The hermetic tradition believes the Tarot comes to us through the Gypsies and can be traced back to the religious symbols of the Egyptians. The word Tarot is devised from two Egyptian words ‘Tar’ meaning road and ‘ot’ meaning royal, thus we have the ‘Royal Road’ to wisdom. Hermetic traditions believe the earliest records of the Tarot to be about 35,000 years old. Hermetic tradition tells of two major ‘secrets’ yet to be discovered beneath the Great Pyramid of Gizeh (sometimes spelt Giza or Jizah). It is said that a hidden temple contains magnificent tablets on which are inscribed the totality of the Universal Laws, concerning the soul’s journey through the cycle of birth, death and re-birth. 78 of these tablets are known as the ‘exoteric’ Tarot and 30 are ‘esoteric’ Tarot - a total of 108 tablets revealing the mystery and purpose of the soul to mankind.

* Esoteric is ‘spirit’.
* Exoteric is ‘physical’.

Because the Tarot was devised using the principles of the Kabbalah (Cabala), Astrology and Numerology, the esoteric secrets were encrypted into the cards because of ‘religious intolerance’. The Tarot was intricately designed with many subliminal archetypes. Contained within the spiritual network lies the wisdom of the Cabala, and the intimately related Tarot deck of 78 symbols, are part of its ‘living force’.

An understanding of the symbolism evolving in the cards helps us to gain greater clarity. The placement of the cards in the spread helps us to understand the circumstances that prompted the initial queries, and how the environment will affect the outcome.

The Elements are a central theme to the Tarot because each suit is based upon one particular element.

Astrology is a central theme in the development of this oracle because each card in the Major Arcana is associated with a particular planet or sign.

Numerology is a fundamental tool that was used to develop the Tarot. Each card was placed in its sequence for a particular reason. Each card has its own story to tell, and its placement within the suit shows where we are in the cycle of our own evolution. Therefore, the numerical significance of each card is paramount. 

The Tree of Life (or Yggdrasil) consists of ten focal points, called ‘sephira’.  These ten sephira are connected to twenty-two lines, or pathways. These focal points are considered separate stages of 'God', or aspects of life.

The lines connecting the sephira correspond to the twenty-two letters in the Hebrew alphabet.

The Tree of Life, while not appearing until the Middle Ages, plays an important part in our philosophical systems of thought, because it helps us to identify where we are in the grand scheme of things.

The Tree of Life diagram is an important pictorial representation, because it illustrates how the Universe was created, and is a map of the cosmos at all levels.

Each sephira points to a specific character trait, which helps us identify exactly where we are in our evolutionary path to enlightenment.

Each sephira in the Trestleboard corresponds with a specific planet, and is therefore closely aligned with the celestial art of Astrology.

The Cabala plays an intricate part in the subconscious understanding of the world.

The Major Arcana is composed of twenty-two cards, which is the number of letters in the Hebrew alphabet. The ten numbered cards in each suit of the Minor Arcana correspond with the ten sephiram in the Trestleboard of the Toth and represents the number of Pathways in the Tree of Life trestleboard, and is a Master Number in the science of Numerology.

Chakras are associated with a specific part of the body, as well as a colour in the spectrum.

There are many variations of the decks and many that have evolved over the centuries, but many do not give a Universal/Spiritual meaning .

The early Christians tried to suppress esoteric knowledge in order to promote 'man made' law. The 'sacred truths' that were preserved by few were handed down over the centuries through 'secret societies'. In these societies, devotees would undergo rigorous training, learning to rid themselves of false ego and to lead lives of truth and purity, always obeying the higher expectations of their fellow man.

The Rider Waite Tarot deck in particular was named after the famous occult scholar and author, Dr Arthur Edward Waite. He produced the deck in 1910. The designs were drawn and coloured under his supervision by Pamela Coleman Smith – an American girl who was a fellow member of the occult society, the ‘Order of the Golden Dawn’.

Each of the 78 cards has a different meaning when it is reversed. This does not necessarily mean that a reversed card is ‘negative’ as such - it simply means that there is a different interpretation to a card when it is reversed than when it is in the upright position.

In essence, the Tarot consists of 156 separate symbols - each with a distinct purpose and meaning. The early Masters of the Tarot did not have the modern addition of the 56 Minor Arcana; only the 22 Major Arcana were used.

The Tarot cards contain the secrets of the Universe. Behind the Tarot is an astonishing dimension of occult wisdom. It is only through the discovery of our own hidden depths that our higher spiritual selves can be explored and the secrets and lessons learned. Once you allow your soul to seek, the ancient symbols of the Tarot will reveal themselves.

Approach the Tarot with an open mind. 

The Tarot can be used for divination, spiritual development, self-guidance, meditation and Kabalistic studies. It is not the picture on the Tarot card itself that holds interest, so much as the symbolic philosophy behind the picture, and how you feel about the picture personally.

The Tarot assist insight by allowing the conscious and subconscious parts of the mind to work together, providing us the use of our full intellect and intuitive strengths.

We all have an intuitive sense, but often do not know how to connect it with our life in a comprehensive manner. The Tarot helps us make this connection and enhances our overall ability to see where we are on our life’s journey.

Joanne Walmsley    
Sacred Scribes

NUMEROLOGY - The Vibration and Energy of Numbers

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