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Join Date: 05 Aug 2001
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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jmd 

Even taking kwaw's arrangement and virtue attributions, there is no presumption that those virtues of Wisdom, for example, need be below that of, again for example, Strength.

A similar 'ladder' may also arise, in the same pattern, by starting the sequence like:
1 2 3
4 5 6
etc...

Personally, I consider that placing cards in such sequences very useful for seeing various relations.

In threes (as kwaw has here done), as well as in twos, fours, fives, sixes, sevens, eights, nines, tens and elevens.

With these, the additional question then also comes as to which appear to have greater internal merit. For myself, I find that the threes, fives, and tens have the best 'fit' (the tens essentially pairs the cards, except for XXI, which forms a triple with I & XI).

But going also to the cards, as suggested by the title of this thread, as a ladder of virtues (rather than just looking at the suggested trippling), another suggestion is the one I personally regularly use - with the seven traditional virtues mentioned.

For this, first the cards are paired by sequencing them in rows of ten, with the final two cards (XXI and the Fou) together.

As pairs, I then place them upon my personal preferred version of the Tree of Life, and the Virtues then emerge quite readily:

XXI/Fou

XVIII/VIII-----------------------XVIIII/VIIII
Justice--------------------------Wisdom
____________________________
XX/X
_________[Knowledge]________

XVII/VII-------------------XVI/VI
Hope----------------Love/Caritas

XV/V
Faith
____________________________
XIIII/IIII-------------------XIII/III
Temperance-----[no trad. virtue]

XII/II
[no trad. virtue]
____________________________
XI/I
Strength
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