Take a Peek Inside!
Each lesson in The Tarot School Correspondence Course includes thorough notes on interpretation and all the symbolism in both the Major and Minor Arcana cards, plus spreads, esoterica and additional exercises. The following excerpts from the first five lessons are all representative of the material to be found in each lesson.
From Lesson 1
Tarot is a symbolic language. It can be used to predict the future, to understand human nature, and to describe the processes of spiritual evolution. It does all this with an alphabet of 78 symbols, 22 uppercase and 56 lowercase symbolic letters that combine in a vocabulary of meanings, a syntax of spreads and a grammar of techniques.
Though it might surprise some people, Tarot is a language that can be written, spoken and thought in as well as read, and that is what saves it from being trivial, the sole province of fortune-tellers.
From Lesson 2
THE HIGH PRIESTESS:
Reflection, contemplation, seclusion. Moon time, cycles, moods, secrets. Look inward, pay attention, listen closely, speak little. Believe your inner voices, remember your dreams, look at the moon. Spend time alone. If advice is offered, consider it carefully. If advice is solicited, be slow to answer.
Virgin, seeress, oracle, she is the voice of the unconscious, the boundless ocean, the silent night. Moon goddess, knower of the soul, keeper of the mysteries, the unknowable feminine. She keeps the secrets you need to know. She answers the questions that cannot be asked in words.
Imagery (excerpted from the Magickal Interpretation):
The veil behind the High Priestess conceals the Holy of Holies, the sacred womb at the heart of Solomon's temple, which contains the memories of the individual, the race and the cosmos. The concealing veil is made of light, so bright as to be impenetrable. This is the light that stands above Tiphereth (Beauty/#6), concealing the Abyss.
The palms and pomegranates on the veil, are said to represent the oppositions of male and female, and the equal truths of Christianity (the palm) and the ancient mysteries (the pomegranates).
The two pillars are the white (right) and black (left), pillars of the Tree of Life, the pillars that stood before the door of Solomon's Temple. They are esoteric symbols of the labia of female genitalia, the portal of initiation into the mysteries. The B & J on the pillars stand for the biblical names of Boaz and Joachim, references respectively to Severity and Mercy, the twin principles on which all creation rests.
The scroll bears the word TORA, one of the manipulations of the word TARO(T), and is a reference to Tarot as the scroll of the Law.
The cross on the Priestess' chest is a symbol of the four elements of the sub-lunar world.
The crown suggests the phases of the moon, feminine symbol of flow and cycle.
Her black hair symbolizes her occult powers.
The white veil covering the Priestess' ears refers to inward listening, and psychic power.
The color white of her crown and robe refer to Kether (Crown), the beginning of Path #13.
The color yellow in the veil refers to the vibrations of the Magician's will. In the floor beneath her it is the color of Tiphereth (Beauty/#6), the end of Path #13.
The color blue of her cloak is the color of water, uniting left and right, above and below. The Moon-crowned woman in blue and white robes with a sickle moon at her feet was a medieval icon, depicting Isis as the Virgin Mary, uniting Pagan with Christian spirituality.
The mystery of the Priestess is a brilliant, vibrating silence surrounding, pervading and uniting everything. In the heart of every created thing is her Divine effulgence. To see it is to become steady and tranquil. Outer and inner beauty are both born of this light, and when it leaves us we become lifeless clay. It is this light that unifies and binds one thing to another, so that love is possible, and it is is this light that allows distinction and forbids separation. Whoever sees it in meditation becomes speechless.
Within every created thing there is the perfect silence of the Priestess. It is there, like the void in a grain of salt, in a flower or within a planet. Her silence is at the core of everything. But the silence vibrates. It can be found on the peaks of high mountains where the stillness echoes, or at the bottom of deep, empty wells in the deafening quiet. In the same way, within each of us there is a deep silence, and it has a pulse. It is the pulse of this silence that turns us inward to seek the mystery of our innermost selves.
From Lesson 3
Lesson One described an architecture of consciousness built of the 22 forms of the Major Arcana. In Lesson Two, a discussion was begun of what we are conscious of, an objective universe made of the ten numbers of the Minor Arcana. A beginning was made in explaining the symbolism of the suits, of the four varieties of ten that give the world its flavor and diversity as well as its solidity. And in both lessons there was a mention, a hint, of the human face of Tarot in the four Court Cards of each suit.
The ways in which a human being can relate to the objective world are told in the relationships of the Court Cards to each other. As notes are to music, Court Cards are to personality...
It is the peculiarity of systems of notation that they are perfect vehicles for the analysis of whatever they represent. And the Court Cards are, among other things, a system of notation for the human personality.
From Lesson 4
2 of Cups:
A warm heart and a soft touch lead to loving encounters. The affinity of Yin and Yang. An exchange of vows, a pledge of the heart, the legitimacy of betrothal. Expectations of kindness and a warm welcome. A mutuality of interest is discovered.
Flirtatious interest is reciprocated; charm is seductive; your beauty is reflected in the mirror of another's eyes. Propitious meetings and negotiations.
Lasting friendship, harmonious relations, love affairs; intimacy, trust, desire; infatuation, jealousy; the possibility of pregnancy.
The Couple: Represent the alchemical elements of Fire (the yellow and red of the male) and Water (the blue, white and green of the female).
Winged Lion: Element of Air, arising from the alchemical union of the lovers as a descending soul awaiting a vehicle to enter the physical world; combines the sexuality of Scorpio (in its Eagle aspect) and Leo.
Twined Serpents around Staff: Caduceus; symbol of fertility (copulation over an erect phallus); balance; the union of opposing forces; the alchemical elements of Sulphur and Salt (the two snakes) united by Mercury (the staff).
Two Cups: Mutual exchange of drinking cups symbolizes fidelity.
Laurel and Rose Wreaths: Symbols of controlled energies and passions.
Belts: Symbols of initiation and of fidelity and chastity; embodiment of a contract, oath or vow; protection from evil; separation of higher and lower natures.
From Lesson 5