The I Ching (the Book of Changes) and the Tarot Cards are two great mantic systems created in different times and entirely different cultures - Zhou China and Medieval Europe respectively.

Both systems do not only deal with divination but also convey the ancient wisdom symbolically and reveal mysteries of the universe and human being.

Both systems contain a fixed set of symbols, each expressed with formal signs (lines of hexagrams, symbols and suits of cards) and symbolic images (aphorisms attached to hexagrams and lines, pictures and divination meanings of cards).

Taking into consideration such essential typological resemblance, one can ask a natural question whether each of these systems expresses concepts meaningful in the context of the corresponding culture only, or the Tarot cards and I Ching hexagrams are different symbolical manifestations of the same archetypical ideas whose universality is deeper than their specific way of representations accepted in one or another culture.

If the assumption about universal archetypal source of the Tarot an I Ching meanings is correct then there should exist a mutually unique correspondence between hexagrams and cards.

Two principal differences in the structure of these systems are striking even after superficial acquaintance with them. First, these systems have a different number of elements: the Tarot deck contains 78 cards, while the I Ching comprises 64 hexagrams. Second, 64 hexagrams are of equal rank while Tarot cards are divided into 22 Major and 56 Minor Arcana.

Let us note that the number of cards exceeds the number of hexagrams by 14 (78 - 64 = 14). This is an important number for the Tarot since 14 is the number of cards in each suit of the Minor Arcana.

**
Structure of the Tarot deck**

The Minor Arcana consist of four suits. Each suit, consisting of 14 cards, comprises 10 pip cards from ace to ten and 4 face cards: king, queen, knight and page (there are three face cards in the modern standard 52-card deck since the knights are not included in it). There are four cards of different suits for any number of pips. Each of these tetrads is headed by the corresponding Former Major Arcanum. For example, four aces are headed by the I Major Arcanum, four twos are headed by the II Major Arcanum, four threes are headed by the III Major Arcanum, ... four tens are headed by the X Major Arcanum.

Traditionally the suits of the Tarot are represented by wands, cups, swords and pentacles. In the modern playing deck wands have transformed into clubs, cups into hearts, swords into spades, and pentacles into diamonds.

For each face card we can find the most proper attribute: the wand suit for a king, the cup suit for a queen, the sword suit for a knight, and the pentacle suit for a page. Thus, among all 16 face cards we can pick out four "pure" cards whose attribute corresponds to their rank: King of Wands, Queen of Cups, Knight of Swords, and Page of Pentacles. G.O.M., a famous Russian occultist of the early 20th century, calls these four cards the main cards in their suits. The other 12 cards are "mixed" ones. The "Pure" cards represent static principles while the "mixed" cards represent dynamic principles.

So, according to the "statics-dynamics" parameter, the Tarot cards can be divided into two groups: 14 stationary Arcana (10 Former Major Arcana and 4 "pure" face Arcana) and 64 Arcana of motion (12 Latter Major Arcana and 52 Minor Arcana - 40 pip and 12 "mixed" cards).

It turns out to be possible to establish a mutually unique correspondence between the 64 Arcana of motion and 64 Hexagrams of the I Ching.

**
Brief summary of the Tarot deck structure **

56 Minor Arcana = 4 suits * 14 cards = 40 pip cards +16 face cards

The suits: wands, cups, swords and pentacles

Face cards: King, Queen, Knight and Page

22 Major Arcana = 10 Former Major Arcana + 12 Later Major Arcana

16 face cards = 4 "pure" cards + 12 "mixed" cards

14 stationary cards = 10 Former cards + 4 "pure" cards

64 cards of motion = 40 pip cards + 12 "mixed" cards + 12 Later cards

The Arcana of motion correspond to Hexagrams of the I Ching

**
The structure of the I Ching and its comparison with the Tarot cards **

I Ching hexagrams are grouped into pairs, consisting from a hexagram with an odd number and a following hexagram with an even number. The hexagrams of the pair can be obtained from each other by 180° rotation. The only exceptions are the hexagrams which are invariant under this rotation. In these cases one hexagram of a pair is obtained from the other by inverting all its lines.

A comparison between the I Ching hexagrams and Tarot cards suggests the following rule: the first pairs from the both I Ching Canons (hex.s 1-2 and 31-32) correspond to aces, the second pairs (hex.s 3-4 and 33-34) correspond to twos and so on.

To compare the two systems we used the Rider-Waite Tarot deck (1909). This deck contains the canonical images of the Minor Arcana. These images, based on the tradition of divination meanings of the Minor Arcana, are the results of comparison of pip cards (from two to ten) with the 36 decans of the Zodiac and their planet rulers which were already known in the Hellenistic Egypt.

Careful reading of the aphorisms attached to a hexagram as a whole and its separate lines shows that the accompanying text of each hexagram consists of fragments which can be linked by some plot. These fragments can be used for a reconstruction of a whole story.

The obtained narration and their topics can be compared to the image of the corresponding Tarot card. In most cases the story of the hexagram clearly correlates with the motif of the card.

**
A System of Correspondences between I Ching and Tarot**