Renaissance Tarot--Major Arcana 22 pairs


P. 8-11 has a write up by Jane Lyle on matching the 22 majors into 11 pairs.


There are 22 images, forming 11 pairs. The first 11 cards represent the outer world, the first stages, tests, challenges and rewards. Their partners, followin g on after e Wheel of Fortune (X), represent the second stage of initiation, deeper knowledge and profound inner experiences. For the purposes of divination, all cards may indicated circumstances in the inner worlds or represent actual events in the outer world. Often, these are simultaneous- inner changes affect teh tangible world outer events give rise to contemplation, analysis and change. The pairs are connected with the structure of the Major Arcana as a whole entity, a description of the inner and outer worlds it mirrors. Should a pair appear in a reading, it would indicate the emergence of a strong theme, described by the particular pair, in the reading. The rest of the reading will strengthen or weaken this theme, according to the nature of the cards.

The initiatory journey of the tarot trumps reflects life itself--a spiritual challenge can appear in the form of a job, relationship, child or friendship, just as these everyday matters can bring blessings and a sense of rebirth. Where spirit and matter are one, as the philosophy behind the tarot teaches, divisions eventually become meaningless.

For the Renaissance Tarot, we have included subtle design links between these pairs, to highlight their mysterious partnership and to enhance your sense of the Major Arcana as a complete entity, rather than just a jumbled sense of images. Here is a rief outline of their story, their position on the Wheel of Infinity and their relevance to one another.

I'll flesh this out later (my fingers are tired), but here is the pairing:

0 The Fool * Judgement

I The Magician * XIX The Sun

II The High Priestess * XVIII The Moon

III The Empress * XVII The Star

IV The Emperor * XVI The Tower

V The Hierophant * XV The Devil

VI The Lovers * XIV Temperance

VII The Chariot * XIII Death

VIII Justice * XII The Hanged Man

IX The Hermit * XI Strength

X The Wheel of Fortune * XXI The World

I'll return later with the notes

The Wheel of Infinity is a figure eight with XXI and X forming the intersection (which mirrors the X-XXI pairing above.)...if you take out your cards and see a subtle mirroring of design elements, this is what Jane Lyle meant in pairing the majors of the designs by Helen Jones.




A quote from Lee Bursten's review:

The book that comes with the deck is generally pretty good. Lyle presents her theory that the Majors can be arranged in a lemniscate pattern which she calls the Wheel of Infinity. The cards on opposite sides of the wheel form pairs which she believes are linked in meaning, and she and Jones have "included subtle design links between these pairs, to highlight their mysterious partnership and to enhance your sense of the Major Arcana as a complete entity." Some of these pairs, like High Priestess-Moon, Empress-Star, and Emperor-Tower, are indeed suggestive of links in meaning, but some of them, like Chariot-Death, are beyond my ability to find a link. The design links are also sometimes apparent and sometimes not. I personally don’t think this sort of thing is really necessary, although it might perhaps help some beginners who may be overwhelmed by so many individual cards.

This is on the 22 majors pairing.



I searched Amazon--it's in the new version of the retitled Secrets

The retitled Secrets Tarot also has it in the search inside feature...

So you do not have to wait for me to type everything up.

In the 'search inside' feature of, you can type in "major pairs" and pages 9-11 finally show up with the wheel diagram and the write up of the 11 pairs. If you guys have different versions--I have the 1998 printing that says Renaissance Tarot--you might want to post if you have it in your "Secrets Tarot" version and what pages it might be.

If someone wants to type up some of the pairings or also post their findings, that would be great!

Best wishes,