Study Of Each Of The Major Arcana

Scheme of Work.

WE shall now apply this general law of symbolism to each of the twenty-two major arcana.

We must here beg for the reader's careful attention in spite of the length of the subject under consideration. We shall make every effort to be as clear as possible, and therefore we shall first explain the scheme which we have adopted in the study of each of the cards of the Tarot.

(1st) We shall always start from the hieroglyphic sign which has given birth to the Hebrew letter. Court de Gebelin is the author whom we shall consult chiefly upon this subject.

(2nd) We shall explain from the hieroglyphic character p. 97

all the ideas that can be progressively deduced from it, and which characterize the Hebrew letter considered as a sign. Kircher and Fabre d'Olivet are our authorities in this work.

(3rd) When we have once defined the ideas signified by the Hebrew letter, we shall search for the application of these ideas in the symbolic figure of the Tarot.

Eliphas Levi, 1 Christian 2 and Barrois 3 will aid us in our inquiries.

(4th) Lastly, we shall determine the meaning which must be attributed to the card of the Tarot, according to its numerical and symbolical affinities with all the others, in applying to it the general law of symbolism. This portion of our work is strictly personal.

(5th) We shall end the study upon each of the cards by a figure showing all that we have said.

We must warn the reader that the perusal of the recapitulations only will be of no use as a means of understanding the card of the Tarot, and that the best way will be to carefully follow the successive explanations of each card, with the Tarot before him.

We cannot end this opening chapter without alluding to the basis upon which we have established the astronomical relations of each card of the Tarot.

One of the most ancient books of the Kabbalah which we possess, the Sepher Yetzirah, 4 says that the three mother letters of the Hebrew alphabet correspond with the three worlds, the seven doubles with the seven planets, and the twelve simple with the twelve signs of the zodiac. 5

Now in studying the astrological manuscript published by Christian, we have discovered that the numbers attributed to the planets by the author of this manuscript exactly correspond with the double Hebrew letters. The numbers attributed to the twelve signs of the zodiac exactly correspond with the simple letters.

We considered that this absolute agreement between two documents of such different origin deserved our serious attention, and we have therefore given with each letter its astronomical correspondence.

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