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rwcarter  rwcarter is offline
student of tarot
Join Date: 12 Aug 2007
Location: California, USA
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Originally Posted by rwcarter
I've applied both the Seven Stations and the Chain to the Navigators Tarot of the Mystic SEA. I'm gonna have to let what I wrote percolate for a day or two to see how I really feel about it.

Most tarot decks that have reordered some of the Majors still pretty much start with the Magician and end with the World/Universe (with the Fool unnumbered or numbered 0 or 22). This deck has completely reordered things. The deck starts with the Universe as the first path (the cards aren't actually numbered, so the numbering I use is the card's path on the Tree of Life, which the author has also rearranged from the traditional ToL....) and ends with the Magian (NOT Magician) as the 21st path. The Fool is the 22nd Path on the ToL. Not one of the cards in this deck has the same position as the correspondingly named card in a RWS deck. That makes for some interesting interpretations to say the least.

Whereas the Fool is a beginning and the Universe is an ending that leads to a new beginning in RWS-based decks, in this one, the Universe is the beginning and the Fool is an ending that leads to a new beginning.
Quoting myself is probably bad form, but it's the easiest way to put the overview of how the Majors in the Navigators Tarot are laid out. Below is what I came up with for both the Seven Stations and the Chain.

Seven Stations
The Outer Path
You are open to new experiences (Universe) and are inspired by your realization of your inner energy (Aeon). Your power is your ability to remain relaxed when faced with the unexpected (Death). When you look inward and begin to understand your psyche and motivations, you reach a turning point (Suspension). Your transformation occurs when you meet your complimentary self (Lovers). You experience an epiphany when you discover your potential and nurture it (Empress). Your destiny is to rise above your daily troubles and dwell on eternal matters (Hermit).

The Inner Path
By focusing on a particular objective (Sun), you are inspired to break out of your bondage (Devil). Your power is your ability to find the revelations you seek (Star). Your turning point comes when you are able to tear down the walls you’ve built and examine what is keeping you from achieving your dreams (Tower). Your transformation comes when you are able to set aside your ego and look for the deeper meaning in your current situation (Hierophant). You have an epiphany when you realize that by using ability with restraint, you control the situation (Emperor). Your destiny is to become illuminated (Arch Priestess).

Hidden Path
You begin by seeking gratification by the easiest methods (Moon). You are inspired when you realize that you must deny yourself the things that give you pleasure (Art). By forgiving yourself and freeing yourself from guilt, you discover your power (Destiny). Your turning point comes when you realize that you must turn your back on the material in order to step off the clock and attain eternal security (Fortune). By resolving conflicting issues within, you become transformed (Strength). You achieve an epiphany when you realize that you’re far greater than your ego can ever be (Chariot). Your destiny is enlightenment (Magian).

The Chain
The Material Path
Some major changes in your life start you down a new path (Universe). You are inspired by a new clarity that allows you to see things that you’ve missed before (Aeon). Your ability to handle change well is your power (Death). When you allow yourself to look inward and see what motivates your every move, you come to a turning point (Suspension). You are transformed by loving another (Lovers). A pregnancy brings an epiphany that you will soon be a parent and that your life will never be the same again (Empress). Your destiny is to live a frugal life, only surrounding yourself with essentials (Hermit).

The Mediating Path
You begin by being moody and unreliable (Moon). You are inspired to practice moderation in order to preserve your inner equilibrium (Art). Your improved ability to discern between right and wrong becomes your power (Destiny). You reach a turning point when you decide to turn your back on the material world (Fortune). Your transformation comes when you resolve the conflicting issues within your own personality, making you feel omnipotent and ready to conquer the world (Strength). You reach an epiphany when you realize that the fear that holds others back doesn’t hold you back because you listen to your inner voice (Chariot). Your destiny is to unite understanding with wisdom (Magian).

The Spiritual Path
You begin by looking to your dreams for guidance because you’re unable to interpret your own deepest wishes (Sun). Your inspiration comes from the realization that you need to come face to face with your dark side (Devil). Your power is your ability for self-reflection (Star). You come to a turning point when you realize that by understanding your repressions and bringing them into the light of day, you have greatly enhanced your willpower (Tower). Listening to the voice within allows you to experience a transformation (Hierophant). You reach an epiphany when you realize you have an inner vision and are able to control that which you have created (Emperor). Your destiny is to be reborn with new ideas that arise from your unconscious (Arch Priestess).

Having studied the Navigators Tarot for a number of months now, the meaning of each card makes sense and the paragraphs flow.

Especially since I discovered The Chain, which flips the top two paths from the Seven Stations Layout, I'm even more certain that any arrangement of the Majors SHOULD make sense whether the cards flow up, down, left, right, in a spiral or in any other manner you can think of. The key is finding out what the relationship should be between given cards.

And any given layout of the cards is as valuable as any other layout of the cards. While a given layout may give more information or a new insight into the cards, no particular layout is any better or worse than any other layout. In my mind the only way that cards 2, 5, 8, 11, 14, 17 and 20 can be the Inner Path in the Seven Stations but be the Hidden Path in the Chain (and be two completely different paths instead of two different names for the same path) is if all the cards should be able to interact with each other in an almost unlimited number of ways (yes, I know the total number is 22 factored, but I don't care to know exactly what that number is ); otherwise, either the Chain or the Seven Stations has to be wrong and I don't believe either of them are. (If anyone else can tell me another way both layouts could take the same cards and use them completely differently without one of the layouts being wrong, please tell me.)

To provide an example of what I've tried to say above, the Mythic Tarot lays out the Majors as such:


The first seven cards are the Body and represent powers and potencies, the next seven cards are the Mind and represent laws or agencies, and the last seven cards are the spirit and represent conditions or effects. New insights are discovered in the following manner - the power of the Magician (1) works through the laws of Justice (8) to modify the effects of the Devil (15). The same is done with the other 6 columns. The Navigators Tarot could be laid out that way to get those insights. And GD-based systems could be laid out that way.

And understanding the above insight into the interactions of those three cards is just as important as understanding the interactions laid out by the Seven Stations. I haven't put it to the test yet, but I would also think that decks with more than 22 Majors could also be laid out (with some modifications of course) in any of these layouts to get the insight(s) provided by the layout.

So that's another long post from me. Do people agree or disagree with my conclusions?

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