Let’s talk about infinity.
I can remember learning, at a very young age, that no matter how high someone can count, there always exists a number just beyond the number you choose. The simple trick is to add one to whatever the number was that was listed and you’ll get the next one.
To anyone that thinks about this for the smallest amount of time, they will realize the concept of infinity in a very practical way – you can never count to the largest number and if you try, it will take forever.
To me, the Tarot embodies this simple practicality in where the Lemniscate is placed and what it is intended to mean.
In a theoretical way, if you could actually count everything in a single moment of time, everything would be finite. You would get a number for everything. This leads us to experience life, in the physical plane, that is very finite or limited. Most everything is countable in some form or another.
Yet, when it comes to non-tangible items, like the largest number, you can always think of the next larger number in any moment in time.
This is what the Lemniscate is leading us too. Infinity is a concept of that exists in the realm of the mind rather than in the realm of the practical. The mind can logically and practically realize the concept and how to put it to use.
Now, why is this important and why was it used as symbolism on the Tarot cards?
To really get this, we have to look at the cards where the symbol is used to see if we can find some context.
Here we find the Lemniscate suspended above the Magician’s head like a halo. This card is about stating your desire so that your journey can start to unfold. The Magician reminds you that you are the creator of your experience in this lifetime. What you desire, so shall it be manifested. On the table in front of The Magician exist the archetypes of the four suits which suggests that you can choose to create an experience in any aspect of your life. The Magician points both up and down showing that what you choose in your mind is manifested on the physical.
By adding the Lemniscate, the reader is reminded that there are no limits to what you can manifest. There is no number that is too large. The concept of infinity is well known within the space of the mind so you can choose anything you can think of. Let your imagination help you out.
The act of manifestation requires the use of imagination in order to start the process. As anyone is well aware, you think of what you want, you imagine yourself with it and include some emotional energy to enhance your imagined experience and then you let go and watch it manifest.
Again, on the Strength card we find the Lemniscate as a halo over the fair maiden’s head. It is positioned like a hat aligned to the head as if it is always there or always present. Looking at the card, this card brings with it the principle that we must control our thoughts. Thoughts manifest into things. Or, if you look back at the fundamental principle described in The Magician, we know that in order to manifest something, we start with the thinking process. Thus, this card is here to remind us that the uncontrolled mind is going to create uncontrolled manifestations. Every bad thought that you think and pack with emotion will manifest as an experience in your life. Likewise, if you are in control of your thoughts, the experiences that you will go through will be self-aligned and expected.
Bringing the Lemniscate into this situation reminds us that the mind can be like a wild pack of horses running back and forth between ideas. That space of infinite thought and infinite imagination will play out in your life whether you’re aware of what you’re doing or not.
Thus here, as a principle card, we are reminded that it is in our best interest to control the fluctuations of the mind so that there are no unintended consequences from your actions. Be literal. State truths. Be unambiguous with your language. Say what you mean and don’t be misunderstood. The cleaner your thoughts or the more focused your thoughts, the less chance of unintentionally creating interference for your divine experiences.
2 of Coins
Once again, we find the Lemniscate on the Two of Coins. Yet this time, the symbol is not hovering over the head, but strung between the two actives that the person is juggling. Yet, he’s not really juggling, but the person stands in the shape of a balance.
Looking at the card, this card is about balancing your time between different projects. It’s as if your desires are split between two (or multiple) things that are an expression of your desires (or passion). This card would usually come into play when there are many things that draw your energy or attention. When juggling, there is a moment in time where each ball is thrown back into the air while you handle the next one over and over again. You only touch it for a moment before it’s set in motion to eventually come back to needing your attention.
Coins represents the areas of life where you interact with physical things. It’s creating things, building things, gathering things and whatnot.
Now, how is the concept of infinity brought in here? Well, the Lemniscate is not hovering over the head of the person, but rather across the body or extended to the hands. This is going to suggest that the act of discovering how infinity works is in play. This is the never-ending counting. This is the never-ending lapping of the waves on the beach. This is trying to count to infinity. This is the repetitive work that never seems to end. Rather then being in the state of the mind, this is the act of counting all the grains of sand on the beach.
This same symbol may be found on The World card too. Logically, it makes sense.
The World card is the card of mastery. It shows that, through your experiences, you gain wisdom at your craft to the point where you can consciously reproduce the manifestation. It is the conscious act of manifesting what you want in the world. This card represents that when you learn something, you can teach it. You understand how it works.
This card is much like The Magician, yet on the opposite end of the consciousness spectrum. The Magician carries with it an innocent energy, one of discovery and adventure. The World represents an understanding of what The Magician directed us towards – that we are in control of the energy of manifestation. Rather then being innocent, it is intentional. Rather then being something that is discovered, it is shared and explained. Rather than being an adventure, it is a way of being.
Note that the Lemniscate is, as with the 2 of Coins, associated with the body and hands. This once again suggests that it’s not about conceptual ideas, but rather tangible actions. It’s about the act of doing. It’s sharing your understanding. It’s contributing to the world in a conscious intentional way. It is knowing how the game it played and teaching it to others. Or, more precisely, showing it to others.
Are their other appropriate places for this symbol to appear in the cards?
Yet, where I see it in the cards today, the concept that this symbol conveys fits really well with the ideas trying to be demonstrated in the images on these specific cards. It shows up on the ‘first’ card (The Fool is card zero) and the last card of the Major Arcana. It is the start and the end of The Fool’s journey. Yet, it’s not the end, but simply a loop in a never-ending sequence of events that all come together to represent life. It indicates that life is a never-ending cycle of infinite possibilities built around our individual choices.
It shows up on the first of the moral/ethical card indicating that it’s one of the most important concepts to strive for. Interestingly, this also aligns to one of the core philosophies of Yoga or the second article of Patanjali which is generally interpreted to be the act of controlling the thoughts within one’s mind.
This concept of controlling, using, being aware of the thoughts within your own mind play out in all four instances of the placements listed above.
To me, it seems that the use of this symbol is not just simply a coincidence. It is intentional and it adds an interesting color to how these cards can be interpreted.
Feel free to see if this concept extends to other cards in the deck. It just might. Yet to me, the concept is unique enough, or specific enough, that it doesn’t need to be everywhere. Just on the few cards where it can be used to get the point across.
Flip a card and see what you can manifest.
Have a great day.