Tarot and the Kabbalah: Lesson 10

By Gary Meister, CTM

Just for review—Path Zero, The Fool is the beginning of everything, all creation, from the creation of the universe to a baby’s creation of a house of blocks. His Path runs between Crown and Wisdom on the Tree of Life. His code word is Awareness and without Awareness we, or the Creator, have nothing to build upon. The Fool—Awareness…

Path One is between sphere, Crown and sphere Understanding and is represented by The Magician, key word, Attention. First we become Aware. Next, we focus our Attention on that which we are aware of. The Magician—Attention…

Path Two is between Crown and Beauty on the Tree of Life. Its Tarot card is The High Priestess. Her key word is Memory or Remember. We have become Aware, and given the thing we are aware of our Attention. Now: as long as we are keeping our Attention on this, everything is okay. But—what happens when we put our attention somewhere else. Without our Memory, we would just forget about the whole thing. And, that’s not learning. The High Priestess—Memory…

Next, we traveled Path Number Three, between the sphere of Wisdom and the sphere of Understanding. This path is traveled by The Empress, whose key word is Imagination. We become Aware of something. We give it our Attention. We Remember what it is. So—now we have learned what we became aware of, but what do we do with this knowledge, how can we use it? It takes Imagination to figure that out. If it’s a ball, we might imagine ourselves throwing it. If it’s a pencil, we can imagine writing with it, etc. etc.  The Empress—Imagination…

And that brings us up-to-date…

Remember—the processes seen in the Kabbalah are repeated in every sort of creation, from the initial creation of the universe, to a baby’s learning process, to an adult’s creation of a new project, on down to the creation of the molecules of a stone. The process remains the same:

Now comes Path Number Four—from the sphere of Wisdom to the sphere of Beauty on the Tree of Life diagram. This path is traveled by The Emperor, whose key word is Reason.  


The Emperor sits on a grey stone cube, representing four-square logic, Reason. He holds a globe in his left hand symbolizing the Earth and—by extension—the whole universe. In his right hand he holds a golden scepter of power, in a longer edition of the Egyptian Ankh. The inference here is that in reason lies power

The Creative Principal surveyed all IT (He/She) had done to this point and found that, although Imagination was necessary, it must be approached with Reason. Everything in IT’s creation must be in harmony with everything else. Otherwise, the Creator would have to keep fixing things. So, through the power of Reason, the Laws of Physics were put into place—an automatic system of checks and balances, keeping all there is in perfect harmony and balance.

Our baby started using its Imagination the last time we visited him. He used what he had remembered—his ability to direct the movement of his hands, limbs, etc. and then began to imagine what he could accomplish with that skill. Unfortunately, he hadn’t learned any judgment as to what he should or should not do. Consequently, a lot of things got broken and he could see that his parents were displeased. Now—all babies want to please their parents. (The rebellion demonstrated by older children comes from not being able to please his parents no matter how hard he tries.)

Anyway, the baby begins to realize that if she had used reason before she threw her parents’ glass vase—or whatever—she might have thought it through to the final result and not done it. (Believe it or not, very young children can think that deeply into a situation. They may not have the language, but they can see the appropriate pictures in their minds.) The resultant reasoning will overflow into other situations and—if the parents give the needed approval—the child will avoid breaking things in the future.

Now: you and I have begun a new project. It could be anything; the process is always the same.  First, we become aware that this can be done and we like the idea. Next, we give it our attention. Through our attention, we remember what we have seen and learned about the process. Then we begin to imagine the possibilities inherent in the idea. 

Now: before our imagination can completely run away with us, we begin to use our power of reason in two ways. First, we must limit our imagination to things that actually can happen, according to the laws of physics (for instance, houses can’t fly ). Secondly, we need to use our power of reason to plan out the strategy we need to employ to bring this thing to fruition. No getting around it—we were given the power of reason for a purpose and, in any creative undertaking, we must think, we must reason.

In A Reading:  Using this Kabbalistic model we can easily use The Emperor in a reading, using the keyword, reason. Of course, as usual, we need to stretch it out and explain how the keyword, reason, is used. 

Suppose the client’s question has to do with a relationship problem—“My best friend seems to be pulling away from me; can Tarot give an idea as to why?

I might say—after I have described what is going on in the card—“Tarot is indicating here that, inwardly, you know what has caused this problem. Think about the last few times you and your friend have spent time together. Did anything unusual happen? Did you argue about something your friend felt very strongly about? Think about it; use your power of reason. And, if you can’t come up with the answer, your best bet is to approach your friend and ask what’s wrong. If you have offended them in any way, don’t feel ashamed to apologize. A lost friendship is a real emotional tragedy. Do what you need to do to keep it together. Real friends are rare. Don’t lose one because of pride.”

So: the Kabbalah’s Path Four is represented by The Emperor, and The Emperor uses Reason.  See ya next time…

Bright Blessings ~ Gary Meister, CTM

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