De Sphaera


A notable coincidence arising from the use of Tarot as a cypher for the sequence of Hebrew letters is a calendar cycle known as the Oktaeteris ≈ 5 Earth-Venus Synodic Periods (2920 days) ≈ 8 Earth Tropical years (2921 days) ≈ 13 Venus Sidereal Years (2921 days).

By applying the enumeration of Tarot’s 22 major arcana to the 22 letter alphabet (alef=0,…, tau=21), grouping them by type into the 3 mother, 7 double and 12 simple letters described in the Sefer Yetzirah (Book of Formations), and then summing together each groups’ numerals and their digital roots, one obtains a set of numbers which may be combined to yield the number of days in the Oktaeteris:

32 = mothers (elements) = 5
72 = double (planets) = 18
127 = simple (zodiac) = 73

Though one needn’t require the Tarot to obtain these numbers, there are further calculations utilizing these same numbers which may have some bearing upon the sequence of the deck’s Sun and Moon cards. Notably, the Enneadecaeteris ("nineteen years"), was an important calculation for the ancient Hebrew, Greek and Babylonian lunisolar calendars which may account for THE SUN becoming the XIXth trump.

365.25 = (73 x 5) + (18/72)
x19 = 6939.75 = 1 Metonic cycle (days)

It was observed that this span of time ≈ 235 lunar synodic months ≈ 254 lunar sidereal months ≈ 255 draconic months.

231 = (127+72+32)
235 = (127+72+32) + (72/18)
254 = (127+72+32) + (5+18-73)
255 = (127-72+32) + (5+18+73)

6939.75 / 235 = 29.53… ≈ 1 Lunar Synodic Month (days) = Moon returns to Sun
6939.75 / 254 = 27.32… ≈ 1 Lunar Sidereal Month (days) = Moon returns to Stars
6939.75 / 255 = 27.21… ≈ 1 Draconic Month (days) = Moon returns to Node

235 / 19 ≈ 12.36…. ≈ Lunar Synodic Months per Tropical Solar Year
365.25 / 12.36… = 29.53… = 1 Lunar Synodic Month (days)

Similarly, the Saros cycle used for predicting eclipses is XVIII years + 11 days + 8 hours. Obviously, for the calculation to be ‘accurate’ one would require a means of accounting for the extra 11 days and 8 hours. These numbers could, in turn, also be used to obtain: 223 lunar synodic months ≈ 239 lunar anomalistic months ≈ 242 draconic months = 1 Saros Eclipse Cycle

223 = 231 – 8
239 = 231 + 8
242 = 231 + 11
220 = 231 – 11 = 4x (1+2+3+4+5+6+7+8+9+10)

6585.83 ≈ (365.25 x18) + 11 days + 8 hours
6585.83 / 223 = 29.53… ≈ 1 Lunar Synodic Month (days) = Moon returns to Sun
6585.83 / 239 = 27.55… ≈ 1 Lunar Anomalistic Month (days) = Moon returns to Apsis
6585.83 / 242 = 27.21… ≈ 1 Draconic Month (days) = Moon returns to Node

Perhaps the noted inconsistency within the Tarot’s sequence of zodiac-themed images (whereby VIII:Justice(Libra) and XI:Strength(Leo) appear transposed) were left out of place intentionally for the purpose of drawing attention to this interplay of numerals, and thereby using them to calculate the recurrence of eclipses predicted by the Saros cycle, as well as the duration of its lunar sub-cycles whose interplay causes the occulting of Sun & Moon to recur. They are houses out of place which, in the nomenclature of the astrologers signify the Realm of the Sun (Leo) and the Exaltation of Saturn (Libra), and have a similar bearing upon the Gold (Sun) and Lead (Saturn) of the alchemists. Putting them in their ‘proper’ order may be viewed as a means of refining a purer gold (Sun), conferring an immortal secret to those who can restore 'balance' to the exaltation of Time (Cronos=Saturn=Lead) while weighing out the proportions between Sun & Moon.

Likewise inconsistent with the astrological/alchemical correspondence of Hebrew letters with Tarot, “The Moon” card does not appear correlate to any of the 7 double letters (planets) in this cypher, but rather with the simple letter Qoph attributed Pisces. However, it may well be that the ‘Two Fish’ emblematic of that zodiacal house refer instead to a certain geometric parallel to the length of 1 Draconic Year (Sun returns to Node) in that each such year is comprised of 2 eclipse seasons averaging 173.3 days apart, and was thereby numerically akin to the ‘measure of the fish’ - a rational approximation of the vesica piscis’ major and minor axes (265/153) used to estimate the value for the square root of three (1.732…).

1 Draconic Year = 346.6 days ≈ 173.2 + 173.2 ≈ (√3 + √3) x10²
1 Saros = XIX Draconic Years
XVIII + 11d + 8h = 19x (2x 173.3)

Elaborating upon such a ‘model’ one might also apply straight edge and compass to inscribing a similar geometric correlation with the duration of the Draconic Period (Node returns to Node) by fishing for the Pisces within a Circle to catch the golden mean = 618 x11 days. Viewed from another angle, the emblem for Cancer emerging from La Luna’s pool of Water may portray a cross-section of serpentine dragons coiling about the axis of the World, interweaving the beat periods of lunisolar time – its "69" glyph traveling crabwise, weaving together the zodiacal ‘reflections’ of Leo (11) and (8) Libra in the form of a dog (XVII) and a wolf. Signifying The Dog star Sirius ≈ (-17° Declination), the night sky’s brightest STAR may serve as an anchor of celestial longitude from which to gauge sidereal motions in Time, while the Wolf of Metals (Antimony) used in metallurgy to purify the King of Metals, Gold (Sun), may allude to their combined ‘Regulus’ – a Latin term meaning ‘Lesser King’ applied to both the brightest star within the heart of the constellation Leo, and the Star of Antimony formed by an alchemist who has mastered this means of refining Gold. The wolf, being an emblem of Ares (Mars), fits well with his namesake Aries (the Exaltation of the Sun / the Fall of Saturn) and thereby with the ‘Lesser King’ depicted as an Emperor (Heh=Aries).

Thus, the dog and wolf meeting beneath the Earth-Moon-Sun syzygy are reflected in a hidden twist within The Moon pool, occult as an eclipse, signifying a useful spin on 11 and 8 in combination with XVIII and the sum of the Trumps: 231 = 0+1+2+3+4+5+6+7+11+9+10+8+12+13+14+15+16+17+18+19+20+21

Of course, there are more serpentine paths coiled around earth-centered maps, tracing other synodic star patterns akin to the Oktaeteris’ Earth-Venus pentagram. And with similar methods one may use the integration of Tarot with the Book of Formation to elicit other recursive symmetrical patterns spinning like wheels on some celestial chariot traveling time to the beat of a music played between spheres through the marriage of dragons. I tell you, it's like the table magic of that moon-child conjurer, Mercury, born of Jupiter (exalted in Cancer, realm of the Moon) and Maia, eldest of the Pleiades shining in Taurus (exaltation of the Moon, realm of Venus) – whose helical rise marked the season for sowing wheat and fair-weather sailing, and whose helical setting likewise served as an omen for the end of harvest and dangerous seas.

231 x11 = 22 Mercury-Earth Synodic Periods ≈ 7 Tropical Years
22:7 ≈ π