Many of us are drawn to decks – Marseille, other early decks, some modern decks– that have beautiful Major Arcana cards but Minors without any scenes or people to suggest how to interpret them. Some just carry over what they’ve learned from decks such as the Rider, but then we’re not really looking at the cards in front of us.
In this master class Rachel Pollack plays with different methods of interpreting Minor cards that just show the symbols of the suit. One method is to look closely at the pictures, and such details as geometric forms (do the Wands form a triangle?) or ornamentation (flowers, vines, etc.). Another is to use numerology and elements. She focuses especially on two techniques. One is to think of the planetary qualities for the number and see how they emerge in the different suits. Following the Tree of Life, 4 is Jupiter, thus the 4 of Cups would express the Jupiter qualities of expansion and generosity in the Water world of Cups. The other techniques is to see each numbered Minor card as “vibrating” between the poles of the two Major cards that carry that number. Thus, the 4 of Cups exists in a kind of Watery space between the Emperor, 4, and Temperance, 14.
Rachel Pollack is one of the world’s foremost authorities on the modern interpretation of the tarot. She has published numerous books on the tarot, including Seventy-eight Degrees of Wisdom, which is considered a modern classic. She also designed and drew the Shining Woman Tarot, described by Caitlin Matthews as “the crowning jewel of geocentric shamanism.” She is a member of the American Tarot Association, the International Tarot Society, and the Tarot Guild of Australia, and has been conferred the title of Tarot Grand Master by the Tarot Certification Board, an independent body located in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Rachel Pollack is also a poet, fiction writer, and a comic book artist. As a fiction writer, she has been bestowed many honors and awards, among them the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Science Fiction (for Unquenchable Fire) and the World Fantasy Award (for Godmother Night). She is a recommended member of PEN International, and has written for numerous publications. Pollack holds an honors degree in English from New York University, a master’s degree in English from Claremont Graduate School, and has taught English at New York State University.
Click here to visit Rachel’s website with a link to her blog.
You can download a video recording of the class as a Windows Media file. It can be viewed on PCs using Windows Media Player and on Macs using the free VLC multimedia player for Mac operating systems which can be downloaded here.
Total file size: 257 MB
Cost: $22 USD
Payment: online through PayPal using a credit or debit card.