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TAROT (or ordinary playing cards)
Please refer to each card below for a detailed discussion.
01 Should not be used for vulgar fortune-telling. They emerged about 1440 in Italy as playing cards and were given a Hermetic interpretation. Eliphus Levi, gave the Tarot cards a Kabbalistic interpretation. They feature deeply symbolic pictures. At its core the Tarot is an ancient book of wisdom. Its 78 symbols are portraitures/archetypes - a symbolic map of consciousness. The Major Arcana are known as the ‘Royalty cards’: ‘Visually walking the mystical path with practical feet.’ It operates through the symbolic, nonrational aspect of consciousness (similar to the way in which your dreams communicate). It is sometimes referred to as the ‘Western Book of Changes’ - the ‘Eastern Book of Changes’ being the I-Ching. The designs and symbols of the various packs of cards used do more or less convey the same broad traditional meanings. Tarot is not a game. Assess its validity and master its principles. The 78 cards contain 1200+ symbols. Cartomancy - taromancy.
During the North African campaign, a bunch of soldier boys had been on a long hike and they arrived in a little town called Casino. The next morning being Sunday, several of the boys went to Church. A sergeant commanded the boys in Church and after the Chaplain had read the prayer, the text was taken up next. Those of the boys who had a prayer book took them out, but this one boy had only a deck of cards, and so he spread them out. The Sergeant saw the cards and said, “Soldier, put away those cards.” After the services was over, the soldier was taken prisoner and brought before the Provost Marshall.
The Marshall said, “Sergeant, why have you brought this man here?” “For playing cards in church, Sir.” “And what have you to say for yourself, son?” “Much, Sir,” replied the soldier. The Marshall said, “I hope so, for if not I shall punish you more than any man was ever punished.” The soldier said, “Sir, I have been on the march for about six days. I have neither a Bible nor a prayer book, but I hope to satisfy you, Sir, with the purity of my intentions.” And with that, the boy started his story:
1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle features a challenging repeat pattern of various playing cards, from old to new, with various suits and court figures. A must for the playing card enthusiast. Made by Piatnik of Austria, a company that has been manufacturing playing cards for over 175 years. Finished puzzle size is 26.5” x 17.4”.
“You see Sir, when I look at the Ace, it reminds me that there is but one God. And the Deuce reminds me that the Bible is divided into two parts, the Old and the New Testaments. When I see the Trey, I think of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. And when I see the Four, I think of the four Evangelists who preached the Gospel; there was Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. And when I see the Five, it reminds me of the five wise virgins who trimmed their lamps; there were ten of them: five were wise and were saved, five were foolish and were shut out. When I see the Six, it reminds me that in six days, God made this great heaven and earth. When I see the Seven, it reminds me that on the seventh day, God rested from His great work. And when I see the Eight, I think of the eight righteous persons God saved when He destroyed this earth; there was Noah, his wife, their sons and their wives. And when I see the Nine, I think of the lepers our Savior cleansed, and nine out of the ten didn’t even thank Him. When I see the Ten, I think of the Ten Commandments God handed down to Moses on a table of stone. When I see the KI, it reminds me that there is but one KI of Heaven, God Almighty. And when I see the QU, I think of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who is QU of Heaven. And the Jack or Knave is the Devil. When I count the number of spots on a deck of cards, I find 365, the number of days in a year. There are 52 cards, the number of weeks in a year. There are 4 suits, the number of weeks in a month. There are 12 picture cards, the number of months in a year. There are 13 tricks, the number of weeks in a quarter. So you see, Sir, my pack of cards serves me as a Bible, an Almanac and a Prayer Book.” “And friends, the story is true. I know, I was that soldier.”
02 Some historians say the word ‘Tarot’ has its origin in the Egyptian word ‘Ta-rosh’, ’royal way’ (see ‘Royal MP’).
The Egyptian Tarots comes from Lo Scarabeo, a well-known Italian tarot deck publisher. The artist Silvana Alasia based her images on the designs of M. O. Wegener. According to the publisher, “these cards are the reproduction of the Tarot deck devised by the famous occultist Jean-Baptiste Pitois who linked the Tarot tradition to the legendary Book of Thoth”. This deck follows the standard tarot 78-card model, but the pictures are scenes from ancient Egyptian life, religion and culture. Each image is shown on a piece of papyrus floating on a black background. The titles are given in four languages: English, French, Italian and German. Info / Shipping page.
03 Others, a Latin angram of ‘rota’ (wheel).
04 The Hebrew word ‘Torah’ (the law) has been another suggestion (see ‘Kabalah’).
05 A Hungarian Gypsy word ‘tar’ means ‘a deck of cards’ which has its origins in the Sanskrit word ‘taru’.
John Watherhouse (1849-1917)
The Crystal Ball, 1902
06 The Tarot made its first appearance in Europe during the 14th century. Card games were described by a monk (monastery of Brefeld), Switzerland, 1377. In 1392 a set of cards were made for KI Charles VI of France. In 1415 a set of Tarot cards were made for the Duke of Milan. Popular demand for cards gave rise to card-making workshops in the mid-15th century (Master Card-making Guilds appeared). A book published by Antoine Court de Gebelin (1781) caused a sensation and became the bible of the Tarot. Eliphas Levi discovered a link between the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet and the Major Arcana. The Tarot may have been used as a filing system (visual mnemonic device) by monks. The Tarot is also found in sky constellations (Fool = Orion, Magician = Ophiuchus, The Hanged Man = Hercules) etc (see Astronomy). Sister Manfreda was related to the Visconti family, who in the 15th century originated the earliest Tarots.
07 The Tarot Trumps are stories/parables expressed in a visual way that teach us about our psycho-mythology (Logos and Eros). Logos is the wisdom of the mind and Eros the inherent love nature of the mind. 13 of the 78 card symbols represent ‘shadow-parts’ (Jung: neurotic-parts/states), which are countered by the 65 states of Eros (love) and Logos (wisdom). The Tarot can be viewed as a psycho-mythological-diagnostic-mechanism (a source of revelation and self-reclamation - a cross-cultural symbolic matrix).
Fairy Tarot. A perfect blend of whimsy and depth, The Fairy Tarots will charm you with their enchanting images and clever symbolism. True to the cunning Fairy nature, odd and thought-provoking Latin mottoes on the Aces introduce each suit. The suits reflect the Fairy lifestyle (Acorns, Hearts, Leaves, and Bells). Made in Italy.
08 Like the I Ching, the Tarot is a complete system of divination, which means that its cards claim to represent all the fundamental forces at work in nature including human nature. Both are oracular and synchronistic mirrors of inner and outer changes. The infinite variety of life results from the different combinations, patterns, and sequences of these forces, reflected in the random patterns and combinations of the cards. The 22 trumps major correspond symbolically to the 22 letters of the alphabet. Cartomancy is the art of reading the past, present and future from cards. It alarms, challenges and intrigues many people with its powerful images. Haunting figures such as the The Hanged Man, dangling from a tree by one foot, or the grim spectre of Death with his inescapable sickle, stir up all kinds of fears and emotions.
09 The Tarot is not simply a method for telling people’s fortunes. Occultists, mystics and even modern psychologists (Jung) have used the Tarot as a key for unlocking the secrets of the mind to discover the hidden messages underlying dreams and events in peoples lives. There are four suits: Cups, Wands or Staves/Batons, Pentacles (Coins or Discs) and Swords (Hearts, Diamonds, Clubs and Spades).
10 The Major Arcana are responsible for the Tarot’s mystical reputation and are numbered from ‘0’ to ‘XXI’ (22 cards altogether). They represent all the important figures from the Medieval world (see table below). Major Arcana means ‘major teachings’ (universal principles - Jung: major archtypes).
The Goddess Tarot deck & book set. Written and illustrated by Kris Waldherr. Drawing inspiration from the many goddesses honoured throughout history and all over the globe, award-winning author and artist Kris Waldherr created The Goddess Tarot. Waldherr’s indispensable guide to the Goddess Tarot deck combines image and word to create a true celebration of the Divine Feminine. Used together with the striking 78-card deck (included), The Goddess Tarot is an essential tool of empowerment, personal growth and transformation for women everywhere.
11A Some say that the Major Arcana represent the journey of the soul, from blind ignorance to full maturity and others link them with the signs of the zodiac or the planets (by astrologers) or, with legends and mythology. Different packs of cards are produced which reflect their designers (artists) belief system. The most popular of these are the Marseilles deck which have a medieval appeal, while the Rider-Waite pack has pretty designs. The earliest playing cards originated in China and Korea and their design was based on paper money (around the time of the T’ang dynasty, AD 618-908). Some have concluded that they have an Indian origin. The Hindu god Ardhanarishvara and Hanuman have been depicted holding a cup, sceptre, sword and a ring. Indian playing cards are circular (European playing cards are rectangular). The four suits of the Tarot refer to the castes of Hinduism:
11B Cups: Priests Brahmin.
11C Swords: Warrior overlords Kshatriyas.
11D Coins: Merchants Vaisyas.
11E Wands: Serfs Sudras.
12 The Minor Arcana has 56 cards and the Major Arcana 22 cards. Each minor suit contains an Ace, plus nine numbered cards and the court cards, KI, QU, Page or Jack and KTs. Sometimes the KT and Page are called Prince and Princess or Son and Daughter. The Thoth deck was painted by Lady Frieda Harris and contains Christian, Grecian, Egyptian, Eastern and Medieval symbols. Harris has said “the Tarot could be described as God’s Picture Book, or it could be likened to a celestial game of chess, the Trumps being the piece to be moved according to the law of their own order over a checkered board of the four elements”. A deck based on the work of William Blake also capture this artists distinctive imagery. The four suits are named Painting (Pentacles), Science (Swords), Music (Cups) and Poetry (Wands) each containing 15 cards. The other angel cards represent the divine muses of imagination in its various forms. The 22 Major Arcana have also been retitled (those familiar with the Tarot should have no difficulty reconciling the two). This set was produced to appeal to those who admire the renowned artist, poet and visionary’s work.
Rider-Waite Tarot Deck. One of the most popular tarot decks around, The Rider-Waite tarot deck is the most commonly-used of all tarot decks. Most people who are learning the tarot choose to begin with this deck, and most “old hands” usually have one in their collection of decks. Books that offer instruction on tarot generally follow the symbolism portrayed in the Rider-Waite deck. We highly recommend it! Known also as the Rider Tarot and the Waite Tarot, the deck was designed by Pamela Colman Smith under the guidance of Arthur Edward Waite. Reissued in collaboration with Miss Sybil Waite and Rider & Co., London. A complete 78-card deck in full colour, including the 22 Major Arcana and the 56 Lesser Arcana. Rider-Waite Tarot deck is printed in Switzerland. Comes with instruction booklet.
AEON.................................... 64:01 16:8
MAGICIAN (The Magus).....................64:15
TAROT (or ordinary playing cards)........64:16
WHEEL OF FORTUNE.........................64:19
The Russian Tarot of St. Petersburg deck is paired in a boxed set with the book Russian Tarot of St. Petersburg by well-known tarot writer Cynthia Giles (348 pages). Giles explores the background, interpretation and use of Shakov’s beautiful tarot deck, and connects the richness and spirituality of Russian history, art and culture with the symbology of the tarot, fostering a deeper appreciation and understanding of the intricate images found in the Russian Tarot of St. Petersburg deck.
13 CARD KEYWORDS ASSOCIATED WITH THE CARDS
[0 Fool: Innocence, optimism, no fear, open, risk-taker, stands h/her ground, independent, creative, free, potential, paradigm shifts - quantum leaps, listening to your heart speak.
[1 Magician: Creativity, communication.
[2 High Priestess: Secrets, intuition, insight.
[3 Empress: Fertility (mental/physical), love, wisdom.
[4 Emperor: Ambition, leadership.
[5 Pope (Hierophant): Religion, education, spirituality, faith.
[6 Lovers: Sexual attraction, relationships.
[7 Chariot: Travel, news, creative changes.
[8 Justice: Balance, fairness, adjustment.
[9 Hermit: Wise person, introspection, contemplation.
[10 Wheel of Fortune: Fresh start, positive direction.
[11 Strength: Triumph, courage, strength, luster (Lust).
[12 Hanged Man: Rebirth, patterns that bind (limit).
[13 Death: End of chapter, detachment, let go, move on.
[14 Temperance: Peace, team work, integration.
[15 Devil: Scandal, bedevilments.
[16 Tower: Sudden change, renovate, restore.
[17 Star: Hope, light at end, confidence, radiate self.
[18 Moon: Illusion, dreams, leave old, explore new.
[19 Sun: Joy, success, generate, motivate, stimulate.
[20 Judgement/Aeon: New ideas, vitality, fair-witness.
[21 World: Perfection, completion, new worlds, wholeness.
In Johanna Gargiulo-Sherman's new book, Guide to the Sacred Rose Tarot, the author explores the psychic and metaphysical symbolism of her Tarot deck, The Sacred Rose Tarot. Using this book, along with her deck, the reader learns exercises in psychic development to access and unlock the doorways of the mind. This set is rich in insight and possibilities. Book is 212pp. Ill. The colourful deck (included) draws upon the ancient kabbalah, the Tree of Life, and the symbolic rose of the western world.
14 Please refer to each card below.
Aces: One/New beginnings
Four: Security and stability
Eight: Strength/new phase
Nine: Completion of a cycle/summing-up
Dolores Ashcroft-Nowicki / Caxton. Ashcroft-Nowicki, a classical actress and one of the world’s most foremost and best loved experts on Tarot and the Western tradition, has created this working tarot deck that is rich in symbolism and atmosphere. Artist Paul Hardy brings the mystical experience to life with his sensitive portrayal and authentic period detail, capturing the heart of Shakespearean drama, tragedy, history and comedy.
A complete package of book and 78 cards.
15 There are 3 separate realms of activity:
15A Cards I to VII depict the realm of the Mind, the Spirits, the Gods, Life force.
15B VIII to XV the realm of man.
15C XVI to XXI the realm of matter.
16 There are 56 other cards, total 78. The 52 of the ordinary pack = 52 weeks of the year. Wands symbolically relate to sceptres of power (KI). Changes in symbolism often reflect new circumstances in the outside world. In a world where a butterfly can change the weather patterns of a continent (the theory of chaos, James Gleick ‘Chaos’), it is not surprising that the search for a value system that will hold has outstripped anything conventional wisdom has to offer. The Tarot, I Ching and astrology go back to man’s earliest quests for understanding of the world and our role in it. The relationship between the Tarot cards and their meaning is precisely clear. Each has a visual, allegorical or mythological message and a one or two word distillation of its meaning. Like ordinary cards, there are four suits, each equating to the usual hearts, diamonds, etc. Each suit has its court cards plus an extra one, a page. In addition there are the major arcana, the most powerful cards of the tarot, the magician, the emperor, the hanged man, death, the sun, the moon, the lovers - 22 cards of myth and magic.
Tarot of the Cloisters Deck. A round deck with full-color illustrations inspired by 13th century stained glass rose windows. Nicely captures the essence of 13th-century stained glass art. Complete with instruction booklet.
17 Each card has specific messages, but its effect on the whole changes depending on its position in the spread. Cards, tarot and otherwise, have been used in telling fortunes in Europe for many hundreds of years, but in China daily consultation with the I Ching (The Book of Changes) has been part of life for thousands of years. Unlike the tarot, which relies on objective interpretation by another person, the I Ching is do-it-yourself. A question is asked. Three coins are then thrown six times and their position drawn, eventually forming a hexagram. The answer to the question is then found under the shape of the hexagram that has been thrown. The I Ching is seen by some as a tool to learn to listen to your sub-conscious. Like the Tarot it helps you to understand your own intuition. Through the I Ching we circumvent our pattern-riddled conscious mind and allow our sub-conscious to speak. Jung never traveled anywhere without a copy, and in Chinese households its role is still crucial. Some psychotherapists use astrology, the I Ching and Tarot to help with clinical diagnosis. We do not know how these laws work, just that there is a law at work that we cannot measure (as yet).
18A The Tarot is primarily a vehicle for initiation. Initiation simply means to begin. Growth comes in three types: biological, social and spiritual. The Eluesinian Mysteries were the most prestigious and important initiatory ceremonies of the ancient world and were designed to create a private inner experience, a journey of self-discovery. Tarot is the French derivative of the Italian term. The first pack originated in the 15th century. With the development of woodblock printing the Tarot became popular. Court de Gebelin saw it as a system of symbols used by the Egyptian priests and the 22 Trumps correspond to the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. The Rider-Waite Tarot pack is the most celebrated version produced but Egyptian and Arthurian packs are also made. Salvador Dali made his own pack. The cards seem to be an inexhaustible source of inspiration for many. The Tarot has been called ‘The Royal Road’ and ‘The Journey of the Fool’. The Court Cards have been assigned to the four elements and the Tetragrammaton:
18B King KI = Yod
18C Queen QU = Heh
18D Prince PR = Vau
18E Princess PS = Heh
Gallery artist and writer Anna-Marie Ferguson has paired the ancient divinatory system of the tarot with the Arthurian myth to create Legend: The Arthurian Tarot book and deck set. The exquisitely beautiful watercolour paintings of this tarot deck illustrate characters, places and tales from the legends that blend traditional tarot symbolism with the Pagan and Christian symbolism that are equally significant elements of this myth. 78 full-color cards, 6”x 9” illus. book, 22”x 24 ½” full-colour layout sheet.
19 The Tarot is considered a book, disguised as a pack of cards. Major Arcana: 22 cards enshrined in pictures. They are known as the Trumps. Each Trump is represented by an image, a name, a title, a number and a Hebrew letter (all having a symbolic significance) and arranged in three groups of seven. The collage of 22 cards are listed above.
20A Minor Arcana: 56 pip-cards split into 4 suits:
20B Swords - represents thinking, thought.
20C Cups - represents emotion, feeling.
20D Coins - represents external reality, the outer world.
20E Wands - represents vision, insight, perception.
21 Each suit has KI, QU, KT and Page, plus ace to ten (1 to 10). The KT and Page are sometimes referred to as the Prince (PR) and Princess (PS). The Minor Arcana are not considered as potent as the Major Arcana.
22 Symbols which occur on the cards:
01 Air Thoughts.
02 Bow and Arrow Direct communication.
03 Bull Power.
04 Butterfly Transformation.
05 Camel Independence.
06 Blue Wisdom.
07 Brown Earth.
08 Yellow Spirituality.
09 Gold Transformation.
10 Green Creativity.
11 Red/Orange Vitality.
12 Violet Lovingness.
13 Crab Loyalty.
14 Cross Union of opposites.
15 Crown Royal attributes (consciousness).
16 Crystal Clarity.
17 Cup Love.
18 Disks Earth.
19 Dove Peace.
20 Eagle Spiritual realization.
21 Earth Matter, money.
22 Egg Renewal, creative powers.
23 Eye Perception.
24 Fire Energy, purification.
25 Fish Fertility.
26 Head covering Extended perception.
27 Horse Energy.
28 Lion KI, strength.
29 Lotus Love.
30 Moon Feminine principle.
31 Nakedness Openness.
32 Pentagram Magical sign.
33 Rainbow Harmony.
34 Ram Power.
35 Rose Clarity, truth.
36 Scorpion Death and rebirth.
37 Serpents Transformation.
38 Sun Male principle.
39 Tiger Fear.
40 Wings The non-material.
Original Rider-Waite Tarot Deck/Book Set. Facsimile edition of the original Rider-Waite Tarot deck originally printed from plates that were destroyed during the bombing of London during World War II. The deck and book set comes complete with Rider-Waite Tarot deck by Pamela Colman Smith with original Tudor Rose back design, Celtic Cross divinatory chart, and The Key to the Tarot by Arthur Edward Waite, 160 pp. (pb). Cards measure 2 3/4 x 4 3/4.
23 To find your PERSONAL and SOUL card add the month and day of your birthday together. To this add the year of your birth. Reduce the total to a single number ie,
Month of birth 04 (April)
Day of birth ----24 + (24th) -- = 28
Year of birth 1955 + = 1983 = 21 = 03 (01 + 09 + 08 + 03 = 21). (02 + 01 = 03)
PERSONALITY symbol is: 21 (Universe card)
SOUL Symbol is: 03 (Empress card)
If your total is equal to a single digit then you have one number for both your personality and soul card.
Tarot of the Sphynx. The land of Egypt - its secrets, exotic and mysterious, shrouded in time, are hidden in the sands, guarded and symbolized by the enigmatic Sphinx. Egyptian art is instantly recognizable and has inspired many occultists who in turn shaped the future of the Tarot. In fact, the modern Tarot owes much to Egyptian iconography. Hence, it is appropriate that artist Silvana Alasia consulted original Egyptian art to create this powerful deck. This deck will inspire and aid any diviner interested in exploring the past and foretelling the future. Complete deck of 78 cards in full colour, with an instruction leaflet.
FOOL - Bishop - BS - 13:52
01 The child in adult form, that is, the child within the adult. Spontaneous and genuine like a child. There are many ways of being foolish - a wo/man who cannot keep his mouth shut, a wo/man who does silly things and the wo/man who will not take advice. ‘Not quite all there.’ Daft, loco. ‘Not the full shilling’, gabeen etc. “The world is full of fools, and he who would not see it should live alone and smash his mirror” (Claude Le Petit). Jester, juggler, circle and zero, being and not being (‘to be or not to be’), aleph. Donkey/Ass: the body of the fool, controlled by its rider - the Ego. The ass carried Christ. In the “Golden Ass of Apuleius”, Lucius was transformed into an ass.
02 The KIs fool, who was tolerated and appreciated whatever he did or said, as in ‘KI Lear’ for example. The right relationship between the mature side of the personality, and the inferior unconscious side, which has to be lived inwardly by everyone else. This inner realm is represented by the KI and his court. A fool sees not the same tree that a wise man sees” (Marriage of Heaven and Hell).
03 The Harlequin, an Italian version, is often supposed to be invisible, that is unconscious, spiritual. Columbine. His chequered suit: the interplay of opposites.
04 Clowns: often play either the under-developed childlike emotions, found more in men, or the inferior intellect, which is ignorant or pig-headed, more common in women, traditionally.
05 The Fool in the Tarot pack, the joker of ordinary playing cards: it is basically as above, the irrational and unconscious, with all its potential for transformation. The fool or idiot has often been taken as a symbol of spiritual wisdom in contrast with worldly sophistication, as, for example, by the Sufis. “The world is made up for the most part of fools and knaves, both irreconcilable foes to truth” (Dramatic Works, 1715).
06 Perceval: he was called the ‘Perfect or Pure Fool.’ See BS (Fool).
07 A fool must now and then be right, by chance (William Cowper).
08 Shakespeare (KI Lear): We make guilty of our disasters the sun, the moon, and the stars; as if we were villains by necessity, fools by heavenly compulsion.
09 Sir Richard Steele: No woman of spirit thinks a man hath any respect for her ‘till he hath played the fool in her service.
10 Fool’s rush in where angels fear to thread.
11 Amyris plays the Fool: one who assumes a false character with an ulterior motive. Amyris was sent to Delphi to consult the Oracle which informed him of the destruction of his nation. He fled and his countrymen called him a fool. Like the madness of David (Bible), his folly was true wisdom, which saved his life.
12 April Fool. France: un poisson d’avril. Scotland: ‘gowk’ (cuckoo). Proserprina had just filled her lap with daffodils, when Pluto carried her off to the lower world. Ceres (her mother), heard the echo of her screams, and went in search of the voice, but her search was a fool’s errand - looking for the ‘echo of a scream’.
13 Bergomask (a clown).
14 Sir Dagonet: (Arthurian Romances): the fool of KI Arthur (knighted by the KI himself).
15 In mediaeval times licensed fools or jesters were common in court. In chess the French name for the BS is ‘fou’ (fool) and they used to represent this MP in a fool’s dress.
16 Most countries have some locality renowned for fools…
Phrygia as the fools’ home of Asia Minor.
Abdera of the Thracians.
Boeotia of the Greeks.
Nazareth of the ancient Jews.
Swabia of the Germans.
Kerry of the Irish, etc.
17 Fool’s emblem: a bauble (a short stick, ornamented with ass’s ears and carried by licensed fools).
18 Hilaria: a festival in honour of Cybele, celebrated at the vernal equinox. April’s Fool’s Day resembles the Hilaria of ancient Rome (March 25th) and the Huli festival of India.
Japanese Ukiyoe (Ukiyo-e) aesthetics and symbolism enhance this colourful deck. Cards show numbers and titles in both Japanese and English. Complete 78-card deck in full colour. Traditional Japanese symbolism and full-length figures in colorful Japanese costume. Manufactured in Japan.
01 Principle of learning and teaching - spiritual master (who acts as a go-between/intermediary between the human and divine) - advisor - inner guide - spiritual father - highest transformation. The human is united with the godly. The search for Self leads into spiritual realms. This card shows a mature man with full grey beard who wears a triple crown, decorated with scarlet roses. His cloak is embroidered with golden suns. His right hand is raised, the Fore and Middle fingers give a blessing. Alternative names are Priest and Jupiter but the earliest record of titles, the 15th century ‘Sermones De Ludo Cum Allis’, styles him ‘El Papa’, ‘The Pope’. This card depicts a person of spiritual authority and works as an immediate recognizable symbol. The Druids had an Archdruid while the Roman High Priest was the ‘Pontifex Maximus’, the ‘Great Bridgemaker’, the mediator between man and the gods. This title is often conferred on Emperors, combining secular with sacred power. Jupiter was worshipped as ‘Optimus Maximus’, ‘Best and Most High’ and mirrored in other European cultures as Zeus, Thor, Taranis and Etruscan Tinia, who all had the lightning bolt and the hammer or double headed axe as their symbols. The word ‘Pope’ means ‘father’. Cabbalists assign the Pope the Hebrew letter Vau (the 16th path between the Sephiroth Chokmah and Chesed). The Hierophant is symbolic of mind and religion, rather than soul and spirituality (attitude shifts and decision making based on higher perspectives). He warns us to beware of crippling observance to outward forms or obsolete duties, and urges flexibility in all matters, especially of emotion and mind. Some link this card to the ‘Higher Self’ (Guardian Angel - Genius for a man and Juno for a woman). These genii are represented as winged youths. The Greeks named them ‘Daemons’ and regarded them as ministers of Zeus. Romans worshipped their Genii as ‘sanctus et sanctissimus deus’ (this is the origin of modern birthday festivities), ‘genio indulgere’. Jupiter was the Genius of the Roman state, and his QU, the goddess Juno, the special guardian of Roman women. A leading high-priest or hierophant is also called a magus.
02 Family (father, mother, child).
03 Osiris - male Egyptian figure representing the god of wisdom.
04 Isis (goddess of intuition). Pictured at the bottom of this card. This woman stands before him holding a crescent moon and the sword of Venus (symbols of emotion and wisdom - balanced). When male and female are united, Horus is born (representing wisdom, innocence of a child).
05 Christian interpretations see these figures as the papal figure with the Virgin Mary and the Christ Child.
06 Faith (in exploring spiritual teachings represented by the papal figure) - faith in trusting your intuition (represented by the feminine figure at the bottom of this card) - and faith in following your child-like innocence and curiosity (the child in the star on this card).
08 Taurus the bull.
10 Five petaled lotus blossom: initiation expanded awareness, symbolic of love in its purest, most perfect form.
11 Coiled snake around lotus blossom: renewal and regeneration.
12 Nine sacred thorns at top of card: events, tests, opportunities that initiate us and require us to change our beliefs. Reminiscent of the crown of thorns (the pain and suffering which accompany transformation).
13 Four creatures in corners: four gifts: creativity of Leo, practicality of Taurus, originality of Aquarius, passion of Scorpio. These four concepts are necessary in times of change and in building new worlds. Some see them as four cherubim (guardians of the altar). The Awakened One, the Fulfilled, the Enlightened.
A: Taurus (eastern symbol: elephant): bringing ideas into form.
B: Leo: symbol of expansive and unlimited creativity.
C: Aquarius: human face (human beings desire to be original).
D: Scorpio: Eagle/Phoenix: represents loyalty.
14 The Hierophant holds the staff of committment (mind, heart and action share the same focus).
15 Hierophant means ‘spiritual teachings’ or ‘bringer of the light’. In other decks of Tarot cards the Hierophant is called ‘Temperance’.
16 Notice on this card that the initiate is a bull surrounded by two elephants.
From: Goddess web page:
Speaking of Tarot I was reading just now about card 5 “The Hierophant” and this card seems to relate to a lot of things we have discussed. I am using the Aleister Crowley Thoth deck for this:
1. Card has “elephants” surrounding the Heirophant’s throne and even the word Heiro”phant” is part ele”phant”.
2. Around him are also 4 Cherubs symbolic of the 4 Rooks in Chess.
3. In the center is a Male child and a pentagram symbolizing the “New Aeon” or “Age of Horus” replacing the dying God of the last 2000 years.
4. The background of the card is the blue starfield of the night sky Goddess Nuit.
5. There are 3 interlocked rings on the card symbolizing Isis (green ring), Osiris (pale yellow ring), and Horus (scarlet ring).
6. The card related to the letter “Vau” which means “nail” and there are 9 nails on the card.
7. The is a hexagram representing the macrocosm and recall the pentagram representing the microcosm. Like our 8 or infinity sign has two loops. 6+5=11 and in the mayans the 11th glyph is Monkey “Chuen” who carries the power of Magic. The 6th and 5th mayan glyphs are Cimi (6) and Chiccan (5) and they symbolize Death and Life.
8. The number of this card is V (five) symbolizing the fifth position of the directions ... the center.
9. The Heirophant operates in 2000 year cycles ... 2000AD
Key 5 The Hierophant. The Hierophant represents our inner teacher, our inner hearing, our intuition. Sages have always said that release from all limitation comes to those who awaken their inner awareness. True inner hearing does not involve spirits, clairvoyance and visions from the astral plane. Rather, true intuition is based upon the number 4 and key 4, the Emperor. When the conscious mind gathers all the facts and feeds them into the subconscious mind, the subconscious acts upon this information and, in a flash of intuition, sends the correct analysis back to the conscious mind. This is true intuition, based upon reason.
The Hierophant’s crown is triple: the row of five trefoils represents the five senses; the row of seven trefoils symbolizes the seven centers in the body and the seven original planets; the row of three trefoils stands for the three states of consciousness - the super-conscious, the subconscious and the conscious. His staff has the same symbolic meaning as the knob on top: both indicate the Source, God. The ornaments attached to his crown fall just behind his ears to emphasize hearing. The crown and staff represent the four worlds- archetypal (knob), creative, formative and material.
The pale gray background represents wisdom because gray is a mixture of equal parts of black and white. Thus gray stands for perfect balance which is the practical aspect of wisdom.
At the Hierophant’s feet, the crossed keys symbolize the super-conscious, which is the key to heaven, and the subconscious, which is the key to earth (or hell if one makes it so). The robes of the two kneeling priests represent desire (roses) and purified desire (lilies), both of which must be sublimated to the conscious mind.
Wow, Mark and Alice! Great info. I have tried to “merge” the info from the two different Tarot cards of Hierophant together and come up with this - very cursory:
1: Male Child (New Aeon); ties the future to the present, which is tied to the past. We have speculated about The Game being a survivor of some great cataclysm which resulted in the death of a prior age and the birth of a new one. Many believe that we are on the verge of yet another paradigm shift.
2: Kneeling Priests - represent desire (roses - those have shown up at this site in the past in the form of “The Black Rose”, traced connections in the Bible, modern-day politics (the Whitehouse) and the Knights Templar; and purified desire - lilies - same connections traced as with The Black Rose.
3: Rings; Trefoil Crown (trinity, which we have talked about on numerous occasions related to the various trinities of gods and goddesses and their offspring).
4: Cherubs (rooks); also possibly related to the key to heaven from Alice’s card.
5: The number of each card; the number of senses; The Center.
7: Centers of the body and the # of original planets. Also subjects touched upon in our discussion.
8: ??? (perhaps this is a given).
9: Vau (nails) - we have touched upon these in past conversations about the Nazis and the Swastika also, perhaps, in our conversations related to certain Celtic myths.
10: Crosses, representing the tree of life, or the trees in the garden of the empress. We have talked extensively about the connection of The Game and China (empress), and speculated upon the greater meaning of The Game (meaning of life).
I also noted in Mark’s post under item 7 the hexagram, which relates back to Phil M.’s use of the I-Ching hexagrams superimposed over the Giza Plateau, from which I extrapolated a connection to Lemuria.
to talk about here.
Hierophant symbolism historically revolves around Initiation into “The Mysteries”. The symbolism of the mask, as well as the “grading” implicant in the “secret hand sign” shows that whatever is “revealed” to the “neophyte” (not yet an “initiate”), as much or more is kept hidden. The two supplicants at the feet of The Master borrow symbolically, somewhat, from the story of Solomon and the two women laying claim to the same child. And so the element of separating truth from falsehood, in opening the “door” to the worthy as well as barring the door to the wolf is a “key” attribute of the Hierophant. Exalted, a Teacher......Degraded, a Trixter.
The Hierophant was a favorite character of Crowley’s. The endless parade of celebrity and sorrow groveling at the hooves of The Great Beast, 666 gave Crowley much amusement in tormenting them with “unsolvable” conundrums like “the unicursal hexagram”, in which the poor wretch’s own system of taboo and blindfolded intellect would keep the hapless victim busy for hours, like those pesky Japanese handcuffs, trying to arrive at the “correct” answer. The “trial”, the “ordeal”, “running the gauntlet”.......the Road to Initiation.
In Mayan glyphs this would be 3 Ahua glyphs 20 + 20 + 20 = 60 and Ahau is the symbol of the Sun. Hmmmmm... a trinity of suns. Recall in Revelations it mentions “Holy, holy, holy” 3 times and the first one is different capitalized the other two are lower case. It also states in Revelations that when Christ appears again it will be in the sky in the clouds. The very last word in the Holy Bible is “A-Men”. Men is the mayan 15th glyph and carries the power of vision and A = 1st letter of alphabet thus “A-Men” = “1 Vision”.
1 + 15 = 16 = 1+6 = 7
“Jesus Christ” = 43 = 4+3 = 7, and in the painting “The Last Supper” you find Christ in the 7th position between 12 disciples. The mayan calendar has 13 tones with the 7th being the resonant tone in the center.
Back to 1+15= 16 = 8+8, and the mayan 8th glyph is the yellow Star “Lamat” symbolizing beauty, art elegance and it is one of the glyphs of the planet Venus. (Goddess).
A-Men = 1+15 = 16 also is the number of pieces of a player in Chess. 1 King + 15 others – or - 1 Queen + 15 others. Perhaps the white pieces are ruled by the King and the black pieces are ruled by the Queen. “Black Madonna.”
Perfect balance = (Male, white, radiate, yang) + (Female, black, accept, yin).
HIGH PRIESTESS 64:11
01 Symbol of the principle of individuation, intuition, ESP (clairvoyance, telepathy, visualization, empathy, self-trust, intuitive knowledge, self-resourcefulness, negotiator, diagnostician, new identity, Moon, intuitive power, healing power, inner equilibrium, self-confidence.
02 She is enshrouded by a fine network of light rays, accented by the upward swinging lines and the upward pointing crescent-moons behind her head, (spiritual nature), connected with her own inner voice (internal guide), inner-spring, radiates a sense of self-sufficiency. Fertile oasis, your innermost being (indicated by flowers at the bottom of this card). She wears an earth brown habit and a cloak of the same colour. She gazes serenely to the right. She wears three golden crowns (triple). Gloves are white. In her right hand she bears a wooden stave topped with an equal-armed cross. She holds a closed black book in her left hand (holds all wisdom but guards her mysteries from the unitiated). Seven knots are visible in a rope tied below her breasts. She has a slight swell of pregnancy (pregnant with unspoken prophecy). The night sky is illuminated by a lunar crescent (her cycle shapeshifts from New Moon, through Full Moon to Dark Moon). Orion and the Plough are visible. She is a mysterious figure (Juno, Diana, Hera, Freya, Moon goddess, Persephone - QU of the shades and gates of reincarnation and guards esoteric mysteries). Hebrew letter: Gimel (path 13 between Sephiroth Kether and Tiphareth). She loves silence (it is of the night).
03 She is an androgynous figure representing balance.
04 From her navel to the head she is all curved, soft, magnetic, ying (feminine, receptive). From her navel to the feet the lines are straight, strong, dynamic, strong in purpose, yang (male, assertive). The bow and arrow in her lap accentuate this idea.
05 Her Sun-Moon crown symbolizes the ability to have equal balance in strength and softness (her crown is the Moon which receives light from the Sun).
06 The crystals on this card symbolize intuition at each level of consciousness - reflective, deep, contained, ‘still lake’, waiting to be accessed, trusted, being able to accept oneself and share with others, deeper clarity and perceptions.
Triangular crystal: mental intuition.
Round crystal: emotional intuition.
Diamond crystal: spiritual intuition.
Octagonal crystal: physically registered information.
07 Differing cultures represent her in various ways.
Egypt: as Isis (goddess of Intuition).
Orient: as Kuan Yin (goddess of Compassion).
Greek: as Artemis - Nature goddess with bow and arrow, in touch with her own nature.
08 Mythically: ‘the journey homeward’, ‘return to oneself’ (the camel in the oasis representing a return to your inner oasis - the garden within - the kingdom within). The Camel also symbolizes resourcefulness (its ability to journey a long barren distance and always finding water (oasis).
The Empress is seated on a throne. A flowing golden robe with deep blue lining hides the slight swell of pregnancy. Three crowns are embroidered on her robe and three sets of interlocking rings, interwoven with cornflowers, apples and pears etc. Her gloves are green. In her right hand she holds a slender wand of authority. In her left hand she holds a golden jousting shield, emblazoned with a black eagle. She wears a five-pronged golden crown. She is seated out of doors in a field of wheat ripe for harvest. A straw woven cornucopia lays at her feet, spilling ears of wheat. She is in fact the Great Earth Mother and known as: (Gaia, Jord, Tellus, Ops, Ishtar, Astarte, Venus, Bona Dea, Ceres, Demeter, Epona, Vesta, Freya, Frigg, Cybele, Nerthus and Rhea). The three interlocking rings on the Empress’ robe, represent eternity and are the emblems of the triple Moon goddess (sovereignty over Nature). The Empress rules the path between the Sephiroth Binah and Chokmah, and is assigned the Hebrew name Daleth.
01 Symbol of love and wisdom. Greek: Demeter (Earth Mother). Mythically this archetype is Venus (Goddess of Love, Beauty, Creative Power). Jung: the anima (feminine nature - the ‘golden lady’ within). Yin (the oriental Goddess principle). Inner/outer wealth. She is surrounded by beauty and wholeness. Mother/lover/ruler/seer (rolled into one). III in the Tarot deck of cards. Sign: Daleth, the doorway, (signifies the polarity of Wisdom and Folly). Maya, the Veil. Venus (the circle of spirit surmounts the cross of matter - spirit and matter are conjoined). Love/Divine Feminine. Yin. Her robe is decorated with pomegranates. Gaia.
02 Behind her, the Moon (Western symbol for the feminine, magnetic nature) can be seen shining through the veils that fall from her crown.
03 She holds the blue lotus blossom of wisdom in her right hand. It has four points indicating her capacity to give spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. Her left arm is in a curved position (symbol of receiving, female surrender).
04 She represents the trusting balanced heart (rather than the controlling, protective heart).
05 The large crystalline bubbles touching one another on this card represent unity of heart and mind. This is also indicated by her burgundy robe (depth of emotion) combined with the birds (indicating mental realms of consciousness). Birds are seen as spiritual messengers in most myths - of the air (associated with the mind in alchemy).
06 She gazes at a Kiwi (prophetic bird - a reminder to listen to your inner self/guide).
07 The small sparrow (bluebird) sitting at the back of her head indicates that she brings precious memories from the past.
08 The Swan and her signets represent commitment to change (Western symbol of transformation - from ugly duckling to swan [see ‘Cygnus’ under ‘Astronomy’]). Double Phoenix on her shield: also indicates change and transformation (internal/external). This is seen as a double-headed white eagle by others.
09 Bumble Bees on her robe: seeing, perception. The 2nd temple at Delphi was said to be built by bees.
10 Globe in her crown: able to explore internal/external worlds.
11 Fleur-de-lis: the three-petaled flowers at the bottom of this card is connected with royalty (leadership) - the ‘three-pronged-flame’ (union of mind, spirit, heart). The phallus-like stem unfolds in front of her heart Chakra.
12 Crescent Moons: represent the magnetic pull of the feminine (as the Earth is pulled toward the Moon).
13 Blue flames at the right and left: emotional depths of unconscious become available for the consciousness to use.
14 Opening in arch behind the Empress: gateway to heaven.
01 Principle of power and leadership (strong, yet sensitive to negotiation, compassionate, showing humility and submission to the cosmic law) - pioneering, builder, explorer, peace-maker, initiative, traveler, doer, visionary, creative wisdom.
02 Aries the Ram, doubled twice behind the Emperor on this card - fire sign. Lamb with flag (symbol for the Christian Angus Dei, ‘lamb of God’). His throne is ornamented with the heads of Himalayan rams.
03 He carries a globe in his hand. He has the ability to make things stable, secure and solid for himself and others.
04 His symbol is the colour of fire. The sun rises behind him (nature’s source of light). Yang energy. Animus (masculine energy). Zeus, father, patriarch. For a female, the ‘golden man’ within.
05 Bees on the Emperor’s cloak indicate that ‘vision’ is required (different forms of perception). He is portrayed as a crowned man in a majestic gown.
06 The fleur-de-lis (three-petaled flowers) at the bottom of this card indicates association with royalty - ‘three-pronged-flame’ (indicates union of heart, mind and spirit when making decisions and taking action).
07 Double Phoenix: symbol of change and transformation (constantly changing both internally and externally) - heralding a new beginning or enterprise.
08 Globe with Maltese Cross: symbol of imperial dignity and represents the unification of wisdom and worldly mastery.
09 His sceptre: symbol of power and adventurousness.
10 Emperor’s legs crossed in the form of the number 4: new beginning, expansion in the realm of rule, conquering of new territories, new realizations, insights into unfamiliar areas, self-revelation, self-discovery.
11 Emperor (IV in the Tarot deck of cards). He carries the orb and sceptre as symbols of sovereignty and is enthroned upon the great stone seat ornamented with rams’ heads. Aries (the Ram). The dynamic Yang. Knum (the ram-headed, creator god). Mars: ruler of Aries. The glyph for Mars is a circle surmounted by a penetrating arrow. Also the T-cross of Saturn surmounted by the circle (ultimately, spirit surmounts matter). The sign for the Emperor is the Hebrew letter ‘Heh’, and signifies a window (a single letter assigned the function of sight). A window permits both light and vision. He is glimpsed in all good rulers but never in tyrants and despots who have failed to understand the right use of power and is seen in all lawgivers and also in those who use the enquiring mind to discover and understand the hidden laws behind manifestation - a reflection of the Ancient of Days - the hidden KI.
12 Adoptive Emperors: Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius. Their period (96-180 AD) is said to have been the happiest in Roman history.
01 This archtype represents the principle of art and craft of relationships. Attraction, connection, union of opposites.
02 All the symbols on this card are paired - two children, a couple facing each other, a young and old man, older and younger women, eagle and lion, Cupid and the Orphic Egg (wrapped in a snake).
03 Gemini (the ‘Twins’). The ‘journey of the twins’ (Raggedy Ann, in America or Hansel and Gretel in Germany - the prince and the pauper, etc). In every relationship what is needed is: the innocence of a child, curiosity and playfulness (children on this card), loyalty and commitment (the couple facing each other on this card). Opposites which yearn for and are attracted to each other - to reestablish ‘oneness’.
04 Hermit: the gift of spaciousness, introspection, being alone (solitary).
05 Iron gates (in background): symbolizes Lovers’ need not to be limited.
06 Cupid (at top of card): symbolizes love (as passion) and love (as compassion). Eros (god of love) is both the oldest and youngest of the gods. There are five types of love: servant to master, between friend and friend, parent and child, husband and wife and passionate or illicit love. In relationships we are faced with the principle of duality - Ying and Yang.
07 Four tools held by the children at the bottom of this card: the good within our natures. Club/Wand = intuition, Spear/Sword = right attitudes, Cup = follow what has heart and meaning, Cluster of pine cones/flowers = to implement what has heart and passion for you. Body, intellect, emotions and spirit.
08 Animals at bottom of card = the three principles of relationships. Leo the lion = to be creative. Scorpio/Eagle/Bird = loyalty. Orphic Egg = the transforming experience of relationships.
09 Wings attached to Orphic Egg wrapped in a snake: change, shedding of old skin. Wings: the internal or spiritual connection in relationships.
10 This card shows the marriage of the Emperor and Empress. The wedding ceremony is performed by the Hermit (Mercury). Notice that he is hidden by his robes which indicates that all things lie beyond the reach of the manifest and the intellect. Transformation occurs in the union of the wedding.
01 Principle of change and causation - movement, stillness/activity, introspection - the spiritual path. Chariots play the same role as modern tanks of warfare. The body is a chariot and your soul the charioteer. The Chariot’s key meaning is victory over a daunting challenge.
02 This card shows a figure in a state of quietude/meditation but readied for activity. It is two wheeled and decorated with wolves, hawks, stags, hounds, serpents, oak, ivy and blackthorn trees. The horses have golden wings. They are in the rearing position, nostrils flaring, manes and tails flying. Their tack’s bear crescent moons and stars. The driver is a young woman. She holds no reins (symbolizing self-control). A crystal ball is in her right hand, a spear in her left. She wears a silver warrior’s helmet which has wings and bears the figures of a horse, dog and boar at the front. She has blond hair, red leather boots and gloves. On her arms are gold snake bracelets.
03 Four pillars, four wheels, four animals: symbols that represent who we are mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually.
04 The Charioteer holds the spinning wheel of fortune/Holy Grail. S/he is examining all possible consequences before daring to move. Every decision requires exact examination and preparation and should not be decided precipitously.
05 Cancer (the Crab) sits on her head.
06 The 10 crystals on her golden armour = clear choices made in the past.
07 Four animals in front of the chariot: Taurus (bull’s head and feet), Leo (lion’s head and feet), Aquarius (human head and feet), Scorpio (bird’s head and feet). Also seen as four sphinxes (bull, lion, person, eagle). They have changed heads and bodies and assist one another.
08 Abracadabra is written on the canopy of the chariot: change is magical.
09 The roadway on which the chariot stands is paved with golden stones (the yellow brick road - the regal path taken by the spiritual traveller). In the Qabalah, the Chariot is assigned the Hebrew letter Cheth, and the 18th path between the Sephiroth Geburah and Binah.
01 Principle of alignment, balance, justice, negotiation and truth. The blindfold is a symbol of ‘not seeing’ in a positive sense. Blind Justitia judges without regard for the personage. Blind Fortuna distributes her gifts indiscriminately. Blindness sometimes symbolizes wisdom (inner light), seers and visionary sight and sometimes punishment for unpermitted viewing of things divine (insanity - punishment for disobedience to God). Jusitia: the same as the Greek Dike. Justice personified. Usually shown with a scale, blindfold, sword, law book, olive branch and cornucopia. Sometimes shown with a severed head in her lap. “The price of justice is eternal publicity”. “Justice is truth in action”. “This is the first of punishments, that no guilty man is acquitted if judged by himself”.
02 The central figure on this card stands in a diamond which indicates that she has pierced the veils of illusion, delusion and deception. Maat (goddess of Law, Truth and Justice). See ‘Maat’. The feminine aspect to ‘The Fool’ holds a sword between her legs and balances it on her toes. “The cold neutrality of an impartial judge”.
03 Libra (the Scales). Hanging from her crown are the cosmic scales, Alpha and Omega. The scales contain the letters Alpha and Omega (symbolizing beginnings and endings).
04 Circles/Baloons: ideas or thoughts - synthesizing mind.
05 Ace of swords facing downwards: creative ideas expressed in useful, practical/tangible ways.
06 Four elongated pillars in the background: balance of health, mental, emotional, physical and spiritual.
07 Masked eyes of figure: symbolizes that guidance comes from within.
08 Blue (spiritual intellectual powers) and green (creativity) predominate.
09 Her shoulders are covered with ostrich feathers (linked with Maat).
10 She wears the crown of Thoth (wisdom).
11 Ostrich feathers: symbol of justice (Egypt) and truth. Worn by Maat.
12 “In England, justice is open to all - like the Ritz Hotel”.
01 Principle of comtemplation, completion and introspection - wise person.
02 Lantern-bearer - Way-shower - wise leader - finding one’s own light. He has found internal fulfillment (the light within). The outer world appears colourless and unimportant. Symbol of the ascetic (totally isolated).
03 On the bottom of this card there is the Cerebus, (three-headed jackal) which is in fact the Greek watch-dog/guardian of the underworld. One head of this dog looks backward. Symbolizing: introspection. The three-headed hound and the snake represent the danger-filled realms of your own shadow. Two of the hounds heads look forward (the Hermit’s attention is directed slightly toward the past).
04 Hermit’s burgundy coat: symbol of the colour of blood (Egyptian) = inherent integrity/honesty within.
05 Wheat in the background of this card: Virgo - attending to details, organization - beauty. The sheaves ripen. The grain can be harvested and shared with others.
06 Orphic Egg wrapped by a serpent: ability to give birth to new forms.
07 Illuminated wheat kernel/spermotozoa: the need to experience that which is meaningful/significant.
08 The Hermit is rarely understood and moves to the march of a different drum and only enters into relationships that offer union at deeper levels. The inner path/guide.
WHEEL OF FORTUNE 64:19
01 Principle of abundance, prosperity, opportunity and expansion (Jupiter). Fortuna (Roman mythology). Unexpected fortune.
02 Exploding stars (turning into lightning bolts): awakening to possibilities. The Eureka effect.
03 Swirls in the background: abundance comes with the willingness to change by taking risks.
04 The Wheel of Fortune has 10 spokes (symbol of wholeness) in constant motion.
05 The sphinx, ape and crocodile represent three Egyptian gods.
05A The sphinx unifies the four magic virtues (knowledge, daring, will and silence). The sword in the sphinx’s paw indicates incorruptible powers of discrimination and being able to think clearly.
05B The ape symbolizes flexibility (he keeps the wheel in motion).
05C The crocodile symbolizes the god of creativity. In his hands are two tools (right-hand: the Egyptian Ankh, symbol of life. Left-hand: staff with a hook at one end symbolizes our ability to forge our own luck.
06 The middle of the wheel represents the Sun (the absolute center).
The Wheel of Fortune. The symbol corresponding to this card is the closed hand, indicating mental comprehension. To grasp is to own; and to grasp your place in the world is to grasp what and who you really are. Therefore you never suffer material deprivation.
The number 10 begins a new cycle, a repetition of the 1. Rotation and cyclicity are the keywords for the Wheel of Fortune. All is in the process of becoming; change is the only constant, so in due time, all things come to pass.
The bull, the lion, the eagle and the man represent the four fixed signs of the zodiac- Taurus, Leo, Scorpio (the eagle is a symbol for the higher side of Scorpio) and Aquarius. The books that they hold represent the wisdom of the ages. They indicate the laws of the universe, which are immutable, fixed and cannot be changed. The wavy serpent symbolizes the descent of the life force into manifestation. The jackal-headed hermanubis (an Egyptian god Thoth, also a race of jackal-headed men) shows evolution of form, while the human body and animal head indicate that man has not evolved beyond the intellectual level. His ears above the horizon of the Wheel of Fortune show that man’s interior hearing or intuition allows him to rise to a higher level. The sphinx depicts the developed human being to which we aspire. The woman’s head and breast, coupled with the lion’s body, show the soul in dominion over the body, in perfect harmony, hence exemplifying the union of male and female powers.
HANGED MAN 64:08
01 Ending, letting go, surrender, seeing things in a new way, frozen ideologies, clearing away old rubbish, pattern-breaker.
02 Notice that the hanged man is nailed upside-down (the personal will is broken).
03 Stalemate situation (++ST), no room to move. Escape impossible.
04 The serpents at the bottom of this card are coiled and sleeping.
05 The Hanged Man’s eyes are closed (blind to all that does not fit into his system of concepts).
06 His hair is shaved (hair is the symbol of spiritual perception).
07 Crucifixion of the ego.
08 The symbol associated with repetitive patterns is the labyrinth (indicated by squares within squares) in the background of this card. There are always more options, solutions and perspectives to consider than those in which we are currently invested.
09 The reversed Egyptian Ankh is a symbol of unlimited life force that is available for creative use.
01 XIII. Scorpio, external transformation, snake, eagle, external changes. Detachment, release, letting-go (Piscean fish). In Greece death was seen as a lovely naked youth and as an old bearded man with wings and later as a skeleton with hourglass and scythe. See ‘Dance’. Deadly Sins: Acedia, Avaritia, Gula, Invidia, Ira, Luxuria and Superbia (sloth, covetousness, gluttony, envy, anger, lust and pride). Mors and Vita (death and life).
02 Death has two faces, one tearing down, the other face freeing from old bonds.
03 This card shows a skeleton with its scythe ready to mow. It is poised, coiled, about to set in motion change.
04 The scorpion at the bottom of this card holds its tail ready to sting.
05 Blossoms of water lily and the holy lily are lying dead in the mud.
06 Snake at bottom of card: symbol of transformation.
07 Fish: symbol of the old past.
08 The skeleton wears the head-covering (crown) used in ancient Egypt (taking old concepts to the grave). The crown is the universal symbol of expanded consciousness - the human imitation of the halo-effect. A phoenix emerges from the crown indicating that death is a rebirth experience.
09 Death is indicated by Scorpio which has three symbols: scorpion, snake (sheds its skin) and the eagle (vision) or phoenix.
01 XIV. Sagittarius, unification of opposites, balance, inner change, synthesis, synergy.
02 This card has many symbols of integration (fire-water, light-dark, male-female, death-rebirth etc). These opposing forces transform themselves into a new state.
03 The Sun and moons in the background give birth to stars.
04 The colour of the dress on the androgynous figure in this card is green - creativity.
05 A Latin sentence is inscribed on the Sun (‘Examine the inner realms of the Earth; by cleansing you will find the hidden stone’).
06 The lion and eagle on this card have already been transformed. The lion is now the colour of water. The eagle (higher form of the scorpion) has taken on the colour of fire.
07 The raven indicated on the skull is a symbol of death and rebirth.
08 The darked-skinned KI has a light-skinned visage - the light-skinned QU has a dark-skinned visage.
09 Water pours from an urn. The fire consumes the water and the water puts out the fire.
10 The energy of the new (steam-arrow) rises and forms two rainbows (symbol of wholeness).
11 The 8 circles on the figures symbolize balance.
12 Honeybees on the QUs robe and the snakes on the KIs robe intermingle and symbolize art, perception.
13 Synergy is the union of two or more principles (when combined they create a greater whole).
01 Principle of mirth combined with stability. In Greece this was the symbol of Pan (half-man, half-goat), god of Merriment and Sensuality. In Egypt this symbol was Ra. In the past there was a backlash to the panistic cults and the archtype of the devil was created (the panistic goat was changed into the devil). Pan is indicated by a white mountain goat with large twisted horns. The column and two globes on this card symbolize an erect penis and the testicles. Procreative energy, vitality, humour, sexuality, individuality. To understand this Tarot card you have to free yourself from superstitious ideas. Humour (ie, Don Juan).
02 Need to face bedevilments or problems with the tenacity of Capricorn. These are indicated by the webbings or spider-veils on the sides of this card.
03 Capricorn is willing to look at internal issues as indicated by the 3rd eye (open) of the goat on this card (extra sensory perception, seer). You will also notice the eye of Horus staff and the Egyptian staff of vision (Osiris). Winged globe and two snakes.
04 Four male and four female figures (at bottom of this card): need to use magnetic, receptive abilities (female figures) as well as dynamic initiatory ability (male figures). Sperm-cells.
05 Saturn: rings of Saturn are at the top of this card (goddess Nuith). Balance, discipline, doing things in a logical manner, step by step.
01 XVI in the Tarot deck of cards (see below).
02 Symbol of healing, renovation and restoration. The Tower is a symbol of the change that is necessary to dismantle what is artificial. Symbol of transcendence over mediocrity. Ivory tower - a space cut off from the world (thought and meditation). Symbol of vigilance. Lighthouse (towards which the ship (RO) steers. Ziggurat (step tower). Far-reaching inner transformation. Spiritual renewal and self-knowledge. Restructuring. The true within our nature is restored and expressed. Destruction of stagnant situations.
03 The Tower represents ‘the self’, personality, internal Chariot. Tower of the ego (that may be shaken).
04 The four figures flying in the air on this card: old mental, emotional, intuitive and material ways that have become out-of-date (outmoded).
05 Eye of Horus at the top of this card: Egyptian symbol for the God of perception. Awakened consciousness, depth of perception. Seeing reality as it actually is.
06 Haloed snake on this card: the expanded nature that results when a snake sheds its skin.
07 Dove with olive twig on this card: symbol of inner peace.
08 The Tower of Self.
09 Arianrhod (Welsch): mistress of the otherworld tower of initiation.
10 Nimue (Arthurian legend): she begged Merlin to be taught how to make a tower out of air. He succeeded and she imprisioned him in this tower.
11 The Celtic Otherworld is frequently described in terms of a glass or spiral tower in which the poet or magician is imprisioned for a term in order to learn the mysteries of life and death.
12 Tower of Antonia: overlooked the Temple area of Jerusalem. Paul was in custody here and addressed the mob from its stairs.
13 Tower of London. In 1995 a police springer spaniel killed one of the eight ravens which guard the Tower of London. They are looked after by the yeoman ravenmaster. The bird’s name joins a list on the ravens’ memorial near Traitor's Gate. Charlie’ was the first raven to give birth to a chick within the Tower precincts this century. The birds in residence have been protected by royal decree since the time of Charles II, and legend says the monarch and the Tower itself will both fall if they ever leave. In 1853 a raven died of fright on hearing a fusillade of cannon honouring the funeral of the Duke of Wellington. The bird was stuffed, mounted and put in a glass case with a silver plaque recording the manner of his departure. This raven was recently found and may go on public display in the Tower.
14 Tower of Babel: ziggurat temple built at the summit of a lofty building constructed in tiers.
15 Horace (65-8 BC): Pale Death, with impartial foot, strikes at poor men’s hovels and the towers of KIs.
16 Genesis 11:4 ‘...and a tower whose top should reach unto heaven.’
17 Mesopotamia: imposing temples were set on mounds which dominated each city. These edifices were astrological-astronomical towers seven stories high, each level representing the five visible planets, as well as the Sun and Moon. ‘The Antiquities of the Jews’ by Josephus and the book of Genesis refer to these temples as the ‘Towers of Babel’. They were in fact civilizations first observatories.
18 Balor imprisioned his daughter Ethlinn in a high tower. KI Acrisios also imprisioned his daughter Danae in a high tower.
19 Ivory Tower: symbol of isolation from the world - aloofness.
01 A conventional figure having rays (commonly six) proceeding from, or angular points disposed in a regular outline about a central point. Lapis Lazuli: symbol of the starry heavens due to having many golden speckles. "Your going out a youngster but you’ve got to come back a star" (42nd Street).
02 A person who is preeminent or distinguished in some art, profession, or other field. One who plays a leading role in a performance.
03 Star of David: a figure resembling a six-pointed star, formed of two equilateral triangles interlaced, one being inverted. Used as a symbol of Judaism. Two triangles, one pointing upwards and the other downwards. Camp David. See ‘Triangle’.
04 Star of Bethlehem: divine intervention at the Messiah’s birth. This ‘star’ was no ordinary event. It had to be of special significance for the Magi to make such a long journey and had to be visible in the sky for quite some time and yet it cannot have been too obvious, for Herod’s astrologers were unaware of it. Mathew (2:1) is the only gospel to mention this star and says that the Magi arrived in Jerusalem saying ‘where is He that is born KI of the Jews? - For we have seen his star.’ As ‘wise men’ (KIs) the star was clearly significant to them. According to Matthew, while they were in Jerusalem they saw ‘the star’ a second time and rejoiced for some reason. The Star of Bethlehem is sometimes considered a comet (Halley’s comet c.11 BCE), a supernova, or a conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in the constellation of Pisces (c.7BC) but doubtful that these phenomena explain the sustained presence or movement described. Legends about the births of Mithridates and Alexander Severus also allege the presence of special stars. In Plato’s ‘Timaeus’ he mentions that the souls of human beings are the stars and return to the stars when they die. The Star of Bethlehem is sometimes represented as a comet.
05 Star: shining, bright, heavenly light, out of reach, enigmatic. There are many stories concerning the constellations of the zodiac. The stars and planets set four minutes earlier each night or two hours earlier each month but in the autumn and early winter this is largely offset by the ‘drawing-in’ of the evenings, astronomical twilight ending an hour and a half earlier between the beginning and end of September (British Isles). The opposite effect occurs in the spring when Orion, for example, is prominent in early March but overtaken by daylight in April. Stars are like boxes of washing-powder, coming in large, giant and jumbo sizes.
6:1 In the Trump card XVII in the Tarot the seven stars refer to the 7 lights or chakras. This card represents confidence and self-esteem. This is symbolized by the figure on this card looking toward the guiding star within the cup in her right hand. Multiple crystals on this card: trusting inner guidance and direction and seeing things clearly. In astrology the star is Aquarius (water-bearer) and is a symbol of the creative mind (Nuith). Her hair acts as an antenna. Emotional unfolding are indicated by the rose blossoms. Flowers, butterflies and moths on this card: symbols of unfoldment (flowers) and transformation (butterflies) of our many-splendoured expression. Inspiration of the highest level received and made manifest on Earth.
6:2 The fivefold flower signifies life (another form of the five-pointed star).
6:3 The card II is the High Priestess (also known as the Priestess of the Silver Star), and she sits between the two pillars of the Temple, Boaz and Jachin, the Pillar of Merch and the Pillar of Severity.
6:4 The equal-armed cross is at her breast (here are the four in one and one in four).
6:5 The lotus petals are at the top of the columns (symbol of immortality worn as sacred decoration by the priestesses of Egypt).
6:6 She wears the crown of Isis whose star is Sirius, the white star. Sign: Gimel (the camel which brings the traveller safe through desert wastes).
6:7 Symbol: the Moon. She wears the lunar crown. The Moon is also at her feet. She represents the Goddess Isis (representative of the Feminine).
6:8 The pomegranates are a sign of the Divine Feminine Presence. She holds the Tora scroll.
07 Tara (India): ‘Star’. Stargazers: (astrologers), ‘dividers of the heavens’ - pioneers of astronomy.
08 Judges 5:20 ‘the stars in their courses fought against Sisera’ (formed unlucky configurations). ‘Look now toward Heaven, and count the stars, if thou be able to number them’.
09 [¹] Star Cluster: a group of stars whose members are sufficiently close to each other to be considered as physically associated.
10 [²] Binary Star: two stars, seen to be in orbit about each other by telescopic observations.
11 [³] Optical Double: two stars which only appear to be associated, due to they’re being in the same line of sight as seen from Earth.
12 Greek: astron-philos (star-lover).
13 The Egyptian goddess Seshat who is associated with record keeping had a headress in the shape of a 7-pointed star (Ursa Major). A portrait of her in the Temple of Luxor shows her wearing a dress with encircled 5-pointed stars.
14 John A. Brashear (1840-1920): “We have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.”
15 Stars come in a spectrum of colours ie, Vega (bluish-white), Betelgeuse and Antares (orange), T Lyrae (traffic-light red).
16 "We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars" (Oscar Wilde).
17 Amateur astronomers may join the American Association of Variable Star Observers or, the Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers.
18 Galileo reported his first telescopic observations in 1610, in a book titled ‘The Starry Message’ (Sidereus Nuncius) or, Starry Messenger. Our ancestors regarded celestial objects as heralds of cosmic news, starry messengers with tips from the gods.
19 The hermetic epigram ‘As above, so below’ sums up a basic principle: the cosmos is a unity - our human fate is written in the stars.
20 Pentagram: five pointed star. Symbol of knowledge and often seen on abraxas gems. Quintessence: pentagram (the 5th element, world spirit).
01 Passion, Leo, creativity, animalistic energies, strength and lust[re].
02 A female sits on the back of a lion on this card.
03 The Holy Grail is held in her right hand.
04 This card represents divine intoxication, ecstasy, madness (the female figure appears intoxicated).
05 She sits on a lion with seven heads (angel, saint, adulteress, poet, daring man, lion-serpent and a satyr). These symbolize the uniting of different influences.
06 Ten radiating circles indicate old moral ideas replaced by new ones. Recreation is symbolized by the lion’s tail (a serpent with a lion’s head).
07 The woman’s head is completely turned toward the urn of fire and totally absorbed in the energy of transformation (the secret of Tantra).
08 This card is representative of the myth ‘Beauty and the Beast.’
MAGICIAN (The Magus) 64:15
01 This card represents the principle of communication symbolized by the golden figure of Mercury (the winged messenger of the gods in Greek mythology). See ‘Caduceus’. Inspired (pure spirit indicated by yellow wings on his feet), well-timed. The symbol indicates the ability to communicate in a literary as well as oral manner (the floating book). Talents and gifts which are magical (writers, music, diplomacy, film, design, teaching/counseling). ‘Skillful means’ (Buddhist term) - ‘right speech’ with ‘right action.’ Organized ideas, patterns. He artfully combines impeccable timing, clear content/context. Flexibility, brilliance. Energy spreads/radiates from him. Will, Wisdom, Word. Mercury (duality), truth and falsehood. Brings set ideas and judgements into question (including himself). As a creative being, he knows no conscience. He moves on the dividing line between white and black (needs constant self-examination). He wears a smile (communicates with humorous playful ease - joyous communication). He cannot be regulated in set ways. Illusion is part of his trade. He juggles his tools (see below). A blue/yellow energy-beam enters his head, goes through his body, and exits at his feet (receives his inspiration from the soul of the Universe). Bears clarifying light. Communication is of a high priority. The 4 Aces are his tools. Gifted in auditory and visual arts.
02 Ace of swords = Clear thinking.
03 Ace of Cups = Communicates feelings clearly.
04 Ace of Wands = Spiritual authenticity and truth.
05 Ace of Disks = Alignment of inner and outer communication (no double meaning/message).
06 He is surrounded by 10 other tools. He chooses a tool or, tools to communicate in a particular way. "Give us the tools and we will finish the job" (Winston Churchill).
07 (1) The coin: financial communication - practical ways. Body, matter.
08 (2) Floating Cherub and lighted lantern: inspiration which evokes the genius (genii) - Aladdin’s magic lamp. Transformation, dynamics.
09 (3) Ibis/Phoenix wand in his hand: symbol of philosophical/spiritual level. Understands the abstract.
10 (4) Arrow (moving towards the eye of Horus): direct, honest communication - well-timed. Honest, purposeful.
11 (5) Winged eye of Horus containing the dove: symbol of inspired vision - articulated. Writing, publication.
12 (6) Floating Scroll/Book: communication that is written. Able to transfer knowledge.
13 (7) Winged egg: communication from our essence (wings), which is always being reformed/delivered (egg). ESP, telepathy. Symbol of rebirth.
14 (8) Cup with coiled Serpent: transformative power (serpent) to communicate the range of feelings (the cup). Sexuality, relationships, sense of emotional space.
15 (9) Sword: symbolizing the ability to articulate thoughts and ideas in a clear and succinct manner. Intellect, analysis, logic. Mental space.
16 (10) Golden Monkey: symbolizes the Egyptian god of Wisdom, Thoth. Thoth transforms himself into a monkey to show that in communication we should be flexible and be aware of all the communication lines available.
17 The double serpent rising from Mercury’s head (another rendition of Mercury’s staff) symbolizes communication that is balanced, transformative. Caduceus: ancient Egyptian symbol of healing and regeneration (of thought). Eye of Horus (god of Perception). Dove symbol: bearer of spirit.
01 Principle of individuation, wholeness, totality. Experience of Nirvana. Saturn, cosmic union, completion. Last card of the Major Arcana and closes the circle that began with the Fool.
02 The dancing figure (hermaphrodite, Siva) on this card holds a sickle. This symbol is also seen as the Virgin Mary holding her foot firmly on the serpent’s head and body.
03 Four animals in the corners of this card: four elements.
04 Eye of Horus is in the upper-right of this card indicating that you see the world as it really is.
05 Astronomy: An unseen regularity has been seen in the arrangement of galaxy clusters. The astronomers who discovered it say that on huge scales the universe looks like a three-dimensional chess board. The superclusters are the XD cells - the voids between them the XL cells. This would hint that there is a previously hidden pattern in deep space. Cosmic ++CM perhaps?
AEON 16:8 64:01
01 One of a class of powers or beings conceived as emanating from the Supreme Being and performing various functions in the operations of the Universe.
02 Basilides (2nd century) said there were 365 Aeons.
03 Symbol of judgement. Taking the overall view, the whole, broad perspectives, discernment, self-analysis.
04 The large figure of Osiris (Egyptian god of Wisdom) on this card: represents family. He is shown with his finger to his mouth indicating that wisdom comes from experience and is not spoken randomly.
05 The three floating fetuses represent Horus (new forms).
06 Surrounding the above figures is the Egyptian god Nuith (sky-goddess). She is indicated by the sign of Leo on this card - creative and professional power. Her companion Hadit is indicated by a winged ball of fire (omniscent view).
07 Red-winged eye of Horus at the bottom of this card: inspired vision. Horus is the Egyptian god of perception (able to see the over-view).
08 The three figures at the bottom of this card: body, spirit and soul.
09 Winged serpent at the top of this card: Ohyros, god of Wisdom.
"The tarot is one of the most wonderful of human inventions. Despite all the outcries of philosophers, this pack of pictures, in which destiny is reflected as in a mirror with multiple facets, remains so vital and exercises so irresistible an attraction on imaginative minds that it is hardly possible that austere critics who speak in the name of an exact but uninteresting logic should ever succeed in abolishing its employment." --Grillot de Givry
Tarot cards are used today mainly in fortune-telling. A few years ago, tarot cards would have conjured up images of Gypsies, but today the cards are popular among occultists and New Agers in all walks of life.
The modern tarot deck has been traced back to fifteenth century Italy and a trick-taking game called triumphs (tarots in French).[Decker] The traditional tarot deck consists of two sets of cards, one (the major arcana) having 22 pictures, such as the Fool, the Devil, Temperance, the Hermit, the Sun, the Lovers, the Juggler, the Hanged Man and Death. The other set has 56 cards (the minor arcana) with kings (or lords), queens (or ladies), knights, and knaves (pages or servants) of sticks (or wands, cudgels or batons) , swords, cups and coins. Gypsies didn't begin using tarot cards until the twentieth century. Today, there are many different tarot decks used in cartomancy. The meanings of the figures and numbers on tarot cards vary greatly among tarot readers and advocates, many of whom find connections between tarot and the cabala, astrology, the I Ching, ancient Egypt, and various other occult and mystical notions.
The oldest playing cards date back to tenth century China, but the four suits of tarot and modern playing cards probably originated with a fourteenth century Muslim deck .[Decker] According to de Givry, in the modern 52-card deck of ordinary playing cards, sticks or wands = clubs (and announce news); swords = spades (and presage unhappiness and death); cups = hearts (and presage happiness); coins = diamonds (and presage money). According to Decker, the Muslim sticks represented polo sticks, and as Europeans were not yet familiar with polo, they changed the suit of sticks to that of wands, cudgels or batons.
Tarot cards are usually read by a fortune-teller, though in these days of New Age Enterprise, anyone can buy a deck with instructions on how to discover your real self and actualize your true potential. The fortune-teller seems always to be a woman. There is nothing sexist in this: women can't help it if they're more psychic than men. I don't think there is any evidence that women have more intuition than men, though that is a common prejudice. Nor do I think that there is any evidence that women can tell the future any better than men can. Be that as it may, there has been a strong belief for hundreds, perhaps thousands of years, that one's future is contained in the cards and that the fortune-teller can see what that future is. Why anyone's fate would be mysteriously contained in playing cards is a mystery indeed. But as the occult sciences are essentially mysterious, we need not trouble ourselves with questions of origin, causality or uninteresting logic.
There is a romantic irresistibility to the notion of shuffling the cards and casting one's fate, to putting one's cards on the table for all to see, to drawing into the unknown, to having one's life laid out and explained by strangers who have the gift of clairvoyance, to gambling on the future, etc. The idea of staring at a picture card and letting it reveal the future or mirror the soul is not one that austere critics are likely to find tantalizing, but the thought of such visionary mysticism obviously has its attraction. Centuries of scientific advancement and learning have not diminished the popularity of occult guidance systems such as the tarot, ouija boards, astrology, the I Ching, palmistry, iridology, reflexology, ink blots, graphology, enneagrams, crystal balls, tea leaves, etc. The need to be guided, to have assistance in making decisions, to be reassured, may have their roots in unfulfilled childhoods. For, it is in childhood that one needs guidance, assistance and direction. It is in childhood that one needs to be comforted and reassured that it is acceptable to be master of your own destiny. Perhaps the many adults seeking occult guidance represent generations of children not guided and directed but tyrannically commanded, not reassured but demeaned, not taught to be masters of their own destiny but taught to be insecure and dependent. There is a kind of romantic irresistibility to these notions but they are probably just gibberish to exact but uninteresting occult logic. Still, some of the cards are very pretty and many of those who use them swear that they have come to a deeper and greater understanding of themselves by letting the cards stimulate their imagination.
Decker, Ronald. "Tarot," in The Encyclopedia of the Paranormal edited by Gordon Stein (Buffalo, N.Y.: Prometheus Books, 1996). $104.95 , pp. 752-759.
de Givry, Grillot. Witchcraft, Magic & Alchemy (New York: Dover Books, 1971), republication of the 1931 Houghton Mifflin Company edition.