The Present-day psychology has confirmed the 1 conclusions of Eliphas Levi, Marc Haven and Oswald Wirth that T the Tarot cards comprise an image comparable to that encountered tg in dreams of the path of initiation . At the same time, Jung's view, coinciding with the secular, intuitive approach to the Tarot enigmas, recognizes the portrayal of two different, but complementary, struggles in the life of man: a the struggle against others the solar way which he pursues through his social position and calling; and b against himself the lunar way, involving the process of individuation.
These two ways correspond to reflexion and intuition—to practical reason and pure reason. A person of lunar temperament first creates, then studies and verifies what he already knew; the man of solar temperament studies first and then produces. These two approaches also correspond, up to a point, to the concepts of introversion which is lunar and extraversion which is solar—or to contemplation and action . The complete pack of cards, known by the name of Tarocco, is made up of 22 major enigmas, with images that together comprise a synthesis and, up to a point, an entity; and 56 minor images, incorporating 14 figures in four series: gold—corresponding to the English 'diamonds'— bearing figures of circles, disks and wheels; clubs maces and sceptres; swords 'spades' and goblets 'hearts'.
The gold suit symbolizes the material forces, the club the power of command, the goblet sacrifice, and the sword, discernment and the meting out of justice. The 22 major cards correspond to the letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Included in each of the suits of the minor cards are the King, the Dame Queen, the Knight Horse and the Knave Jack . These suits have been equated with the powers that reign on earth and, in consequence, with the controlling or higher professions, as follows: government with clubs; the military career with spades swords; the priesthood with goblets; intellectual activity with gold —for all forms of treasure are always symbolic of the riches of the spirit and the mind . According to Saunier, the images of the major enigmas derive from the symbolic paintings in the Egyptian Books of Thoth-Hermes, representing the knowledge of the universe .
However, Oswald Wirth, whose interpretations of the symbolism of the Tarot we shall, in the main, follow, points out that archaeology has never unearthed the least trace of anything that might conceivably be an Egyptian, Arabic or Graeco-Arabic Tarot pack. But he indicates that the Cabala must have been well known to the authors of the Tarot, because they fixed the number of major enigmas at 22, which is the same as the number of letters in the Hebrew alphabet, every one of them pregnant with symbolism, and the same, also, as the number of the teraphim, the hieroglyphs used by the Hebrews in divination. Wirth, arguing from the fact that Italy was undeniably the first country to develop playing-cards, maintains that these allegorical images grew up in that country. The earliest representation known to us of the major enigmas dates from 1392. To quote Eliphas Levi: 'The Tarot is a monumental and singular work, simple and strong as the architecture of the pyramids, and, in consequence, as durable; it is a book which is the sum of all the sciences and whose infinite permutations are capable of solving all problems; a book which informs by making one think; it is perhaps the greatest masterpiece of the human mind, and certainly one of the most beautiful things handed down by Antiquity.' The 22 mysteries are
The cards from I to XI comprise the solar way—active, conscious, reflective and autonomous. Cards XII to XXII denote the lunar way—passive, unconscious, intuitive and 'possessed'. we cannot here explain the relationships which can be drawn, or the patterns of meanings which can be derived from these relationships, without going beyond the bounds of strict symbolism; an examination of the particular meaning of each card will be found under its appropriate headings Nevertheless, we will quote the broadest meanings of these 22 enigmas suggested by Eliphas Levi:
- I, The Minstrel;
- II, The Archpriestess;
- III, The Empress;
- IV, The Emperor;
- V, The Archpriest;
- VI, The Lover;
- VII, The Chariot;
- VIII, Justice;
- IX, The Hermit;
- X, The Wheel of Fortune;
- XI, Strength;
- XII, The Hanged Man;
- XIII, Death;
- XIV, Temperance;
- XV, The Devil;
- XVI, The Tower Struck by Lightning;
- XVII, The Stars; XVIII, The Moon;
- XIX, The Sun;
- XX, The Judgement;
- XXI, The World;
- XXII or 0,
- The Fool.
Each of these images comprises a fusion of certain ideas relative to the outer and inner worlds, disposed according to the forms and patterns of the mind. The intention is to create, by means of these images, an order more comprehensive even than that comprising the twelve divisions of the Zodiac, and to design a wheel which would embody all the archetypal potentialities of the existence and evolution of mankind.
- I signifies The Being, the spirit, creation;
- II, sanctuary, the law, knowledge, woman, the mother, the church;
- III, the Word, fecundity, generation in all three worlds;
- IV, the door, initiation, power, the cubic stone or its base;
- V, information, proof, philosophy and religion;
- VI, enmeshment, union, antagonism, equilibrium, combination;
- VII, the weapon, the sword, triumph and majesty;
- VIII, the scales, attraction and repulsion, the path or way, promise and threat;
- IX, good, morality, wisdom; X, manifestation, fecundity, the paternal sceptre;
- XI, the hand in the act of taking and sustaining;
- XII, an example, teaching, a public lesson;
- XIII, domination and strength, rebirth, creation and destruction;
- XIV, the seasons, the flux and flow of life, always different yet always the same;
- XV, magic, eloquence, commerce, mystery;
- XVI, sudden subversion, weakness;
- XVII, effusion of thought, the moral influence of the idea upon forms, immortality;
- XVIII, the Elements, the visible world, reflected light, material forms, symbolism;
- XIX, the head, the summit, the prince of heaven;
- XX, vegetation, the generative virtues of the soil;
- XXI, the senses, the vehicle, the body, transitory life;
- XXII, the microcosm, the sum of All-in-All.
Our aim has been simply to sketch in an idea of how the Tarot pack functions as a symbolic instrument. In order to grasp the full range of its significance, it is necessary to study not only the basic commentaries written upon it but also the cards themselves, observing all the combinations and implications—a field so vast as to constitute a special branch of symbolism as wide-ranging as that of dreams.
Tattooing and ornamentation may be regarded as falling within one generic symbolic group, for both are expressions of cosmic activity. But since tattoos are applied to the body, other important meanings accrue to it—sacrifice, the mystical and magical. E. Gobert, in Notes sur les tatouages des indigenes Tunisiens, suggests that tattooing is connected with the Arabic proverb 'blood has flowed, the danger has passed'. Since sacrifice has the power to store up latent forces which later may be made use of, each sacrifice tends to invert a given situation. A mystic purpose lies at the root of the mark or sign of identification: he who brands himself seeks to display his allegiance to that which is signified by the mark.
Lovers' marks carved on tree-trunks, and initials and heart-shapes pricked out on the skin, are clear illustrations of this. In the last analysis, the attitude of allegiance is reversed: the sign is expected to 'reciprocate' this display of sacrifice and subservience on the part of the individual who has so marked himself; and this is the magic property of the tattoo as a defensive talisman. Apart from these three meanings of the tattoo, ethnologists have noted two others: it may serve as a sign designating sex, tribe and social status v. Robert Lowie's Cultural Anthropology, in which case it is simply a profane version of the mystic symbolism; and, also, as a personal adornment.
This latter purpose seems to us over-simplified, but we cannot go into the matter here. In particular, tattooing is a 'rite of entry' or of initiation which alludes to the turning-points in the span of a man's life and in the development of his personality. Cola has pointed out that some of the most ancient monuments of pre-history, in particular those of Egypt, suggest that tattooing was practised in ancient times, for the priestess of the goddess Hathor displayed three lines on her lower belly.
He also enumerates the principal techniques of tattooing: incision, stitching, wounding by cutting or burning, and pseudo-tattoos or paintings on the face or body in which case the motives are the same although the effect is transitory. Among primitive races, the principal forms of tattoos are as follows: stripes, dots, combinations of both, or numbers expressed through either, chains, knots and rosettes, crosses, stars, triangles, rhombs, circles, combinations of any two or more of these, and also, highly stylized anthropomorphic figures either complete or fragmentary just the limbs, etc. Cola also notes that tattoos have been used in imitative magic. For instance: the tattooed figure of a scorpion is credited with the power of warding off the actual scorpion's sting; and the image of a bull is a guarantee of numerous progeny .
The second sign of the Zodiac expresses the evolutionary force of Aries—that is, the spring-time pugnacity of the ram—in an intensified form. It also denotes the functions of fecundation and creation in both aspects, victorious and sacrificial—related, that is, to the primordial sacrifice; an example of this is the myth of Mithras, 'for out of his body grow all the plants and herbs that adorn the earth with verdure, and from his seed spring all the animal species' Cumont, Les Mysteres de Mithra. This basic idea of the bull as the force which animates forms of all kinds is deeply rooted in a great many myths. At the same time, the fact that the sign of Taurus corresponds to the number two relates it to the principle of duality composed of the masculine Viraj, or Yang and the feminine Vac, or Yin. There is also a morphological relationship between the bull, on account of its head and horns, and the waxing and waning aspects of the moon, which is further evidence of the bull's symbolic function of invigoration, at least in the sublunary sphere. The sign of Taurus governs the throat and voice, and is in turn dominated by Venus .
According to Allendy, teeth are the primigenial weapons of attack, and an expression of activity. Loss of one's teeth, then, signifies fear of castration or of complete failure in life, or inhibition ; it represents an attitude which is the inversion of that of the Primitive, who, according to the findings of anthropology, commonly adorned himself with the teeth and claws of conquered animals. Some interpretations underline the significance of teeth in respect of the sexual aspect of energy. But of greater importance is the Gnostic concept—for which we are indebted to Leisegang's Die Gnosis—in which the teeth constitute the battlements, the wall and the fortifications of the inner man, from the material or energetic point of view, just as the eyes and the glance are the defence of the spirit. This explains the negative symbolism of the loss or fracture of the teeth.
The fourteenth enigma of the Tarot pack, this card contains the image of a winged being, clad in a red tunic and a cloak with a lining of greenish-blue, who is pouring water out of a silver vessel into a golden one. In itself, this hermaphroditic—or gynandrous—figure has a favourable significance, since it is expressive of the coniunctio oppositorum. The act of pouring denotes the transformation of water as it passes from the lunar order of silver to the solar order of gold, that is, from the world of transient forms and of feeling to the world of fixed forms and of reason; the water here is that of the 'Upper Ocean'—or vital fluid. This
enigma suggests universal life, and ceaseless circulation through formation, regeneration and purification .
The word 'temple' derives from the root tem—'to divide'. Etruscan soothsayers made a division of the heavens by means of two straight lines intersecting at a point directly above the head, the point of intersection being a projection of the notion of the 'Centre', and the lines representing the two 'directions' of the plane; the north-south line was called cardo and the east-west decumanus. Phenomena were interpreted according to their situation within this division of space. Hence, the earthly temple is seen as an image of the celestial temple and its basic structure is determined by considerations of order and orientation . The temple affords al
particular and additional meaning to the generic symbolism of architectonic structures. Broadly speaking, it is the mystic signify cance of the 'Centre' which prevails; the temple and, in particular,'it the altar, being identified with the symbol of the mountain-top as the focal point of the intersection of the two worlds of heaven and earth.
Solomon's temple, according to Philo and Flavius Josephus, was a figurative representation of the cosmos, and its interior was. .
disposed accordingly: the incense table signified thanksgiving; the seven-branched candelabra stood for the seven planetary heavens the holy table represented the terrestrial order. In addition to this, the twelve loaves of bread corresponded to the twelve months of the year. The Ark of the Covenant symbolizes the intelligibles Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance architects, each in their own way, sought to imitate this superior archetype. For example,
between 1596 and 1604, imaginary reconstructions of the Temple of; Solomon appeared in various works published in Rome and based upon holy writ, and the illustrations they contained deeply influenced the architects of the period.
Another fundamental significance of the temple derives from its being a synthesis of the various symbols for the world-axis, such as the hollow mountain, steps and the sacrificial mountain-peak mentioned above. In certain
astrobiological cultures the temple or altar is in fact built upon an artificial mountain—the teocalli of Mexico is an example. A more. advanced concept can be seen in the architectural portrayal of those essential elements of the inner pattern of the universe founded upon the numbers three, seven, ten and twelve in particular. Seven is basic to the representation of the planets and their derived symbolisms, and hence the Mesopotamian temple-mountains—or
ziggurats—were constructed after the fashion of a seven-terraced pyramid. Each of the terraces was dedicate to a particular planet.
The Babylonian ziggurat known as Etemenanki 'the house of the seven directions of heaven and earth' was built of crude bricks overlaid with others that had been fired. A tablet in the Louvre records that in plan it measured 2,200 feet long by 1,200 wide. The first level was black in colour and dedicated to Saturn, the second orange-coloured and sacred to Jupiter, the third red and consecrated to Mars, the fourth golden and sacred to the Sun, the fifth yellow to Venus, the sixth blue to Mercury, the seventh silver to the Moon . This order is not always observed, for sometimes the Moon is situated in the sixth heaven and the Sun in the seventh
Berthelot, however, suggests that the ziggurat not only embraces the mystic aspects of the Mountain and the Centre by virtue of its mass and situation and of Steps because of its shape, but also constitutes an image of paradise, since vegetation appears to flourish on its terraces .
The origins of this type of structure are Sumerian , and examples are to be found in Egypt, India, China and pre-Columbian America. Eliade, in confirming this, adds that the climb to the top of the Mesopotamian or of the Hindu temple mountain was equivalent to an ecstatic journey to the 'Centre' of the world; once the traveller has reached the topmost terrace, he
breaks free from the laws of level, transcends profane space and enters a region of purity . It is hardly necessary to observe that climbing mountains implies ultimately the same mystic tendency, as can be seen in the fact that mountain heights are the chosen abode of the recluse. And the favourable symbolic significance of the goat derives solely from his predilection for heights. Another important example of the temple-mountain, a product of Hindu culture, comes from Indo-China—the temple of Borobudur built in the centre of the island of Java in the 8th century of our era. Basically it consists of four levels of square-shaped galleries, with four more circular platforms on top surmounted by an enclosed belvedere.
In form, then, it is similar to the Egyptian ziggurat, or, in the Khmer language, a Phnom, signifying a temple-mountain comparable with Meru, the Hindu Olympus. Four flights of steps up the centre of each pyramid face lead directly from the base to the top. It would appear that the profoundest meaning attached to this temple is of a supernatural character. Its name—Borobudur—signifies 'the seat of secret revelation'. All graduated edifices such as steps concern the symbolism of discontinuous spiritual evolution, that is, the separate but progressive stages of evolution . At the same time, the groundplan of the Borobudur temple is diagrammatically a true yantra, and its various square and round-shaped levels constitute a mandala related to the symbolism of 'squaring the circle' .
The symbolic structure of the Greek temple is fundamentally the same as that of the lake-dwelling: that is, it symbolizes the intercommunication between the Three Worlds—the Lower represented by the water and the piles on the one hand and earth and the subterranean part on the other, the Terrestrial the base and columns and the Upper suggested by the pediment. Christian cathedrals are related less to the macrocosm than to the microcosm, the human figure being depicted in terms of the apse representing the head, the cross and transepts the arms, the nave and side aisles the body and the altar the heart. In the Gothic temple, the upward sweep, the vital role of the vertical axis—and indeed the structure as a whole—embrace the idea of the temple-mountain with its implied synthesis of the symbolism of both macrocosm and microcosm. According to Schneider, the two towers usually placed at the western face correspond to the twin-peaked 'mountain of Mars' in primitive megalithic cultures and linked with the Gemini myth, while the cimborrio over the transept is expressive of a higher synthesis, an image of heaven.
In the Egyptian system.of hieroglyphs this is a determinative sign relating to that division of the soul which is known as 'body of glory' and which surrounds the spirit like a tent . Deriving from this hieroglyph is the broad symbolic meaning of the tent as something which 'envelops'. In our view, this symbolism is closely connected with the symbolisms of weaving and of clothes. For the Greeks, the physical world—and space itself—were 'the vestments of the gods', or, in other words, comparable with the tent as something which envelops and hides them from sight. To tear aside the temple-veil, or to rend one's garments, represents a desperate attempt to achieve, by force of analogy, the tearing aside of the veil that enshrouds the mystery of the other world. Berthelot suggests two other symbolic meanings of the tent: one related to its function as a nomadic dwelling, and the other arising from the mystic significance of the desert .