Where: an apartment in lower Manhattan
(the address will be provided to registered students)
When: Saturday, June 19, 2010
Time: 12 noon to 6 pm
Paid by: Visa or Master Card, Check, or Pay Pal
To Register: contact Robert Place at firstname.lastname@example.org
(The class is limited to 20 students)
When discussing Tarot symbolism, it seems that the Tarot’s enigmatic Fool and trumps receive the most attention. Because most pips in traditional decks are illustrated with only a repetition of the suit symbol, from one to ten, and the four royal cards seem to be a self-evident royal hierarchy, the four minor suits: cups, swords, coins, and staffs, provide less visual material to work with. Yet the earliest evidence of divination with cards are systems that involve only the four minor suits. Even when using the entire Tarot, the minor cards comprise the larger portion of the deck and it is essential to assign meanings to these cards.
Modern decks, following the precedence set by Pamela Coleman Smith, have more illustrative scenes on the pips, which makes them user-friendly. But, still, we may ask, where did Smith’s interpretations come from, are her interpretations in agreement with traditional views, and how were the traditional views arrived at?
When we look at the minor suits in the traditional decks, we find that there are three symbolic systems to work with, all of which add meaning to the cards:
1. the four suit symbols
2. symbolism associated with the first ten numbers
3. the code of chivalry expressed in the royal cards
This class will focus on the meaning of the suit symbols and we will delve into the other systems in future classes. In this class we will look into the historic relationship between the four suits, four classes of society, and the four elements. Through their relationship to the elements, the suits were also connected to the four humors, which provided four personality types, Early interpretations of the cards were heavily influenced by these types. The famous psychologist Carl Jung studied the humors and developed a more accurate modern system of classification called the four Functions of Consciousness and as this system is more psychologically up-to-date we will learn to apply this system to the cards. We will also practice reading with the minor suits and applying this information to our readings. A new layout will be taught that gives insight into one’s personality type. Notes will be provided on the subject matter. Students are asked to bring a deck of Tarot cards by Robert Place, the Waite-Smith Tarot, or one based on it. The students should be familiar with Place’s three card technique either from a previous class of from one of Place’s books.