Note: We have elected not to include the Tarot images in this article. They are easily accessible online.
I read Tarot virtually every night of the week for paying clients. The Tarot is simply an old-fashioned AI, a primitive computer program that proves the ancient dicta of "As Above, So Below."; i.e. the Macrocosm (the Universal Mind or Will), is reflected in the Microcosm (tea leaves, the layout of cards, Tarot images). The narratives revealed by Tarot are often startlingly accurate, and uncanny, and the layout unfolds the "narrative" revealed is an extrapolation of events in answer to the Querent's inquiry. The Reader's job is to tell the "story" as revealed and interpret the future based both on intuition and those arcane, timeless images.
After seven years and thousands upon thousands of readings, I can assure you that I'm one of the best at this. I've had clients that have been calling me for YEARS. I have some that will call multiple times a night, or at least, several times a month. I know the images of the Tarot as if they have been burned into my brain, my subconscious, and they speak to me.
The Hamas terrorist attacks against Israel, a horrific event that was the worst attack against Jews since the Holocaust, and the worst in Israel's 75-year history, has ignited the possibility of a wider Middle Eastern war, and perhaps worse, as allies such as Russia and Iran, even China, may align against Western powers, most notably the United States of course. The Israeli response to the attack has been devastating to Gaza, as an estimated ten thousand have been killed, including four thousand children, as Israel continues to bombard the densely populated Gaza Strip, refugees being told to flee to the south, as Israel has cut off water, fuel, electricity, medicine, etc. The world is understandably making the charge of genocide against the Israelis, a nation born from a genocide committed against them within living memory.
Clashes between Israeli settlers and Palestinians in the occupied West Bank are at a fever pitch, and much of the Western Left has risen in massive protest against Israel, the perceived "apartheid" being practiced, the alleged genocidal response to the Hamas attacks, and so on. Even many American Jews have been arrested protesting Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's brutal response, which is seen as "collective punishment" of Palestinian people for the Hamas attacks. The world is burning with outrage and blood has been spilled on both sides. The United States Biden administration has earmarked an additional fourteen billion dollars in aid to Israel (which already gets a sizable chunk of American foreign aid). The administration has refused calls to call for an Israeli ceasefire. U.N. Secretary-General Guterres has condemned the Israeli response, with U.N. and humanitarian groups stating that the situation in Gaza has created an unparalleled humanitarian crisis.
As the World Burns
The Tarot, that ancient computer program, as always, can give us insight as to what has occurred, as well as The Is To Be.
The date of the Hamas attacks is very important. Most especially it happened in October, 10, 1 + 0. In the Tarot, the Zero Card of the Major Arcana (the twenty-two major images of the Tarot, such as The Devil, The Emporer, The Hierophant, etc.) is The Fool. Herein are double meanings. The Fool, of course, is someone who is negligently marching off the edge of the cliff, a literal fool, in one regard. Such was Israel, who was caught unawares by Hamas, and thus suffered a brutal attack.
But in an esoteric sense, The Fool is Alpha and Omega, "no beginning, no end"; i.e. the "Divine Child," the dawning of a New Cycle, the Fool setting out on a New Journey, through twenty-one "Stations of the Tarot," the twenty-one following images on the pathway to the final summation and the recurrence of the next cycle. Eternal return. (The Fool, incidentally, is analogous to The Joker in a regular pack of playing cards. In other words, a trickster figure, which, in folklore, is a mercurial character that creates order from chaos, and vice-versa.)
Ten is one plus zero. The next card in the Major Arcana is The Magician, The Trickster, the turning of the page, representing the Will of the Magician, but also someone "trying to pull the wool over the eyes," of an unsuspecting victim. The October 7th assault on Israel by Hamas, as well as the perceived duplicity of the Israeli response (as re: trying to avoid civilian casualties while bombing the hell out of the Gaza Strip, which is half women and children), can account for the ubiquity of this image. Of course, one must note that binary code is made up of ones and zeros (Fools and Magicians). Reduce it down, you have ONE, the Magician again.
Fools and Magicians arguably created the computer mind that runs on binary code. Ones and zeros, repeated. The computer mind, this year, has arisen as an independent, thinking, disembodied consciousness in the form of AI. Arguably, God, we postulate (or at least some postulate) created man. God is a disembodied intelligence. Man, in turn, has now created a disembodied intelligence in the form of AI. Bringing the act of creation full circle. (Some might contend, blasphemously.)
The number one in numerology is delineated as representing the "Sun": the New Dawn or the next chapter. Worship of the Sun goes back to ancient Egypt and beyond, with Ahknaten, the ancient accursed Pharaoh whose worship was proscribed and memory outlawed by the priests of Amon-Ra, worshipped a single solar deity, the living Aten, the "Heat-And-Light-Within-The-Disk." The Sun is the model for the "Son," the "Son of God," the dying and rising solar deity whose esoteric image became the model for the dying and rising Jesus Christ.
Zero is the perfect circle of time; Ourobourous, the Snake Eating Its Own Tail. The "Golden Circle of Time," perhaps, doubling back upon itself in the cyclical way the Hindus observe in their concept of the ever-returning cycle of the Yugas, the Ages that go from the Golden Age of Satya Yuga to the crippled Age of Gloom; our present age, the "Kali Yuga."
Seven is universally recognized as a mystical number. On the Seventh day, after all, Yahweh God is acknowledged to have "rested" from his act of creation. Repeatedly, the Bible refers to "seven days and seven nights"; the Pleiades are recognized as "Seven Sisters." Originally, it is said, ancient astronomers recognized seven planets, including the sun and moon. Seven is recognized as the number of the angels; triple sevens the number of Lucifer, the "Fallen One," whom Christian theology often pegs as Satan, "Ha-Shaitan," the Deceiver, who began life as Hell's prosecuting attorney before the ages turned him into the Author of Evil.
The number 2 card in the Major Arcana is The High Priestess, a card delineating mystery, and also the female or feminine aspect of God, the Holy Spirit, Diana, Hecate, Selene, and Pallas Athena born from the consciousness of Zeus. In Poe's "The Raven," the Raven, the grim harbinger of death, sits "perched upon the bust of Pallas," above the narrator's chamber door. Death, in the poem, is born from the consciousness of man, a product of his innate sense of self-destruction, a product of his gloom and inner sense of existential despair, his rumination on the inexorable end that awaits him. Is pain, yawning below in the form of the black chasm of the abyss, all that truly defines life on this Earth? Is everything else, all love and pleasure, simply a mirage?
The pip cards, the suits of Cups, Swords, Wands, and Pentacles, each have their number two card.
The Two of Wands represents a decision, the tough decision represented as "between a rock and a hard place"; the decision perhaps, exemplified by Israel's wartime decision, in which, much in the manner of a Catch-22, it will either choose the annihilation of its enemy, on one hand and win the hatred of and condemnation of the world. On the other hand, to not act is not an option; one doesn't suffer such a blow as Hamas delivered to Israel on October 7th and NOT react violently, ruthlessly, and to emphasize that no further aggression on the part of the perpetrator will be tolerated, and all further aggressions will be met with harsh and devastating reprisals. This is not to say that protests of Israel's brutal assault on Gaza as a disproportionate measure are not valid; this is simply the most cogent observation this author can offer.
The Two of Swords is Blind Justice, the reprisal of Israel for the attack, but it is also two swords held out, representing the two pathways leading out from the decision to come to; two alternative destinies. It is confusion; which pathway will lead to the most desired of all outcomes, peace? Will either lead to a destination beyond retribution and bloodshed? There is confusion, turmoil, self-recrimination, and reproach mixed with this "justice" that is so blind, so very blind.
The Two of Pentacles is the "juggling act"; i.e. the fight to maintain balance between the physical, the material, and the spiritual. Israel, always fighting for its existential safety, is also balancing precariously its spiritual place among the nations": How, after all, does a country born from a genocide become, in the opinion of so many, perhaps millions, a perpetrator of the same? Does the balancing act, or rather the juggling act, now represent a tipping point wherein Israel can no longer maintain that vision of balance between the necessity of defense and the commitment to justice, equality, and human rights? Many would argue that the Israelis have already ceded or betrayed that commitment to the long occupation, blockade, and brutal military response to these attacks.
The Sacred Marriage
The Two of Cups represents Sacred Marriage or Sacred Union, the coming together of opposites, and the male and female principles as exemplified by the Yin and Yang symbol. A symbiotic marriage of opposites, the dualistic principle of male and female, or dark and light, in an eternal dance. "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell" is alluded to by William Blake, who observed that the "road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom."
The alchemical wedding is held in the Siege Perilous, the Divine Seat at the Round Table (no beginning, no end) of Arthur (Author), who pulled the Sword from the Stone (his faith preceding from the sacred rock of salvation; in the story, this sword is pulled from a metal anvil, the place upon which the blacksmith shapes molten steel into a sword or weapon; or, at the very least, a useful and important item or implement. So too is the human soul, the Self, so forged in the Divine Fire of earthly turmoil; chastened by life and its tragic, unforeseen twists and turns until the Self has become a hard, cruel, tempered edge, a killing blade.
The Two of Cups is analogous to The Lovers of the Major Arcana, numbered six. They both are companions to The Devil card, numbered fifteen (1 + 5 = 6). The number six is very important here.
The Threes (Three of Cups, Three of Wands, Three of Pentacles, Three of Swords) define unity (Cups), ambition and ideas put into practice (Wands), good work recognized and well-rewarded, and despair from the betrayal of same (Swords). The Three of Swords, in the most mundane sense, is simply adultery or a "love triangle."
The year twenty-three, the number itself, as ubiquitous as it is (and we will get to that in a moment), the combination of two, and three is a progression from decision to action, reward, and consequence of betrayal. Perhaps Israel's betrayal of its core values it was born from; but also the world's infidelity and betrayal to its position to stand firm alongside it. In an expanded sense, the year Twenty Twenty-Three has been the turning point of two divergent pathways for all of the world, one pathway seeing him march further along the way toward his supreme ascendancy; the other to his doom.
The Chariot, Strength, and The Wheel of Fortune
The seventh card in the Major Arcana, The Chariot, is a representation of turmoil. But also rescue, depending upon the interpretation of the Reader. At the very least, it is a vehicle of WAR. In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna, the living incarnation of Vishnu (i.e. the avatar, or"God in the human form"), is the charioteer of Arjuna, the chief of the noble Pandavas, who are going to go to war at Kurukshetra against their traitorous cousins, the Kauravas. Reversed, it is a sign of great malady to the Querent. But it can also mean escape. Or, the intervention of a helping or divine hand at the eleventh hour.
Strength is self-explanatory. Israel, at war, will exhibit the might of one of the most powerful military machines in all the world. The image of the card is one of a woman wrestling a lion, with her hand in its mouth (reminding me of a story in the documentary Satanis, made in the early years of the Church of Satan, wherein one of the elderly members recounted Anton LaVey's lion Togare once holding her arm quite firmly in its killing jaws, and how she of course panicked wondering how she would ever extract her arm without losing it; but she managed).
Strength must be met with balance and that is what Two of Pentacles is trying to relate.
The Wheel of Fortune is more ambiguous. Properly dignified, the Reader often interprets this image as a positive one for the Querent; in other words, the vicissitudes of fate are smiling upon the questioner favorably. Reversed, it is interpreted in the negative, as it is believed bad luck shall be visited upon the person being read for. The Wheel of Fortune turns; like a roulette wheel, the place it stops, the "turn of the screw," the inscrutable ways of inexorable Fate, confound the "best-laid plans of mice and men," to quote Burns. The Wheel turns and crushes, often, the hopes and aspirations of the one upon whom its inscrutable and relentless dictates fall. Albert Camus spoke of resolution and endurance in the face of the absurd "slings and arrows of outrageous fortune." (Shakespeare.) The Universal Mind may very well, we often think, be a "mad machine," hoping to grind unfortunates down. Alternately, it may, like a roulette wheel usher forth a tidal wave or windfall of good fortune to those we may even regard as undeserving. Perhaps it will dole out punishments to the pious and rewards to the miscreant. Sade observed this in his scandalous novella Justine (1789).
The Wheel of Fortune has indeed turned for the world, for Israel, and for the United States. Passionate thousands and thousands and thousands turn out into the streets for increasingly violent protests; the death toll in Gaza mounts; world condemnation is aimed squarely at the Jewish State, and its chief backer, the United States. There is a danger the world will be drawn into a larger conflict. Some have uttered the black, forbidden words: "World War 3."
The 23 Enigma
Actor Jim Carrey starred in a film about The 23 Enigma, in which he played a man who becomes obsessed with the number, relating it to his own life. We were already familiar with the concept through reading Robert Anton Wilson and through the parody religion of Discordianism. Wilson relates that he first learned of the enigma from a conversation with William S. Burroughs, ever the center of troubling, arcane, and cryptic communications.
Burroughs related to Wilson:
I first heard of the 23 Enigma from William S Burroughs, author of Naked Lunch, Nova Express, etc. According to Burroughs, he had known a certain Captain Clark, around 1960 in Tangier, who once bragged that he had been sailing 23 years without an accident. That very day, Clark’s ship had an accident that killed him and everybody else aboard. Furthermore, while Burroughs was thinking about this crude example of the irony of the gods that evening, a bulletin on the radio announced the crash of an airliner in Florida, USA. The pilot was another Captain Clark and the flight was Flight 23.
There are 23 chromosomes, it is pointed out, in the human genome. The twenty-third letter of the alphabet is "W" (which has three points up, and two down, again "23"); the President of the United States during the 9/11 terrorist attacks of 2001 was nicknamed "W" for his middle name (a fact Nostradamus scholar John Hogue says Nostradamus pointed to in a quatrain as "dubiyeux"; or, "doubtful one"); there is an old, strange phrase, "23 Skiddoo," which means, "to vanish." And it goes on and on.
The phenomenon of reading significance into this number, then finding it everywhere, can be likened to the significance of seeing "11:11" everywhere; supposedly a moment of revelation that occurs twice daily.
If you add 10.7.2023 together (10 + 7 + 20 + 23) you get 60. Drop the zero you have six. If you read the numbers ending in zero as single-digit numbers, you get 33. This adds up to 6. Drop the zeros and further add the twenty-three together as 2 + 3 (1 + 7 + 2 + 2 + 3) you get 15. 1 + 5 = 6. In the Tarot the sixth Major Arcana card is that of The Lovers. The Fifteenth is the card of the Devil. One is simply the mirror or the reverse of the other. Any way you choose to add, you get 666, the "Number of the Beast."
The Devil, as I so often remind my clients, is the card of "toxic, addictive, or destructive" relationships. It is, quite literally, the pillar to which is chained the doomed lovers, a spiritual reversal of The Lovers depicted in that Major Arcana card. Locked in a symbiotic and mutually destructive relationship, there is, perhaps, no better symbol than this that could represent the relationship between Israel and Palestine, each chained to the pedestal of their deep animosity and loathing. The Israelis, of course, have the upper hand; right now, they have killed ten times the amount of people in Gaza that were killed on 10/7 by Hamas. Against the protestations of the UN, massive demonstrations worldwide, and general public condemnation and vilification, the Israelis have continued the relentless shelling of Gaza, creating a humanitarian crisis in the region the U.N. says is beyond horrific. Their cheerleading squad and international supporters seem to be doing them little in the way of a favor by allowing them to continue a "war" that is descending like a cloud of atrocity across the face of Gaza. The United States continues to send military aid, massive amounts, to both Israel and Ukraine, As the World Burns. The outcome of this new era remains to be seen. It cannot be said it will end well for ANYONE.
TRUMP TWENTY: Judgement
The twentieth card of the Tarot is Judgment. In both the figurative sense, Judgement calls forth the dead from their tombs, promising a rebirth, a renewal of the situation. In the literal sense, Judgment implies simply that: the final judgment of the Divine upon the actions of those that, while embodied in earthly vessels, were the instruments of either justice or injustice, vengeance, retribution, maliciousness, kindness, or base criminality. None will escape; all will be purged, "like chaff blown away in the wind."
Some Additional Thoughts:
The number 1 in numerological parlance is associated with WILL and a New Beginning--just as much as the Magician card in the Major Arcana. The Number 8 denotes "personal power and strength of WILL" (again, The Magician). The two is "the duality between the positive and negative". In other words, two paths going outward, each leading to a different, opposite destination (obviously). The double twos can be added to equal four, the numbered card of the Major Arcana is The Emperor, but four represents both a sacred marriage, restraint, dissatisfaction, and a period of memorializing what has come before. The Emperor embodies the ruling authority, and his inexorable power and influence; also, perhaps a poor judgment on the part of the same.
The 2 and 3 can be added together as 5. In the Tarot, there are no happy interpretations of five, as it means unending conflict, stark wintry cold, poverty, leaving in humiliation, with some constraint still keeping the Questioner rooted firmly to the ground of his rocky, besotted path. Also, struggle for survival.
The fifth card in the Major Arcana, The Hierophant, or 'Pope" card, denotes, once again, sacred marriage, holy matrimony, but also the judgment of the Divine on Earth.
It hardly needs to be said that the current situation as regards Palestine and Israel will not end well for anyone.
About the Creator
Author of Haunted Indianapolis, Indiana Ghost Folklore, Midwest Maniacs, Midwest UFOs and Beyond, Scary Urban Legends, 50 Famous Fables and Folk Tales, and Notorious Crimes of the Upper Midwest.: http://tombakerbooks.weebly.com
Very well written. Keep up the good work!
Compelling and original writing
Creative use of language & vocab
Niche topic & fresh perspectives