Identification of form. Form arises from spirit. Not spirit from form.
I will be discussing the arcana in a general sense, but we can go into specific principles as it seems to suit.
First, something in the way of explanation. Physics is the study of observable physical forces in the world. Metaphysics is the study of perceived patterns or principles of order in the world. They can be considered separately, but were originally connected and really still are. There are many principles of metaphysics and multiple schools of thought regarding it.
Now, the tarot is perhaps the most obvious example of the arcana in most peoples experience. Each of the major arcana are archetypal symbols that are found across tradition; death and the fool, the world and the wheel. These are principles that surface widely in metaphysical experience across traditions and cultures.
The word arcana traces back to the original Greek word archai. Archai was the first cause, a sort of primordial originating principle, the equivalent of the Tao in the Chinese schools. From it we get the Latin term arcana, but it still means the same thing, the causal factors that lead to physical events.
Arcana is a nice word. Yes. I myself like having words for things. It makes it easier to think over and discuss with others. In fact, it’s the origin of one of the arcana in practice, the logos, or the power of the word. If you can name a thing then you can influence the thing. Whether you want to posit a direct causative relationship or not isn’t really relevant. The arcana come up in our lives anyway, from dream archetypes to the all too common social stereotypes. We as humans tend to function on some form of pattern of behaviour, be it loose or rigidly held. Superstitions are arcana, though of a more or less personal or culturally dictated nature.
Physics asks, “What is happening here?” Metaphysics asks, “Why does this happen in the face of other possibilities?” Even the concept of possibility is arcana. The “fool” of tarot symbolism is that concept in pictorial form. The fool knows nothing and therefore is capable of anything and everything. In Taoism, they say it this way, “The learned are not wise and the wise are not learned.” A related arcana to this is the Magus, and every culture has had its Magus figures. The sages who remain silent and wills, and thus transcend the paradox of the fool.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.