Tarot decks have 78 cards or symbolic keys divided into 22 greater and 56 lesser Arcane. Among the most famous are the Tarot de Marseille, the Rider-Waite-Tarot and the Crowley Tarot. Initiates of the mysteries created the Tarot as a symbol system to transmit the Ageless Wisdom intact.
The Tarot is a deck of 78 cards in total. It is divided into 22 cards of the Greater Arcane and 56 cards of the Lesser Arcane. Since the 16th century, these card decks have increasingly gained popularity due to misinterpretations of profane cartomancers and clairvoyants. Known tarot decks are for example the Tarot de Marseille, the Rider-Waite-Tarot from 1910 and the Crowley-Tarot, also known as Thoth-Tarot, from the 1940s. In addition to the playful aspect of these cards as a child card game, the Tarot opens precious secrets and inner teachings of Ageless Wisdom to the willing aspirants of the mystery tradition.
The word “arcana” derives from the Latin “Arcanum”, which means “secret”. For thousands of years there have been similar symbols and archetypal images in different cultures with the aim of passing on the secret teachings of the mysteries to suitable aspirants. The High Initiates, who in earlier times lived in this world, concealed the knowledge of the powerful symbols of the Mysteries by means of the Tarot in the now commercially available playing cards and oracle systems. This protects the precious and mystical wisdom from the profane and curious eye. Because only with the right key you can gain access to the secret knowledge of the symbols of the Tarot and understand the Ageless Wisdom. In the Golden Dawn Order, led by MacGregor Mathers and William Wynn Westcott, the symbols of the Tarot were treated in initiation rituals. After the dissolution of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, Paul Foster Case, who was a student of this order in the USA, published his own tarot deck, books on this subject and was co-founder of the school Builders Of the Adytum (BOTA). However, Paul Foster Case lacked practical tools of the high and highest mysteries due to his low degree of initiation.
The various cards are also known as “keys”. The Lesser Arcanum divides its 56 keys into four rows of 14 keys each. Each row consists of numerical and court cards. The numerical cards include staffs, chalices, swords (daggers) and coins (pentacles). The court cards, on the other hand, consist of the persons of the king, the queen, the knight (prince) and the page (Princess). The numbers, colors and elements used in the Lesser Arcana are by no means accidental, but describe their effect on the material and immaterial level.
The 22 keys of the Greater Arcana are also called trump cards. Each of these keys describes an independent symbol and is completely different from all other keys of the Greater Arcana. Each of these keys represents an individual cosmic and non-human force and power, which was veiled by means of symbolism. These forces express themselves through the human being and identify the secret code from which the human being is composed. This is recognizable by the fact that in addition to the archetypal visual and symbolic language, a color and numerical symbolism as well as the symbolism of the Hebrew letters can also be assigned to the keys. Some tarot decks are numbered, whereby the order of the large arcana often differs. The names of the trump cards are as follows: Fool, Magician, High Priestess (Popess), Empress, Emperor, Hierophant (High Priest), Lover, Chariot, Strength, Hermit, Wheel of Fortune, Justice, Hanged, Death (has no name in some decks), Temperance, Devil, Tower, Star, Moon, Sun, Judgement and World.
The guided and practical training in an authentic mystery school, such as the Hermetic Academy, can release the powers of these symbols and help people to develop their full potential.