this page is not completed, it will be insanely difficult to explain without the aid the perfectTrine tarot deck. Which we made just for this exercise. In the meantime, we want to leave everyone with a taste of how we learned to approach tarot.
When the deck is closer to completion, we will revisit this page and complete it with the new version of the deck.
0 The tarotAgram
How can we take everything we have learned about the enneagram and apply it to our life? Is there any way to make something useful from what appears on the surface to be at best a philosophical mechanism of thoughts and at worst just so many words? What has any of this got to do with the tarot?
Luckily for everyone concerned, we had spent a quite a few years pondering George Gurdjieff and his enneagram before we were formally introduced to the tarot. While our better half was off looking for a microscope to read the little white book with, the other half was laying out the cads according to the numbers. Even then at first glance we knew this was an elegant system.
There was a balance and flow, like seeing a wonderful work of art. There were divisions in the proper number and balanced to near perfection according to how many cards were available. We believe it is these aspects of the tarot that so entrances people. The structure and flow of the cards and the monolithic meaning of the whole tarot triggers emotional levels of observation.
1 the divisions of the tarot
For this experiment we are going to ask you to leave everything you thought you knew about tarot at the door. We are going to ask you to look at it like we did, as if you are looking at everything in life through the enneagram and you have just discovered tarot. If the experiment is a success, you will see somewhat what we saw. You will learn something about the tarot, something about enneagrams and may even learn more about yourself.
As we compared our little white books and the various decks to one another we found the tarot has some general characteristics that are shared between the majority of the kinds of tarot decks. Ignoring the differences we found the similarities to fall roughly as follows.
The major cards stand alone. While the minor cards were comprised of; the court cards, ace through 9, the tens, and the horsemen. The court cards and the ace through nine by and large corresponded with the astrological signs through the year. While the tens and horsemen were cards whose meanings varied quite a bit from deck to deck.
2 the meaning of the tarot cards
It seemed best to remove all of the superfluous meanings and render the cards to their initial state. By removing everything except the card numbers and their astrological association. The meanings of the cards were elucidated clearly and the division between them were made obvious. The artwork from here on out is completely ignored, it has no bearing on the meanings.
The minor cards represent events experienced in life.
The meaning of the minor cards will be derived from the astrological meaning of the card and the numerical value of the card. In a most elegant fashion, the meaning of the cards does not change by doing this.
The minor cards are expressions of the outer world the interactions, events, and things that are encountered in day to day life. The meanings of the minor cards are derived from the zodiac and decans (ten-day periods) of the year. The court cards represent the twelve zodiac. Ace through 9 of each suit correspond with one of the 36 decan of the year. These meanings are fairly well documented in most books on astrology. Allowing for a nearly universal understanding of the meaning of the cards.
By assigning just astrological values, there will be a more homogonous understanding of the card meanings. The meanings of the signs and planets is fairly generalized and available to all.
The odd cards are negative polarity corresponding with Yang and the even cards are positive corresponding with Yin. Allowing the cards to have values of polarity. Dark and light.
They represent the internal states of being. The major arcana can best summed up as the “inner world,” while the cards specific meaning stay relatively unchanged from normal convention.
By inner world we are referring to thoughts. Our inner world is all thoughts. it is a great mass of thoughts. Any thought that arises is composed of many thoughts. Each major card represents one of these thought complexes. Families of thoughts that have many things in common. The collapsed section below is a closer look at what a thought complex is.
By the time we recognize a thought we have, it has gone through something called compression. The thoughts we observe are actually many different thoughts combined. They are built up from inputs coming from our five senses interacting with the outside world, and our inner senses that have access to our memories, how we feel physically, and how we feel at a fundamental emotional level about the current inputs coming from outside. Our brain compresses all of this down into a small package that we can work with to experience life.
The brain is incredibly amazing at doing this, it is constantly doing this process of compression. Our vivid experience of life is built up from very simple feelings about certain conditions. Combined with memories juxtaposed against probabilities of what might happen. All of that overlaid with what our senses are informing us of.
A simple illustration is a thought about a food. Our food is not just that food by definition. When we picture a food, in the mind it has memories attached to it. And the memories might be many and quite different memories. There might be memories of home when we were a child or special events where the food was eaten. All of those memories are combined with the feelings we experienced at the time and currently. Simultaneously all of these thoughts are combined with thoughts of eating this thing in the future. We will have observations of how our feelings about this food have changed over the years. All of these things are blended with how we feel about the food at the moment, how hungry we are, if the people we are with would enjoy that food…. It is a myriad of thoughts like these that is compressed together into the image of that food in your mind at a singular moment.
Keep in mind that in no way are these real physical structures. We are merely categorizing the types of thoughts people have in a very general sense. In fact this is what makes astrology seem accurate. While each of us has a very individual experience at the fine levels of thought, after all the compression of that massive data we all experience fairly similar things… And this is how we can all experience something like Virgo-ness and describe it much the same and understand one another. And at another time we may share and feeling Moody and tenacious like a cancer, but for different reasons. After all that compression in the brain all those loose ends add up to something somewhat similar to what another person experiencing the event as well is going to observe.
The major arcana is designated by the twelve zodiac and the ten planets.
Tens and Horesmen
The tens and horsemen will represent thoughts and ideas. The tens representing thoughts that are automatic, they are completing a cycle. While the horsemen will represent ideas that are shared, literally thoughts that are expressed to others, or thoughts that are intentional choices.
By making these divisions we have found the symmetry of the deck. There is a part of the deck that describes our inner world and a part of the deck that describes the outer world. Both halves have rich and varied descriptions of both, there is a lot to work with to describe various states of reality and perception. It is time to lay these cards down and see what happens.
3 the philosopher stone
The tarot represents our experience of life. The sum total of all the cards is all the things we can feel and experience in life. When we draw particular cards it gives us insights into these things, by bringing those specific experiences to the foreground of our thoughts.
4 the spread of one
The main spread
This spread shows a basic blueprint of how we think. It displays the relationships between different thought complexes. The spreads used a little differently than most spreads. The spread is just laid out and studied. Imagine if you all that each card as they are laid out are in their perfect place if one psyche was functioning properly.
Lay out the major cards in three rows of seven. The first row represents functions of the thinking mind. The second row represents functions of the moving mind. The third row represents functions of the emotional mind. In the structure we could think of each row of cards as a family of cards that likes to do a particular thing. The first row likes to think and reason, the second road likes to move and do things in the third row likes to feel and experience things.
While the initial distinction between the rows of the card defines which thought complexes are related to which one and in which ways. The cards above and below each other resonate with each other. They have almost identical functions with one another and yet they function within a different family of thoughts. The are cards that are in harmony with each other.
Cards that are harmonizing with each other can find themselves doing the work of one of the other ones. Sometimes this can be a conscious decision, more often than not though this is wrong functioning. Mistaken thinking. For example if you were doing the thinking that should be done with part one with the thinking that card 15 does to cards beneath it, you might find yourself in a dismal place. We’re replacing the curious light thoughts of Mercury with the dark drudgery thoughts of Saturn.
With this in mind it is often easier to think of these cards as one through seven. And then keep in mind which row they are in.
These three rows function just like our philosopher’s stone. Each row is comprised of three groups each. The first three cards of each row are the moving cards. The last three cards of each row are the emotional cards. The middle card of each row is a shared group of three cards that expresses the thinking subgroup. These cards represent the blending that is required for emotional thoughts to rise up and grip our higher levels of thought.
These two triads of thought complexes tend to happen fairly automatically within us. This is the reasons that we fall in love so easily, or we have so much trouble changing our habits. Things inside of us happening pretty much automatically based on what we’ve already done.
Card number four of each row represents our intellectual thinking mind. In order to get ourselves aware of all these processes we have to experience and think about things in the thinking manner, in the moving manner, and in the emotional manner at one time. To have these cards activated at once is quite an accomplishment. If we ever have these three cards activated at once we are approaching a level of higher awareness… This just about never happens and this is why we do not even attempt to describe an entire triad of thinking in any of the rows.
The choice card, or the fool, we place at the bottom underneath the column of the fourth cards. This card represents something is by and large unobtainable. This card represents the full activation of all three of the cards in the fourth column and itself. This card represents those rare moments when you’re not only seeing yourself doing something. But you can see yourself seeing yourself doing something. You are not just watching your life in a movie theater… You’re watching yourself sitting in the movie theater watching your life.
This card should represent our highest goal of consciousness. If this card was activated it would represent Choice and it’s highest most purest state. It would represent a choice made with awareness of all the other options and the ability to overcome all the contradictions that come along with a choice.