Quote:
Originally Posted by kwaw
Using theosophic reduction means that if any of the first four cards to be summed are numbered 17 or above, then none of the cards in the range 17'22' can be a quintessential card; that is these cards can only be quintessential by addition of the four turned, and never by reduction and never in combination with another high numbered card (the highest sum if fool counted as 22 not 0 is 22+21+20+19=82, the highest number then by reduction = 79 = 7+9 = 16; if fool counted as 0 then highest sum is 21+20+19+18=78, highest number by theosophic reduction then 7+8=15).
Cards 1 or 2 can never be a quintessential card (as can not be achieved by addition of four cards and theosophic reduction of any sum will stop at 10 or 11).
35 can only occur by reduction (the lowest number by addition being 0+1+2+3=6), 3 only if the sum is 30 and 4 if 31 or 40, 5 if sum is 23, 32, 41 or 50.
Does this tell us anything about the meaning of these cards and their relationship to the others? Are the rare quintessential cards more significant than common ones? Is there any justification for never considering the basteleur or papesse as quintessential cards? Is there any qualitive difference between those quintessential cards that can be arrived at only by the sum of the four cards turned and those only by theosophic reduction of the sum of the four turned cards? Or between those that can be duplicated as quintessential cards and as one of the four turned up and those for which this is not possible?

Wirth notes on p.185 of 1985 Samuel Weiser paperback edition of the
Tarot of the Magicians that though the method was first recorded for us by Stanislas de Guaita, the method was pointed out to S.d.Guaita by Joseph Peladan, so it does not apparently originate with de Guaita.
On the fifth arcana of the spread Wirth says:
"A fifth arcana completes the throwing of light upon the oracle which it synthesises, for it depends upon the four arcanas drawn. Each of these bears the number which marks its rank in the series of the Tarot (the fool, who is not numbered, counts for 22). When these numbers are picked out, it is enough to add them together to obtain, either directly or by theosophic reduction, the number of the fifth arcana (22 indicates the Fool, 4 the Emperor, 12 the Hanged Man etc)."
On p.186 "The numbers of the drawn cards are added up. If the total equals, or is below 22 the synthesis is the Fool or the arcana to which the sum total corresponds in the numerical order of the Tarot. If the total is more than 22 then its two numbers added together indicate the synthesising arcana (32=2+3=5)(57=5+7=12 etc).
On p.187 he writes:"This synthesis in fact relates to what is of prime importance and on which everything depends." Nowhere however is mention made, and totally excludes the possibility of Bateleur or Papesse. In neither 'Tarot of the Magicians' nor 'Introduction to Study of the Tarot' is any mention made of the artefacts of this method; of the fact for example that by this process neither Bateleur nor Popesse can ever be the card of 'synthesis' or that the method described gives a greater probability of some cards over others being the fifth card.
In Alain Bocher’s LWB of the
Tarot de la rea 1982 however a modification of the method is described in which it is possible to arrive at cards I or II as fifth card:
(My thanks to MinchiMan for this reference).
The new rule has other implications, it means for example that only the single figured cards 19 can in this method be both in the spread and duplicated as a quintessential/synthesis card, does this qualify in any way how these cards are interpreted? Although by addition of this new rule there is the possibility of the Bateleur and Popesse being a quintessential card, the probability remains rare; and can only occur in case of Bateleur in combination with XWoF in spread and for Popesse if XI or XX is in spread. Again, how (if at all) does this qualify how these cards are interpreted?
For example:
I+X+IX+VI=28=10, as 10 already in spread according to above rule we must reduce again 1+0=1.
So 'I' is both in spread and quintessential.
It appears of course as 'synthesis' card with X in spread, as that is the only possible way in which it can.
So does the combination of 'X' in spread and 'I' as quintessential effect how they are read, as they can only appear in this combination? X is ‘common’ relative to 'I' as quintessential being rare, so we have a relationship perhaps of common/rare or many/one. We could for example see the WoF as 'gamblers' and Juggler as the 'operator of a gambling game (or the 'house')', so we have the idea of one gambling operator or house catering to many gamblers. By extension we might read then 'X' as 'opportunities', and 'I' as 'entrepreneurial opportunist' who takes advantage of them.
Any ideas for the combinations of Popesse as 5quintessential/synthesis with XI and/or XX?
Kwaw