Death

In this picture we see a skeleton holding a scythe, the ancient symbol of death. His posture and the position of the scythe in his hand imitate the shape of the letter mem. The skeleton does not hold the scythe in the normal position for mowing. He holds it the wrong way round so that he cuts from left to right instead of from right to left. This shows that the skeleton has carried over to this level and retained the hanged man's inverted attitude. All his thoughts and actions are diametrically...

The Magician

In this picture we see a strong young man, a magician, whose posture assumes the shape of the letter aleph. He leans slightly towards the right, pointing downwards with his right hand and upwards with his left. At the same time, this posture suggests the ancient truth which the great Chaldean initiate Hermes Trismegistos teaches in his tabula smaragdina The young man is dressed in garb of a curious colour. He is wearing a hat which, on careful examination, turns out not to be a hat at all. The...

Power

Numerical Value 20 Letter D Kaph Again we see the queen of heaven with her fair hair and golden crown. Now, however, her crown has five points. These symbolise the creative number of the Logos. Under her crown she wears a hat which, like the magician's hat, is really the sign used to denote infinity. This shows again that the power of the beautiful woman is infinite, that it is sustained by infinity. The right side of her hat is richly lined with golden laurel leaves as a sign of victory. The...

What Is Tarot

The mosaic consists of a large number of small, variously coloured stones which have been arranged according to a certain pattern resulting in a beautiful, coherent picture. In the same way, man is made up of many different qualities, abilities and talents, arranged according to a specific inner pattern resulting in a coherent picture, an individual personality. Just as the artist, using the same stones in an infinite variety of patterns, can compose all kinds of pictures in countless...

The Moon

Numerical Value 90 Letter X Tzaddi This tarot card is dominated by the large lunar disk containing. the face of a beautiful woman in profile. Her face is kind, full it puts one in mind of a good mother. The background of die disk is blue like the sky. The rear part of the head consists of a blue, a white and a yellow stripe. As we already know from the previous explanations, the blue background and blue stripe denote devotion and faith in God, the white stripe stands for purity, and the yellow...

The Queen

Again we see a young woman, this time without a veil. Her beautiful face freely reveals her nature. She faces us, she looks into our eyes, she does not wish to hide anything from us. She wears a triple-pointed crown on her head. This denotes that she is queen of the three aspects of life birth, life and death. It also means that she reigns over space, over the three dimensions. She is ruler of the whole cosmos, the whole universe. She is the queen of heaven, that aspect of God which is...

Foreword

Paeans of acclaim greet this book on tarot. It is written out of a full awareness of life, with a profound imaginative insight which sees the ever-renewing pattern of immediate experience - a rose, a tree in blossom, a bird - with such a sense of vitality, such all-embracing penetration, and plumbs the soul so deeply that the experiencing mind catches the eternal in what is transient and grasps within the configurations of space the presence of some moulding force transcending all spatial...

The High Priest

In this picture we see a male figure with all the insignia of an important dignitary of the church. He is the high priest. He sits upon a throne of which only two posts are visible. There is no longer a curtain between them, for there is nothing to hide any more. The face of the high priest, too, is without a veil. He shows us his face openly, he also has nothing to hide. His white hair and beard show that he is a spiritual being which will itself never become earthly even though it is active...

The Parting Of The Ways

In this picture we again see the 'magician'. This time he does not wear the hat representing his infinite spirit. Therefore what happens to him here does not concern his spirit. His fair hair falls loosely, its flaxen colour reveals his high intelligence. His tunic is red and green. The colours are reversed on the short skirt, green on his right and red on his left. The colours on his legs correspond to those on his chest. The sleeves are yellow. This clothing signifies that his whole being and...

The Wheel Of Fortune

In this picture we see a strange wheel in a small boat afloat on the waves. The boat consists of two half-moons, one is positive-red, the other negative-green. A sturdy grey pole stands in the boat and round its base coil two serpents, one positive-red, the other negative-green. A large wheel is attached to the top of the pole. At the point where the wheel is fixed to the pole, thus on the axis of the wheel, there is a handle. From this we see that the wheel is being turned. The wheel consists...

The Hermit

Having created inner order out of the chaos and arranged all the real and false values in his inner being in their proper order, man withdraws from the 'fata morgana' of diis world and becomes a recluse. However, this does not indicate by any means that at this level of consciousness he actually withdraws to a lonely cave. The picture is merely a symbolic representation of his inner state, but not of his outward appearance in the world of visions. He continues to fulfil his duties at work and...