The Sacred Tarot and Hermetic System of Names and Numbers
Lesson 3
by C.C. Zain, Elbert Benjamine January 1918

Issued under the auspices of The Brotherhood of Light.
Course VI Serial #24.
Box 1525, Los Angeles, Calif.
March 1918

The Sacred Tarot
Hermetic System of Names and Numbers.
By C.C. Zain

Lesson 3

Before proceeding to delineate Arcanum III let us consider what is known as Theosophical involution and evolution. Theosophical involution is performed by adding the digits of a number, the sum so obtained if it contains more than one digit being again reduced in the same manner, and so on, until a single digit results which is called the Theosophical root. This root indicates the theosophical relation of the number as a whole. Theosophy means Divine Wisdom, and the theosophical root of a number shows its Absolute value viewed from the plane of Divine Wisdom rather than its relative value as a symbol of quantity. It thus becomes the representative of a natural principle instead of simply a medium of count. In this manner any conceivable number must necessarily represent one of the 10 primary principles upon which the universe is founded, the 0 being the principle closing the sephirothic chain and starting a new gamut of existence. Any number is thus seen to be the elaboration of the universal principle denoted by its root in some special manner. The nature of the special manner in which the number is diversified is shown by its Theosophical power. The number of Deity and Wisdom is 9. Theosophical evolution is the expansion of a number by adding some multiple of 9. This is really the opposite of theosophical involution: for it will be found that if any number be divided by 9 the remainder will be its root, the answer being the same number obtained by adding the digits together repeatedly; so in reality this adding the digits is applying the key of Divine Wisdom, the number 9, to unlock the number's meaning. If any multiple of 9 be added to a number it will be found that the digits of the result added together will give the same result as that obtained by adding the digits of the original number. Therefore, by adding 9 to a number it is said to be raised in theosophical power. The first power of a number is itself, the second power is obtained by adding to it 9, the third power by adding twice 9; and so on ad infinitum. Thus the first power of 5 is 5, the second power is 5 plus 9 = 14; the third power of 5 is 5 plus 2 x 9 = 23; the fourth power is 5 plus 3 x 9 = 32; and so on. Add the digits of any power of 5 and the result will be 5, for 5 is the root. Any number is therefore a root-number acting thru the medium of some power of itself; this power being revealed by the Divine number 9. As the first power of a number is itself; the second power itself added to 9; and so on; the number of the number's power is easily ascertained by dividing by 9 adding 1 to the quotient. Thus to find both the power and root of 722:- 722 divided by 9 = 80 with a remainder of 2: 2 is the root and 80 plus 1 = 81 is the power. 81 involves to 9, therefore the spiritual meaning of 722 is revealed by considering Arcanum II as operating thru the medium of Arcanum IX. That is to say, the spiritual significance of any number is revealed by its root operating on the plane indicated by the number's power. Therefore, no matter how large a number is, its spiritual import is found as easily as those first 22 directly associated with the Tarot. This was a portion of the Hermetic System of numbers taught Pythagoras during his sojourn in Egypt upon which the Pythagorean school was founded; and we believe now for the first time committed to writing. By way of a brief illustration of the application of this system, which is as broad as the universe itself; for all is but the numerical expansion of the 10 principles expressed by the zero and 9 digits; we will consider the number 1 whose primary meaning was explained in Lesson 2, and indicate its different powers as applied to human growth.

Number 1 represents the creative principle. During the first period of life, or up to ten years of age, the creative forces are utilized by the child to build up a strong mind and body such as would be suggested by Arcanum I, the first power of number 1. The second power of 1, is 10, and the second period of life is from 10 to 19 years of age. 1, the creative principle now acts upon the plane indicated by the number 10, represented by Arcanum I operating on the negative side of life shown by Arcanum II. This is the negative period of life, the awkward age during which the child is shy and diffident; for the creative force is being polarized; also it is the period of education, for Arcanum II is Science as well as Polarization. Arcanum X, therefore is really Arcanum I acting thru Arcanum II, and the changes and danger there shown are due to polarization. The third power of 1 is 19, and the third period of life is from 19 to 28. Arcanum I now operates thru Arcanum III, and Arcanum III represents union and action; therefore during the third period of life the creative forces are directed toward attaining a profitable field of activity and to forming domestic ties; a condition clearly shown by Arcanum XIX. The fourth power of 1 is 28, and the fourth period of life is from 28 to 37. Arcanum IV indicates realization and fruitfulness, and during the period indicted the fruits of early toil are gathered in the from of business success, and the energies are largely spent rearing the offspring. The fifth power of 1 is 37, and during the fifth period of life, from 37 to 46, the energies are directed toward attaining honor and authority; for the children need less attention and the creative energies are operating thru the plane indicated by Arcanum V. The sixth power of 1 is 46, and Arcanum VI represents trial; so during the period of life from 46 to 55 years, the children leave home and there is a change in the creative functions, more noticeable in woman. Arcanum VII represents mental victory, so during the seventh period, from 55 to 64 the creative attribute expresses its greatest potency in dominating conditions thru mental power, and it represents the zenith of worldly success. Arcanum VIII figures equilibrium, which is essentially stagnation, and during the eighth period, from 64 to 73, we find many people retiring from active effort owing to lack of creative energy to sustain them. Arcanum IX symbolizes wisdom and at the ninth period, or power of 1, from 73 to 82, man spends much time in reflecting upon the past and drawing wisdom from its experiences. The tenth period of human life, between 82 and 91, is the natural time for another change of polarity; for we find Arcanum X is itself but Arcanum I operating thru Arcanum II; meaning a change in the creative forces from positive to negative such as was indicated at 10 years of age, except in another cycle; and the polarization is so pronounced that unless they have been strongly controlled by Arcanum I in the past, the dissolution of the body occurs and the creative forces are transferred to a different realm of life. The principles here elucidated may profitably be applied to every department of nature, and we regret space forbids our going further into the details of the system. As we omitted to show the relation of Arcanum II to Arcanum XI and XX, we will now point out that XI is the second power of II, therefore it represents the extreme limit of the feminine principle, or soul power. XI is correlated with Neptune, a feminine planet, potent thru its ability to direct occult force by the receptive principle. XX is the third power of II, correlated with the Moon, expressing the feminine principle operation thru Arcanum III, or union and action. This feminine force, or soul power, gestating in man leads to resurrection beyond the tomb, or during life to reformation of character and aims. Theosophical involution and evolution properly belong to Arcanum IX; for they hinge on the function of the number 9; and it will be found that all the sacred cycles of the ancients can be unlocked by applying this deific number.

Isis Unveiled

Arcanum III.
Letter: Egyptian, Gomer; Hebrew, Gimel; English, G.
Number: 3
Astrologically: the zodiacal sign Libra.
Color: the lighter shades of yellow.
Tone: high E.
Occult science: periodicity.
Human function: the sense of feeling.
Natural remedy: such herbs as white rose, strawberry, violet, water-cress, primrose, heartsease, balm, pansy and lemon-thyme.
Mineral: the talismanic gem diamond, and such stones as white quartz, white spar, and white marble.

G-3, expresses in the Spiritual world supreme power, balanced by externally active intelligence and absolute wisdom.

In the Intellectual world, the universal fecundity of Being.

In the Physical world, nature in labor, the germination of acts, which must hatch from the will.

Remember then, son of earth, that to affirm what is true and will what is just, is already to create it; to affirm and will the contrary is to vow oneself to destruction. If Arcanum III appear in thy horoscope, hope for success in thy enterprises provided thou knowest how to unite the activity which fecundates to that rectitude of mind which will make thy works bear fruit.

In Divination Arcanum III may be briefly read as Marriage or Action.

Arcanum III is figured by a woman seated within a radiant sun; the rays from the sun number thirty, the number of degrees in one zodiacal sign, and thru which the sun passes each year. Her feet rest upon the moon, or symbol of the feminine, and the cube upon which she is seated is representative of the cross of matter uniting sun and moon, or male and female forces. From her brow the sacred serpent thrusts his head as symbol of wisdom, in her right hand she carries a scepter surmounted by a globe, essentially a phallus; it is the sign of the perpetual action of the creative energy upon all things born or to be born; in her left hand she carries an eagle, the symbol of fruitfulness, and of the heights to which the flight of the spirit can raise itself thru the medium of union. The seat upon which she rests is covered with eyes indicating that the eyes of the soul have been opened to a knowledge of good and evil thru union. This symbolic ensemble typifies Generation, Gestation, and universal Fecundity.

(1) Numerically Three expresses union of polar opposites, the reaction between forces which cause vibration and change. It represents the universal agent, action, or word, and is typical of fecundity. It is Body and Spirit joined by Soul, on the physical plane man and woman in marriage. In science it is the dynamic laws, those pertaining to the generation and directing of energy. There is no such thing as freedom from change, for all nature is in motion.

(2) Having been tempted by the serpent of desire for material experience, the desire for offspring, which is astrologically ruled by Leo, the natural sign of the fifth house, the house of pleasure, love affairs and children, also being symbolized by the sacred serpent as well as the lion - Eve falls into union. This union and the conception is astrologically the sign Libra, natural ruler of partnerships. In Arcanum III not only is the union indicated but also the enlightenment that comes from it, for Adam and Eve then discerned that they needed clothing, and the tempting serpent of desire thru its fulfillment becomes the serpent of wisdom which is raised to the brow to indicate the power of union to increase the range of mental force. Isis unveiled is the be distinguished from the second power of 3, Arcanum XII corresponding to the sign Pisces which is negative union resulting in wasted vitality; and from the third power of 3, Arcanum XXI ruled by the Sun, revealing the result of proper union in spiritual attainment.

(3) Union being actuated by feeling, and contact with objects, which is a form of union, giving rise to feelings of attraction or repulsion.

(4) Alchemically Arcanum III is the process of uniting the gross metals after their proper proportions have been calculated and they have been reduced to the first matter. If the principles of polarity have been rigidly adhered to they will combine when brought in contact; the unwary alchemists sometimes being injured by the ensuing explosion. Therefore, when placed in the Athanor and dissolved by mercury, or Arcanum II, to cover with a film of Salt, or Arcanum III, which if the heat be kept under proper control will prevent the ingredients from boiling over or combining too violently.

(5) In the Bible the Fall of Eve and the consequent expulsion from the garden of Eden represents Arcanum III. The Ark of Noah is another reference to the same Arcana, the three stories corresponding to the three realms symbolized by Sun, Moon, and Cube, or Spirit, Astral and Physical worlds wherein the soul undergoes gestation. Another reference to Arcanum III will bear quoting - Rev. 12:1. "And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars. And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered."

(6) The Master Mason degree of Masonry is founded upon Arcanum III, and the whole story of the assassination, burial, finding, and raising of Hiram Abiff is elucidated by referring to the pictured symbols on this Tarot, and it thus becomes in truth the key to the Master's word, lost at that time. The G of Masonry found traced upon the breast of the murdered Hiram is the letter of this Arcanum. High twelve, the time the master was attacked, is represented by the noon-day position of the sun. Low twelve, the time he was buried, is indicated by the moon on the Nadir. The grave six feet due east and west, and six feet perpendicular, is typified by the six-sided cube upon which Isis sits. The sprig of cassia marking the grave is indicated in the Tarot by the phallic scepter. The twelve Masons sent out to hunt for Hiram Abiff are symbolized by the twelve stars above the head of Isis. The five points of fellowship upon which Hiram was raised by means of the Lion's paw grip are indicated by the five eyes on the cubical grave; and finally the transcendental result of so being raised is pictured by the eagle on the left hand of Isis. The whole detail of the tragical story, with its inner meaning has been presented in the author's "Ancient Masonry", and may be worked out in its correspondence to Arcanum III at the students will.

(7) In Magic, Arcanum III corresponds to the principle of Vitalization. The proper treatment of this principle involves a study first of Arcanum II to determine the importance of Polarization, and secondly the study of Arcanum III as determining the vitalizing effect of the interaction of polar opposites. It is an established law of physics that every action is accompanied by an opposite and equal reaction. Therefore for every positive force in the universe there must be an equal negative force. It is impossible, for instance, to make a magnet with but a positive pole, or to bring into existence a positive force of any kind without its being, by the fundamental laws of nature, accompanied by an equal negatively polarized force. This is the eternal duad that establishes the law of the conservation of energy, for were it otherwise energy expended in one direction would not be accounted for in another, and might become lost. It follows from this that every soul has a counterpart soul of opposite polarity; for a soul is definitely polarized as a positive or negative at the moment of differentiation; and it is as impossible to conceive of a soul, which is a definite force, being launched upon the tide of involution and evolution as a force without a polar opposite as it would be to conceive a magnet formed with a single pole. At differentiation twin monads, forming the positive and negative halves of a spiritual entity whose point of equilibrium is the ego, are started at once on the cyclic journey, and are ultimately born upon the earth as man and woman who are true soul-mates.

There is no action that is not traceable to sex. Chemical affinity is due to the marriage of atoms of opposite polarity; and chemical action only takes place as a result of the sexual attraction of atoms; the atoms being ever impelled to divorce less companionable partners and enter into union with those of greater attraction for them. Electricity and magnetism is the effort of a positive force to unite with a negative force. And thus every force in the universe might be shown to be the result of sexual attraction. Breathing is likewise dual, inhalation and exhalation, positive and negative, thru which the blood is oxygenated and vitalized. The air also contains an ethereal element called vif or akasa which may be gathered up by the nervous system thru rhythmic breathing and become a power to vitalize thought. This is the secret of the Yoga methods of training. But for the highest phases of magic it is not enough merely that the creative energies are aroused and their magnetic activity sustained by breathing: for only in the deepest emotions of soul-love can the soul contact truly spiritual planes and view nature's awful truths stripped of all seeming; and only in the union of purified souls having a natural affinity for one another is it possible to generate the quality of psychic force necessary to storm the gates of heaven.

(8) In the soul's pilgrimage Arcanum III represents the soul's descent into material conditions, and on the ascending arc of the cycle, the finding of a suitable companion to assist in performing the Great Work, and the application of both physical senses and psychic senses to the exploration of the worlds visible and invisible.

(9) Periodicity is the science of cycles. When resolved to its ultimate, all that exists in the universe is motion; the difference of one thing from another being its modes of motion. All motion tends toward cyclic form in which there is a regular recurrence of its various phases, tho modified by other motions. When these cycles become known they shed much information upon the nature of matter; and where the cycle is concerned with climatic changes; with the rise and fall of nations; or with periods of fortune and misfortune in the life of man; prediction becomes possible. Thus we find the tides to be ruled by the phases of the moon and thus can predict their ebbs and flood. The seasons are governed by the orbital motion of the earth, knowing which we may prepare for the changes incident upon them. The spiritual and intellectual forces of humanity are governed by the precessional cycle of the sun, and its passage thru a given sign is sub-divided into periods ruled by each planet, making it possible within limits to determine the culture and trend of thought of the world's inhabitants at any time past or future.

The sign Libra is general significator of partnerships, open enemies, law suits, and dealing with the public, therefore each of the Treys must relate to these things subject to the phase of life governed by its suit.

The Trey of Scepters is a business partnership.
The Trey of Cups is marriage for love.
The Trey of Swords is a law-suit or divorce.
The Trey of Pentacles is marriage for money.

The Sovereign

Arcanum IV.
Letter: Egyptian, Denain; Hebrew, Daleth; English, D.
Number: 4.
Astrologically: the zodiacal sign Scorpio.
Color: the darker shades of red.
Tone: low C.
Occult science: physical alchemy.
Human function: the absorption of ethereal essences.
Natural remedy: such herbs as heather., horehound, bramble, bean, leek, wormwood, woad, charlock and back-thorn.
Mineral: the talismanic gem topaz, and among stones bloodstone, vermilion and lode-stone.

D-4 expresses in the Spiritual world the realization, perpetual and hierarchic of the virtualities, the efficacies, contained in Absolute Being.

In the Intellectual world, the realization of the ideas of contingent Being by the four-fold labor of the mind - Affirmation, Negation, Discussion, and Solution.

In the Physical world the realization of acts, directed by the knowledge of truth, the love of justice, the force of will, and the works of the organs.

Remember then, son of earth, that nothing can resist a firm will which has for lever the knowledge of the true and just. To combat in order to secure its realization is more than a right, it is a duty. The man who triumphs in that struggle only accomplishes his earthly mission: he who succumbs in devoting himself to it, gains immortality. If the Sovereign appear in thy horoscope, it signifies that the realization of thy hopes depends upon a Being more powerful than thyself. Seek to know him and thou shalt have his support.

In Divination, Arcanum IV may be briefly read as Realization.

Arcanum IV is figured by a man; on his head a sovereign's helmet. He is seated upon a cubic stone: his right hand raises a scepter surmounted by a circle, and his right leg bent, rests upon the other forming a cross. The cubic stone, image of the perfect solid, signifies labor that has reached completion. The cat pictured on the side of the stone indicates the vision of the soul penetrating the illusions of matter. The Sovereign's helmet is a emblem of force conquered by power. The ruler is in possession of the scepter of Isis, indicating knowledge of the spiritual power of the creative force, and he points downward with his left hand to indicate matter subdued. The sacred serpent at his brow indicates his enlightenment, and the hawk on his breast, his ambition for spiritual dominion, the hawk being sacred to the sun. The cross traced by his legs symbolize the four elemental kingdoms he has mastered and the expansion of human power thru understanding. The apron above the legs presents the figure of a trine above a cross, the symbol of mind dominant over matter and the conservation of energy.

(1) Numerically, Four expresses the result of action, the fruit of the toil typified by three, the realization from effort, and life springing into existence as the result of the union of polar opposites. It represents the practical, the concrete, and consequently that which has form. It is typical of the universal truth of reality, the actuality of form. It is typical of the universal truth of reality, the actuality of all realms when viewed from their own plane, and that which is practical when applied to the affairs of life. In the Macrocosm it stands for the result of motion, in man for knowledge gained thru experience. In science it is those laws governing the effective use of energy, those that bear upon the actual products of motion.

(2) The Sovereign by his helmet and attitude of dominion by force expresses martial energy, and the phallic symbol relates the Arcanum to the night house of Mars rather than to Aries. In addition it symbolizes fruitfulness and silent strength, all attributes of Scorpio. The sign Scorpio is the emblem of sex, whose magnetic forces conserved as indicated in Arcanum IV become a most potent power in dominating the elemental realms of life. The negative side of this principle is indicated by the second power of 4. Arcanum XIII, showing the natural course of events undirected; life and death following each other in endless cycles. The selfish use of these fruitful forces is indicated by Arcanum 0, having a numerical value also of 22, the third power of 4, picturing the result of using magic for worldly gain, or being ruled by desire for pleasure.

(3) The sign Scorpio is the most magnetically potent sign of the zodiac. Sex energy is life, and this life is not merely chemical action but also magnetic and ethereal. The finer forces are brought to the shores of our planet upon the tide of the life-wave, and are an available source of life and energy to any organism capable of receiving, conserving and transmitting them. These finer forces are drawn upon to sustain the emotions and vitalize the procreative fluids. Scorpio, more readily than any other sign being capable of absorbing them, explains its fruitfulness and magnetic power, and why the faculty of Ethereal Absorption is correlated with Arcanum IV.

(4) Alchemically, Arcanum IV is the principle of sublimation that completes transmutation. For it should be known that the metals subjected to the heat of Sulphur and dissolved in Mercury, after being properly proportioned and covered with Salt, combine; but the product while essentially gold is impure and must be treated to a stream of Azoth which volatilizes the dross and carries it away as a dark fume, and precipitates the pure gold. Thus in the first four Tarots the four great steps in alchemical procedure are explained more clearly than in written alchemical works; and all the minor details are shown in the Tarots to follow. Arcanum IV completes the alchemical quaternary which expressed as elements is Fire, Water, Earth, Air; as alchemical components - Sulphur, Mercury, Salt and Azoth; as chemicals - Oxygen, Nitrogen, Carbon and Hydrogen; and in terms of physics - Magnetism, Electricity, Light and Caloric.

(5) In the Bible there are many references to Arcanum IV, fruitfulness being considered a virtue and barrenness a crime. This applies more forcefully to the intellectual plane; for man's progress depends upon the children of his mind, for barren thoughts lead to physical and moral decay. Gen. 1:23. "And God blessed then, and God said unto them, be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and the foul of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth." Now turn to the last book - Rev. 12:5. "And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up unto God and to his throne." Here we have reference to the fruitfulness of the Arcanum, to its rulership by a martial sign, or iron, the rod held in the hand of Arcanum IV, to its dominating character, and to its spiritual realization as shown by the hawk, for the child was caught up to the sun.

(6) The Mark Master degree of Masonry is founded upon Arcanum IV. As a whole it indicates, "To him that over cometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, which no men knoweth, saving him that receiveth it." The stone is plainly seen, and on it engraved the symbol of the new name, and the Sovereign is represented as having overcome. On his breast is a hawk, whose flight was anciently thought to carry it to the sun, symbolizing the purport of the eight Masonic letters, interpreted either: "Hiram Tyrian, Widow's Son, Sent To King Solomon", or: "He That Was Slain Soars To Kindred Spirit." IV is the key-stone which the builders reject.

(7) In Magic, Arcanum IV corresponds to the principle of Realization, the practical application of the principles elucidated in the first three Arcana. There is an appropriate time for all acts, and this is particularly true in Magic; for ethereal intelligences have their cycles and periods as well as earthly beings. It is sufficient to say that there are orders of beings, invisible to material eyes, who were of earth once, and others who were never incarnated on earth and never will be, who possess all knowledge it is possible to conceive, and who respond to the desire or invocation of those following the same lines of thought, or who voluntarily place themselves in rapport with them. Therefore, it is possible for man by means of magic to gain any knowledge he is capable of understanding; and worthy students of Astrology, Alchemy and Magic usually become the protégés of invisible intelligences who reveal to them much information not possible to gain thru other channels, and it is possible for man to traverse the space after due purification, and contact still higher intelligences when in search of soul-knowledge.

(8) In the soul's pilgrimage Arcanum IV indicates the result of marriage after the state of manhood has been reached. The realization of spiritual power is brought about not thru suppression, but by judicious control and use of the creative energy. During union one of two atmospheres is contacted - either the reeking stench from the nether spheres or the divine aroma of high heaven is breathed in magnetic respiration, the one tending toward damnation and the other exalting the soul to attainment; lust's realization is Arcanum 0, love's is Arcanum IV.

(9) Physical Alchemy being the science of transmuting the procreative fluids, naturally falls to Scorpio and Arcanum IV. A vast amount of nonsense is taught regarding this subject by semi-initiated mystics, resulting in untold harm. Both Christian Monks and Hindu Ascetics were under the impression that to be holy one must be miserable. But modern psychology proves beyond doubt that happiness lends to efficiency, and misery tends toward disintegration and unbalanced mental conditions, without aiding in the least towards real spirituality. Both starvation and celibacy stimulate the mind; the first by robbing the nerves of nourishment, and creating an abnormal tension in the brain, the second by creating excessive nervous currents of a strong polarity, unbalanced forces that flood the brain and act very similar to certain opiates. Such stimulation is abnormal, the positive forces localizing in certain regions, and the negative formed at the same time in others, the amount being excessive, producing magnetic unbalance and making both psychic vision and mental processes unreliable tho excessively active. A similar condition is produced by hashish and other drugs. It is a fact that a point in initiation is reached where celibacy becomes absolutely essential, and regeneration supplants generation. Before the stage is reached the lower steps must be satisfactorily passed and the sexual organism gradually evolved above the physical plane, in which case the procreative fluids dematerialize and are absorbed by the magnetic constitution, transmutation being accomplished. But the vast majority of mystics claiming to live regenerate lives and talking learnedly of transmutation do not possess a spiritual constitution active enough to dematerialize the procreative fluid and the germs that in the course of natural events would pass from the body in its secretions if not used in procreation, are forcefully retained and live a parasitical life in the body robbing it of vitality and attracting elemental life that generates psychic fancies and illusion.

The sign Scorpio is general significator of fruitfulness, legacies, spirit communion, the dead, and partner's money; therefore each of the Fours must relate to these things as concerning the particular phase of life governed by its suit.

The Four of Scepters is a legacy.
The Four of Cups indicates an increase in the family.
The Four of Swords is remorse for past action.
The Four of Pentacles is money received thru the partner.

Method of the Sephiroth

In this method only the 22 Major Arcana and 4 Aces are used. The Aces are shuffled separately; and are the most potent of all, for they represent the four astral kingdoms symbolized by their suit, are called the Astral Keys, outranking all others as do the Aces in common playing cards. The 4 Aces are carefully shuffled and cut and dealt as illustrated in frontispiece, the first on the kingdom marked Asc., the second on M.C., third on Desc., and the fourth on the N.C. Then shuffle the 22 Arcana and cut as explained in Lesson 1 and deal one at a time around the ten thrones from I to X and then starting at X deal back to I. This leaves two cards which are placed face downward at the side, and called the staff, only to be consulted if the figure proves contradictory, when they will point out the cause of failure to elucidate the matter, and thus support the devout student in his disappointment.

The first Astral kingdom, marked Asc. is that of Life, and if the Ace of Pentacles falls there it shows strength, vigor and vitality; if the Ace of Scepters, it is favorable, but denotes work and responsibility; if the Ace of Cups, that love of pleasure may deplete the vitality; if the Ace of Swords, it indicates sickness or death. The second Astral kingdom marked M.C. is that of Honor and Business, and the Ace of Scepters falling there gives it great power; the Ace of Pentacles is favorable but indicates much effort required; the honor is blemished thru the pursuit of pleasure if the Ace of Cups falls there, and the Ace of Swords there presages failure. The Astral kingdom of Love is marked Desc., the Ace of Cups falling there being a joyous omen; the Ace of Swords marking disputes; the Ace of Scepters bringing difficulties thru difference in station; and the Ace of Pentacles abundant strength. The Astral kingdom of Results is marked N.C., and the Ace of Swords falling there indicates a favorable ending; the Ace of Cups there bringing pleasant results; the Ace of Pentacles there being most unfortunate; and the Ace of Scepters there indicating a struggle yielding inadequate returns.

If the question relates to life begin with the Asc., if to love or war with the Desc., if to Honor or business with the M.C., and of to secret things with the N.C. First turn over the Ace, or astral key of the question, every question possible belonging to one of the kingdoms, the Ace indicating the general fortune of the matter as explained. After the significance of the Ace is noted turn over the cards of its thrones, noting that Asc. and Desc. have three thrones of two cards each, and M.C. and N.C. but two thrones of two cards each. In the case of Asc. and Desc. the two cards on the center thrones, either I or VI as the case may be indicate the most important factors and the other four cards are modifying influences. The cards on the thrones of the question will indicate why the conditions signified by the Ace exists, and give the details. Then turn over the opposite Ace, which indicates the opposition to the matter, and the cards of its thrones which will fill in the detail. If good cards occupy the Kingdom and thrones of the question and also its opposition, it is most favorable, but if both are evil the opposite is true. If the opposition holds more evil than the question holds good the matter will fail after a struggle, or if the question holds evil and the opposition good the matter lacks merit and will fail thru itself unless the opposition is good enough to carry it to success in spite of its unworth. If the good in the question is stronger than the evil in the opposition it will succeed in spite of opposition. The Kingdom next in order always indicates the culmination of the matter, and the thrones opposite within their kingdom its end. Thus in a question of love, war, or marriage, the Desc. becomes the question, the Asc. its opposition, the N.C. its progress and the M.C. its end. In a question of business the M.C. becomes the question, the N.C. its opposition, the Desc. its culmination and the Asc. its result. If the question is concerning psychic matters or hidden things the N.C. becomes the question, the M.C. its opposition, the Asc. its height and the Desc. the final issue. In all cases the cards on the thrones will show the various factors indicating why and how, the 4 cards on the thrones of M.C. or N.C. being of equal importance.

In all methods of reading the cards are dealt face downward and are turned over from top to bottom, one at a time as read, to prevent the mind from wandering to other of the spread. Any card right end up is considered more fortunate then its common significance, and when reversed is less fortunate than its given meaning. Reversal never makes a good card bad, nor does right way up make a good influence from an evil card; but just as in astrology Saturn and Mars are less evil when well aspected, and Venus and Jupiter are the more potent for good when well aspected, so a card is better if right way up.

Lesson 3
Examination Questions

Course VI
Branch of Science - Kabbalism
Subject - The Sacred Tarot.

1. What is the alchemical quaternary expressed in terms of physics?

2. What is symbolized by a helmet?

3. In what way is Arcanum III mentioned in Revelations?

4. What is the numerical significance of 3?

5. How may the Theosophical power of any number be found?

6. What is Theosophical Involution of numbers?

7. What is the effect upon a card in reading when it is found reversed - wrong way up?

8. Why are cards always dealt face downwards and turned over in a predetermined way as read?

9. What divinatory significance has the 4 of scepters?

10. Are there certain times when it is better to contact higher intelligences?

11. In what way is barrenness a crime?

12. What is the numerical significance of 4?

13. How does Arcanum III represent the Soul's descent into material conditions?

14. What Masonic story is depicted by Arcanum III?

15. What is the Alchemical significance of Arcanum III?

16. What is symbolized by a cube covered with eyes?

17. What is the divinatory meaning of Arcanum III?

18. What is the first Theosophical Power of a number, and how is the second power obtained?

19. What divinatory significance has the 4 of swords?

20. Is there any truth in the idea that one must be miserable to be Holy?

21. What relation has the hawk of Arcanum IV to the Masonic letters H-T-W-S-S-T-K-S?

22. To what does Arcanum IV correspond in Alchemy?

23. What is symbolized by a trine above a cross?

24. What is the divinatory meaning of Arcanum IV

25. Why is breathing important in Magic?

26. What is the significance of the serpent at the brow of Isis?

27. What do the 12 stars above the woman in Arcanum III symbolize?

28. In the method of the Sephiroth what astral kingdom belongs to each of the 4 angles for the spread?

29. If the question relates to honor or business what astral key is commenced with in the Method of the Sephiroth?