Hermes Trismegistis (thrice Hermes) is a god-man coming to us out of Phaoronic Egypt about 2,500 years ago. He has been equated with the Egyptian god, Thoth, and the Greek god, Hermes. Hermes Trismegistus, as well as Thoth and Hermes of Greek mythology, were communicators of the Divine and escorts to those passing into the afterworld. It is said that Hermes Trismegistus was the inventor of writing, mathematics, astrology, alchemy, and magic. The Hermetic body of knowledge (Corpus Hermeticum) includes the mother of occult (secret) knowledge, Astrology, and her two offsprings, Alchemy, and Magic. Egyptian Tarot is part of the third leg of the Hermetic Tradition – Magic!
In most decks, the Major Arcanum (major secrets) are interpreted the same, and this holds true in Egyptian Tarot. In Egyptian Tarot, however, the Minor Arcanum (minor secrets) do not contain images like most modern decks, but simply depict patterns of the elemental symbols, e.g. the Five of Cups will display 5 cups, much like the Tarot’s decendent, our playing cards of today. The Tens are not considered part of the Minor Arcana; and the Knights or Horseman are not considered part of the Court Cards.
Each one of the 78 cards in Egyptian Tarot represent astrology in some say. The breakdown is as follows: The Major Arcanum represent the Planets and Signs; The Minor Arcanum represents each Decanate of the zodiac; the Tens represent the 4 seasons; the Court Cards each represent one of the 12 signs or personalities of the zodiac; and the Horsemen (or Knights in other decks) represent the elements fire, water, air and earth and the thoughts of others or the querent. In Egyptian Tarot, the Swords are called Scepters and represent the heat of summer and the element of Fire; the Cups represent the hightened emotions of the fall/holiday season and the element of Water; the Coins (Pentacles in other decks) represent the winds of spring, the currents of thought and money, and the element of Air; and finally; the Swords represent the hardships of winter, the human experience within a body, and the element of earth.
The use of intuition is, of course, helpful in divining with Egyptian Tarot, but a clear system based upon astrological signatures is also present to assist. For more information, free on-line classes, and books on Egyptian Tarot, Hermetic Astrology and Alchemy, visit www.light.org.