On the Divide Between Astrology and the Divinatory Arts
Excerpt from the preface to Le Livre Blanc de l’Astrologie by J. Halbronn.
Reproduced with the kind permission of the author.
I know the Tarot fairly well – 22 cards and that is all. […] But even if the Tarot is an esoteric system, we may still hope, by means of patience, of trial and error, of rearrangements, to obtain an idea of the way in which this system is arranged. This is what was stressed by Robert Jaulin, in his work on the geomantic system*, a system of divination is a “complete system” – that is to say that, by its very structure, no possible event is supposed to escape its description. […]
Knowing the Tarot fairly well, I have been interested, of course, in its correspondences with Astrology. It is true that they have apparently common symbols. But absolutely nothing proves that this correspondence is not due to the effect of a relative chance: in what we may call the general library of symbols, which is a relatively limited set, it is not very surprising that some have been used just as well in Astrology as in the Tarot. Nonetheless, they are never exactly the same. Is it, individually, the symbol and its declensions that matter, or the place within which it is situated in a structure? For the structures of the Tarot and of Astrology are highly different, and are not superimposable. Astrology operates on a base of 12, that is, three times four elements. The Tarot, on a base of 7, three times seven cards – plus one card denoted zero, of which there is no equivalent in Astrology, nor in any other divinatory system, to the best of my knowledge. If it is the set of the structure that has significance, that is, the relative positions of the various elements, the two systems have practically nothing comparable, apart from the fact that they both use a mathematical-geometric system.
* Robert Jaulin, La géomancie, analyse formelle, Mouton, 1966.
Read the original piece here.