ILLUSTRATED KEY TO THE TAROT.
THE LESSER ARCANA
Otherwise, the Four Suits of Tarot Cards, will now be described according to their respective classes by the pictures to
each belonging, and a harmony of their meanings will be provided from all sources.
Such are the intimations of the Lesser Arcana in respect of divinatory art, the veridic nature of which seems to depend on an alternative that it may be serviceable to express briefly. The records of the art are ex hypothesi the records of findings in the past based upon experience ; as such, they are a guide to memory, and those who can master the elements may—still ex hyphothesi —give interpretations on their basis. It is an official and automatic working. On the other hand, those who have gifts of intuition, of second sight, of clairvoyance—call it as we choose and may—will supplement the experience of the past by the findings of their own faculty, and will speak of that which they have seen in the pretexts of the oracles. It remains to give, also briefly, the divinatory significance allocated by the same art to the
King of Wands
He is shown as if upon a journey, armed with a short wand, and although mailed is not on a
warlike errand. He is passing mounds or pyramids. The motion of the horse is a key to the
character of its rider, and suggests the precipitate mood, or things connected therewith.
Divinatory Meanings: Departure, absence, flight, emigration. A dark young man, friendly.
Change of residence.
Reversed: Rupture, division, interruption, discord.
Page of Wands
In a scene similar lo the former, a )oung- man stands in the act of proclamation. He is unknown
but faithful, and his tidings are
Divinatory Meanings: Dark young man, faithful, a lover, an envoy, a postman. Beside a man, he
will bear favorable testimony concerning him. A dangerous rival, if followed by the Page of Cups.
Has the chief qualities of his suit. He may signify family intelligence.
Reversed: Anecdotes, announcements, evil news. Also indecision and the instability which
A man oppressed by the weight of the ten staves which he is carrying.
Divinatory Meanings: A card of many significances, and some of the readings cannot be
harmonized. I set aside that which connects it with honor and good faith. The chief meaning is
oppression simply, but it is also fortune, gain, any kind of success, and then it is the oppression of
these things. It is also a card of false-seeming, disguise, perfidy. The place which the figure is
approaching may suffer from the rods that he carries. Success is stultified if the Nine of Swords
follows, and if it is a question of a lawsuit, there will be certain loss.
Reversed: Contrarieties, difficulties, intrigues, and their analogies.
The figure leans upon his staff and has an expectant look, as if awaiting an enemy. Behind are
eight other staves—erect, in orderly disposition, like a palisade.
Divinalory Meanings: The card signifies strength in opposition. H attacked, the person will
meet an onslaught boldly; and his build shows that he may prove a formidable antagonist.
With this main significance there are all its possible adjuncts—delay, suspension, adjournment.
Reversed: Obstacles, adversity, calamity.
The card represents motion through the immovable—a flight of wands through an open
country; but they draw to the term of their course. That which they signifiy is at hand; it may
be even on the threshold.
Divinatory Meanings: Activity in undertakings, the path of such activity, swiftness, as that of
an express messenger; great haste, great hope, speed towards an end which promises assured
felicity; generally, that which is on the move; also the arrows of love.
Reversed: Arrows of jealousy, internal dispute, stingings of conscience, quarrels; and domestic
disputes for persons who are married.
A young man on a craggy eminence brandishing a staff ; six other staves are raised towards
him from below.
DivinatoryMeanings: It is a card of valor, for, on the surface, six are attacking one, who has,
however, the vantage position. On the intellectual plane, it signifies discussion, wordy strife; in
business—negotiations, war of trade, barter, competition. It is further acard of success, for the
combatant is on the top and his enemiesmay be unable to reach him.
Reversed: Perplexity, embarrassments,anxiety. It is also a caution against indecision.
A laurelled horseman bears one staff adorned with a laurel crown; footmen with staves are at
Divinatory Meanings: The card has been so designed that it can cover several significations;
on the surface, it is a victor triumphing, but it is also great news, such as might be carried in
state by the King's courier; it is expectation crowned with its own desire, the crown of hope, and
Reversed: Apprehension, fear, as of a victorious enemy at the gate; treachery, disloyalty, as of,
gates being opened to the enemy; also indefinite delay.
A posse of youths, who arc brandishing staves, as if in sport or strife. It is mimic warfare, and
hereto correspond the
Divinatory Meanings: Imitation, as, for example, sham tight, but also the strenuous competition
and struggle of the search after riches and fortune. In this sense it connects with the battle of life.
Hence some attributions say that it is a card of gold. gain, opulence.
Reversed: Litigation, disputes, trickery, contradiction.
From the four great staves planted in the foreground there Is a great garland suspended ; two
female figures uplift nosegays; at their side is a bridge over a moat, leading to an old manorial
Divinatory Meanings: They are for once almost on the surface—country life, haven of refuge, a
species of domestic harvest-home, repose, concord, harmony, prosperity, peace, and the
perfected work of these.
Reversed: The meaning remains unaltered; it is prosperity, increase, felicity, beauty,
A calm, stately personage, with his back turned, looking from a cliff's edge at ships passing
over the sea. Three staves are planted in the ground, and he leans slightly on one of them.
Divinatory Meanings: He symbolizes established strength, enterprise, effort, trade, commerce,
discovery; those are his ships, bearing his merchandise, which are sailing over the sea. The
card also signifies able co-operation in business, as if the successful merchant prince were
looking from his side towards yours with a view to help you.
Reversed: The end of troubles, suspension or cessation of adversity, toil and disappointment.
A tall man looks from a battlemented roof over sea and shore; he holds a globe in his right hand,
while a staff in his left rests onthe battlement; another is fixed in a ring. The Rose and Cross
and Lily should be noticed on the left side.
Divinatory Meanings: Between the alternative readings there is no marriage possible;on the
one hand, riches, fortune, magnificence; on theother, physical suft"ering, disease, chagrin,
sadness, mortification. The design gives one suggestion; here is a lord overlooking his
dominion and alternately contemplating a globe; it looks like the malady, the mortification, the
sadness of Alexander amidst the grandeur of this world's wealth.
Reversed: Surprise, wonder, enchantment, emotion, trouble, fear.
A hand issuing from a cloud grasps a stout wand or club.
Divinatory Meanings: Creation, invention, enterprise, the powers which result in these;
principle, beginning, source; birth, family, origin, and in a sense the virility which is behind
them; the starting point of enterprises; according to another account, money, fortune,
Reversed: Fall, decadence, ruin, perdition, to perish ; also a certain clouded joy.