The Tarot Spelled Out

The Tarot Alphabet: the Interior Structure of the Major Arcana
Iconic representations of the inner meanings of the Hebrew alphabet
Tarot Gematria

[Tarot Index]

The Alphabet of the Tarot
     The Tarot Major Trumps are considered as a set of iconic representations of the inner meanings of the 22 Hebrew letters, using the astrologically-based "formative" language found in Hebrew texts like the Sepher Yetzirah and Shi'ur Komah.

The twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet consist of three Mother letters, seven Double letters and twelve Simple or Single letters. These correspond to the three elements, the seven planets, the twelve astrological signs, and the twenty-two Tarot.

     The connection between the two sets of 22 Tarot and Hebrew letters was recognized in the 18th century, and has been subject to a variety of interpretation ever since. These interpretations, except for those who find no significance in the "coincidence", are usually couched in mystical or magical or mythological or initiatory terminology, and avoid the problem of validating their theories against the original issue: the Hebrew letters, considered as words and text and as words within themselves.

     Hebrew letters have spellings, which have spellings, leading to multiple levels of expansion or recursion in their substructure, in some cases terminating, and in some cases leading to infinite series.

     Any system of Tarot/Hebrew letter correspondences must justify itself by producing readability in the chosen text. Here, we focus on the substructure of the letters themselves, allowing new perspective into both the meaning and inner structure of the Tarot, when considered as the letters they are, and into the structural/energetic, formative qualities of the Hebrew alphabet as revealed by the symbolism of the Tarot, itself based in the astrology and cosmology of the Sepher Yetsira. The Tarot symbolize the inner energies of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet, which can also be used to spell the meanings of the Tarot (Fool: Fool-Justice-Emperor), shedding light in both directions.

     In regard to the spelling of the autiot themselves, where there is much variation, we use the simplest possible spelling and don't regard Aleph as a qualifier. The classical planetary and zodiacal attributions from the Sepher Yetzirah are used. Note that all of the seven double letters -- formative of the seven planets -- are specified according to their classical attributions, not late Medieval Jewish (Ari-Gra) or 19th Century (Golden Dawn, etc.) English sources.

Also: Tarot Natural Order.
The Tarot of the Alphabet

The Alphabet of the Tarot : Inner Structure of the Major Arcana
L# SY Trumps  
Archetypal 1-9
Intemporal Consciousness : Controlled organic movement : Undifferentiated energy : the interior structure of Aleph/Fool is its own projection as organic, controlled motion into the world of possbility. Aleph acts on (Lammed, 30) unstructured energy (Phay, 80), the evolutionary potentials of the Matrix/Mother Nature. Replacing her (the Empress) with the Tower misunderstands the Infinite as well as Nefesh.
1   1 30 80 Aleph-Lammed-Phay
Container : Existence : Cosmic Resistance : If we can see the relationship betweeen the uncreated and its (archetypal) container, we can see the Fool in the World instead of thinking magically about the Tarot. The interior structure of Bayt-Yod-Tav reveals Aleph's projection into existence, Yod, and the backing of Tav: every container of Aleph-in-Existence is a cosmic event, rooted in the sanctuary and Holy Temple of Tav.
2   2 10 400 Bayt/Beth-Yod-Tav
Movement/energy : Organic resistance : Controlled movement : The Wheel is logical as the archetype of movement (Ghimel/3), defined as containing within itself its own potential for transformation via the biosphere (Mem/40) into controlled energy: organic equilibria (Lammed/30) organized by consciousness in biological organisms. Movement contains resistance and resistance contains movement (see below).
3   3 40 30 Ghimmel-Mem-Lammed
Resistance : Organic movement : Cosmic Resistance : Still in disputed territory (all seven double letters are mis-attributed in converntial wisdom), the number four always lays the foundation for life (5) with its resistance: the cross. Dallet, found only in Yod, Lammed and Tsadde, contains movement and terminates in Tav. It should be clear that a symbol of archetypal resistance is necessary and fortunately the Tarot provides one in the Tower. No life would be possible if the Empress were here (cw).
4   4 30 400 Dallet-Lammed-Tav
    Archetypal Life : There are many spellings for Hay, but life is One. Hay, 5, forms Aries/Toleh, the Emperor/head of the zodiac, spelled Tayt-Lammed-Hay: a self-replicating, living cell, and the beginning of the zodiacal evolution of material energy. The involutionary process ends in Folly. Hay is found only in Pay/Phay (and letters spelled with Phay) which tells you something about life.
5   5     Hay
  Union: Union The sixth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Vav/Waw is the connective, male copulative energy; it will become female in existence (Sammekh). Its interior structure, like Mem, is idempotent and self-engendering. Found in Yod, Noun, Qof and Tav and between the two lives of YHWH.
6   6 6   Vav/Waw-Vav/Waw
Indetermination : Existence : Existential Life / Cosmic Indetermination The logical result of life was proliferation and the logical result of proliferation is the potential for actualizing developmental and evolutionary possibilities and potentials. Containing existence, life and potential cosmic indetermination, Zain doesn't contribute to other letters, but contains its own fulfillment in realized freedom.
7   7 10 50/700 Zayn-Yod-Noun
Undifferentiated Energy : Existence : Cosmic Resistance : Once you have indetermination, you have probability: the pool of undifferentiated potentials and probability sums that might come into being. The Hermit is Aleph in disguise as Yod and appears as the backbone of Beth, Zain, Cheth and Teth.  
8   8 10 400 Cheth/Hayt-Yod-Tav
Cell : Existence : Cosmic Resistance : Tayt is the primative female structuralizing energy, creating the cell which will come into existence with Yod, the next letter. To do this, it draws on the pool of unstructured energy of the previous letter, Hayt, its otherwise twin. Bayt, Hayt and Tayt have similar anatomy.  
9   9 10 400 Teth/Tayt-Yod-Tav
Existential 10-90
Existence : Union : Resistance : Existence (Aleph in disguise, light hidden in manifestation) shows itself to be based in a union with archetypal resistance (Tower, not the passive Empress). Yod lends existence to nine letters, including itself, more than any other: the alphabet is instrumental in creation of existence.  
10   10 6 4 Yod-Waw-Dallet
  Physical supports : Unstructured Energy/Possibility : Kaf/Khaf provides the biological containers, or supports, for evolutionary exploration of the totality of possibilities (paths, potentials) of existence. This is another sign where the Tower, as a symbol of resistance, is counter-logical as Pay/Phay. The fully expanded spelling of Kaf is Kaf-Phay-Hay, and Hamah, which it forms, is Hayt-Mem-Hay: transformations of unstructured energy.
20   20 80   Kaf-Phay
Organic Movement : Organic Resistance : Resistance : Lammed and Dallet are close mirrors in internal structure and embody the biological stimulus-response pattern of adaptive life. Movement contains resistance and resistance contains movement and they move in opposite directions: 4-30-400 vs 30-40-4.  
30   30 40 4 Lammed-Mem-Dallet
  Organic Resistance : Organic Resistance : Water is only itself, with Waw, the only idempotent and self-propagating letters. The biosphere passively absorbs energy, transforming the photon flux into biological energy. Water is the medium/matrix of life. The Hanged Man has fallen from the Tower (upside-down) and points to the cross of the Priestess for those with eyes.
40   40 40   Mem-Mem
Existential Life : Union : Existential Life : Life is one dual energy, life in copulation with itself, inner and outer life. When realized, Death harvests every moment, and and we find the fertile projection into Cosmic Indermination and Freedom.  
50   50 6 50/700 Noun-Waw-Noun
Female copulative energy : Organic resistance : Physical supports : Sammekh is Vav/Waw in existence (male becomes female). A totally existential schema, Sammekh is based in the organic resistance of Mem and yields the physical supports of Kaf -- it supports organic life. Its shape is a womb.  
60   60 40 20 Sammekh-Mem-Khaf
Realization : Existence : Existential Life : Ayn, 70, is projection of cosmic indetermination, Zayn, into existence, where all possibile possibilities are explored -- biologically as species alternatives -- as a result of the action of Sammekh, 60, female fertility. Ayn is one of the nine blessed with existence, Yod, and ends with the transmutable noun of 50 / 700.  
70   70 10 50/700 Ayn-Yod-Noun
  Undifferentialed Energy : Life : 8-80-800 represents undifferentiated, unstructured (dark) energy on every level. It is the only letter to which Hay/Life directly contributes. The Empress/Mother Nature symbolizes the pool of un-realized potentials for evolutionary development. The phonosemantics of Dallet and Phay (door, disaster, duh and flow, fountain, phenomena) show the correct choice. Hay is only found here.
80   80 5   Phay-Hay
Structualizing energy : Resistance : Existence : Tsadde is the counterpart to the unstructured energy of Phay, the pool or sum of probabilities from which it draws to build its structures -- defined as existing resistances. Tsadde is the only other letter besides Yod and Lammed to share in Dallet's archetypal resistance and is the most complex of them all, structured in a dual Lammed-Dallet biological process.  
90   90 4 10 Tsadde-Dallet-Yod
Cosmic 100-900
Cosmic Aleph : Union : Undifferentiated Energy : Qof is cosmically realized Aleph, and its structure reflects this fact: both project into Phay, with the action changing from movement in Aleph to union/proliferation in Qof. Only Aleph, Kaf and Qof end in Phay, unstructured energy. Once again, the Tower, an obvious symbol of resistance and structure, is a mistake here.  
100   100 6 80  
Cosmic Container : Existence : Cosmic Movement : With Raysh and Sheen, we find the beautiful equation-pair first found in Bereshit, where the Sheen of Raysh is found built into the cosmic container: the Breath of God (Ruahh, 300) arises endogenously from the Universe to meet the Breath of God from above. Both signs are marked with the Yod of existence.
200   200 10 300  
Cosmic Movement : Existence : Cosmic Indetermination : The active agent of Aleph, the cosmic breath of 'God' or cosmic movement -- acting through existence- space-time (Yod) -- giving rise to Life in Man (Noun 50). Or we can give Noun its cosmic significance, wherein the cosmic wind Seen acting against existence is reflected in the Noun (700) yielding the principle of indetermination, which propagates endlessly.  
300   300 10 50/700  
  Cosmic Resistance : Union : Tav: the cosmic tabernacle of Aleph which is Aleph itself acting in its fertile power. Without Tav no-thing would exist, without Aleph there is nothing. Tav resists Aleph to the point of becoming Aleph: absorbing and reflecting all energy: source of endogenous creation. Waw reflects/proliferates but adds no structure to Tav.
400   400 6    
The Tarot of the Hebrew Alphabet: Inner Structure of the Autiot

Qualifiying and Non-Qualifying Autiot
200 100 90 70 60 9 8 7 3 2 1
20 19 18 16 15 9 8 7 3 2 1
Structural Non-Participants
400 300 80 50 40 30 20 10 6 5 4
22 21 17 14 13 12 11 10 6 5 4
Structural Participants

Semantic Structure of the Hebrew Alphabet
Formative Primes   Archetypal 1-9 Existential 10-90 Cosmic 100-900
  Life/Death & Existence 1
Intemporal Continuity Cosmic Consciousness
Container 2
Container Physical Supports Universe
Movement 3
Movement Equilibrium Univ. Wave Function
Resistance 4
Resistance Response Cosmic Tabernacle
Organic Life 5
Life Existential Life Realized Life
Fertility 6
Union/Copulation Female Fertility Cosmic Proliferation
Indetermination 7
Indetermination Actual Probabilty Cosmic Freedom
Unstructured Energy 8
Unstructured Energy Pool of Possibilities Cosmic Potentials
Structure 9
Cell Structure Perfected Form

The Three Mothers
Saadia Sepher Yetsira
Mother Letters
1 40 300
Air Water Fire

Logical Development of the Planetary Major Tarot Trumps
Saadia Sepher Yetsira
The Fool and 7 Messengers (Planets)
1 2 3 4 20 80 200 400

12 Autiot (Signs): Energetic Structure of the Zodiac
5 6 7 8 9 10 30 50 60 70 90 100

Native Positions of the Tarot According to the Saadia Sepher Yetsira
Fire Finals