Comments on a cultural reality between past and future.

This blog describes Metatime in the Posthuman experience, drawn from Sir Isaac Newton's secret work on the future end of times, a tract in which he described Histories of Things to Come. His hidden papers on the occult were auctioned to two private buyers in 1936 at Sotheby's, but were not available for public research until the 1990s.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Awaken the Amnesiacs 7: The Economist Predicts the Year 2017

The Economist predictions for 2017, released November 2016. Image Source: The Economist.

When I saw that The Economist's tarot spread cover for its special issue predicting next year, my heart sank. After the American election, #proofoflife at WikiLeaks, and the impeachment of the South Korean president, I did not want to think about any more political weirdness. In case you have had enough too, here is my TL;DR on The Economist's message:

The cover may or may not predict a terror attack in Europe or a nuclear threat in Asia in the first quarter of the year, cementing Trump's presidency in the second quarter. Despite the fact that Trump will backtrack on promises, his ability to mesmerize the populist masses will grow. A huge upheaval is expected in the third quarter, with Merkel likely to lose the German election and Wilders and LePen gaining in earlier elections in the Netherlands and France. A divided body politic must find middle ground. After watching this unfold, the globalist liberal establishment will renew itself by December through the debut of exciting new technology, increased connectivity in developing countries, and a redoubled effort to control the public space, both online and off, with figures from government, banking, entertainment and academia entering online discourse in earnest. They will absorb formerly independent Internet enterprises, recapture lost ground, go on the attack, and flip the populist script.

On Youtube, I sensed the alt-right, alt-media types didn't want to look at The Economist. They are weary. "They do this to us every year," sighed one Youtuber after making three videos on the subject. Even the conspiracy theorists are sick of conspiracy theories. They only reviewed this Planet Trump thing out of a dogged sense of obligation to keep up their end - New World Order, Illuminati, Trump, Pizzagate, yadda yadda. They were all sure about one thing. The cover contains a hidden message.

I envy the flat rationalist, who would scoff before imagining anything arcane here. This is merely an illustrator's whimsical reference, as though the editors had chosen a picture of a woman reading the future in a crystal ball. I hope it is true.

Perhaps the editors did this as a tongue-in-cheek layout to bait crazy conspiracy theorists. Actually, I think the editors at The Economist do not care how the cover is received by the alt-media, who are beneath their contempt. If so, then this is another tone-deaf, top-down misconception of the impact of the Internet on the public debate. On the Internet, mimetics, semiotics, virality and truth excavations rule the day, not inside jokes and polished arguments to a select audience. A tarot spread confirms the worst conspiracy theories about magic infecting high politics. To give evidence of this - straight from the horse's mouth - strengthens the alt-media, which cannot be good for The Economist.

In an earlier post, Magic, Numerology and the IMF, I observed that Christine Lagarde did not realize that she now had to speak to two audiences. Every speech she made would be channeled into the old MSM theatre, as well as the alt-media. She plainly did not understand the latter at all. Her clever asides would be taken the usual way by the old establishment, but on Youtube, they would feed the independent machine of conspiracy theorizing and populism.

To make matters worse, she seemed to confirm the conspiracy theorists' fears about a magic-obsessed establishment. Lagarde was making predictions for the year 2014, peppering her predictions for the coming year with numerological nudge-nudge-wink-wink-hint-hints, which promised (precisely, down to the day) the manipulation of oil prices to hurt Russia. To the alt-media, this made it look like her policy speech had a magical subtext and potency. The liberal democracies are supposed to be secular, humanist, and rationalist; they should not be run by the rules of parlour games, or by people who believe that parlour games are real. I argued that parlour games should stay in the parlour.

Unfortunately, the parlour games are not parlour games at all. People who learn Hermetic systems like the tarot sometimes believe that these systems help them manifest their social, political and economic aims in reality. There is a big difference between people who seek to exploit this material for personal gain, and those who learn it to understand western cultural mysteries, which are less well known than eastern mysticism. To those who try to understand it without exploiting it, I do not mean to denigrate the lore itself.

Rather, I think it has no place in today's statecraft. Nobody is surprised that absolutist monarchs, who believed they were appointed by God, consulted astrologers and magicians to make their policies. But if we, in this post-revolutionary age of separated church and state, and of science and technology, say that we are running matters empirically and democratically according to secular, rationalist principles, then it is hypocritical and dishonest to be running them instead according to spiritual, hierarchical principles. If, as the conspiracy theorists say, the people who run mass politics and media see these endeavours in terms of one-eyed pyramids, the steps of which are climbed through creepy rituals, at least those leaders should be honest about it.

The Western Mysteries (2002) by David Allen Hulse. Image Source: Amazon.

As for mixing magic with politics, one might say the Economist's editors are being honest about it. It is there in plain sight. The Planet Trump cover has an exoteric message: stylized tarot cards predict the globalist effort to manage affairs, while pro-Trump, anti-liberal populists run amok and ruin elections. However, given the meaning and position of these cards, there is a second, esoteric message. Therein lies the problem.

Two messages - the exoteric for public consumption and the esoteric for the initiated - are the kind of thing that encourages Illuminati conspiracy theories. This is problematic on the part of The Economist, not least because the Rothschild family owns 26% of the magazine. The company E. L. Rothschild, run by Sir Evelyn Robert Adrian de Rothschild (net worth USD $20 billion) and his wife, Lynn Forester de Rothschild, manage investments for The Economist Group. Evelyn was chairman of The Economist from 1972 to 1989. Lynn, co-founder of the Coalition for Inclusive Capitalism, is a huge supporter of Hillary Clinton, and raised USD $1 million for Clinton at an electoral fund-raiser at Martha's Vineyard in August 2016. Alt-journalists are currently poking through Clinton's leaked e-mails on WikiLeaks to understand their friendship. When you read e-mails like this one, you see how things actually get done.

An e-mail like that is a dismal, but not surprising, confirmation that a neo-aristocratic order persists behind a façade of scripted rights, freedoms, constitutions, laws, and democratic politics. I find it depressing that The Economist chose symbols here which trumpet this point. They have done so with their annual prediction issues over the past few years (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016), and now the covers are picked over by conspiracy theorists, who blur everything into anti-Semitic stories of Illuminati cabals, shadow governments, ritual murder, apocalyptic New World Order, the whole operatic drama of reflexive anti-Semitism.

The Planet Trump cover will spark popular rumours that Jewish-led banker élites do run the world. For this reason, the editors of The Economist were irresponsible in their choice for this cover. What do they expect? Why on earth would they publish something that enflames anti-Semitism? For all the mainstream cries to suppress fake news, especially since the alt-right has revived the ritual murder hoax, why would this magazine print an occult cover appearing to confirm fake news rumours? It shows incredibly bad judgment and a bottomless misunderstanding of the Internet. That cover inspires the worst behaviour among the Internet's masses, who fear they are being abused, disregarded and controlled by establishment cultist-globalists. That cover encourages populism, while pretending to criticize it.

The nature of anti-Semitism - and any abusive behaviour, prejudice or racism - is that it is a projection of internal fears outwardly upon another. One cannot face one's own shadow, so one cuts it, disassociates from it, and projects it, blaming one's slightly-different neighbour for the evidence all around of one's own flaws in action. In short, racism involves a lack of self-reflection, an impoverishment of inner knowing, and a diminishment of spiritual self-consciousness. A cover like this, with its apparent magical subtext, gives the conspiracy theorist an excuse not to go within, not to do the hard work to see that many of his or her problems lie internally and morally. It allows the conspiracy theorist to look outward, to project, to blame others for those problems.

Are there two tiers of people, those who understand the esoteric, real way things get done, and those who do not, who are left to pay the bills of globalization, face financial ruin, and live in their cars after losing their homes? This magazine's cover would say: yes. Although the overt message laments that the populist masses are surging, the covert message says otherwise; the Hermit card at the end of the spread implies there is still a higher stewardship in control. The image, altered from the original tarot, resembles Moses leading his people out of Egypt in the Book of Exodus, after God devastated Egypt with plagues. See the famous film scene, which resembles the Hermit, Tower and Death cards, here, and further comment below.

For all the wrong reasons, that means that this rationalist magazine entrenches the anti-rational in public life. Although the magazine is using occult symbolism, it even violates the values of western mysticism, which asks people to evaluate their actions in light of soulful consequences and development.

2017 PREDICTIONS OF THE ELITE DECODED FROM THE ECONOMIST! (26 November 2016). Video Source: Youtube.

Die Welt in 2017 - Das okkuIte Economist Cover (23 November 2016). Video Source: Youtube.

Why the Tarot?

Why would a magazine devoted to a rational understanding of world affairs put an esoteric message on its cover? Enlightenment rationalism is supposed to stand strictly apart from western esotericism and Judeo-Christian religions.

The tarot derives from the western esoteric doctrine of Hermeticism, which relates to the Jewish Kabbalah. This tradition, considered heretical by the Catholic Church, arguably pre-dates Christianity. It combines knowledge from the ancient world. In it, Jewish mysticism was amalgamated with spiritual scraps from Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome.

The Economist's tarot cover also confirms a central argument on this blog, namely, that Aristotelian conditions are giving rise on the 21st century Internet to PythagoreanPlatonic, Neoplatonic, and neo-Neoplatonic beliefs, realized through Gnostic spiritualism and Hermetic procedures. In the simplest terms, Aristotle is associated now with a rational understanding of reality, based on empirical investigation of matter through the senses. Plato is roughly understood to have argued for godlike, objective truth, beyond our direct, subjective experience of reality. The allegorical shorthand is Plato's Cave and Platonic forms, wherein we are influenced by shadows of a larger, absolute, ideal reality unknown or unknowable to us.

The related heretical doctrine of Gnosticism describes the worship and attainment of higher and higher knowledge through a blurring of the sexes. Gnosticism is everywhere in western politics and popular culture; the latest form of it is transgenderism and new alt-gender pronouns. It describes how masculine and feminine divine principles merge to reach greater levels of truth and objective reality. How does it accomplish this? For those who seek to realize the Gnostic masculine-feminine merger and break through glass ceilings of limited awareness, I would maintain that Hermeticism offers the practical paths and rites.

Thus, I argue in the Amnesiacs series on the blog that, although our whole Millennial system stresses rationalism, secularism, and science and technology, through accelerated scientific innovation, technical gadgetry, and the Internet, we are becoming more spiritual and religious. We are beginning to project faith-based ideas onto our science, and to understand our tech in terms of higher consciousness. In short, we are starting to worship our computers and we are seeing ourselves as gods because of what we can do with our new tools: Aristotelianism is giving rise to Platonism on the Internet.

Where It Came From

The mixture of Hermeticism and Neoplatonism originated in the Italian Renaissance. It started when the pope called a meeting, the Council of Florence (1431-1449), to heal a schism in the Roman Catholic Church and unify doctrine between Rome and far-flung eastern churches. The only problem was that the council delegates from Constantinople brought Greek ideas with them. They filled the off hours between papal meetings by giving informal talks on classical texts. These texts and after-hours talks proved much more interesting than the main event.

The eastern delegates' Greek ideas preserved broad lore from the ancient world, and had precisely the opposite effect from that intended. Rather than unify the church, entrench Roman Christianity, and cement western papal supremacy, the after-hours eastern talks enflamed Florence with heretical, secular, pagan and classical concepts. Platonism, Neoplatonism, Hermeticism, Gnosticism, paganism, all mixed in a Catholic crucible: the effect was revolutionary. These lectures established Renaissance humanism in the city. The culture shifted from a medieval focus on God, to a celebration of humans and the human experience. Humanism came from classicism, and that meant paganism.

Hermetic summary. Slide Source: Jerome Ellis.

A Neoplatonic summary, which chimes with the Millennial New Age egalitarian belief that we don't need to look up to God; the divine is within us; thus, each person 'is' God. In established Christian terms, this conviction is blasphemous. Slides Source: mjarry.

A quarter of a century later, in the Florence of Leonardo da Vinci's youth, the city had become a hotbed of Hermetic mysticism and Neoplatonism. The Heremetic central text was translated and published in 1471 when da Vinci was 19 and still an apprentice in the city. Another key Florentine tract, a Renaissance elaboration of classical Platonism, was written in the 1470s and published by Marsilio Ficino in 1482 when da Vinci was 30 years old.

This trend was confirmed by the founding of the Platonic Academy, attended by the city's intellectuals, writers and artists. The Academy was supported by the Medici family and involved the translation of Plato's works and Neoplatonic texts, and the Christian study of Jewish mystical and Kabbalistic secretsBuzzkeep:
"The rumour of da Vinci being a member of various secret organisations is surely just a fabrication. Or is it? Leonardo was a young man of 19 years when the sacred text of Corpus Hermeticum was translated from Greek and published in 1471. Eventually it becomes a pivotal point in revival of Hermeticism.

Where was Leonardo at this time? At the Verrocchio’s workshop in Florence. It is highly probable that young Leonardo was heavily influenced by Marsilio Ficino – an early Renaissance philosopher, founder of the Platonic Academy and the man behind the translation of Corpus Hermeticum.

Ficino was one of the most famous and best connected Florentines of that time. In fact, he was a talented networker – he knew everyone and everything that was somehow related to the culture life of Florence."
Humanism inspired cultural glories during the Renaissance, and became a precursor of the neo-classical Enlightenment, which appeared three centuries later.

18th century Enlightenment rationalism gave rise to 19th century liberal and socialist politics. These developments still dominate our understanding of cultivated, measured civilization today. Nationalism arguably derived from the passionate, pagan side of this equation. Perhaps the stresses from rapid change in the new Millennium are exposing the Neoplatonic, Hermetic, and pagan spiritual elements embedded within the humanist secular rationalist formula.

Today's Enlightenment descendants betray their rationalism when they succumb to the pagan and Hermetic roots of their creed. These mystical aspects of humanism, and the cultish worship of rational knowledge, help to explain why the Hermetic tarot appeared on the cover of The Economist, a stronghold of liberal reason.

The Economist Cover - The Tarot Spread

There are many videos on Youtube which discuss the Economist's cards. Most obviously, given Trump's electoral victory, these are all trump cards. There are no Minor Arcana. Youtubers think the cards describe:
  • Trump's election (Judgment); also, Trump as Magician (weaving a manipulative spell, not necessarily being honest about how homeland security and prosperity will be restored)
  • The Judgment and Star cards are tilted, highlighting Trump and the need to respond to his election
  • Coming European elections, Wilders in the Netherlands (15 March 2017), LePen in France (24 April 2017), and Merkel's fall (between August and October 2017)
  • Neo-Nazis (there is part of a swastika in the centre of the Wheel of Fortune)
  • Zika virus, pandemics, biological weapons (Death; in Revelations, the white horse represents plagues; in the Book of Revelations, Death rides a pale, sickly horse; Victory or Plague rides a white horse)
  • World War III, apocalypse, nuclear war (Death and the Tower have mirrored mushroom clouds)
  • Nuclear catastrophe in Japan (red sun on the Death card)
  • The weakening and greater potential collapse of the European Union (Hermit, Star)
  • Populist rejections of the TTIP, TTP, EU (Hermit)
  • Russians and evangelical Christian alt-right got Trump elected (the Tower)
  • Terrorist? Populist? damage to Christian churches, or attacks on Catholics (Luther reference on Tower door), or post-Christian communities (the Tower)
  • 31 October 2017, 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation
  • Secret globalist sun worship
  • Transformation or a big turn of events in the third quarter of the year (the Wheel of Fortune and the World)
  • Banks, government, academia, arts, and Hollywood employed to entrench the NWO message (the World)
  • The Comet Ping Pong Pizza, Pizzagate pedophilia scandal; comets are symbols of bad luck (Star)
  • Plans to colonize Mars (Star)
  • High technology providing hopes of a way out (the Magician and Star cards): virtual reality, 3D printing, solving the housing crisis; one Youtuber thinks the Magician refers to the weakness of China
THE WORLD IN (2017) Decoding the New Economist Magazine (22 November 2016). Posted 15 December 2016. Video Source: Youtube.

Rather than dissect these interpretations ad nauseam, I can see that the images repeat similar themes:
  • Big divisions, divided landscapes
  • There are two pillars: death and destruction on the far left (Tower and Death); and new hope on the far right (Hermit and Star); the pillars may relate to Tree of Life symbolism (below)
  • Transformation and upheaval in the third quarter of the year (World and Wheel)
  • Repeating messages of change (Tower, Death, Wheel, Magician) and regeneration (Judgment, Star, Hermit, World)
  • The 'phoenix from the ashes' message states the establishment will recover through high technology and inner (or insider?) knowledge
Click to enlarge. Image Source.

At The Vigilant Citizen, which constantly monitors and collects so-called Illuminati imagery in the media, the Webmaster was certain that The Economist cover was blatantly sending an occult message. When you have compiled as much incredible monthly evidence as Vigilant Citizen has, it is hard to doubt this assessment. Vigilant Citizen's analysis of the cover is here.

As a disclaimer, I do not like to agree with that conclusion, when the cover could be an ill-chosen conceit of fortune-telling illustration. But I can briefly summarize what magical meanings potentially exist in this cover, without concluding that that was the editors' intention. If one were to treat this cover as a tarot spread with occult significance, one could find nuances, as listed below.

2017 Economist Magazine Cover DECODED December 2016 Psychic Analysis Video Source: Youtube.

The spread can be interpreted in several ways. You can see a video with more on this magazine cover, tarot history, and the storyboard spreadhere.

Image Source: Exemplore.
"Card 1: The querent, who is the protagonist of the story.

Card 2: The protagonist's side-kick, a special skill, or an external force that helps the protagonist.

Card 3: The main antagonist of the story or an external force that works against the protagonist.

Cards 4 and 5: An obstacle faced by the protagonist, a problem that needs to be solved, an unforseen disaster or negative event, or fight between the protagonist and antagonist.

Cards 6 and 7: How the protagonist solves the problem.

Card 8: The moral of the story, lessons learned and a view toward the future."
That spread would make the Tower, or those most threatened by populism - aka the globalist liberal establishment - the protagonist of this spread, with Trump as its secret supporter, who keeps the masses in line.

I think the spread can be read differently and covertly in terms of the colours, elements, astrology, numerology, the Celestial/Mundane, and the Tree of Life (see below). Overtly, there are four quarters of the year, perhaps with real outcomes on top and underlying conditions on bottom. So, the first half of the year would be:

Jan-Mar (Tower) - Apr-Jun (Judgment)
Jan-Mar (Death) - Apr-Jun (Magician)

The second half of the year:

Jul-Sep (World) - Oct-Dec (Hermit)
Jul-Sep (Wheel) - Oct-Dec (Star)

The Economist Cover - Colours, Numerology, the Celestial and Mundane

Compare to the same spread in the 1910 Rider-Waite tarot, from which The Economist's cards were adapted.

Colours. The Planet Trump cards are adapted from the 1910 Rider-Waite tarot deck, the most famous and widely-used tarot in the world. Notice that the colours are reversed compared to The Economist's 2016 stylization. Reversing the normal order of things is a form of spell-casting. The cards with colour reversals are: Tower, Death, Judgment, Magician, and the Wheel of Fortune.

Colours have esoteric meanings. The reversals between the Rider-Waite and The Economist's cards mainly flip yellow (air; intellectual approach) and blue (water; emotional or spiritual understanding). That, combined with the altered images of The Economist's cards also change the geometry created by colour in the spread. The Economist's spread uses yellow to build a triangle, formed by Death, Judgment, the Wheel, around Trump in the first half of the year. You can see colour and the occult discussed in relation to the tarot, here and here.

Numerologically, the year 2016 adds (2+0+1+6) to 9, the end of a cycle. 2017 adds to 1, a year of new beginnings. The World is the highest card in the Major Arcana, meaning an apex is reached the moment that card appears. The cards in the tarot deck are numbered, and the trump card numbers on the magazine cover are significant:

16 (Tower) - 20 (Judgment) - 21 (World) - 9 (Hermit)
13 (Death) - 1 (Magician) - 10 (Wheel) - 17 (Star)

The numbers could refer to dates, or to pages in the magazine. I'm no numerologist, but I can see again that the layout indicates upward progress from 20 to 21 in the two middle quarters of the year. Donald Trump is sitting on the world, but in the next card, the world is dominated by higher concerns. This is underscored by the Magician and the Wheel, which are both numerological 1s, meaning new beginnings.

The outer cards form pillars, of destruction from January to March, and of renewed hope during October, November and December. On the left side, the Tower, a card of change and destruction, is numbered 16 (4x4 or 8+8). Fours, eights and sixteens are significant in western numerology, since they are associated with renewal and infinity. That is underscored by another 4 (Death is 1+3). The whole spread adds up to 8, "the number of prosperity in finances." It can also indicate the month of August.

On the far right side, the Hermit, a card of introspection and hope - a light in the darkness - is 9 (3x3). Threes signify optimism and joy, triads, holy trinities, successful solutions to problems. That is underscored by another infinity sign - 8 (the Star is 1+7).

From the Tarot of Prague.

One of the Hermetic spells for miracle-making is 'as above, so below,' and the reverse, 'as below, so above.' When The Economist's card meanings are examined through other decks, the trump meanings alternate the celestial (above) with the mundane (below).

For example, the Tarot of Prague version of the World and the Wheel shows that when read top-to-bottom, the Economist's cards are inversions of each other. They express the same meaning, but one is based in the earthly realm; the other resides in the spiritual dimension. In this case, the higher card, the World, is a 'top-down,' celestial or spiritual card, showing how divine intervention plays with the four elements in our reality.

The lower card is a 'bottom-up' card, showing how we can manipulate the four elements to reach up to a heavenly concept, in this case, to the Wheel of Fortune, or fate, or destiny. The layout on the magazine cover, based on my sense of whether the cards concern the above/below, celestial/mundane is:

Mund. (Tower) - Cel. (Judgment) - Cel. (World) - Mund. (Hermit)
Cel. (Death) - Mund. (Magician) - Mund. (Wheel) - Cel. (Star)

If one follows the celestial cards, the magazine layout forms a pyramid. If one follows cards for the mundane, they form a downward triangle. Together, the two triangles in this layout seem to create a six-pointed star, or Star of David, or the Masonic sign, or a sign of the planet Saturn.

The Economist Cover - Elements

The tarot also corresponds to the elements, which involve magical spells. Each element symbolizes different impulses in life. Based on the elemental layout of the tarot spread, the year is separated down the middle, with fire (will, passion) dominating the first six months, and earth (material foundation, strength) dominating the second six months.

Fire (Tower) - Fire (Judgment) - Earth (World) - Earth (Hermit)
Water (Death) - Air (Magician) - Water (Wheel) - Air (Star)

In the middle two quarters of the year, the central elemental layout (Fire-Earth on top, Air-Water on bottom) on the cover could refer to an upside-down Wiccan pentacle. I know nothing about this, but the direction of movement on the pentacle is supposed to indicate whether one is creating or destroying reality, made of the four elements, and crowned by higher spirit in an upright pentacle. In a downward-facing pentacle, one manipulates the elements of reality to reach down toward spirit, which is why the upside-down pentacle is associated with black magic.

The bottom image corresponds to the central elemental arrangement on The Economist's cover, top: fire (Judgment)-earth (World); bottom: air (Magician)-water (Wheel). Image Source: Bell, Book and Candle.

The Economist Cover - Astrology

The same layout in the Soprafino tarot.

Each card in the tarot has an astrological designation, that is, a planet or zodiac sign. If the layout refers to four quarters of the year, astrologers could presumably read the layout for certain dates according to what the planets are doing in those quarters.

Mars (Tower) - Pluto (Judgment) - Saturn (World) - Virgo (Hermit)
Scorp. (Death) - Merc. (Magician) - Saturn (Wheel) - Aqua. (Star)

The spread for the third quarter of the year (July-September) is dominated in this spread by Saturn; during that time, Saturn goes direct, after a long retrograde, on 25 August 2017. The World and Wheel cards both use disc symbolism, and there is also a total solar eclipse that will cross the USA on 21 August 2017. See my post on solar eclipses as symbols of new beginnings, here. The spread ends in the Star, which is the card of Aquarius (air, ideas, electricity), which could refer to deliverance through high technology.

The Tree of Life

The Economist's stylization of the Rider-Waite tarot cards relates to the Jewish mystical Kabbalah, which was combined with the tarot in France. This combination includes the diagram known as the Tree of Life, briefly explained here and here. For people who know nothing about it, and at the risk of over-simplifying, it is an occult Snakes and Ladders game for solving problems in life and achieving spiritual growth to higher dimensions.

The Economist's heavily altered World card shows a Tree of Life diagram, based in earthly concerns, the worship of information, i.e. academia or banking (Greek or Masonic temple? London?); government (Capitol building? St. Peter's Basilica? the Panthéon in Paris?); and Hollywood/mass entertainment (pyramid). The Economist's Tree of Life seems to relate to knowledge, information, creativity, and possibly virtual reality - in the framed landscape in the centre.

The Tree, familiar within Freemasonry, refers to the two pillars of the Jewish Temple on the right and left, Boaz and Jachin, which represent the moon (mother) and sun (father), silver and gold, feminine and masculine, severity (justice) and mercy, emotion and rationality.

From: Friedrich Maurer, Der Compass der Weisen (The Compass of the Wise), 1779. Image Source.

A flipped perspective, with Boaz on the left. Image Source.

A flipped perspective, with Boaz on the left. Image Source.

The middle pillar of consciousness indicates successful ways to merge these dichotomies and overcome difficulties. The middle pillar is familiar as the universal symbol of medicine, doctors, healing and hospitals: the caduceus.

A Tree of Life diagram. Click to enlarge. Image Source: pinterest.

In the tarot, the ten of coins or pentacles is the 'you have it all' card. It is an auspicious card promising wealth, a strong family in a beautiful home with happy children and pets, and worldly success. The suit of coins (diamonds in standard card decks) concerns money; the coins are arranged in a Tree of Life to show that the querent has successfully climbed the Tree of Life as far as material comforts are concerned, and has entered the establishment. Image Source: Learn Tarot.

On the Tree of Life, one starts at the bottom, in the mundane, physical world, and follows different paths upward to the spiritual top of the diagram. Paths and resting spots (Sephirot) on the diagram are dominated by spiritual principles or energies; the Major and Minor Arcana of the tarot can be superimposed onto the diagram to describe the energies and best advice on how to get to the next stage in the journey. When one reaches the top of one Tree, one starts at the bottom of another one, based on a different elemental principle. There are four trees stacked upon each other. This configuration, which makes one big tree, is sometimes called Jacob's Ladder. You can see drawings of the ladder here and here. A video explaining the Tree and the Kabbalah is here.

There are different ways to superimpose the tarot on the Tree of Life. The scheme is laden with varieties of numerology, astrology, and intricate Kabbalistic symbolism. I notice that in two examples below, the Economist's cards approximately correspond to paths through the bottom of the Tree. The first example, from Dennis Appelon Nielsen's study of the Kabbalah, shows that the cards on the Economist's cover run from Death (through Victory), to the Tower (through Splendour), to Judgment (through the Kingdom), to the World (through Foundation), to the Star (through Victory), to the Wheel of Fortune (through Mercy), to the Hermit (which leads to Beauty). However, the one card not connected on this path is the Magician, who sometimes represents the Bible's first man, Adam.

An example of a Tree of Life with the tarot cards on it. This Tree shows that the Economist cover is following a path between different principles in the bottom part of the Tree. Click to enlarge. Image Source: Dennis Appelon Nielsen.

The second example below, from Tarotica, shows a numerological layout that also seems somewhat to reflect the Economist's cover, with path numbers corresponding to tarot numbers of Judgment, the Wheel of Fortune, the World, the Star. I don't know what message, process, or mystic path the Economist's artist might be suggesting, but it appears the cards on the magazine cover can be read in an order which follows a particular diagram of the Tree of Life, and the cards should be read in that order. Decoding this aspect might convey a message about our journey through 2017.

Click to enlarge. Image Source: Tarotica.

Close-up of the lower portion of the tree, showing the path of numbers to a 7 victory of Venus: 20, 10, 21, 9, 17. When the Tree and tarot are combined, numbered paths between the Sephirot can correspond to numbers of Major Arcana; the circled numbers above are the same as some of the numbers for the cards on The Economist cover. But this correspondence may be spurious. Image Source: Tarotica.

Qabalah for the Rest of Us Lon Milo Duquette: An occult explanation of the Kabbalah, the Tree of Life and the Moses story. Duquette's discussion on how to read the spread starts around 43:22; the numerology in The Economist's spread seems to align with three consecutive verses in the Book of Exodus that have 72 letters each. The 72-fold name of God divides by 8 to give 9. Video Source: Youtube.

The scene in which Moses, played by Charlton Heston, divides the Red Sea. The Ten Commandments (1956) © Paramount. Reproduced under Fair Use. Video Source: Youtube.

The Economist's Tower, Death and Hermit cards.

Inside the Issue

I found it distasteful to look at this magazine, which I read for current affairs, in relation to occult symbolism. It felt rather like Pierre in War and Peace, playing Masonic numerological games with Napoleon's name. Nonetheless, given the tarot numbers, I looked at the following pages:
  • p. 16 (ad: dimensiondata.com)
  • p. 20 (ad: invest in Mexico www.gob.mx/investinmexico)
  • p. 21 (article on China)
  • p. 9 (ad: the Oyster Perpetual Day-Date 40 Rolex in 18 kt gold)
  • p. 13 (editorial by Zanny Minton Beddoes, editor-in-chief, who argues that Trump presidency will mark the beginning of "a new and darker global order," and "[i]n the wider world ... authoritarians will be ascendant, and keen to exploit America’s introversion"; but the "gloom will not last for ever")
  • p. 1 (Planet Trump magazine cover)
  • p. 10 (ad for Huawei and "Tireless focus, for a moment of strategic opportunity" implying the company can provide connectivity to the developing world)
  • p. 17 (Article from Adrian Wooldridge: The similarities to the world that produced the Russian revolution are too close for comfort; "Liberals must do more than just repeat tired mantras" and must defend the liberal order much more vigorously)
I have no further comment, except I wish The Economist had not used this symbolism.

Click here for my posts on the Tarot.
See my posts on Virtual Reality here.
See all my posts in the series, Awaken the Amnesiacs.

ADDENDUM (3 December 2017):

The Occult Demystified | The Economist Cover Explained (10 December 2016). Video Source: Youtube.


  1. wow you worked really hard on this. I must say that when I got to your last line that said " I have no further comment than that I wish the Economist had not used this symbolism..." it make me giggle. I feel your pain. Thanks for this

    1. Thank you for your comment, Michelle. The last thing the Economist should have done in the current climate is put a bit of magic on its cover. But they got a lot of attention in the Underground over it, and I don't know if that was in fact their intention.

      My interest in these matters is not politically motivated; rather, I am trying to understand how technology is transforming society, politics, government, the economy, world cultures, and so on. I believe that no one fully understands how the system is changing. There is a race now from all sides to commandeer that change and profit from it. There are battles of narratives and memes; the more plastic information is, the more powerful it becomes. Thanks again for reading.

  2. Hello I am so delighted I located your I really located you by mistake, while I was watching on google for something else, Anyways I am here now and could just like to say thank for a tremendous post and a all round entertaining website. Please do keep up the great work

    1. Thank you very much Marufur, I'm very grateful for your kind comments. Please do keep reading! ToB