Three groups of 7 with tarot

In her book, Seventy Eight Degrees of Wisdom, Rachel Pollack describes how the tarot cards can be separated into three groups of seven. The three groups may represent different experiences of life. One way to divide the three groups may be: personal development, societal influence and spiritual awareness.

We each have different life experiences to draw upon from the archetypes shown in the tarot cards. Each card aligns with the same theme through all three groups. below are some of the ideas of how each group of cards may relate to the three themes of life.

Magician-Strength-Devil: Magician: We figure out our own natural abilities and powers to manifest early on and utilize them freely. Strenth: In time, we know that we have to curb or control certain wants/desires to achieve long term goals that we want more than immediate gratification. Devil: Outward forces beyond our control that will seek to manipulate and lure us in by these weaknesses we work so hard to keep under control.

High Priestess-Hermit-Tower: We obtain insights initially through our intuition (High Priestess) then we may pursue more spiritual insights through solitary activities (Hermit) and other times we have sudden insights from external sources (Tower.)

Empress- WOF – Star: We create with the materials our environment provides and grow from there (Empress) sometimes life gives us great bounty without any rhyme or reason (WOF) yet we still aspire to something greater than what we have accomplished and no matter what we create – it always seems to fall short of the ideal we envisioned (Star) and this keeps us moving towards it.

Emperor-Justice-Moon: We learn to follow the rules of the family with father usually in charge (Emperor) to set an example of rules to follow. Then we make sure to follow the rules or laws of society or we deal with the justice system (Justice.) Finally we wrestle with the mysteries of spiritual rules or laws which aren’t so concrete and discernable and forever debated, inferred and obscure to the material world we inhabit (Moon.)

Hierophant-Hanged Man – Sun: Our family, teachers, and culture guides our beliefs in early life (Hierophant), giving us a sense of right and wrong. As we mature we start to look inward for our moral compass as we may find the traditional ways may not match our modern life (Hanged Man). The journey ends by following the light (Sun) the source of all life giving energy that unifies all life on our planet.

Lovers – Death – Judgement: We are born with a passion to create and later procreate. (Lovers) as this creates more life and joy. We next realize everything comes in cycles and will end (Death) which clears way to create something new. Finally, we look to a higher realm to discover if what has been created is worth resurrecting and continuing on for infinity.

Chariot-Temperance-World: The final group can represent how we focus our desires/beliefs. Early on we just plow through (Chariot) to obtain what we believe is the way to go. As we adapt to society, we recognize that merging with others (Temperance) and joining forces with others is needed to effect the changes we would like to experience. Finally, after trials, tests and patience, if the ideas prove sound then there will be a universal acceptance around the World.


Chariot vs Strength card

In the Chariot card and the Strength card we see humans depicted with animals. They could represent literally dealing with animals or our own animal natures. Human beings are composed of a combination of intellectual, spiritual and physical (animal) forces. Comparing and contrasting these two cards illustrates two different ways to handle these forces. The male/female difference between the two cards may also signify our own anima/animus or masculine/feminine drives.

The Chariot card shows a strong, young warrior in a gold chariot. The stars of the heaven with Moons on his shoulders and a big star (the Sun?) above his head which bears a laurel.

A wreath of laurel conferred as a mark of honor in ancient times upon poets, heroes, and victors in athletic contests.”1 He has mastered his strengths and weaknesses and uses his mastery to pull himself forward in life. He is empowered to reach his goals, through strength and bravery when this card is upright and unafflicted.

The Strength card shows a woman in white (purity, our higher nature) and she holds the mouth of a huge beast which submits to her will. She has the sign of infinity (lemniscate) above her head. Like the Chariot, she symbolizes great courage but unlike the Chariot, she uses gentle persuasion. Where the Chariot seems to rush, she appears patient. She doesn’t hold the lion on a leash or have him pulling her cart, she gently, lovingly handles him.

The beast, a lion, could symbolize a struggle with addictions, another person or situation. Whatever the lion represents, it is fierce and could be deadly. However, she has soothed the situation and brought it under control. Not by attacking and killing it or trying force her will on it but by carefully attending to it.

She shows that we can control our most ferocious inclinations with some tender loving care. She does not wear a wreath of laurel, she does not seek, or receive, accolades for her achievement which may be greater than that of the chariot in many ways.

Both of these cards may represent how we can go about using our will to master our strengths and weaknesses.

If these cards appear in a reading, they may be advising you how to best achieve what you want. Either by some more masculine energy or exercising discipline (Chariot) or via our feminine energies (Strength), being more gentle, receptive in dealing with a situation.