The SymbolsThe Primitive TermsKey of SymbolismDefinition of the Sense of one of the SymbolsThe General Law of Symbolism.
INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY OF SYMBOLISM IN THE TAROT.
OUR study of the Tarot and its numerical arrangement has given us the general key, which should be applied to all the further developments of which our subject may be susceptible.
The symbols should therefore exactly follow the evolution of the numbers, and this we shall find them do. However, as we shall now study each of the cards of the Tarot in turn, and as the reader's attention may be a little diverted by all these details, we have determined to commence by a short introduction to the study of the symbolism of the Tarot, an introduction in which we shall say a few words upon the grouping of the symbols.
This point explained, we can pass on to further details, which we shall terminate by a synthetic recapitulation. We thus hope to obtain the greatest possible light upon these difficult subjects.
The analysis of the word Yodhevauhe has given us
the general law upon which the whole Tarot is constructed. This law is thus represented

1 

2 he 
2nd he 4 


vau 

We must therefore first define the four primitive terms in our symbols, which form the law exactly applicable to the whole symbolism.
And, in fact, we find these four terms in our four first cards; the general sense of these terms being
1Creator or Divine.
2Preserver or Astral.
3Transformer or Physical and Diffuser.
4Generator or Transitional becoming Creator.
This law corresponds in all points with our sacred word, thus


Creator or Divine 




1 


Preserver or Astral 
2 he 
2nd he 4 
Transition or Generation 



vau 




Transformer or Physical 


We shall see that this law applies exactly to each of the cards which possess three meanings.
A superlative or Divine meaning.
A comparative or MagicAstral meaning.
A positive or Physical meaning, responding, to a transition.
GENERAL STUDY OF THE FOUR FIRST CARDS.
Key to the Symbolism of the Tarot.
The four first cards of the major arcana form, symbolically as well as numerically, a complete sequence, which corresponds with the sacred word Yodhevauhe.
For the first card expresses the active absolute, and corresponds with Yod.
The second card denotes the reflex of the first, the passive absolute; it corresponds with the first He.
The third indicates the median term, the convertible transforming term, corresponding to Vau.
Lastly, the fourth card is a term of transition between the preceding series and the one that follows it.
The symbolic series of the Tarot is therefore completely represented by the four first cards, exactly as the numerical sequence is represented by the four first numbers. This fact produces a very important consideration, namely, that all the symbols of the Tarot are but transformations of the three first, and that the latter will supply us with the general law of symbolism, a law which will enable us to determine mathematically the sense of each card that follows.
But we can go still further.
Since the second card is the reflex of the first, and is formed by the first considered negatively, and since the third card results from the two others, it suffices to be perfectly acquainted with the first card of the Tarot to determine mathematically the sense of all the others.
Some details upon this subject are necessary.
The general law of the four first cards is as follows
1Positive. Creator.
2Negative. Reflex of the first. Preserver.
3Neuter, enveloping the two others. Transformer.
4Passage from one series to another.
We can then represent the series in this way
And what is true for each of the terms of a ternary is also true for the ternary taken as a whole, and this leads us to new considerations.
For the first ternary would be positive, corresponding to Yod, the active, the creator.
The second ternary would be negative, and would correspond to the first He, i. e. that all the terms of this ternary would be reflections of the terms of the first, just as the second card was the reflex of the first.
This gives us
We can thus determine the meaning of the arcana 4, 5, 6, 7 in the three worlds, since we know the meaning of the arcana 1, 2, 3, 4.
We need only refer to the study of the Tarot by numbers, to find the symbols, which correspond respectively to Yod, to He, to Vau, and to the second He.
But if the second ternary is the reflex of the first, the same rule applies to the septenaries.
All the cards of the second septenary will therefore be the symbolical reflection of those of the first.
All the cards of the third septenary are representatives of the third term, or of transformation.
We have then
The 1st septenary,
Which represents the active Creation. The Divine OsirisBrahma, or the Father.
The 2nd septenary,
Which represents Preservation. The Astral, Isis, Vishnu, the Son.
The 3rd septenary,
Which represents Transformation, Physics, Horus, Siva, the Holy Spirit.
The three first arcana will therefore give the sense of all the others according to the following figure:
FIGURE SHOWING THE SENSE OF EACH OF THE 22 MAJOR ARCANA 

yod 
1. 
4. 
7. 
10. 
13. 
16. 
19. 
1st he 
2. 
5. 
8. 
11. 
14. 
17. 
20. 
vau 
3. 
6. 
9. 
12. 
15. 
18. 
21. 
2nd he 
4 = 
(1) 
 
 
 
 
 

yod 
he 
vau 
2nd he 
This figure is very important, for it enables us to see at once the symbolical value of any card in the Tarot, by working in the following way
TO DISCOVER À PRIORI THE SYMBOLICAL VALUE OF ANY CARD IN THE TAROT.
We must see
(1st) Which Hebrew letter is written to the left in the horizontal column, which contains the card under consideration.
(2nd) Which Hebrew letter is written at the foot of the vertical column, containing the card.
(3rd) Which sign (+ or ) governs the secondary vertical column, containing the card in question.
EXAMPLE:
I wish to determine the sense of the 5th arcanum.
I look to the left and find the Hebrew letter he.
This shows that the 5th arcanum is the he of what?
In order to know, I look at the vertical column and find yod.
The 5th arcanum is the he of yod, but that is not enough, so I look at the secondary column which contains the sign () negative.
I thus obtain a definite description of the 5th arcanum.
The fifth card of the Tarot is
The He of Yod considered negatively.
This is a synthetic formula comprehensible to those only who are used to manipulating the sense of the word Yodhevauhe. It is therefore necessary to give further explanations.
He represents the reflex.
We may therefore say, more explicitly
The 5th arcanum is:
The reflex of yod considered negatively. But what is yod considered negatively?
To find this out, I look in my left column at the letter yod, I seek in the secondary vertical column the sign () negative, and at the intersection of these two lines I find the 4th arcanum.
The yod considered negatively is the 4th arcanum.
This leads me to conclude
That the 5th arcanum is the reflex of the 4th arcanum.
All the arcana can be explained in this way by each other, according to the above rules.
This tableau is the key of the Ars Magna of Raymond Lulle.
_______________________
CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN THE CARDS OF THE TAROT.
To obtain the origin and derivation of any card in the Tarot, it suffices to take the third card before it, and the third card after it.
Thus the 8th arcanum is derived from the 5th arcanum, and gives rise to the 11th arcanum.
5 
8 
11 
Universal life. 
Elementary existence. 
Reflected and transitory life. 
*
* *
From this it ensues that, when two cards added together give an even number, we need only take the half of the number to discover the card which serves to unite those under consideration.
Thus, in order to discover the link which binds the 4th arcanum to the 6th, i.e. the universal vivifying fluid, to universal love, I add together 4 + 6 = 10, and I take onehalf of the number obtained 10 /2 =5.
The 5th arcanum (universal life) therefore unites the two opposites. 1
The passage of the vivifying fluid (4) into love (6) is performed through the medium of universal life (5).
Since each card of the Tarot has three meanings, it is easy to philosophize by means of our pack, without taking too much trouble about it.
*
* *
Another result of this rule is, that each card of the Tarot has a complementary in any card bearing a number which, added to its own, gives a total of 22.
For instance, what is the complementary card of the 1st arcanum?
It is the 21st arcanum, since 21 + 1 = 22. What is the transition from 1 to 21?
According to what we have just stated it is 21 + 1= 22/2 = 11.
The 11th arcanum (reflected and transitory life) therefore forms the transition between the 1st arcanum (creative principle) and the 21st arcanum (universal generation).
To find the card that serves as complementary to any other, we must therefore subtract the number of the card in question from 22.
For instance to find the complementary card to 14
22  14 = 8.
The 8th arcanum is therefore complementary to the 14th.
We have made this digression because all these details
will be most useful to us presently. We can now return to the study of our major arcana.
Let us once more recall the manner in which the four first arcana have given us the key to the symbolism of all the others, according to their affinities with the sacred word, as follows
THE GENERAL LAW OF THE SYMBOLISM OF THE TAROT.


Positive 




(1) 


Negative Reflex of yod 
(2) he 
2nd he (4) 
Transition yod of the following series 



vau 




Neuter 


79:1 The Hebrew alphabet thoroughly establishes this affiliation for the letters corresponding to these three numbers. (See 8th arcanum.)