Moving on to the 8s


The above video is for Ciro Marchetti’s Legacy of the Divine Tarot.  I first saw this at the 2008 Readers Studio.  Ciro had a monitor set up to play it and it had a constant crowd of pleasantly stunned tarot lovers watching. I was one!

Changing the subject….

I have been reviewing all my notes and different subjects related to the 8s, to Justice, to the Star and to Strength.  Ironically I am not crazy happy with all 3 of those cards, Strength, Justice and the Star.    And, I have not had a whole lot of ideas about where I was going to go with the 8s. 

I decided long ago to keep Justice 8, as opposed to the switch of Justice and Strength made by AE Waite on the Rider Waite and now almost the standard.    There are a lot of reasons I made that decision but the most important of them is that the Tarot settled into that pattern for hundreds of years and I don’t agree with changing it to match a set of attributions.  On the other hand, I can see that this resonates with a lot of people and maybe it is a necessary mutation.  In older cards sometimes Strength or Fortitude showed a Hercules type man beating a lion or a woman holding up a pillar.  This treatment is as a virtue personified like Lady Justice or Lady Liberty.  The woman subduing a lion with only light physical force and more internal strength is very reminiscent of the kabbalistic sephiroth, feminine Hod, which would be a more passive form of strength and it is very Justice like in that the lion is a solar symbol and masculine while the woman in white is very lunar and feminine – together they form a balance, force and non-force, animal and civilized, male and female, etc. It is giving personality to the two cups of the scales or the two sides of the sword.  Anyway, the relevance isn’t lost on me, it just doesn’t overpower the reasons to keep Justice in its long held position.  I would like to include it though, in the 8s, if I could.

As I was saying these are 3 of my not so favorite cards.  I am almost surely going to redo Justice, it totally misses the mark to me.  Strength I will most likely leave – it is what it is.  The Star I go back and forth on.  I think it is better in context of the whole major arcana than it is on its own.  Maybe by the end of the 8s I will make a decision on it.

I am mostly gathering information now, gathering my thoughts, wondering what this all means and what is the best way to illustrate it. 

BTW I saw a young red tailed  hawk fall in a tree in my backyard yesterday!  I saw something fall through the branches but thought it was a crow.  I grabbed my binoculars and could see that it was just a very dark colored bird of prey, I could see the banding in the feathers, especially the white along the edge of the tail, but there wasn’t the red color yet.  I followed up the tree it was in and saw a big nest.  It looks like a squirrel nest though.  I’ll be keeping an eye on it to see if I catch any activity.  The hawk recovered quickly and flew off – it was just a little oops.  Awesome!  Love those hawks!!  Is it just me or are they a little smaller on this coast though?

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5 Responses to Moving on to the 8s

  1. Ian says:

    Yeah, your faithful fanboy here.

    Well, the problem with Strength and Justice also comes from astrological attributions (Leo and Libra, respectively) that just don’t match in a sequence if they are 11 and 8 (again, respectively).

    What I do (somehow influenced by Rachel Pollack’s defense of Justice as 11 and Strength as 8) is to see 8 as Integrity – if the Chariot is devotion to an external Cause or Source, 8 is how and why we remain true. When you get to experience firsthand how the Universe works (medieval Wheel or postmodern stochastic, quantum, Chaos), 11 is your Answer to the Question and Enigma (what do you believe in an impersonal, karmic/chaotic Universe?); for Crowley that was Lust, for Waite, Justice.

    So yes, I think that *your* 11 is *your* Strength. Your 8 should be Ma’at, but I had to be told who she was (I read that on the tarotpassages review for your deck) to understand the card… you might have a point there. The concept, though is *perfect* for Integrity (your take on it helped me to reconcile those arcana in the first place, regardless of deck. wow, that was years ago. that’s how I found your site, in the first place. full circle?).

    Heh, maybe two of your 8s can be related to Strength and the others to Justice? I would suggest Wands and Disks for Strength, while Cups and Swords might go to Justice…

    Regarding the Star… *I* would have given it a bright spot. I mean, if anything, it’s only lacking the Star itself.

    Love (and just saying, of course. it is your job that I admire, not mine),

  2. Ian says:

    On the same line of thought, on your 2s, Swords and Disks could be Justice while Cups and Wands would be Strength. Or something like that.


  3. Ian says:

    [crazy idea]

    Why, just like Death (and The Fool) on old decks, don’t you leave Justice and Strength unnumbered?

    [/crazy idea]

    You still would need to talk about one of the cards first on the book, of course. And that opens an interesting line of thought regarding 2s and 8s…


  4. Tarotsmith says:

    Hi Ian!

    Not a crazy idea at all. I hadn’t even thought of that! Hmm I will think about that. I did know about the Libra and Leo switch, but that is just one of many many corerspondences for those cards and to me it just doesn’t justify the switch. There are just so many ways to look at them and learn from them the way they are. It’s not over yet though so who knows how it will end.

    I am not going to mess with the 2s at all, they are done. It will only be the 8s. I might repaint the Star and Justice though. It’s highly likely right now.

    So, how are you Ian? 🙂

    I have been coming up with so many ideas I haven’t had time to post them. IThink I am going to do a 5 or 6 part post really soon to cover an idea I came up wtih this morning. I feel like I am finally on the verge of solving a bunch of probems I have been stuck on for a long time!


  5. Ian says:

    I’ve been better, but not that bad.

    Oh, I wasn’t suggesting to change the 2s (already perfect), just pointing out that you can draw connections both to Strength and Justice (and High Priestess and Judgement) and that you can do the same with 8s (plus Star), just like you did with 7s and Tower and Chariot.

    Or something like that.

    And yes, I did notice you haven’t been posting, which means you’re busy, which is good 😀


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