by Paul A. Clark

Eliphas Levi, the French Magus, stated:
As an erudite Kabbalistic book, all combinations of which reveal the harmonies preexisting between signs. letters, and numbers, the practical value of the Tarot is truly and above all marvelous. A prisoner devoid of books, had he only a Tarot of which he knew how to make use, could, in a few years, acquire a universal science, and converse with an unequalled doctrine and inexhaustible eloquence."
The Tarot first appeared, according to tradition approximately the year 1200 A.D. The great library of Alexandria had some years earlier been pillaged and burned, and the Collegium of the Adepts had been relocated in the city of Fez, Morrocco. Here they held their conclaves during which they discussed advances in science and philosophy, These Adepts designed the Tarot for a two-fold purpose:
  1. To embody the Key ideas of their advanced science and mysteries in a form that would not be detected by the secular authorities (who were eager to stamp out the inner wisdom), and;

  2. To provide tools for training the individual consciousness so that it could speed the psychological changes that would help the Aspirant realize his full potential.
What exactly is the Tarot?

It is a book of 78 symbolic pictures, divided into two main categories. The first, known as the Minor Arcanum, is composed of 56 cards. These 56 cards are divided into 4 suits and correlate with the modern playing cards:
Pentacles = Diamonds
Swords = Spades
Cups = Hearts
Wands = Clubs
There are 10 "pip" (numbered) cards in each suit and also 4 "court" cards: a King; Queen; and Knight (Jack); and a fourth court card either called Princess or Page.

The remaining 22 Keys are referred to as the Major Arcanum and are named as follows:

Number Title Hebrew Letter Meaning of Letter
0 The Fool Aleph - A Ox
1 The Magician Beth - B House
2 The High Priestess Gimel - G Camel
3 The Empress Daleth - D Door
4 The Emperor Heh - H Window
5 The Hierophant Vav - V Nail or Hook
6 The Lovers Zain - Z Sword
7 The Chariot Cheth - Ch Fence
8 Strength Teth - T Snake
9 The Hermit Yod - Y Hand
10 Wheel of Fortune Kaph - K Fist
11 Justice Lamed - L Ox-Goad
12 The Hanged Man Mem - M Water
13 Death Nun - N Fish
14 Temperance Samekh - S Tent Pole
15 The Devil Ayin - O Eye
16 The Tower Peh - P Mouth
17 The Star Tzaddi - Tz Fishhook
18 The Moon Qoph - Q Back of the Head
19 The Sun Resh - R Face
20 Judgment Shin - Sh Tooth
21 The World Tav - Th Mark or Cross

The Tarot may be depended upon to evoke changes in consciousness necessary to perform the Great Work, the regeneration of consciousness, and attainment of your full potential. Not only are they powerful guides for meditation, but they are keys to the inner planes of consciousness, media for divination and tools to work with your inner powers.

Usually the divinatory aspects receive undue emphasis. We have found that only those who have learned the symbolism, meditated upon, and made these keys part of the very fiber of their being will have any consistent, noteworthy success in Tarot Divination.

The Tarot, when properly used, will evoke from the Inner Consciousness specific emotional, intellectual and mystical states of awareness.

Why does the Tarot work?

To answer this question we must first discuss some of the principles of consciousness:

  1. Causation is always internal. No matter how it may appear at times, we create our own world, built according to our mental imagery. If we change our predominant images we will change our world.

  2. A clear mental image tends to materialize itself as an actual condition or event.

  3. A perfect record of all of our experiences is contained in our subconscious mind. Through its link to the Collective Unconsciousness, we have at our disposal an inexhaustable source of knowledge. This "collective" level is a source of the greater part of our intuitions or insights. In many instances, many modern "discoveries" are simply recoveries from it.

  4. Subconsciousness will link us to whatever or whoever we need to achieve our goals. All the power you require in order to achieve your potential is yours NOW -- this very minute.

  5. The operations of subconsciousness are controllable from the conscious level provided the right means to this end are used.

How does Tarot work?

Knowledge of the great powers of the Subconscious mind, and the methods of directing it are not new. In fact, many of these methods were used in ancient Egypt. In many respects the more ancient techniques are far superior and more effective than the methods developed recently.

The details of the methods for contacting the subconscious mind and channeling its awesome powers were, for centuries, the closely maintained secrets of small lodges of initiates. Only carefully selected and tested aspirants were admitted to these esoteric circles. Strict vows of secrecy and purity of motive were required before the methods of utilizing these powers were explained.

This Tradition of Initiation exists today. In this modern age a sincere Aspirant may yet find admittance to these secrets. Furthermore, much information formally held in reserve is being given out. This is because the consciousness of all of Humanity has evolved to the point where these truths or principles are needed.

The technique described in this paper was devised by Adepts to control the subconscious. It is based on the following Law of Consciousness:

"Subconsciousness responds more readily to visual images than to any other form of suggestion."

By repeated acts of attention to visual images combined in the symbolic pictures that make up the Tarot, we may direct our subconsciousness to achieve our goals. These symbols produce a reaction automatically in the subconscious - a reaction that is psycho-physiological, that is, producing both psychological and physical results. Furthermore, each Tarot Key will produce a specific consistent result.

All categories of human consciousness fall naturally into 22 specific major classifications. The Initiates of Ancient times, using what we would now refer to as the "Scientific Method" (i.e. controlled Observation, checking and replication of results), correlated which symbols and combination of symbols would evoke specifically and consistently each one of these energy patterns of consciousness. This is the basis of the Major Arcanum.

Here is a proven, safe but potent tool for taking your evolution in hand. A method for using the ancient techniques of the Initiates to remake yourself into the image of what you could and should be. to help you achieve your full potential and attain health, security and a truly satisfying existence.