Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tarot (Introduction)

The Tarot deck is a pictorial text-book that speaks to it's reader through the language of symbolism. Though Tarot is used and taught today almost exclusively in an exoteric or common manner, Dr. Author Edward Waite concluded that the Tarot had no exoteric history prior to the 14th century. The oldest known versions can be found in museums around Europe dating back to about 1392, however; there is an occult tradition that places the creation of the modern tarot in earlier times. This tradition says that the Tarot deck was created by a group of Adepts who met at yearly intervals in the city of Fez, in Morocco.

At this particular time period, after the destruction of  Alexandria; it is said that Fez became the literary and intellectual capital of the world. Wise men of all nations, languages and cultures are said to have gathered there annually, meeting at the Vernal Equinox. Their conferences became increasingly difficult because of the variances in language and philosophical terminology so they arrived at a decision to embody the most vital elements of their respective teachings in a book of pictures whose interpretations and combinations would depend on an understanding of occult correspondences (numerical and other).

They chose the universal system of numbers and letters demonstrated in Kabbalah, though Jewish in appearance Kabbalah embodies the mystic teachings and lessons of the Orient and if it is properly understood then all systems and philosphies can be neatly superimposed upon its framework. Each of the Major 22 Trumps correspond to one of the 22 letters of the Hebrew Alphabet.

Other cards are divided into four categories called suits, also known as 'The Lesser Arcana,' they symbolize and correspond with the four letters of the Tetragrammaton or 'The Ineffable Name' YHWH, which esoterically embodies all quadruplicities but in this particular instance we will focus on the four basic elements. They are:

Wands or Scepters- correspond with Air.
Cups- corresponding to water.
Swords- which correlate with fire
Pentacles- Earth.