This document grew out of a student’s question. The student inquired as follows:
“…a couple of questions on the tarot card analogy that was discussed this past class. Do the tarot cards have a specific order in which they can be arranged in order to convey a particular meaning? How do the tarot cards relate to Plotinian thought or other ancient Greek philosophies?”
With regard to the Tarot cards, here is the series of images in question–a brief commentary will follow…:
Perhaps you have heard our conventional existence in time and space referred to as the horizontal dimension (or plane) — in contrast to the vertical dimension which is accessible to us if and only if our hearts are open to it. This distinction is key to understanding the universal symbolism of “The Lover” who is pulled in two directions (reminiscent of the myth of the soul in Plato’s Phaedrus). Those who choose the route of separation (seeking to secure their personal power, pleasure, and prestige on the horizontal plane) encounter mixed success, at best, and then face death and destruction; while those who “die before they die”— those who become attuned to deeper/higher levels of reality — realize their eternal life NOW (i.e. the vertical dimension).
Click on the link, below, to read additional commentary on these images:
–> Christianity, Platonism, and the Tarot of Marseille (Download PDF)
NOTE: The PDF file is designed to be printed as a booklet (i.e. to be printed on both sides, flipped on the short edge, and folded & stapled in the middle). It should print very nicely in “draft” mode if you wish to save on ink.