Sarita Armstrong

The Tao in the Tarot

high-priestess empress magician hierophant emperor Fig 2 Y-Y 1.Mag.hx1 4Emperor.hx14 5Peace.hx11 2HP.hx2 3Empress.hx7 figure-7

The Tao in the Tarot presumes the fundamental idea that the material world is a conglomerate of opposites and our aim should be to try to unite them into a harmonious whole to the best of our abilities. We may not succeed, but great oaks from little acorns grow.

The Magician and High Priestess stand at the edge of the world together with Hexagrams 1 & 2 of the I Ching. They are the supreme Creative Principle and the supreme Receptive Principle: Total Yang and Total Yin.











They become manifest in the material world with the Emperor as the Creative Principle and the Empress as the Receptive Principle though each now has the essence of the other: the feminine eye in the Emperor’s hexagram and the male eye in the Empress’s hexagram. This is the eye of the yin in the yang and the eye of the yang in the yin.




The following card, the Hierophant, is androgynous. It combines the creative and receptive principles on a spiritual level.

The movement of the hexagrams has to be in a beneficial way to give the progressive forward movement. It is not a random choice; it indicates an underlying correspondence between each tradition.

1.   The Creative Principle

2.   The Receptive Principle

As we follow the cards and hexagrams around the circle of life in a series of triangles we find a parting and meeting of opposites that becomes more intricate until we find a way through to the simplicity of the whole.