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.
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: 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 Kabbalah’s Tree of Life is based on this.
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
- Wonderer – Birch – New Beginning
- Magi – Almond – Purpose
- Mystic – Gingko Biloba – Mystery
- Earth – Fig – Co-creation
- Sky – Oak – Divine Nature
- Teacher – Redwood – Lessons
- Lover – Pomegranate – Passion
- Chariot – Ash – Life Force
- Strength – Mangrove – Support
- Hermit – Banyan – Reflection
- Wheel of Fortune – Ceiba – Change
- Justice – Bristlecone Pine – Truth
- Hanged One – Yew – Paradox
- Death – Cypress – Transition
- Temperance – Laurel – Moderation
- Devil – Apple – Shadow
- Tower – Eucalyptus – Obstacle
- Star – Cottonwood – Hope
- Moon – Willow – Intuition
- Sun – Orange – Joy
- Judgment – Olive – Peace
- 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
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