“The Tarot is truly a philosophical machine, which keeps the mind from wandering, while leaving it initiative and liberty; it is mathematics applied to the absolute, the alliance of the positive and the ideal, a lottery of thoughts as exact as numbers, perhaps the simplest and grandest conception of human genius.
“An imprisoned person with no book other than the Tarot, if he knew how to use it, could in a few years acquire universal knowledge and would be able to speak on all subjects with unequaled learning and inexhaustible eloquence.”
 – Eliphas Lèvi Zahad

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Let Eliot Tell You About Tarot

From A Chapter In The Book/CD Set:


With the Major Cards, we arrive at the Jewel in the Crown of the Tarot. The Major Cards consist of those 22 mysterious looking cards that so often attract people to the Tarot in the first place. These cards hold such great importance that some Readers use only the Major Cards, not the entire pack, for their sessions.

The images on the Major Cards speak to us from the depths of time, going back at least to the 14th Century, if not hundreds of years earlier – depending upon whose origin story you read. In our increasingly “modern,” and impersonal world, the Major Cards rank among very few relics of the distant past available to us substantially unchanged in form. On this basis alone we must not ignore them.

The Major Cards have several other names: the Major Arcana, the Trumps, or the Major Keys. Tarot experts do this to confuse you and keep you from learning. I really mean that. But knowing these names can help you recognize other people who know about Tarot. For instance, we all know that in New York City we have a real estate “developer,” TV personality, and publicity-seeker named Trump. Well, a few years back a segment of the long-running (and eternally rerunning) NBC-TV show “Law & Order” told the fictional story of a New York real estate developer who gets murdered. They did not name the character “Trump.” They named him “Keyes.” Coincidence? Or does some TV writer out there in LA know a thing or two about the Major Arcana?

You won’t find the Major Cards/Trumps/Keys/Arcana cards in our regular deck of fifty-two playing cards. In addition to these missing cards, four other cards do not exist in modern decks. More about those later. For most people, the entire allure of Tarot lies in the mysterious images of the Major Cards/Trumps/Keys/Arcana (Okay, okay. I promise not to do that anymore). With such names as The Hanged Man, The Hierophant, The Hermit, and The Fool, these cards tantalize us; they call out to our inner consciousness provoking weird, thoughts. The Major Cards invariably show up in movies when the writer needs a cryptic, eldritch image. Remember Roger Moore’s first James Bond Movie, “Live and Let Die”? Tarot appears throughout this film. The highlight comes when Bond uses a stacked Tarot deck to seduce a comely seer named Solitaire (also stacked). For this profane purpose, Bond compiles a deck composed entirely of the Major Card called The Lovers. Well, here’s something you may not know. Although Solitaire sometimes reads the Rider-Waite-Smith deck in the movie, the producers commissioned a new deck especially for the film. The noted Scottish Surrealist painter Fergus Hall designed a beautiful set of Tarot cards, Live-and-Let-Die-007-Tarot-cards-The-Loverswhich remains available today as the “Tarot of the Witches.” In several scenes Solitaire uses this Hall deck. When the movie came out, the deck had the name “007 Tarot.” Why do I mention this? The next time you see “Live and Let Die,” look very closely at these cards when Bond or Solitaire turns them over (freeze the video frame). On the back of each card, plainly visible, you will find a design pattern reading “007!” Right there in the movie! So Bond goes to a shop, asks for 78 complete Tarot decks, tosses out all the cards but The Lovers (a very wasteful and expensive proposition), creates a new stacked deck, and this super-agent, this master spy, does not notice that every single one of 6,084 cards he bought carries, on the back in big red letters, his top-secret MI5 designation, his clandestine license to kill, his friggin’ DOUBLE-0 number (see the picture grabbed from the movie)! Thanks, Roger Moore. I ask you, would Sean Connery have done something so downright… stupid? Not even George Lazenby…

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