Tarot Alchemy: A Complete Analysis of the Major Arcana

Tarot Alchemy: A Complete Analysis of the Major Arcana

by Kenneth Coombs


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781469765105
Publisher: iUniverse, Incorporated
Publication date: 02/07/2012
Pages: 216
Sales rank: 711,561
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.46(d)

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A complete analysis of the major arcane

iUniverse, Inc.

Copyright © 2012 Kenneth Joseph Coombs
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4697-6510-5

Chapter One


So why title this book Tarot Alchemy?

Alchemy is a type of science and chemical philosophy from the Middle Ages and the renaissance that attempted to perform successful experiments of the unusual, such as trying to make gold from base metals. Alchemy is the process of taking something ordinary and turning it into something extraordinary, sometimes in a way that cannot be explained. Alchemy is a seemingly magical power or process of transmuting. It is also a form of chemistry and speculative philosophy concerned with finding an elixir of life. Alchemy is any magical power or process of transmuting a common substance, usually one of little value, into a substance of great value. Alchemy is the act of combining two seemingly unrelated things, ideas, or actions, which leads to a new third "thing" that is usually more interesting than the component parts. This is the synergistic effect.

The history of the Tarot cards is well documented. I suggest you read many books about the Tarot cards as it will help you build up an image of what the energy represents in the real world. Because the individual Tarot cards represent distinct energies or energy combinations, the process of combining two Tarot cards and analyzing the result is called Tarot Alchemy.

Just as matter and the elements of the periodic table follow the laws of chemistry, the Tarot cards follow the laws of spiritual chemistry. Because the Tarot represents different combinations of planetary and elemental forces, it is possible to determine the meaning of card interactions in addition to individual card meanings.

Life is the result of the Alchemy of spirit and matter. The Tarot cards are the language of that interaction. When the four elements are balanced manifestation is possible. When the seven planets are balanced spirit is created. The Tarot is a reflection of life.

Tarot Alchemy, when understood, can be applied to the "real world" as well.

Growing up, I always had an interest in computers. I also liked Tarot cards. It wasn't until I combined these two different attributes of my character that my Tarot website (sunmoontarot.com) was created. By combining two seemingly different areas of my life, a new third energy was created. This led to my becoming a professional Tarot card reader serving clients all over the world. Tarot cards are not as useful without people! It takes people to create the Tarot cards, shuffle them, consult them and analyze them. Just as in life. Tarot Alchemy led to the creation of this book!

The principles of Tarot Alchemy can be applied to any Tarot spread. Tarot cards should be read in pairs to understand the type of energy defined as well as the speed, the intensity, and the direction of the energy flow. The understanding of how to answer a question posed by a client is essential. The ability to determine timing is essential to have when interpreting a Tarot reading, as many questions that clients ask are concerned as to when an event might take place or when they should take action for success. Tarot Alchemy can reveal the methods to determine times in a very precise, accurate way. The use of Tarot Alchemy in a Tarot reading and in life can help you be a better interpreter of truth.

By keeping records of Tarot readings and real world outcomes, the Tarot deck can be calibrated to reality. When something unusual happens, I like to try and determine which planets, elements and numerology might describe that situation and from that determine which Tarot cards or Tarot card combinations might describe that situation accurately. For example what if I saw a very angry pregnant woman driving a car recklessly? The Tarot card combination that might describe this would be The Tower, The Empress and The Chariot.

The Empress is the pregnant woman, the Tower can be her anger and the Chariot points to the car she is driving. By thinking in this way, it is easier to decipher a Tarot reading. It is sometimes useful to work backwards when analyzing a Tarot card spread and calibrate their meanings to reality. Describe a situation in terms of planets and elements and determine which Tarot cards would point to that situation.

When two molecules react, they either release or absorb energy. The same is true with the Tarot cards. When two Tarot cards are combined, they either release or absorb energy. This leads to an active or passive nature. This adds information about the flow of energy in a Tarot spread. Some Tarot combinations are positive (constructive) and others negative (destructive). Recognizing the details of these interactions is the goal of Tarot Alchemy as this leads to detail in a Tarot spread. The information gained through Tarot Alchemy should be useful in any type of Tarot reading or spread.

The cards drawn are the elements, and the interactions and combinations of these cards reveal the details and answer the question. This is Tarot Alchemy, combining two different energies to create a new third energy.

Tarot Alchemy gives you the ability to read your environment and deduce what it means. Understanding the colors and shapes and sizes of objects around you, can give you a clue as to what will happen. Perception is the intersection of thought and time.

What if you are watching TV and you see a picture of a Corvette. Well, your friend Steve has a Corvette. All of a sudden, the phone rings, and it is Steve on the other end! Well, did the TV cause Steve to call? Did the TV change your thoughts? Did you cause the Corvette to appear on the TV? Did you cause Steve to call you by thinking about him? Did Steve cause all of this to happen prior to his call? Was Steve affected by the TV?

All of these questions may seem unrelated, but in reality, they are connected! All of these interactions are valid. Time is the intersection point between events. This is connected to the laws of causality and synchronicity.

Consider the following example of Tarot Alchemy and hidden connections between Tarot cards. The Hierophant (5) plus The Tower (16). The Hierophant is Venus, but shows numerology linked to Mars. The Tower is Mars, but shows numerology linked to Venus. Because of this, these two particular Tarot cards would strengthen each other in a Tarot reading. The study of these 'hidden' connections gives rise to detail in a Tarot reading linked to reality. The ability to see specifics is possible using the principles of Tarot Alchemy.

So you see, even a Tarot card that represents Mars expresses Venus, and the Tarot card that is Venus expresses Mars. Sometimes the opposite potential energy of a Tarot card is expressed in itself. Knowledge of numerology, kabbalah and astrology is useful when studying the interactions of the Tarot cards with each other.

What about the Empress card? The Empress is ruled by planet Venus, but it may not be apparent at first that there is a linkage to planet Saturn. The Empress card is number three and three = Saturn. Without understanding numerology, this hidden connection might have been missed. Since The Empress card is connected to Saturn, it is strengthened by any other Saturn card that should appear next to it. For example, the World Card, The Devil and The Star card all point to Saturn. When they show up combined with the Empress, the connection is stronger. It is like comparing different kinds of molecular bonds in molecules. Some bonds are strong and some are weak. Some molecules repel each other. So too do the Tarot cards.

Relative proportions of elements and planets in a Tarot spread should be analyzed. I have attempted a scientific explanation of the results in my analysis of the card combinations. I believe that a logical scientific analysis is necessary to avoid subjectivity in a tarot reading. All of the twenty-two Tarot cards in the Major Arcana are linked to one another in many different ways. They can be connected by elements. For example, the Hermit and the Devil both share the Earth element. Cards may also be linked by planet. For example, the Empress and Justice cards both share the planet Venus. They may also be linked through numerology. The Tower and the Chariot are linked by the number seven, and in numerology, seven equals sixteen, which points to the Tower. There can also be other connections. For example, the Chariot card is number Seven, and the number seven represents Venus, so this could be linked to the Justice card, which is ruled by Venus. So you see there are hidden connections between Tarot cards in the Major Arcana that must be understood. If two cards share an attribute, it generally means that it is a favorable or strong pairing. This is important to consider when analyzing a Tarot spread.

In order to understand connections between Tarot cards, it is important to be familiar with the overall structure of the Tarot deck. This will enable you to spot patterns in the cards with more ease. The seventy-eight cards in the Tarot deck give rise to millions of combinations that reflect reality. By using the laws of Tarot Alchemy the message can be systematically revealed.

The structure of the Tarot deck is based on the principles of the four elements, seven planets and twelve signs of the Zodiac (which is merely combinations of planet and element). These forces combine and recombine with each other to create the complete Tarot deck. Knowledge of the four elements and seven planets is essential to understand the message contained in the cards. There are many books on these topics so seek out as much knowledge on these topics as you can. I have included a basic description of these forces here.


Why four elements? The periodic table of the elements contains 117 elements.

The traditional four elements are Earth, Air, Fire and Water. Of course, the 117 elements all fall into one of these groups. The four elements represent the states of matter, solid, liquid and gas, with heat being necessary to transform one to the other.

The four elements correspond to the four bases of DNA essential for life. The four elements represent the four seasons. Much has been written about the four elements and it is essential to understand the basics of what each of the four represent and how to recognize their patterns in everyday life.

Air represents thought. Water is the emotions. Fire is the behaviors. Earth represents matter and physical objects. It is the manifestation process from idea, through motivation and behavior to final result. It is the act of magic. When the four elements are balanced, life is the result. Our bodies represent the union of the four elements. Our dependence on oxygen (Air),Water, Heat, and food all demonstrate this spiritual principle

The ability to identify what element a Tarot card represents is essential. In the Minor Arcana, it is easy to know what element a Tarot card references. That is the four suits: Wands (Fire), Cups (Water), Swords (Air), and Pentacles (Earth). There are no suits in the Major Arcana, so knowledge of the Zodiac is needed to determine what element a Tarot card represents.

Some Tarot cards strengthen or weaken each other. Their energy is expressed in the form of waves that either cancel each other out or reinforce one another. The duality (a result of balance and karma) is the reason that the four elements (Tetragrammaton, the four letter name of GodYHVH) balance each other. When the four elements are balanced, usually through the rotation of the Wheel of Fortune, spiritual energy is created and manifestation is possible. Karma is the result of the spinning of the Wheel of Fortune. There are different kinds of karma as well. Intellectual, emotional, behavioral and material karma all correspond to the four elements.

Here are some basic meanings of the four elements:

Earth: Matter. Practicality, stability, materialism, money and realism. Earth is nature and long-lasting structures. Capricorn, Taurus, and Virgo (the Devil, the Hierophant, and the Hermit). Physical objects, careers, finances, the physical body. Earth equals matter, the physical elements, and the rules of nature. Earth represents gravity and the physical objects. Pentacles. The Page of Pentacles and Ace of Pentacles represent the pure Earth element.

Air: Thought. Mental processes, language, intellect, reason, communication, ideas, mathematics, Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius (the Lovers, Justice, and the Star). The breath of life. Sharing our thoughts with others. The transfer of ideas through communication. Air equals thoughts and ideas. Air represents the higher consciousness and the potential self. Swords. The Knight of Swords and Ace of Swords represent the pure Air element.

Fire: Behavior. Passion, energy, impulse, inspiration, faith, creative energy. Heat and light. The energy behind a good relationship. Fire represents impulsive behavior. Or a time of passion. Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius (the Emperor, Strength, and Temperance). Fire equals behaviors and things that change or evolve. Wands. The King of Wands and Ace of Wands represent the pure Fire element.

Water: Emotion. Nurturing, intuition, dreams, psychic energy. Pisces, Cancer and Scorpio (the Moon, the Chariot, and Death) are connected to the element of Water. A natural connection to deeper truths. Natural rhythms. Our connection to the greater universe. Instincts and intuitions. The ability to understand the symbols of synchronicity. Water equals motions and love relationships. Cups. The Queen of Cups and Ace of Cups represent the pure Water element.

The following table shows the connection between element and the signs of the Zodiac.

Earth Dry Cold Passive Pages Objects Pentacles Capricorn, Taurus, Virgo Air Wet Hot Active Knights Thoughts Swords Aquarius, Gemini, Libra Fire Dry Hot Active Kings Actions Wands Aries, Leo, Sagittarius Water Wet Cold Passive Queens Emotions Cups Pisces, Cancer, Scorpio

In addition to understanding the four elements, it is also important to understand their interactions with each other. Tarot Alchemy on the four elements leads to six combinations.


It is important to understand the combinations of the four elements in a Tarot reading. For example, the presence of a Water card and a Fire card in close proximity in a Tarot spread would tend to cancel each other out, and their energies will be unexpressed. In a reading with lots of Fire and Air, there would be a bright, hot flame. An analysis of the four elements and their interactions with each other is needed in a Tarot reading.

For example, Air strengthens Fire, and Air can be heated by Fire. Fire destroys Earth but can be suffocated by Earth as well. Water can be heated by fire and turned to steam, or water can put out the flames.

When Ice is heated, it becomes liquid. When the liquid is heated, it becomes steam. Ice equals Earth, which equals the Pentacles. Liquid equals Water, which equals the Cups. Steam equals Air, which equals the Swords. The Fire element (Wands) is the heat that transmutes one to the other. Earth changes to Water and then changes to Air as it is heated by Fire. All of these elemental changes take place in the realm of the vacuum, ether, or spiritual world. When the four elements are balanced, spirit, light, and life are created and manifestation is possible.

Some elements like Fire and Air benefit each other. Water and Earth are compatible but a bit passive at times. Once the water falls down the waterfall, new energy is needed to keep the motion. Earth and Air create dust.

In the Tarot deck, The Kings are Fire, the Queens are Water, the Knights are Air, and the Pages are Earth. The Wands are Fire, the Cups are Water, The Swords are Air and the Pentacles are Earth. There are four elements, so there are sixteen ways to combine them. These sixteen combinations correspond to the Court cards in the Minor Arcana.


Excerpted from TAROT ALCHEMY by KENNETH COOMBS Copyright © 2012 by Kenneth Joseph Coombs. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


Tarot Alchemy....................1
The Four Elements....................7
Elemental Combinations....................10
The Seven Planets....................14
Planetary Combinations....................17
The Zodiac....................29
The Structure of the Tarot Deck....................31
The Minor Arcana....................33
The Court Cards....................35
The Major Arcana....................37
Analyzing the Question....................62
Time and Timing....................75
Some Things to Think About....................78

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