A. E. Waite on The Hanged Man

tarot-hanged-manHere’s what Arthur Edward Waite had to say about The Hanged Man in the Pictorial Key to the Tarot:

“He who can understand that the story of his higher nature is embedded in this symbolism will receive intimations concerning a great awakening that is possible, and will know that after the sacred Mystery of Death there is a glorious Mystery of Resurrection.”

Meditations on the Tarot – The Ace of Cups

tarot ace of cupsThe ace of cups has some fascinating imagery from a Christian perspective. This illustration comes from the Rider Waite Tarot. You will notice that the chalice has streams of living water flowing from it. That a white dove, representing the Holy Spirit, is decending upon it with a communion wafer, inscribed with a cross, in its beak. The cup in turn is held by the hand of God, eminating from the clouds. This wealth of communion imagery reveals this cup is the grail, the cup of the last supper of Jesus of Nazareth.

Jesus and the Tarot: The Ace of Cups

 

906DD783-F317-4501-AD88-FEA8D5D33955.jpegThe image to your left is of the Ace of Cups in the Rider Waite Tarot Deck.

If you reflect on the symbolism you may observe that the cup or chalice is being held by a divine hand, usually representative of God or one of God’s angelic messengers. Above it is a dove, symbolic of the Spirit of God, holding a communion wafer marked with a cross. From the cup flows living water, symbolising eternal life.

This is the grail, the cup of Christ. What is offered here is the life of Christ, which is life without limit. These waters never run out.

 

Meditations on the Tarot – The High Priestess

641CAEF3-A003-4DB4-9570-1F19BEB265C4.jpegWho is the High Priestess of the Tarot? As surprising as it sounds, you can find the answer for yourself in the Old and New Testaments. Just read these passages:

The Woman

A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on its heads. Its tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that it might devour her child the moment he was born. She gave birth to a son, a male child, who “will rule all the nations with an iron scepter.” And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. The woman fled into the wilderness to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days. (Revelation 12:1-6)

Not convinced yet? Keep reading:

The Columns

King Solomon sent to Tyre and brought Huram … Huram was filled with wisdom, with understanding and with knowledge to do all kinds of bronze work … He cast two bronze pillars … He made pomegranates in two rows encircling each network to decorate the capitals on top of the pillars … He erected the pillars at the portico of the temple. The pillar to the south he named Jakin and the one to the north Boaz. The capitals on top were in the shape of lilies. And so the work on the pillars was completed. (1 Kings 13-21)

Observe:

  • The moon under her feet
  • The two pillars, named (B)oaz and (J)akin
  • Their lily carvings on the capitals
  • The multitude of pomegranites in the background
  • She holds the Torah, though it is not fully disclosed yet
  • She wears a cross

Oh, and the crown of twelve stars? Simply move from card II to card III, the next Major Arcana, The Empress, where she is again decorated with pomegranites, a fruit of many seeds, and is surrounded by wheat, ripe for the harvest.

CD1C6EDB-E15F-4A22-9539-C4937D737DB9.jpeg

Guessed it yet? Last hint, the next Revelation.

 

Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring—those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus. (Revelation 12:17)

Meditations on the Tarot – The Fool

Ole Skjerbæk Madsen, a Lutheran Pastor from Denmark whom I’ve know for many years through a shared interest in tarot and Mind Body Spirit culture, has released a visual meditation on The Fool from the major arcana of the tarot. If you’d like to find out more about his community and work, see In the Master’s Light.

Meditations on the Tarot – The Hierophant

Hierophant-tarot-christian-meditations Who is the hierophant?

The hierophant puts us in the presence of an act of benediction, of blessing, of bestowal of Spirit.

As we approach the hierophant we find him seated between two temple pillers. In his left hand he clasps a sceptre with a tripple cross and with his right hand he blesses supplicants – supplicants seeking the keys to the kingdom – with a threefold blessing.

And he blesses them thus:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.

Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called sons of God.

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

The hierophant is the one whom understands the mystery of the magician, the Lord of earth, air, sky and sea.

“When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”

    They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

    “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”

    Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

    Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

Iconography in the Tarot

Golden-Tarot-of-the-Tsar Consider these images for the moment…what do you think they represent? The card in the top left hand corner…is it an icon representing Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead?

Yes…and it's also a tarot card.

The Magician card to be precise.

What?? Yes I'm serious. This is the Golden Tarot of the Tsar, a tarot card deck inspired by Russian Orthodox iconography.

Meditations on the Tarot – The Emperor

tarot-emperor.jpgHe who has true authority needs no sword. Nor is true authority found in the sword.

Jesus commanded Peter, “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?”

“Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.”

The sword is only used by those who have lost their grip on authority.

When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.

True authority is seen in the power to empower.