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EPIPHANY! A New Take on the Major Arcana

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dangerdork  dangerdork is offline
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Thanks y'all for posting, I'm still quite excited about this. I have limited time to post, so I'll try to address everything I can, but I may need to post some now and some later.

First off, a small change to the layout. This just feels better to me:

xx - xx - 03 - 06 - 09 - 12 - 15 - 18 - 21
00 - xx - 02 - 05 - 08 - 11 - 14 - 17 - 20
xx - xx - 01 - 04 - 07 - 10 - 13 - 16 - 19


This has the row closest to you as the "events" path, then the "character qualities" path and then the "mystic" path ... this gives me more of a sense of ascending into higher realms as the paths are further "up" in orientation on the table in front of you.

elvenstar, I was originally thinking of the "Origins" position as kind of a vague "where you're coming from." The Magician - you're coming from a position of making your will manifest in the material world; The HP = You're coming from a place of valuing secret knowledge, of quiet wisdom and intuition. The Empress - well, this is the one I have struggled with. So my thinking has kind of gone along these lines: It seems like the Priestess is the one who would BE Isis or Artemis or The Goddess; but let's remember - the Priestess is the Priestess OF The Goddess and not the Goddess herself... That role is reserved for the Empress.

'But what the heck does that mean, dangerdork?' I hear you asking. Well, I'm making this up as I go along, so bear with me and it may eventually make sense. So if the Magician is the source of Material Power and the origin of the worldly path, and the HP the source of wisdom, and character, and the origin of the spiritual path, let's say the Empress, the Goddess, in her most ancient and primal role is the origin of the greatest mystery of all - life itself.

Here's another spin - the card in the first column is the nascent version of the Seeker - the embryonic version. In other words, at the beginning of your path you are a Baby Magician, a Baby High Priestess, a Baby Empress, who must progress through the five stations between you and your ultimate destiny, and that destiny loops around to swallow its tail.

For instance, the Baby Magician must progress through his Inspiration the Emperor, his Power the Chariot, His Turning Point the Wheel, His Transformation Death, and his Epiphany the Tower before achieving his Goal The Sun (Enlightenment), THROUGH WHICH he becomes... the magician.

This perspective seems to make sense as a path for the Empress as well as the Magician and HP.

One other twist - what if we look at the first two paths as INWARD directed and the third as OUTWARD directed - in other words, Path one is about the events and circumstances of MY life and Path Two is about MY character and personal psychological development - so couldn't the Third path indeed be about Love? (As noted by skysteel)

This path is ruled after all by The Empress and The Lovers... that seems pretty obvious... so, as opposed to the first two paths (which are about me me me), the third path is about our relationships with OTHERS.

Need to leave for a bit; much more to come that I just don't have time this second to write down.
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dangerdork  dangerdork is offline
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So more and more, I'm seeing the Three Paths not necessarily as three alternative routes for three types of people, but as the development of different aspects of the SAME person. Your intellectual development, social development and spiritual development, for instance. Or the Rebel / Soldier / Priest as different aspects of your personality.

I think the three groups of cards, and even the seven "stations" I have proposed for the paths, stand strong and seem very coherent. It's not a matter, I don't think, of imposing twisted logic on certain cards to get them to fit the pattern. The pattern, at least to me, is very strongly apparent. It's more a matter of explaining, describing and interpreting the pattern that we have discovered here.

Another thing I didn't mention earlier is the wonderful symmetry I found once I had labeled the "stations" - using the middle column, the "Turning Point," as a fulcrum, compare the first and last stations, the second and second to last, etc, and we get three pairs:

Your Origin / Your Goal
Your Inspiration / Your Epiphany
Your Power / Your Transformation

Each of those pairs, to me, has a beautiful balanced polarity, and throughout the three paths yields provocative and very relevant pairs of Trumps to compare and contrast.

As far as Numerology and Astrology go, I'm not particularly well-versed in either topic and don't ascribe to them as primary interpretive methods. I've read a lot on both topics over the years, but it tends to go in one ear and out the other. If people are using Arrien Soul Cards to find significators and then placing themselves on one of the paths here, then I'm curious to hear how that works out.

Continued soon.
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Thanks for taking the time to answer my question! Baby magician I like that. When reading your post and after I also thought it makes a lot more sense to think of the three paths as parallels, different aspects of our lives, e.g. even the most enlightened or crazed mystic has to occasionally eat, sleep or interact with other people, even the most hard-core materialist has feelings and a spiritual nature... But it could well be that different people put more weight on one or the other path, or that we shift our focus and work on different 'rows' at different times in our lives.

Funny how you assign inward/outward, as I've been thinking it sort of the other way round. First has the focus outside, the world, things, events, 'me affecting the world'. The second has a bit to do with other people but also a lot of inner personal stuff, morals, beliefs, 'the world affecting me'. Whereas in the third all of these lose their meaning, boundaries dissolve, in and out melt into each other to make a whole, 'me and the world are the same thing'.

The whole Fool's journey thing and different systems of correlating the Majors haven't really clicked for me so far, but I like your idea and am keen to try the spread only with majors, when I find the time I may head over to the exchange and look for some victims!
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dangerdork  dangerdork is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elvenstar
Funny how you assign inward/outward, as I've been thinking it sort of the other way round. First has the focus outside, the world, things, events, 'me affecting the world'. The second has a bit to do with other people but also a lot of inner personal stuff, morals, beliefs, 'the world affecting me'. Whereas in the third all of these lose their meaning, boundaries dissolve, in and out melt into each other to make a whole, 'me and the world are the same thing'.
I think we're describing the same thing

The person on the first two paths perceives everything on the "Outside" in terms of how they effect ME; only through the mystic path, through an Eastern sense of transcendence does the Seeker attain a perspective where "Me" becomes "We," the World is Nirvana, where as you so poetically put it, "in and out melt into each other to make a whole."
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dangerdork  dangerdork is offline
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A Spread based on this perspective


I was playing around with the idea of doing readings from this perspective, and came up with the following:

Take the Majors only, pull the Fool, and turn it facing the other direction from the rest of the cards (i.e. so when they are dealt out face down, the Fool will be face up.)

Have the Querent shuffle thoroughly. Deal seven cards face down from the top of the pack and place them on the bottom (this represents one "Path Cycle" and allows for a more random chance that the Fool will fall on top).

Now lay out the cards, FACE DOWN, in the grid:

xx - xx - 03 - 06 - 09 - 12 - 15 - 18 - 21 (The Hidden Path)
00 - xx - 02 - 05 - 08 - 11 - 14 - 17 - 20 (The Inner Path)
xx - xx - 01 - 04 - 07 - 10 - 13 - 16 - 19 (The Outer Path)


you will see the Fool face up in the spread. If the Fool falls in his "home" 00 position - the Querent may PICK one Path of the three to be read.

Otherwise, turn up the 00 position card and SWITCH that card with The Fool. This Card is the "Situation Card".

The Outer Path is the Querent's ENVIRONMENT and EVENTS in their lives - the Material World.
The Inner Path are the LESSONS and REACTIONS to the Outer Path - the Psychological World.
The Hidden Path is the spiritual ramificatons and deeper meaning of the Outer and Inner Paths - The Eternal World.

The Stations (columns) will be as described before:

Your Origin - Your Inspiration - Your Power - The Turning Point - Your Transformation - Your Epiphany - Your Goal.


The FOOL will fall on one of the three Paths and signify a Journey in the Querent's life that the spread is describing.

If the FOOL falls into the first or last column, the Querent is at the beginning or end of some type of Journey within their life, and we will examine all the cards along that path. DISCARD the cards on the other paths, and turn up just the cards in the Row where the FOOL appeared. For instance, if the Fool falls in position 19 and TEMPERANCE fell in position 00, we would discard the Hidden Path and Inner Path cards, swap 00 position card TEMPERANCE with the FOOL and read:

01 - 04 - 07 - 10 - 13 - 16 - 19 with Temperance in Position 19

So this reading would describe a Journey in the Querent's Outer Path (Real World events) where the Goal (or Outcome) is Temperance.

If the FOOL falls somewhere ALONG the three paths... we will examine the spread in a different way. We will want to look at the factors in the OTHER TWO Paths that have been influences PRIOR to the Querent's current Station, and factors YET TO COME in the Fool's PRIMARY Path, FOLLOWING the current Station.

In other words, we will look at the Row where the FOOL has fallen, and turn over the cards to the LEFT of the FOOL in THE OTHER TWO ROWS; and the cards to the RIGHT of the FOOL in THE SAME ROW as the FOOL. So if the FOOL falls in Position 11, we would turn UP the cards in the following positions (and discard the rest unturned):

xx - xx - 03 - 06 - 09 - xx - xx - xx - xx (The Hidden Path)
00 - xx - xx - xx - xx - 11 - 14 - 17 - 20 (The Inner Path)
xx - xx - 01 - 04 - 07 - xx - xx - xx - xx (The Outer Path)

We again swap the card from the FOOL's home position (Temperance in the first example) and read the cards:


01 - The Origin of the Situation in the Outer Path
03 - The Origin of the Situation in the Hidden Path
04 - The Inspiration of the Situation in the Outer Path
06 - The Inspiration of the Situation in the Hidden Path
07 - Your Power in the Situation in the Outer Path
09 - Your Power in the Situation in the Hidden Path
11 - THE TURNING POINT (YOU ARE HERE, and your Turning Point on the Psychological Path is TEMPERANCE)
14 - Your Transformation on the Inner Path
17 - Your Epiphany on the Inner Path
20 - Your Goal on the Inner Path.

I hope this makes sense and would be grateful for your questions and comments.
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dangerdork,

I'm loving your exploration of this idea and I think the spread you've developed is fantastic, but some things don't make sense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dangerdork
I was playing around with the idea of doing readings from this perspective, and came up with the following:

Take the Majors only, pull the Fool, and turn it facing the other direction from the rest of the cards (i.e. so when they are dealt out face down, the Fool will be face up.)

Have the Querent shuffle thoroughly. Deal seven cards face down from the top of the pack and place them on the bottom (this represents one "Path Cycle" and allows for a more random chance that the Fool will fall on top).
Are you saying to take the top 7 cards and place them on the bottom of the deck? So that card 1 from the top of the deck becomes card 22 on the bottom, card 2 becomes card 21, etc?

Quote:
Now lay out the cards, FACE DOWN, in the grid:

xx - xx - 03 - 06 - 09 - 12 - 15 - 18 - 21 (The Hidden Path)
00 - xx - 02 - 05 - 08 - 11 - 14 - 17 - 20 (The Inner Path)
xx - xx - 01 - 04 - 07 - 10 - 13 - 16 - 19 (The Outer Path)


you will see the Fool face up in the spread. If the Fool falls in his "home" 00 position - the Querent may PICK one Path of the three to be read.

Otherwise, turn up the 00 position card and SWITCH that card with The Fool. This Card is the "Situation Card".

{snip}

The FOOL will fall on one of the three Paths and signify a Journey in the Querent's life that the spread is describing.
If the Fool fell in a position other than 00, according to the above, the Fool has been switched with whatever card fell into position 00. That tells me that the Fool is back in position 00, so how can the Fool be in one of the three paths? Or do you mean to note where the Fool was BEFORE switching it with the card in 00 and that's the path that should be explored? Nebbermind. I didn't read far enough down.

Quote:
If the FOOL falls into the first or last column, the Querent is at the beginning or end of some type of Journey within their life, and we will examine all the cards along that path. DISCARD the cards on the other paths, and turn up just the cards in the Row where the FOOL appeared. For instance, if the Fool falls in position 19 and TEMPERANCE fell in position 00, we would discard the Hidden Path and Inner Path cards, swap 00 position card TEMPERANCE with the FOOL and read:

01 - 04 - 07 - 10 - 13 - 16 - 19 with Temperance in Position 19

So this reading would describe a Journey in the Querent's Outer Path (Real World events) where the Goal (or Outcome) is Temperance.
I think I understand this part.

Quote:
If the FOOL falls somewhere ALONG the three paths... we will examine the spread in a different way. We will want to look at the factors in the OTHER TWO Paths that have been influences PRIOR to the Querent's current Station, and factors YET TO COME in the Fool's PRIMARY Path, FOLLOWING the current Station.
Meaning in column 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 (i.e., not in the first or last column), right?

Quote:
I hope this makes sense and would be grateful for your questions and comments.
Other than the couple of questions I have, it makes perfect sense. I'm generally not enamored of Majors only spreads, but this one is intriguing and I'll have to give it a try.

Have you given any consideration to how this system would work with decks that have renumbered the Majors? Right now my working deck is the Navigators Tarot of the Mystic SEA and the author has completely renumbered the Majors.

Also, do you think the Strength/Justice numbering difference between decks makes any difference?

Finally, do you think this system would work with decks that have extra Majors?

Rodney
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dangerdork  dangerdork is offline
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Hi Rodney! Thanks for posting!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rwcarter
Are you saying to take the top 7 cards and place them on the bottom of the deck? So that card 1 from the top of the deck becomes card 22 on the bottom, card 2 becomes card 21, etc?
Yes, that was kind of arbitrary. When doing readings, I have the Querent shuffle the cards until they feel "right" and then stop. If the pack is face DOWN in their hand and the FOOL is face UP, I didn't want them intentionally stopping with the FOOL on the very top. Seven cards seemed a nice way to re-order the cards and give the FOOL a CHANCE to be in the zero position, but like I said, that's just an arbitrary thing I put in. You could have them cut the deck or just ignore this step if you wanted.


Quote:
Meaning in column 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 (i.e., not in the first or last column), right?
yeppers


Quote:
Other than the couple of questions I have, it makes perfect sense. I'm generally not enamored of Majors only spreads, but this one is intriguing and I'll have to give it a try.
Yeah, as a collector I've tended to avoid Majors-only decks because I couldn't read with them (I've never used Majors-only spreads either). This might change things and open up new collecting possibilities for me


Quote:
Have you given any consideration to how this system would work with decks that have renumbered the Majors? Right now my working deck is the Navigators Tarot of the Mystic SEA and the author has completely renumbered the Majors.

Also, do you think the Strength/Justice numbering difference between decks makes any difference?

Finally, do you think this system would work with decks that have extra Majors?
Well, I think it's great that Strength/Justice remain in the same PATH if you swap their positions. Their Stations of "Your Power" / "The Turning Point" are swapped. I think Justice makes more sense in the Turning Point position, which reinforces my personal preference as Strength being in Position VIII. As far as the decks that reorder / rename / add new Majors, well... I'm kind of a traditionalist when it comes to that sort of thing.

I'm really not interested in messing with the "Established Order" in the traditions of tarot, it's much more interesting to me to try gain deeper knowledge and new perspectives on the existing traditions, and as an artist to remain faithful to what has come down through the generations.

***

Here's something else that might be fun: What if you used TWO decks? Even two different decks?

You would lay out the Majors of the first deck, in order, along the grid, and then do this spread on TOP of them, so there were two cards in every position... the "Root" card and the randomized card. You would discard the unnecessary pairs according to the original guidelines and be left with a PAIR of cards in each position dictated by the client's shuffle, and read each pair together. In other words, position 1 would ALWAYS have the Magician, plus the Client's card, etc. It might add some extra nuance to the reading. Just a thought.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dangerdork
Hi Rodney! Thanks for posting!

Yes, that was kind of arbitrary. When doing readings, I have the Querent shuffle the cards until they feel "right" and then stop. If the pack is face DOWN in their hand and the FOOL is face UP, I didn't want them intentionally stopping with the FOOL on the very top. Seven cards seemed a nice way to re-order the cards and give the FOOL a CHANCE to be in the zero position, but like I said, that's just an arbitrary thing I put in. You could have them cut the deck or just ignore this step if you wanted.
These days I mostly only read for myself. And when I shuffle the cards, I do so with my eyes closed. So I wouldn't see the Fool until after I'd finished cutting the cards and had reassembled them before dealing them into the spread positions.

Quote:
Yeah, as a collector I've tended to avoid Majors-only decks because I couldn't read with them (I've never used Majors-only spreads either). This might change things and open up new collecting possibilities for me
I believe there are 4 Majors-only decks in my almost 300 deck collection. Two of those were part of lots I won, while I bought the other two on purpose. If I find a good Majors-only spread that inspires me, I'll be buying lots more Majors-only decks. And FTR your spread might be the magic (or should that be evil?) catalyst that spawns a Majors-only buying fit. (I really DON'T need any more reasons to expand my collection....)

Quote:
Well, I think it's great that Strength/Justice remain in the same PATH if you swap their positions. Their Stations of "Your Power" / "The Turning Point" are swapped. I think Justice makes more sense in the Turning Point position, which reinforces my personal preference as Strength being in Position VIII. As far as the decks that reorder / rename / add new Majors, well... I'm kind of a traditionalist when it comes to that sort of thing.

I'm really not interested in messing with the "Established Order" in the traditions of tarot, it's much more interesting to me to try gain deeper knowledge and new perspectives on the existing traditions, and as an artist to remain faithful to what has come down through the generations.
Interesting that you should say that since in the Marseilles tradition, Strength is 11 and Justice is 8 and that tradition predates the RWS tradition of having Strength as 8 and Justice as 11. (I'm not a fan of the Marseilles style decks and cut my teeth on RWS, so I'm more familiar with Strength as 8.)

Guess I'll have to play with your system with non-standard decks (those with re-ordered and/or additional Majors) and see what I come up with. Of course I'll be able to do this in my copius free time, so I'll report back in a few months once I've had a chance.

Quote:
Here's something else that might be fun: What if you used TWO decks? Even two different decks?

You would lay out the Majors of the first deck, in order, along the grid, and then do this spread on TOP of them, so there were two cards in every position... the "Root" card and the randomized card. You would discard the unnecessary pairs according to the original guidelines and be left with a PAIR of cards in each position dictated by the client's shuffle, and read each pair together. In other words, position 1 would ALWAYS have the Magician, plus the Client's card, etc. It might add some extra nuance to the reading. Just a thought.
Interesting idea. If you do that, I would suggest two different sized decks with the larger cards as the "Root" card. Of course, you could still interpret the "Root" cards without actually laying them down. But being a visual person myself, I can see how seeing that second card would aid in interpretation. But I think two different decks would be even better since you're more likely to have different (and potentially better) interactions between the images than you would between images from the same deck.

Rodney
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dangerdork
I was playing around with the idea of doing readings from this perspective, and came up with the following:

Take the Majors only, pull the Fool, and turn it facing the other direction from the rest of the cards (i.e. so when they are dealt out face down, the Fool will be face up.)

Have the Querent shuffle thoroughly. Deal seven cards face down from the top of the pack and place them on the bottom (this represents one "Path Cycle" and allows for a more random chance that the Fool will fall on top).

Now lay out the cards, FACE DOWN, in the grid:

xx - xx - 03 - 06 - 09 - 12 - 15 - 18 - 21 (The Hidden Path)
00 - xx - 02 - 05 - 08 - 11 - 14 - 17 - 20 (The Inner Path)
xx - xx - 01 - 04 - 07 - 10 - 13 - 16 - 19 (The Outer Path)
dangerdork,

Since you came up with the spread, what are you going to call it? While it sounds cool and mysterious, I don't think the Dangerdork Spread quite does the spread justice....

Rodney
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dangerdork

Magician - Emperor - Chariot - Wheel of Fortune - Death - Tower - Sun
High Priestess - Hierophant - Strength - Justice - Temperance - Star - Judgment
Empress - Lovers - Hermit - Hanged Man - Devil - Moon - World
I can see your rows as:

Social (societies constructs)
Moral (intuition)
Spiritual (self knowledge)

Sounds like everything there is to know about spirituality....
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