“WHY MANY BELIEVE THE TAROT WAS INSPIRED FROM KABALLAH” By D.J. Ownbey

August 7th, 2009

by DJ Ownbey

There are many parallels that the tarot has with Kaballah. There are twenty-two letters in the Hebrew Alphabet (including the Fool) there are twenty-two Major Arcana Cards. There are 10 Sephirah there are 10 non court cards in the Tarots Minor Arcana Suits (Ace through 10). The four court cards can be linked to the secret name of God YHVH (pronounced yud-hey-vahv -hey) or some say “Yahweh” also known as the Tetragrammaton-and referred to by most Jews as Adonai (my lord), as this is the most Holy of God’s Names. In the Kaballah there are also four worlds this can be linked to the four suits in the Minor Arcana. In addition, there are twenty -two Major Arcana and twenty two paths to work in the Kaballah.
Although there is no direct evidence to confirm that the tarot was inspired by the Kaballah , as a life long student of both the Tarot and Kaballah—I feel there are to many parallels to be coincidental.
I am not alone in my belief that the Tarot was inspired by kaballah. Alfonse Louis Constant (later changed his name to Eliphas Levi to reflect the Hebrew Translation of his French given name), believed that the kaballah could not be understood without the Tarot and the Tarot could not be understood without Kaballah.
Eliphas Levi (born in France in 1875) wrote several books one was called, ” Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie” this book was later translated into English by Athur Edward Waite (the intellectual creator of the most popular Tarot Deck in use today–the Rider-Watie Deck).
Elphas levi’s ideas were perhaps ahead of his time and landed him two prison sentences for a book he wrote (Le Testament de la Liberté –“The Testament of Liberty”).
Eliphas Levi’s ideas led to the formation of the infamous “Golden Dawn.” This was an occult group (occult meaning “the hidden” and it is the study of spirituality as opposed to religion) that studied the metaphysical ideas of Kaballah and Egyptian Esoteric Ideas.
Although ,we know allot of the ideas of the Golden Dawn were misguided (as the all the keys to understanding the Kaballah were not published until 1995, we are left with some very interesting metaphysical wisdom from the Golden Dawn and a beautiful “Golden Dawn Tarot Deck” filled with symbolism and esoteric symbolism.
So the Tarot’s documentable history is very little, and I feel that looking at this with spiritual eyes there is a lesson in all this. The Tarot teaches us to see with “new eyes.” These are the eyes that come from inside ones soul. Things that we learn on the outer are simply information (in form). To reach spiritual mastery we have to know these things from the inside out. We have to learn to live from the inside out.
We come to a place when we recognize that are “beliefs” mean nothing and all that matters is our “knowing.” Knowing can not come from study or be objectified into words for it is of the spirit.
Namaste,
dj


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