But seriously, I like this card, the symbolism is pretty straightforward, at least to a primate like me. But for those of you who don't know the basics of it, the heads of the Bull, Eagle, Lyon and Man represent the elements Earth, Air, Fire and Water.
This is one of the cards we use in our first degree initiations, much like a Masonic Tracing Board, which has been a personal hobby of mine for many years and sparked a deeper interest in the Tarot.
We use this card to illustrate the basics; how the world is composed of these four primary elements and how our bodies * also composed of these same elements* contain our spirit or soul. We also use it as a Tracing Board for the Lodestone, which is a daily adoration exercise.
One of the more subtle symbols of the card always seems to be the Vesica Piscis, more pronounced in this earlier Tarot of Mareilles.
The deeper symbolism of the Vesica has been a recent study project of mine and has turned out to be essential to the higher degrees of my CraftWork.
I was really intrigued by these very earlier renderings found in the Illuminated Manuscript, especially these ones of Jesus, which I know will be of interest to at least one particularly Christian Ceremonial Magician I know.
Should my prior interpretation of the cards symbolism change when I consider this older depiction of Jesus? No, I think not, I think perhaps it validates it. Especially when you consider the *union* symbolism that creates the Vesica.
"The symbols of the wise are the idols of the vulgar, or else as meaningless as the hieroglyphics of Egypt to the nomadic Arabs. There must be always a common place interpretation for the mass of initiates, of the symbols that are eloquent to the Adepts" Albert Pike, Morals & Dogma.
So long and thanks for all the fish...