Simple Table of Affinities and Correspondences

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Symbols appear on each and every tarot card - visual signs that convey meaning. Some of them are highly individual and personal, others time-honored and traditional. Some are easy to understand, others difficult and multivalent. In this forum, we want to study symbols from different decks, traditions and cultures together using books, websites, lwbs and our own intuition.
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Barleywine
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Simple Table of Affinities and Correspondences

Post by Barleywine » 05 Oct 2017, 06:25

One technique often used by tarot readers when analyzing a spread is that of preponderance – determining whether there is an abundance (or conversely, an absence) of any fundamental aspect of interpretation. This approach can show where too much (or not enough) attention is being paid to certain particulars of the matter, possibly to the detriment of others. This method of synthesis was borrowed from astrology, and provides a high-level overview of the reading before diving into the details..

Factors typically considered are element, suit, number and rank (trumps, courts or minors). This is often done on the fly, in a somewhat cursory manner as experience is gained; consequently, some subtleties of the evaluation might be missed. I thought it would be useful to have a color-coded reference table that organizes the various types of cards according to their active or passive affinities. I used Aleister Crowley’s court card titles (but not his trumps), William Lilly’s “temperaments” and Joseph Maxwell’s theory of odd and even numbers in compiling these lists.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ghxj99mg9h682 ... .pdf?raw=1
Last edited by Barleywine on 05 Oct 2017, 11:28, edited 2 times in total.

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Nemia
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Re: Simple Table of Affinities and Correspondences

Post by Nemia » 05 Oct 2017, 07:49

Very good, thank you! I'd add the worlds of the Kabbalah - Atziluth for Fire, Briah for Water, Yetzirah for Air and Assiyah for Earth.

Found a diagram online:
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Re: Simple Table of Affinities and Correspondences

Post by theFeeLion » 16 Oct 2017, 14:42

I'm going to say this for those of us, without the GD or Thoth knowledge, who are utterly confused about which card goes where exactly (or am I the only one?)... Huh??

I think I may possibly have the four piles correct (I'm using a RWS deck) but I thought I would list them here. If you would be so kind as to check I understood right I would be most obliged :icon_mrgreen: I'm going to name each pile by the colour you have then as in your file...

Starting with the Red pile:
Majors - Emperor, Strength, Wheel, Temperance, Tower, Sun, Judgement
Minors - Wands; Ace, 2, 3, 6, 7, King
- Cups; 5, 6, 9, 10, King
- Swords; 4, 8, 9, 10, King
- Pentacles; 2, 3, 4, 8, 10, King
Which would mean all of these cards are active, positive, masculine, fire, choleric

Yellow:
Majors - Fool, Magician (only guessing with this one as he is not mentioned at all but his ruling planet is Mercury), Lovers, Justice, Star
Minors - Wands; 8, Knight
- Cups; 3, Knight
- Swords; Ace, 6, Knight
- Pentacles; 5, Knight
Which would mean all of these cards are active, positive, masculine, air, sanguine

Blue:
Majors - High Priestess, Chariot, Hanged Man, Death, Moon
Minors - Wands; 9, Queen
- Cups; Ace, 4, Queen
- Swords; 2, 7, Queen
- Pentacles; 6, Queen
Which would mean all of these cards are passive, negative, feminine, water, phlegmatic

Green:
Majors - Empress, Hierophant, Hermit, Devil, World
Minors - Wands; 4, 5, Page
- Cups; 2, 7, 8, Page
- Swords; 3, 5, 10, Page
- Pentacles; Ace, 7, 9, Page
Which would mean all of these cards are passive, negative, feminine, earth, melancholic

I have to admit though, that I have no idea how the odd and even numbers fit into all of this!
Come faeries take me out of this dull world. For I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame. - W B Yeats

May you touch dragonflies and stars, dance with faeries and talk to the moon. - Unknown

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Michael Sternbach
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Re: Simple Table of Affinities and Correspondences

Post by Michael Sternbach » 16 Oct 2017, 15:08

Looking at your lists, I see that you put Jupiter in Fire, Venus in Earth. While this reflects some of their sign rulerships, it is based on a wide spread misconception. In classical astrology, the planets represent the elements this way:

Mars = Fire
Venus = Water
Jupiter = Air
Saturn = Earth
Quintessence = Mercury

The GD attributed elements to the "planetary" Trump cards according to this scheme.

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Re: Simple Table of Affinities and Correspondences

Post by theFeeLion » 16 Oct 2017, 15:12

Hense where part of my confusion is coming from...
Come faeries take me out of this dull world. For I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame. - W B Yeats

May you touch dragonflies and stars, dance with faeries and talk to the moon. - Unknown

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Re: Simple Table of Affinities and Correspondences

Post by Barleywine » 16 Oct 2017, 18:56

Michael Sternbach wrote:
16 Oct 2017, 15:08
Looking at your lists, I see that you put Jupiter in Fire, Venus in Earth. While this reflects some of their sign rulerships, it is based on a wide spread misconception. In classical astrology, the planets represent the elements this way:

Mars = Fire
Venus = Water
Jupiter = Air
Saturn = Earth
Quintessence = Mercury

The GD attributed elements to the "planetary" Trump cards according to this scheme.
Unfortunately, in neither tarot trumps nor in astrological rulerships do you get a "Water" option for Venus, only Earth and Air, and no "Air" option for Jupiter, only Fire and Water. I'm going strictly with planetary rulerships here, and made a decision between the two options, taking the first sign of rulership in the sequence as the primary. Regarding Jupiter, I've seen it formally called Fire, Air and Water at various places in the classical literature. It's just a judgment call that works in my own system of interpretation, and is subject to revision. (I'm well-aware of Lilly's attributions: he cites the temperament of Venus as "airy and watery" and that of Jupiter as "airy," but he stays with the classical rulerships. Venus is exalted in a Water sign, but then so is Jupiter.)

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Re: Simple Table of Affinities and Correspondences

Post by Barleywine » 16 Oct 2017, 19:32

theFeeLion wrote:
16 Oct 2017, 14:42

I have to admit though, that I have no idea how the odd and even numbers fit into all of this!
Per Joseph Maxwell, odd numbers are unbalanced and therefore "active" (striving to return to balance) so I place them as a group (regardless of any other considerations) with the Fire and Air constellations. Even numbers are balanced and therefore "passive" (striving to maintain balance), so they go with Water and Earth. Note that, in using this information according to the example reading I set out, a card will appear in only one area, and therefore will be either well-dignified and included in the set, or ill-dignified and excluded. There will obviously be a few judgment calls involved.

I'll run through the rest of your post later, but some of my own opinions may change along the way, since this was a first cut.

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Re: Simple Table of Affinities and Correspondences

Post by Barleywine » 16 Oct 2017, 20:01

I got rid of the planetary minor cards, and substituted "decan minor cards" of each element instead, since for my purpose the quality of the sign is more revealing than the contribution of the planetary energy. I will probably still give special emphasis to the Sun (positive, active) and Moon (negative, passive) regardless of sign, but the dual-rulership planets don't bring that much to the table anyway.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ghxj99mg9h682 ... .pdf?raw=1

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Re: Simple Table of Affinities and Correspondences

Post by Barleywine » 17 Oct 2017, 05:15

Michael Sternbach wrote:
16 Oct 2017, 15:08

The GD attributed elements to the "planetary" Trump cards according to this scheme.
Can you point me to where this is spelled out? I had an interesting and enlightening browse through Liber T this morning, but couldn't pin it down there.

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Re: Simple Table of Affinities and Correspondences

Post by Michael Sternbach » 17 Oct 2017, 05:35

Barleywine wrote:
17 Oct 2017, 05:15
Michael Sternbach wrote:
16 Oct 2017, 15:08

The GD attributed elements to the "planetary" Trump cards according to this scheme.
Can you point me to where this is spelled out? I had an interesting and enlightening browse through Liber T this morning, but couldn't pin it down there.
Sure. I will have to look for it though.

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