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Tarot Hermeneutics

Exploring How We Create Meaning with Tarot

Week Two Waite-Trinick Tarot

Issued raised from last week see week one for notes.

Audio W-T Tarot Week Two (please download file rather than try to listen to it as streaming)

For week two read excerpt provided by Mary Greer and see if you can link the 22 points called 'The Inner Doctrine of the Path' from Waite's Lamps of Western Mysticism (1923)p. 264 (link here)

Also read pdf pages 15-19 The Golden Dawn Tarot. The article entitled "The Tarot and the Rosy Cross" from 1910. We will be discussing this essay for the rest of the sessions so figure upon rereading it.


Christian Symbols and Liturgical Vestments were compiled from the internet skim through them for ideas about W-T images.

Also look at the Golden Dawn Major Arcana as Drawn by Wang under the direction of Regardie







Titles for the Major Arcana

The attributions listed here are in accordance with those of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, the Society of the Inner Light, the Builders of the Adytum (B.O.T.A.), the Servants of the Light, and Pamela Eakins, Tarot of the Spirit.
Waite-Trinck number Card name (Astroanalog): color association; musical note; Path; Hebrew letter; alternative title
Golden Dawn Titles:

XV Strength (Leo): Yellow, gold; E-natural; Binah-Da'ath; Heh 
8 Leo — Strength: Force, Power, Lust, Fortitude, The Conquered Lion, Pan's Phallus, Lucifer Transformed into Light, The Muzzled Lion, The Daughter of the Flaming Sword, Samson, The Enchantress, The Strength of Love, Union, Ecstasy, The Actor, The Life Force, The Lover, The Snake of Knowledge and Delight, The Lion-Headed Serpent, Vital Power, Prana, Dichotomy Resolved, Neith, Intelligence of the Secret of Works, The Performer, The Child, The Emperor's Love, Mercy Tempering Severity, The Cat.

XVI The Magician (Mercury): Yellow; E-natural; Chockmah-Chesed; Vau
1 Mercury—Magician: The Magus, The Juggler, The Magus of Power, The Initiate, Tahuti, The Pagat, The Mountebank, Hermes, Saint Christopher, Loki, Hiram, Harlequin, The Trickster, The Fabricator, Thoth, The Messenger of the Gods, The Minstrel, The Being, The Wizard, The Conjurer, Prometheus, Logic, The Occultist, Creative Will, Intelligence of Transparency, The Crown of Understanding.

XVII The Fool (Uranus): Pale, clear yellow; E-natural; Da 'ath-Tiphareth; Zayin
0 Uranus—Fool: Adam-Kadmon, The Babe in the Egg on the Lotus, The Vagabond, Breath, Lightning, The April Fool, The Invisible Point Which Is Not, The Green Giant of Spring, The Jester, Unity of Center-Circumference, The Knight-Errant, The Unconscious Self, The Stranger in a Strange Land, The Wanderer, Aboriginal Chaos, Tao, Spirit, The Joker, The Great Void, The Babe in the Abyss, Genius, Dionysius, Krishna, Divine Folly, Harparkrat, The Divine Bum, Freedom, The Redeemer, Everyman, The Holy Ghost, The Eccentric, Spirit of Aether, The Androgynous One, Fiery or Scintillating Intelligence, The Crown of Wisdom, The Green Man.

XVIII The High Priestess (Moon): Blue, silver; G-sharp, A-flat; Binah –Geburah; Cheth; Lady of the Sacred Mysteries
2 The Moon—High Priestess: Initiation, The Divine Sophia, Artemis, Bona Dea, Maia, Kybele, The Binary, The Female Pontiff, The Archpriestess, Hecate, Pope Joan, The Priestess of the Silver Star, The Wise Woman, The Witch, The Yoni, Door of the Hidden Sanctuary, The Vesica Piscis, Gnosis, Veiled Isis, The Virgin Mother of the World, Moira, The Holy Guardian, Hathor, Juno, Hera Anima, Diana, The Receiver of All, The Vagina, Soul of All Light, Artemis, Goddess of the Night, The Pillars Jachin and Boaz, The Spiritual Bride and Mother, The Huntress, Trivia, Nuit, Virgin Mary, The Veil of Maya, The Madonna, Eve Before Her Union with Adam, Uniting Intelligence, Memory, The Good Mother, The Crown of Beauty.

XIX The Last Judgement (Pluto): Scarlet, red, black; C-natural; Chesed-Geburah; Teth
20 Pluto—Last Judgement: Perpetual Intelligence, Realization, Resurrection, The Day of Wrath, Vulcan, The Raising of the Dead, The One-Way Trip, The Horn, The Angel Gabriel, King of the After-Life, Hades, The Great Vocation, The Physical Phallus, Spirit of the Primal Fire, Lord of the Underworld, The Hidden One, The Apocalypse, The Swan of Leda, Shiva, Dionysian Ecstasy, The Gangster, Rise, That Which Limits the Auric Egg, The Kidnapper, The Force of Gravity, Conscious Immortality, The Phoenix, The Splendor of the Material World.



Heh — Lattice window, air hole, existence, to be.

Given these letter associations what are we to make of the Strength?

How is lattice window strong?, an air hole? existence? a Shekina?

Images: female nude, twin wings halo bare feet

"15. It can never be an easy Path, as I have indicated otherwise — for not in an hour or a day does a man attain union with God, or love encompass its object. At the same time some of its stages are easy to some aspirants."

From the 22 sections of The Inner Doctrine of the Path, in Lamps of Western Mysticism.

Contemplative Themes:


Vau — Nail, pin, hook, peg.

Given these letter associations what are we to make of the Magician? The M. table?

Images: 5-point star,  shepherd- 3-crossd staff,  gown, rose cross heart, tripod table, 2 chalices, wheat shoot is bal; with tau-cross reversed,  rose or carnation flower

Contemplative Themes:


Zayin — Sword, spear, weapon.

Given these letter associations what are we to make of the Fool?

Images: dark globe, world? Nude male, stigmata, arms raised and nailed to globe, halo

From Cloud Upon the Sanctuary:
When our hearts, through living faith, have received Jesus Christ into them, then this Light of the World is born within us as in a humble stable.
Everything in us is impure, surrounded by the spider-webs of vanity, covered with the mud of sensuality.
Our will is the ox that is under the yoke of its passions. Our reason is the Ass who is bound through the obstinacy of its opinions, its prejudices, its follies.
In this miserable and ruined hut, the home of all the animal passions, can Jesus Christ be born in us through faith.
The simplicity of our souls, is as the shepherds who brought their first offerings, until at last the three principal powers of our royal dignity, our reason, our will, and our activity prostrate themselves before Him and offer Him the gifts of truth, wisdom, and love.
Little by little, the stable of our hearts changes itself into an exterior Temple, where Jesus Christ teaches, but this Temple is still full of Scribes and Pharisees.
Those who sell, Dives and the money changers, are still to be found, and these should be driven out, and the Temple changed into a House of Prayer.
Little by little Jesus Christ chooses all the good powers in us to announce Him. He heals our blindness, purifies our leprosy, raises the dead powers into living forces within us; He is crucified in us, He dies, and He is gloriously raised again Conqueror with us. Afterwords personality lives in us, and instructs us in exalted mysteries, until He has made us complete and ready for the perfect Regeneration, when He mounts to heaven and thence sends us the Spirit of Truth.

But before such a Spirit can act in us, we experience the following changes:--
First, the seven powers of our understanding are lifted up within us; afterwards, the seven powers of our hearts or of our will, and this exaltation takes place after the following manner.
The human understanding is divided into seven powers:
the first is that of looking at abstract objects-intuitus.
By the second we perceive the objects abstractedly regarded-apperceptio.
By the third, that which has been perceived is reflected upon-reflectio.
The fourth is that of considering these objects in their diversity-fantasia, imaginatio.
The fifth is that of deciding upon something-judicium.
The sixth coordinates all these according to their relationships-ratio.
The seventh and last is the power of realizing the whole intellectual intuition-intuitio.
This last contains, so to say, the sum of all the others. p 32

"Contemplative Themes: Paradox, Redemption, The Edge of the Mind, All that is Not Self, Passage, The Abyss, The Dark Night of the Soul."


Cheth — Fence, barrier, enclosure, awe, fear.

Given these letter associations what are we to make of the High Priestess?

Images:  egg light, fountain, enthroned, robed priestess, long hair, moon, horn, crown, Isis,  budding palm fronds, right crescent moon at feet, back of nude man arms out stretched at shoulder height

Color: round globs of light, pillar of light, left crescent, faded woman in throne, short hair, pillar of watery light. man hooded and covered, same posture.

Color:  more foliage, egg halo, pillar of light shortened, woman, long hair, right crescent moon, man nude

"Contemplative Themes: Unity through Devotion, Life, Grace, New Beginnings"


Teth — Snake, coiling, twisting.

Given these letter associations what are we to make of the Last Judgement?


Images:  Feathered Angel wing out spread up (color down), feather gowned, rainbow, crowed halo upward gazing (color look straight), gowned, arms down side, hands, out, feet bare, body glow

Deuteronomy 30

12. Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?"

13 Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, "Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?"

14 No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.

19. This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life

"Contemplative Themes: Arising, Calling, Resurrection, Final Judgement"


Where we will share your notes, reflections and questions next week.


Related Pages

Telephone Contact

Week 1 Notes,

Audio W-T Tarot Week One

(please download file rather than try to listen to it as streaming)

Week 2 Notes,

Audio W-T Tarot Week Two

Week 3 Notes,

Audio W-T Tarot Week Three

Week 4 Notes,

Audio W-T Tarot Week Four

Week 5 Notes,

Audio W-T Tarot Week Five


See digital images of the Waite-Trinick Tarot from the British Museum Research website where one can download for one's own personal study all 43 images.

For access to study material see annotated study Guide


Christian Symbols

Liturgical Vestments

Golden Dawn Major Arcana as Drawn by Wang under the direction of Regardie