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Observations placeholder

Tarot - 09 Major Arcana - 01 The supporting cards of the Aces



Type of Spiritual Experience





A description of the experience

The Aces are the culmination of the spiritual path.  Contrary to the somewhat odd Tarot explanations one sees on the ‘Tarot reading’ fortune telling type Internet sites, the Ace is the culmination of an extremely long and hard spiritual journey – not, as these sites would have you believe, the beginning!  ‘One’ does not mean the start, it means the ‘end’, although it is not the end as such, as one then moves on to take on new roles as part of the Major arcana or as one of the ‘court cards’.


In many systems, additional guiding help is provided by the Queens if you are on the path of the feminine and the Kings, up to a point if you are male.  Knights provide help to both men and women at all stages.  But this is actually on earth!  For many, the help being received is entirely spiritual and invisible.

01 The Magician - The only person apparently left able to help with the final stage of the spiritual path is the Magician.  Up until this point all the other people with various roles would have been able to help up to the limits of their capability, but the Ace is 01 and the matching Major Arcana card is also 01 - The Magician and only the Magician.  The Fool is 0 in some packs and 22 in others and this sums things up somewhat one is never quite sure what they will do.

11 Strength - But there is one card often overlooked in the Tarot at this stage and that card represents a female magician – Strength card 11.  To quote Wirth

“The feminine Magician who puts the masculine or dorian programme into practice is called Intelligence. She is the Charmer to whom we owe the conquests of learning and the progress of civilization; but the marvels which she brings about secretly are more admirable than those which are obviously confirmed.  Were it not for the irresistible intervention of the royal tamer, in which are united the Empress (arcana 3) and Justice (arcana 8), selfish interests would oppose all collective life.”

Spiritual path –the End state

12 The Hanged Man - The personification of this final state is the Hanged Man – the intermediary between earth and heaven, the material and spiritual worlds. 

The legs are crossed so that the right [or occasionally the left] leg forms a right angle with the left leg, and the arms are stretched out at an angle of 60° so as to form an equilateral triangle; this gives the symbol of the Triangle surmounted by the Cross, which represents the descent of the light into the darkness in order to redeem it.

Oswald Wirth

From now on the personality gives up the exaltation of its natural energies, far from behaving as if at the centre of autonomous action, it is effaced in order to undergo in a docile fashion, outside influences………..The Mystic's ….  passive renunciation puts him at the service of whatever acts upon him. He hands himself over with a foot and arms bound. ….. The whole representation reminds me of the alchemic sign of the Accomplishment of the Great Work…..

Spiritual path –the Process

13 Death - If we look at the spiritual path [see above background],  the stage reached is the very end – symbolically ‘Dawn’ and in terms of the experience, Annihilation.  As so few people ever reach this stage, it takes a Magician’s help plus the strength of inner courage to achieve it.  Annihilation is not literal death.  It is a baptism which is also a symbolic death

15 The Devil – The process requires the person to come to terms with the fact that there is no ‘good’ or ‘bad’.  That in the Great Work, the forces of Light line up against the Forces of Darkness to create change, and there can be no creation without destruction

The end state should provide the person with mental clarity, and direct help with inspiration and wisdom.  The ‘truth’ will be divulged, as will an indication of Reality.  The crown chakra is figuratively opened. 


If we look at the Sephirot, the stage being aimed for is Keter – the top of the tree. 

Keter (Hebrew:  כֶּתֶר lit. Crown) also known as Kether, is the topmost of the Sephirot of the Tree of Life in Kabbalah. Since its meaning is "crown", it is interpreted as both the "topmost" of the Sephirot and the "regal crown" of the Sephirot.

It is between Chokhmah and Binah (with Chokhmah on the right and Binah in the left) and it sits above Tiferet. It is usually given three paths, to Chokhmah, Tiferet and Binah.

"The very state of Keter is so sublime, it is called in the Zohar "the most hidden of all hidden things", and is completely incomprehensible to the vast majority of people. "

The source of the experience

Tarot, the

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