Early Occult Tarots: Images and/or Descriptions

The Tarot of Franz Bardon

These Tarot  images and descriptions are found in the  three books by Franz Bardon (1909-1958): 
1. Der Weg zum Wahren Adepten (1956, published later in English under the title: Initiation into Hermetics and in Russian under the title: Франц Бардон. Врата посвящения)
2. Die Praxis der magischen Evokation (1956, published later in English under the title: The Practice of Magical Evocation)
3. Der Schlussel zur wahren Quabbalah (1957, published later in English under the title: The Key to the True Quabbalah). 

Picture of the Magician: The First Tarot Card 
Interpretation of the Symbolism 

Below you will find the mineral, vegetable and animal kingdoms expressed in a symbolic manner. 

The female on the left side and the male on the right side are the plus (positive) and the minus (negative) in every human being. 

In their middle is seen a hermaphrodite, a creature personifying the male and female combined in one as the sign of concinnity between the male and female principle 

The electrical and magnetical fluids are shown in red and blue colors, electrical fluid being red, magnetical fluid blue. 

The head region of the female is electrical, therefore red, the region of the genitals is magnetical, consequently blue. As for the male, it happens to be in inverted order. 

Above the hermaphrodite there is a globe as a sign of the earth sphere, above which the magician is illustrated with the four elements. 

Above the male, there are the active elements, that of the fire in red and the air element in blue color. Above the female there are the passive elements, the water element in green and the element of the earth in yellow color. The middle along the magician up to the globe is dark purple, representing the sign of the akasa principle 

Above the magician's head, with an invisible ribbon for a crown, there is a gold-edged silvery white lotus flower as a sign of the divinity. In the inside there is the ruby red philosophers' stone symbolizing the quintessence of the whole hermetic science. On the right side in the background there is the sun, yellow like gold and on the left side we see the moon, silvery-white, expressing plus and minus in the macro- and microcosm, the electrical and magnetical fluids. 

Above the lotus flower, Creation has been symbolized by a ball, in the interior of which are represented the procreative positive and negative forces which stand for the creating act of the universe. 

The eternal, the infinite, the boundless, and the uncreated have been expressed symbolically by the word AUM and the dark purple to black color.

The Symbolism of the Second Tarot-Card 

The second tarot-card represents the temple of initiation, which is identical to the microcosm, the small world. Often this card is regarded as the temple of Salomon. The temple is supported by four columns symbolising the four elements and denoting knowledge, courage, will and silence, i. e. the quabbalistic Yod-He-Vau-He. 

Each column rests on a circular pedestal of hewn stone symbolising the fact that the magician - after having been initiated in this temple - has become absolute master of each element. The black and white marble floor consists of proportionate squares displaying the positive and the negative effects of the elements in the physical world. In its higher sense this is the lawfulness - the Jupiter sphere - on the physical plane, with which the magician must be fully conversant before being initiated. Before the altar the floor is covered with a carpet which - divided into two equal halves - displays the positive and the negative effects of all the powers of the planetary system on our physical world. The magician must also be absolute ruler of these, i. e. of the electric and the magnetic fluids. 

On the carpet one can see the magic circle representing Infinity, i. e. the Alpha and the Omega (d. the description of the magic circle in the relevant chapter of this book). The pentagram to be seen within the circle is the symbol of the microcosm, the small world, which must be fully developed in the magician, i. e. he is in perfect harmony with the macrocosm. The pentagram is the symbol of the microcosm, while the macrocosm usually being symbolized by a hexagram. 

The magician, dressed in a violet magical garment, is holding in his left hand the magic sword as the symbol of victory and of his ties to the Almighty - of his intuition - attained by the Akashaprinciple; his lifted right hand is conjuringly holding up the magic wand, the symbol of his absolute will, his absolute power. 

On a golden throne to the right of the magician sits a high priestess as the representative of Isis, holding the Book of Wisdom in her left hand and the two Keys of Initiation in her right hand as the symbols of the positive and the negative mastery. The magician who has prepared himself for an evocation is being initiated by her into the deep secrets of sphere magic. In some tarotcards this priestess is called a female pope or an empress. However, since this is the card representing power and wisdom, it need not indicate the female principle. 

In front of the circle there are three steps leading to the altar. They symbolize the mastery of the three planes - the physical, the astral and the mental plane. The altar itself is the symbol of devotion. The triangle placed in its centre demonstrates the threedimensional effect of the Divine Emanation on everything, in the Positive and the Negative principle. 

The two censers symbolize the fact that the magician carrying out an evocation has all the positive, the good, and all the negative, the bad, beings under his power and that he is able to materialize them. The spheric mirror on the altar with its seven spheric colours indicates symbolically that the magician is not only in contact with all the beings of the seven planets by mental wandering and divination, but that he is also capable of calling them into our physical world by evocation. 

On the wall in the background, following the old-Egyptian symbolism of the second tarot-card, are the pictures of the Godesses Isis and Nephthys.


The picture on the opposite page is the graphic representation of the Third Tarot Card. 

The first (or outer) circle has ten sections symbolizing the ten quabbalistic keys. These ten quabbalistic keys (v. their color symbolism) are identical with the ten Hebrew Sephiroth. 

Since these ten keys, or Sephiroth, comprise the knowledge of the whole universe with all its ways of existence, methods and systems, they are placed in the outer circle. 

The fact that these ten keys refer to the micro- as well as the macrocosm becomes evident also by the fact that the next, i.e., the second circle, reflects the signs of the zodiac of the whole universe, again in the relevant color symbolism. 

The third circle (going from the outside to the inside) is the planetary circle, which is identified by the planetary symbols and the colors analogous to the planets. All three circles enclose a large square symbolizing the four elements represented in the relevant color symbolism. This square, indicating the realization of the elements, symbolizes the material world. 

The inner, smaller square signifies the tetragrammatonic mystery, the Jod-He-Vau-He or quabbalistic fourfold Key necessary for mastering the elements and their influences. 

The sun in the center of the picture represents Divine Providence, the Akasa Principle, the origin of all that exists. 

Thus not only man (i.e., the microcosm), but also the whole macrocosm is graphically represented by this picture. Furthermore, all keys are drawn in it, the fourfold key being especially dominant, since it is the key to the realization, the materialization of things. Everything that the quabbalah teaches us, i.e., its whole system, all analogies, follows clearly from this picture and its clear symbolism. The meditating quabbalist will therefore deduce all analogies from the Third Tarot Card.


 Early Occult Tarots: Images and/or Descriptions