the symbolon deck--OVERVIEW


I’d like to open up a study group to deal with the Symbolon deck. You may have already read the thread entitled “Symbolon Deck” that I opened in the non-tarot divination section. This post will touch upon many of the topics covered in that thread.

This deck is no tarot. The only immediate similarity between the two is that each has 78 cards.-- nothing more. But neither is the deck an oracle in the ‘normal’ sense. It does not promise to ‘foretell’ the future.

Rather, the Symbolon deck is a self-examination tool. It will bring one’s attention to a particular persona that is blocked. It will highlight which of your many selves can help solve a problem. It can examine past lives and show one how to ‘re-member’ (to put back together) yourSelf.

The Symbolon has a unique structure. There are 78 cards, unnumbered. Each has a title, but it is not scribed on the card. The deck relies much on astrology for its structure, although very little astrological knowledge is needed to use this deck effectively. The deck can be divided into two groups.

The first is 12 archetypes, representative of the zodiacal signs and their ruling planets. These cards are marked with the glyph for the zodiac sign in one of the top corners, and that of the associated planet on the opposing bottom corner.

The archetypes are as follows:

The Warrior (Aries/Mars)
The Lover (Taurus/Venus)
The Mediator (Gemini/Mercury)
The Mother (Cancer/Moon)
The Ego (Leo/Sun)
The Servitor (Virgo/Mercury)
The Partner (Libra/Venus)
The Seducer (Scorpio/Pluto)
The Preacher (Sagittarius/Jupiter)
The Master (Capricorn/Saturn)
The Jester (Aquarius/Uranus)
The Angel (Pisces/Neptune)

The remaining 66 cards are made from the combination of two archetypes and their characteristics. The card is marked with the zodiac signs in the top corners and the planetary symbols in the bottom corners, such that the planet is directly beneath the zodiac.
For example:
If we combined The Lover with The Angel, we get The Garden of Spirits. This card would combine the qualities of the two archetypes.
We can think of the process as the thesis, antithesis, synthesis process. Before we go into the ‘minor’ cards, I think it may be best to contemplate on the archetypes for a while. For those of you who do not have the deck, I’ve attached a portion of the lwb which deals with the archetypes.




hopefully the text'll be here...



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Hi Steve.
I really like this deck, and it's most definitely on my top five wishlist. I would have loved to join you in this studygroup, but since I leave tomorrow, I can't. I'm looking forward to returning from my holiday to read all the opinions here. :p

Btw people, if you download the text, you could copy and paste it into Word. Then it's way much easier to read. ;)




hi aeonx--

kind of funny you mentioning word. i'm writing my post there, so i'll have a easily printable version of my posts.

enjoy your trip. i wish you the best of weather and a wonderful time.


does anybody have any comments/insights on the archetypes??



steve, you little }) , you convinced me i need this deck. this looks very interesting and would like to participate.
i don't have this deck, so i will go search where i can get it. NOW...
grumbling about adding another deck to collection.

edited to add that is sending it over :) i guess this is a german deck, what language is yours steve?





it's published by AGMULLER

the cards are universal, just images and astrological glyphs.

the lwb says it was translated from German, and it mentions three books for a deep understanding of personae and
symbolon-- seems from the titles that they are all German. which i don't read :(

but there's enough to be gotten from examination of the deck and using the cards to fill a book (which i may actually try :D )



it arrived at the postoffice, but i can't pick it up because it's closed. i hope tomorrow morning it will be open, but i doubt it, it's in a very small village in a shop, it's a postoffice counter actually. this is frustrating, knowing it's there and not being able to pick it up.
i will let you know what is included in the deck, all in german i suppose :)



Hi Kaz, I'm so glad you're joining the study ..and I really don't think you'll be disappointed with the deck ..I just got mine earlier this week, and I love it! ..the artwork is lovely and so colourful, but best of all ..this deck really speaks!

merri :)


here goes...

By now, we should have taken a good long look at each archetype card. If you’re keeping a journal, it’s got a fair amount of insight and general notes by now. (Every person who writes about any self-development work suggests a journal. I’ve never done this until I started working with this deck… )

When we are starting work in a new system, it is a great help to relate members of the new system to members of the old system. You may have done this at one time or another when studying a new Tarot deck; comparing the image of the new deck to the image of a familiar one helps to reinforce the meanings of the new image. So you may have tried to equate a Symbolon Archetype to a Tarot card. What comparisons have you come up with??

First, you may have compared the Archetypes with certain of the Court cards. Since both are associated with zodiacal signs, this seems a valid consideration. The cards match up as follows (correspondences from ‘The Golden Dawn’ by Israel Regardie):

The Warrior Queen of Wands
The Lover Knight of Pentacles
The Mediator King of Swords
The Mother Queen of Cups
The Ego Knight of Wands
The Servitor King of Pentacles
The Partner Queen of Swords
The Seducer Knight of Cups
The Preacher King of Wands
The Master Queen of Pentacles
The Jester Knight of Swords
The Angel King of Cups

Then again, you may have tried the Major Arcana.

Dealing only with visual impressions, I make the following comparisons:

The Warrior--I’m not really sure about this one.
The Lover—this is an obvious Empress
The Mediator—the Magician, if anything
The Mother—the High Priestess
The Ego—the Emperor
The Servitor—I’m not sure about this one either
The Partner—the Lovers
The Seducer—the Devil
The Preacher—the Hierophant
The Master—the Hermit
The Jester—the Fool
The Angel—Temperance, the Star

I used another way to compare the Archetypes with the Majors. Along with visual impressions, there are the sign and planet each card is associated with—a mental impression so to say. According to the Golden Dawn System, each Major Arcana Card is associated with either a constellation or a planet. So I can assign TWO Major cards to each Archetype. Here’s the result:

The Warrior—the Emperor and the Tower
The Lover—the Hierophant and the Empress
The Mediator—the Lovers and the Magician
The Mother—the Chariot and the High Priestess
The Ego—Strength and the Sun
The Servitor—the Hermit and the Magician
The Partners—Justice and the Empress
The Seducer—Death and Judgment
The Preacher—Temperence and the Wheel
The Master—the Devil and the World
The Jester—the Star and the Fool
The Angel—the Moon and the Hanged Man

So… what do you think of all this??



First impressions of the symbolon deck....

Well, it certainly has made one! :D

First of all, let me just say how glad I am that there's going to be a study group for this deck. I've never worked with others in exploring any deck before, but I think it'll be a fun & enjoyable experience, as well as offering a wealth of added insight into the deck's uses and interpretation.

The fact that this deck is neither a tarot or an oracle initially worried me a little that it might be too limited in it's uses ..but in fact it's turned out to be quite the opposite! I haven't even considered the past life aspects of the deck's use yet, (one life being enough for me to deal with at the moment!) ..but Wow! There are just so many possibilities to be explored with this deck, that I don't quite know where to start and can't stay focused for long in any one direction before being enticed along some other line of thought. All in all, making for quite a heady experience, and a stronger than usual call for caution to ensure I keep myself well grounded. I'm not sure if my reaction is typical for this deck, (..although a certain review I read would suggest that it might be) ..or if this to me is just "the one" so to speak, ..cos it feels like the Holy Grail of decks! But one way or another, Inspiration abounds!

I really like both the absence of any title on the cards themselves, (along with their lack of direct association with tarot) ...and the inclusion of the astrological glyphs. I find that my intuition is enhanced by the absence of the one, while inspired by the insights offered through the presence of the other. The tying together of astrology along with card illustrations which are beautiful and evocative in their own right, makes for a very powerful deck indeed! (imo).

To sum up ...I LOVE this deck!!!

Ps. Steve, you've done an excellent job on the overview here, and I think I'll find the structure you've given to the study to be an invaluable guideline in helping me focus a little better ...hopefully preventing me form drifting off course entirely :D ..typical Gemini!.