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DW 78: The Cards as a Sequence, Chapter 2

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Quote:
Originally posted by Trogon
Actually Jewel... I had kind of gathered from the book that this was kind of what the excercise was about. Looking downward across these 3 rows of 7 cards to see how each verticle line relates. At least that was how Ms. Pollack had us look at the beginning of each row of 7.

This was a great excercise though in any case and has spawned some very good discussion of the Major Arcana and how they relate to one another. Even though I focused on the verticle lines, while I was studying them, I "got" the horizontal relationships as well.
Hi Torgon! I think you are right in that she wanted us to look at both the vertical and horizontal relationships. I got much more out of the vertical relationships than I did the horizontal ones although they did make sense.

I also agree that when working through 78D great discussions emerge around specific decks and cards. I will probably study any deck I want to explore against this book to get to know its symbolism and understand it. The comparison process is a very effective learning method for me.

I've been in a real crunch for time lately and really miss working on this
Top   #21
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Thanks Holmes!

Found it! Gonna *bump* it up ,so the others could see and join us too!!
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I found it interesting in reading these posts that many columns are describes as A is moving forward in alpha way on the phisical plane while B is forward on the subconcious and c forward on the super-concious. Yet most described the fifth column kind of inverted with B the Hanged Man moving backwards on the unconcious level. I hope that made sense.
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Quote:
Originally posted by juice
I found it interesting in reading these posts that many columns are describes as A is moving forward in alpha way on the phisical plane while B is forward on the subconcious and c forward on the super-concious. Yet most described the fifth column kind of inverted with B the Hanged Man moving backwards on the unconcious level. I hope that made sense.
Interesting thought, juice. Though my personal take on this (originally) was more a moving forward from the strictures of The Heirophant, through the new outlook of The Hanged Man, to the spiritual, child-like joy of The Sun. I believe I can vaguely see your point. Perhaps you could elaborate a little bit more?
Top   #24
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I picked up Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom yesterday as a little Yule gift for myself. I've finished Chapter One and Two so far. I didn't really have anything to add to the posts so far on Chapter One, but I do have some ideas for Chapter 2. I'd like to note that I am using the Robin Wood Tarot. I haven't worked with it much yet, and I don't have Ms. Wood's book.

First, I took a look at the Majors split into two groups. Ms. Pollack only really mentions this division in passing, but I thought it was interesting. I paired the cards as columns. I saw some correlation between the pairs.
- Magician & Justice - merging of the elements and their balance
- High Priestess & Hanged Man - hidden wisdom
- Empress & Death - fertility and rebirth
- Emperor & Temperance - security
- Hierophant & Devil - bondage (either to old traditions or material items)
- Lovers & Tower - relationships, either good or bad
- Chariot & Star - hope
- Strength & Moon - courage, conviction
- Hermit & Sun - search and its successful outcome
- Wheel of Fortune & Judgement - Change

That leaves The Fool and The World, but that was covered in Chapter One.

I noticed a few people switched Strength and Justice, and in these pairings I can see Strength paired with the Magician. However, the pairing of Justice and the Moon doesn't seem right to me.

One to the three rows of seven cards!
- Magician through Chariot => Consciousness
- begins with learning how to use our skills and talents, and moving on to examine the hidden areas of our personality and the authority we have over others and they have over us
- we then develop a need/desire for spiritual and romantic fulfillment
- then come to a point where we believe we are victorious, but are we really?

- Strength through Temperance => Subconscious
- we develop the strength & courage to realise there is more, so we withdraw into a search
- there are many ups and downs on this path, but soon we find a balanced way and then make some sacrifice to obtain the wisdom/knowledge we desire => leads to a rebirth and discovery of our true self

- Devil through World => Superconscious
- we can often enter a dark period if we continue our spiritual search because of the difficulty we may feel in relationships with people who have not or are not embarking on such a journey
- sooner or later, we find a ray of hope, and through a desire for safety and security (for our mental well being and the well being of our relationships) we learn to deal with these issues
- this opens up a new lightness of spirit and a spiritual understanding which will (hopefully) ultimately end in a joining with the divine


This series of three paths seems to me very spiral-like. In each path, similar challenges are encountered, but each time we are at a different level.
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To continue, I also examined the cards as seven columns of three.

- Magician, Strength, Devil -- Power
- we first learn the extent of our power/skills
- then we learn to temper our use of these powers with compassion and courage
- finally, we learn to move beyond the limitations the powers set on us, or that we have set because of them

- High Priestess, Hermit, Tower -- Introspection
- first comes a search for inner wisdom using outside sources (books, other people, etc.)
- then comes the time when we withdraw to search within ourselves
- then the Tower shows the shattering effects of discovering what in truly within

- Empress, Wheel of Fortune, The Star -- Creation
- we start by realising our creative powers
- but we tread a difficult, and often rewarding path to create
- and when our project it finally birthed, we discovery a great feeling of hope and contentment

- Emperor, Justice, Moon -- Rulers
- first is the recognition of societies basic structure, mores, and norms
- then we discover the justice and balance in the world
- then comes the recognition of nature's rulership over us (the Moon rules the tides, etc.)

- Hierophant, Hanged Man, Sun -- Spirituality
- first comes our search for spirituality through organised religion and established traditions
- then we enter a solitary quest
- and finally (hopefully! ) we find the light of spiritual enlightenment

- Lovers, Death, Judgement -- Love
- there is our first experience with love
- which often ends in sadness, but leads to a rebirth
- and this leads us either to our soul mate, or a discovery of spiritual love (I'm a romantic at heart!)

- Chariot, Temperance, The World -- Realisation
- begins with the realisation of our own role in the world, our destiny/lessons/whatever
- next comes the realisation of harmony and how to combine different aspects of ourself and the world to achieve balance
- finally comes the World, the realisation that everything is i connected, each part of the a whole


This was a really interesting exercise. I'm not sure that I have ever looked at the cards in this way.
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Quote:
Originally posted by Silverlotus
This was a really interesting exercise. I'm not sure that I have ever looked at the cards in this way.
I do agree - and have Ms. Pollack's book Oddly enough this very afternoon, I was looking at the trumps grouped in three rows of seven. Fwiw, I had also been studying the piece(s) on: http://www.tarothermit.com/ordering2.htm There are (imo) interesting echos of all KINDS of (deliberate?) symmetries. I was particularly intrigued by the recurrence of (quoting from the website):

"In the Marseilles ordering, though, there is another pattern which supports this placement of Temperance: the Christian virtues are placed three apart (8 Justice, 11 Fortitude, 14 Temperance). If the pattern of threes is extended backwards, it picks up other Christian icons (5 Pope and 2 Papess). If it is extended forward, it finds the Star and the Angel."

And more besides? Even switching the 8 and 11 from the Marseille ordering preserves THAT idea at least! But I really find the notion of arrangement into columns is also useful, in breaking the arcana into managable chunks, especially for the memory challenged like me.

Not a lot else to offer, merely thanks for underlining a useful and interesting aspect to study. IF the originators of Tarot were capable of incorporating Seven (and Four-fold, and other?) symmetries, it must have taken a lot of sophisticated thinking

Anything else on VERTICAL association would indeed be interesting...

Mac
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The Steele Sermon Sequence


All the interpretations I've read here and elsewhere of the trumps as a unified sequence depend for the most part on the Marseilles ordering of the cards, which has certainly become the "official" sequence. Complications arose after 1900 when the Golden Dawn altered the Marseilles sequence by switiching the places of Justice and Strength, as several posters alluded to here. That debate still continues; the sequence of the remaining 20 cards is not generally argued.

However, it might be worthwhile to remember that there were numerous trump orders prior to establishment of the Marseilles sequence as the "right" one. One of the more common is laid out in the Steele Sermon, that famous anti-tarot diatribe preached by an anonymous Franciscan priest sometime between 1450 and 1480, and published in a book of sermons about 1500.

The order of the 21 trumps, as the priest enumerated them are: 1) El Bagatella, 2) Imperatrix, 3) Imperator, 4) La Papessa, 5) El Papa, 6) La Temperentia, 7) L'Amore, 8) Le Caro Trimphale, 9) La Forteza, 10) La Rotta (wheel), 11) El Gobbo (hunchback), 12)) Lo Impichato (traitor), 13) Morte, 14) El Diavolo, 15) La Sagitta (arrow), 16) La Stella, 17) La Luna, 18) El Sole, 19) Lo Angelo (angel), 20) La Iusticia, 21) El Mondo. He also names an un-numbered card, "El Matto sine Nulla" (the madman who means nothing), whom we know as the Fool.

The trumps are all basically the same ones we know and love, but the oder is substantially altered. Laying these 21 out in triads of seven yields significantly different meanings than doing so with more modern sequences.
Top   #28
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Shining Tribe


I used Shining Tribe for this exercise. It is Rachel Pollack's most recent deck, and she has made significant changes.

Hierophant has become Tradition
Wheel of Forune has become Spiral of Fortune
Hanged Man is now Hanged Woman
Judgement is now Awakening
The World is now World - Shining Woman

The Minor Arcana has changed as well but I won't go into detail about that now.

This deck is unusual in that you could attribute traditional meanings to the cards or you could learn completely new meanings. Each card is replete with symbolism from other cultures and other times. The deck could stand on its own terms in some ways but I think it works better if you have a background in traditional tarot. The traditional meanings still form foundation, I think.

The interpretations Rachel Pollck gives are gentle and insightful, based on a blend of the new imagery with its own meanings and traditional tarot. Knowing the latter makes the experience much richer but the other way could stand on its own. Doing it the latter way possibly makes the deck into an oracle. One of the reasons I love this deck is the change. The historical and cultural material makes the deck original and fresh.

Reading the columns across I can still get a strong feel of the Fool's journey as a narrative. There is more a thematic sense when reading the vertical columns of seven threes. I get a lot reading it either way. A few weeks ago I began to see groups of cards instead of individual entities and this has changed a lot of what I understand about reading tarot.

To get the most out of this deck you would need to learn new meanings. Reading simply intuitively without the background might be difficult.

78 DW was written in the late 80's I think. It is an extraordinary book but Pollack has also come quite a long way since then. It is interesting to observe her progression since then.

Thanks for sharing,

Moongold
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THAT's exactly it Dave. It depends rather crucially on ONE ordering of the major Arcana. Even introducing one card into the sequence would change the vertical associations rather a lot - Simply everything "slips" Certainly this arrangement of Pollack is convenient - And table sized!

Then I do wonder - Was the Marseille DESIGNED with a "seven-fold" symmetry in mind? (As ever) Who knows? Some of this seems reasonably compelling... and perhaps SELF consistent?

Mac
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