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Tarot Cards and The Tree of Life

Did you know that you can use the Tree of Life to understand the meanings of all 78 Tarot Cards? When you have a structure it becomes simple to learn the system rather than learning 78 different meanings.

The Tree of Life comes from the Jewish mystical tradition called Qabalah. It shows 10 spheres and 22 connecting paths that act like a filing system to organize occult information. Each of the 10 spheres are assigned a color, a number, an archetype, an angel, astrological energies and much more. Among the items assigned to the 22 paths are Hebrew letters and a Major Arcana Tarot card. These associations allow us to see the frame work behind the meaning of many things, including all 78 Tarot cards. Here’s a very brief summary of some of the associations for the 10 spheres on the Tree of Life.

The Tree of Life was used by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn to achieve a deeper understanding of Tarot cards. A.E. Waite and Pamela Coleman Smith created their deck after joining the Golden Dawn. Their deck, the Ryder-Waite-Smith deck, was the first English deck to offer illustrations on every card. Those images were inspired by the ideas developed through work with the Qabalaha. Each of the cards numbered 1 thru 10, represents the energy of the each of the 10 spheres in the areas of our lives represented by the 4 suits. The court cards are the roles people play in those 4 areas of our lives. The 22 Major Arcana are the paths that connect the 10 numbered spheres. With a quick understanding of the Tree of Life, you can easily grasp the meanings of the cards.

Here’s one example of the Tree of Life and the Major Arcana card that is associated with it. While the Strength card usually bears the Roman numeral VIII or the Arabic numeral 8, it lies on the 9th path. That’s because the first path is associated with the Fool which bears the number zero.