Tarot and Kabbalah

Summer and the Lughnasa Moon

Thursday gratefuls: Cog railway at Pikes Peak. Tom’s visit. Ancient Friends. Each Woolly: Tom, Bill, Paul, Mario, Charlie H., Stefan, Frank, Warren, Scott, Joe, Tom B., Jimmie. Pruning. Kate, always Kate. Saigon Landing. Downtown Evergreen. Black Mountain/Brook Forest Drive.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Friendship

Tarot card: Justice,#11 of the Major Arcana, reversed


Tarot and Kabbalah class #2. The four worlds of Kabbalah, represented in the four suits of the Tarot: Pentacles, Cups, Swords, and Wands. And, by extension, in the four suits of regular playing cards: Spades, Hearts, Diamonds, Clubs which represent (in that order) the suits of the Tarot.

The four worlds are sometimes characterized as a ladder, moving from Malkut, the physical and action oriented world, to Yetzirah, the plane of desire and emotion, to Briyah, the plane of creation and conception, and, finally, to Atzilut, the plane of connection to the ayn sof, the nothingness from which all comes and to which it all returns. The ladder also moves in the other direction.

In the human the four worlds correspond to Body, Emotion, Intellect, and Spirit.

I’ve been studying Kabbalah for four years or so now, not rigorously, but episodically. Taking side roads into the Hebrew alphabet and now the Tarot. Kabbalah links both into a complicated conceptual world of energies sparking up and down a so-called Tree of Life. As I’ve gone on longer with my study, I’m beginning to see the gestalt, the whole of it. Not well yet, but the image has begun to form.

Still not sure how much to integrate into my own worldview. At a metaphorical level Kabbalah makes a lot of sense to me. There is a dark, ancient world out of which a universe is made. A singularity. Then, a pulsing, vibrating world that continuously sends energy coursing up and down, or in and out, this changing to that and back again.

There seems to be a lot of crossover with Taoism, oddly enough. The Way, chi, the ten thousand things, the I Ching. Ch’an Buddhism, or Taoist inflected Buddhism which later becomes Zen. Death and before birth = darkness out of which comes new worlds.

In life, the inbetween birth and death, our energy, our spirit travels a long road, sometimes focused in the world of action, of Malkut, sometimes in the world of desire, sometimes in the world of creation, and sometimes in the world where nothingness reigns. This in and out journey takes energy, gains energy and loses energy as we jump from this shell to another and back again, changing our elemental structure as we do.

Whether Kabbalah is the true or correct version of this journey we make from nothingness to nothingness, I don’t know. And don’t care. I’m no longer searching for the Truth, but for truths that help me understand and in understanding to live. Kabbalah has a lot to offer. A sort of pragmatic metaphysics.

Brief note on justice reversed. I’ve had a huge loss in my life, as you all know. I’m in the midst of moving on with living and grieving. I do trust that there is a new life, one that will build on and include the one just finished with Kate.

That new life is so necessary and yet also so unobtainable by intention. My kavanah, my intention, has to be living into the new life, not reaching up and grabbing it out of the chaos of mourning and the sad joy of grief. A pilgrimage from the nothingness realm I entered when Kate died to the action oriented realm of Malkut has taken me through, is taking me through, all of the worlds and up and down the Tree of Life.

The reversed Justice card reminds me this pilgrimage has a destination, just one I can’t yet see.


*When Justice appears reversed it may be indicating an injustice or loss in your life. Move on regardless and trust that there is better to come…

When Justice appears reversed it tells of a need to stop worrying, and to direct your energies elsewhere. It may indicate that in a situation where there is a deadlock, a completely new approach is needed in order to work through the problem and make progress.” The Royal Road

This entry was posted in Family, Feelings, Health, Kabbalah, Myth and Story, Reimagine. Reconstruct. Reenchant., Tarot, Third Phase. Bookmark the permalink.

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