Treasure Hunt for the Secret Code
A hundred keys – none of them fit
For more than hundred years, it has been rumored that the tarot cards reveal their secrets to those who know how to arrange them correctly. Countless authors have tried. On this page you will find a collection of interesting experiments.
We observe the desire to organize the cards in geometric structures. Here and there, opposites were created (“active” and “passive”, “young” and “old”, etc.).
Most of these arrangements contradict each other. The disagreement usually starts with the question of whether the ‘Fool’ is at the beginning of the 22 trump’s sequence or should he be placed at the end.
My proud Collection of modern Key Arrangements
Each of these attempts was supposed to unravel the mystery of the Major Arcana
and explain their meaning once and for all .
On the track of the perfect arrangement.
A recently rediscovered detail on card I of the Tarot de Marseille shows us a hidden numerical code that puts the Major Arcana in a first order. The French researchers A. Jodorowsky and Ph. Camoin recognized three dices on an old, hand-painted card. The dices were then missing in later editions.
During the restoration of our deck from 1760, we put this important detail back onto the old card.
Here on the juggler’s table:
The numbers on the three dice add up to 21.
Its discoverer, Alejandro Jodorowsky, proposed the 21 as verification number:
Two arcana are thematically connected, if their combined value adds up to 21 .
Such juxtaposition creates a distinct, often contrasting context in each pair of cards,
which in turn offers valuable clues for the meaning of each individual card.
The Juggler (1) gets linked to the Judgement (20),
The Pope (5) faces the collapsing church (16) …
Surprisingly, Jodorowsky himself does not make use of his discovery (left fig.).
None of the pairs of cards in his key arrangement add up to 21 (right fig.).
Source: Alejandro Jodorowsky: “La Voie du Tarot” 2004