Thank you for your comments on my "Rewrite The Waste Land" post. I'm
going to drop the subject for a bit to let everything simmer.
I'm not sure of the best post to respond to regarding the Tarot so
I'll just send this unattached to any other post and use a better
subject line. Note that the Tarot quotes below come from "The
Pictorial Key to the Tarot" by A.E. Waite (1910.)
I believe that in Tarot readings one card is primary (Here, said she,
/ Is your card,) and the other cards are interpreted based on that
one. If the fictitious "drowned Phoenician Sailor" represents
redemption then there would be no need for the real "Hanged Man" card.
Here is a partial description of The Hanged Man:
The gallows from which he is suspended forms a Tau cross, while the
figure--from the position of the legs--forms a fylfot cross. There is
a nimbus about the head of the seeming martyr. It should be noted
(1) that the tree of sacrifice is living wood, with leaves thereon;
(2) that the face expresses deep entrancement, not suffering; (3) that
the figure, as a whole, suggests life in suspension, but life and not
death. It is a card of profound significance, but all the significance
As for one-eyed merchant and the blank card: we are forbidden to see
it. Maybe that is why Eliot removed a clue as to what it was.
Remember the invitation to luncheon at the Cannon Street Hotel? It was
later followed by:
* This music crept by me upon the waters'
* And along the Strand, and up the ghastly hill of Cannon Street,
* Fading at last, behind my flying feet,
I think it is rather interesting that Eliot associated the Fisher King
with the "man with three staves" card. Waite's description for the
"Two of Wands" cards seems to describe the Fisher King better. The
card for "Three of Wands" seems to be a good description of a live
Phoenician Sailor. Perhaps a drowned one brings a one-eyed
Two of Wands
Divinatory Meanings: Between the alternative readings there is no
marriage possible; on the one hand, riches, fortune, magnificence;
on the other, physical suffering, disease, chagrin, sadness,
mortification. The design gives one suggestion; here is a lord
overlooking his dominion and alternately contemplating a globe; it
looks like the malady, the mortification, the sadness of Alexander
amidst the grandeur of this world's wealth.
Three of Wands
Divinatory Meanings: He symbolizes established strength, enterprise,
effort, trade, commerce, discovery; those are his ships, bearing his
merchandise, which are sailing over the sea. The card also signifies
able co-operation in business, as if the successful merchant prince
were looking from his side towards yours with a view to help you.