Having completed our study of the twenty-two major arcana, considered separately, we will now review as clearly as possible the knowledge which may be gathered from the preceding explanations.

Woe have already established from the study of the first card, that three primary principles are considered throughout their evolution: the Universe, Man, and God.

We need only recall grosso modo the sense of each card of the Tarot to prove the existence of a well-established progression, which starts from God the Holy Ghost to end in Matter, while passing through a number of varying p. 194

modalities. Another gradation leads from Matter to God, the primitive origin of all things.

This double current of the progressive Materialization of the Divine, or INVOLUTION, and of the Progressive Divinization of the Material, or EVOLUTION, has been too well studied by our eminent friend CH. BARLET, for us intentionally to vary from him in any way; we shall therefore quote his interesting work in extenso, 1 and thus enable the reader to see that our conclusions are absolutely identical, although we have been led to them by very different paths.

But our present object is to review as clearly as possible the meanings of the major arcana of the Tarot, regarded from a synthetic point of view. From the preceding, chapters it will be seen that this study is really a COSMOGONY, or study of the creation of the Universe, crowned by an ANDROGONY, or study of the creation of Man, and even by an essay on THEOGONY, or study of the innate creation of God.


The Tarot places at the origin of all things the Absolute undetermined, undeterminable, the ONE, both knowing and unknowing, affirmative and negative, force and matter., unnamable, incomprehensible to man. 2

The Unity manifests itself to itself by three terms, the highest and most general terms which the human comprehension can grasp; terms which form the basis of all theogonies, and which designate the same principles under a multitude of varying names.

1. The first of these terms symbolizes Absolute activity in all its acceptations, the origin of all movement, of all masculine creative force.


2. The second of these terms symbolizes Absolute passivity in all its acceptations, the origin of all repose, of all feminine preserving force. It is the humid principle of nature, even as the first is the igneous principle.


The third of these terms is the most important to us. Synthetically it blends the two preceding terms in one UNITY; all study should be commenced by it, for no being is conceivable unless it be considered synthetically, and the third term is the origin of all synthesis. It is Absolute Union in all its acceptations, the origin of all reality, of all equilibrium, of all equilibrist transforming force. It is the mercurial principle in nature balancing the two first.


It is necessary to give a few explanations before we proceed further, in order that the deductions which follow may be intelligible to our readers.

We have said that no being is conceivable unless it be considered synthetically: we must now explain this sentence.

Let us take Man for our example, and follow the advice of Claude de Saint-Martin: "We must explain nature by man, and not man by nature."

Man, regarded synthetically, is composed of an acting, animated body.

If we would think of the being man as a body only, without reference to its animation or to its faculty of acting, its reality immediately disappears, it is no longer a man; we are considering but a phantom created by our spirit, a phantom which we can analyze, study in all its subdivisions, but which, since it conveys no synthetic idea, does not really exist.

If in the same way we wish to imagine by itself the principle which animates this body, which makes it live, the reality at once disappears. It is impossible for us to separate the life from the idea of the body, to conceive what this thing may be which is called the human Life, if we wish to see in it a kind of metaphysical being. It is on this point that materialistic savants find the most power in their arguments against exclusively idealist thinkers.

The difficulty increases considerably if it be a question of the principle which causes this body to act--of the Will, of the Soul. Analysis here, as elsewhere, can be brought into use, but we cannot possibly conceive what the soul can be like unclothed in a form, that is to say, in a principle that differs from itself. We picture to ourselves a small sphere, a winged head, in fact anything, according to individual fancy, but never the soul considered individually.

On the other hand, the moment we say A MAN, these three terms, thus synthetised, assume consistence and become the expression of a reality, and a being, formed of a body, a life and a will, defines itself quite clearly.

This synthetic action, the source of all existence and of all reality, is the innate property of the third term in our Trinity of principles. This is why the study of all realities should be commenced by this third term. Henri Wronski has always adopted this method; he names this principle the Neuter Element, and places it at the commencement of all his studies.

Consequently, the Trinity, composed of the three terms which we have specified, should be considered under two aspects.

1. We should first look at the synthesis of this trinity, the cause of its reality. The third term (God the Holy Spirit) contains these conditions in itself.

2. We should then analyze this synthesis by dividing it into its three constituent terms, and by determining the existence of the two opposite terms, active and passive, positive and negative. We must not forget that during this analysis we destroy the reality of the being thus divided into fractions.

Every reality, of whatever kind it mar be, is therefore composed of three terms, and these three terms are contained in one sole whole. This truth is quite as applicable to physics as to metaphysics; the works of Louis Lucas upon physics and chemistry, i and of Wronski in mathematics, 2 are an irresistible argument against those who think that a philosophical principle is a foolish idea, without any practical import.

The third term of our theogonic series, or God the Holy Ghost, therefore represents the whole body of God, who can be analyzed in this way--

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