Meditations on the Tarot: Epigraphs

What follows are a series of quotations, as selected by our Unknown Friend, which serve as epigraphs to each letter contained in his Meditations on the Tarot.  The images of the tarot of Marseille where provided by Gornahoorfor which this author is thankful. Please note that all biblical references are taken from the Douay-Rheims translation of the bible.


Le Bateleur

The Spirit breatheth where he will; and thou hearest his voice,

but thou knowest not whence he cometh,

and whither he goeth:

so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

John iii, 8.

On that glad night,

in secret, for no one saw me,

not did I look at anything,

with no other light or guide

than the one that burned in my heart.

St. John of the Cross.

La Papesse

La Papesse

Wisdom hath built herself a house,

she hath hewn her out seven pillars.

Proverbs ix, 1.

L’Impératrice

Behold the handmaid of the Lord;

be it done to me according to thy word. And the

angel departed from her.

– Luke i, 38.

L’Empereur

Blessed is he that cometh in the

name of the Lord.

– Luke xiii, 35.

Le Pape

But Melchisedech the king of Salem, bringing forth bread and wine,

for he was the priest of the most high God.

Blessed him, and said: Blessed be Abram by the most high God…

And blessed be the most high God…

– Genesis x1v, 18-20.

I am the way, and the truth, and the life.

No man cometh to the Father, but by me.

– John xiv, 6.

From henceforth let no man be troublesome

to me; for i bear the marks of the Lord Jesus

in my body.

– Galations vi, 17.

L’Amoureur

And catching the young man,

she kisseth him, and with an impudent

face, flattereth, saying: I vowed victims for

prosperity, this day have I paid my vows.

Therefore I am come out to meet thee,

desirous to see thee,

and I have found thee.

– Proverbs vii, 13-15.

I wisdom dwell in counsel,

and am present in learned thoughts.

I love them that love me: and they that in

the morning early watch for me,

shall find me.

– Proverbs viii, 12, 17.

Put me as a seal upon thy heart,

as a seal upon thy arm,

for love is strong as death…

the lamps thereof are fire and flames.

– Song of Solomon viii, 6-7.

Le Chariot

Then the devil left him;

and behold angels came

and ministered to him.

– Matthew iv, 11.

When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through

places without water, seeking rest; and not finding, he saith: I will

return into my house whence I came out.

And when he is come, he findeth it swept and garnished.

Then he goeth and taketh with him seven other spirits more wicked

than himself, and entering in they dwell there. And the last state of

that man becomes worse than the first.

– Luke xi, 24-26.

I am come in the name of my Father,

and you receive me not: if another

shall come in his own name,

him you will receive.

– John v, 43.

La Justice

The Son and the Spirit – this is all that is

granted to us. With respect of absolute

unity or the Father, no one has been able

to see him nor will see him in this world,

if this is not within the octernary – which

is, in fact, the only way whereby one could

attain to him.

– Louis Claude de Saint-Martin.

Who will guard the guards?

L’Hermite

Isis: “Give heed, my son Horus; for you shall

hear the secret doctrine, of which our

forefather Kamephis was the first teacher.

It so befell that Hermes heard this teaching

from Kamephis, the eldest of all our race;

I heard it from Hermes,

the writer of the records,

when he initiated me

in the rite of Black Perfection.

– Isis, Kore Kosmu.

For Trismegistus who, I do not know how,

has completed the discovery of virtually the

entire truth, has often described the power

and the majesty of the Word, as illustrated by

the foregoing quotation, where he

proclaims the existence of an ineffable and

holy Word, whose pronunciation is beyond

the power of man.

– Lactantius, Divine institutiones iv, 9, 3.

How narrow is the gate, and strait is

the way that leadeth to life:

and few there are that find it!

– Matthew vii, 14.

La  Roue de Fortune

Vanity of vanities, said Ecclesiastes

vanity of vanities, and all is vanity…

What is it that hath been? the same thing

that shall be. What is it that hath been done?

the same that shall be done.

– Ecclesiastes i, 2, 9.

For us men and for our salvation he came

down from heaven: by the power of the Holy

Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin

Mary, and was made man… he ascended into

heaven and is seated at the right hand of the

Father.

From the Creed

And I have given my heart to know prudence, and learning, and

errors, and folly: and I have perceived that in these also there was

labour, and vexation of spirit, Because In much wisdom there is

much indignation: and he that addeth knowledge, addeth also labour.

– Ecclesiastes i, 17-18.

Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

– Matthew v, 5.

La Force

This thing is the strongest of all powers,

the force of all forces,

for it overcometh every subtle thing,

and doth penetrate every solid substance.

– Tabula Smaragdina, 9.

Power Virgin

Merciful Virgin

Faithful Virgin

– Lauretanian Litany

Le Pendu

Amen, amen I say to thee,

unless a man be born again,

he cannot see the kingdom of God…

Amen, amen I say to thee,

unless a man be born again of

water and the Holy Ghost,

he cannot enter the kingdom of God…

The Spirit breatheth where he will;

and thou hearest his voice,

but thou knowest not whence he cometh,

and whither he goeth: so is every one

that is born of the Spirit.

– John iii, 3, 5, 8.

The foxes have holes, and the

birds of the air nests: but the song of

man hath not where to lay his head.

– Matthew viii, 20.

Then shall the just shine as the sun,

in the kingdom of their Father.

– Matthew xiii, 43.

That which I had to say

about the operation of sol

is completed.

– Tabula Smaragdina, 13.

La Mort

And the woman answered him, saying: Of the fruit of the trees that

are in paradise we do eat: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the

midst of paradise, God hath commanded us that we should not eat;

and that we should not touch it, lest perhaps we die.  And the serpent

said to the woman: No, you shall not die the death. For God doth

know that in what day soever you shall eat thereof, your eyes shall

be opened: and you shall be as Gods, knowing good and evil.

– Genesis iii, 2-5.

Ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.

– Ezekiel xxxvii, 4.

Tempérance

Hear us Lord, holy Lord,

almighty Father, eternal God,

and deign to send your holy Angel from heaven,

to guard,  cherish, protect, visit, and defend

all who are gathered together in this place.

– Liturgical Prayer.

Whosoever drinketh of this water,

shall thirst again; but he that

shall drink of the water that I will give him,

shall not thirst for ever:

But the water that I will give him,

shall become in him a fountain of water,

springing up into life everlasting.

– John iv, 13-14.

Amen, amen I say to thee,

unless a man be born again,

he cannot see the kingdom of God.

– John iii, 3.

By upbringing and intellectual training,

I belong to the “children of heaven”;

but by temperament, and by my professional studies,

I am a “child of the earth”.

Situated thus by life at the heart of two worlds

with whose theory, idiom and feelings

intimate experience has made me familiar,

I have not erected any watertight bulkhead inside myself.

On the contrary, I have allowed

two apparently conflicting influences full freedom to

react upon another deep within me.

– Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.

Le Diable

La Maison Dieu

My soul doth magnify the Lord.

And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.

Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid;

for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed…

He hath shewed might in his arm: he hath scattered the proud in the

conceit of their heart.

He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the

humble.

He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent

empty away.

– Luke i, 46-48, 51-53.

Because every one that exalteth himself,

shall be humbled; and he that humbleth himself,

shall be exalted.

– Luke xiv, 11.

So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the earth,

And should sleep, and rise, night and day, and the seed should

spring, and grow up whilst he knoweth not.

Mark iv, 26-27.

L’Étoile

The just shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow up like the

cedar of Libanus…

They shall still increase in a fruitful old age:

and shall be well treated.

– Psalm 92, 12, 14.

Two things fill the mind with every new

and increasing admiration and awe…

the starry heavens above me and the moral

law within me.

– Immanuel Kant.

La Lune

And his wife looking behind her,

was turned into a statue of salt.

– Genesis xix, 26.

But David’s heart struck him,

after the people were numbered:

and David said to the Lord:

I have sinned very much in what I have done.

And the Lord sent a pestilence upon Israel.

– II Samuel xxiv, 10, 15.

Our intelligence, as it leaves the hands of Nature,

has for its chief object the unorganised solid…

Of the discontinuous alone

does the intellect form a clear idea…

Of immobility alone

does the intellect form a clear idea…

The intellect lets what is new

in each moment of history escape.

It does not admit the unforeseeable.

It rejects all creation…

The intellect is characterised by

a natural inability to comprehend life…

But it is to the very inwardness of life

that intuition leads us –

by intuition I mean instinct

that has become disinterested,

self-concious, capable of reflecting upon its object

and of enlarging it indefinitely.

Henri Bergson.

Le Soliel

When I began drawing the mandalas,

however, I saw that everything, all the paths

I had been following, all the steps I had

taken, were leading back to a single point

– namely to the mid point. It became

increasingly plain to me that the mandala is

the centre. It is the exponent of all paths. It

is the path to the centre, to individuation…

I knew that in finding mandala as an

expression of the self I had attained what

was for me the ultimate. Perhaps someone

else knows more, but not I.

– C. G. Jung.

Heart of Jesus, King and centre of all hearts.

– Litany of the Sacred Heart.

I am the Alpha and Omega, the first and

the last, the beginning and the end.

 – Revelation, xxii, 13.

Under combined influence of men’s

thoughts and aspirations, the universe

around us is seen to be knit together

and convulsed by a vast movement of

convergence. Not only theoretically, but

experientially, our modern cosmogony is

taking the form of a cosmogenesis… at the

term of which we can distinguish a supreme

focus of personalising personality…

Just suppose the we identify (at least in his

“natural” aspect) the cosmic Christ of faith

with the Omega Point of science: then

everything in our outlook is clarified and

broadened, and falls into harmony.

– Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.

Le Jugement

The state of the brain

continues the remembrance;

it gives it a hold on the present

by the materiality which it confers upon it:

but pure memory is a spiritual manifestation.

With memory we are in very truth

in the domain of spirit.

– Henri Bergson.

For as the Father raiseth up the dead,

and giveth life: so the Son also giveth

life to whom he will.

For neither doth the Father judge any man,

but hath given all judgement to the Son.

– John v, 21-22.

Le Mat

Let no man deceive himself:

if any man among you seem to be wise

in this world, let him become a good,

that he may be wise.

For the wisdom of this world

is foolishness with God.

– I Corinthians iii, 18-19.

Folly is a condition which prevents

that which is true from being grasped.

– Plato, Definitions.

…conciousness succumbs all too easily

to unconscious influences, and there are

often truer and wiser than our concious

thinking… Personality need not imply

conciousness. It can just as easily

be dormant or sleeping.

C. G. Jung.

Le Monde

I was present: when with a certain law

and compass he enclosed the depths…

I was with him forming all things:

and was delighted every day,

playing before him at all times;

Playing in the world: and my delights

were to be with the children of men.

– Proverbs viii, 27, 30-31.

Joy – deeper yet than woe is she!

Saith woe: Hence, go!

yet Joy would have Eternity –

Profound, profound Eternity!

– Friedrich Nietzsche.

One truly lives only when one dances.

– Isadora Duncan.