No study of Occult Philosophy is possible without an acquaintance with symbolism…. Symbolism cannot be learned as one learns to build bridges or speak a foreign language, and for the interpretation of symbols a special cast of mind is necessary; in addition to knowledge, special faculties, the power of creative thought and developed imagination are required.
In order to become acquainted with the tarot, it is necessary to understand the basic ideas of Kabala and of Alchemy. For it represents, as, indeed, many commentators of the tarot think, a summary of the Hermetic Sciences – the Kabala, Alchemy, Astrology, Magic, with their different divisions. All these sciences really represent one system of a very broad and deep psychological investigation of the nature of man in his relation to the world of noumena (God, the world of spirit) and to the world of phenomena (the visible physical world).
The letters of the Hebrew alphabet and the various allegories of the Kabala, the names of metals, acids and salts in Alchemy; of planets and constellations in Astrology; of good and evil spirits in Magic – all these were only means to veil truth from the uninitiatedP.D. Oupensky
Once we step outside the box of gathered expectations stemming from superstitious gypsy tales, exploitation movies, and carnie psychic fairs, we realize is that Tarot is more than just another fortune-telling device. There’s something alluring, mysterious about this pack of 78 cards. We need to access their wisdom carefully, allow the cards to speak to us and connect to soul. Every single card in Tarot can act as a gate for us to discover a hidden part of our own self. But this is a process that requires time, patience, and humility.
We live in an ever-increasing complex world. Yeah, our ability to understand the world around us depends on how we understand ourselves. Self-awareness leads to self knowledge. Self knowledge helps us understand others better. We are all in this together.
Serious academic study of Tarot is just beginning and it is revealing to us the influence exerted by a hieroglyphic, emblematic and miniature art; the role played by Cabala, the Art of Memory, and the Picaresque novel, Troubadours and Chansons de Geste, to name just a few. Literature begets literature, art begets art; and human consciousness expands and adapts and adopts accordingly. Nothing is ever forgotten, it is all in the reservoir of the collective unconscious.Yolonda M. Robinson
A must have and great reference for Tarot readers of any skill level.
Pretty much sums up what I enjoy studying – a synthesis of science and spirituality – and in the case of the quantum the two cannot be separated. Quantum physics verifies what mystics and esoteric teachings have thought about our consiousness and reality for centuries, before even a “real” science existed. Ideas that came to these thinkers in altered states of consciousness. Such things like how consciousness isn’t local to the brain, that we are all connected by consiousness – both humans and object – how our perception and beliefs actually take part in creating the objective world around us, and that we are indeed a microcosm of the macrocosm.
The purpose of physics has always been seen as a search for the fundamental laws of the universe. Commenting on what quantum physics tells us about the laws of physics John Wheeler states “There is no law except the law that there is no law”. This is to say that the laws of physics are malleable, mutating in tune with the universe they support, in the same way living organisms mutate. “Every law can be transcended”. He means that nothing is absolute, nothing is so fundamental that it cannot change under certain circumstances and this includes the very laws of the universe.
Quantum is also considered a reflection of our being, our minds into the universe. Something I took away from all that is if the very nature of the universe is as such then we as humans shouldn’t be so reluctant to change; whether its an opinion we hold, old habits, our thoughts, etc. as mutability is the very underpinning of who and what we are along with the cosmos around us.
Since the numerical terms after 10 are simply outgrowths of the decad and since, “clearly and indisputably,” the ordered and the finite take precedence over the unlimited and infinite, it follows thata thorough analysis of the properties of the first ten numbers will reveal not only the whole nature of numbers, but also the pattern of the universe as it exists in the mind of God.Vincent Hopper
I got this book to help me better understand number symbolism – the philosophy and relationship of numbers to themselves and to the cosmos – to apply this knowledge to the use of Tarot.
… medieval number philosophy, which often appears as sheer nonsense or at best as the product of extraordinarily confused thinking, is explicable only by reference to its origins. … It is the purpose of this study to reveal how deeply rooted in medieval thought was the conciousness of numbers, not as mathematical tools, nor yet as the counters in a game, but as fundamental realities, alive with memories and eloquent with meaning. … An important result of these studies has been to reveal in the medieval mind a web like structure of abstract ideas and concrete realities so closely interwoven and interdependent that no serious gap was felt to exist between them.Vincent Hopper
The tarot embodies symbolical presentations of universal ideas, behind which lie all the implicits of the human mind, and it is in this sense that they contain secret Doctrine, which is the realization by the few of the truths embedded in the consciousness of all.
The true Tarot is symbolism; it speaks no other language and offers no other signs. Given the inword meaning of its emblems, they do become a kind of alphabet, which is capable of indefinite combinations and makes true sense in all.A. E. Waite
The Arch lays the fertile ground – or foundation – to St.Louis and gives birth to the rest of the nation, symbolized by the symbols of fertility on the Arch grounds.
The Sphinx alludes towards the mind ascending to take dominion over the processes of life, disorder, and destruction being overcome. It represents equilibrium or the balance of all forces of nature, it also intimates illusion and like the Sphinx of Oedipus sits ready to destroy all incapable of answering it’s riddle. The whole sphere of Nature as man knows it is but a shadow of reality. The Sphinx is the keeper of the gates of mystery, illusion itself is the keeper of reality and illusion destroys itself when we give the right answer to life’s riddles. Though there is only one, the Sphinx of Egypt guarding the Giza complex, looking East, watching the sunrise, these two sphinxes sit back to back watching the sunrise and sunset as if they’re the keepers of this illusion we call reality (crowning the Wheel of Fortune). These sit just like the Sphinx on the Wheel of Fortune card in Tarot crowning the wheel declaring the entire wheel itself is an illusion.
Credit for the large majority of the interpretation goes to Yolanda M. Robinson and Manly P. Hall