Quote:
Originally Posted by LRichard
What do you mean? What paths? There's NOTHING. Then ZAP! There are the Sephirot!

After another way of modeling, without the 22 letters/paths (the 22 letters of creation) there are no Sephiroth:
Place the 22 letters as points in a circle  connect each to the next in sequence (ab/bg/...ShT), that is your first circle. Then connect each to the next but one letter in sequence (ag/gh etc), this forms your second circle inside the first (imagine it or draw it as a circle, the circumference of which is formed at the tangent/midpoint of the lines). Then each letter to the third, then fourth etc., In this manner you will end up with 10 concentric circles (plus the point in the center). So after this manner of modeling (which is that of the SY  there is an illustration of it in Kaplan), the ten spheres are a manifestation of combinations of the letters of creation. In this manner of modeling each of the 22 letters is connected with each of the Sephiroth (in combination with another, a 'gate', of which there are 220 or 231, depending upon how you calculate them*).
Just as different combinations of letter pairs form a gate on the circumference of a sphere  so I suppose one could use different pairs of trumps, i.e, pairs adjacent to each other in sequence would be a gate on the first sphere, pairs next but one to each other a gate on the second sphere etc. E.g.,
21 0  1 = 1st sphere (that is the pair trump XXI and Fool, or Fool and Trump I)
20  0  2 = 2nd sphere
19  0  3 = 3rd sphere
18  0  4 = 4th sphere
17  0 5 = 5th sphere
16  0  6 = 6th sphere
15  0  7 7th sphere
14  0  8 = 8th sphere
13  0  9 = 9th sphere
12  0  10 = 10 sphere
11  0 = central point
Or with trump I :
0  1  2 = 1st
21  1 3 = 2nd
20  1  4 = 3rd
etc,.
Attached is a table of 220 possible 'gates' of tarot pairs. The numbers in top row and left hand side column refer to Tarot cards (with Fool 0 as either first or last  makes no difference). The numbers 110 in the rest of the table refer to the concentric sphere (first, second, third etc), 11 is the central point.
Kwaw
* In the oldest texts of the SY there are said to be 220. If have 10 concentric circles with 22 lines radiating from the center to the outer circumference, there are 220 points of intersection between the lines and the circles. But the actual number of possible 2 letter combinations without duplication (AB treated the same as BA), is 231.