Tarot of Cosmic Consciousness is a new exquisitly painted Tarot deck of 78 cards and extensively illustrated book by Barbara Bruch. This deck is an exploration of the symbolic relationships of Tarot to Astrology, the Qabbalah and Sacred Geometry. It is meant to inspire the seeker to create one's self-directed spiritual path.
Adherents of Sacred Geometry say it was a practice
considered by the ancients to be an exploration of the secret and mysterious
processes of nature. Early civilizations set aside sacred places in natural
rock temples, springs and caves, and constructed stone circles to remember and
venerate those spaces. Sacred areas were used to come in contact with energies
of a higher power or spirits of nature. Many early man-made structures were
laid out according to sacred geometric designs and proportions including the
Great Pyramid in Egypt and
the Parthenon in Athens.
“In sacred places, the
spiritual and the physical are experienced together. Sacred places are openings
between the heavens and the earth or between the surface of the earth and the
underworld…” Rupert Sheldrake, The Rebirth of Nature(Park Street Press, 1994, p. 23)
To early peoples, geometry was a form of symbolism that gave
them a sense of spiritual value and association with those sacred spaces. There
was a certain divinity and magicalness of meaning about using a secret form of
geometry to describe and enact the principles of growth and beauty. Some sacred
areas were laid out according to a geometrical plan. Early philosophers such as
Pythagoras thought they could experience the metaphysical meaning of geometry
while actually drawing interlocking circles with a compass. Several plane
figures can be drawn this way: circle, square, triangle, pentagon, hexagon,
heptagon and octagon. It sounds simple enough, but we know today that even the
great medieval cathedrals were built using these geometrical methods.
“Geometry deals with pure form and philosophical [metaphysical] geometry
re-enacts the unfolding of each form out of a preceding one.”Robert Lawlor,Sacred Geometry,(Thames and Hudson, 1982, p. 10)
Drawing a pentagon
Circle: (Dot in center) A beginning, Oneness (1)
Vesica Piscis: reflection of the One (2)
Triangle: Multiplication (3)
Square: Order, stability (4)
Pentagon: Processes of life (5)
Hexagon: Perfection, balance, harmony (6)
Heptagon: Eternality (7)
Octagon: Expansion and contraction (8)
Nonagon: Completion (9)
Decagon: Wholeness (10)
Growth of forms in
nature: logarithmical spiral and PHI
We see the creative properties of patterning and exponential
spiral growth approximated in marine life such as the chambered nautilus; in
sea shells, in the horns of certain sheep, pine cones, and on the head of a
sunflower, for example. This logarithmical spiral expresses PHI or the ratio of
1:1.618033988… (on and on) as a numeral of infinity. When
a nautilus is cut in half, we see how each chamber has become larger and larger
as the creature has outgrown the previous part. When measured and compared, the
growth of one chamber to the next is often approximately 1.618 times larger
than the former chamber.
Fibonacci series of
Let’s go straight to the Fibonacci series of numbers, which
can reveal the PHI ratio. (Leonardo of Pisa discovered this in 1202). It goes
like this: 1+2=3, 2+3=5, 3+5=8, 5+8=13, 8+13=21, 13+21=34, 21+34=55,
34+55=89. For example: divide 89 by 55
and see what you get! 1.6181818181811818… etc.
This ratio can be seen in botanical growth patterns such as five-petaled
flowers, the bean and tobacco plants, and the spira mirabilis in the head of a large sunflower, some with 55
lines of force crossing 89 alternating lines.
How does Sacred Geometry
relate to the Tarot?
In earlier decks, such as the Rider-Waite and B.O.T.A.
decks, we see The Emperor sitting on
a cube (hexahedron with 6 faces). This is interpreted as a showing a sense of
stability, equality and reliability. The
High Priestess sits on a cube. She is grounded “fair and square.” A star
hexagon of integrated triangles is seen in the lamp carried by The Hermit in some decks: meaning a
blending of qualities of heaven and earth; equilibrium of active and passive
action. The Vesica Piscis is seen in
the mandorla of The World card in
several decks. In The Hierophant card
of Tarot of Cosmic Consciousness, a chambered nautilus is drawn over a
background of “whirling squares.”A
Golden Mean rectangle is drawn first and divided into squares. Then an arc is
drawn in each square diagonally from one corner to the opposite corner. When
they circulate around a central area, a logarithmic spiral is produced. The ratio of one square to
another is 1:1.618 as they become larger.
Squaring the Circle
4 of Wands
In Tarot of Cosmic
Consciousness, the 4 of Wands
represents the “Squaring of the Circle.This is considered sacred because it contains
both the earthly and the divine as cosmic symbols of heaven and earth. The
perimeter of the square approximates the circumference of the circle. Robert
Lawlor Sacred Geometry(Thames and Hudson, 1982, p.
circle represents pure, unmanifest spirit-space, while the square represents
the manifest and comprehensible world.”
says in his book,
When contemplating Sacred Geometry
polygons depicted in Tarot cards, especially in Tarot of Cosmic Consciousness and in the Sacred Geometry Oracle Deck by Francene Hart, this gives another
dimension to the meaning of each card—expanding, enhancing and deepening our
understanding of ourselves.