Keyword: Container |
|Formative Symbolism: Fool contained, boundary, duality: two|
|The archetype of all "dwellings" or containers; the physical support of all that is.|
Conventional Tarot places the Magician in the second place (as "Key 1" to heighten the confusion) and The World last. This obscures the obvious relationship:
The Fool, 1/Aleph, steps off the cliff of the uncreated and into the World of duality, 2/Bayt.
The World, Bayt, is the container, or in-dwelling of the Fool, Aleph. One has become two, in the first, naked, step into being. There are no trumps closer in their iconography and symbolism than the Fool and the World. The Fool is the uncontainable; the World is a container for the uncontainable. The first distinction is always two, not "one" following "zero."
Here is Case rationalizing the World as the final trump and missing the obvious:
Almost always, when understood correctly, the symbolism of the Tarot is straightforward and undeceptive. The tarot trump World, traditionally placed last in the sequence of the 22 Major Arcana, has very little to do with Tav (except for its foundation: Bayt is spelled Bayt-Yod-Tav), the last Hebrew letter, or with the Moon, its astrological formative. Instead, if we simply look at the card, we see a container (wreath with two bindings) and a contained (figure) holding two wands/spirals who looks an awful lot like the Fool with his clothes off (they even have the same foot off the ground).
There is no card more appropriate to symbolize the number 2, or the energetic/structural concept of container or shell, the first thing that must happen for the timeless spark of Life/Death discovered in the Fool to acquire an existence.
The first nine letters of the Hebrew Alphabet symbolize nine basic archetypal energies, which are completely defined by their own internal structure as well as their relationships to each other (position, vertical and horizontal adjacency) and to the whole. The first nine will be followed by two more, as the basic expansion is repeated on the existential and cosmic levels of manifestation.
Next, we can focus on the first four letter-numbers to see the symbolism of the Tarot trumps and their inner meaning more clearly. When the World is banished to the last trump and the natural sequence of three levels of nine obscured we might not see that there the no card more resembling the Fool than the World, which is nothing but the naked Fool within a container. The other two candidates, the Sun and the Magician, are themselves expressions of the World as existential and cosmic containers.
We should now be able to see the initial sequence of development, both in the symbolism of the Tarot trumps and their inner meanings, more clearly. The Fool, life-death beyond thought, is about to "incarnate" in manifestation. To do this, he takes three initial steps off the cliff in front of him: containment, archetypal movement (between the contained and the container) and resistance (to movement). This sets the stage for the fifth letter, Hay, life, and the beginning of the Zodiac.
Having followed the initial expansion of formative energies horizontally on the archetypal plane, we can now track the World's vertical descent into existence as the Sun and its exaltation as the Magician, registering the two-fold energy of containment on every level. See Natural Order .
Seriously, isn't that a little obvious?