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Alchemical Stages: Correlations to Major Arcana

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Hemera  Hemera is offline
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Alchemical Stages: Correlations to Major Arcana


I happened to find a very interesting article from an old ATA (American Tarot Association) newsletter from 2003. It is written by Sandra Thomson and itīs called "The Tarot of Alchemy:The Alchemy of Tarot". I wanted to take a look at Ludy Lescot with this article (and Jungian analysis) in mind and here is a summary of what I got:

Prima Materia is the basic material for the alchemical work. It is us. It is the whole of us, both the light and the shadow but it has to be worked on to heal the splits and make it whole. In many decks it is represented by the Fool or the Magician. It depends on the deck and the symbolism it uses. I think in Ludy Lescot it is both the Fool and the Magician. The Fool is maybe the more sinister and childish side which is still immature and a bit unpredictable and contains some of the shadow side as well. The Magician is filled with light but he probably isnīt entirely free of the shadow either. (Is he really as ignorant of all the "hens" giggling behind him as he seems?)

Nigredo The First Phase.
This has a number of sub-steps and they differ in different writings. But the basic idea is to separate the female and male components (by solutio, divisio or separatio) and then reunite them again to a new but more developed entity. This process usually needs to be repeated more than once.
This would be shown in cards from the High Priestess to the Lovers. The male and the female are first separate (2 females: High Priestess and Empress and 2 males, Emperor and Hierophant) and then united in the Lovers with her soulmate and in the Strength with her inner animal for the first time.

Thompson says that the fire for this process comes from the Hierophant. And yes, in Ludy Lescot (LL) there is indeed a fire burning right in front of him!

The product of this union is reduced to ash (calcinatio), killed (mortificatio) and blackened (putreficatio). Candidates for these according to Thomson are the Death, The Hanged Man or Justice.
The Ludy Lescot Hanged Man is a good candidate as he is being lowered and reduced to dust, ashes and bones. Someone is leaving him there to become nothing more than bones.

Albedo /Whitening The Second Phase.
It begins with washing away the black substance (baptisma)and Justice and the Star look like good candidates for this phase. Justice in the lower Majors and Star in the higher Majors, perhaps?
After this the re-blackening takes place again and for that we need fire which can be seen in the Devil and the Tower. In both cards we also have the separation and unification of the male and female but in a different way. Maybe the process has become quicker now so all happens just in one card: In the devil we have got the male, the female, the unifying component (Lilith, the Goddess) and fire and ashes (bones). In the Tower the man and woman are about to be "baptised" in the water!
Thomson says that when the matter returns to white the albedo is complete as white light contains all colors. The Moon and the Judgement are mentioned and sure enough, also in LL they both have big white lights (moon and sun). There is a white light in teh Wheel as well.

The Sun is the fourth white light but it is showing the very end of the Albedo, namely
Citrinitas/Yellowing. Very little is known about this phase except that it generates a lot of heat and is generally a very creative and productive life phase.
It leads to the Third Phase

Rubedo/Reddening. This is the Great Coniunctio, the Royal Marriage and the Alchemical Wedding that finally unites the opposites. This can be seen in the LL World card.

This whole process generally takes a great deal of time. If it is seen as the Jungian process of Individuation it usually takes a lifetime or more.
Tarot mirrors this process just as it mirrors life and it is sometimes referred to as the Foolīs Journey. The Fool always returns to the beginning and starts anew but in a different level than before.

Some tasks of life that Tarot can help us with are: owning oneīs shadow, realizing oneīs uniqueness,awakening to oneīs inner life and realizing the duality within (note: we have been talking about the constant theme of duality that runs throughout this deck!)


Thomson concludes her article saying "If you do the above Tarot work you canīt help but take care of your soul and awaken to its messages"
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Minotauro  Minotauro is offline
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this seems very interesting , and Im guessing it can be aplied to any tarot deck , so is there a link to this newsletter or something or is it a members only kind of thing?
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Hemera  Hemera is offline
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Yes it is interesting and it can be applied to any deck and also to life itself
This article is from 2003 and I donīt know if it is available any longer. I was a member of ATA (American Tarot Association) at that time and it was in their newsletter.

You can find this same information (and more) in many books and websites though.
You can find some interesting links and suggestions in our other threads.

Here is the other Alchemy thread:
http://www.tarotforum.net/showthread.php?t=172684

Here is the Aces thread with more info:
http://www.tarotforum.net/showthread.php?t=165220
See post 13 in this thread. There is a good link.
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Tarotcounseling. wordpress.com ...transformative tarot in a google search


The alchemy and tarot article came up, sorry my phone does not insert links. I can come back later with links if someone else does not add the article links.

If people are also imterested in checking out more resources...

I did see a more in-depth majors discussion on all 22 majors in books that use the Oswald Wirth intheir examples...a modern book from Llewellyn that I picked up had a chapter with a clear summary:

The Path of Alchemy by Mark Stavish.

Of coutse I also have a favorite resource in my Alchemical Tarot items from Robert Place...www.alchemical.egg...

Hope the above is helpful.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Hemera View Post
Yes it is interesting and it can be applied to any deck and also to life itself
This article is from 2003 and I donīt know if it is available any longer. I was a member of ATA (American Tarot Association) at that time and it was in their newsletter.

You can find this same information (and more) in many books and websites though.
You can find some interesting links and suggestions in our other threads.

Here is the other Alchemy thread:
http://www.tarotforum.net/showthread.php?t=172684

Here is the Aces thread with more info:
http://www.tarotforum.net/showthread.php?t=165220
See post 13 in this thread. There is a good link.
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