THE first part of our study of the Tarot, full of numbers, of Hebrew letters, and abstract deductions, is not calculated to attract the attention of ladies. But if women p. 302
enjoy mystery and idealism, prefer and excuse the flights of a vivid imagination, men exact precision and method in studies of this kind, and I have therefore built this arsenal of technical arguments for them, confining imagination in the narrow limits of deduction; so that, if she has sometimes escaped and scattered the brilliant gems of illusion over the course of my work, the escape was only made with great trouble, and in spite of my efforts to retain her. It is, however, traditional that the future can be read through the Tarot, and our feminine readers will never forgive me if I ignore their natural curiosity on this point.
I have therefore decided to approach this delicate question, and I hope that the pleasure gained by the fair inquirers will balance the scepticism of sterner intellects. It is true that I can quote the opinion of all the writers of antiquity, who assert that the Egyptians used the Tarot as a means of predicting the future, and that the Jews also employed it to confirm their prophecies. But in my opinion an important distinction should be made on this subject.
Unquestionably the Egyptians predicted the future through the Tarot; but they used its astronomical applications only. Nothing was left to chance. Thus, knowing that most of the important events which take place upon the earth are determined by the magnetic currents produced by the position of the earth at the moment that the event takes place, these learned men first defined the relations existing between the position of the stars in the heavens, and the circumstances they created upon the earth. Since the stars accomplish fixed revolutions, that is to say, that they return to the same position at the end of a certain number of years, which are mathematically p. 303
determinable, the Egyptians thought that the same events would be also reproduced at fixed intervals. It would therefore suffice to know the movements of the stars, to predict the coming events. This is why astronomy was only the commencement of astrology.
As the Tarot reproduced the movements of the stars upon a table, we can easily guess bow the ancients proceeded when they read prophecy by its aid. They drew up the Horoscope of the coming year, according to the position which the stars would occupy during its course, and could then at once predict two-thirds of the events likely to occur.
Fabre d'Olivet in his works shows that one-third of the events are Determined, another third depend upon the Human Will, and the last third is subject to Providence. As the determining Fatality and the human Will usually unite, almost unconsciously, we see that the astrological Horoscope can predict two-thirds of the events.
Later on reliable data were lost, and men commenced to read fortunes by chance, without using any scientific method. The astrological systems, called onomantic, that is to say, which use the numbers formed by the letters of the name and pronoun of the individual, are generally false, and produce no practical results. For this reason the astrological system described by Christian can be regarded only as a deceitful, lying dream. The truth of the predictions, then, depends upon the intuition of the prophet, and this leads us to consider the differences which may be noticed between the predictions of fortune-tellers.
Intuition plays the most important part when the more exact methods disappear, and therefore woman's nature, which is essentially intuitive, is well qualified to read these divinations.
The discussion of the wherefore of all this would lead us much too far from our subject. We cannot either teach astrology by the Tarot in a few pages--a whole volume is necessary for this purpose--nor have we the time to handle these difficult subjects. Perhaps we may decide to undertake them some day.
However, we see that chance and intuition are the chief instruments in divination by the Tarot, as it is usually practised at the present time. We must therefore aid our readers to undertake it for themselves, and will now explain the most simple principles of the art, dividing them into seven lessons, so as to render them as clear as possible.
We will arrange them so that they maybe complete, and therefore it will be unnecessary to read all the preceding abstract studies before using the Tarot from this point of view. Lastly, we will explain the principal methods used by masters in the art of fortune-telling, so as to enable our readers to become adepts in the prediction of the future. But we must remind them that science has little empire over the subject, and that imagination and intuition reign over this charming domain.
Was this article helpful?