The Tarot deck is really two decks combined. These two decks are called the MAJOR ARCANA and the MINOR ARCANA. 22 cards = Major, or Greater Arcana 56 cards = Minor, or Lesser Arcana 78 cards = Total Tarot deck You will notice that in the Rider Waite Deck, the Major Arcana are numbered I through XXI with roman numerals. The Fool, whose card is unnumbered (0), makes up the 22nd card. Now separate the cards of the Major Arcana from the rest of your deck and lay them aside. We will study them in Chapter 4.
The Minor Arcana are divided into four suits, just like a regular deck of playing cards, only instead of spades, clubs, hearts and diamonds, the four suits of the Tarot decks are: WANDS CUPS SWORDS PENTACLES
Note thatPentacles are sometimes referred to as COINS, because the pen-tacle is usually shown inside a round, coin-like shape. But the importance of this suit lies not in the coin, but in the pentacle, which is a potent occult symbol, very beneficent in the upright position. Note also that there is a distant correspondence between the Tarot suits and those of a modern deck of playing cards, evidence that the latter has descended in an abbreviated and bastardized form from the original Tarot deck. WANDS = CLUBS CUPS = HEARTS SWORDS = SPADES PENTACLES = DIAMONDS
As you study the Minor Arcana, you will notice further similarities between a modern deck and the Tarot pack. As for the Major Arcana, the Fool survives as the Joker, still considered outside the deck or a wild card.
Each of the four suits of the Tarot deck has a total of 14 cards: ACE (1) 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 PAGE KNIGHT QUEEN KING = 14 Over the years, the Page and the Knight have been combined into one modern card, the Jack.
CUPS PAGE KNIGHT QUEEN KING = 4
SWORDS PAGE KNIGHT QUEEN KING = 4 PENTACLES PAGE KNICHT QUEEN KING =4
Now divide the remaining (40) Minor Arcana into the four suits of Wands, Cups, Swords and Pentacles. You will notice that in the Rider Waite Deck, each suit is numbered from 11 to X in roman numerals, with the Ace (1) unnumbered. (The Court Cards are also unnumbered.)
Next, examine the MTNOR SEQUENCE TABLE on page 19. It will help to fix in your mind what each unit represents as a whole. This is extremely important—its importance will become more apparent as you begin to use the cards for divination.
Learning The Minor Arcana 19 MINOR SEQUENCE TABLE
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The pathology of the poet says that the undevout astronomer is mad the pathology of the very plain man says that the genius is mad and between these extremes, which stand for ten thousand analogous excesses, the sovereign reason takes the part of a moderator and does what it can. I do not think that there is a pathology of the occult dedications, but about their extravagances no one can question, and it is not less difficult than thankless to act as a moderator regarding them.