies, purpose and direction are called to conscience. This is referred to by some as “Rites of Passage”.

In Tarot, the Major Arcana, presents”Rites of Passage” through the “Fool’s Journey”. Wisely, it presents not just a path of life, but cycles of life. The Minor Arcana purposes cycles of daily life, and therein, leads us to the larger picture. 
Guided by Astrology, Numerology, I Ching (or Book of Changes), Kabbala, Chinese Zodiac and/ or other related mystic arts, we proceed through the stages of life with an ability to live filled with comprehension through creativity. Be it intellectual and/or physical, this creativity includes all arts and sciences including alchemy.
With understanding of the archetypes and symbols representing them, we progress inventively. We become original. Therefore we can aid ourselves in the understanding of our unique path/ cycle through the physical sphere. It also assists in expressing to others, should one be a reader of Tarot, interpreter of Astrological charts, a giver of guidance via numerology religion or portrayal of relevance via mythology, a deeper meaning.
Tarot is special in that it combines most of the archetypes gone before it. Tarot uses its own imagery that contains symbols and ideology from numerology, astrology, religion, history and more. Thereby, Tarot is a powerful guiding force.
Whichever deck of Tarot one chooses to read from, it was illustrated and painted by an artist. Art has depicted Mankind spiritually, intellectually and physically from cave drawings through to Graffiti art. Artists have executed their thoughts, visions and ideas with paint, clay, writing, music, dance, myth and more.
Mythology, Greek or Roman and otherwise, has guided man with culturally relevant imagined tales. Greek myths contain many archetypal characters that are reflected in the Tarot: such as: the hero’s sidekick (The Fool), the hero’s nemesis (The Devil), love interest (The Lovers) and mentor (The Hierophant).
These stories provide a metaphor to individuals’ personal lives involving political and ethical ideals, thereby yielding emotional reactions. Mythology, as many legends, has been represented in many art forms from: sculpture, paintings and drawings, to dance, costumes and music.
In these modern times, even tattoos express the archetypes of “the collective unconscious”.
Pythagoras, a Greek mathematician who created the theorem for right-angled triangles, was also a philosopher. His creative mind was not relegated to mathematics, and he created the Pythagorean Tarot. His creativity was deeply rooted in the art of imagery through mythology and ancient Greek Mysteries. His was a pre-christian world, and his Tarot reflects that. Nonetheless, it is filled with many archetypes of his time’s philosophies. These archetypes prevail today.
In conclusion: All of the arts and archetypes are in the Tarot. The Tarot, through “the consciousness of all” is in all of the arts and archetypes. 
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A few cards from The Rider- Waite Tarot deck.

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⇒Links Post:
http://www.michaeltsarion.com/inner-zodiac.html
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpV40oP8QEI
http://www.aeclectic.net/tarot/cards/pythagorean/
https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/361902/jewish/The-Four-Worlds.htm
https://soa.illinoisstate.edu/downloads/anthro_theses/caldwell_sara.pdfh
https://es.scribd.com/document/311979264/Rob-Parnell-The-Writer-and-the-Hero-s-Journey
https://teachmetarot.com/part-iii-major-arcana/lesson-2/the-high-priestess-ii-upright/
https://teachmetarot.com/part-1-minor-arcana/lesson-2/the-collective-unconscious-archetypes-and-symbols/

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►Tarot: “Minor Arcana” 🦎:

The Four Aces of the Minor Arcana. Tarot deck: Rider,Waite & Smith.

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►Major and Minor Arcana: 

As we have seen in the first post of this series (Tarot: “Most Relevant Generalities / Major Arcana”), a Tarot deck has 78 cards, consisting of two types of cards: Major and Minor Arcana. The Major Arcana (analysed in-depth here), consists of 22 cards, without suits. The Minor Arcana are the remaining 56 suit cards. In this post we´ll analyze the Minor Arcana cards, using the classic Rider-Waite deck.

When used for divination the Major Arcana are traditionally more significant, but the Minor Arcana are what allow Tarot readers to understand the subtleties and details that surround the major events and signifiers in a Tarot spread; in general, the Major Arcana represent large turning points and the Minor Arcana represent the day-to-day insights.

The Minor Arcana comprise four suits with 14 cards each. The four suits are: Wands🥖, Cups, Swords⚔ and Pentacles 🔱.
Each Minor Arcana card in a suit is numbered One (Ace) to Ten, except for the court cards : Page, Knight, Queen, and King.

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Minor Arcana: The Four Suits (Wands, Swords, Cups and Pentacles):

♠🥖Wands represent the element Fire🔥, associated with the Zodiac astrological signs of: Aries, Leo and Sagittarius.

♣⚔Swords are connected to the element Air💨, hence linked to the astrological signs of: Gemini, Libra and Aquarius.

♣🍸Cups are related to the element Water💦. The Astrological signs for water are: Cancer, Scorpio and Piscis.

♣🔱 Pentacles represent the element Earth🌎. Thus, are associated with the Zodiac astrological signs of: Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn.

At the same time each suit has equivalents in terms of and class and faculty. Concretely: 

♣🥖Wands: ∼Class: Peasantry. ∼Faculty: Creativity.

♣⚔Swords: ∼Class: Nobility and military. ∼Faculty: Reason.

♣🍸Cups: ∼Class: Clergy. ∼Faculty: Emotions and love.

♣🔱Pentacles: ∼Class: Merchants. ∼Faculty: Material body or possessions.

•In the gallery below ⇓, we can see card Two (II) for each one of the Four Suits: Wands, Swords, Cups and Pentacles, respectively:

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3. ►General way to interpret Minor Arcana cards: 

3.1. Pip Cards (Numbers 1 to 10 from all four suits):

A good way to have a general meaning of the Minor Arcana would be to associate the card for all suits with its respective number.
These numbers  represent an evolutionary process that begins with the number 1 and ends with the number 10, pretty much like the Fool´s Journey (see last section of the post on Major Arcana).
 
For the Pip Cards in the Minor Arcana (meaning those cards from Ace to 10 in each of the four Suits), this is relatively straight-forward.
Aces equal 1, and then each card is numbered 2 to 10. For the tens, you can either treat it as a 10 or as a 1 (1+0).
Court Cards do not typically have a numerological association.
For the Major Arcana, If you want to create the appropriate numerological association, you may need to add the single digits together. For example, the Wheel of Fortune is labelled 10. To find its associations you would add 1+0=1. Hence its number is 1.
With that being said, let´s see what the numbers 1 to 10 mean.
 
∼Meaning of Numbers:
1 – Newness. 
2 – Balance. Also: a crossroad or choice. 
3 – Integration. Initial achievement of goals. 
4 – Stability. But, depending on the card, also: stagnation. 
5 – Changes. Instability. 
6 – Responsibility. Communication.
7 – Patience. Also: Reflection and assessment. 
8 – Ambition, regeneration, change. 
9 – Choices.
10–  Completion, end of a cycle and renewal. 10 can also become 1 (1+0 = 1) and therefore the tens represent the same things as the Aces (New beginnings), but on a higher level.
Now let´s move on to The Court Cards…

3. ►General Way to interpret Minor Arcana cards: 

3.2. Court Cards (Page, Knight; Queen and King from all four Suits):

A⇒Pages:

As people, Pages often represent young, energetic people who are at the very beginning of their personal journey. On a physical level, Pages can represent young children through to young adults. As events, Pages are often seen as messengers and come to you with a new opportunity or an invitation.

B⇒Knights:
As people, Knights are highly action-oriented. Knights are also slightly more mature than a Page. They have enough experience under their belt to know what they’re doing, but  they could be quite extremists. 
On a physical level, Knights can represent adults aged between 20 and 35 (more or less).
As events, Knights reflect change, movement and action.
C⇒Queens:
As people, Queens  tap into the feminine energy of nurturing and caring for others. Queens typically represent women, but can also highlight the more feminine qualities of a man. On a physical level, Queens often represent people aged between 30 and 50. As events, Queens represent creativity and ideas coming to fruition.
D⇒Kings:
As people, Kings have full control over the feelings, thoughts and actions. As such, they are stable and solid. On a physical level, Kings often represent older males aged 40 and above. As an event, Kings signify the growth and maturity of an idea or concept right through until reaches completion.

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4. ►Minor Arcana: Meaning of All Cards:

The Four Suits (in Depth):

The Four Suits, as mentioned before, are: Wands. Swords. Cups and Pentacles. Each one has 14 cards, Ten Pip Cards (from Ace or 1 to 10) and Four Court Cards (Page, Knight, Queen and King. 

Just a quick note: Keep in mind that when the cards are shuffled, they can show up in two positions: Upright or Reversed.The Upright position represents certain Idea or Situation. But, what happens when the card shows up in a reversed or inverted position?. According to the predominant criteria, when the card  appears as “reversed”, the meaning is almost always considered the opposite of the one the card in the upright position might reveal . (See previous post, section 1.3 ⇒♦ Positions of the Cards: Upright or Reversed). 

∼•∼•∼•∼•∼•∼•∼•∼•∼•∼•

4.1 ⇒🥖WANDS:

 
•General Meaning of all Wands:
∼Element and respective Astrological Signs: Fire: Aries, Leo and  Sagittarius.
∼Class: Peasantry. 
The Suit of Wands Tarot card meanings are linked to primal energy, spirituality, inspiration, determination, strength, intuition, creativity, ambition and expansion. 
The negative aspects of the Suit of Wands (i.e. when the Wands cards appear reversed) include illusion, egotistical behaviour, impulsiveness, a lack of direction or purpose, or feeling meaningless.
 
🥖I ⇒Ace (1) of Wands: 

►Meanings:

•Upright: Huge potential. Spiritual opportunity or offering being made.  A ‘breakthrough moment’.
•Reversed: Lack of direction. Delays. Being weighed down by existing responsibilities and commitments.

🥖II ⇒Two of Wands

►Meanings:

•Upright: Future planning, progress, decisions, discovery.
•Reversed: Fear of unknown, lack of planning.

🥖III ⇒Three of Wands

►Meanings:

•Upright: Preparation, foresight, enterprise, expansion.
•Reversed: Lack of foresight, delays, obstacles to long-term goals.

🥖IV ⇒Four of Wands

►Meanings:

•Upright: Celebration, harmony, marriage, home, community.
•Reversed: Breakdown in communication, lack of commitment,. Period of transition where there is little stability and security.

🥖V ⇒Five of Wands:

►Meanings:

•Upright: Disagreement, competition, strife, tension, conflict.
•Reversed: Conflict avoidance, increased focus on goals. Relief after conflict and struggle. 

🥖VI⇒Six of Wands:

►Meanings:

•Upright: Public recognition, victory, progress, self-confidence.
•Reversed:  Egotism, lack of confidence. Trying to achieve too many things at once and failing.

🥖VII ⇒Seven of Wands:

►Meanings:

•Upright: Challenge, competition, perseverance.
•Reversed: Giving up, overwhelmed, overly protective. Feeling that you are constantly being judged or criticised.

🥖VIII ⇒Eight of Wands:
►Meanings:

•Upright: Speed, action, travel, movement, swift change.
•Reversed:  Delays, frustration, holding off.

🥖IX⇒Nine of Wands:
►Meanings:

•Upright: Courage, persistence, test of faith, resilience.
•Reversed: Defensive, hesitant. Lack of support. 

🥖X⇒Ten of Wands:
►Meanings:

•Upright: Burden, responsibility, hard work, stress, achievement.
•Reversed: Taking on too much, unnecessarily holding on to a burden.

🥖A⇒Page of Wands:
►Meanings:

•Upright: Enthusiasm, exploration, discovery, free spirit.
•Reversed: Setbacks to new ideas, pessimism, lack of direction.

🥖B⇒Knight of Wands:
►Meanings:

•Upright: Energy, passion, lust, action, adventure, impulsiveness.
•Reversed: Haste, scattered energy, delays, frustration.

🥖C⇒Queen of Wands:
►Meanings:

•Upright:  Exuberance, warmth, vibrancy, determination.
•Reversed: Being aggressive, too demanding.

🥖D⇒King of Wands:
►Meanings:

•Upright: Leadership, vision, entrepreneur, honour.
•Reversed: Impulsiveness, haste, ruthless, high expectations.

∼•∼•∼•∼•∼•∼•∼•∼•∼•∼•

4.2 ⇒⚔SWORDS:

 
•General Meaning of all Swords:
  
∼Element and respective Astrological Signs: Air: Gemini, Libra and Aquarius. 
∼Class: Nobility and military.
The Suit of Swords Tarot card meanings are related to  action, change, force, power, oppression, ambition, courage and conflict. The negative aspects of the Suit of Swords (i.e. when the Swords cards appear reversed) include anger, guilt, harsh judgement, a lack of compassion and verbal and mental abuse.
⚔I⇒Ace (1) of  Swords:
►Meanings:

•Upright: Raw power, victory, break-through, mental clarity.
•Reversed: Confusion, chaos, lack of clarity.

⚔II⇒Two of  Swords:
►Meanings:

•Upright: Indecision, choices, truce, stalemate, blocked emotions.
•Reversed: Confusion, information overload.

⚔III⇒Three of Swords:
►Meanings:

•Upright: Sorrow heartbreak, grief, rejection.
•Reversed: Releasing pain, optimism.

⚔IV⇒Four of  Swords:
►Meanings:

•Upright: Contemplation, recuperation, passivity, relaxation, rest.

•Reversed: Restlessness, burn-out, lack of progress.

V⇒Five of Swords:
►Meanings:

•Upright: Conflict, tension, loss, defeat, win at all costs, betrayal.
•Reversed: Open to change, past resentment.

VI⇒Six of Swords:
►Meanings:

•Upright: Regretful but necessary transition, rite of passage.
•Reversed: Cannot move on, carrying baggage.

VII⇒Seven of Swords:
►Meanings:

•Upright: Betrayal, deception, getting away with something.

•Reversed Mental challenges, breaking free.

VIII⇒Eight of Swords:
►Meanings:

•Upright: Isolation, self-imposed restriction, imprisonment.
•Reversed: Open to new perspectives, release.

IX⇒Nine of Swords:
►Meanings:

•Upright: Depression, anxiety.

•Reversed: Hopelessness, severe depression, torment.

⚔X⇒Ten of Swords:
►Meanings:

•Upright: Back-stabbed, defeat, crisis, betrayal, endings, loss.
•Reversed: Recovery, regeneration, fear of ruin.

⚔A⇒Page of Swords:

►Meanings:

•Upright: Curious, mentally restless, energetic.
•Reversed: Haste, undelivered promises.

⚔B⇒Knight of Swords:

►Meanings:

•Upright: Action-oriented, communicative.
•Reversed: Scattered thought, disregard for consequences.

⚔C⇒Queen of Swords;

►Meanings:

•Upright: Quick thinker, organised, perceptive, independent.
•Reversed: Overly emotional, cold-hearted.

⚔D⇒King of Swords:

►Meanings:

•Upright: Clear thinking, intellectual power, authority, truth.

•Reversed: Manipulative, tyrannical, abusive.

∼•∼•∼•∼•∼•∼•∼•∼•∼•∼•

4.3. ⇒🍸CUPS:

  
•General Meaning of all Cups:
∼Element and respective Astrological Signs: Water: Cancer, Scorpio and Piscis.
∼Class: Clergy.

Cups are about displays of emotion, expression of feelings and the role of emotions in relation to others.

The negative aspects of the Suit of Cups (i.e. when the Cups cards appear reversed) include being overly emotional or completely disengaged and dispassionate, having unrealistic expectations.
🍸I⇒Ace (1) of Cups:
►Meanings:

•Upright: Love, compassion, creativity, overwhelming emotion.
•Reversed: Blocked or repressed emotions.

🍸II⇒Two of Cups:
►Meanings:

•Upright: Partnership, attraction, relationships.
•Reversed: Break-up, imbalance in a relationship, lack of harmony.

🍸III⇒Three of Cups:
►Meanings:

•Upright: Celebration, friendship, creativity, community.
•Reversed: An affair, “three’s a crowd”.

🍸IV⇒Four of Cups:
►Meanings:

•Upright: Meditation, apathy, contemplation.

•Reversed: Boredom, missed opportunity, being aloof.
🍸V⇒Five of Cups:
►Meanings:

•Upright: Loss, regret, disappointment, despair, bereavement.
•Reversed: Moving on, acceptance, forgiveness.

🍸VI⇒Six of Cups:
►Meanings:

•Upright: Reunion, nostalgia, childhood memories, innocence.
•Reversed: Stuck in the past, naïvety, unrealistic.

🍸VII⇒Seven of Cups:
►Meanings:

•Upright: Fantasy, illusion, wishful thinking, choices, imagination.
•Reversed: Temptation, illusion.

🍸VIII⇒Eight of Cups:
►Meanings:

•Upright: Disappointment, abandonment, withdrawal.
•Reversed: Hopelessness, walking away.

🍸IX⇒Nine of Cups:
►Meanings:

•Upright: Wishes fulfilled, comfort, happiness, satisfaction.
•Reversed: Greed, dissatisfaction, materialism.

🍸X⇒Ten of Cups:
►Meanings:

•Upright: Harmony, marriage, happiness, alignment.
•Reversed: Misalignment of values, broken home or marriage.

🍸A⇒Page of Cups:
►Meanings:

•Upright: A messenger, creative beginnings, synchronicity.
•Reversed: Emotional immaturity, creative block.

🍸B⇒Knight of Cups:
►Meanings:

•Upright: Romance, charm, imagination.
•Reversed: Unrealistic, jealousy, moodiness.

🍸C⇒Queen of Cups:
►Meanings:

•Upright: Emotional security, calm, intuitive, compassionate.
•Reversed: Emotional insecurity, codependency.

🍸D⇒King of Cups:
►Meanings:

•Upright: Emotional balance and control, generosity.

•Reversed: Manipulation, moodiness, volatility.

∼•∼•∼•∼•∼•∼•∼•∼•∼•∼•

4.4 🔱⇒PENTACLES:

  

•General Meaning of all Pentacles:

∼Element and respective Astrological Signs. Earth: Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn.
∼Class: Merchants.
The Suit of Pentacles Tarot card meanings cover material aspects of life including work, business, trade, property, money and other material possessions. The positive aspects of the Suit of Pentacles include manifestation, realisation, proof and prosperity. The negative aspects of the Suit of Pentacles (i.e. when the Pentacles cards appear reversed) include being possessive, greedy and overly materialistic.
🔱 I⇒Ace (1) of Pentacles:
►Meanings:

•Upright: Manifestation, new financial opportunity, prosperity.
•Reversed: Lost opportunity, lack of planning and foresight.

🔱 II⇒Two of Pentacles:
►Meanings:

•Upright: Balance, adaptability, time management.
•Reversed: Disorganisation, financial disarray.

🔱 III⇒Three of Pentacles:
►Meanings:

•Upright: Teamwork, initial fulfilment, collaboration, learning.
•Reversed: Lack of teamwork, disregard for skills.

🔱 IV⇒Four of Pentacles:
►Meanings:

•Upright: Control, stability, security.

•Reversed: Greed, materialism, self-protection.

🔱 V⇒Five of Pentacles:
►Meanings:

•Upright: Isolation, insecurity, worry, financial loss.

•Reversed: Recovery from financial loss, spiritual poverty.

🔱 VI⇒Six of Pentacles: 
►Meanings:

•Upright: Generosity, charity, giving, prosperity, sharing wealth.

•Reversed: Debt, selfishness.

 🔱 VII⇒Seven of Pentacles:

►Meanings:

•Upright: Vision, perseverance, profit, reward, investment.
•Reversed: Lack of long-term vision, limited success or reward.

🔱 VIII⇒Eight of Pentacles:
►Meanings:

•Upright: Apprenticeship, education, quality, engagement.
•Reversed: Perfectionism, lacking ambition or focus.

🔱 IX⇒Nine of Pentacles:

►Meanings:

•Upright: Gratitude, luxury, self-sufficiency, culmination.
•Reversed: Over-investment in work, financial setbacks.

🔱 X⇒Ten of Pentacles:
►Meanings:

•Upright: Wealth, inheritance, family, establishment, retirement.
•Reversed: Financial failure, loneliness, loss.

🔱 A⇒Page of Pentacles: 
►Meanings:

•Upright: Manifestation, financial opportunity, new job.
•Reversed: Lack of progress and planning, short-term focus.

🔱 B⇒Knight of  Pentacles:

►Meanings:

•Upright: Efficiency, routine, conservatism, methodical .
•Reversed: Laziness, boredom, feeling ‘stuck’.

🔱 C⇒Queen of Pentacles:
►Meanings:
•Upright:  Practical, motherly, down-to-earth, security.

•Reversed: Imbalance in work/ family commitments.

🔱 D⇒King of Pentacles:
►Meanings:

•Upright: Security, control, power, discipline, abundance.
•Reversed: Authoritative, controlling.

Recap Sheet: Minor Arcana.

Check out this Playlist by Jason Youngman:

“Minor Arcana: The Four Suits”:

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5. ► Some Final Thoughts on Minor Arcana (and the Whole Deck)

& Tips for Reading Tarot Cards:

The Major Arcana charts the Fool´s Journey. This includes the archetypal themes that we all encounter in order to spiritually evolve. Thus the Major Arcana can be associated to the element of Spirit. Whereas the Minor Arcana tend to depict events that relate to our daily lives. They are composed of the four lesser elements, namely fire, cups, water and air. These elements are also associated with the four suits of the Minor Arcana, that being wands, cups, swords, and pentacles. Hence wands as fire, cups as water, swords as air, and pentacles as earth. In turn each suit/element represents various characteristics and qualities.

For instance: Pentacles (earth) represent the material domain, which deals with possession and highlights the importance of being grounded. Wands (fire) are linked to the flame of creativity, to fiery ambition and expansion. Cups (water) constitute our feelings and emotions, as they tend to flow from our hearts. Finally, Swords (air) stand for action, power and friction.

The Court Cards are another subsection within the Minor Arcana and are also divided into the four suits/elements. They aren’t numbered like the other minor cards and are often said to represent people. However the ancient courts were typically used for political ends. These cards make up a hierarchy of governing power beginning with the Page, followed with the Knight, then the Queen, and finally the King ranked as the highest in the order, respectively.

The Major Arcana cards may have a more “transcendent” meaning, but I have noticed that many Minor Arcana cards could play a similar role when compared. Allow me to demonstrate in part. To proceed let´s keep to the general upright meaning of the cards.

Example 1⇒Major Arcana: The World (XXI): Meaning: Wholeness and Balance. Minor Arcana: Ten of Cups (X): Meaning: Harmony, Alignment.

Example 2⇒Major Arcana: The Devil (XV)Meaning: Being obsessed and unaware. Allowing yourself to be controlled. Minor Arcana: Eight of Swords (VIII): Meaning: Isolation, self-imposed restriction, imprisonment

Example 3⇒Major Arcana: The Chariot (VII). Meaning: Victory, reaching goals. Being determined and focussed. Feeling self-confident. Mastering emotions. Self control, discipline. Minor Arcana: Six of Wands (VI). Meaning: Public recognition, victory, progress, self-confidence.

So, as you could see,  even if there are crucial differences between Major and Minor Arcana, certain cards could have similar meanings, regardless of the category they fit into.

I would like to stress that in order to better understand the Minor Arcana cards we should pay attention to its number, the suit and its respective element (fire, air, water and earth) and the astrological sign associated with the card. No matter the core meaning of each card, these other features can help us to figure out and identify what a card intends to communicate. The details of the illustrations, figures, landscapes and colors can also help us locate further meaning. 

Keep in mind the position of the card (according to the Spread you´ve chosen). Also remember that a Tarot reading is not about the individual cards, It is important to notice how the cards in the reading relate to each other.

 A group of cards taken together as a whole can reveal further insight. The individual cards are like individual words in a story.  Try to see how the cards relate to the questions and how they relate to one another in order to weave the “story”. 

In addition, we can use our intuition to assist us in the interpretation, regardless of the concrete meaning of the card. For instance, tension may appear in a certain part of our body as we contemplate a card or an object in the picture may remind us of something else altogether. An intuitive hit may be olfactory, such as a fragrance that puts us in mind of a past event. A strong emotion may erupt or a forgotten dream may rise up into conscious awareness, which may help to put the tarot reading into perspective.

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Rider- Waite Tarot Deck: “Major & Minor Arcana”:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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⇒Links Post:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minor_Arcana
https://www.drawingwithin.com/blog-1/2017/9/3/what-is-the-difference-between-the-major-minor-arcana-in-the-tarot
https://sistersofthefey.wordpress.com/2018/02/17/step-through-numerology-what-does-this-number-mean/
https://aquileana.wordpress.com/2018/01/15/►tarot-most-relevant-generalities-major-arcana🗝/
http://www.tarotteachings.com/meanings-of-colors-in-tarot-cards.html
https://foxhugh.com/divination/tarot-lesson-minor-arcana/

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“Special Shout-Outs”:

I would like to thank Jason Youngman from “Methaphysical Reflections” for letting me include his great videos on Arcana Minor (see Playlist above). 🐯 😘

Also special thanks to Resa McConaghy for the gorgeous sketches on her awesome blog Art Gowns (I will feature them in a future post, but wanted to mention this before here as well). (February 28th).🐬😘

And, I want to thank these bloggers for the mentions on their blogs… 

⇒THANK YOU TO:

Ken Judd AKA Bear from Bear Tales for mentioning me on his cool & funny blog. (January 20th). 🐻😘

Amira Amenta for the mention on her great blog & post “Caja de Pandora – #MeToo”. A thought- provoking, recommended reading. (January 26th). 🦋😘

Christy Birmingham  from the great blog “When Women Inspire” for the mention on this post. (February 9th). 🐰😘

∼Daniel Julian from “Word Florilegium” for the shout-out on his great blog. (February 1st). 🐱😘

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