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Trump 1 in Depth, 2

August 30, 2014

What the Experts Say

Let us take a look at what those who are considered experts in tarot lore say about Trump 1 – not that we are obliged to take notice of their opinions. Oswald Wirth has a great deal to say about the Trumps in his 1927 book Tarot of the Magicians. Only a fraction of the text concerns the predictive aspect of the tarot, but one key point Wirth makes, when writing about Trump 1, is that it indicates “mastery over a given situation”. This interpretation stands shoulder to shoulder with “success through effort and the determined pursuance of a goal.” While the two views are not identical, the concepts they embody are intimately related.

The society cartomancer, Minetta, best known as a reader of playing cards, gives Trump 1 the significance of: “The conquest and use of circumstance by innate faculty”, which has much in common with Wirth’s “mastery over a given situation”. Minetta adds that Trump 1 promises “success by effort”, agreeing with one of the meanings we have already learned. It is the same as that recorded by Frank Lind: “The resolute pursuance of some aim.” I probably absorbed the meaning from Lind, whose system of tarot I have studied. But the borrowing would have occurred so long ago that I can not now testify whether I turned to Lind for the phrase or whether it popped spontaneously into my head when I was compiling my notes.

Some authorities (Zolar is one, Sepharial another) are of the opinion that Trump 1 denotes a change of position for the inquirer. To me the phrase is too vague; I lean towards “success through the inquirer’s own efforts” and, as a piece of advice, “implement changes now and you will encounter the minimum of opposition.” From the perspective of prediction, the end result is the same in both cases: the inquirer strengthen his position and as a result rises in the estimation of others, or he rises in life to a higher rank or class, ascending from a managerial role to that of a member of the executive, maybe. A change of position, in short.

A.E. Waite, writing under the pseudonym Grand Orient, assigns Trump 1 the meanings; “Skill in any department touching on the subject of the reading; savoir faire.” His delineation is not attuned to the predictive mode; but it is the work of a moment to make the adjustment. For from a predictive angle, the card represents the effective employment of some skill the inquirer possesses relating to the subject of the reading. If he is endowed with oratorical skills he will speak up for himself, forcefully and persuasively. If he is an entrepreneur he will strive to succeed and back his own judgment to the hilt. If he is a lover, he will screw his courage to the sticking place and propose to his sweetheart. As to savoir faire, this is to be reinterpreted as: The inquirer should proceed with confidence in the assurance that, at every crisis point, his instinctive ability to know how to deal with any difficulty that arises will come instantly to his aid.

David Fontana (The Essential Guide to the Tarot, 2011) speaks of self-confidence, strength of will, and the readiness to take risks. Like the Waite delineations, these are not explicitly predictive meanings. But also like the Waite delineations, they can be turned into predictive meanings by angling them so that the employment of these traits – self-confidence, strength of will, etc. – lead on to success.

mmTarot 01Qabalists of the French School assign the Element of Air to Trump 1. Those who align themselves with the Golden Dawn’s attributions place it under the influence of the planet Mercury. Both Air and Mercury are associated with communication and eloquence. Mercury, in addition, is mercurial. These ideas color the meanings Qabalists give to the card. Aleister Crowley, a dyed-in-the-wool Qabalist, sums up the powers of Trump 1 in these words: “Skill, wisdom, adroitness, elasticity, craft, cunning, deceit, theft.” As a god, Mercury was patron of wisdom and also of thieves and liars, which explains the presence of wisdom, deceit and theft on Crowley’s list..”Craft” can be taken in two ways. Looking in one direction, it connects  to “skill”, and also to “adroitness” and “elasticity”. In the T1 juggler R tojother direction, “craft” implies craftiness, bringing it into closer proximity with “cunning, deceit and theft.”

Frank Lind has Trump 1 represent versatility when well-dignified, trickery when ill-dignified, these being restatements of Crowley’s “elasticity” and “cunning and deceit” respectively. Other authorities do the same as Lind, though several supply their own synonyms for “adroitness” and “cunning”. In Mythical Origins of the Tarot (Destiny Books, USA), Paul Huson uses the word “dexterity” to describe Trump 1 upright or well-dignified, and the word “swindling” to describe it in reverse or ill-dignified. Here “dexterity” stands in place of “adroitness” and “swindling” replaces “cunning”.

Many writers associate Trump 1 with will-power – Sepharial and C.C. Zain to name but two. However, Trump 1 does not have sole ownership of this keyword. It belongs also the realms of The Emperor and Strength. Few keywords are unique to a single Trump, those that appear singular being in fact synonyms for other seemingly singular keywords. Success, victory, attainment – keywords widely recognized as applying to The Sun, The Chariot and The World respectively – are simply different ways of saying the same thing. It is important that the novice cartomancer fully comprehends this point.

Nigel Jackson (Fortune’s Wheel, Renaissance Astrology Web site, USA, 2006-2010) gives these keywords for Trump 1: “Quick-wittedness. Initiative. Dexterity. Ideas translated into activity.” All respectable Juggler/Magician meanings but not prediction-oriented. Students of the predictive tarot should tweak Jackson’s keywords to make it clear that the inquirer’s quick-wittedness, or his initiative, or his dexterity is what brings him success; that his ideas are sound but need to be translated into action. Apropo of Jackson’s “quick-wittedness”, note that Frank Lind has, as one of the meanings for the reversed Trump 1, “lack of mental alertness”.


Turning to the subject of personality, the prime keyword of the Trump 1 type is “self”. Many “self” words cluster within the portfolio bearing the name The Juggler. First and foremost, the Trump 1 type is self-motivated, a natural self-starter. Today, we label this kind of personality “driven”. The type is self-confident and self-possessed. The last trait means that they are good in a crisis, level-headed and unflappable. Which doesn’t imply that they don’t have a temper; they can’t stand fools or dilettantes and don’t hesitate in making their opinions known.

Donald-Trump_thumb               sugar_thumb

Donald Trump in the US and Sir Alan Sugar in the UK are Trump 1 types.

The negative Trump 1 type bears a direct relation to the significances of the Juggler/Magician reversed. They are self-centered, self-absorbed, and self-serving. The latter characteristic links up with the card’s reversed meaning of “trickery”, as the self-serving individual is ever ready to take advantage of others.

Killers who believed they would never be caught, or who refuse to admit their guilt even when it has been proved and a jury has found them guilty, personify Trump 1 in negative mode. The serial killer Harold Shipman may be classed under this heading.


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