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TitleTarot Paul Foster Case
Tags Philosophical Science Religion And Belief Hermetic Qabalah Major Arcana
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Page 1

An Introduction
to the

Study of the Tarot

by Paul Foster Case

As an erudite book, all combinations of which reveal the harmonies
preexisting between signs and numbers, the practical value of the Tarot
is truly and above all marvelous - Eliphas Levi

Originally published in New York, 1920

Page 46

46

Truth; for he also says that the androgyne Hindu symbol, Ardha-Nari, represents Truth, and is
equivalent to the Adonai of Ezekiel’s vision. Readers of The Perfect Way will recall Anna
Kingsford’s description of this Vision of Adonai, which she calls “the most stupendous fact of
mystical experience, and the crowning experience of seers in all ages from the remotest antiquity
to the present day.” Her words are particularly significant when we recall that the twenty-first
trump is sometimes . entitled “The Crown of the Magi.” Perhaps I can offer no better
commentary upon this Key than Dr. Kingsford’s account of that sublime vision.

“He (the seer) finds himself amid a company innumerable of beings manifestly divine; for they
are the angels and archangels, principalities and powers, and all the hierarchy of the 'Heavens.’
Pressing on, through these towards the centre, he next finds himself in presence of a light so
intolerable in its lustre as well-nigh to beat him back from further quest,.....

“Enshrined in this light is a Form radiant and glorious beyond all power of expression. For it is
'made of the Substance of Light'; and the form is that of the 'Only Begotten,’ the Logos, the Idea,
the Manifestor of God, the Personal Reason of all existence, the Lord God of Hosts, the Lord
Adonai. From the right hand upraised in attitude indicative of will and command, proceeds, as a
stream of living force, the Holy Life and Substance whereby and whereof Creation consists.
With the left hand, depressed and open as in attitude of recall, the stream is indrawn, and
Creation is sustained and redeemed. Thus projecting and recalling, expanding and contracting,
Adonai fulfils the functions expressed in the mystical formula Solve et Coagula. And as in this,
so also in constitution and form, Adonai is dual, comprising the two modes of humanity, and
appearing to the beholder alternately masculine and feminine according as the function exercised
is of the man or the woman, and is centrifugal or centripetal.” 11

The number 21 is the extension of 6, the number of the Lovers. The sixth trump corresponds to
Zain, and the value of Zain is 7. Now, the extension of 7 is 28, and that of 28 is 406, the number
given by the letter-name Tau (ThV). In the ancient version of the seventh trump, reproduced in
Papus’ Tarot of the Bohemians, the letters V and T are enclosed in the shield on the face of the
Chariot; and they are, of course, to be read from right to left, so as to spell Tau. In Oswald
Wirth’s Tarot these letters are replaced by one form of the Hindu lingam, and Mr. Waite uses a
variant of the same symbolism. I prefer the older form, because it so clearly indicates the
correspondence between the World and the Chariot, in addition to the identity of the geometrical
basis of the seventh and twenty-first Keys, which is a triangle surmounting a cross. The number
21 also connects the World with the Chariot, as well as with the Lovers, for 21 is 7 times 3, and
so indicates the manifestation of the power of the Empress through that of the Chariot. The
Empress is Binah, and the Chariot is Netzach. Hence, by its number, 7 times 3, the World
symbolizes the final Victory of Understanding, or the triumph of the power of Binah over all the
illusions of material life.

Tau corresponds also to Saturn, who is described in mythology as devouring his children. Even
so does the highest of all mystical experiences swallow up the lower forms of knowing in the
superconsciousness that Hindus term “Existence – Knowledge – Bliss – Absolute. “In like
manner, too, does that element which Hindus represent as an ellipse – the Akasha Tattva –

11 The Perfect Way, Lecture IX, 49, 50, 51.

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