Based upon the original and only authorized edition of the famous 78-card Rider-Waite Tarot Deck

Original drawings by Pamela Colman Smith under the direction of Arthur Edward Waite


by Stuart R. Kaplan

The Borderless Smith-Waite Tarot Deck® faithfully reproduces the original 1909 Tarot deck created by Pamela Colman Smith. In 2009, U.S. Games Systems, Inc. published the com­plete Pamela Colman Smith Commemorative Set, which features the Smith-Waite Tarot Deck, and prints and postcards of Pamela’s work. It also includes a 101-page book, The Artwork & Times of Pamela Colman Smith, which relates the story of her life and illustrates much of her non-tarot art.

Tarot collectors shared with us that the Commemorative Set was so special to them they preferred to keep the complete set in pristine condition. In response, U.S. Games Systems issued a stand-alone version of the Smith- Waite Centennial Tarot Deck for collectors who wanted to do readings with that special deck. Customers have also conveyed to us their desire to have a borderless version of this iconic deck so we are pleased to now present the Borderless Smith-Waite Tarot Deck.

As a way of introducing those who may be less familiar with Pixie’s background, we have included in this deck four samples of Pixie’s non-tarot art from our collection: An illustration for the scene from Deirdre, Act III that appeared in

The Green Sheaf, No. 7, Supplement, 1903; “Catch Me”, an original watercolor painting, circa 1905, by Pamela Colman Smith based on Schumann’s Opus 10, No. 4; “Duet”, a 1946 watercolor Pamela created to the music of Russian compos­er Igor Stravinsky; and detail of the sheet music illustration she created for “Christmas Carol” by Edwin Waugh, printed by R.H. Russell in 1898.

Dr. Arthur Edward Waite (1857-1942) was a genuine scholar of occultism whose pub­lished works include The Holy Kabbalah and The Key to the Tarot first issued in England in 1910. Waite utilized symbolism as the key to the Tarot pack. In The Key to the Tarot he writes: “The true tarot is symbolism; it speaks no other language and offers no other signs.” What are the Tarot cards about which Waite so skillfully writes? What is the message of each card and when and where did these fascinating cardboard symbols first originate?

The precise origin of Tarot cards in antiq­uity remains obscure. Court de Gebelin writing in Le Monde Primitif in 1781 advances the the- ory that Tarot cards derived from an ancient Egyptian book, The Book of Thoth. Thoth was the Egyptian Mercury, said to be one of the early Kings and the inventor of the hieroglyph­ic system. Gebelin asserts that it is from the

Egyptians and Gypsies that Tarot cards were dispersed throughout Europe.

The emergence of Tarot cards in Europe predates by over five centuries the work of Waite. A German monk, Johannes, describes a game called Ludas Cartarum played in the year 1377. Covelluzzo, a fifteenth-century chroni­cler, relates the introduction into Viterbo of the game of cards in the year 1379. It is generally accepted that playing cards emerged in Europe in the latter half of the fourteenth century, probably first in Italy as a complete 78-card deck. Or perhaps some inventive genius subse­quently combined the common 56 cards known as the Minor Arcana with the 22 esoteric and emblematic Tarot cards known as the Major Arcana to form the 78-card pack.

During the fifteenth century, Tarot cards were generally drawn or hand painted for the princely houses of Northern Italy and France. Subsequently, the card packs became more numerous because they were reproduced by techniques using woodcuts, stencils, and copper engraving. By the sixteenth century, a modified Tarot pack called the Tarot of Marseilles gained popularity.

There exists today, in the archives of the Bibliotheque Nationale de France in Paris, 17 Major Arcana cards generally believed, prob­ably erroneously, to have been hand painted


about the year 1392 by Jacquemin Gringonneur for Charles VI of France. These cards are like­ly of later Venetian origin, possibly mid-fif­teenth-century Tarocchi of Venice cards.

The Morgan Library & Museum in New York City possesses 35 cards from a 78-card Tarot deck dating from circa 1452-1455 and believed to be the work of either Bonifacio Bembo or Antonio Cicognara. This deck apparently belonged to Cardinal Ascanio Maria Sforza (1445-1505) or to his mother Bianca Visconti Sforza and was proba­bly not intended for actual play but, instead, may have been merely a pictorial representation of the times.

Tarot fortune-telling readings generally take into account not only the individual divinatory meaning of a card but also the proximity between two or more cards and whether the card is upright or reversed (which weakens, delays and even reverses the meaning). The brief descriptive title on each of the 22 Major Arcana cards serves as a catalyst toward a broader and deeper mean­ing, which the diviner seeks to express.

Tarot decks contain 78 cards divided into two major groups:

  • 22 Major Arcana Cards
  • 56 Lesser Arcana Cards

The 22 Major Arcana or emblematic cards comprise of 21 cards numbered from XXI to I

(21 to 1) plus an unnumbered card known as The Fool (Le Mat and Le Fou in French). The 22 Major Arcana are also referred to as trumps (atouts in French, atutti or trionfi in Italian) sig­nifying “above all.”

The 56 Lesser Arcana cards contain four suits including the usual court cards; King, Queen, Valet (Jack, Page) plus a fourth card, the Cavalier (Knight, Knave), which is placed between the Queen and the Valet. The suits are generally swords (spades), batons or wands (clubs), cups (hearts), and coins or pentacles (diamonds). Suit origins are believed to rep­resent the four estates of life during medieval times: nobility or persons who held their rank by military service were symbolized by swords; peasants or working class people by clubs; cler­gymen and statesmen by cups; and tradesmen and the industrial class by coins.

Today’s ordinary decks of playing cards seemingly descend from the medieval Tarot decks. As card playing increased in popularity, the Major Arcana cards were dropped (except for The Fool which was retained as the Joker) and the Cavalier and Valet were combined into today’s Jack, thus giving us the standard deck of fifty-two cards plus Joker.

Under the initiative and supervision of Waite, a unique 78-card Tarot pack known as “Rider Deck” was drawn by Miss Pamela

Colman Smith, an artist who was a fellow mem­ber of The Order of the Golden Dawn.

Miss Smith was brought up in Jamaica and during her early teens traveled with the British stage acting partnership of Ellen Terry and Henry Irving. By the age of twenty-one Miss Smith was established in England as a theatrical designer and illustrator. Her interest in the theatre led to her collaboration with William Butler Yeats on stage designs. Subsequently, she worked with his brother Jack Yeats on the illustration and publication of a small magazine entitled The Broad Sheet before bringing out her own The Green Sheaf, which was filled with bal­lads, pictures, folk tales, and verses.

The outstanding feature of the Rider Deck is that all of the cards, including the forty pip cards (numeral cards Ace to 10 in each of four suits) are presented in emblematic designs, which are readily suitable for divination. This is in contrast to the rigid forms of swords, batons, cups, and coins previously used in Tarot decks. Waite also believed that The Fool, being unnumbered and representing 0, should not be placed between cards 20 and 21, and that its more natural sequence fell in front of The Magician in attribution to the first letter of the Hebrew Alphabet, Aleph.

Waite transposed the numbers of two Major Arcana cards: Strength (Force, Fortitude) more


frequently shown in other Tarot decks—in par­ticular Muller’s 1JJ deck and Grimaud’s Tarot of Marseilles version—as XI, is instead shown in the Rider Deck as VIII. Justice, more generally shown as VIII, is designated by Waite as bearing number XL

One of the fascinating aspects about Tarot cards is their personal affect upon the individ­ual who uses them. Waite successfully presents a new dimension to their meaning in The Key to the Tarot. Any Tarot reader, be they a serious scholar or a person dabbling in the occult, will benefit from Waite’s insight and keen perception.

U.S. Games Systems, Inc. is pleased to pub­lish the Borderless Smith-Waite Tarot Deck, based upon the authentic reproduction of the original “Rider Pack.”

Stuart R. Kaplan Stamford, CT 06902




  1. I. THE MAGICIAN—Skill, diplomacy, address, sickness, pain, loss, disaster, self-confidence, will, the Querent himself (if male). Reversed: Physician, Magus, mental illness, disgrace, disquiet.
  2. I THE HIGH PRIESTESS—Secrets, mystery, the future as yet unrevealed, the woman who interests the Querent (if male); the Querent (if female) silence, tenacity; wisdom, science. Reversed: Passion, moral or physical ardor, con­ceit, surface knowledge.

III.                                   THE EMPRESS—Fruitfulness, initiative, action, long days, clandestine, the unknown, difficulty, doubt, ignorance. Reversed: Light, truth, the unraveling of involved matters, pub­lic rejoice, also, according to another read­ing—vacillation.

  1. I THE EMPEROR—Stability, power, aid, protection, a great person, conviction, reason. Reversed: Benevolence, compassion, credit, also confusion to enemies, obstruction, immaturity.
  2. V. THE HIEROPHANT—Marriage alliance, captivity, servitude, mercy and goodness, inspiration, the man to whom the Querent has recourse. Reversed: Society, good understanding, concord, over-kindness, weakness.
  3. V THE LOVERS—Attraction, love, beauty, trials overcome. Reversed: Failure, foolish designs.


VII.                                        THE CHARIOT—Succor, providence, also war, triumph, presumption, vengeance, trouble. Reversed: Riot, quarrel, dispute, litigation, defeat.

VIII.                                            STRENGTH—Power, energy, action, cour­age, magnanimity. Reversed: Abuse of power, despotism, weakness, discord.

  1. I THE HERMIT—Prudence, also and especial­ly treason, dissimulation, corruption, roguery. Reversed: Concealment, disguise, policy, fear, unreasoned caution.
  2. X. WHEEL OF FORTUNE—Destiny, fortune, success, luck, felicity. Reversed: Increase, abun­dance, superfluity.
  3. X JUSTICE—Equity, rightness, probity, exec­utive. Reversed: Law in all departments, bigotry, bias, excessive severity.

XII.                                        THE HANGED MAN—Wisdom, trials, cir­cumspection, discernment, sacrifice, intuition, divination, prophecy. Reversed: Selfishness, the crowd, body politic.

XIII.                                                       DEATH—End, mortality, destruction, corruption. Reversed: Inertia, sleep, lethargy, petrifaction, somnambulism.

XIV.                                                               TEMPERANCE—Economy, modera­tion, frugality, management, accommodation. Reversed: Things connected with churches, religions, sects, the priesthood, also unfortunate combinations, disunion, competing interests.

  1. X THE DEVIL—Ravage, violence, force, vehemence, extraordinary efforts, fatality, that which is predestined but not for this reason evil. Reversed: Evil fatality, weakness, pettiness, blindness.

XVI.                                                   THE TOWER—Misery, distress, ruin, indigence, adversity, calamity, disgrace, decep­tion. Reversed: According to one account, the same in a lesser degree, also oppression, imprisonment, tyranny.

XVII.                                                               THE STAR—Loss, theft, privation, abandonment, although another reading suggests hope and bright prospects in the future. Reversed: Arrogance, impotence, haughtiness.

XVIII. THE MOON—Hidden enemies, danger, calumny, darkness, terror, deception, error. Reversed: Instability, inconstancy, silence, lesser degrees of deception and error.

XIX. THE SUN—Material happiness, fortunate marriage, contentment. Reversed: The same in a lesser sense.

  1. THE LAST JUDGMENT—Change of posi­tion, renewal, outcome. Reversed: Weakness, pusillanimity, simplicity, also deliberation, decision, sentence.

XXL THE WORLD—Assured success, route, voyage, emigration, flight, change of place. Re versed: Inertia, fixity, stagnation, permanence.


  1. THE FOOL—Folly, mania, extravagance, intoxication, delirium, frenzy, bewrayment. Reversed: Negligence, absence, distribution, carelessness, apathy, nullity, vanity.

It will be seen that, except where there is an irresistible suggestion conveyed by the surface meaning, that which is extracted from the Trumps Major by the divinatory art is at once artificial and arbitrary, as it seems to me, in the highest degree. But of one order are the mysteries of light and of another are those of fantasy.


Otherwise, the Four Suits of Tarot Cards will now be described according to their respective classes by the pictures to each belonging, and a harmony of their meanings provided from all sources.


KING OF WANDS—The physical and emotional nature to which this card is attributed is dark, ardent, lithe, animated, impassioned, noble. He uplifts a flowering wand and wears, like his three correspondences in the remaining suits, what is called a cap of maintenance beneath


his crown. He connects with the symbol of the lion, which is emblazoned on the back of his throne. Divinatory Meanings: Dark man, friendly, countryman, generally married, honest and conscientious. Reversed: Good, but severe: austere, vet tolerant. /

QUEEN OF WANDS—Throughout this suit the wands are alwavs in leaf, as it is a


suit of life and animation. Emotionally and otherwise, the Queen's personality corresponds to that of the King, but is more magnetic. Divinatory Meanings: A dark woman or a countrywom­an. friendly, chaste. Iovine, honorable. II the

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card beside her signifies a man, she is well dis- posed towards him; i! a woman, she is interested in the Querent. Also, love of money. Reversed:


Good. economical, obliging, serviceable. Also sig­nifies opposition, jealousy, deceit, and infidelity.

KNIGHT OF WANDS1le is shown as if upon a journev, armed with a short wand, and although mailed is not on a warlike errand, lie is passing mounds or pyramids. Divinatory Meanings: Departure, absence, Hight, emigra­tion. A dark young man, friendly. Change of residence. Reversed: Rupture, division, interruption, discord.

PAGE OF WANDS—In a scene similar to the former, a voting man stands in the act of proclamation. He is unknown but faithful, and his tidings are strange. Divinatory Meanings:

Dark young man, faithful, a lover, an envoy, a postman. Beside a man, he will bear favorable testimony concerning him. He is a dangerous rival, if followed by the Page of Cups. Has the chief qualities of his suit. Reversed: Anecdotes, announcements, evil news. Also indecision and the instability which usually accompanies it.

TEN OF WANDS—A man oppressed by the weight of the ten staves which he is carrying. Divinatory Meanings: A card of many signifi­cances, and some of the readings cannot be har­monized. I set aside that which connects it with honor and good faith. It is oppression simply, but it is also fortune, gain, any kind of success of these things. It is also a card of false-seeming, disguise, perfidy. The place which the figure is approaching may suffer from the rods that he carries. Success is stultified if the Nine of Swords follows, and if it is a question of a lawsuit— there will be certain loss. Reversed: Contrarieties, difficulties, intrigues, and their analogies.

NINE OF WANDS—The figure leans upon his staff and has an expectant look, as if awaiting an enemy. Behind him are eight other staves erect, in orderly disposition, like a palisade. Divinatory Meanings: The card signifies strength in opposition. If attacked, he will meet the onslaught boldly. With this main significance there are all its possible adjuncts, including delay, suspension, adjournment. Reversed: Obstacles, adversity, calamity.


EIGHT OF WANDS—The card represents motion through the immovable—a flight of wands through an open country. Divinatory Meanings: Activity in undertakings, the path of such activity, swiftness, as that of an express messenger; great haste, great hope, speed towards an end which promises assured felicity; that which is on the move, also the arrows of love. Reversed: Arrows of jealousy, internal dis­pute, stingings of conscience, quarrels.

SEVEN OF WANDS—A young man on a craggy eminence, brandishing a staff, six other staves are raised towards him from below. Divinatory Meanings: It is a card of valor, for on the surface, six are attacking one, who has, however, the vantage position. On the intellectual plane, it signifies discussion, wordy strife, in business— negotiations, war of trade, barter, competition. It is further a card of success, for the combatant is on the top and his enemies may be unable to reach him. Reversed: Perplexity, embarrass­ments, anxiety.

SIX OF WANDS—A laureled horseman bears staff adorned with laurel crown; footmen with staves are at his side. Divinatory Meanings: The card has been so designed that it can cover several significations. On the surface, it is a victor triumphing, but it is also great news, such as might be carried in state by the King’s courier. It is expectation crowned with its


own desire, the crown of hope. Reversed: Apprehension, fear—as of a victorious enemy at the gate, treachery, disloyalty, as of gates being opened to the enemy.

FIVE OF WANDS—A posse of youths are brandishing staves, as if in sport or strife. It is mimic warfare, and hereto correspond the Divinatory Meanings: Imitation, for example, sham fight, the strenuous competition and struggle of the search after riches and fortune. Hence some attributions say that it is a card of gold, gain, opulence. Reversed: Trickery, contradiction, litigation, disputes.

FOUR OF WANDS—From the four great staves planted in the foreground there is a great garland suspended, two female figures uplift nosegays and at their side is a bridge over a moat, leading to an old manorial house. Divinatory Meanings: They are for once almost on the sur­face—country life, repose, concord, harmony, prosperity, peace, and the perfected work of these. Reversed: The meaning remains unal­tered—increase, felicity, beauty, embellishment.

THREE OF WANDS—A calm, stately figure, with his back turned, looking from a cliff s edge at ships passing over the sea. Three staves are planted in the ground and he leans slightly on one of them. Divinatory Meanings: He symbolizes established strength, enterprise, effort, trade, discovery, commerce; those are his ships, bear­


ing his merchandise, which are sailing over the sea. Reversed: The end of troubles, suspension or end of adversity, disappointment, and toil.

TWO OF WANDS—A tall man looks from a battlemented roof over sea and shore. He holds a globe in his right hand and a staff in his left rests on the battlement, another is fixed in a ring. The Rose and Cross and Lily should also be noticed on the left side. Divinatory

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Meanings: Between the alternative readings there is no marriage possible, on the one hand, riches, fortune, magnificence. And 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. Reversed: Surprise, wonder, enchantment, emotion, trouble, fear.

ACE OF WANDS—A hand issuing from a cloud grasps a stout Wand or Club. Divinatory Meanings: Creation, invention, enterprise, the powers which result in these, principle, beginning, source, birth, family, origin, the beginning of enterprises, according to anoth­er account—money, fortune, inheritance. Reversed: Fall, decadence, ruin, perdition, to perish, also—clouded joy.



KING OF CUPS—He holds a short scepter in his left hand and a great cup in his right, his throne is set upon the sea, on one side a ship is riding and on the other a dolphin is leaping. The implicit is that the sign of the Cup naturally refers to water, which appears in all the court cards. Divinatory Meanings: Fair man, man of business, law, or divinity, responsible, disposed to oblige the Querent. Also equity, art and science, including those who profess science, law and art, creative intelligence. Reversed: Dishonest, double-dealing man, roguery, exaction, injustice, vice, scandal, ft

QUEEN OF CUPS—Beautiful, fair, dreamy woman (as one who sees visions in a cup). Divinatory Meanings: Good, fair woman, honest, devoted, who will do service to the Querent. Loving intelligence, and hence the gift of vision, success, happiness, pleasure, also wisdom, •                                                                                                                 4

virtue. Reversed: The accounts vary; good woman, otherwise, distinguished woman but one not to be trusted, perverse woman, vice, dishonor, depravity.

KNIGHT OF CUPS—Graceful, not warlike, riding quietly, wearing a winged helmet, referring to the higher graces of the imagination which sometimes characterize this card. Divinatory Meanings: Arrival, approach— sometimes that of a messenger, advances,


proposition, demeanor, invitation, incitement. Reversed: Trickery, artifice, subtlety, swindling, duplicity, fraud.

PAGE OF CUPS—A fair, pleasing, somewhat effeminate Page, of studious and intent aspect, contemplates a fish rising from a cup to look at him. Divinatory Meanings: Fair young man, one impelled to render service and with whom the Querent will be connected, a studious youth, news, message, application, reflection, meditation—also these things directed to business. Reversed: Taste, inclination, attach­ment, seduction, deception, artifice.

TEN OF CUPS—Appearance of Cups in a rainbow, it is contemplated in wonder and ecstasy by a man and woman below, evidently husband and wife. His right arm is about her, his left raised upward as she raises her right arm. The two children dancing near them have not observed the prodigy, but are happy after their own manner. There is a home scene beyond. Divinatory Meanings: Contentment, repose of the entire heart—the perfection of that state, if with several picture cards, a person who is taking charge of the Querent’s interests. Also the town, village or country inhabited by the Querent. Reversed: Repose of the false heart, indignation, violence.

NINE OF (JUPS—The goodly personage is feasting to his heart’s content, and abundant


refreshment of wine is on the arched count­er behind him. Iiivinalory Meanings: Concord, contentment, physical bien-^tre; also victory, success, advantage, satisfaction for the Querent or person for whom the consultation is made. Reversed:Truth, loyalty, liberty. But the readings vary and include mistakes, imperfections, etc.

EIGHT OF CUPS—A man of dejected aspect is deserting the cups of his felicity, enterprise, undertaking or previous concern. Divinatory Meanings: The card speaks for itself on the surface, but other readings are entirely anti­thetical—giving joy, mildness, timidity, honor, modesty. Re versed: Great joy, happiness, feasting.

SEVEN OF CUPS—Strange chalices of vision. Divinatory Meanings: Fairy favors, images of reflection, imagination, sentiment, things seen in the glass of contemplation, some attainment in these degrees but nothing permanent or substantial is suggested. Reversed: Desire, will, determination, project.

SIX OF CUPS—Children in an old garden, their cups filled with flowers. Divinatory Meanings: A card of memories and of the past. For example, reflecting on childhood, happiness, enjoyment, but coming rather from the past, things that have vanished. Another reading reverses this, suggesting new relations, new environment and new knowledge. Reversed: Renewal, the future, that which will come to pass presently.


FIVE OF CUPS—A dark, cloaked figure looks at three prone cups; two other cups stand upright behind him. A bridge is in the back­ground. Divinatory Meanings: It is a card of loss, but something remains; three have been taken, but two are left. It is a card of inheritance, transmission, and patrimony. It may be a card of marriage, but not without bitterness or frustration. Reversed: News, alli­ances, affinity, ancestry, return, false projects.

FOUR OF CUPS—A young man is seated under a tree and contemplates three cups set on the grass before him. He expresses discontent with his environment. An arm issuing from a cloud offers him another cup. Divinatory Meanings: Weariness, disgust, aversion, imaginary vexations—as if the wine of this world had caused satiety only. Another cup of wine, as if a fairy gift, is now offered him, but he sees no consolation therein. This is also a card of blended pleasure. Reversed: Novelty, omen, new instructions, new relations.


THREE OF CUPS—Maidens in a garden

celebrate with cups uplifted, as if pledg­ing one another. Divinatory Meanings: The conclusion of any matter. Plenty, perfection, merriment, happiness, victory, fulfillment, solace, healing. Reversed: Expedition, dispatch, achievement, end.

TWO OF CUPS—A youth and maiden are pledg­ing to one another. Above their cups rises the


caduceus of Hermes, between whose great wings there appears a lion’s head. Divinatory Meanings: Love, passion, friendship, affinity, union, concord, sexual relations. That which nature has sanctified. Reversed: False love, folly, misunderstanding.

ACE OF CUPS—The waters are beneath, upon which are water lilies. The hand issues from the cloud, holding in its palm the cup, from which four streams are pouring. A dove, bearing in its beak a cross-marked host, descends to place the wafer in the cup—the dew of water is falling on all sides. It is an intimation of that which may lie behind the Lesser Arcana. Divinatory Meanings: True heart, joy, contentment, abode, nourishment, abundance, fertility, holy table, felicity. Reversed: False heart, mutation, instability, revolution.


KING OF SWORDS—He sits in judgment, hold­ing the unsheathed sign of his suit. Divinatory Meanings: Whatsoever arises out of the idea of judgment and all its connections—power, command, authority, militant intelligence, law, offices of the crown, and so forth. Reversed: Cruelty, evil intentions, perversity, barbarity, breach of faith.

QUEEN OF SWORDS—Her right hand rais­es the weapon vertically and the hilt rests on an arm of her royal chair. The left hand is


extended, the arm raised, her countenance is severe, chastened, and suggests familiarity with sorrow. Divinatory Meanings: Widowhood, female sadness and embarrassment, absence, sterility, mourning, privation, separation. Reversed: Malice, bigotry, artifice, prudery, deceit. KNIGHT OF SWORDS—In full course, as if scattering his enemies. Divinatory Meanings: Skill, bravery, capacity, defense, address, enmity, wrath, war, destruction, opposi­tion, resistance, ruin. Reversed: Imprudence, incapacity, extravagance.

PAGE OF SWORDS—A lithe, active figure holds a sword upright in both hands, while in the act of swift walking. Divinatory Meanings: Authority, overseeing, secret service, vigilance, spying, examination, and the qualities thereto belonging. Reversed: More evil side of these qualities, what is unforeseen, an unprepared state, sickness is also intimated.

TEN OF SWORDS—A prostrate figure, pierced by all the swords belonging to the card. Divinatory Meanings: Whatsoever is intimated by the design—also pain, affliction, tears, sadness, desolation. Reversed: Advantage, profit, success, favor, but none of these are permanent. Also power and authority.

NINE OF SWORDS—One seated on her couch in lamentation with the swords over her. Divinatory Meanings: Death, failure, miscarriage,


delay, deception, disappointment, despair. Reversed: Imprisonment, doubt, suspicion, reasonable fear, shame.

EIGHT OF SWORDS—A woman, bound and hoodwinked, with the swords of the card about her. Divinatory Meanings: Bad news, violent chagrin, crisis, censure, power in trammels, conflict, calumny—also sickness. Reversed: Disquiet, difficulty, opposition, accident, treachery, the unforeseen, fatality.

SEVEN OF SWORDS—A man in the act of carrying away five swords rapidly, the two others of the card remain stuck in the ground. A camp close at hand. Divinatory Meanings: Design, attempt, wish, hope, confidence—also quarrelling. A plan that may fail, annoyance. Reversed: Good advice, counsel, instruction, slander, babbling.

SIX OF SWORDS—A ferryman carrying passen­gers in his punt to the further shore. Divinatory Meanings: Journey by water, route, way, envoy, commissionary, expedient. Reversed: Declaration, confession, publicity. One account says that it is a proposal of love.

FIVE OF SWORDS—A disdainful man looks after two retreating and dejected figures. Their two swords lie upon the ground. He carries two others on his left shoulder, and a third sword is in his right hand, point to earth. He is the master in possession of the field. Divinatory

Meanings: Degradation, destruction, reversal, infamy, dishonor, loss. Reversed: The same— burial and obsequies.

FOUR OF SWORDS—The effigy of a Knight in the attitude of prayer, at full length upon his tomb. Divinatory Meanings: Vigilance, retreat, solitude, hermit’s repose, exile, tomb and coffin. Reversed: Wise administration, circumspection, economy, avarice, precaution, testament.

THREE OF SWORDS—Three swords pierc­ing a heart, cloud and rain behind. Divinatory Meanings: Removal, absence, delay, division, rupture, dispersion, and all that the design signifies naturally. Reversed: Mental alienation, error, loss, distraction, disorder, confusion.

TWO OF SWORDS—A hoodwinked figure bal­ances two swords upon her shoulders. Divinatory Meanings: Conformity and the equipoise which it suggests, courage, friendship, affection, concord in a state of arms, intimacy. Reversed: Imposture, falsehood, duplicity, disloyalty.

ACE OF SWORDS—A hand issues from a cloud, grasping a sword, the point of which is encir­cled by a crown. Divinatory Meanings: Triumph, the excessive degree in everything, conquest, triumph of force. A card of great force, in love as well as in hatred. Reversed: The same meanings, but the results are disastrous; another account says—conception, childbirth, augmentation, multiplicity.



KING OF PENTACLES—The figure calls for no special description. The face is rather dark, suggesting also courage, but somewhat lethargic in tendency. The bull’s head should be noted as a recurrent symbol on his throne. The sign of this suit is represented throughout as engraved or blazoned with the pentagram, typifying the correspondence of the four elements in human nature and that by which they may be governed. Divinatory Meanings: Valor, realizing intelligence, business and normal intellectual aptitude, sometimes mathematical gifts and attainments of this kind—success in these paths. Reversed: Vice, weakness, ugliness, perversity, corruption, peril.

QUEEN OF PENTACLES—The face suggests that of a dark woman, whose qualities might be summed up in the idea of greatness of soul. She has also the serious cast of intelligence—she contemplateshersymbolandmayseeworldsthere- in. Divinatory Meanings: Opulence, magnificence, generosity, security, liberty. Reversed: Evil, fear, suspicion, suspense, mistrust.

KNIGHT OF PENTACLES—He rides a slow, enduring, heavy horse, to which his own aspect corresponds. Divinatory Meanings'. Utility, inter­est, serviceableness, rectitude, responsibility. Reversed: Inertia, idleness, repose of that kind, stagnation—also discouragement, carelessness.


PAGE OF PENTACLES—A youthful figure, look­ing intently at the pentacle that hovers over his raised hands. Divinatory Meanings: Application, study scholarship, reflection. Another reading says news, messages and the bringer thereof— also rule, management. Reversed: Prodigality, dissipation, liberality, luxury, unfavorable news.

TEN OF PENTACLES—A man and woman beneath an archway which gives entrance to a house and domain. Divinatory Meanings: Gain, riches, family matters, archives, extraction, the abode of a family. Reversed: Chance, fatality, loss, robbery, games of hazard; sometimes gift, dowry, pension.

NINE OF PENTACLES—A woman, with a bird upon her wrist, stands amidst a great abundance of grapevines in the garden of a great house. Divinatory Meanings: Prudence, safety, suc­cess, accomplishment, certitude, discernment. Reversed: Roguery, deception, voided project, bad faith.

EIGHT OF PENTACLES—An artist in stone at work. Divinatory Meanings: Work, employment, commission, craftsmanship, skill in craft and business. Reversed: Voided ambition, vanity, cupidity, exaction, usury.

SEVEN OF PENTACLES—A young man, leaning on his staff, looks intently at seven pentacles attached to a clump of greenery on his right. One would say that these were his

treasures and that his heart was there. Divinatory Meanings: These are exceedingly contradictory, in (he main, it is a card of money, business, bar­ter—but one reading gives altercation, quarrel, and another innocence, ingenuity, purgation. Reversed: Anxiety about money.

SIX OF PENTACLES—One in the guise of a merchant weighs money in a pair of scales and distributes it to the needy and distressed. Divinatory Meanings: Presents, gifts, gratifica­tion. Another account says attention, vigilance, now is the accepted time, present prosperity, etc. Reversed: Desire, cupidity, envy, jealousy, illusion

FIVE OF PENTACLES—Two mendicants in a snowstorm pass a lighted casement. Divinatory Meanings: It foretells material trouble above all, whether in the form illustrated, that is, destitu­tion, or otherwise. For some cartomancists, it is a card of love and lovers—wife, husband, friend, mistress—also concordance, affinities. These alternatives cannot be harmonized. Reversed: Disorder, chaos, ruin, discord, profligacy.

FOUR OF PENTACLES—A crowned figure, having a pentacle over his crown, clasps another with hands and arms; two pentacles are under his feet. Divinatory Meanings: The surety of possessions, cleaving to that which one has, gifts, legacy, inheritance. Reversed: Suspense, delay, opposition.

THREE OF PENTACLES—A sculptor at his work in a monastery. Divinatory Meanings: Metier, trade, skilled labor. Usually, however, regarded as a card of nobility, aristocracy, renown, glory. Reversed: Mediocrity in work and otherwise, puerility, pettiness, weakness.

TWO OF PENTACLES—A young man in the act of dancing has a pentacle in either hand, and they are joined by that endless cord which is like the number eight reversed. Divinatory Meanings: It is represented as a card of gaiety, recreation and its connections, which is the subject of the design. But it is read also as news and messages in writing, such as obstacles, agitation, trouble, embroilment. Reversed: Enforced gaiety, sim­ulated enjoyment, literal sense, handwriting, composition, letters of exchange.

ACE OF PENTACLES—A hand—issuing, as usual, from a cloud—holds up a pentacle. Divinatory Meanings: Perfect contentment, felicity, ecstasy—also speedy intelligence, gold. Reversed: The evil side of wealth, bad intelli­gence. Also great riches.



Instructions for card lay out follow on pages 32-35.



Cups are assumed to represent people with light brown hair and of fair complexion; Wands represent those having yellow or red hair and blue eyes; Swords correspond to persons with dark brown hair and possibly gray, hazel or even blue eyes; Pentacles answer to very dark people. The procedure is as follows:

Select the Significator of the person or thing about whom or which the inquiry is made. It is the card which, in the reader’s judgment or experience, is the most representative, and is not, therefore, of necessity the Magician or High Priestess mentioned in the official divinatory meanings. Place the Significator in the middle. Let the reader and querent shuffle and cut the remainder of the deck three times each.

Turn up the FIRST CARD; cover the Significator therewith, and say; “That covers him.” This is the person or thing’s general envi­ronment at the time, the influence with which he is actuated all through.

Turn up the SECOND CARD; put it across him horizontally, and say: “This represents his obstacles.” If it is a favorable card, it will be something good in itself, but not productive of good in the particular connection.

Turn up the THIRD CARD; place it above the head of the Significator, and say: “This


crowns him." Il represents (a) the best that he can arrive al, or (b) his ideal in the matter; (c) what he wants Io make his own; (d) but it is not

his own at present

Turn up the FOURTH CARD; place it below the feet of the Significator, and say: “This is beneath him.” It is his own—that which he has to work with and can use.

Turn up the FIFTH CARD; place it on the side that the Significator is looking away from, and say: “This is behind him.” It is the current from which he is passing away, and it may be the past of the matter.

Turn up the SIXTH CARD; place it on the side that the Significator is facing, and say: “This is before him.” It is the current that is coming into action and will operate in the specific matter.

The first six cards (plus the Significator card) are now disposed in the form of a cross. The next four cards are turned up in succession and placed to your right, one card above another.

The SEVENTH signifies himself, his attitude and relation to the matter.

The EIGHTH CARD signifies his house, his environment in the affair—the influence, peo­ple and events about him.

The NINTH CARD signifies his hopes and fears.


The TENTH CARD represents what will come. It is on this card that you concentrate your intuitive powers, your experience and your memory in respect to the official divi­natory meanings attached thereto. It should include whatsoever you may have divined from the other cards on the table, including the Significator itself and concerning him or it, not excepting such lights upon higher significance as might fall like sparks from heaven if the card which serves for the oracle, the card for reading, should happen to be a Trump Major.

Thus basing your calculations, if you obtain a decisive judgment the reading is over, and you have only to formulate the result.

In conclusion, as regards the question of complexions, their allocation to the Suits need not be taken conventionally. You can go by the temperament of a person; one who is exceedingly dark may be very energetic, and would be better represented by a Sword card than a Pentacle. On the other hand, a very fair person who was indolent and lethargic should be allocated to Cups rather than Wands.

Great facility may be obtained by this method in a comparatively short time, allowance being always made for the gifts of the reader.


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