Tarot – Tree of Life

The Tarot is designed to inspire us as we move through various aspects of life. It emerged in Italy during the 15th century, but its inspiration dates to ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia and Hermetic mysticism. The Tarot’s original name was “Trionfi” (triumphs), which symbolized the triumphs and challenges one faces in life. The Tarot consists of 78 cards that are divided into two sets:

  • Major Arcana of 22 cards
  • Minor Arcana of 56 cards.

The word arcana, is based on the Latin word arcanus, meaning “hidden secret”. 

In Tree Spirit Tarot, the first Major Arcana card “0” is the Wonderer, (Fool) “the one who is wondering”. Cards “1-21” represent the path one takes in search of their unique place in the world along with its challenges and opportunities. Eventually the desire to feel whole inspires the wonderer to reunite with its soul. This journey of reconnection and oneness is also reflected in the Kabbalah “Tree of Life”. 

Kabbalah – Tree of Life diagram (color coded by chakra)

Each circle in the Tree of Life diagram of the Kabbalah is called a Sefirot (emanation of divine will). There are ten Sefirot that mirror each other as they reveal and receive insights for the psyche/soul. They challenge and support the one traveling up and down the Tree of Life. The left branch represents the mysteries in the darkness; the right are the forces of light. The trunk is the neutral, self-giving one. The task is to reconnect with our self as a soul while we live here on earth.

Ten Sefirot (Emanation)  Location on Tree: Chakra & Color

  • Kether (Throne of Heaven) Metatron/Scribe
    • Top of Central Trunk: Crown – White
  • Binah (Understanding)
    • Left Branch: Third Eye – Violet
  • Chokhmah (Wisdom) 
    • Right Branch: Third Eye – Violet
  • Gebarah (Strength)          
    • Left Branch: Throat – Blue
  • Chesed (Mercy)              
    • Right Branch: Throat – Blue
  • Tiphereth (Beauty)             
    • Central Trunk: Heart – Green
  • Hod (Splendor)         
    • Left Branch: Solar Plexus – Yellow
  • Netzach (Victory)             
    • Right Branch: Solar Plexus – Yellow
  • Yesod (Foundation)     
    • Central Trunk: Sacral – Orange
  • Malkuth (Kingdom on Earth) Shekinah/Dwelling
    • Central Trunk: Root – Red

The Kabbalah, represents the mystical journey of the soul as it descends through the Tree of Life to manifest into human form. From this place of awareness, the “Wonderer” longs to feel “whole” and ascends the Tree of Life to remember itself as an infinite soul. This path supports the Wonderer as it transcends to spiritual oneness, where the psyche/soul attains Da’at. In this place of unity consciousness, one is able to comprehend the infinite nature of Ein Sof, the infinite space beyond the Tree of Life. 

Traditional seven-branched Menorah is based on an Almond Tree.

The Tree of Life is also encoded in the seven-branched oil lamp known as the menorah. Described as a blossoming almond tree in the Book of Exodus, it has three left and three right branches extending from a central trunk. Olive oil was used to light the lamp of Elohim as a symbol of enlightenment. The Menorah, Kabbalah and Tarot are all based on the seven “heavenly lights” known as the “wanderers.” These were “planets” that were seen with the naked eye (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn) from earth.

The 22 cards of the Tarot’s Major Arcana correspond with the 10 sefirot (plus Da’at) in the Kabbalah (Tree of Life). 

Sefirot with Major Arcana in descending and ascending order

  • Da’at (Beyond the tree)    
    • 0. Fool – Innocence                                   
    • XXI. The World – Awakened
  • Kether         
    • I. Magician                             
    • XX. Judgment
  • Chokhmah  
    • II. High Priestess               
    • XIX. Sun          
  • Binah            
    • III. Empress                        
    •  XVIII. Moon
  • Chesed       
    • IV. Emperor                          
    • XVII. Star         
  • Gebarah      
    • V. High Priest                       
    • XVI. Tower
  • Tiphereth   
    • VI. Lovers                                  
    • XV. Devil
  • Netzach      
    • VII. Chariot                               
    • XIV. Temperance
  • Hod             
    • VIII. Strength                           
    • XIII. Death
  • Yesod         
    • IX. Hermit                                 
    • XII. Hanged Man
  • Malkuth     
    • X. Wheel of Fortune             
    • XI. Justice

The Wonderer “0” and The World “XXI” represent the beginning and end of our circular journey. These two cards are added to the 20 cards that directly correlate to the 10 sefirot. The Wonderer-Rowan, begins the journey outside of the “Tree of Life” as an innocent soul. The sefirot known as Kether, represents the entry and exit point for the journey of the Wonderer; as Magi-Almond and Judgment-Olive. The wonderer meets each sefirot twice as it travels down through the Tree of Life. When it reaches Malkuth, the wonderer becomes completely aware of themself as a human living on earth but longs to feel more. It is here that the journey of remembering oneself as a soul inxpires the wonderer to travel back up the tree, revisiting each sefirot from a new persepctive. When the wonderer passes through Kether they enter the World-Baobab, and attains Da’at (Enlightenment)

In Judaic literature, Metatron is seen as the prophet Enoch, who became the angelic scribe of the Book of Secrets for mankind’s return to the Garden of Eden. In the Kabbalah, Metatron is associated with the sefirot Kether (Crown). The Hebrew name Metatron means “the measurer” who connects us with the wisdom of the planets, stars, sun and moon.

The 78 cards (22 Major Arcana and 56 Minor Arcana) corresponds directly to the sacred geometry of Metatron’s Cube, which contains 78 lines. 

78 lines – Metatron’s Cube.
For more information visit: mandalachakra.com

Genesis and Exodus were written between 600–200 BCE based on ancient and oral stories inspired by the meaning of life and death. Both the Kabbalah and the Tarot contain paths for understanding our “divine nature.” The Sanskrit word taru (tree) formed the root of the Anglo-Saxon word treo, which meant tree & truth.

Trees are truth-tellers who hold our sacred stories.

The Minor Arcana (lesser secret) of 56 cards represents the four classical elements of: fire, water, air and earth. These elements symbolize the core functions of life that influence and support our journey.

  • Fire – relates to our passion and desires.
  • Water – represents our emotions, intuition and creativity.
  • Air – corresponds to our thoughts and actions.
  • Earth – embodies our physical nature.

Note: The Tree of Life diagram is modeled after the Menorah.  – Exodus 25: 31-40

“He made the menorah of pure gold. He made the menorah of beaten work. Its base, its shaft, its cups, its buds, and its flowers were of one piece with it. There were six branches going out of its sides: three branches of the menorah out of its one side, and three branches of the menorah out of its other side: three cups made like almond-blossoms in one branch, a bud and a flower, and three cups made like almond-blossoms in the other branch, a bud and a flower: so for the six branches going out of the menorah. In the menorah were four cups made like almond-blossoms, its buds and its flowers; and a bud under two branches of one piece with it, and a bud under two branches of one piece with it, and a bud under two branches of one piece with it, for the six branches going out of it. Their buds and their branches were of one piece with it. The whole thing was one beaten work of pure gold.”