The Tarot are representatives of our life-course and the world around us. In theTarot Challenge, I will be going through each of the seventy-eight cards and explaining to my fullest ability what each card means to me. As the cards are largely subjective, they mean different things to different people. My thoughts on the cards come from two major sources: the first is my interpretations of the deck I learned to read Tarot with, the Rider-Waite deck, and the second is my interpretation of the Thoth deck and the cards’ relation to the tree of life. For the more practical interpretation of each card, I lean more on the meanings of the simplistic artwork of the Rider-Waite deck, but for the more abstract and deeper voices of the cards, I lean more on Crowley’s Thoth deck and his (and my own) interpretations of the Tarot with regards to the Sefirot and the Tree of Life.
The way that I envision the Tarot is as a divided representative of the Tree of Life; the Kabbalistic idea of how the divine energy of EinSof flows from heaven to earth, manifesting itself. Each numbered card in the suit, 1-10, represents one of the ten Sefirot; Kether, Chokmah, Binah, Chesed, Geburah, Tiphareth, Netzach, Hog, Yesod, and Malkuth. The meaning of each of these Sefirot and how they apply to the cards, as well as words on the organization and nature of them, will be delved into in more detail after I finish discussing each card. The suits of each card shape the way that each numbered card manifests the Sefirot they represent. Additionally, each Sefirot represents a number in the Naples arrangement: Position, Line, Plane, Matter, Motion, Experience, Bliss, Knowledge, Being, and Reality. Essentially, each Sefirot represents one level of the world’s – and life’s – basic construction.
The four court cards in each suit correspond to a particular Sefirot as well: Kings are Chokmah (the active male), Queens are Binah (the passive female), Princes are Tiphareth (Experience), and Princesses are Malkuth (Reality). Again, the suit of the court cards also reflects how they express each Sefirot; each court card also represents distinctive personalities we may see in ourselves and those around us, and between them all cover most aspects of personality that we see.
The Major Arcana, on the Tree of Life, are placed between each of the Sefirot. As such, they represent the paths the energy from EinSof must take to reach the Earth. In this sense, they also reflect the natures of the Sefirot that they connect. Additionally, when number 0-XXI, they tell the story of one’s life from a baby to their integration with the world.
Keep in mind that throughout this whole challenge I will be referring to “male” and “female” dualities and characteristics. Due to my sociological training, this is hard for me in many respects, so here I would like to emphasize that I acknowledge that gender is not binary but rather is a spectrum, nor is there any “right” way to do gender. I am merely using the antiquated terms philosophically.
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