The Major Arcana
The initial observation is the twenty-two cards are not numbered. Simon must be applauded for taking this step. There is, of course, a sequence to Major Arcana; however, it is not necessary to follow the series for ‘readings’ or ‘meditational’ purposes. The numbered sequence has a specific purpose. Although, for teaching and professional use numbering of the MA is redundant. Simon’s choice to allow Major Arcana cards to ‘stand-alone’ signifies excellent knowledge of the major’s. To my mind, the choice benefits the deck on two levels. Firstly all the cards can be considered as equal without hierarchy. Second, the pupil can focus on the underlying meanings without recognising the significance of the sequential numbering.
For those who do not understand the purpose of the Major Arcana. Consider the twenty-two cards as forces of the inner-being. By learning to understand the mysteries of the imagery from one’s perspective: the pupil discovers a clearer picture of their inner-self.
Simon has transformed the old and frankly outdated symbolism. His interpretation has taken the major arcana into the modern world. Simon has resisted the temptation to paraphrase the older decks visually. He has kept the essence of the mystery of The Tarot and reconstructed it to fit in with this century. It is the writer’s opinion that Simon’s reputation as a reader and teacher is extolled in this deck. Indeed, an astute pupil could discover the keys to Simon’s abilities by studying the seventy-eight cards.
Readers should be clear, and I am not writing about spiritual ability. The suggestion is this; by studying the major arcana of this deck, it is entirely possible to open one’s mind to higher levels of spiritual ability. There is no suggestion attaining the level of Simon’s knowledge would be easy. However, working with the deck over some months would open many avenues of awareness. Attending one of his courses would undoubtedly speed up the learning curve.
It is no surprise many of Simon’s pupils forge careers as spiritual councillors. The evidence of his willingness to reveal his secrets is evident as one studies the major arcana of this deck. The wisdom of the MA is the key to understanding the minor arcana. The major arcana is key to the personal unconscious mind and the minor arcana key to understanding our external environment. The Tarot is the conduit between reader and client. When an empathy between reader and client is formed magic happens. Only when there is self-understanding can the connection be made in a reading. This arcana (the secret of the mysteries) unlocks the barriers between reader and client.
Here is some clarification:
Consider one of the MA’s purposes is to reveal the inner-self. For example, there is a simple exercise which guides to select one MA card and three minors. The MA card focuses on the inner self, and the minors indicate practical issues. The resulting meditation becomes a potent exercise which strengthens the ways life is viewed or experienced. This takes the student on a journey of discovery. The more one understands one’s own ‘inner-being’ the greater ability to find empathy with the querent (client).
The Twenty – Two Cards:
Accompanying the cards is a basic instruction page which is unnecessary; because Simon’s symbolism is relatively easy to decipher. An hour or so studying a card with pencil and notebook in hand will soon embed a sound understanding of the card in the memory.
Interpreting every card from my perspective would be unfair. However, we can consider four cards. In this way, the reader can learn to interpret them for themselves. I offer my interpretation to provide evidence of how easy this deck is to use. Once one understands the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of the method. Using the cards becomes easy and incredibly useful. There are few decks which work so well and fulfil their promise as a great spiritual instrument. In the hands of someone who takes time to study the imagery and modern symbolism magic will occur, and the client will be amazed at the accuracy of the consultation.
Let us consider The Fool and The World:
By doing so, we can see how by connecting to the cards through personal reflection, we relate to the client during a consultation. When the arcana is used for self-help or to discover one’s inner-being, the revelations can be surprising.
The image of The Fool suggests the man sitting on The World are the same individual. The fool has begun the journey, and the worldly-wise man has finished this stage of life. Fool walks with careless abandon. The little dog of old cards is replaced by the modern man’s faithful servant ‘money or title deeds’. At the journey’s end, he sits on his world, older and wiser and he now can afford to travel to any place he chooses.
Now if this is the interpretation of the two cards (for me) what can you realise about my inner-being? Think about this with care. Because if you choose to look at the two cards from many perspectives. It is possible to discover your interpretation and therefore understand yourself. The more you read for people you find out your awareness of them and empathy grows, and you become a superb spiritual reader. This empathic connection only happens when the reader has an understanding of their own identity.
In the long term, by using these cards it is possible to form stronger spiritual links, and then one’s abilities enter another dimension.
Simon’s keys to the mysteries are superb if you realise the secret of their application. It is not for me to expand further, it takes practice to understand why this works. Be sure in mind, Simon’s majors have sufficient information within the design and symbolism to help the acolyte understand the mystery of why understanding the ‘self’ results in making connections to others. And furthermore opens spiritual gateways.
Readers of this review should be aware the article is not offering suggestions on using The Tarot. The information is offered to support an opinion that this deck is a superb learning tool which can be used by beginners and professional readers.
Two More Cards:
The Sun and The Hermit:
The Hermit sits alone, by his side is the traditional lantern of enlightenment. He seems to hold his head as if there is exasperation with the world below. And yet The Sun is growth and birth. Without the energy of the light, there would be darkness and death. As the Hermit considers his world, he knows that The enlightenment of The Sun, the inevitable cycles of birth, day and night give humanity hope.
As the pupil of Tarot reflects upon Simon’s interpretation of the major arcana. She is invited to delve deeply into her inner-being. The cards can offer the most profound insight if the pupil searches for their interpretation of the symbolism of the cards.
An excellent reader has to understand their inner being. In the tens of years working with The Tarot and watching the tides of readers: it is this writer’s opinion those who fall by the wayside do not understand the subtle of connecting to their client. There is a certainty, the few who succeed over the long term possess a complete understanding of their own identity. The search for the inner-self enhances the ability to connect to the client. The major arcana is the time tested method of understanding one’s self.
Simon has produced a simple and effective major arcana. It is created with an excellent understanding of its first purpose. It is essential to consider there is NO definitive meaning to a specific card. However, the knowledge of one’s psychic identity is always recognised by the inner being of other humans.
The spiritual counsellor who wishes to excel could consider they know nothing. There are no fixed answers. Once this is recognised, they become flexible enough to begin the journey of learning how to help their clients find solutions to their issues.
Simon Goodfellow has produced an up to date version of The Tarot’s Major Arcana. This review only scratches the surface of the spiritual keys available when considering the symbolism of this deck.
Tomorrow the Minor Arcana.