A new comparison of distinctly different tarot cards begins today. The Elemental Tarot, is a colorful, and delightfully primitive art format, that uses the Old Gods of many different cultures as examples of the Force and Form of the Major Arcana and Minor Arcana. Therefore the meanings are similar in content to the Thoth Tarot, but often with dramatically different examples of cultural mythology.
The authors of The Elemental Tarot are Caroline Smith and John Astrop, they also have their own website under the name of The Elemental Tarot (.com), where their cards and books may be purchased or for further information on each card.
The Elemental Tarot Fool-key 0 POTENTIAL
, depicts a youth, on a deserted island, leaning against a tree that seems to be supporting the cosmos. The island implies, isolation, security, and individuality, as many other small islands with a single tree are shown in the back ground. The Tree of Life and the boy are of the same color, thereby declaring them one and the same entity. The symbols of the Five Elements ( Fire, Water, Air, Earth and Spirit) are the fruits of the Tree and the branches indicate the infinite variety of choices for both opportunity and directions in life. The Elemental Tarot's symbols for the elements somewhat differ from the traditional Alchemical symbols shown above. In the Elemental Tarot the symbol for Fire is an upright triangle, Earth is a square, Air is a circle, Water is a crescent, and Spirit is shown as an egg; the egg is the common symbol for the Orphic Egg, that is also depicted on the Thoth Tarot Fool key-0 Card.
What is interesting to note: Along with the subtitle of Potential, there are bordered declarations derived from THUNDER THE PERFECT MIND, that is an ancient Gnostic text discovered by archaeologists in Naghammadi Egypt during the year 1945. Along with other Gnostic Texts discovered in a buried earthen jars, sealed with clay and wax, was found the poem, THUNDER THE PERFECT MIND, supposedly written by Mary Madelene who was channeling the Wisdom of the Goddess Sophia; however, proof of this is absent at this time, but reading it is sure to open the mind to greater possibilities!
To a Qabalist, Sophia,(Greek for Wisdom) is Chokmah, the Second Sephira on the Tree of Life and the beginning of the ideas of Force and Form in this Universe. Thus the quotes from Sophia's poem not only seem apropos, but actually enhance the very meaning of The Elemental Tarot Card. The Thunder the Perfect Mind statement on the Fool Card, " I am the Unlearned, and they can learn from me", successfully assigns the meaning of innocence as that of a child; of whom we adults can learn a lot from. To be innocent as the Children is to harbor unconditional love, which is the common seeking of enlightenment to those who are ruled by conditions. Unlike the Thoth Tarot, The Elemental Tarot is meant for more mundane divination, than uncovering the Magics
of energy states of intelligence.
The astrological planetary assignment of this card is dual in nature as Uranus and Neptune implying idealism and inspiration.
THE THOTH TAROT KEY 0-THE FOOL.
in the Thoth Tarot Deck is an aspect of THE FOOL-0. The Major Arcana depict subjective Paths of Inner Travel into the Infinite Self., that the personality must attain for it to reach Higher Consciousness.
As a Path, THE FOOL
connects Kether (Crown) with Chokmah (Wisdom).
To the Qabalist, Kether
is known as the Source of All
, and Chokmah is known as Father God
Path of Aleph, meaning OX, is about the "flowing of Life Force and
creative power", showing the "SPIRIT'S aim to be that of Earth and/or
Sensual Being. Crowley symbolizes this "Holy Spirit" ( The Spirit on
every level of the Tree of Life) as a dove in the Thoth Deck Card.
Crowley also called The Letter Aleph, a phallic symbol.....but then so
is the Projected Will that is THE MAGUS, and one wonders if Crowley was
so besotted with the Phallus, that he was unable to see anything else;
However, truth be told, by reference to Sexes and sexuality do we come to
the glimmering of understanding, albeit minute, about the Universe.
To even begin understanding THE FOOL, we must entertain a multifaceted and fluid interpretation of Force and Form.
Paul Foster Case calls this Eleventh Path, in his book THE THIRTY-TWO PATHS OF WISDOM, the fiery or Scintillating Intelligence.
which makes sense as The Path of Aleph boarders on the Limitless Light
(Ain Soph), which is "not" or 0, Light without limit which is darkness
to us who need a beginning and a end to see. So here we try to explain
what can't be seen as The Fiery Darkness which is the possibility of
vibration or motion and the First Perception of the One having potential
for activity. In the context of Masculine sexuality, the Fool is the
Testes, and the Magus is the Phallus,(represented by the three flowers
beneath the spread legs of THE FOOL) as He directs active first flow
from the Fool rather than potentiality doing so. However, I fear that is
a rather limiting concept of the ONE-----as the Ain Soph is 0, a no-thing but not lacking substance and may be called dark energy; but
then, all concepts are less than the potential for conception.
may reason that the potential for Thought, comes from the Dark Energy and becomes
Dark Matter (The First Material). The appearance of Thought emanates
Mind, which is the vessel for Thought and/or Womb of Thought Forms, i.e.
The I-magi-nation, transcending all reason. Thus, our reason becomes complex and leaves us
with more questions than answers.
Limitlessness or No-Thing, is a very
difficult concept! To say that THE FOOL represents the initial potential
for thought which transcends reason, is about the best I can do with
However, the special reality we may touch in sleep, which is not unlike the intelligence of the Fool, often gives us
images that do not correlate to our mundane understanding of reality, so
our dreams seem to be so much abstraction and are considered as
nonsense to our waking condition. All the more confusing is that The Great Work (As above so
below) involves the assimilation of The Real, not a reality conceived
of mundane indoctrinated ideas. And the Real Concepts are from "what is Not", i.e. the subjective ,making
the objective-"What is" from Dreams of Potential- Self!
To think of the Universe as
"God Dreaming" (Darkness Dreaming it is Light) is very difficult to
grasp, and the fact that you are a "Lucid" Dreamer (Image of God), who
has been given the "Power of Observation of your own consciousness", meaning you can change the
Perspective of "Things" by definition, is just about as mind boggling as it
gets....and just such a glimmer of insight requires a "beyond the
Mundane" understanding of Self! Therefore, your Divinity is not often
acknowledge by the mundane brain who is seeking survival. However, mundane you think you are; your Womb, the conception of "the
image of God", is the invisible Sephira, Daath (knowledge), which is the
Path Where Goddess (Understanding)/God (Wisdom) meet face to face (Yab
Yum) and is known as the Path of Gimel, THE HIGH PRIESTESS-your Spiritual
All the Paths leading upward to Kether,THE FOOL, THE MAGUS, AND
THE HIGH PRIESTESS, must be approached with a certain understanding of
whimsy, as we realize that by crossing the Abyss and approaching Kether
(As above, so below) means the total annihilation of Self as we perceive
it, thus presenting us with the irony of our attempt to grasp such
esoteric and refined principles from an earthly-mundane perspective.
Often,when teaching the Major Arcana and knowing what I speak, cannot
truly convey what I am saying, brings a smile, if not outright laughter
to my face. To me, The I AM potential is ironically displayed as a
limited conception--a Me. Being a "Me" must never be taken to seriously, for that concept will change daily, when one enters the Higher Self.
To reiterate, THE FOOL- 0, is the initial potential for thought,
transcending all reason. Thus objectifying the Upper Regions, the
Supernal Triangle is a futile endeavor. However once we recognize the
impossibility of consciously approaching the Highest Levels of the Tree
of Life, i.e. The Universe, in a direct manner, we are forcibly driven
into the key Principles of the Mysteries/Metaphysics of The Great Work which is As Above, So
We begin seeing that the Below is a mirror reflection of
the Above The Divine Spirit is all we know, we breathe it, we live
within it, it is ourselves. Because we know this Divinity to be "the One
Energy that cannot be created nor destroyed, only transformed or transmitted", we know
that everything is of this One, as symbolized by THE FOOL that is the
Path of Aleph.In this context, Aleph is attributed to Air and means Life-Breath. Just as Spirit is from the Greek root word Spiro,
which means Breath. Tho One Spirit, the Holy Spirit, is then the
This "one breath" is well known in Eastern cultures, and Prana Yamas
(Breath yoga) are a major if not primary pat of all Spiritual
development. The Word Prana, is the Life-Breath energy, Yama is exhalation or death. Now I have
described the Magus as relating to "Words" (vibration), the underlying
sonic of patterned manifestation. However, it is the power of breath
that expels the sound. Thus THE FOOL activates THE MAGUS.
Crowley, considered Air
to be a vacuum, as related to THE FOOL who is the fertile Nothingness
and egg of Spirit, so too speak. The universal Egg of Spirit is known,
by Qabalists ( and the authors of The Elemental Tarot), to be the EGG OF AKASHA, the zero of THE FOOL, also
represents this egg of spirit, and is the mathematical formula of us;
one Male, minus one female= 0 . Therefore, the understanding is that the
Egg of Akasha, is a fertilized ovum of undefined sexuality, but having
the potential for Both!
THE FOOL, is the very expression of the god name of Kether, Eheieh, which means I will be. This is the Divine Child as yet unborn, who is all potential and who is our very beginning!
Tiger, "fawning about" THE FOOL'S leg on the Thoth card, is an archetype representing
the Animal Nature as related to the Higher Spiritual process. The Horns
on the figure represent those of Dionysus Zagreus, the green clothing is that of the Green Man of Spring, the grapes at his feet are a tribute to Bacchus,
the Greek God of Ecstasy, and the Crocodile (great creative energy) a
swimming at his feet in "the Nile" (Crowley quote).
Images referring to
the Godhead, are the dove of Venus and the vulture of Maat Then there
is the triple egg shape created by the caduceus in motion, symbolizing
the Ain Soph Aur (The three states of Nothing).
As you may
realize, the imagery is so subjective that I haven't the space to
detail it all for you. If you need more detail, and you do, I would
recommend reading Crowley's BOOK OF THOTH., Robert Wang's Book: THE
QABALISTIC TAROT and investigating the Mythology of the Ancient Greeks
When THE FOOL card is thrown during a reading,
the querent is in or experiencing:
- A state of ecstasy and/or a state of
- Fearlessness. Courage. And is completing all motion
by Faith, absolutely trusting THE SPIRIT.
- A feeling of being protected,
and that everything will work out.
- Being open to what the future
- New possibilities of self, unyet explored.
- Wanting to do something new, but not sure of what it is.
If ill defined by accompanying cards, The Fool, is then the harbinger of folly, mania, extravagance and even negligence
Thank you for your interest, comments and donations. May you live long and prosper.