General Study Of The Four First Cards

Key to the Symbolism of the Tarot.

The four first cards of the major arcana form, symbolically as well as numerically, a complete sequence, which corresponds with the sacred word Yod-he-vau-he.

For the first card expresses the active absolute, and corresponds with Yod.

The second card denotes the reflex of the first, the passive absolute; it corresponds with the first He.

The third indicates the median term, the convertible transforming term, corresponding to Vau.

Lastly, the fourth card is a term of transition between the preceding series and the one that follows it.

The symbolic series of the Tarot is therefore completely represented by the four first cards, exactly as the numerical sequence is represented by the four first numbers. This fact produces a very important consideration, namely, that all the symbols of the Tarot are but transformations of the three first, and that the latter will supply us with the general law of symbolism, a law which will enable us to determine mathematically the sense of each card that follows.

But we can go still further.

Since the second card is the reflex of the first, and is formed by the first considered negatively, and since the third card results from the two others, it suffices to be perfectly acquainted with the first card of the Tarot to determine mathematically the sense of all the others.

Some details upon this subject are necessary. The general law of the four first cards is as follows--

1--Positive. Creator.

2--Negative. Reflex of the first. Preserver.

3--Neuter, enveloping the two others. Transformer.

4--Passage from one series to another.

We can then represent the series in this way--




And what is true for each of the terms of a ternary is also true for the ternary taken as a whole, and this leads us to new considerations.

For the first ternary would be positive, corresponding to Yod, the active, the creator.

The second ternary would be negative, and would correspond to the first He, i. e. that all the terms of this ternary would be reflections of the terms of the first, just as the second card was the reflex of the first.

This gives us--

Keflex of 2

Reflex of 3

Reflex of 1

We can thus determine the meaning of the arcana 4, 5, 6, 7 in the three worlds, since we know the meaning of the arcana 1, 2, 3, 4.

We need only refer to the study of the Tarot by numbers, to find the symbols, which correspond respectively to Yod, to He, to Vau, and to the second He.

But if the second ternary is the reflex of the first, the same rule applies to the septenaries.

All the cards of the second septenary will therefore be the symbolical reflection of those of the first.

All the cards of the third septenary are representatives of the third term, or of transformation.

We have then--

The 1st septenary,

Which represents the active Creation. The Divine Osiris-Brahma, or the Father.

The 2nd septenary,

Which represents Preservation. The Astral, Isis, Vishnu, the Son.

The 3rd septenary,

Which represents Transformation, Physics, Horus, Siva, the Holy Spirit.

The three first arcana will therefore give the sense of all the others according to the following figure:


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