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Thoughts about Tarot

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The 4 Worlds and the Suits


Deian

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The Four suits are an interesting topics.
As mentioned before my approach is to see what different systems and traditions have seen the same way from around the world, then dig into difference of what they saw. It works very nice to expand the meaning sometimes.
When it comes to the 4 suits, there is another switcheroo that could be recommend... But since the last change in arrangements, was not accepted very enthusiastically, will change the approach. instead of writing a potential answer to a problems people may not have seen, will provide potential structural problems, up to people to decide if they share that view and what solution to it they will find.

So the 4 Worlds/Planes. They are actually part of the Structure and people have seen them from more then one tradition, so lets dig into that.
The Kabbalistic approach members of G.D. took back then went like this:
    Atziluth - Fire
    Beri'ah - Air
    Yetzirah - Water
    Assiah - Earth
They split them by the 4 letters of one of the popular name of the Torah...
This is also somewhat fitting to what is seen in some branches of the actual Kabbalistic approach it seems, although haven't seen it focused on that, but maybe it is, who knows...

Working practically with this at first glance seems to fit. Atziluth definitly is fitting to fire, Assiah to Earth. The middle 2, however, may  not be as clear.


Now, lets look at some Hinduism teachings, as translated by Rama Prasad and published in the Theosophy movement. It seems close to what is still practiced in India, in some places, although in Theosophy not all were overjoyed with his work.In my view, that is more a plus then a minus, actually, but long to go there.

So what did he provide in "Nature's Finer Forces"(this is based on translation from Sanskrit), although that specific quote was his explanation more, then the actual translation at this point.


"

Quote

 

It might be remarked here that the subtle tatwas exist now in the universe on four planes.


The higher of these planes differ from the lower in having a greater number of vibrations per second. The four planes are:

(1) Physical (Prana); (2) Mental (Manas); (3) Psychic (Vijnana); (4) Spiritual (Ananda)
I shall discuss, however, some of the secondary qualities of these tatwas."

"(1) Prana, life matter, with the sun for center; (2) Manas, mental matter, with the manu for
center; (3) Vijnana, psychic matter, with Brahma for center; (4) Ananda, spiritual matter,
with parabrahma as the infinite substratum.
Every higher state is positive with regard to the lower one, and every lower on is given
birth to by a combination of the positive and negative phase of the higher.

 


"
What are the tatwas... That is beyond the topic here. If one studies other traditions won't take long to figure it out, though.
But here we have again the Universe separated to 4 planes. And some of them seem very fitting.

4 as Spiritual is great for Fire. The descriptions fits as well.
1 as Earth, Prana as life force, related to the Sun, what they call Mana in Hawaiian systems and parts of Qi in the Five Arts and other things in other places - all good for Assiah as well.

And yet... Doesn't need to dig too deeply in the descriptions to see the idea that the other 2 are switched around. While we have:

In Kabbalah we seem to have:

    (2)Yetzirah - Water
    (3)Beri'ah - Air
On the place of:
    (2) Mental (Manas) - Air?!
    (3) Psychic (Vijnana) - Water?!
    
And for all intense and purposes Mental planes seem to be above the physical in the Sanskrit view, and that is Beri'ah in Kabbalah. While the Psychic/Astral realms seems to be above the Mental ones.

Were they wrong... Seems unlikely to be able to connect to the other stuff with so much detail and get this detail wrong.
Yet if we look at other traditions that also connected to the 4 planes we can also see that there seem to be something going on with 2 and 3.
So that is Water and Air, of the tarot suits.

 

Now, here a practitioner may say - well , that was long time ago. Someone in India saw something else, who cares.
Practically, however, if one works with this, they may end up on Images of Water and the Psychic realms very different from what the cards show.
Rarely, most practitioners in the West will arrive at the "Astral" realms showing what the Cups carry.

Working with the Mental realms, of course, will be even more obvious. The idea the cards carry so severe meaning there, also doesn't fit. This is just a step below the Spiritual Dimensions or "worlds".
While there is acceleration there and various degree of the idea of "Will" the Air cards represented by Swords, also didn't seem to fit, or to be more fair, they do fit, but they didn't seem to cover what that realms represent fully, or even half full in many cases.

 

Here then is the potential problems
1)While there are other traditions and schools, unrelated, as far as we know, that also have seen the 4 Worlds/Planes as part of the Structure we all operate on, some have seen the middle 2 switched around.
And there are more here, we view just 2 for convenience, my main background is more related to another one, very different in nature, yet still noticing that.
2)Working practically with this, if one hasn't clouded their clear view to the places, by preconceived ideas of how they should look, can show clear discrepancy between images of the cards in Cups and Swords, and the Planes they are suppose to represent, much more stronger.
If one sees a problem, up to them to find how to adjust the suits to solve it. If not, then all is good, can just forget about the whole issue for now. And if someday they connect to the places and see they doesn't fit the cards, could adjust to how they perceive the structure at that time.

Edited by Deian

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Natural Mystic Guide

Posted (edited)

Regarding Briyah, the World of the Mind... you write "The idea the cards carry so severe meaning there, also doesn't fit."  Many people assign negative or 'severe' meanings to the suit of Swords.  This reflects their world view.   Their world is a dangerous, scary place where negative things often happen.  It doesn't have to be that way.  The Tarot Netivot system that I have created has positive, uplifting meanings for every card in the suit of Swords.  If you can see the suit of Swords as positive and uplifting, then it fits very nicely.  My Tarot World is a positive and inspiring place where good things happen all of the time.  Sure there can be challenging circumstances in our lives.  These, as in the case of reversed cards, can be seen as red flags warning of possible challenges and as opportunities for growth.

Edited by Natural Mystic Guide
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Deian

Posted

51 minutes ago, Natural Mystic Guide said:

Regarding Briyah, the World of the Mind... you write "The idea the cards carry so severe meaning there, also doesn't fit."  Many people assign negative or 'severe' meanings to the suit of Swords.  This reflects their world view.   Their world is a dangerous, scary place where negative things often happen.  It doesn't have to be that way.  The Tarot Netivot system that I have created has positive, uplifting meanings for every card in the suit of Swords.  If you can see the suit of Swords as positive and uplifting, then it fits very nicely.  My Tarot World is a positive and inspiring place where good things happen all of the time.  Sure there can be challenging circumstances in our lives.  These, as in the case of reversed cards, can be seen as red flags warning of possible challenges and as opportunities for growth.

I get that for Divination, its all good.
 

But... The cards were with the idea to get one to the consciousness recognition of the 4 worlds. Even though, none of them back then, actually had connection to all 4, as far as I know, but still we can respect the effort.So a way to pass up inner experience that isn't easily passed. Knowing of the Structure behind it all, that people with meditation and practices discover for a very long time. That structure is the same no matter from what tradition or part of the world we approach it. Well, more or less. Its viewed from different direction, and it changes through time, but essence is the same.


As the cards are used for a lot of stuff, traveling through them, meditating on parts of us(for example have problem with Mars or Gevurah/Severity etc. can go through the path leading to it and see where it comes from etc.)

I remember one of my first out of body experiences many, many years ago. First thing I did was looking for my tarot deck to take one of the cards and go through it before I go back to my body. As that is what I read we should do, back then. Found them fast enough, but the Images on the cards had nothing to do with any deck I have seen before. Took me a while to understand why that was, they should be exactly same if they were that valid...

 

In my current view, the current Images(the most used ones, as they are often the same in other decks), need to be fixed for people practicing with them more then Divination. For Divination all is fine, you can use whatever you want. But if people are focusing on other practices, they need cards that reflect the Structure.

 

And anyone that think that the Swords are good reflection of the Mental Planes, while the Cups of the Astral, shouldn't really practice with this, in my humble view. At least until they see it more deeply. As these creates "twisting structures",not healthy to use like that.

Overall, this isn't for you, you are focusing on Divination I think - all is good there, can do whatever you want without worry. But for people focusing on the other practices with Tarot this can be very helpful to know. And also will likely be ignored. As pride and stuff... But whatever, my job is to say it somewhere and the rest isn't up to me.

 

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You're clearly very intelligent and well-versed in spiritual matters. Glad you're on this site, hope to hear more from you.

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Deian

Posted

3 hours ago, XXII said:

You're clearly very intelligent and well-versed in spiritual matters. Glad you're on this site, hope to hear more from you.

thanks!

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