The Minor Arcana

Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him. ~ Isaiah 43:7

These are the meeting notes for 15 January 2018.

We reviewed the topics and themes that we discussed over the past year:

  • Solovyov, Berdyaev, Bergson, Jung
  • Dante
  • Boehme
  • Concentration without effort
  • Second birth, initiation
  • Centering prayer, meditation, Aurobindo
  • Spiritual vision. Based on Thomas Aquinas and the Law of correspondence. How our sensory experience corresponds to a spiritual reality
  • Hinze, Gichtel, Chakras and the planets

We then discussed possible themes:

After discussion and thoughtful meditation, we decided to make the study of the Minor Arcana as the group project. This will incorporate all the themes discussed to this point; moreover, it will also bring into play the other possible themes listed above.

Of course, as we learned in our Bodhisattva studies, this is best accomplished as the union of Intellectuality and Spirituality. Hence, our meditations must be on something concrete. Specifically, everything must be tested to separate what is of God from what is from “sins, whims, and personal ideas”. Initially, it will not be systematic; each one of us should follow his own interests first. There is no particular hurry.

Since each suit corresponds to a Cabbalistic world, it is necessary to be clear about the characteristics of each of those worlds. In order to provide some background, I will provide this introduction to the worlds, along with some suggestions for further study.

Then, within that world, the pip cards will correspond to the Sephiroth. The picture cards have a different purpose. Furthermore, the worlds interpenetrate, so that the Sephiroth at one level may have a different connotation from the world above or below it.

Keep in mind that the passage from Isaiah from the epigraph reveals the nature of the four worlds.

Azilut (Emanation). This is the unchanging divine world. One is called to that world, as Beatrice called to Dante. This should begin with the Trinity. Eckhart’s and Boehme’s understanding of the Trinity are helpful, as is Solovyov’s as described in Lectures on Divine Humanity.

Sophia, too, as Wisdom appears here. There is a collection of Solovyov’s writings and descriptions of his encounters with Sophia. Bulgakov wrote a short book as an introduction to Sophia.

Mouravieff may have something to add on these ideas.

Beriah (Creation). This is the world beyond space-time, pure consciousness, or Heaven. The world of the higher angels. Pure spirit or thought. Some philosophers have attained to an understanding of this level.

Relating to the named angels may be helpful, starting with Metatron. Dionysius on the Celestial Hierarchy, also St. Bonaventura. The Meditations mention two works by Rudolf Steiner.

Yetzirah (Formation). This the Corporeal world. Also Eden. I’ve found that Wolfgang Smith’s distinction between the Corporeal and Physical worlds is very helpful. He shows that the corporeal world of our ordinary experience, is on a higher plane than the material world studied by physicists.

The features of the body at this level are: Impassibility, Subtlety, Agility, Clarity. (Look them up if you don’t know them.)

Boehme’s description of the Fall of Adam and Eve may be helpful, in showing the transition from corporeality to physicality.

Assiyyah (Action or making). This is the world of man’s making, a factitious world. After the fall he became dense and acquired a material body (“coats of skin”). The upper part of this world is the natural psyche relating to the lower intellectual and emotional centers. Then the descent is to sensations, instincts and the body itself.

3 Replies to “The Minor Arcana”

  1. What am I to make of these “four worlds” and their descriptions, and the deeper meaning that is held within those descriptions? First, I would say, that I have a fairly strong intuitive sense of these four worlds, not a complete intellectual grasp, by any means, but a level of comfort and familiarity that existed within me before the words used by others were made known to me. That being said, my intuitive understanding is by no means completely aligned with or naturally in agreement with the operational implications of the four worlds. I hope to study the material in greater depth, become adequate in conversant understanding, make light work of the proper meaning, so I can easily address the gross conceptual material. But on a deeper level, it occurs to me that my true understanding of this material, and the four worlds, is not acquired though academic study, but instead is obtained by revelation. How this works, what injunctions are required before I am ready to be initiated, that can only be known in the silent space of my meditations upon the gross forms of the language and words. I am still a novice in my meditations on the four worlds, I am still working with the spelling and grammar, syntax, and meanings. My ownership, the moment when spirit reveals to me my authentic ownership of these four worlds, and my original and personal application in moral constitution of my life circumstance, and use I can make of these things over the course of my life, that moment has not yet arrived.

    The moment will arrive when I will suddenly realize, “I have thought all these things before, and they are familiar to me as if I wrote these very words in some long ago journal, and am now reading them again, and hearing my own voice describe the four worlds, and then knowing it to be my own thought and definition, and experience.”

  2. Hello, I am relatively new to this site, I love the topics but I am curious as to the format of these topics. I see that there was mention of meeting minutes for Jan? Is this a summary of a larger class? If so is their also a full transcript of the class?
    I apologize if the question seems base but it’s not easy finding groups that discuss interesting topics and I love learning bout it.
    Kind regards,

    1. Some of the posts are summaries of our meetings, not not full transcripts.

      There is a sign up form for the Tarot Meditations Discussion Group along the right hand side of the page.

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