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JournaloftheWesternMysteryTradition
No.17,Vol.2.AutumnalEquinox2009

TarotandKabbalisticSacredGeometry
byJ.S.Kupperman
InissuethirteenoftheJWMTappearedanarticleonsacredgeometry
derivedfromtheprotokabalistictextTheSeferYetzirah.Thatarticle
describedawaytoreadthefirstfivechapterstodevelopwhatiscommonly
referredtoastheCubeofSpaceanddiscusseditsrelationshiptotheaura
andthekabbalisticsouls.Thecurrentarticlebuildsuponthepreviousand
willdiscussakabbalistictarotinrelationtotheSeferYetzirah,butalsolater
kabbalistictext.AstheSeferYetzirahdealswiththelettersoftheHebrew
alefbetthisarticlewillfocusonthecorrespondingmajorarcanaofthetarot,
whichareassociatedwiththoseletters.Thiswillincludenotonlytheir
placementontheCube,andontheTreeofLife,butwillalsoimply
interpretationsofthosecardsbasedontheirlocationontheCubeandthe
sefirotthatsurroundsitaswellashowtheymaybeunderstoodbecauseof
theirlocationontheTreeofLife.
Thecardsofthesocalledmajorarcana,theseriesoftwentytwoimage
bearingortrumpcards,ofthemoderntarotdeckhavebeenassociated,in
onewayoranother,withthetwentytwolettersoftheHebrewalefbetfor
overtwohundredyears.ThoughdevelopedbythelikesofPapusand
EliphasLviZahedmoderndecksthatemploythoselettersarelargely
derivedfromthetarotworkofSamuelLiddellMacGregorMathers,one
ofthefoundersoftheOrderoftheGoldenDawn.Followingthisaredecks
basedontheworkofAleisterCrowleyinhisBookofThoth,andA.E.
WaitesKeytotheTarot,bothofwhombasedtheirtarotsonMathers
work.
TheGoldenDawnsattributionoftheletterstothetrumpsisfoundedon
WilliamWynnWestcottscorrectedtranslationoftheSeferYetzirah,a
protokabalistictextdatingfrombetweenthethirdthroughsixthcenturies
C.E.Latertarotenthusiastshaveusedasimilarideologyindevelopingthe
CubeofSpace,muchasIhaddoneintheissuethirteenoftheJWMT.
Onedifference,however,isthatpreviousauthorshavebeenworkingfrom
theperspectiveofmodernmagicalqabalahwhilemyownperspectiveis
derivedmorefromtraditionalJewishkabbalah.ApplyingthistotheCube
ofSpaceandthetarotcreatesasomewhatdifferent,andveryinteresting,
understandingofthetrumpcards.
Importantly,Iamnotclaimingtorepresentthecorrectversionofthe
tarot.Thetarotwasderivedfromagamethereisnocorrectversion.To
makesuchaclaimistomistakethemapfortheterrain.However,thereare
possiblysomesystemsthatworkbetterthanothersand,worse,somethings
thatpresentthemselvesassystemsthat,ultimately,aredeadends.Not
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havingmistakenthemapfortheterrain,wemustreadourmapscarefullyif
wearetoproceedforwardatall.
Overthelastfewcenturiestherehasbeenanynumberofdifferent
orderings,names,etc.ofthemajorarcana.Someearlydecks,designedfor
gameplayratherthandivination,haveincludedupwardsofthirtytrumps.
Standardizationofthetrumps,theirnamesandorderhasonlyoccurredin
thelastonehundredorsoyears.Thisarticlewillusethefollowingsetof
cardtoletterattributions.Ireferyoutothepreviousarticleforagreater
understandingofhowthelettertosigncorrespondenceswerederived.
Table1:AssociationofLetters,SignsandCards

ItisimportanttonotethatIhavedecidedtokeeptheusuallettercard
attributions.[1]Thismeansthattheplanetsherearenotnecessarily
associatedwiththesamecardsasfoundinmoderntarotdecks.
PartI:ThePlacementoftheCardsandLetters
SheloshImotThreeMother

VersesixofthethirdchapteroftheSeferYetzirahtellsofthepositionof
thethreeMotherletters, , , :
Theheadiscreatedfromfire,
Thebellyiscreatedfromwater,
Andthechest,frombreath,
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Decidesbetweenthem.[2]
TheSeferYetzirahisheredescribingpartsofwhatwilleventuallybe
knownasAdamKadmon,theHolyorDivineHuman.ThoughRabbiIsaac
Luriawilleventuallyassociatethiswithoneofhisfivekabbalisticworldsit
isalsoatermsometimesusedtorefertothehumanformontheTreeof
Lifeitself.ThroughthisideologythetriadofKeterChokmahBinahmake
upthehead,ChesedandGevurahtherightandleftarms,[3]Tiferetthetorso
ortrunkofthebody,NetzachandHodtherightandleftlegs,Yesodthe
phallus[4]andMalkhutthefeet.
ThetwentytwoextrasefiroticpathsoftheTreeofLifearedividedinto
threehorizontal,sevenverticalandtwelvediagonallines.Theseperfectly
mimicthedivisionsoftheMotherletters,DoublelettersandtheSimples.
PlacingtheMothersbecomesasimplematteratthispoint.Breath,givento
theletterAdecidesbetweenfire( )andwater( ),andislocatedatthe
levelofthechest.Thepathcorrespondingtothisletterrunsbetween
ChesedandGevurah.Fire,thehead,runsbetweenChokmahandBinahand
Mem,thebelly,betweenNetzachandHod.
Diagram1:TheMothersontheTreeofLife

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PlacementontheCubeofSpaceisaneasyprospectatthispoint.Following
thepreviousarticlewefindthattheMothersrunthroughtheX,YandZ
axes.Thisisdemonstratedinthediagrambelow:
Diagram2:TheMothersintheCubeofSpace

Asyouwillrecall,thethreewayaxisformedbytheMothersextend
throughthecubeofspace,connectingtothesefirotbeyond.Aconnectsto
ChesedandGevurah, toNetzachandHodand toTiferetandYesod.
Thisdoubleconnection,eachoftheMothersbeingsituatedbetweennot
two,butfour[5]willbeimportantwhenitcomestointerpretingthecards.
Alef:TothisletterisgiventheelementofairandtheFoolcard.Forsome
timeithasbeengiventhenumber0andplacedeithertowardstheendof
thedeckoratthebeginning,withtheadventofMatherscorrected
sequencing.Kabbalisticallyonemightsuggestthatitismoreappropriately
givethennumber1.Thereareatleastthreepossiblereasonsforthis.First,
itisthefirstcardandthefirstelement,fromwhichtheotherscomefrom.In
gimatriathereisnonumber0,so1isentirelyappropriateanditisthe
gimatricvalueoftheletter .Second,andequallyimportant, ,andallthe
lettersafterit,aredistinctlyinmanifestation,itisonlyAyinSof,thefully
transcendentdeity,thatisinnumerable.Finally,theFoolisthecardof
beginnings,butnotoforiginationitisnotthenothingfromwhich
everythingcame,buttheveryfirstsomething,walkingthebalancedpath
betweenwaterandfire,loveandfear.
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Mem: isthe13thkeyofthetarot,associatedwiththeMotherelementof
waterandtheHangedMancard.GivenwatersassociationwithChesedit
mayseemthattheHangedManisanunlikelymatch.Howeverwaterisalso
anelementusedforpunishment,suchasseenintheBiblicalstoryofthe
flood.ThepathbetweenNetzachandHodhastodo,amongstotherthings,
withdivineprotectionandthecessationofdivineprotection.[6]Itiswewho
havetiedourselvesup,whetherornotwewillbefreedbeforethewater
risesdependsuponouractionsinthisworld,whetherornotwehavegained
protectionorhavelostitandsowillsufferforourfallinginwiththeevil
inclination.
Shin:The21stkeyofthetarotandthesecondtolastletter, hasattributed
toittheelementoffireandtheJudgmentcard.ThesefiraGevurahisgiven
totheideaofjudgmentandso ,withitsGevuricfire,isentirely
appropriatehereandnomoreexplanationisneeded.
ShevahKefulotSevenDoubles

ThefourthchapteroftheSeferYetzirahexplainstheroleandplacementof
thesevenDoublelettersandtheirplanetaryassociations.Havingalready
establishedtheMothersasthehorizontallinesontheTreeofLife,the
Doublesarenaturallyplacedonthesevenverticallines.Again,the
associationofthelettersandplanetshasalreadybeenestablished.As
mentionedintheintroduction,inordertomaintainsomesemblancewith
thenownormativepositioningoftheletters,signsandtrumpsontheTree
ofLife,IhavedecidedtolinktheplanetswiththeirHebrewletters,rather
thantheirtarotcards.
Table2:Letters,Planets,Cards

Thesameideathatcausedthisordering,theuseoftheChaldeanorderof
theplanets,willalsohelpusplacetheDoublesontheTreeofLife.Thisis
necessaryaseventhoughweknowtheyaretobeplacedontheverticals,
theSeferYetzirahisnotasobviousabouttheirindividualplacementasitis
fortheMothers.However,forexactplacement,wewillalsoturntothe
earliestoftheofkabbalistictexts,theSeferhaBahir.
InathemethatwillbelatertakenupbytheZohar,theBahirdiscussesthe
naturesofmanyoftheHebrewletters.Thesebriefdiscussionswillhelpus
placetheDoublelettersontheTreeofLife,causinganapparentchangeto
theirperhapslogicalorder.Thus,asyouwillsee,theletter willbeplaced
beneathChokmah,thesecondsefiraandnotKeter,thefirst.
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Diagram3:TheDoublesontheTreeofLife

Itisobviousfromdiagramtwothateventhoughthecardsarebeing
associatedwiththesamelettersaswiththemodernformsoftarot,their
positioningontheTreeofLifeisradicallydifferentasitdoesnotemploy
thepathofreturnmodelusedinmoderndecks.[7]Also,andperhapsmore
radically,thecardsignrelationshipsarealtered,astheywerewiththe
Motherletters.Abriefdiscussionofthereasoningbehindhowtheletters
areplacedontheTreeofLifefollows:
Bet:TheBahir,[8]playingontheetymologyofthenameoftheletter ,
tellsusthatweshouldnotreaditasbet,theletter,butbayit,house.It
quotesProverbs24:3,saying:WithWisdomthehouseisbuilt...Thus
andChokmah,wisdom,becomedirectlyrelatedinkabbalisticthought.
Further,theZohar[9]tellsusthattheBiblebeginswiththeletter because
itistheletterofblessings,connectingtheideaofbeginningswiththeletter.
ThekabbalistsassociatedthetendepthsofcreationmentionedintheSefer
Yetzirahwiththetensefirot.[10]Mostcommonlytheydecidedthat
Chokmahrepresentedthedepthofbeginning,furtherestablishingan
associationbetween andChokmah.AsthisisaDoubleletter,theonly
placeforitisdescendingverticallyfromChokmahtoChesed,wherethe
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blessingswillfillthecupofblessingfoundinthesefiraofLoving
Kindness.
To isgiventheMaguscardandtheplanetSaturn.Astrologically,Saturn
isthegreatteacherwhoseslowlessonsgiveuswisdom.Thisistheroleof
theMagus,theknowerofallwisdom.Itisthroughthiswisdom,whichis
experiential,notjustintellectual,thattheMagusisabletomanipulatethe
worldashedoes.AsChokmahcontainstheblueprintofallpossible
creationthepathoftheMagusisoneofsupernalwisdom.Forthisreason
wemightrenamethecardTheurgosorTheurgist,theGodWorker,which
inNeoplatoniccosmologyisassociatedwithNous,ortheDivineMind.
Gimel:Theletter isdescribedassomethingthatrenders(gomel)
kindness. istorendergoodnesstothelowersefirot,tothepoor.[11]Allof
thesefirotarepoorincomparisontoKeter,foritisfromKeterthat
everythingelseemanates.Thus ,withitsattributionofwealth[12]can
onlybeappropriatelyplacedbeneathKeter,thesourceofallspiritual
wealth.
GimelistheHighPriestessandtheplanetJupiter.Therenderingof
kindness,theblessingsofKeterishighlyappropriateforJupiter,thegreater
benefic.HeretheHighPriestessmightbeseenasakindofUpper
Shekhinah,hintingnotonlyattheEmpressdescendingfromBinahbutthe
WorldcardthatleadsintoMalkhut.Thesetwocards,theHighPriestessand
theWorld,maybeseenandupperandlowerreflectionsofoneanother.The
HighPriestesswork,likethatoftheMagus/Theurgos,istrulyspiritualin
nature,leadingusonlyhigherandhigheronthepathoftikun,rectification.
Dalet:AccordingtotheBahir,[13]daletrepresentspoverty(dal,poor).This
maybereadasanallusiontotheShekhinahandMalkhut,bothofwhich
ultimatelystemfromBinah,throughGevurah.Malkhutispoorbecauseit
doesnotgiveitsownblessingsitonlyreceivesthemfromabove.Disalso
giventhepowerofseedintheSeferYetzirah,anappropriatepowerfor
Binah,whoisalsocalledIma,mother.[14]
TheEmpresscardisassociatedwith ,alongwiththeplanetMars.Thisis
significantlydifferentfromitsnownormativeplanetarycorrespondence,
Venus.Themartialideologyhereisareflectionofkabbalisticthought.
Binah,astheheadofthelefthandpillar,isthesourceofallseverityand
restriction.Itisthroughthepowerofrestrictionthatallcreationcomes,
symbolizedbythepregnantEmpress.ThisideaisreflectedinGenesis,
wherethenameofGodthatcreatesisElohim.This,accordingto
kabbalistictradition,isthedivinenameofBinahwhenspoken.[15]
Mythologically,itcouldalsobeaddedthattheRomangodMars,thougha
godofwar,wasagodofcropsaswell,linkingtheaboveideastogether.
Kaf:ThefourthDoubleletter,K,comesfromkaf,thepalmofthehand.Of
thisitiswrittenthatthepalmiscalledapanofmerit(kafzechut).Inthe
SeferYetzirahthepanofmeritisassociatedwiththeletter asthe
elementofwater,whichisgiventoChesed,lovingkindness.[16]Further,K
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hasthepoweroflife,whichisonlyappropriateforthelifegivingsun.[17]
The11thkeyistheWheelofFortune,connectedtotheSun.Inthemodern
systemsthiscardisgiventoJupiterandrepresents,ultimately,good
fortune.TheideaoftheSunconnectedtofortunehasakabbalistic
precedent.AccordingtotheZoharwhetherornotonewillhavechildrenis
amatteroffate,mazel.Mazelhastheliteralmeaningofstar,[18]of
which,ofcourse,oursisthesun.So,weprayforgoodfortune,loving
kindnessstemmingfromChesed,forthegivingofchildren,oneofthe
greatestblessingsacouplecanhaveinJewishthought.Thiscan,ofcourse,
beseensymbolicallyasrepresentinggoodfortuneingeneral,soits
placementhereinfactreplacestheplanetaryattributionofthemoderndeck.
Peh: ,towhichisgiventheplanetVenus,descendsfromGevurahandhas
thepowerofDominancegiventoitbytheSeferYetzirah.[19]TheBahir
issilentabout ,thoughgivenitscommentaryon ,andtheZoharic
attributionofLunafor suggestthisistheonlyotherplacefortheletterto
beplaced.
NormallyassociatedwithMars,here isgiventoVenusandtheBlasted
Tower.WhiletheTowermaybetheTowerofBabel,whichwasdestroyed
becauseofthearroganceofhumanity,thatdestructionalsoallowsfornew
growth,lifeandrectification,amajorthemeofkabbalisticworks,
especiallyafterRabbiIsaacLuria.TheZoharsimultaneouslyassociates
withredemption(purqena)butalsotheserpentbytheshapeofitsbody.
TraditionallykabbalisticsourcesblameEve,Venus,forhumanitybeing
exiledfromtheGardenofEdenbybeingtemptedbytheserpent,opening
thewayoftheevilinclination,representedbytheserpent,todominatethe
world.ItisthroughtheShekhinah,orinChristianbelieftheVirginMary,
thatthiswillberectified.SotheTowercanbeseenasasymbolofboth
destructionandresolution.
Resh:TheBahir[20]saysthat istherootofeverytree.Leadinginto
Yesod,therootorfoundationoftheTreeofLife,wecanseethat isthus
logicallyplaced.ThislogicofdiscussingYesodratherthanTiferetdirectly
iscontinuedinakabbalisticinterpretationoftheSeferYetzirah.Here is
giventhepowerofpeace,shalom,atitleofYesod.[21]
Theletter ishereassociatedwiththeSuncardandtheplanetMercury,
whichistheplanetclosesttothesun.TheSuncardishereappropriately
placedbetweenTiferetandYesod,bothofwhicharesymbolizedbythesun
inkabbalistictexts.Itisthesun,theBrideGroomorBlessedHolyOnethat
connectstothemoon,Shekhinah,akabbalisticpageantryofthehigherself
comingintothelowerandrectifyingit.Thusthiscardmaybesaidto
representthecompletionofacycle,withthehigherandlowermarried,with
newprospectsinthefuture.
Tav:ThelastoftheDoubles,indeedthelastletterofthealefbetis ,to
whichisgiventhemoon.AccordingtoAryehKaplan,inhiscommentary
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ontheBahiranditsdiscussionoftohu,chaos,theletter ,beingthefinal
letter,representsMalkhut,thefinalsefira.[22]Moresignificantly,theZohar
makesconstantallusionstothefullmoonbeingthesymbolicmanifestation
oftheShekhinah,thepresenceofGodincreation.[23]Thus,itcanbeseen
howtheWorld,Malkhut,isentirelyappropriateforthisletterandits
position.
IntheCubeofSpacetheplanetsformasecondaryaxis,supportedbythe
Motherletters.UnliketheMothers,theaxisoftheDoublesextendsonlyto
theperimeteroftheCubeofSpace,whichismadeupoftheSimpleletters.
TheDoubles,withtheirtarotandplanetaryattributions,areasfollows:
Diagram4:TheDoublesintheCubeofSpace

UnlikeaswiththeMothers,whichhaveadoublesetoftrumpbetween
sefirotattributions,theDoublesdonotextendbeyondtheCubeofSpace.
Thatbeingsaid,aswewillsee,thesphereofthesefirotdescribedinthe
previousarticlewillcometoinfluencetheDoubles,infactalloftheletters,
inunexpectedways.
ShtemEsrayPashutotTwelveSimples

ChapterfiveoftheSeferYetzirahdealswiththeSimpleletters,whichare
associatedwiththesignsofthezodiac.Ofallthechaptersofthisshorttext,
thisisthemostexplicitabouttheplacementoftheletters,tellingustheir
generalpositionontheTreeofLifeandtheirprecisepositioninwhatwill
makeuptheactualcubepartoftheCubeofSpace.
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TwelveElemental

Theirfoundationisthetwelvediagonalboundaries.[24]
Table3:Letters,Signs,Cards

TherearemanydifferentwaysthattheSimplescanbeplacedontheir
paths.Forinstancethereisanemanatorymethod.Eachsefira,withthe
exceptionofMalkhut,projectsfromitoneormorenetivot,paths.The
emanatorymethodsimplyallowsforthepathstoextendnaturallyand
chronologically,witheachsefiraemanatingitspath(s)beforethenext.In
thecasesofKeter,ChokmahandBinah,allofwhichhavetwo,orthreein
thecaseofKeter,netivotleadingfromthem,ratherthanone,pathsare
projectedfirsttothehigherthenthelowersefira
Diagram5:TheSimplesontheTreeofLife

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ItwillbenoticedthatunlikeintheformoftheTreeofLifeusedbymost
modernqabalists,therearenodiagonalpathsconnectedtoMalkhut.Thisis
inkeepingwithkabbalisticdoctrinethatShekhinahreceivesonlythrough
unionwithYesod,thedivinephallus,andnothingelse.[25]Thereader
shouldalsonoticethatthiscreatesafundamentallydifferentlookingTree
ofLifefromwhatisfoundinmostmodernbooksontheqabalistictarot.Its
attributionsalsodiffergreatlyfromversionsoftheTreeofLifegivenby
theGraandRabbiIsaacLuria.
AssociatedwithAriesandtheEmperor, hasthe5thkeyofthetarot.
Thoughthiscardsattributionsareinkeepingwithmoderntarotdecks,its
placementisnot.ToHisgiventhepowerofspeech,[26]theultimate
creativeactinalloftheAbrahamicreligions.AsthefirstoftheSimplesto
comefromKeteritisfittingthatthefirstandmostproactivezodiacalsign
beassociatedwithit.TheEmperorisherethetrueKing,descendingfrom
theCrown,empoweringthedivineWillofChokmahwithsacredand
creativespeech.
Vav:Correspondingto isthesignofTaurusandtheHierophantcard.The
Hierophantisacardofcreation,somethingthatgivesshape.Thenumerical
valueoftheletter issix,whichalludestothesixdirectionsinspaceand
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thesixsealsoftheDivinenamethatsurroundit.[27]Thisisappropriatefor
acardthatinspiresBinah,whichmeansintuitionandunderstandingandis
giventhepowerofthought.[28]Itisthisthoughtthatgivesmeaningand
formtothespeechof .
Zayin: hasassociatedwithittheLoverscardandGemini.Thisnetivah
runsbetweenChokmahandGevurah,whichisperhapsfittingforaletters
whoseveryimage,isthatofasword[29]andwhosenamemeansweapon."
isgiventhepowerofmotionaccordingtotheSeferYetzirah.[30]Coupled
withGemini,thetwins,wehavethesuggestionofstrifeortheswordof
Godcleavingbetweentwothingstoseparateandrestrainthemasfoundin
thebeginningofthealchemicalprocess,whichisnecessarytocreatethe
perfectgold.
Chet: istheChariotandCancer.Ithasthepowerofsightasbridgesthe
gapbetweenBinah,thesupernalMother,andChesed,thelowerfather.The
chariotisthemerkavahorthroneuponwhichtheUpperShekhinah,Binah.
WeseeuponthechariottheimageofGod,avisionofcreationinits
supernalformtheunionofMotherandFather.Itisthischariotthatcarries
usfromthelowersefirottotheSupernals.ThefemininenatureofCancer
supportsboththeimageoftheShekhinahaschariotriderandthearmored
chariotitself.>
Tet: leadsfromChokmahtoTiferetandisassociatedwithJusticeand
Leo.JusticeisafittingcardforthispathasTiferetisthesefiraofjustice
andtruejusticecanonlycomefromtheSupernals,whichexistbeyondthe
subjectiverealm.Justiceoccursthroughthecarefullisteningofthe
complaintanddecidingwithwisdom,andhearingisthepowerassociated
withthisletter.[31]Leoisthehonorablelion,whichisalsoasymbolfor
ChriststreamingdownfromtheFather.Courageisnecessaryinthe
carryingoutofjustice,asitisoftenthecasethatwedowhatiseasy,not
whatisright.
Yod:Thecardconnectedwith istheHermit,itssignVirgo. connects
Binah,theMother,andTiferet,theson.Thepowerof isaction,[32]which,
alongwithitsreceivingofpowerfromBinah,seemscontradictorytothe
ideaofthevirginandthereclusivehermit.However,thevirginalhermitis
onewho,throughactionandcompassionhasrectifiedthemselves,
overcomingtheevilinclinationinordertoleadothersalongthepathof
tikkun
Lamed:TypicallyJusticeisattributedtoLamed,buthereitisFortitude,its
signisLibra.Lamedistheoxgoad,andideawhichconnectsthiscardto ,
theox.Fortitudecanbeseenastheperseveranceofmovingunderpressure,
thegoadmovingtheox.Italsospeaksofarequisitespiritualfortitude
necessarytomovefromtheplaceofbeautybeyond,tohigherlevelsof
spiritualitythatarenotsoeasilygained,andnevergainedwithouttrialand
ordeal.Thisisrepresentedbythewomantamingaliononthetrump.
Classicallythesoulwasseenasbeingfeminineinnature,thusitdepictsthe
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soulinitsordeal.Lamedisalsoassociatedwithkingship,[33]asTiferetis
thekingoftheKingdom,Malkhut.Theordealmustbemetandpassedfor
thatkingshiptoremain,andforittovivifytheworlditmustbetempered
withlovingkindness.
Nun:Thesignthatcorrespondsto isScorpio,thecardisDeath,which
connectsGevurahandTiferet.Thepowerof isthatofsmell,[34]fittingfor
Death.Theletterisalsoassociationwithnofelim,fallen,[35]asall
eventuallyfalltodeath,whoiscalledtheEndofallFlesh.
Samekh:ThisistheTemperancecard,associatedwithSagittarius,asignof
spiritualseeking.Samekhisthesupportoftheworld,holdingupthefallen.
[36]ThisideaworkswellwithNetzach,whichisaccordedtheroleofgiving
divineprotectiontothosewhoneedit.[37]Thepowerassociatedwith is
sleep,whichisalsofitting,asNetzach,alongwithHod,areresponsiblefor
thespiritualgiftsofvisionandprophecy.[38]
Ayin: istheDevilandCapricorn,connectingTiferettoHod.Whereas
Netzachisgivenauthoritytoprotect,Hodwithdrawsthatprotection,[39]
leavingusvulnerablewhenwehavegivenourselvestotheevilinclination,
whichisassociatedwithSatanandthepowerofanger[40].Further, is
associatedwithavon,iniquity.[41]
Tzaddi:TheStarandAquarius,connectingNetzachandYesod. is
tzaddikim,therighteousoftheworld,whichisassociatedwithYesod.[42]It
hasthepoweroftaste,[43]whichreferstotheflowingwatercomingfrom
thewaterbearersvesselthisistheflowofdivineblessingsfromabove,
originallybeingpouredoutfromtheHighPriestess.
Khof:Finally, istheMoon,whichisassociatedwithPiscesandthe
poweroflaughter.[44]Khofisassociatedwithdeceit,[45]themostcommon
traitofthenewmoon,whichisgivenovertothepoweroftheEvil
InclinationandSatan.ItwasforthisreasonthattheAzazelgoatsacrifice
wasimplemented,todistracttheEvilInclinationsotheblessingsfrom
abovecoulddescendunmolested.
Chapter5:2oftheSeferYetzirahgivesusexplicitdirectionsforthe
placementofthediagonalpathstocreatetheactualCubeofSpaceproper.
Theeastupperboundary
Theeastnorthernboundary
Theeastlowerboundary
Thesouthupperboundary
Thesoutheasternboundary
Thesouthlowerboundary
Thewestupperboundary
Thewestsouthernboundary
Thewestlowerboundary
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Thenorthupperboundary
Thenorthwesternboundary
Thenorthlowerboundary
Theimplicationhereisthatthelettersshouldbeplacedintheabove
sequenceaccordingtohowtheywerelistedinfoursetsofthreeinthe
earlierportionofthesamesection.
Diagram6:TheSimplesformingtheCubeofSpace

ThesocalledCubeofSpaceisntexactlyacube,however.The
boundariesdescribedinchapter5:2donotformasixsidedshapebuta
foursidedone,thetopandbottomareopen,perhapsallowingfortheinflux
ofsupernalenergyintothequasicube.Or,asNetzachandHodare
associatedwiththegiftsofvisionandprophecy,[46]thismaybethe
openingthroughwhichthosegiftsarebroughtintomanifestation.That
thesetwosidesareopenisnotentirelyrelevanttothecurrentdiscussion,
thoughperhapsinterestinggiventhegeneralsubjectmatteri.e.divination.
TheCubeofSpace,asitpertainsdirectlytothetarottrumps,isnow
complete.However,thesefirstfivechaptersoftheSeferYetzirahdontdeal
solelywiththelettersofthealefbettheyalsodiscussthesefirotbelimah,
thesefirotofnothing.Therolethesesefirotplayherehastodowiththe
overallinfluencetheyhaveondifferentsectionsoftheCube,andhowthat
influencerelatestothetrumpsthereandtheirinterpretations.Thenext
sectionofthispaperwilldiscussthehowallofthisreflectsuponthose
interpretations.
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PartII:TheInfluencesoftheCubeofSpaceandExternalSefirot
ontheTrumps
TheCubeofSpace,asdefinedbythetwelvediagonalsoftheSimple
letters,issurroundedbytwosetsofsefirot.Thefirstarethoseoutsideofthe
wholesystem,designatedbytheSeferYetzirahasBeginning(Chokmah)
andEnd(Binah),Good(Keter)andEvil(Malkhut).[47]Inaccordancewith
theirrelativepositionsontheTreeofLife,Ihaveplacedthesefoursefirot
aroundtheotherdepths.Thesesefirotcutthespherecreatedbythesix
directionsinspaceintofourquarters.Eachofthesequartersisinfluenced
bytheirrespectivesefira:
Table4:TheSefirotandtheQuarters

Thewholesystemcanbeseeninthefollowingdiagram:
Diagram7:TheExternalSefirotandtheirInfluenceontheCubeofSpace

Whentheabovediagramisbrokendown,weseethateachquarterhas
withinitmultipleletters.Thecardsoftheselettersfallundertheinfluence
ofthesefirathatdominatesthequarterthatitisin.Thesoleexceptionto
thisis ,whichliesintheprecisecenterofthesphereandiseither
influencedbyallfourofthesurroundingsefirotornone.Giventhe
hypercubethatwillformaroundthecenteroftheCube,theformerismore
likelythanthelater.Also,someoftheSimpleletters,beingontheborders
dividingthequarters,willfallundertheinfluenceofmorethanonesefirot.
TheMotherswilllikewisebeassociatedwiththepowersoftwosefirotas
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theypiercethecentralaccessoftheCube.
Beneaththisisanotherofinfluences,determinedbythesixdepthsthat
correspondtothesixdirections.Thiswillcreateasecondsetofinfluences.
Thoughthisbecomesverydifficulttorepresentgraphically,thefollowset
oftablesinChart1demonstrateshowtheexternalsinfluencesefirotofthe
sixdirections.Chart2showshowtheyinfluencethelettersandChart3
howthesefirotofthesixdirectioninfluencetheletters.Missingfromthese
chartsistheletter ,whichisaffectedbyallthesefirot.
Chart1:Externals/Directionals

Chart2:Externals/Letters

Chart3:Directionals/Letters

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Ascanbeseeneachletters,andthuseachchard,isgovernedbynotonlyits
astrologicalsignbutmultiplesefirot.
Whatdoesallofthismeanforakabbalistictarot?Infact,manythings.
First,andperhapsmostimportantly,itallowsforarichlycomplex
cosmology.Thisinturnwillaffecttheuseofthecardsbothforscryingand
fordivination.Indesigningeachtrumptheconfluenceofforcescan,and
should,betakenintoconsidering,providingformultiplelevelsof
symbolismforinterpretation.Also,astheminorarcaneandthecourtcards
canbeplacedonthissystem,itisacompletesystem.
Onapracticalmagicallevel,muchasdiscussedinthepreviousarticle,this
systemalsocreatesamapofenergiespresentinanymagicalspacethatis
createdusingthisideology.Thus,forinstance,physicalposturescanbe
developedtotapintotheseenergies,muchliketheOrderoftheGolden
Dawnsgradesigns.Italsosuggestsinitiatorypurposeswhereineach
progressiveinitiationmovesthecandidatethroughdifferentportionsofthe
hallcorrespondingtothevariouslevelsdiscussedhereandelsewhere.
Thetarotisadeeplyrichcosmologicalsystem.Whenattachedtoa
kabbalisticparadigmthatrichnessisenhancedmanytimes.Throughthe
SeferYetzirahandkabbalistictextssuchastheBahirandZoharacomplex
andcompletesystemcanbedevelopedtoenhancebothonesmagicaland
spiritualjourney.Themapthuscreatedconsistsnotonlyofafive
dimensionalhypercubebutonewithexternalandinternalstructuresthat
canbeutilizedtoexploreboththemicroandmacrocosm.Suchasystem
mustbecarefullyproducedand,moreimportantly,explored.Itwillbe
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throughacompleteinvestigationofthekabbalistictarotthatitstruefruits
willbeharvested.
Index

Notes

[1]WithoneexceptionforthosewhoareusedtoaGoldenDawnstyleset
ofattributes.TheversionabovepredatestheGoldenDawnsattributes
(ChristopherI.Lehrich,TheOccultMind:InTheoryandPractice(Ithica,
NY:CornellUniversityPress,2007),135).
[2]AryehKaplan,trans.,SeferYetzirah:TheBookofCreation(YorkBeach,
ME:WeiserBooks,1997),3:6.Aswiththepreviousarticles,unless
otherwisestated,allquotationsfromtheSeferYetziraharefromtheKaplan
translation.
[3]Respectively.Traditionalkabbalahdoesnotreversetherightandleft
sidesaslaterhermeticqabalahdoes.Thus,intextssuchastheZohar,
constantreferencestotheLefthandside,thesideofthedemonicderived
fromGevurah,aremade.
[4]TraditionallyYesodwasassociatedwiththeplaceoftheCovenant,the
circumcisedpenis.Thoughgenerallyconsideredmasculine,Yesodisalso
theplaceofunionbetweentheBlessedHolyOne(Tiferet)andShekhinah
(Malkhut)andaportionofitsDivineName,Shaddai,sharesarootwiththe
Hebrewwordsformountainandbreast,suggestingahiddenfeminine
sideaswell.
[5]WiththeexceptionofA,whichislaysbetweenChesedandGevurahon
boththeCubeandtheTreeofLife.This,inandofitself,suggests
somethingaboutthenatureofAandtheFoolcard.
[6]ThisthemeiswoventhroughoutthechapteronNetzachandHodin
GikatillasShaareOrah.JosephGikatilla,GatesofLight:ShaareOrah,
trans.AviWeinstein(SanFranscisco:HarperCollinsPublishers,1994),
115146.
[7]ThismodeltracesthelettersgoingsequentiallydownfromKeterto
Malkhut,ThesecanthenbefollowedbackupwardsformingtheGolden
DawnsSerpentofWisdom.
[8]AryehKaplan,trans.,TheBahir:Illumination(YorkBeach,ME:
WeiserBooks,1979),6.
[9]DanielC.Matt,trans.,TheZohar(Stanford:StanfordUniversityPress,
20046),1:3b.
[10]C.f.Kaplan,SeferYetzirah,446.
[11]Matt,Zohar,1:3b.
[12]Kaplan,SeferYetzirah,4:9
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[13]Kaplan,11.
[14]C.f.GeoffreyW.Dennis,TheEncyclopediaofJewishMyth,Magic
andMysticism(Woodbury,MN:LlewellynPublications,2007),34and
Matt,Zoharvol1,459.
[15]ItisspelledYHVHbutsaidElohim.See,forexample,Gikatilla,
Gates,283.

[16]Kaplan,Ibelieve,mistakenlyassociatesthethreeMotherswithKeter,
ChokmahandBinah.TheZoharfullyestablishesChesed,Gevurahand
Tiferetasbeingarchetypalformercy,judgmentandbalancei.e.thescale
describedbytheSeferYetzirah.See,forexampleParshaBo,201.

[17]Kaplan,SeferYetzirah,175.
[18]C.f.Matt,Zohar,1:115a,1:137a.
[19]4:12.
[20]Kaplan,30.
[21]<4:16Gikatilla,Gates667.
[22]90.
[23]C.f.Matt,Zohar,1:136a,1:237a.
[24]5:2.
[25]C.f.Gikatilla,Gates,55.
[26]Kaplan,SeferYetzirah,5:7.
[27]Kaplan,Bahir,12.Thisreferstothenumericalvalueoftheletter.
[28]Kaplan,SeferYetzirah,5:7.
[29]Matt,Zohar,1:3a.
[30]5:7
[31]Ibid.,5:8
[32]Ibid.
[33]Matt,Zohar,1:3a.
[34]Kaplan,SeferYetzirah,5:8.
[35]Matt,Zohar,1:3a.
[36]Ibid.
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[37]Gikatilla,Gates,115146.
[38]Ibid.
[39]Ibid.
[40]Kaplan,SeferYetzirah,5:9.
[41]Matt,Zohar,1:3a.
[42]Ibid.
[43]Kaplan,SeferYetzirah,5:9.
[44]Ibid.
[45]Matt,Zohar,1:2b.
[46]Gikatilla,Gates,13033.
[47]Kaplan,1:5.

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Index

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