Tabula Mundi Tarot and the decans

Happy Sagittarius season! My birthday decan is here, the Middle decan of Sagittarius. Happy birthday to all my fellow Sun Sagittarians! This is the time of year when, typical for Sagittarians, I start looking forward to my new solar year. It’s also a good time to review the year we are leaving behind – though Sagittarius is all about moving forward, ever onward towards new targets. Good riddance to 2022 and I’m looking forward to all sorts of things in 2023.

But since there hasn’t been a lot of Tabula Mundi related posts lately I thought I would write a little bit about the Sagittarius decans, and a feature of Tabula Mundi that those just starting with the deck might not realize. And also as a Happy Birthday to Sagittarius, a sneak peak at this decan from my new deck in progress at the end of the post.

While the tarot minors of my new deck-in-progress are created directly from the magical descriptions of the decans, those of you new to the Tabula Mundi deck may not realize that it was the first deck to directly relate the decan sign and the decan ruler back to the imagery of the Major arcana.

For example, in the Nine of Wands above, the card combines elements from Art (Sagittarius), and the Priestess (the Moon as ruler of the decan). The Nine of Wands, Strength, combines the visionary nature of the Sagittarian archer and the power to temper disparate elements into a strong and powerful whole, with the lunar force, that imbues with energy and makes things grow, yet also has the power of the moon’s fluctuation, the ability to go with the flow and be strong in mutability, just as the Moon is inconsistent in that it waxes and wanes, and yet is consistent in that it constantly waxes and wanes. Strength in flexibility; the strength to draw the bow of Sagittarius and Diana the Huntress/Priestess, and the flexibility of the bow itself, to bend as it is pulled.

The Eight of Wands is another Sagittarius card, so the card image combines elements of the Art card (Sagittarius) with the decan ruler of the 8 of Wands – Mercury, the Magus. Here the visionary nature of Sagittarius is seen paired with mental Mercury – a double dose of Mercury as not only is Mercury the ruler of the decan, but also the ruler of the Eights and the eighth sephira Hod. Here the vision of artistic glory is brilliant – and fast and fleeting – like the rainbow, the sandals of Hermes, and thought itself.

The last decan of Sagittarius is much heavier, as here the Art card’s Sagittarius fire and vision is being smothered by the great weight of Saturn and Earth – the decan ruler is Saturn, bringing in the Universe card that rules both Saturn and Earth. It’s another double in a way, as the Tens relate to Earth, the tenth sephira Malkuth. In this card the alchemical vessel that is shown in the Art card shows up in the Ten of Wands, but it’s graceful glass is weighted down by a great anvil marked with the relentless grinding gear of the Universe.

The beauty of this system in Tabula Mundi really comes out in a reading, as whenever you see the arrow symbol of of Sagittarius (the zodiac sign symbol is on the left of every Minor card) you will know it relates back to the Art card, the Major that shares that symbol. Likewise, every card that has the Moon symbol (the planetary decan ruler on the right of every Minor) will relate back to the Priestess – in both image and meaning.

Here is a sneak peek of the Nine of Wands, Strength, from my new deck-in-progress…the Archer of Sagittarius (Art) with his nine arrows, confronted by the lunar beasts of the wild wood (Priestess, the Huntress).

The magical description of the decan from 777: “A man leading cows, and before him an ape and a bear”

Copyright 2022 M.M. Meleen

6 thoughts on “Tabula Mundi Tarot and the decans

  1. I’m so hype for this!
    M.M.Meleens work has expanded my Tarot practice so much. Thank you for breathing new life into Tarot!

  2. Strength – interesting image, instead of strength as a virtue one could read this card as strength being a hinderance on your path. Food for thought. Can’t wait to see more!

    1. That’s something to ponder. It certainly does take strength to overcome a hindrance on one’s path. But also flexibility – maybe you could just go around!

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