|Thoth Tarot, Crowley and Harris|
'In a very real way, this image is telling us that...all the cards in the Minor Arcana ultimately live inside one card, the Ace of Wands. Of course, it takes a Buddha to actually grasp that concept. It also leaves us with a pretty thin deck of tarot cards to play with.' ~Lon Milo DuQuette, Understanding Aleister Crowley's Thoth Tarot
I understand traditional divinatory meanings of the Ace of Wands. I understand that it is the source, or the great potential, of the energy of the Wands suit, suit of fire. But it turns out that this Ace of Wands has its flames in the shape of the Tree of Life, and the Tree of Life is something that I don't understand.
You'll notice I left something out of the DuQuette quotation above. Here's the whole thing:
'In a very real way, this image is telling us that, just as all the sephiroth of all four Trees of Life are only aspects of the one supreme Kether, just as all four Qbalistic worlds are really only aspects of the highest world, just as the He and the Vau and the fine He of YHVH are really only aspects of the Yod, all the cards in the Minor Arcana ultimately live inside one card, Ace of Wands. Of course, it takes a Buddah to actually grasp that concept. It also leaves us with a pretty thin deck of tarot cards to play with. It's probably better for us to go along with the Qabalistic drill and view this card as representing Kether, of the Tree of life that represents the highest of the Qabalistic worlds, Atziluth. That's a heavy enough concept as it is.'
I read every chapter at the beginning of this book. I read the chapter on Tree of Life twice. I didn't understand a blooming word of it either time. I still do not understand it. I don't even know yet what a sephiroth is. Let's just google it:
The Sephirothic Tree consists of ten globes of luminous splendor arranged in three vertical columns and connected by 22 channels or paths. The ten globes are called the Sephiroth and to them are assigned the numbers 1 to 10.
Sure, okay then. A Sephiroth is the circle thingies on the Tree of Life. Well, at least I now know that much. Here's the darn thing:
Those little lines marked 'Atu' are for Major Arcana. A major card is an 'Atu', and they're called 'Atus of Tahuti', which absolutely cracks me up. I've started calling them 'R2s of Patootie' in my head.
I got a long way to go, people.