You know what I love about tarot? It relates to ALL aspects of the human experience. Of course, tarot speaks to sweeping spiritual themes, but it also illuminates our mundane daily routines. In this series, I’ll talk about various ways tarot ties into the human experience. I hope this will help you deepen your relationship to the cards – and to yourself.

In the beginning there is card zero, The Fool. The energy of the fool is boundless, free form, eternal. That’s a pretty awesome concept, but if that energy stayed undirected, we’d never have stars or planets or trees or bodies or brains! We wouldn’t have spirit and flesh, birth and death. In the tarot, life as we know it starts to sprout forth with cards one and two: The Magician and the High Priestess.



In ’78 Degrees of Wisdom’ Rachel Pollack says that as one and two are the first ‘true’ numbers, they symbolically form the concept of opposites. The Magician is associated with light, action, maleness, yang and the conscious mind. The High Priestess is associated with dark, receptivity, femaleness, yin and the unconscious mind, just to name a few opposites these cards evoke.

These opposites are reunited in the world, card 21. Rachel Pollack points out that even the numbers 2 (High Priestess) and 1 (The Magician) are both present in the World. The World shows the concepts of unity and non-duality. We’ve all heard the phrases “we are all one,” and “separation is an illusion” and “unity is the aim.” The World is a dynamic representation of these concepts.

But even if we have a spiritual understanding of unity, we navigate our lives through contrast. We have moments where we fell the consciousness of the World, where we feel integrated and whole and connected with all that is. But amidst these moments of spiritual unification, we also have moments of experiencing separation. This separation can be healthy, it can help us understand ourselves. But it can lead to depression and isolation if we dwell ONLY in separation consciousness. We need to see the big picture that the World shows.

All is separate AND united. Separation and unity are both truisms in the human experience. This understanding is expressed in different belief systems in different ways. In Taoism, the concept of the Yin-Yang shows opposites which are actually part of an interconnected whole.

We understand by compartmentalizing. But at the same time, we are united to a whole. We are like drops in the ocean: you are an individual drop, but you’re also a part of the whole ocean.

Watch the video above for more of my thoughts on how The Magician, The High Priestess, and the World set the stage for a conversation about unity and duality.

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