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UCL Culture Blog


News and musings from the UCL Culture team


Tarot and Ancient Egypt – A Connection?

By Debbie J Challis, on 27 April 2011

A couple of years ago, I wanted to know why there were so many Ancient Egyptian inspired objects in ‘New Age’ shops and what the connections where with tarot.  I was put in touch with a  historian and practitioner Lena Munday and thought I’d share with you what she wrote:

“A language in itself, a book of occult wisdom, a mode of communication invented by the Ancients that reaches us today despite centuries of persecution, distortion and neglect…A coded system linked directly to Astrology, gnosticism, alchemy, ritual magic and Qabala… The Tarot is a mirror and a map of the soul reflecting the entire spectrum of human experience.

From the infancy of the Fool to the completion and knowledge that finds its embodiment in the World, this system speaks the ancient language of symbols. This book has evolved into a deck comprised of 78 cards, 22 of these are the Major Arcana and the remaining 56 are the Minor Arcana with four suits- Pentacles, Swords, Rods or Wands and Cups. These number ace to ten and include pages, knights, kings and queens. For each card there is an alchemical correspondence, an astrological sign and a number. (more…)