gematric tarot



i'm finally getting back to a REALLY old project of mine. Gematria is more or less Hebrew numerology-- I've modified it for the English language.

Instead of numbers defining words, words define numbers. So, I take the pool of words that contain the title of a tarot card and write a short verse-- freeform.

I then illustrate the poem-- that's the tarot card. The poetry's all done ; I just have to do the images. I'll post them from time to time. Here's the first-- verse and image. It's called the 'first snake'. Traditional name would be the Ace of Wands.


The first snake unwinds
Emerging from Nothing
Passing through the Boundless
Bursting with Unbound Light


The eternal I AM
Shrieks through the night

Invocation of the inner face
Brings about the contemplation
Of the perfect union

The veil is torn from the top
As the illusion of yesterday
Illuminates the new man

and on to the image...

fly well

ps-- If anyone would like a copy of the verses, pm me with your e-mail address. It's a word file.


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I see you are teaching again...I am a willing student and am so pleased to share...I LOVE THIS IMAGE...and of course the awesome POETRY...the complexity of the concepts/energy you so expertly describe becomes more easily available...THANK YOU...

my best to you everywhere and everywhen...


This might be a good place to mention a book I've run across recently. It concerns gematria, which most people know refers to hidden meanings found in established texts, extracted by various means.

Qabalism insists that the Hebrew alphabet has numbers and meanings associated with each of its letters, which is a deep and riveting field of study.

This book I'm talking about is an impressive treatise on numerical correspondences to be found in ALL the world's major alphabets. It's by David Hulse. The title is 'The Key of it All'. This would seem to be a fairly arrogant and presumptuous title. If you can get hold of the book, you'll see that it's a straightforward and quite non-arrogant work of scholarship. The first book was published in 2000, and apparently represents about 25 years of research into numerical and hermetic correspondences to be found in ancient and Eastern languages, including Hebrew. The second is due fairly soon, and will contain his findings on numbers in English.
I've been wading through this book and find it fascinating. I'm no linguist, but I think I can recommend it.


the first cup


here's the verse for the first cup:



the first cup—
imagination unfurls,
a rainbow in the castle of the mind
bringing all things together

the Snake Queen raises the toast
measuring the quest

and here's the image:

fly well


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the first sword

morning all--

Here's the verse for the first sword (traditional name: Ace of Swords):


dispelling illusion,
the first sword rises from the waters
of the last cup

naked and glittering,
it slices freely
at the duality before it

one after understanding,
learn carefully

--lest it be wielded unwisely

and the image:

fly well


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Extroidanary...the embement of the concept/idea...Gematria...the underlying energy transmits...the channel is clear and strong...Wisdom...
Beautiful Work...

Thank You


the last of the firsts

and now...

the first pent. I've bordered it. Yes, I who slice some of my decks with care to remove them is now putting them on. Well, I'm trying to see what happens if I color code the cards. Snakes get a red border, cups a blue, swords a yellow, pentacles a green and Majors indigo.

I've bordered the three already finished.

Anyhow, here's the verse:


Be the knowing!

the first pentacle--
the formation of the temple of light

the shape of the energy
creates the limits of meaning

Be aware!

destruction in the wake
of the sword knight
yet forget not--
structure follows close behind

and the vision:

fly well


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a little majick...

And now, presenting the Magician...


the Magician at work
calling down the creative energies
shaping the light
holding to her purpose

having all,
yet satisfied not
lusting still

O thou Magician—

look ever to the moon
find that sacred place wherein
dwells the mighty cherub


bring forth thy twin,
for even the soul is dual

fly well


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Major Tom

Ravenswing - A most impressive work. :)

It must be particularly satisfying to finally see it take form - particularly if it is something you've returned to after a long absence.

Gematria into English must present some unique challenges. For example, 26 letters instead of 22. Will this effect the number of major arcana in your deck?


ah, the letter game...

Major Tom--

Thanks for the vote of confidence. And you're absolutely right-- it's great to see this finally take form.

The application of letters to the Majors...

The big difference between Hebrew and English, as I see it, is the presence of a definative set of vowels in English. To me, Hebrew can be compared to the English subset of consonants; a general grouping of letters can be considered particular words.

In English, it is the vowels that become the identity principle. Consider the group 'THR'. By addition of vowels, we can get the words:

three, their, there, other...

I'm sure you get the idea.

Well, in the Major Arcana, I consider the Fool to be the identity principle, as his goes about on his journey. In a sense, it is the Fool's interaction with the other cards that give them their meaning...

So, I equate the Fool with the set of vowels. And, golly gee, there's 21 consonants. What do you think about that???

fly well