General Comments about the Minor Arcana

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The Minors represent the secondary forces which are subordinate to the fundamental forces expressed by the Majors. They enable them to show their consequences which lead to the realities and are the steps between the fundamentals and their practical applications: They make the Majors concrete.

            In a nutshell, the Minor Arcana provide the details which lend color to the fundamental forces expressed by the Major Arcana, because, as we do not live in fundamental forces, it is necessary to explain the consequences leading to realities.

            They are, like the Major Arcana, subject to the laws of number. Representing a material idea,  they consist more of simple expressions, and therefore simple images, which is why their total number is greater than that of the Major Arcana. They consist of 56 as opposed to 22 because, for their state to apply to the different combinations of matter,  they are grouped by necessity into four series, 4 being the number representative of the operations of matter. The following names have been given to these series: Swords, Cups, Coins, and Batons.

            On the other hand, as the Tarot represents the evolution of Man, symbolized by the cycles of 10, and 10 implies implies all the periodic elements of the physical world, each element of the quaternary of the minor cards, each with 10 repetitions, express all the possible combinations of numbers in the physical world.

            These combinations, being indeterminate in of themselves, must be defined by a new, conscious quaternary. It results in 4 new figures which, by nature, are doubly polarized; to wit, the Page and the Knight, the Queen and the King.

            The basic quaternary envisaged in this synthesis, with the goal of making concrete the Major Arcana, may be divided into two groups of polarities.

            The first one, active and quantitative, represents an expansive energy and a condensed energy, for which the Ancients made the principles of Fire and of Earth, and which, according to the symbolic drawings of the Minor cards, correspond to the Baton and the Coin respectively.

            The second, passive and qualitative, represents the sensitive states, one one receptive and the other one radiant, for which the Ancients made the principles of Air and of Water, and which correspond to the Sword and the Cup respectively.

            This same quaternary, considered from an analytic point of view, presents us with an ordered concentration of forces: the Fire, the Air, the Water, and the Earth, and correspondingly in the minor cards: the Baton, the Sword, the Cup, and the Coin.[1]

            The combination of synthetic and analytic points of view of the quaternary generate the following principle meanings:

            The SWORD represents activity on the material plane which, in its most subtle and most broad expression, creates access to the spiritual riches of divine love.

            The CUP, a symbol of the receptive sensibility of Man, is filled with these spiritual riches and expresses them with a psychism which extends from the most elevated form to the most elementary: from divine love to human affection.

            The COIN makes these riches concrete, extending them to all domains of the Earth through the works of intelligence.

            The BATON, a symbol of material force, uses these riches to construct, cultivate, and direct.

            Independently of their particular courses, each of these four aspects of the Minor Arcana is reflected in the other three; thus the notion of universal love is found in all four, but it is dominate in the Sword which represents Sacrifice.

            To grasp more easily the successive evolution, which is to say, the tendency and the effort towards a higher finality of the four modalities represented by the Swords, the Cups, the Batons, and the Coins, it is useful to compare the preceding and following cards, not in numerical order, but as equals, which is to say, corresponding to a single polarization.

            The even, or passive, cards fall into one group and the unequal or active ones into another. The even cards produce action on the inside and create reserved forces, while the active cards are active on the outside and cause these reserved forces to produce results by bringing their activity into play.

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[1] The order and the relation of denominations of the cards will seem to be in contradiction of the data presented in certain exegeses of the Tarot. The reader will draw for him- or herself the conclusion according to thorough examination, taking into account that the Sword swirls in the Air, the Baton is derived from wood, the generator of Fire, the Cup is the receptacle of Water and the Coin is the symbol of the metals which the Earth conceals.

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