writes on the ordering of the virtues,
"According to the Life of Pythagoras by Iamblicus, the soul was composed of three hierarchical levels. The lowest or animal soul was concerned with appetites and governed by the virtue of Temperance. A second part of the soul was concerned with ambition and power and was governed by the virtue of Strength or Fortitude. The highest soul was the rational soul that sought after wisdom and cultivated the virtue of Justice to balance the parts of the soul and the individual human with other humans and the universe. The three virtues are discussed in three consecutive chapters of Iamblicus which was readily available at the beginning of the 15th century."
So, the Fool
could be representative of the lowest soul - the animal soul
, the Papess
with the second soul - ambition and power
, and the Emperor
with the soul of wisdom
. This works even better with the Eastern
ordering of the trumps, the so called 'B'
The Fool/The Juggler = The Soul of Appetites = governance by Temperance
The Empress/The Emperor = The Soul of Will = governance by Fortitude
The Papess/The Pope = The Soul of Wisdom = governance of Justice
Or, as Plato
said in The Republic
"Then we may begin by assuming that there are three classes of men - lovers of wisdom, lovers of honor, lovers of gain?"
In the 'B'
ordering, one virtue appears in each of the horizontal rows. Temperance
is with the "ranks of man", Fortitude
is with the "cycle of life", and Justice
is with the 'celestial group'.
The Ranks of Man = The Soul of Appetites = governance by Temperance
The Cycle of Life = The Soul of Will = governance by Fortitude
The Celestial Realm = The Soul of Wisdom = governance of Justice
Such a scheme would be consistent with both Iamblicus
. Could this have been a consideration in the design of the trump order? In The Tarot - History, Symbolism, and Divination
, Robert M. Place
seems to think so,
"...they (the trumps) contain a three-part story that is based on Plato's theory of the three parts of the soul: the soul of appetite, the soul of will, and the soul of reason."
While the 'B'
ordering works well with the 'virtues' and the 'three-souls', a similar arrangement in to columns loses some of the interesting connections compared to the 'C'
ordering, like the Empress/Moon, Emperor/Sun connection, or the Moon/Time connection, which was extremely interesting considering the lunar role in time keeping.