The Orbifold Tarot comes from the inventive mind of Michael Bridge-Dickson and I have been granted the privilege of reviewing a pre-release version. The Orbifold Tarot is grounded on the cosmological principles of sacred geometry, a cross-cultural concept that the physical world and its metaphysical dimension can be expressed through mathematics, specifically, geometric design.
The god principle and intelligent design are not mutually exclusive from geometric design, and if we accept that “as above, so below,” then the mathematics of our universe is synchronistic with the mathematics of our personal lives. All that we as tarot practitioners have accepted as occult theory is thus rooted in mathematics, in sacred geometric forms. That is the premise from which we begin our journey with the Orbifold Tarot.
There are 80 cards in total, with the traditional tarot structure of 78 plus 2 cards, The Void and Manifestation. Initially I associated The Void with Key 0, The Fool and Manifestation with Key 1, The Magician, so I was confused by the distinction made between these two additional cards with Keys 0 and 1 of the Majors. However, Bridge-Dickson explained it cogently to me.
Bridge-Dickson himself debated whether to make the distinction. To him, Key 0, The Fool is the blank slate individual, a soul ready for the new adventure ahead, the journey through the three septenaries of the Major Arcana. The Void, in contrast, is the non-individual, the utter lack of manifestation whereas in The Fool, we still have the ego present. Key 0 represents beginnings, as traditionally associated with the card, whereas The Void is before the beginning.
Manifestation, too, is the non-individual, beyond being, though as manifestation, of course it encompasses being. Together, The Void and Manifestation represent the paradox of simultaneous being and non-being beyond the individual. Bridge-Dickson felt the principle had to be separated out from Keys 0 and 1, as The Fool and The Magician include personal Will, which renders both cards affirmatively being.
The Orbifold Tarot is color coded to represent the elemental correspondences that Bridge-Dickson sees as the deconstruction of each card’s essence. White is Spirit. Yellow-gold is Air. Red is Fire. Blue is Water. Green is Earth. Keep that in mind as we examine the card samples. Here in The Fool card, we see Air encompassed by Spirit in the form of the unit circle. The beginnings of the formation of self are thus Air, the mind or thought, beginning to occupy a specific space of Spirit.