The Tarot Unlocked

Tarot Symbolism and the Astrological Attributions of the 22 Hebrew Letters
According to the Hebrew formative letter - astrological correspondences of
early recensions of the Sepher Yetzirah

// Not the "magickal" Golden Dawn "System" //

Tarot Alphabet | Tarot Index | Tarot Natural Order


The Tarot: Keys to the Semantic Structure of the Hebrew Alphabet

L# SY Trump Description
Archetypal 1-9
Air Key concepts: beyond concepts, timeless, unthinkable, life-death. One and All, not zero. The Fool is as far into the air and out of this world as one can get. Aleph, unknowable, beyond thought, intermittant life-death, about to begin Its descent into manifestation, the first step of which is containment in the next letter, Bayt, first letter of Bereshyt/Genesis. Aleph is one on every level.
1   1 Fool: Aleph: Beyond Thought, Cosmic Pulsation of Life-Death: Air
Fool=contained; World=container. Western Occultism is wrong: open your eyes and compare the images. Bayt is house or container, by extension, the world & House of God, Beth-El. The World is the perfect symbol of a container and the image is all twos. Bayt, formative of Saturn, the twice-blessed 5th Sephira where the six outer dimensions begin. Everything we can think of, but not all that is. Bayt-Ghimmel-Dallet form the primary planetary triad before the zodiac begins with Life, Hay and the Emperor.
2   2 World: Bayt: Indwelling of Aleph, Container: Saturn
It's a simple as 1-2-3: contained + container = movement (of every Bayt animated by Aleph) (logical consequence of duality). Ghimel, 3, is nothing but the image or archetype of movement. The original trump, without its occult-Egyptian overlay, was simply a wheel. The contrary qualities of Jupiter (Tsedeq) are uncertainty (raa) and peace (shalom) where movement finally finds its rest.
3   3 Wheel: Ghimmel: Movement: Jupiter
4: contanied + container + movement = resistance (as response to the movement, Ghimmel, of every Bayt, container, animated by Aleph, the uncontainable). The inherited order of the Tower and Empress were major problems symbolically, forcing the occultists of Golden Dawn to flip the Hebrew formative letters of Mars and Venus and claim they knew better than the Jews. There is no better card for either the classical symbol of Mars or the concept of resistance, Dallet, the Door. Tarot symbolism is usually quite clear: Dallet forms Mars, Meadim, Adam in the waters, falling into existence, into the waters of Mem, the Hanged Man, directly below. Response to the infinite organic movement of the Wheel.
4   4 Tower: Dallet: Resistance: Mars
Hay and the Emperor begin (lead) the astrological signs. It would be obvious without the ram's heads, but the real question is why does the zodiac start with the number five? Hay forms a simple life: Tayt-Lammed-Hay, Toleh (Aries), and two letters of God's Name: the life of the container and the life of the contained.
5   5 Emperor: Hay: Archetypal Life: Aries: Leader of the Zodiac
Wav or Vav is the Hebrew copulative and a letter of God's Name, linking the two lives, Hay and Hay. The Hierophant portrays the link while hiding the true significance of the cosmic androgyne, Shaur: Sheen-Waw-Raysh (Taurus), Union (Waw) of Spirit (Sheen) and Matter (Raysh) formed by Waw (Union). In the Taurean Age (4000-2000BCE), God spoke through the Divine King.
6   6 The Pope/High Priest: Waw: Copulation: Taurus
The Lovers, the Twins, the two polarities of Aleph and Yod (life-death and existence) in Teomaim and the freedom to choose. Formed by Zayn (7), principle of indetermination. At this stage only an archetype, it will appear projected into existence as Ayn, 70, and the Devil. The symbolism from Emperor to Strength is all straight zodiacal astrology.
7   7 Twins: Zayn: Principle of Indetermation: Gemini
Even without the crescents on the shoulders, we can see consciousness conditioned (drawn) by the Moon's contrary qualities of freedom and slavery in Cancer. The sphinxes were Eliphas Levi's Egyptian dream. The Chariot is the Merkabah. The key concept is an involution of energy toward the unstructured state of its formative, Hayt (8), contra the structured Tayt of Strength. See the Empress below.
8   8 Chariot: Hayt: Sum of undifferentiated probabilities: Cancer
The Lion is obvious enough, astrologically, but the image points to Tayt, the archetype of female structural energy, which forms Leo, home to Sun's (physical energy's) two qualities of wealth and poverty (the lion's mouth: open or closed). Look at the Hebrew letter to the left: Tayt, the serpent's (lion's) tooth (mouth).
9   9 Strength: Tayt: Archetype of cell/structure: Leo
Existential 10-90
Yod is another letter in God's Name. Astrological symbolism is dispensed with in favor of a direct portrait of the light of Aleph hidden in the existence of Yod and the lamp of the Hermit. The Fool's staff reappears in his hand and he should be walking in time, the projection of the Intemporal into space-time. Aleph's partner in the Great Game of life-death and existence.
10   10 Hermit: Yod: Aleph in existence: Virgo
Kaf, 20, forms the Sun (source of life) according to the Sepher Yetsira. The formative symbolism includes the Sun's role as physical support, adds the palm and sole of Kaf, and a wall for good measure: containment on the level of existence. The World in its proper place, above the Sun (2/20) align the only two naked figures in the Tarot. The Sun is the World in existence.
20   11 Sun: Kaf: Physical supports (palm/sole) for existence: Sun
As obvious astrologically as the lion of Strength, but the key concept is controlled organic movement; the equilibration of energies between the uncertainty of Aleph and the conditioning of Yod in the waters of Mozenaim. Follow the theme upward to the Wheel and downward to Judgement.
30   12 Justice: Lammed: Controlled movement/equilibration: Scales/Libra
Water Mem, 40, the waters (mayim, Mem-Yod-Mem) of life. When archetypal resistance (4), the Tower, projects into existence (space-time) it is water, passive, uncompressable resistance and basis of life. The figures of the Tower fall upside-down into existence as the Hanged Man. Tower and Tree are unified in the pillars of the High Priestess: vertical formative symbolism.
40   13 Hanged Man: Mem: Passive resistance of organic life: the Waters
Why choose Death to symbolize Life? Death, Nun, 50, the projection of the energy of the Emperor into existence, as existential life. On the cosmic level, it becomes the symbol for Noun, 700, indetermination, and what we have to do to be free. Aleph and Yod are projected into individual consciousness in Scorpio; life and death are very close.
50   14 Death: Nun: the sine-qua-non of Existential Life: Scorpio
Sammekh, 60, is the female fertilizing or copulative energy, Hebrew's closest letter to an "O", counterpart to the male energy of the phallic Waw. The key is that Sagittarius, like Gemini, forces a choice between two energies. Temperance would yield Jupiter's materialistic perfection for Saturn's spiritual life in Capricorn.
60   15 Temperance: Sammekh: Material perfection: Qoshet: Sagittarius
Which brings us to the Devil, where the Twins have descended into existence to confront us with our deep fear of anything that threatens our psychological stability. Ayn, 70, forms Capricorn, sign of the Goat, and means both nothing and eye, which can see, or not. Actualization of indeterminate probabilities: the stake in the game of life.
70   16 Devil: Ayn: Realized Freedom: Capricorn
The Empress, the other half of the Mars-Venus problem. An obvious symbol of Mother Nature, even has Venus on her shield. The projection of unstructured energy (8) into space-time, Phay, 80, the pool of undifferentiated, unexpressed possbilities for the evolution of the individual and species. North and 10th and matierial reality in the Cube of Space.
80   17 Empress: Pay: Undifferentiated propabilities/potentials: Venus
Tsadde, the Star, the projection of the female structural energy of Tayt into space-time, the completion of the the nine archetypes of existence, is the Woman and her capacity to choose wisely and not repetitively. Whether that choice is supported or not determines our level of maturity and mankind's future. Her transcendent image is in Tsadde final, 900. She draws from Empress's probability pool.
90   18 Star: Tsadde: Feminine structuration: Aquarius
Cosmic 100-900
The full/crescent moon, pond, crayfish, dog, path and towers are all 15th century elements. The duality of Pisces is invoked, but the emphasis is on the formative, Qof, transcendent reconciliation of the energies of the Fool, life-death, and the Hermit, existence. Here, YHSWH, the perfected Man, was born. Only the Moon and the Wheel lack a human form. Key: Gone, gone, gone beyond duality.
100   19 Moon: Qof: Reconciliation and dissolution of opposities: Pisces
As above, so below. Hermes, cosmic consciousness, is the cosmic container, Raysh, 200, formative of Mercury, with its two qualities of waste (selection) and seed in Gemini (Twins) and Virgo (Hermit). Tarot de Marseille has three elements and the (cosmic level) infinity sign. Again, the two outstretched arms of the second column. The Magician is the cosmic-level (200) resolution of the World and the Sun. Mercury is formed at the ninth sephirot of formation: as above, so below.
200   20 Magician: Raysh: Cosmic Mind as Universal Container: Mercury
Fire Sheen, Fire, an element, Judgement is completely described by its Qabalistic symbolism: the Breath of God, Ruach Elohim, 300. The movement which started with Ghimmel/Wheel on the archetypal level and came into existence with Lammed/Justice sustains the universe with Sheen/Judgement. Note Raysh-Yod-Sheen and the double Breath and understand the Magican a little better.
300   21 Judgement: Sheen: 300: Ruahh Elohim: Fire
And finally, the High Priestess where she belongs, at the end of the alphabet, Tav, sacred Temple and veiled Sanctuary of Aleph. Tav, cosmic resistance, 400, the resolution of the Tower and Hanged man, resisting Aleph to the point of becoming Aleph. Tav forms the Moon at her feet and the cross on her breast and the center of our psyches in the cube of space. If we only knew.
400   22 High Priestess: Tav: Sanctuary of Aleph: Moon
Finals: 23-27   Cosmic Realizations of Existential Energies
  The final (sofit) letters complete the pattern of 3x9, the natural sequence of the Hebrew alphabet and the Tarot. Kaf, 500, is cosmic, transcendent life, the third in the sequence that began with the Emperor and Death. It should be clear why the Wheel is broken here.
500   23 Sun: Energy of Cosmic Life
  Final Mem (600), the reconciliation of Waw (6, male) and Sammekh (60, female), is cosmic fertility or fruitfulness. Adam and Elohim both have this potential.
600   24 Hanged Man: Cosmic Fruitfulness: Goal of Adam
  Nun, final, 700, cosmic freedom or indetermination. The last letter of Eden, Canaan and Qaheen. We live in this state when we die to every moment.
700   25 Death: Cosmic Indetermination: Stake in the Game of Life
  Pay, final, 800, cosmic undifferentiated, unstructured substance. The 75% of the universe that is dark energy and the 23% that is dark matter, which doesn't leave much room for stuff that we can see.
800   26 Empress: Spheres of Unstructured Energy
  The last letter of the full alphabet of creation ends in cosmic structure and the transfiguration of the feminine. The repetitive female principle of Tayt (9), reproducing after its own kind, is transcended; structuration is intelligent and truly feminine, and cosmically significant.
900   27 Star: Woman: Transfiguration of the Feminine

Logical Development of the Planetary Major Tarot Trumps
Ancient Sepher Yetsira
The Fool and 7 Messengers (Planets)
1 2 3 4 20 80 200 400

12 Autiot (Signs): Energetic Structure of the Zodiac
5 6 7 8 9 10 30 50 60 70 90 100

Native Positions of the Tarot by formative letters in the early Sepher Yetsira
Fire Finals
Hebrew Formative Letter/Astrological Correspondences Contents