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How the Enochian Tarot Works

This article was written by Gerald and Betty Schueler on January 07, 2004
posted under Enochian Tarot

How can a deck of cards show you what will happen in the future? How does the Tarot work? In order to work, a Tarot deck must be an authentic microcosm of the macrocosmic universe. In other words, it must be structured in the same way that our universe is structured, but in miniature. The physical universe is only a small part of the whole. The portion of our universe that is invisible to our physical senses is sometimes called the Magickal Universe. It contains the inner worlds of the magician.

The traditional Tarot deck is structured to correspond to the patterns in which our Magickal Universe is constructed. The traditional Major Arcana has 22 cards. Each card is said to correspond to a path on the Qabalistic Tree of Life, the 22 paths that exist between the 10 Sephiroth. The Minor Arcana is divided into four sections of court (guiding intelligences) cards and suit (lesser forces and energies) cards. The traditional Tarot can therefore be thought of as a magickal mirror into the workings of our universe.

The Enochian Tarot is also designed in conformity with the structure of the Magickal Universe, but not that of traditional Qabalism (i.e., the Tree of Life). It has been designed to conform with the structure of the Magickal Universe, as taught by Enochian Magick. The Major Arcana of the Enochian Tarot deck has 30 cards, each corresponding to one of the 30 regions of the Magickal Universe known as the Aethyrs. The Minor Arcana is divided into four sections, each corresponding to a Watchtower, which are each situated on a different cosmic plane of the Magickal Universe. In short, the Enochian deck closely corresponds with the structure of our universe as taught in Enochian Magick, and is therefore as valid as the traditional deck.

The cards contain the vast potential of our universe. Just as our universe is one of almost infinite possibilities, so are the possible arrangements of the cards very great. Each card arrangement corresponds to a possible event or series of "happenings" in the universe. The layouts are an attempt to define the possible events in terms of our human understanding. The shuffling of the cards is the method used to bring about that arrangement which will most closely correspond to the outer event that has already happened, is presently happening, or will happen at some future time. Because deep within your unconscious mind, you "know" what has happened, is happening, and will happen, you should instinctively know when the card arrangement is the best in any particular case. This is known as shuffling until the cards "feel right." When the arrangement feels right, the structure of the cards will be aligned with the structure of the universe. In this way, the reading will faithfully answer the question posed by the questioner at the beginning of the shuffle.

However, the answer is seldom obvious. The cards usually have multiple meanings, where the "right" meaning of each card depends on its position in the layout as well as its association with the other cards of the spread. Intuition is often needed to put all of the cards together to form a single coherent answer to the question. The ability of the cards to actually mirror the events of our lives can be demonstrated by practice.

While Llewellyn's Classic Tarot has my name on the cover, I did not so much design this project as direct it. Llewellyn wanted a deck that was designed to be faithful to the traditional tarot images, symbols, and meanings recognizable to most modern tarot readers and students. Creating a faithful yet new expression of timeless tarot imagery is... read this article
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