The Oracle of the Tarot

Paul Foster Case (1933)

Fifth Stage of Tarot Divination

1. Shuffle the entire pack, and let the Querent cut once, as before.

2. Turn the cards face up in your left hand, and run through the pack, without disturbing the order of any of the cards, until you come to the card you have selected as Significator. Put all the cards preceding this one, as you have run through the cards, at the back of the pack, without disturbing their order. That is, cut the pack at the Significator, so that this will be the top card when the pack is turned face up.

3. Place this card on the table.

4. Deal the next thirty-six cards in a ring around him, beginning at the usual position of the sign Aries, or of the First House, in a zodiacal wheel. The first three cards dealt will represent the three decanates of Aries; the next three the three decanates of Taurus, and so on through the twelve signs.

5. Judge each card as it is placed on the table, according to its agreement or disagreement with the position in which it falls. Key 4, L'EMPEREUR, for example, would be Well-dignified anywhere in the first group of three cards. So would any card of the Wands suit, and any card of the Swords suit except those representing the three decanates of Libra; those representing the three decanates of Cancer, and those representing the three decanates of Capricorn (in the Cups and Coins suits respectively) would also be Ill- dignified in Aries. In general the strength or weakness of any card will be practically the same as those given on pages 27, 28 and 29.

6. After the cards have been judged and read as above, count (beginning with the first point in Aries, or the first card following the Significator) and pair as in preceding stages of the divination. Note carefully in which division of the zodiac the final card appears.

N.B. The pairing, in this stage, is across the wheel, that is card 1 with card 19, card 2 with card 20, card 3 with card 21, and so on. The final card referred to above is not card 36 (or the one corresponding to the last decanate of the twelfth sign, Pisces). It is the card to which the counting returns, that is, the card which shows up a second time as the result of counting, and so brings the counting to an end.

7. As in the preceding stage of divination, judge the time represented by this final card as relating to the corresponding ascending sign in a question that refers to the day following the divination. If the question is one that has to do with a problem in which a solution is desired within a comparatively short time, look in the current ephemeris for the next passage of the Moon through the decanate of the sign in which the final card falls. Otherwise consider the final card as applying to an event or condition which will become manifest when next the Sun passes through the decanate of the sign in which the final card is placed.

Further As To Dignities Of The Cards

These remarks apply particularly to this layout of 36 cards, although they have some bearing on all stages of the operation.

1. In considering the strength or weakness of any card, consider what cards are next it on either side. Cards of the same suit strengthen it for good or evil, according to their nature. Similarly, major trumps on either side of a minor trump strengthen or weaken the latter, according to their nature. But minor trumps have less effect on major trumps. Wands are friendly with Swords and Pentacles.

Wands are inimical to Cups. Cups are friendly with Swords and Coins. Swords are friendly with Cups and Wands. Swords are inimical to Coins.

2. When a card falls between two others which are of contrary nature, or inimical to each other, it is not much affected by either. For example, if the Ace of Wands should fall between Key 7, the Chariot and Key 8, La Justice, it would not be very much affected. Neither would it be greatly affected if there were a card of the Sword suit on one side, and a card of the Coins suit on the other.

3. A greater number of one suit or the other in this fifth stage of the operation has a particular relevance:

A majority of this suit or card......shows this
WandsThere will be much mental energy expended in the matter. Many wands also portend some opposition to the Querent, and possible quarrels.
CupsIntensifies the emotional element present in the solution of the question. In general, many cups in a layout intimate pleasure, social activity, merriment.
SwordsA portent of sickness, sadness, trouble, or death.
CoinsThe emphasis in the reading will be on business, money or possessions.
Major TrumpsAn intimation that strong forces are at work in the matter under consideration. These are usually beyond the Querent's control, whether for good or evil.
Court CardsThe influence of persons other than the Querent will be exerted in the shaping and decision of the matter. They also intimate that the Querent will be a good deal in the company of others, or at social gatherings.

4. At this fifth stage of the divination note how many times a particular card number appears in the entire reading:

If this card......appears 3 times in a reading, it means......or if appearing 4 times, it means...
AcesGreat power and forceWealth, success
KingsMeetings with the greatRank and honor
QueensAuthority, influence, help from womenStrong friends, or partners
WarriorsThe events in the matter move swiftlySudden changes; News; Unexpected meetings
ServantsNew ideas or plans; Youthful associatesHelp from the young, or from inferiors
TensA Burden of anxiety; 'too many irons'Commerce; Speculation; Buying and selling
NinesNew responsibilities; Firm foundationsMuch correspondence; Delays
EightsNews; Rumors; GossipMuch moving about; Short journeys
SevensDisappointmentsContracts; Alliances; Partnerships
SixesPleasure; Control over conditionsSuccess; Gain; Balance of power
FivesMagic power; Unusual strengthCompetition; Fights; Dissension
FoursOrder; Regularity; Rest; PeaceAbundance; Industry
ThreesDetermination; Definite plansDeceit; Misunderstanding; Uncertainty
TwosConferences; Conversations; AdjustmentsCliques; Separations; Reorganizations

To some extent the foregoing applies to any stage of the divination, but more particularly to the fifth stage and to the sixth.

By this time you should be fairly familiar with the meanings of all the cards. In studying them, begin always with the keywords as given in the lesson on the four suits and the twenty-two major trumps. It is absolutely impossible to divine at all satisfactorily until the significance of the entire pack is thoroughly learned.

Spend at least half-an-hour every day with the Tarot. Shuffle the cards, cut them at random, and run through the whole pack. Lay out the cards in rows on the table, and practice making sentences from the various sequences. You must first saturate yourself with tarot, so that you do not have to spend any time in trying to recall what a card is supposed to mean. If possible, do this work with a friend.

Blending Astrology with the Tarot

The better you understand the underlying astrological principles governing Tarot divination, the sooner will you become a proficient diviner. To this end, there is no better low-priced book than The Student's Chart Reader, published by Llewellyn George at 8921 National Boulevard (Palms), Los Angeles, Cal. The price of this little book in paper is only $1.00, or $1.50 in cloth. It can be had from us, or direct from the publisher.

Its use in connection with the stage of the Tarot divination just explained is as follows:

Suppose that in the first section of the wheel containing 36 cards there were Key 14, Temperance, the King of Swords, and the Servant of Wands. The position of the first of these would specifically relate it to the first ten degrees of Aries, which have a Martian quality; and the quality of Key 14 itself is that of its ruler, Jupiter. Thus the first card would be the same as the astrological influence of Jupiter in the first decanate of Aries. This is explained on page 43 of the book just mentioned.

The second card in the series would represent, in the main, the influence of the sign Libra, and thus the active force of Venus. Venus in Aries is explained on page 23 of the little book.

The third card is itself a symbol of the whole sign Aries, and of the two signs following. Its position in the 3rd decanate of Aries would confirm the suggestion represented by the presence of Key 14 in the first decanate.

The same book also gives the significance of the various planets in the 12 houses, and as every card of the Tarot represents either a planet itself, a sign of the zodiac ruled by a planet, or a decanate of the zodiac under the sub-ruler-ship of a planet, there is a sense in which every card represents some aspect of planetary force, and may therefore be read as a planetary influence in a given sign or house. So learn the meanings. Then it will be easy to combine them.

Previous: Fourth Stage of Tarot Divination

Next: Final Stage of Tarot Divination

Table of Contents