Monday, October 4, 2010

Hermetic Correspondences of the Minor Arcana

The school of Hermeticism sees the tarot as more than just a divination tool: for the magus, it is also a complete and complex model of human consciousness. Man being a mirror image of the cosmos, the tarot can also be seen as a metaphysical map of the Universe. To learn the tarot is to learn the processes and structure of the manifest and unmanifest Universe.

The tables below summarize the tarot attributions given in the Golden Dawn's Book T and Aleister Crowley's Liber LXXVIII. It would be too lengthy to discuss the meaning of the correspondences here so it would just be well to read the books just mentioned. Whether one uses the tarot for divination, meditation, or magic, these books can provide valuable insight and deeper meaning of the arcana.

Each of the numbered cards correspond to one decan (10 degrees) of an astrological sign, while each of the ace and the court cards correspond to a sub-element. Compare this to the Major Arcana, where each trump correspond either to an astrological sign or a single element.

For the numbered cards, the title of the card (e.g."Dominion") is followed by the ruling planet and zodiac sign of the corresponding decan. The zodiac sign is colored according to its quadruplicity: red for cardinal, blue for fixed, yellow for mutable; and the planetary signs are colored according to the queen scale of their corresponding sephiroth. These are then followed by the ruling court card: Water/Fire would mean Queen of Wands, Air/Earth would mean Prince of Disks, and so on. After this are two pairs of names of the Shem ha-Mephorash attributed to the decan.

The ace and court cards simply have the sub-elements following the arcanum's title, e.g. Water of Fire, etc.

Click the images below to view the bigger picture. The tables are ideally sized to fit into a tarot pouch when printed on card.



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