We hope you enjoy today’s soundbite in which Doug Qapel Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat Sensei give a brief introduction to the Tarot. In addition to looking at the deck’s origin and how it can be used, they give a short introduction to the first card, the Fool.
This summer at Clear Sky Center (and virtually for those unable to travel) Qapel and Sensei will be leading a deep dive on the Tarot & Western Archetypes. This practice is part of a powerful and concise path of liberation that draws on our own life experiences as Westerners and our native intelligence to help unfold deeper wisdom and understanding of our mystical life. You can learn more about the Tarot retreat, and learn how to attend in person or virtually at planetdharma.com/tarot.
Welcome to this Dharma if you Dare bonus episode. We hope you enjoyed today’s sound bite in which Doug Qapel Duncan and Catherine Pawasarat Sensei give a brief introduction to the Tarot. In addition to looking at the deck’s origin and how it can be used they give a short introduction to the first card: The Fool.
Q: This week we’re talking specifically about the tarot cards and their principles and elements. So there are 22 major arcana, that’s 22 high cards, if you think about a playing deck. And 56 minor arcana, which we don’t have time to go into -they would be like the lower cards in a playing deck 1-9. And the interesting thing about this is that the playing cards that you use to play poker or bridge come from the Western Mysteries and what they did is they took out the major arcana leaving the joker in the deck as a symbol or an icon for those that have eyes to go: “Where is this joker coming from?” So the other four cards that are missing out from the normal playing deck of cards are the four knights. So the jack is the page and the queen is the queen and the king is the king and the ace is the ace. And the joker in a normal deck is the Fool. Now, normally in a layout -there are very, there are a lot of different ways to do layouts in tarot, in terms of readings, taking readings, for things that you’re interested in or investigating, like questions.
Sensei: Like one, for example, is of all the chakras, that’s one of the past present and future that you mentioned. Or just picking one card for a theme to reflect on – those are a few.
Q: You can have a cross right, which is above and below, inner and outer, and then present environmental situations in the future. So there are many different ways to do that. We’re not going to talk about that too much but we would like to refer you to this one which is a nice overview which is the Fool above. And then the three rows of seven. Which are principles, paths or agencies, and results.
CPS: This is a good way to study the tarot because they’re presented in order. Okay, so at the top by itself is the Fool – the first card, zero, number zero. And, as Sensei said, there are three rows of seven.
Q: So these can be used in the same way that a shaman does a ritual or an initiation – calls forth for a kind of inner psychic experience, similar to the I-Ching and in some ways similar to astrology as well. And you can learn more about how astrology uses this kind of descriptive analysis of psychic phenomena by going to Catharine’s Astrodharma course on the internet.
CPS: Okay, the first row is principles, the second is paths and then the third row is life experiences or results. So they’re coordinated horizontally as well as vertically.
Q: For instance, the Magician through the Strength card through the Devil card, but again, we don’t have time to go into that kind of detail. So, we’ll move on. So Tarot: you can say ator, orat, tarot.
CPS: These are all anagrams with the word tarot.
Q: Yes, so you could say ator, orat, rota, Torah, tarot. Ator is a name for God, Orat is to speak, Rota is a wheel, like rotation, Torah is the law, and tarot is the study or the method. So you could say: God speaks the wheel of the law through the Tarot, or you could say The Wheel of Tarot speaks the Law of Nature – and you just reverse the words around. You’d get rota-wheel. Tarot. Orat, speaks. Torah, law. And Ator, God or nature. So this anagram of this word is how tarot became Tarot.
CPS: This can all be seen on the Wheel of the Fortune Card, which is # 10. So around the wheel are those letters. And as Sensei points out, depending on how you read it, they make up the different words.
Q: Okay, so the first card we’re going to start with is the fool.
CPS: This is our inner self about to engage on yet another adventure. It’s a little bit like ‘the fools go where wise men fear to tread’ saying. You can see he’s about to step off a cliff, but he’s quite joyful.
Q: He’s a being, which is not the same thing as a personality. So you have to come to terms with that one. It’s kind of a state of being rather than a person with a personality.
CPS: And he’s joyful, that’s really key.
Q: This is our divine breath and it reminds us to seek and explore ourselves. We breathe in order to explore our world and we breathe in order to explore ourselves. So he’s a happy guy. He’s in exploration mode. He’s always on the verge of a new discovery, and he stands in the middle of the circle of life. So if you put all the cards in a circle he’d be in the middle.
CPS: So if you have a deck of tarot cards and you don’t have them with you, you might want to grab them because we’ll be going through them.
Q: So, he’s not fooled. He’s the awakened mind.
CPS: He’s the Fool but he’s not fooled.
Q: He remains unmoved, he’s the unmoved mover. In this case, his intelligence is called the scintillating intelligence, which kind of sharpens you up and it’s attributed to Uranus astrologically.
CPS: Transformation through revolution.
Q: So he’s always on the verge of a revolution. Revolutions don’t necessarily have to be violent. It can be a very peaceful revolution of the spiritual. Revolution of your view. Revolution of your behavior and so on. So a little bit on the Fool.
We hope you enjoyed today’s sound bite this summer at clear sky center and virtually for those unable to travel, Qapel and Sensei will be leading a deep dive on the tarot and western archetypes. This practice is part of a powerful and concise path of liberation that draws on our own life experiences as Westerners and our native intelligence to help unfold deeper wisdom and understanding of our mystical life. You can learn more about the tarot retreat and learn how to attend in person or virtually @ planetdharma.com/Tarot. See you next time and may all our efforts benefit all beings.