The Pips of Love

The reading of the pips—-the non-court minor arcana—-is sometimes said to correspond between the numbers one through ten of each suit on the one hand, and the numbered major arcana one through ten. The late nineteenth and early twentieth century tarot revivalists augmented these meanings, sometimes through secondary systems such as qabalah and astrology, but the general “shape” was still maintained. We examine the writings of The Book T, Mathers’ Tarot, and the Waite’s Pictorial Guide, specifically seeking references to Love, then seeing how they correspond to each other and to the organized structure just mentioned. We will then examine the Colman Smith illustrations. We also make a few conclusions here and there as to how the modern reader might use the meanings we find, updating them into today’s terms as necessary.

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