The Triadic Tarot of 2017—Get Acquainted
Read the Tarot de Marseille / Tarot of Marseilles
The Major Arcana (Trumps) of the Triadic Tarot follow. The interpretations relate to all Marseilles-style cards with the understanding that traditional rectangular cards fall upright or reversed, while the square cards of the Triadic Tarot have four possible orientations. In general:
- Upright, a card is functioning optimally as intended.
- Reversed, may indicate a blockage, weak or opposite characteristics, misuse/abuse of skills or one’s authority.
- A figure on its back (Triadic cards) may be weak, hesitant, held or pushed back—not at full expression.
- A figure on its face (Triadic cards) is over expressing, going to extremes, or may reference an issue or figure below.
Notice the object of a figure’s gaze or gesture; also notice what in the image rises. Be sure to visit MARSEILLES MINIS in the menu above for short practice exercises.
The Triadic Fool
The Fool is the face of humanity; he is the soul on its journey through life – every one of us. The dog or cat may be a companion pet, a dog chasing a stranger, or a metaphor for something that “dogs” you (a bad habit, unpaid debt, etc.).
Upright: Departure • Travel • An adventure • A new beginning • Seeking work, a mate, a place to live, information, etc. • Is he unconventional, running away or distracted by something at right? Reversed: Indecision • Feeling exposed / vulnerable • Blocked, disadvantaged • Stubborn • Foolish • False pride • A criminal. Left tilt (face up): High ambitions • An up-hill journey OR he may be held or pushed back. Right tilt (face down): Down-hill path, poor choices • A quitter, always moving on. Did the animal (or whatever “dogs” him) take him down, or is he distracted by something below?
Read a discussion of this card in excerpts 1-4 from The Tarot: A Strange and Wondrous Thing. To find the excerpts click “Books” at the top of this page. ### Posted 11•1•18
The Triadic Juggler
The Juggler uses will, skill and focus to manipulate his world, support himself, and contribute to society. The card represents one’s work or occupation as a craftsperson, peddler, entertainer, mage, or a trickster, but also the acquisition of those skills as a student/apprentice or teacher.
Upright: Taking action, the use of skill and initiative. This includes knowledge, communication and social skills. It speaks of dexterity and confidence. A highly trained professional has knowledge and skills not understood by the general public. He may be known as a magician. Reversed: There may be weak will or low ambition. Educational or occupational opportunities blocked • Deception or misuse of skills to victimize others • Loss of professional standing. • Dislike of job or career choice. ALTERNATIVELY: Because the table has risen to the top, this may be a workaholic. Left tilt (face down): Unrewarding work, feeling trapped • Boredom • Burn-out • A distraction below? Right tilt (face up): Hesitation • Inexperience • Self-doubt. Inattention or distractions • Pipe dreams. Perhaps his little used skills are falling off like his tool pouch! ### Posted 11•14•18
All cards are discussed in-depth in The Tarot: A Strange and Wondrous Thing. See BOOKS in the menu.
The Triadic Priestess
The Priestess: The Priestess is quiet, thoughtful and receptive. Her spirituality is private, intuitive, meditative and expansive. She represents wisdom for she observes, contemplates, gestates and understands. With dignity, calm and grace, she honors ancient knowledge, sacred sexuality, and the mysteries of life. Clairvoyance / mediumship. (The colors of her inner and outer garments were exchanged in the past; this and other details of the card are discussed in the book, The Tarot: A Strange and Wondrous Thing.
Upright: The Priestess exemplifies dignity, poise and discretion; she promotes education, high ethical standards, compassion, benevolence and generosity. Reversed: Her attributes are weak or absent. There may be indiscretion, neglect of the spiritual self. Desecration, humiliation. Unwanted sex.Tilted left: The pomegranate tree rises in importance, her skills are in full bloom. She shows her book to someone below—something to know and remember. A prophesy or revelation. Tilted right: She upholds ancient wisdom and is dedicated to high principles. Lying down may mean health problems or needing rest. Too much reading in bed? ### Posted 12•2•18
The Triadic Empress
The Empress, feminine sovereign of the earthly realm, personifies nature’s beauty and abundance. She represents creativity, growth and gain. Her number, 3, is an active number usually seen as masculine, but it works for the Empress because she is the active expression of femininity—the Archetypal mother. She is Mother Nature.
Upright: There is harmony and abundance—a time of expansion and creativity. Fertility and the fullness of womanhood. Reversed: Disharmony, frustration, a state if want or neglect, Problems with motherhood. Infertility.Tilted left: Her scepter rises emphasizing her power and authority. Tilted right: Her shield rises in a protective / defensive posture. ALTERNATIVELY, the rise of her fruiting tree may tout a bountiful harvest. Long a symbol of fertility, the Pomegranate tree does not appear in traditional Marseilles Tarots; it was a 20th century addition to the Priestess card of the Waite-Smith deck. When this card is placed to the right of the Priestess card, the blossoms of the tree become fruit in a formation that describes the less well-known Gra Tree of Life. ### Posted 1•9•19
The Triadic Emperor
The Emperor, masculine sovereign of the earthly realm, personifies structure, order and regulation. The father archetype, he guides, protects and provides for those under his authority. His strength of character, intelligence and competence make him a respected ruler and Commander-in-Chief of a military. He is the ideal of a principled and benevolent ruler. Complementing the Empress, the Emperor’s 4, an even stable number, is appropriate here for this masculine figure provides the safety and stability that supports the Empress’ productivity
Upright: The embodiment of masculine authority and virility, he is intelligent, protective and possibly stern, but fair and merciful. Reversed: Loss of power, misuse of authority, corruption, scandal and shame. A tyrant. An absent or abusive spouse or father. Tilted left: Overbearing / controlling narrow-minded extremism. A micro-manager possibly threatening the figure in a card below. Tilted right: Looking up, he may be aspiring to power or higher office. OR he may be weakened, perhaps a lame-duck ruler. There could be incompetence, illness, immaturity, or infertility. ### Posted 1•10•19
The Triadic Priest
The Priest: A masculine counterpart to the Priestess. Her spirituality is inner and private, where his is the outer, culturally sanctioned expression of spirituality. He represents not only formal religion, but ALL ritual and ceremony both sacred and secular (graduations, initiations, recognitions of achievement). Such events raise our vibrational consciousness, extol high principles and our potential to serve the greater good. Ideally, he is a benevolent counselor.
Upright: Possibly an inner guide, but usually the cleric or teacher of a formal religion. Anything related to religion, its agents, institutions or property. All ritual and ceremonial events. Reversed: Loss of position. Misuse/abuse of authority. Financial, psychological or sexual victimization by a cleric or counselor. Forcing religious conformity or limit rights of dissenters. Weaponized religion.Tilted left: May be referencing the card above. (Always notice the object of a gaze or gesture.) On back: Doubt / loss of faith. A fearful priest hides behind his staff of office. Hypocrisy. The use of religion to justify prejudice, intolerance and violence. Tilted right: Overbearing control, doctrinal rigidity, fanaticism. Use of fear to force religious observance or conversion. ### Posted 1•15•19
The Triadic Lovers
The Lovers is the card of CHOICE, especially choice related to love and commitment, but also a mate or partner, a school, a career, a particular behavior or even a choice between virtue and vice. The card may show an ancient marriage with a woman officiating. Other interpretations are: a young man introducing his intended to his mother, a girl introducing the man to her mother, a matchmaker making a match.
Upright: Love, commitment, any choice. A group decision or just a pleasant social gathering. Reversed: Indecision, fear of commitment, a poor choice, disharmony, a pledge broken.Tilted left: Cupid rising brings a new love or friendship. A young woman is held in high regard. Tilted right: A mother (or virtue) is held in high regard, her counsel and approval are sought and received. An auspicious beginning. Alternatively: a wife prevails over a young distraction. At worst: an overbearing mother. ### Posted 2•3•19
The Triadic Chariot
The Chariot shows a person in control perhaps leaving the comfort of his natal home to begin adult life. Lacking reigns, he controls his emotions (blue horse) and instinctive desires (clay horse) through the strength of his will. Alternatively, this may be a triumphal chariot celebrating victory.
Upright: Emancipation, charting one’s own course. A triumph—power, strength, heroism. Reversed: A sudden turn of events. Loss of control. Accident. Tilted left: Falling on one’s face due to overreach or distraction — perhaps by the card below. Tilted right: Insecurity due to personal history. Release self-doubt. ### Posted 2•15•19
The Triadic Justice
The Justice is both the agent and the principle of justice. There is no blindfold, no application of the letter of the law at the expense of the spirit of the law. Her right hand holds the sword of punishment, her left the scales of balance and mercy. She uses thoughtful analysis and careful deliberation.
Upright: Judging/being judged. One’s conscience. The law / legal proceedings. Calm, poise, integrity. Reversed: Compromised proceedings, injustice, lawlessness. In this, the law does not protect you. Tilted left: Innocence (daisies / white stone), mercy or pardon. Justice delayed. Out-of-court settlement.Tilted right: Sword up, unfavorable judgement, punishment. Warns against unjust behavior. ### Posted 3•4•19
The Triadic Hermit
The Hermit is elderly; it is a time for gratitude and circumspection. He leans on the staff of tradition as he lights the way for others. His light also reveals past mistakes. Will he mentor for spiritual growth and positive change or lead us to repeat past mistakes?
Upright: Showing the way, guiding, mentoring. Facing mortality, the passage of time. Reversed: Age related confusion, personal neglect. Loner, mean-spirited hypocrite. Deceptive corruption, victimizer. Tilted left: Helping one who has fallen. Looking down, shining light on memories, past deeds. He may be referencing a card below. Tilted right: Difficult up-hill climb. Seeking a greater good. ### Posted 3•20•19
The Triadic Wheel
The Wheel shows the endless reality of change in all areas of life. Its turn to the left may also refer to the eternal return of of reincarnation and karma. Spinning relates to the energy of life, of chakras, and of celestial bodies. It can also refer to the daily rat race of life.
Upright: Cycles of all kinds. Our vulnerability to change. Even expected change often surprises us, hence the stable tree obscures our view. Reversed: Resistance to change, denial. The rising and falling change places. A fall from grace. A revolution. Utter chaos. Tilted left: Strivers rise, as expected since the wheel turns left. Tilted right: Help for the disadvantaged. Top figure falls back—a reversal of injustice? ### Posted 3•31•19
A lovely woman opens or perhaps she closes the mouth of a lion in courage, strength and fortitude. Hers is not a brutish act, but one of confident mastery; she is acting and living her purpose with dignity.
Upright: Benevolent mastery, speaking one’s truth. Courage with kindness. Reversed: Weak will. Silence in fear of reprisal. Abandoned obligations. Tilted left: Overcoming hesitation, giving voice to difficult truths. Use diplomacy. Tilted right: Going to extremes, forcing one’s own beliefs on others. ### Posted 4•14•19
Cards are discussed in-depth in The Tarot: A Strange and Wondrous Thing. See BOOKS in the menu.
The Hanging Man
The figure hangs inverted — punishment for the crime of non-conformity. It references sacrifice, punishment and suffering. Alternatively, it may be a test of initiation, inducing a trance state of revelation or a change of perspective. His head hangs in a ditch, and although the water is far beyond and below, graphically it appears to envelop the head suggesting an expanded state of consciousness.There is also the idea of being bound up, suspended or delayed
Tilted left (head at right): The figure seems ready to birth himself into something new. Tilted right (head at left): He seems ungrounded, out-of-touch, boxed in by old ideas that no longer serve him. Reversed: The Roman numeral 12 reads correctly. He is upright, gingerly stepping over a log—this card counsels prudence! There is a warning that a snake in the grass (spy) may become a hangman’s noose. ### Posted 4•28•19
The Reaper is the ultimate transformer—death, but the appearance of this card does not mean a death is imminent, and of course, that should NEVER be forecast. It does mean that something is ending; it may be a relationship, a job, a lifestyle, or a set of beliefs that do not serve the greater good. Endings can be difficult, but they allow change
Upright: Something is ending. The figure mirrors the Fool reminding us that we each become the reaper, reaping what we sow. Tilted left (face down): An overarching threat—bullying, violence, or even war. Tilted right: A strong recovery (The Reaper falls back laughing!) Reverse: Death or change averted. Slow, partial change, or stagnation. ### Posted 5•8•1
An angel pours liquid from one vessel to another—The title serves as the principle, the action and the name of the figure who personifies them. She is the guardian who receives the soul and accompanies it to the higher realms. Hers is an act of grace and healing insuring that nothing is lost—life is not a futile exercise but an enriching experience
Upright: There is artful blending, rhythmic, harmonious exchange. The healing arts and rituals of sanctity and grace. Tilted left (face down): Protecting/comforting one below—maybe the viewer. An act of healing, generosity, hospitality. Tilted right: Watching carefully, receiving impressions, keeping ones counsel. Caution, hesitation, skepticism. An uneasy feeling or foreboding. Reverse: Lack of moderation, intemperance, loss of self-control. Stuck in a repetitive cycle. Re-examination. Perfectionism. ### Posted 6•2•19
The Devil is anything that comes to control us—a person, bad habits, addictions, compulsions to sex or power, but also, outworn beliefs that no longer serve the greater good. But a passionate interest can also be a good thing.When it motivates us in a positive direction, it can make light work of a difficult undertaking. In a bubble of rapt attention, everything else disappears.
Upright: The seductive power of attraction drives destiny, but there is always CHOICE. We choose where to put our attention. Tilted left: The male figure rises to retake control of his life. Tilted right: The female figure rises to take back her power to make the decisions that affect her life. Reverse: Revulsion. Pleasure turned to pain. People rise to break free of victimization or of unhealthy repression due to religious or cultural conditioning. ###
This is a physical disaster, destruction or downfall, but it can also represent total disillusionment, when a person or institution you have trusted falls in disgrace. This can be devastating, but it frees you to rethink your values and find your own truth.
Upright: Any life-changing event that is disruptive to old established ways of thinking and living. The change may be physical or psychological. Tilted left: a revelation from the past destroys an outworn ideology. Crown upside down–reversal of thought. Tilted right, crown knocked off as resources pour out. Economic hardship, must start over. Reverse: A loss that is strangely freeing. Fresh goals, greater self-worth, and a new lightness of being. (people are rising). A possible reference to the card above. ###
This card represents new hope, renewal and rebirth. It is nature’s comfort when all else is lost (previous card of disaster). One must follow one’s higher guidance, the star. This is known as the astrology card.
Upright: The renewing grace and healing power of nature reminds us of our place in the fabric of the natural world. Tilted right (backward): There is a weakening, temporary disconnect, or loss of focus and confidence. Tilted left: The figure bends forward doing her part, bestowing her gifts, fulfilling her destiny. Reversed: Shows a time of low energy or burn-out, a need to rest and restore one’s energy. ### Posted 7•22•19
The moon is a card of mystery and beauty. Its cool light is a reflection of the light of the sun. In its executive (#8) authority, it affects growth cycles, fertility, and the ebb and flow of the tides. It speaks of romantic yearnings, of the deepest, most primitive recesses of the mind, and of things hidden, misperceived or imagined in its half-light.
Upright: Its mystery and beauty are emphasized, but the crayfish references primitive instincts. It almost seems to orchestrate the erie howling of the dogs, as if it climbed up and is standing on the rock. Tilted left: Moonrise, night is beginning. It may signal the start of a time of uncertainty and self-examination. Tilted right the moon is setting at the dawn of a new day, It is a time of renewed strength and confidence. Reversed: Shows an alternate reality: Astral travel, false friends, hidden agendas, guilt, addictions and delusions. ###
The sun blesses the earth with its warmth and energy. It also brings emotional well-being, personal fulfillment and love. It is friendship, harmony and brotherhood. A fortunate marriage, material wealth & security
Upright: A “YES” answer. All things bright and beautiful. Health & vitality, achievement and success. Great joy. Tilted left: Rising sun heralds a period of expansion. New ideas, bright prospects. Tilted right: Excitement wanes. A cycle of growth is coming to a close. Time of reflection and gratitude. Give back. Reversed: A temporary low, loss of confidence. Strained relationships. A “NO” answer. ###
This card describes an interior event—a call. It may be to a special project, an area of study, a profession or to an obligation of service. It may summon one to the need for a self review. It may be an epiphany when one’s awareness is suddenly expanded to a larger reality, a more profound understand of the meaning of life. Upright: Any one of the above or some other important announcement. Tilted left: A message just coming into your awareness—a whispering, soft music, or maybe your conscience is bothering you. It could mean your psychic senses are opening. Tilted right: The call is confused or muddled. You may be denying your own inner guidance and an opportunity is slipping away. Reversed: Boasting, betrayal of a confidence, or sitting in arrogant judgement of others. Hateful incendiary speech or an opportunity rejected. ###
For Christians, the figures in the corners have come to symbolize the four evangelists, but they are derived from the signs of the Zodiac and so they represent the four divisions of the year. This is the soul’s passage into or out of linear time. Into time at birth or a new incarnation; out of time at death when the soul leaves the body.
Upright: Recognition of achievement, reward. The soul in glory has transcended linear time. It means mastery, fulfillment, universal oneness. A highly favorable card. Tilted left: A glance downward, mixed emotions, nostalgia. Is something unfinished? Are changes or adjustments needed? Follow the gaze. Tilted right: Gratitude for one’s success and for those who made it possible. Moving on to new and greater challenges. Reversed: Obstacles to success, fear of success or change. Feeling awkward, unworthy. Denial of mastery. Lack of recognition. ### These are final four cards of the traditional Major Arcana. Posted 9•3•19
Future postings of the cards of THE TRIADIC TAROT OF 2017 will explain the Minor Arcana (pips) and how they are read in combination with the Majors above. Go to MARSEILLE MINIS in the menu.The triadic reading method taught here may be used for any 78-card deck having non-scenic pips.
NOTE: The Triadic Tarot cards above may be posted for discussion on websites, blogs, Tarot forums, and Tarot card display pages with a link to this website, ArcanaPress.net. Privately published decks and books rely on word-of-mouth publicity, so if you like this site, please promote it to fellow Tarot enthusiasts. Thank you! Feel free to email me: Annette@ArcanaPress.net
Gifting the Tarot
The Tarot is an unusual and fascinating gift; its thought-provoking images are a rich and endless source of delight. Read about its many benefits below, and when you gift the Tarot, you share the legacy.
Gifts from the Tarot
Lighthearted Entertainment: ♦Historians see GAMES as the sole intent of the original Tarot. It is still played as a trick-taking game in many European countries and in French Canada.♦STORYTELLING: An entertainer, randomly drawing cards, can spin and illustrate a story. Similarly, each member of a group may choose a card to add to a playfully spontaneous tall tale. ♦The cards may be used for ROLE PLAYING and CHARADES.
Intellectual Benefits: ♦Trump images provide a MENTAL FILING SYSTEM for the salient issues of life; each becomes the center of a constellation of related ideas. Encountering an image gives instant access to those associations, positive, negative or neutral, speeding thought and making you aware of your own biases. ♦NEW PERSPECTIVES AND CREATIVE SOLUTIONS to problems arise from the random juxtaposition of cards. ♦The established order of trump images provides a vivid structure to act as a MEMORY AID for sequential ideas.♦Efforts to find meaning in a random array of cards is an INTELLECTUAL CHALLENGE that breaks stale thinking habits. ♦The Tarot fosters an interest in HISTORY that feeds one’s understanding of the present. ♦The cards are an ANTIDOTE TO FRAGMENTATION: We are conditioned to interruptions of TV commercials every five minutes, cell phones ringing, and endless checking for text messages. There is real concern that people are losing the ability to focus for more than a few minutes. TAROT TEACHES THE MIND TO FOCUS.
Emotional & Spiritual Enrichment: ♦ Like meditation, contemplation of the images helps one disconnect from flashing, ever-changing electronic screens to ACCESS DEEPER LEVELS OF CONSCIOUSNESS. ♦It is a RESPITE FROM STRESS. ♦The Tarot brings greater self-awareness and understanding increasing MINDFULNESS of actions and their consequences. Thinking about who you are and what you value in advance, is good preparation for dealing with unexpected and challenging events. ♦Contemplation of trump themes links one to all people bringing GREATER APPRECIATION OF LIFE ITSELF. ♦It opens A PATH TO THE HIGHER SELF and/or inspiration from the highest source of one’s understanding,
Intuitive / Psychic Development: ♦Higher Sensory Perception (HSP or ESP) is real. Contemplative people often spontaneously develop such skills. Those in society who instill fear of these abilities do so to protect the authority of formal religion. In light of the numerous revelations of ongoing victimization of both adults and children by clerics of such institutions, one might conclude that it is safer to develop one’s own inner compass and follow it toward the greater good. ### Posted 10•27•18
Choosing European-style Tarots
There are three categories: Facsimile and Restored Tarots are the most accurate representations of historic Tarots.———A facsimile is made from minimally altered photos or scans of vintage cards. General contrast may be heightened and colors slightly adjusted to clarify detail and create a pleasing effect, but little more. ———A restoration is selectively altered; dirt may be removed and damage repaired. Colored pigments that have darkened over time may be brightened to return the image to an imagined earlier state. Digital technology allows colors to be attractively adjusted and faded line art to be darkened to clarify details.
Recreations differ from restorations in that the line art is no longer original. It has been traced or redrawn. When this is done, there are subtle changes to the character of the line. That said, its even intensity and clean crisp edges, often brighten the image. Most artists, not being art historians, choose specific hues likely to appeal to the modern eye. Those most dedicated to historical accuracy, however, will arrange the general colors, i.e., light blue, dark blue, yellow, etc., according to the originals because they understand that color placement may convey significant information. The result is often quite appealing, and these cards serve to continue the Tarot tradition.
Contemporary Tarots in the European Tradition vary in their adherence to historic detail, but they have fresh appeal and generate great excitement in Tarot enthusiasts. All are NSP (non-scenic pip) Tarots, but artistic style, color palette choices and arrangement of the colors alter the emotional signature of each deck. In this way, the Tarot continues to grow and change in response to the tenor of the times. ### Posted 6•13•18
Why a Triadic Tarot?
Interest in historic decks is rising. Reproductions are finally available, yet relatively few are sold in the United States because vintage Tarots lack the scenic pips Americans rely on. Books written in English reference English decks and reading methods, so how can one possibly learn? Well…
The Triadic Tarot of 2017 is designed to teach an updated version of a reading method first published by Papus in 1896. This deck makes it easy to learn and memorable.
Reading the Pips: In a traditional 78-card deck, the pips, cards 1-9 of a suit, are divided into three groups of three cards each. They are 1-2-3, 4-5-6 and 7-8-9. Normally these are separate cards, but in the Triadic Tarot, each 3-card grouping or “triad” is arranged on one square. In the menu under “CARDS” you can scroll down to see the Triad of Commencement for the suit of Rods. Commencement means beginning—that card signifies the beginning of an undertaking in the realm of Rods. What is the realm of Rods? Well, that depends your system of attributions. Rods being the only organic suit emblem, nicely symbolizes birth, growth and development. This relates to all new creative endeavors: the birth, growth and development (including education) of a living thing but also of any creative undertaking or course of education. The top triangle (depending on how this pip square falls) determines which stage of the beginning is called to your attention. Stages are explained in the Little White Book packaged with the deck.
If your suit attributions differ from those above, that is fine; you need not changes them. The stages apply to the realm of the suit as YOU understand it.
The Triadic Trumps: Each trump card has the usual single image, but it can be read in any one of 4 (not just 2) orientations. An upright card’s figure is expressing optimally as intended. A figure on its back is not fully expressing (hesitating, pushed or held back). A figure fallen forward on its face is over expressing (probably to a negative degree). A reversed card signals opposite characteristics, absence, misuse or abuse of abilities or authority.
Notice what rises: The Empress’s scepter up, emphasizes her power and authority; her shield up, emphasizes her protective or defensive qualities. Notice the object of a gaze or gesture. Is she interested in him, or does she turn her back and look away? The Queen of Coins appears to hand her coin (lending figurative or financial support) to the card on the left (her right), etc.
The grouping of pips in the Triadic Tarot drastically reduces the number of cards, making this deck easier to handle and fast to put in sequential order. The significance of the stages within the realm of each suit is explained in the illustrated 60-page LWB (Little White Book) boxed with the cards. Having worked with this deck, one can also read any 78-card NSP (Non-Scenic Pip) deck. The Triadic Tarot is a new presentation in the Tarot tradition—try it, you’ll like it! ###
Excerpts from: The Tarot: A Strange and Wondrous Thing (7 full pages) can now be accessed and read from the BOOKS page in the menu below.