Monday, December 8, 2008

Tarot Court Cards

I'm still reading Learning the Tarot: A Tarot Book for Beginners by Joan Bunning. I understand the court cards a lot better now after reading this lesson.

The traditional attribution of the court cards is as follows: the Page represents earth, the Knight air, the Queen water, and the King fire. This didn't make much sense to me given that the four suits have similar attributions. But what makes more sense, and I think Ms. Bunning was trying to get at this, is that the Page, Knight, Queen and King actually correspond to the four worlds of qabalah. The four worlds are typically explained in terms of the manifestation of things and events, but in this case, they refer to evolution, specifically our evolution. In other words, recovery from materialism.

Under this interpretation, the page represents the starting point: the realization of the need for recovery and the initial efforts. The knight represents the initial exploration of the element given. The queen represents embodiment of the principles represented by the element, and the king represents mastery. The elements are as follows: pentacles represent the body and the material world, swords represent the intellect, cups represent the emotions and wands represent spirit and creativity.

If we can combine in ourselves the qualities of the king of each suit, we'll be well on the way to recovery. I don't know how to do this yet, but I have reason to believe that I'll find out.

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