It’s pretty common knowledge that if you want to, you can mix Astrology into your Tarot practice. They’re two very different systems, but if you settle on some linkages to connect the symbols of one with the symbols of the other, then using them together can actually enrich your practices with both.
The same can be said for Kabbalah. This is hardly a carefully-guarded secret, but plenty of occultist types will do the similar thing of interweaving these two systems together – it’s just that Kabbalah theory isn’t anywhere near as well-known as Astrology is.
Do you know the cool and colorful symbol at the left in this image? That’s the Kabbalah’s Tree of Life. It’s a deceptively simple-looking glyph that actually captures all of existence within its magical bounds. At the top is what you can think of as the “Godhead” – pure, shining Divinity – and at the bottom is the sphere called Malkuth, which represents the material world. This is where we live: as “corrupted” and far from the Godhead as it gets…which explains a bit about the world around us today… But we’re still inextricably connected to that Godhead, is also part of the message here! The 22 pathways on the Tree each correspond to one of the 22 Major cards in Tarot, while the 10 spheres, or “Sephiroth” each hold the corresponding numbered cards, as well as providing housing for the Suits and the Court Card ranks.
As with Astrology, you don’t strictly need to use Kabbalah concepts with your Tarot…but if you want to, this can add a lot of depth to your understanding of traditional Tarot card meanings. And Tarot is receptive to it! Check out the arrangement of the Pentacles in that 10 card there in the image, which card was taken from the hugely popular Rider-Waite-Smith deck. It looks familiar, doesn’t it…?
So do you actively embrace Kabbalah concepts in your Tarot practice, or do they seem like so much unnecessary overkill to you…?
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