Tarot and the Tree of Life

IMG_1965

The Tarot is a deck of 78 illustrated cards that originated in 15th century Italy, although its roots may date back to ancient Egypt or Mesopotamia. The original name was “Trionfi” meaning “triumphs,” symbolizing the paths one takes through life.

The tarot is divided into two groups: The Major Arcana of 22 cards, and the Minor Arcana of 56 cards. The word arcana is based on the Latin word arcanus, meaning hidden secret.

Major Arcana (important secret) represents 22 archetypal aspects of our life’s journey. It is helpful to imagine the major arcana arranged in a circle versus a line to visualize it as the wheel of life. In Pythagorean terms, a circle is seen as the creator of many and the sum of all. It is both the beginning point and the container.

The first Major Arcana card “0” in the Tree Spirit Tarot deck, is called the Wonderer, as the one who is wondering. Cards “1-21” represent the path one takes in finding their unique place in the world as well as the challenges and opportunities along life’s journey. Eventually a desire to feel whole inspires the wonderer to return to home, to the oneness waiting in the garden of their soul.

The journey of the Wonderer is also found in the ancient mystery teachings of the Kabbalah. The Wonderer (soul) enters the Tree of Life and descends through the ten sefirot to manifest into human form. As a fully manifested human the Wonderer’s innate desire is to remember itself as a soul. This inspires the wonderer to now ascend the Tree of Life in hopes of returning home to spiritual oneness.

TST_card_FA2

There are ten circles in the Tree of Life known as Sefirot, each one is a unique emanation of divine will that corresponds to our chakras. The sefirot mirror each other as they reveal and receive insights that challenge and support the Wonderer. The left three branches represent the forces of darkness; the right three branches are the forces of light. The central trunk is the neutral, self-giving one. When the Wonderer reaches Kether it leaves the tree to enter Da’at.

Ten Sefirot – Divine Emanation – Location on Tree of Life (Kabbalah)

Kether – Crown – Central Trunk – White

Chokhmah – Wisdom – Right Branch – Violet

Binah – Understanding – Left Branch – Violet

Chesed – Mercy – Right Branch – Blue

Gebarah – Strength – Left Branch – Blue

Tiphereth – Beauty – Central Trunk – Green

Netzach – Victory – Right Branch – Yellow

Hod – Splendor – Left Branch – Yellow

Yesod – Foundation – Central Trunk – Orange

Malkuth – Kingdom/Earth – Central Trunk – Red

The Major Arcana are directly connected with the sefirot in the Tree of Life of the Kabbalah as depicted below.

Major Arcana – Descending Order – Ascending Order

0. & 21.  Da’at – Wonderer & The World

1. & 20.  Kether – Magi – Judgment

2. & 19.  Chokhmah – Mystic & Sun

3. & 18.  Binah – Earth & Moon

4. & 17.  Chesed – Divine & Star

5. & 16.  Gebarah – Teacher & Tower

6. & 15.  Tiphereth – Lover & Devil

7. & 14.  Netzach – Chariot & Temperance

8. & 13.  Hod – Strength & Death

9. & 12. Yesod – Hermit – Hanged One

10. & 11. Malkuth – Wheel of Fortune – Justice

The Wonderer “0” and the World “XXI” represent the beginning and end of one’s journey. These two cards are added to the 20 cards that directly correlate to the 10 sefirot. The Wonderer begins the journey outside of the “Tree of Life” as a pure soul. It meets each sefirot twice, as it travels through the Tree of Life. The sefirot known as Kether, represents the entry and exit point in the journey of the Wonderer; as (Magi-Almond) and (Judgment-Olive.) When the Wonderer reaches the World, it has transcended the tree and attained Da’at. This is why there are 22 cards in the Major Arcana.

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

In Judaic literature, Metatron is seen as the prophet Enoch, who became the angelic scribe of the Book of Secrets for humankind’s return to the Garden of Eden. In the Kabbalah, Metatron is identified with the sefirot Kether. The Hebrew word Metatron, in Latin means “the measurer.” Metatron’s Cube holds the Knowledge of Life.

To learn more about sacred geometry visit my other site: www.mandalachakra.com.

Genesis and Exodus were originally written between 600–200 BCE based in the oral tradition of storytelling. It is possible that the wisdom of the Tarot could date back thousands of years as a way to heal the original wound of separation felt by the self of its soul.

The Judaic Tree of Life is also encoded in the seven-branched oil lamp known as the menorah. It is described as a blossoming almond tree in the Book of Exodus, with 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 diagram for the Tree of Life in the Kabbalah is based on the almond tree as a symbol of awakening and watching. Both are directly related to the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden. The two columns of King Solomon’s temple, Jachin and Boaz, also represent these archetypal trees that hold space for us to return to our selves as whole. Both columns are etched with 200 pomegranates as symbols of the fruit of life.

Tree Spirit Tarot was inspired by the fact that trees hold important archetypal messages that reflect and shed light on our journey through life. Trees have been silently guarding and guiding us for millennia as we searched for the meaning of life and death.

Major Arcana as the Trees on our Journey

  1. Wonderer – Birch – New Beginning
  2. Magi – Almond – Purpose
  3. Mystic – Gingko Biloba – Mystery
  4. Earth – Fig – Co-creation
  5. Sky – Oak – Divine Nature
  6. Teacher – Redwood – Lessons
  7. Lover – Pomegranate – Passion
  8. Chariot – Ash – Life Force
  9. Strength – Mangrove – Support
  10. Hermit – Banyan – Reflection
  11. Wheel of Fortune – Ceiba – Change
  12. Justice – Bristlecone Pine – Truth
  13. Hanged One – Yew – Paradox
  14. Death – Cypress – Transition
  15. Temperance – Laurel – Moderation
  16. Devil – Apple – Shadow
  17. Tower – Eucalyptus – Obstacle
  18. Star – Cottonwood – Hope
  19. Moon – Willow – Intuition
  20. Sun – Orange – Joy
  21. Judgment – Olive – Peace
  22. The World – Baobab – Return

Minor Arcana (lesser secret) originally represented the four elements of life: fire, water, air and earth. These elements symbolize core functions of life that influence and support our journey. Fire relates to our passion and desires. Water represents our emotions and intuition. Air corresponds to our thoughts while Earth embodies our physical and material world. The 56 cards of the minor arcana are divided into four suits of 14 cards. These four suits are interpreted differently based on its function as a deck of playing cards or as a deck of tarot cards.

Four Elements – Suits

Fire – Clubs – Wands/Batons

Water – Hearts – Cups/Vessels

Air – Spades – Swords

Earth – Diamonds – Coins/Pentacles

Tree Spirit Tarot redefines these suit cardsas groups of trees.

Tree Spirit – Suits

Evergreen Trees – Wands/Batons

Fruit Trees – Cups/Vessels

Hardwood Trees – Swords

Nut & Seed Trees – Coins/Pentacles

Within each suit of 14 cards there are five cards that are not identified by number. The first card is the Ace, which marks the beginnings point with each suit. The cards progress 2-10. These are followed by four court cards based on increased levels of maturity.

Tree Spirit Tarot – Ace

Pioneer – Ace

Tree Spirit Tarot – Court Cards

Messenger – Page/Jack

Guardian -Knight

Earthkeeper – Queen

Wisdomkeeper – King

Evergreen Trees – Wands

Pioneer of Evergreens – Arborvitae – Renewal

Two of Evergreens – White Pine – Peacemaker

Three of Evergreens – Hemlock – Grace

Four of Evergreens – Myrtle – Harmony

Five of Evergreens – Dragon Tree – Conflict

Six of Evergreens – Cedar – Faith

Seven of Evergreens – Juniper – Boundaries

Eight of Evergreens – Fir – Rising

Nine of Evergreens – Spruce – Resilience

Ten of Evergreens – Pine – Responsibility

Messenger of Evergreens – Monkey Puzzle – Change

Guardian of Evergreens – Kauri – Survival

Earthkeeper of Evergreens – Sequoia – Fire

Wisdomkeeper of Evergreens – Cacao – Compassion

Fruit Trees – Cups

Pioneer of Fruit Trees – Mulberry – Abundance

Two of Fruit Trees – Quince – Love

Three of Fruit Trees – Pawpaw – Discovery

Four of Fruit Trees – Plum – Patience

Five of Fruit Trees – Pear – Separation

Six of Fruit Trees – Mango – Happiness

Seven of Fruit Trees – Persimmon – Choices

Eight of Fruit Trees – Coconut – Journey

Nine of Fruit Trees – Peach – Health

Ten of Fruit Trees – Cherry – Sweetness

Messenger of Fruit Trees – Avocado – Vitality

Guardian of Fruit Trees – Lemon – Clearing

Earthkeeper of Fruit Trees – Sycomore – Regenerate

Wisdomkeeper of Fruit Trees – Date – Creation

Hardwood Trees – Swords

Pioneer of Hard Woods – Black Locust – Travels

Two of Hard Woods – Ebony – Clarity

Three of Hard Woods – Teak – Pressure

Four of Hard Woods – Larch – Connection

Five of Hard Woods – Rowan – Calling

Six of Hard Woods – Rosewood – Heartfelt

Seven of Hard Woods – Acacia – Revelation

Eight of Hard Woods – Hawthorn – Hope

Nine of Hard Woods – Sugar Maple – Dreams

Ten of Hard Woods – Hornbeam – Challenge

Messenger of Hard Woods – Dogwood – Magic

Guardian of Hard Woods – Lignum Vitae – Guardian

Earthkeeper of Hard Woods – Magnolia – Independent

Wisdomkeeper of Hard Woods – Plane – Counsel

Nut & Seed Trees – Coins

Pioneer of Nuts & Seeds – Pine Nut – Gift

Two of Nuts & Seeds  – Coffee – Balance

Three of Nuts & Seeds – Macadamia – Creativity

Four of Nuts & Seeds – Bay Nut – Stability

Five of Nuts & Seeds – Walnut – Discernment

Six of Nuts & Seeds – Pistachio – Generosity

Seven of Nuts & Seeds – Cashew – Reward

Eight of Nuts & Seeds – Brazil Nut – Preparing

Nine of Nuts & Seeds – Acorn – Achievement

Ten of Nuts & Seeds – Pecan – Wealth

Messenger of Nuts & Seeds – Hazelnut – Manifestation

Guardian of Nuts & Seeds – Chestnut – Provider

Earthkeeeper of Nuts & Seeds – Hickory – Nourish

Wisdomkeeper of Nuts & Seeds – Beechnut – Power

“To some people a tree is something so incredibly beautiful that it brings tears to the eyes. To others it is just a green thing that stands in the way.” – William Blake 

Note: Until I can find an agent or publisher to help create an affordable box set the physical book and card deck are available for purchase from these suppliers.

Tree Spirit Tarot book: Amazon

Tree Spirit card deck at: Printers Studio

______________________________________________________