05 August 2009

Simple Tarot Matrix

There are loads of places online, and lots of rather overpriced books, that will go inordinately deep into the meanings of the Major Arcana, and maybe the suits' meanings, but little seems to get said about the individual meanings of the Minor Arcana. Here's a very simple matrix; adapt it as it suits you. Meanings by suit:
  • Swords: Communication (Air element)
  • Pentacles/Stars: Materiality* (Earth element)
  • Wands: Action, Deed (Fire element)
  • Cups/Bowls: Emotions (Water element)
*Materiality, as in things of the physical plane. Materialism might and frequently does get tied up in that, but that's not the primary meaning. Numerical Minor Arcana by Position:
  • A- beginning\power
  • 2- partnership\duality
  • 3- synthesis\joy
  • 4- stabilize\construct
  • 5- chaos\versatility
  • 6- decision\challenge
  • 7- wisdom\mystery
  • 8- judgment\versatility
  • 9- attainment
  • 10- perfection\wholeness
  • Page: child
  • Knave: adolescent
  • King: man\outer competence
  • Queen: woman\inner competence
Example: 7W Wands symbolize action; 7 symbolizes wisdom or mystery Possible interpretation: at the heart of the matter in question lies acting on a matter with wisdom, either by doing the right thing, or by merely doing what you must; possible fear of what the action will mean or do, or a fear of going half-cocked and not understanding underlying dynamics to the situation. For the face-cards of the Minor Arcana (Page, King, etc), each symbolize a particular person (e.g., Knave symbolizes adolescent, as above). Here's a shortcut for incorporating the suits into the meanings of the cards. For this example, I'll use the suit of Cups, keeping in mind that they relate to emotion-
  • PC: (child) emotional response of a child
  • KnC: (adolescent) emotional response of a teen
  • KC: (male, outward competence): emotional response of a man
  • QC: (female, inward competence): emotional response of a female
This will hold for the other suits (e.g., KW- what a man would do in a particular situation). Thus:
  • Swords: how do the people communicate?
  • Wands: how do they act?
  • Pentacles\Stars: how do they handle practical or sensual matters?
  • Cups: how do they feel?
The real trick with Tarot readings when they concern others, whether we know them well or not, is to separate prejudices and the querent's personality from who is being read for\about. Anyway, hope that's helpful. Sometime soon I hope to have an updated gematria I've come up with that seems to work pretty well, particularly for sigilization of intent.

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