After my post yesterday about the number of the World and the Death cards, I decided to look at where they were positioned anyway.
Rachel Pollack in her book Tarot Wisdom, page 6 and 7 has a picture of the Major Arcana. The Fool alone at the top and then 3 rows of 7 (as I have shown you here).
Rachel has the First Row as the row that concerns the outer problems and concerns of our lives (the Practical plane in the picture) – growing up and all the experiences we deal with and is the conscious.
The second row (pictured here as the Mental plane) Rachel describes as involving self-knowledge and transformation and can be seen as the Unconscious. I love how Rachel talks about there being there being a modern and ancient model this transformation. I quote: “The modern version is Therapy, in which we realise that the self we have built up in life is not working and is not who we truly are so we seek to find our essential self. The older is initiation in which a person goes through a spiritual death and rebirth.” Line 2 goes from card 8 to 14 and the last 4 cards in this row (including death), highlight this process very well.
The bottom row (pictured as the Spiritual plane) is what Rachel refers to as Superconscious and this row deals with things beyond our own goals of self-improvement and I feel that because of this, the World card is in its rightful place here. It is almost like even though we all have this process to deal with; we all together can create so much more. We are all part of something big.
Looking at the Majors in the picture as they are, you will notice how there are then traids (3 cards – one above each other in the 3 rows). An example taken from Rachels book is the Chariot, Temperance and the World card which are all victories – the Chariot (in the practical plane) concerns victory over the challenges of life; Temperance (in the Mental plane) is victory over our fears and limitations and then the World (in the Spiritual plane) is victory in reaching Spiritual understanding.
Rachel Pollack’s Tarot Wisdom is available on Amazon: