The Book of Power


The pack of cards of the Lesser Arcana has been generally acknowledged as the origin of our ordinary playing-cards, though subsequent authorities do not wholly agree upon this point. Thus we find Dr. Papus saying:

". . . wands have become the clubs (or trèfles) of our present playing cards, cups have become hearts, swords have become spades and pentacles have become diamonds." (Chapter I.)

Mr. Waite in his Key says:

". . . wands or sceptres . . . diamonds . . . cups correspond to hearts . . . swords answer to clubs . . ."

and finally pentacles "which are the prototype of spades." (P. 37.) In MacGregor Mathers' booklet we find in extenso the following table:

Italian                         French                          English                                                       Answering to

Bastoni                       Bâtons                          Wands, Sceptres or Clubs                        Diamonds
Coppé                         Coupes                         Cups, Chalices or Goblets                        Hearts
Spadé                          Epées                           Swords                                                       Spades
Denari                        Deniers                        Money, Circles or Pentacle                       Clubs

The discrepancies are evident. Furthermore questions may arise as to how one writer could call swords, clubs, while linguistically a wand and a club originally mean the same thing, and cover the same meaning, viz. that of a detached part of a living tree; and how is it that another could see wands answering to diamonds and a third make pentacles clubs?
Evidently a sword must be a 'spade' and a wand must be a 'club,' the names being virtually identical. There seems, however, some difficulty regarding the other two. I object to the usage as given by Papus and MacGregor Mathers and can easily bring forward proof against it.
Important differences like these, found in the writings of the principal authors on the subject, show that something is wanting in the understanding of the doctrine itself and the 'why' has been lost, or at least partially. The quest for this doctrine must be fully worth the trouble--and we shall endeavour, in the following pages, to follow it up to its origin in general cosmological principles.


Now the first thing we wish to point out is this: the system of the Tarot is so important, that no explanation can be accepted as satisfactory other than that which acknowledges it as a general outline of Creation itself, which ever was, and ever continues, pervading every creature and everything with its principles as a divine immanence.

Therefore Papus is quite right in stating, that "each card of the Tarot represents a symbol, a number and an idea."

At the basis of Creation are the Four Cosmic Elements, as they were symbolically mentioned by visionaries such as Ezechiel and St. John of Patmos, and taught by astrology of old. It requires no extraordinary intuition of the occult student to recognise in the four colours of our playing-cards or the four suits of the Tarot's Lesser Arcana those four
basic Elements: Fire, Earth, Air and Water. The question remains however: Which is which?

There must have been a time when knowledge about these matters was nearer at hand than is the case nowadays; the symbols speak for it. A student of Occultism has to pay attention to symbols above all. So what do they tell us?

WANDS.--As a matter of fact, curiously enough, all authors agree in naming wands or clubs in the first place. In our set of playing cards the figurative symbol for it is the trefoil (French trèfle)--tri-folio--and Mr. Ouspensky draws the wands bearing leaves which in many instances appear to be threefold--at least they should be. The trefoil or shamrock has always been considered a luck-charm, Porte-bonheur. * It is built upon the scheme of the triangle, symbol of Trinity, and the totality of the figure appears also in the masonic 'trefoil,' which is an emblem of the Divine Trinity together with the principle of activity, indicated by the staff or wand itself, eventually crossed as in the ancient emblem.

In a way we must regard this symbol as revealing the highest conception of Creation: Trinity pure and simple with only the rudiment of activity indicated, standing still above the circle, as far or as soon as the latter suggests Motion. So wands, clubs or trèfles are most certainly meant as the symbol of the highest element in Creation.


The question has often been put as to whether, in the astrological idea of creation, Air or Fire ought to be regarded as the highest element. The answer depends upon the standpoint we take. In the highest cosmological or cosmo-philosophical sense it is Fire; in a cosmo-practical or cosmo-natural sense it is Air, as the Secret Doctrine undoubtedly
makes us understand, where the dissolution of cosmos at the end of a Manvantara is treated of and it is said that the Earth is dissolved or engulfed by the Waters, Water evaporated by Fire, and finally Fire disappearing in the Air. Here Air is acting as the atmosphere of the globe or system disappearing. So for all practical uses, in astrology as well, it is
Air which is able to give the highest expression of the Divine. As the atmosphere of a globe it is the link between it and the Ether of space, carrying the rays of the divine solar centre as well as those of the relatively 'demoniacal' surroundings to the other elements, constituting the existence of the globe. In a similar way the suit of wands will appear to be something of a link between the Lesser and the Greater Arcana. This will be dealt with later.

Taken in this way Air is 'the bearer of the Message' from the Divine (Ether) or Unmanifest to the terrestrial or manifested worlds. And wands are the significators of the messages in detail and of intelligences, which astrologically correspond to Air, consequently of higher thought and mental processes.

The magic wand is used to convey the divine or at least semi-divine willpower of the Self acting as a magician into the world of phenomena.

As in Macrocosm the Message goes out to the Water (the emotional element of experience in the Soul), and Metals (sensatory elements of understanding in the Body), so in microcosm, on Earth, a wand may be used to find out water and metals in the soil. This may seem curious, but is pure analogy.

From days of old a wand or staff was used to 'chastise,' i.e. to render chaste or pure, the undisciplined or disobedient, a penalty as much symbolical as corporeal, the staff being at the same time the insignum of a superior will-power or supervision.

Hermes-Mercury, Lord of the Element of Air, of Knowledge and Understanding, Bearer of the Message of the Gods, carried as his emblem, his well-known Wand encompassed by two snakes and bearing a cup on top. He was called Trismegistus, the 'threefold' Great (or the Great Trefoil which might also be translated as Lord or Magister of the
register of Trefoil, King of the Wands.


And the pilgrim, who went to hear the word of deliverance and to gather knowledge, took up a staff, not only as a walking-stick but also as a symbol of his quest. The latter finds illustration in the legend of Tannhauser, whose 'sin' (ignorance) was so great, that its expiation could be expected as little as the budding of new leaves on his (dead) pilgrim's staff, the latter being evidently taken as an image of the principle of the 'wand' in his own soul. And when, by the force of Love, a higher understanding budded forth in himself, this fact was symbolised by the apparition of a fresh green leaf on hip staff.

The ancient Norsemen, highly susceptible to symbolism, wrote their signs of communication or messages on stafe, wands, which became the origin of the later word Buchstabe in German.

PENTACLES.--Generally cups are named in the second place but are at the same time identified with hearts. We agree that the hearts come in the second place of the hierarchy of the Tarot suits, but do not see, that they should be 'cups.' Of course we understand that the heart has been said to be the 'cup' receiving and containing the divine life, etc. But still we disagree and even think the parable rather superficial, for it leaves the mutual relation of the three remaining elements in a distorted condition. Moreover the symbolical names, as given by the different authors mentioned, do not agree.

If, taken as a whole, wands stand for the Message of the Macrocosm or Ideation, as Air transfers the message from the Ether, and if we take for granted, that the imagination of the Tarot system was meant and given for cosmo-practical or cosmo-natural usage, then we must be prepared to find in the remaining three suits the elements of (say: 'human') spirit, soul and body incarnate (i.e. as they appear in the manifested world), thus constituting together the microcosm in toto. Astrology gives for the three the symbols: Sun, Moon and Ascendant (Earth). We should rather say: the Fifth, the Ninth and the First house in the horoscopic circle. Compare our second volume on Cosmology, entitled Elements of

If now, to indicate these three principles, we dispose of a pentacle, a cup and a sword, it is most surely the pentacle on the coin of gold or within the circle, which relates to the heart and the principle of spirit, located in the Fifth house. For here the human spirit with its fivefold nature originates and here the fivefold magic or creative force resides. It is
difficult to see what other meaning the pentacle could have than the symbolising of the Fifth house in Creation, which is the heart to every living being. There is not the least shade of doubt that in the horoscope the beginning of the spiritual spiral lies in the Fifth house. Gold is the metal ruled by the Sun, lord of the Fifth sign, Leo, the heart of the solar


system. So pentacles or golden coins are the hearts in playing-cards and correspond to the element Fire.

The symbol in playing-cards is drawn in the natural likeness of a heart. There is as little doubt concerning the element Fire, because, as every astrologer knows and realises, spirit, soul and body stand in the same relation as Fire, Water and Earth. Compare the Secret Doctrine, where 'a centre of Fire and Water' is the origin for a new incarnation on Earth.
Curiously enough, divination never has interpreted 'hearts' in any other way than as symbolising things belonging to the heart or coming forth from it. In so far this 'colour' has been well understood. But its gold is a spiritual symbol and has as yet nothing to do with 'money.' It is in the soul and not in the spirit, that the idea of repayment is forged, though no
doubt the spiritual gold may be said to be the origin of all that will later on appear as vulgar money.

CUPS.--The soul is ruled by the Moon and the element Water, as is well known in astrology. It is in the cosmic principle of Soul, or in other words: in the Cosmic Soul, that the truth of the philosophic statement, Panta Rei (everything in the world is flowing), is revealed. And there is no better symbol for the specific nature of the soul in concreto than that of a
cup or chalice, which contains the Liquor of Life. The cup is really suggestive enough with regard to the element Water.

When Jesus prayed: "Lord let this chalice pass from me," He indicated something which He feared would fill his soul with bitterness. And in the Last Supper He passed along the chalice of brotherhood amongst the disciples, as a sign of soul-union, a custom still followed by the churches
of Christianity and in days of old by King Arthur at the meetings of the Round Table. The Christian churches lay much stress on the mystic happenings with the Holy and Blessings. Herein we may see a demonstration of the mystery of Christ, Son of the Heart (that is, the Sun in the Solar system), Divine Soul (the 'Father' being Divine Spirit) using the persona of Jesus as Its Cup or vessel (vahana).

In one of the masonic High Grades the cup reappears with the symbolic 'supper' of brotherhood.

The quest of the Holy Graal--the legendary Holy Chalice or Cup of Felicity--shadowed forth in the ritual of the church--is well known to


represent the thirst or solicitude of the soul for the spiritual water or wine of Life Divine. The Graal itself symbolises the shape of a human or superhuman personality, a soul of human nature, filled or 'fulfilled' by this Divine Essence, by which it becomes a Holy One, a Master or Elder Brother. So it means the quest of the common human soul for the
Master Soul.

Cups or beakers are used throughout the world to drink 'welcome' and friendship, i.e. to express the idea of soul-union: something like "my soul drinks from the same liquor as yours," viz. the liquor of life or of renovation of life; "my soul meets yours in the drinking of the wine divine, and so knows that we are brothers."

Among playing-cards cups cannot be anything else but diamonds--in French: carreaux--the two different names giving expression to exactly the same idea: that of the soul or persona of the spirit. The diamond is a jewel which allows the light to pass almost without any loss; the purer its 'water' the less the loss and the higher its value, which is the reason why Occultists call a perfected soul a 'Diamond-Soul.' The French and the Dutch use the same simile in a somewhat more prosaic though still very pretty way, when they compare the soul with a little window through which God is looking downstairs (Flemish: vensterke) into the lower worlds. The same is said of the human eye, which is styled the little
window or vensterke of the soul in its turn. This is the origin of the French carreaux and the Dutch ruiten. Its symbolic figure is clear enough:

Without a shadow of doubt cups stand for diamonds or carreaux and for the element Water.

Ordinary divination correctly ascribes to cups the property of ruling money matters, because the soul is, in fact, the producer of work, which results in the production of 'money.'

The figure for diamonds in playing-cards is a square standing on one point, the opposite point reaching upwards. This symbolises the soul in its chief characteristic, standing on one end, one-pointedly directed towards Heaven or spirit and on the other hand one-pointedly directed towards Earth or matter, and squaring the Two within itself. One who really understands this may well be called a 'square man.'


SWORDS.--Not much choice is left with regard to the fourth suit or colour. Perhaps a sword looks more like a magic instrument than a spade, but both are made of iron, which 'cleaves' the Earth or 'the body of Earth.'

When in the Bhagavad Gîtâ, the evident intention is to make it clear, that Shri Krishna did not appear in a 'body of Earth' or physical body, one of the images used to express this meaning is: "weapons cleave Him not."

Originally the sword and spade had the same meaning. Compare the Spanish espada and the French épée for sword. A later meaning of 'spade' became that of the agricultural tool.

In one way, viz. as a physical instrument, the emblem of executive power, the sword has much the same meaning as the wand or club: both are instruments of command, compelling obedience. The difference lies in the nature of the element used: wands compel by reason, intelligence, understanding, moral force; swords enforce obedience to laws of Earth,
material necessity, actual resistance. This means also, that wands open moral, intellectual and reasonable possibilities, swords give material opportunities.

Both these suits start from the First house or Aries, as will be worked out further hereafter, the one leading up from the beginning of Intelligence, the other from the beginning of activity in Matter.

The swords wound or even kill, they sever the rotten limb from the otherwise healthy body, for which reason the sword became the symbol for discrimination between practical usefulness and practical uselessness. From this, practical ideas of Right and Wrong, Good and Evil spring into being.

To wound and to kill is to destroy partially or wholly a body of Earth. This must not be regretted, as Shri Krishna explains, because it is only destroying maya, misleading appearances. That which is an inner reality can never be killed; it is Life itself. So the swords may mean destruction to some form or body, formula or limited existence, they may inflict pain, detriment, loss, sorrow upon bodily existence and material possessions or conditions. On the other hand they may mean renovation, birth and rebirth, the removing of obstacles, a clearance of the way and of the field of action, as the spade clears and turns the soil of the garden for a new sowing. So Jesus might well say: "I have not come to bring peace, but a sword." And even so, where the I or Self manifests in the world of outer phenomena, it will be obliged to take either the sword or the spade in hand to kill out wrongs, illusions, obstacles or turn the soil for a new sowing. Sometimes it may have to cut away what is not wanted, in order


to keep the rest pure and straight and healthy; just as the sculptor works on the marble. So also sorrow and pain will be inflicted upon the body of Earth so long as the hand of the Heavenly Sculptor is upon it.

The symbolic figure drawn for spades in playing-cards is the reverse of that for hearts, plus a design at the top reminding us of the cross upon the circle

in the symbol of the planet Mars: it appears also to signify something in the nature of the heart oppressed by the cross of matter.

That ordinary divination takes spades as malific as it makes hearts benefic, will be clear from the above. From an inner standpoint it is not seen in the same way; this also will be clear.

The colours of the spades and wands are always given as black, hearts and cups as red. The symbology of the Tarot is too pure for such a detail to be an accident, though the ordinary pack of playing-cards might be considered to some extent as a sort of 'profanation' of the original Tarot.

These colours, however, bear an essential meaning, as does everything in the Tarot.

Wands take their black colour from the 'Black Wisdom' (compare the Secret Doctrine);

Swords or spades are black from the Earth, which has no light of its own;

Hearts are coloured red by the 'blood' and cups by the 'wine,' the liquor of life in the body and in the soul respectively, and both bearing light. So the Wine imparts the Holy Communion of the spirit to the soul, and the blood renders the same service, relatively, to the particles of the body, to which it imparts the life of the Ego or rather of its soul.

As I have explained in my previous book referred to above, Evolution may well be represented by a spiral starting from the spiritual centre and descending through the twelve houses of zodiacal ideation and formation into the 'worlds'--spiritual, psychical, physical.


This Spiral of Evolution may be divided into at least three parts, that is, three different beginnings may be seen. There is the Divine Beginning, starting in Aries, the sign of Initiation and highest abstraction, the divine cycle being completed in Pisces, where it is handed over or 'offered' or sacrificed to the world of appearances.

The cycle of the spiritual in Man begins in the fifth sign, Leo, the individual cycle being that of the Spark or the Ego, and it runs from this sign of the heart to Cancer, the sign of memories. Subsequently: a cycle of the personal being of the Ego, the cycle of the soul in Man, which we may call the personal cycle, starts from Sagittarius, the sign of thought and manifestation, and ends in Scorpio, the sign of death.

Then there is the cycle of the body, body of Earth, with the etheric initiative in Aries once more at the same point but lower down in the scale, and ending in Pisces as the house of the 'Universal Solvent,' applying also to the body of Earth, for here personal separateness is solved into the physical surroundings of the Universe from which it was built up.

After this the physical organs in the body of Earth will be built up and have their own cycle, starting again in Leo and building them between the heart and the stomach: Cancer.

And in Sagittarius the physical manifestations in happenings, deeds, facts, proceedings, etc., begin their cycle in co-operation with their surroundings. This cycle again ends in Scorpio, where life's lessons or experiences are drawn out of the materials.

Divine Intelligence being the beginning of all that to our conception means Evolution, the Spiral of Evolution must necessarily open with the suit of Wands, thus ruling the First to the Twelfth house. They stand for intelligence in general and 'intelligences' in Nature, for messages and communications, relations, connections, plans and ideas, for knowledge
and insight. They work through the head and have to do with 'mutations.'

Then follow hearts, representing the individual cycle, from the Fifth to the Fourth house. They rule in this cycle the fiery force of the spirit and represent power, goodness, love, fixed purpose, desire, well-being, virtue, warmth and heat, generation, development, they work through the heart.

The cups rule the cycle of the soul, or personal cycle, and represent, working from the Ninth to the Eighth house, the emotions and motives,


the activity of the soul, its experiences from the highest philosophy and religion down to the merest lust or sensation. They work through the senses and the organs of motion.

They have what may be described as an undulating movement, and they may be favourable or unfavourable. But they move and cause growth and death, rise and decline; they mould life into physical circumstances and forms; they 'influence' everything and this is their particular business.

The body of Earth is built up by the elements of Earth, represented by the suit of swords, running from the First house again up to the Twelfth. They speak of birth in matter, of facts, formations and resistance, of material good luck and bad fortune, achievements and failure in material respect; of afflictions and pain, but also of the effects produced by this

Again comes the cycle of hearts, now in the significance of the round of physical organs. This is very strict and can be absolutely relied upon. Every astrologer can tell you the relationship between the houses and the organs of the body. But it must be borne in mind that this rulership first relates to the ethereal centres or chakras, the fiery wheels in the etheric body. So the Fifth house rules the solar plexus and the heart . . . etc.

Finally the cups rule the cycle of events, happenings, movements. From the Ninth to the Eighth house again.

In a general way the cups will relate to water, as the hearts to fire, the wands to air, and the spades to earth in the practice of daily life as well as in a philosophical sense.

It appears further that each of the three cycles come twice into play: the cycle of Aries--Pisces by wands and swords; that of Leo--Cancer by hearts on two different niveaux; and that of Sagittarius-Scorpio in the same way twice by cups.

Astrologers may wonder perhaps, how and why it is that the 'mutable' suits of wands and spades start from the 'moveable' sign Aries, while the 'moveable' suit of cups starts from the 'mutable' sign Sagittarius. We can only answer that the facts are as they are, but may add, that evidently every suit has something of a particular sort of accent, which does not necessarily fall on the first sign or house, but on that in which house and suit coincide with regard to element and property (guna). Thus:

Spades, earth and mutable, will have their accent in the sign Virgo, mutable sign of earth, in which discrimination is said to be born;

Cups, water and moveable, in the moveable sign of water Cancer, which in fact is the proper sign of the moon and in which all properties of the soul can be said to be gathered or hidden;

Hearts, fire and fixed, in the fixed and fiery sign Leo; the suit of hearts appears to be the only one out of the four to have its particular accent on the first 'card' or house, which naturally confirms the essential being of hearts as interpreting fire and the centre of things;

Wands, air and mutable, have their accent on the airy and mutable sign Gemini, the sign of the Messenger.

The subsequent cycles are so many suits of Principles in the process of Building the Cosmos, Houses in the Holy City of the Great Architect of the Universe. They represent happenings in the proceedings of Evolution and experiences on the side of Involution at the same time.

If the suits of colours in the Tarot system convey any meaning at all, it must be this, and there cannot be anything else to represent except these principles and houses, happenings and experiences. We shall see hereafter, how the Greater Arcana falls in with them, and may now proceed to explain the rôle of the Lesser Arcana.

Each suit of cards has been given as a set of fourteen, viz. ten numbered cards, ace to ten, and four 'court cards' named King, Queen, Page or Knave, and Knight. The latter has been omitted in the ordinary playing cards. Now whereas the cosmological cycle consists of twelve houses, these sets or suits have ten or fourteen cards--just as we choose to take
it. Still--if we take for granted--that the analogy exists, each principle must be represented in a card and vice versa. If it were not so, the Tarot system would be found wanting, and we have sufficient reasons not to accept this supposition beforehand, both by reason of theoretical and practical tests, the traditional renderings of the cards confirming the

We need not trouble about the question why the Initiates, who presented the Western World with such an inheritance, chose to number up to ten only instead of going to Twelve. The 'Chosen People' were given only ten commandments for their guidance. They who understand astrology in its essential meaning, can perceive something of the reason; afterwards when the Preacher of Divine Life came to the same chosen people, He gave a double new commandment to complete the ancient Law: that of Brotherhood (Aquarius--eleven) and Love (Pisces--twelve).

In each suit of Tarot cards the numbering is from the one or ace up to the ten; the King is to be considered in some way as a higher octave of


the one, the Queen or Dame as the same of the two, whereas the Page or Knave is a representative of the 'relation between the two' and consequently is a higher octave of three, while the Knight is the higher octave of the four and the other side of the same 'relation.' This absolutely covers the general and conventional meanings of Pages and Knights in the Tarot system and its divination, the Pages being said to be always something of messengers, and the Knights to be signifies of transition, conversion, transmission, changing from one condition into another. But at the same time we find the intimation, that the Page as well as the Knight 'bears a double meaning.' Now, as they stand for 'the relation between the two' they already bear an inherent 'double meaning' or significance of a double nature. But 'double meaning' implies something else and something more.

The Page and the Knight are also the figures standing for the XIth and XIIth principles, in the Eleventh and Twelfth houses, conveying the commandments of their King and Queen, as their messengers or officers, and at the same time standing as it were for the whole suit collectively, while in the former meaning, viz. as higher octaves of the 3 and 4, they
are the messenger and bridge from one suit to the next one.

To give the analogy between the cards of the Tarot's Lesser Arcana and the zodiacal houses categorically:

1   and King           Aries or       I              house
2       „ Queen         Taurus„      II „
3       „ Page            Gemini„     III „
4       „ Knight        Cancer„      IV „
5                                   Leo„      V  „
6                                 Virgo„     VI „
7                                 Libra„     VII „
8                             Scorpio„      VIII „
9                        Sagittarius„      IX „
10                    Capricornus„      X „
Page Aquarius                    „      XI „
Knight Pisces                     „       XII „

1 and King               Leo or        V            house
2 „ Queen Virgo „ VI „
3 „ Page                     Libra„      VII „      p. 34


4 and Knight     Scorpio or         VIII       house
5                        Sagittarius„        IX „
6                      Capricornus„         X „
7                           Aquarius„        XI „
8                               Pisces„       XII „
9                                 Aries„           I „
10 Taurus „ II „
Page Gemini „ III „
Knight Cancer „ IV „

1 and King   Sagittarius or          IX         house
2 „ Queen      Capricornus„          X „
3 „ Page               Aquarius„        XI „
4 „ Knight                Pisces„       XII „
5                                 Aries„           I „
6                              Taurus„          II „
7                              Gemini„        III „
8                              Cancer„        IV „
9                                   Leo„          V „
10                               Virgo„        VI „
Page                          Libra„       VII „
Knight Scorpio „ VIII „

1 and King            Aries or              I        house
2 „ Queen               Taurus„          II „
3 „ Page                 Gemini„         III „
4 ,, Knight              Cancer„         IV „
5 Leo „ V „
6 Virgo                                „        VI „
7 Libra „ VII „
8 Scorpio                             „    VIII „      p. 35
9                   Sagittarius or           IX        house
10                   Capricornus„          X „
Page                     Aquarius„        XI „
Knight                      Pisces„       XII „


A diagram of the Spiral of Evolution will be added with its suits of cards.
It will be seen, that:
King, 1, 5, 9,    fall on houses of Fire
Queen, 2, 6, 10    „           „   Earth
Page, 3, 7            „           „   Air
Knight, 4, 8,        „           „   Water

Astrologers will be able to draw immediate conclusions from these coincidences, which are absolutely natural.

One other detail may be added in this part:

The cards of the heart-suit must relate to years, to the day-time and summer, those of the cup-suit to months, to night-time and winter, the swords to days (in duration: i.e.--axial rotations of the Earth), while wands do not seem to have much relation to time and may consequently mean, that a thing will not happen at all, will remain in the realm of ideas, or is in the act of happening itself at the very moment. These particulars may be useful in the practice of divination.

Further, hearts relate to gold, cups to silver and to money in general, wands may relate to paper money and effects, shares, bonds, acts. Swords relate to material objects, and in general may indicate the cost or price of things, losses, debt, as well as the things bought by money.

In proportion to the more or less exoteric standpoint of the consulent and . . . the professor of divination, hearts will specially indicate 'good' and 'yes,' spades 'bad' and 'no,' while wands may mean 'indifferent, perhaps, doubtful, relatively, undecided as yet,' and cups do not appear to confer any special meaning with relation to these things, except that they may make the feelings pervert the facts. They also give the sentiment with which the facts will be received or encountered.

Hearts are 'sunny' and more or less venusian; cups are jovial, sometimes neptunian, and may become 'loony' in weak cases; spades are martial and, by reflex, saturnian; wands are mercurial and sometimes uranian.

To conclude these considerations on the Lesser Arcana, it will be interesting to compare a general figure or diagram of the process of Creation with the four suits of the Tarot, and it will be seen that even the symbolic figures of our playing-cards are very distinctly to be recognised in it.

The four court-cards of each suit make together the full zodiac. When the soul reaches perfection, the oval form becomes a circle, and the nearer this state is approached, the more the two focal points of the ellipse draw together and the inscribed quadrangle approaches to the square.


17:* In a very special way the four-bladed shamrock is considered to convey luck. This evidently means that the luck will be effective or real, practical, when "the Three fall into the Four" according to the old saying in the Stanza's of Dzyan.

General Book of Tarot

Main Library