Tarot and the Tree of Life (Kabbalah)

“But down deep, at the molecular heart of life, the trees and we are essentially identical.” – Carl Sagan

The Tarot is an oracle deck of 78 cards that have been used since the 16thcentury, but its roots may date back to ancient Egypt or Mesopotamia. The tarot is divided into two groups: The Major Arcana of 22 cards, and the Minor Arcana of 56 cards.

The Major Arcana – represents 22 archetypal aspects or stages of our journey through the wheel of life. It is helpful to imagine these 22 cards in a circle versus a line, as we step out of the linear world of cause and effect and into the circular world of unlimited possibilities.

In Pythagorean terms, a circle can be seen as a singular unit called a monad. A monad is the creator of many and the sum of all. It is both the beginning point and the container.

The first card in the Major Arcana is typically called the Fool. In the Tree Spirit Tarot deck, this is called the Wonderer “0” as the one who is wondering.

Cards “1-20” represent the path one takes in finding their unique place in the world as they face the challenges and opportunities of life. Eventually a desire to return home “21” becomes the ultimate goal.

TST_card_FA2

The journey of the Wonderer is also reflected in the diagram of the Kabbalah, also known as the Tree of Life. The Kabbalah is rooted in the ancient mystery teachings of Judaism. It represents the journey of the soul as it descends through the Tree of Life to become fully manifest in human form and then transcends up to spiritual oneness.

There are ten unique circles in the Tree of Life known as Sefirot, which are seen as emanations of divine will. They mirror each other as they reveal and receive insights that challenge and support the one traveling through the tree. The left three branches represent the darkness; the right three branches are the forces of light. The central trunk is the neutral, self-giving one. When the self, reunites with the soul, it reaches the place of Da’at. Da’at is symbolic of feeling whole or enlightened.

Ten Sefirot – Divine Emanation – Location on Tree of Life (Kabbalah)

Kether – Crown – Central Trunk – White

Chokhmah – Wisdom – Right Branch – Violet

Binah – Understanding – Left Branch – Violet

Chesed – Mercy – Right Branch – Blue

Gebarah – Strength – Left Branch – Blue

Tiphereth – Beauty – Central Trunk – Green

Netzach – Victory – Right Branch – Yellow

Hod – Splendor – Left Branch – Yellow

Yesod – Foundation – Central Trunk – Orange

Malkuth – Kingdom/Earth – Central Trunk – Red

The Major Arcana’s 22 cards – correlate with the 10 sefirot in the Tree of Life. The first card is the Wonderer, which is “0.” Twenty-one cards (I-XXI) descend and ascend through the 10 sefirot. The final card is the World, or place of Da’at, representing the return to oneness. Both Da’at and the Wonderer are depicted in the Tree of Life as the “hidden sefirot” or gray dot that transcends the tree.

Major Arcana – Descending Order – Ascending Order

0. & 21.  Da’at – Wonderer & The World

1. & 20.  Kether – Magi – Judgment

2. & 19.  Chokhmah – Mystic & Sun

3. & 18.  Binah – Earth Mother & Moon

4. & 17.  Chesed – Earth Father & Star

5. & 16.  Gebarah – Teachers & Tower

6. & 15.  Tiphereth – Lovers & Devil

7. & 14.  Netzach – Chariot & Temperance

8. & 13.  Hod – Strength & Death

9. & 12. Yesod – Hermit – Hanged One

10. & 11. Malkuth – Wheel of Fortune – Justice

The Tree of Life is also represented in the Judaic menorah – described as a blossoming almond tree in the Book of Exodus. It was to be made of gold, which held seven lamps. It too had a central trunk with 3 left and 3 right branches.

The Menorah and the Kabbalah – were created to guide the followers of Abraham to the Tree of Life within them. Genesis and Exodus were originally written between 600 BCE–200 BCE based on the oral stories that established the Jewish faith. It is possible that the wisdom of the major arcana could date back thousands of years as a way to understand the circle of life.

Tree Spirit Tarot – matches each card with a tree that represents an aspect of our life’s journey.

Trees have been silently guiding us as we search for love, purpose and belonging.

Parhelic circle, Sun halo with drying tree

Major Arcana as the Trees on our Journey

  1. Wonderer – Birch – New Beginnings
  2. Magi – Almond – Soul’s Purpose
  3. Mystic – Gingko Biloba – Life Force
  4. Earth Mother – Fig – Co-creation
  5. Earth Father – Oak – Procreation
  6. Teachers – Redwood – Lessons
  7. Lovers – Pomegranate – Passion
  8. Chariot – Ash – Freedom
  9. Strength – Mangrove – Support
  10. Hermit – Banyan – Reflection
  11. Wheel of Fortune – Ceiba – Change
  12. Justice – Bristlecone Pine – Maturity
  13. Hanged One – Yew – Perception
  14. Death – Hickory – Shedding
  15. Temperance – Laurel – Moderation
  16. Devil – Apple – Shadow
  17. Tower – Eucalyptus – Obstacle
  18. Star – Hawthorn – Hope
  19. Moon – Willow – Intuition
  20. Sun – Orange – Joy
  21. Judgment – Olive – Honor
  22. The World – Baobab – The Return

Metatron – is believed to be the one who guides all of humanity through the Tree of Life. In Hebrew, Metatron means “metered throne”or “divine place.” In Judaic literature, Metatron is seen as the prophet Enoch, who became the angelic scribe of the Book of Secrets. The sefirot Kether, is seen as the throne of Metatron. Representing the first and last aspects in the journey of the Wonderer; as (Magi – Almond) and (Judgment – Olive.)

The 78 cards in the Tarot correspond to Metatron’s Cube

In sacred geometry Metatron’s cube consists of 78 lines. This occurs by connecting the center points of the 13 circles in the Fruit of Life with 78 lines. The circular and linear worlds merge to reveal the Knowledge of Life and the elements of nature.

The Minor Arcana represent the four elements of life: fire, water, air and earth.

The 56 cards of the minor arcana are divided into four suits of 14 cards. These four elements were translated to become a traditional deck of playing cards.

Pine cones on a Cedar of Lebanon branch

Evergreen Trees – Wands/Batons – Clubs – Fire

Pioneer of Evergreens – Arborvitae – Renewal

Two of Evergreens – White Pine – Peace

Three of Evergreens – Hemlock – Grace

Four of Evergreens – Myrtle – Harmony

Five of Evergreens – Dragon Tree – Conflict

Six of Evergreens – Cedar – Faith

Seven of Evergreens – Juniper – Boundaries

Eight of Evergreens – Fir – Rising

Nine of Evergreens – Spruce – Resources

Ten of Evergreens – Pine – Sight

Messenger of Evergreens – Monkey Puzzle – Change

Guardian of Evergreens – Kauri – Survival

Earthkeeper of Evergreens – Sequoia – Fire

Wisdomkeeper of Evergreens – Cypress – Mourning Apple Orchard in Mist

Fruit Trees – Cups /Vessels – Hearts – Water

Pioneer of Fruit Trees – Mulberry – Abundance

Two of Fruit Trees – Quince – Love

Three of Fruit Trees – Pawpaw – Discovery

Four of Fruit Trees – Plum – Patience

Five of Fruit Trees – Pear – Separation

Six of Fruit Trees – Mango – Happiness

Seven of Fruit Trees – Persimmon – Choices

Eight of Fruit Trees – Coconut – Journey

Nine of Fruit Trees – Peach – Health

Ten of Fruit Trees – Cherry – Sweetness

Messenger of Fruit Trees – Avocado – Vitality

Guardian of Fruit Trees – Lemon – Clearing

Earthkeeper of Fruit Trees – Sycomore – Regenerate

Wisdomkeeper of Fruit Trees- Date – Creation

Tree reflecting in the water in the morning light

 

Hardwood Trees – Swords – Spades – Air

Pioneer of Hard Woods – Black Locust – Travels

Two of Hard Woods – Ebony – Clarity

Three of Hard Woods – Teak – Pressure

Four of Hard Woods – Larch – Connection

Five of Hard Woods – Rowan – Calling

Six of Hard Woods – Rosewood – Heartfelt

Seven of Hard Woods – Acacia – Revelation

Eight of Hard Woods – Cottonwood – Movement

Nine of Hard Woods – Sugar Maple – Dreams

Ten of Hard Woods – Hornbeam – Challenge

Messenger of Hard Woods – Dogwood – Magic

Guardian of Hard Woods – Lignum Vitae – Guardian

Earthkeeper of Hard Woods – Magnolia – Independent

Wisdomkeeper of Hard Woods – Plane – Counsel

Green oak leaves and acorns

Nut & Seed Trees – Coins/Pentacles – Diamonds – Earth

Pioneer of Nuts & Seeds – Pine Nut – Gift

Two of Nuts & Seeds  – Coffee – Balance

Three of Nuts & Seeds – Macadamia – Creativity

Four of Nuts & Seeds – Bay Nut – Stability

Five of Nuts & Seeds – Walnut – Discernment

Six of Nuts & Seeds – Pistachio – Generosity

Seven of Nuts & Seeds – Cashew – Reward

Eight of Nuts & Seeds – Brazil Nut – Preparing

Nine of Nuts & Seeds – Acorn – Achievement

Ten of Nuts & Seeds – Pecan – Wealth

Messenger of Nuts & Seeds – Hazelnut – Manifestation

Guardian of Nuts & Seeds – Chestnut – Provider

Earthkeeeper of Nuts & Seeds – Cacao – Divine

Wisdomkeeper of Nuts & Seeds – Beechnut – Power

“To some people a tree is something so incredibly beautiful that it brings tears to the eyes. To others it is just a green thing that stands in the way.” – William Blake 

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