clock face tarot arrangement

#1
this is just a bit of fun with classification. i have been reading some feng shui books and noticed that in certain diagrams the twelve earthly branches are arranged in a circle, and the four points which are at 90 degrees to one another are grouped for various purposes. that led me to thinking about Tarot, since the numbers from 1-12 sum to 78.

so if we take the twelve numbers on a clock face, and then pair them as opposites, and group two pairs together that are at right angles to each other, we have the following groups:

12 + 6 / 9 + 3; total is 30
1 + 7 / 10 + 4; total is 22
2 + 8 / 11 + 5; total is 26

the middle group has 22 members, which immediately suggests the 22 trumps, (or 21 trumps and the excuse).
the two remaining groups have 56 members, to equal the minor cards. of these, the group that equals 26 suggests the 16 court cards and one whole suit, while the group that equals 30 would be the three remaining suits.

it's an interesting exercise to put various cards in these groups. starting with the trumps, i think the magician is number 1, while the 7 'eschatological' cards (XV - XXI) are number 7. this leaves the four Papi to be the number 4, with the Fool and the 9 Allegories of Life (V-XIV) to be the number 10, (this is the Fool as everyman, going through the trials of life).

for the group of 26, I think these could be one suit of ten and 16 court cards, but there is no easy division of them. the number 2 might be the ace and ten of disks, while the number 8 would be the eight other disks cards. the 11 and 5 would be court cards, but again no easy division here. perhaps the four pages/princesses, along with a special zodiacal card (if you assign the zodiac to the courts) could be the number 5, with the remaining court cards as the 11.

the last group of 30 is also not simple. i would say the three remaining aces as the number 3, opposite the 3's, 6' and 9's from each remaining suit as the number 9, then you could have the six remaining Swords cards as the number 6, and the 12 remaining Wands and Cups cards as the 12.

so you would have:

1 = Trump I, the Magician
2 = Ace & Ten of Disks
3 = Aces of Wands, Cups, Swords
4 = Trumps II-V
5 = Four princesses and Knight of Disks(?)
6 = 2,4,5,7,8,10 of Swords
7 = Trumps XV-XXI
8 = 2-9 of Disks
9 = 3,6,9 of Wands, Cups, & Swords
10 = Trumps VI-XIV plus the Fool
11 = All court cards except those in (5)
12 = 2,4,5,7,8,10 of Wands & Cups

Number totals from cards:
1 = 1
2 = 11
3 = 3
4 = 14
5 = 0
6 = 36
7 = 126
8 = 44
9 = 54
10 = 90
11 = 0
12 = 72

obviously, other schemes are possible.
so how would you arrange the 78 cards?

Re: clock face tarot arrangement

#4
debra wrote:I wouldn't. I'm lucky if I can stack them up in order. But here's one: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?li ... d=14520929

The guy makes really nice tarot boxes, by the way, and will do custom work.
It's this use of decans which has bothered me maybe the most when considering the origin of GD/Waite/Crowley tarot meanings. It seems SO arbitrary, and a forced overlay on top of the cards.

RLG, what's a disk? (much less a page/princess!) :o)
The Tarot will lose all its vitality for one who allows himself to be side-tracked by its pedantry. - Aleister Crowley

Re: clock face tarot arrangement

#5
robert wrote: RLG, what's a disk? (much less a page/princess!) :o)
"Disks" is Crowley's name for the Coins suit.

Knights replace Kings, and Princes and Princesses are the equivalent of the old Knights and Valets in the Golden Dawn's esoteric teaching. It refers to a cyclic interpretation of the divine name YHVH.

So the Thoth court cards go:

Knight (Y - Fire)
Queen (H - Water)
Prince (V - Air)
Princess (H - Earth)
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Re: clock face tarot arrangement

#6
Thanks Ross, you took the words right out of my keyboard :-)

Actually, though, I think the question of what is a 'disk' is a pretty good one. Why exactly did the suit of coins become disks anyway? 'Disk' just seems so much less evocative of... anything. Spheres, I could understand, but I've never really had a handle on the purpose of the term 'disks'.

As for Crowley, it's doubly odd he would use the term disk in his own tarot, when he lists the four suits in his Liber B vel Magi, and calls one of them 'coins', the traditional term. But I'll take disks over 'pentacles' any day :-)

Re: clock face tarot arrangement

#8
RLG wrote: Actually, though, I think the question of what is a 'disk' is a pretty good one. Why exactly did the suit of coins become disks anyway? 'Disk' just seems so much less evocative of... anything. Spheres, I could understand, but I've never really had a handle on the purpose of the term 'disks'.

As for Crowley, it's doubly odd he would use the term disk in his own tarot, when he lists the four suits in his Liber B vel Magi, and calls one of them 'coins', the traditional term. But I'll take disks over 'pentacles' any day :-)
He explains his choice on page 210 of The Book of Thoth:
Nor are the Disks any more to be considered as Coins; the Disk is a whirling emblem. Naturally so; since it is now known that every Star, every true Planet, is a whirling sphere. The Atom, again, is no more the hard, intractable, dead Particle of Dalton, but a system of whirling forces, comparable to the Solar hierarchy itself.
So by using the term "Disks" Crowley was trying to update the elemental symbolism of the suit - from an immobile "Earth" to a "whirling" Earth.
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Re: clock face tarot arrangement

#9
Hi Ross,

His description of disk reminds me of the 'solar disk' or Aten from Egyptian religion, which is often depicted as a bas-relief that is a portion of a sphere, (even though it's almost universally referred to as the sun 'disk'). Considering that, and the fact that he wanted to make the earth suit more dynamic, it still surprises me he didn't choose spheres, since they evoke the idea of motion a lot more. Perhaps he didn't want to get too far away from tradition?
while on this tangent, note the actual versions of 'disks' in Harris' tarot:

Ace = a pantacle or shield
2 = a pair of t'ai ch'i symbols
3 = wheels
4 = no circular design at all
5 = flat disks (on top of larger flat disks, on top of even larger ones)
6 = spheres from the Tree of Life
7 = coins or medals
8 = flower pods
9 = 3 spheres & 6 coins or medals
10 = coins in a Tree of Life array

From this list we can see that Harris depicted the disks in a variety of ways, whereas the other suit cards are pretty homogenous.
And even though Crowley's understanding of the atom was from the days of the mini-solar system model (now discredited), it is still true that what once seemed an indivisible piece of matter is really made up of particles moving at incredible speeds, so he was astute in the sense that he wanted to explain the apparently inert 'element of Earth' in a very dynamic way.

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