The Merkaba is mainly known as the light chariot, which allows us to travel to other dimensions and realms, and the main ancient sources are the Jewish mystical texts and the Book of Ezekiel in the Bible.

Before I had begun writing my latest novel, the Merkaba Mystery, I had one of my meditations with my favourite spirit guide/writing advisor, and received an intriguing message. He said that the Tarot is connected with the Merkaba and that I should archetypically split the chapters of the book into the Major Arcana’s Trumps. It made sense to me, as the Tarot, like the Merkaba, is also associated with the Kabbalah. I began to research more on the subjects, in order to learn what the correlations could be. And like a miracle, it all began to click.

The oldest known text, which mentions the Merkaba is the Book of Ezekiel in the Bible. The clearest connection between the Tarot and Ezekiel’s vision are the aliferous figures. There are three groups of angelic beings in the Merkaba – the Cherubim, Ophanim, and Seraphim. Most emphasis is put on the Cherubim, and they are described as follows:

“And every one had four faces, and every one had four wings. As for the likeness of their faces, they four had the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side; they four also had the face of an eagle.” (Chapter 1 in the Book of Ezekiel, the Bible)

These Cherubim, or the four living creatures as they were also called, are depicted in the last Tarot trump called the World. And curiously, the card symbolises completion, spiritual fulfilment, even enlightenment.

The Wheel of Fortune trump sometimes also depicts them, particularly the Rider White deck. However, I found that the card could be aligned with the wheels within wheels mention in the Book of Ezekiel.

“And when the living creatures went, the wheels went by them: and when the living creatures were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up. Whithersoever the spirit was to go, they went, thither was their spirit to go; and the wheels were lifted up over against them: for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels. When those went, these went; and when those stood, these stood; and when those were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up over against them: for the spirit of the living creature was in the wheels.” (Chapter 1 in the Book of Ezekiel, the Bible)

Besides the Cherubim, there are more angelic figures in the Tarot, particularly in the trumps such as the Lovers, the Temperance, and the Judgment. It’s intriguing that all these cards are symbolic for balancing dualities and subsequently, attaining harmony or unity. Since these angels are often depicted with fire symbolism, they could be connected with the Seraphim, the fiery angels, which are the closest to God in Ezekiel’s vision of the Merkaba. Some regard these Seraphim to be the Seven Archangels.

Another interesting point is that the Merkaba was also called the Throne of God.

“And above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone: and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness as the appearance of a man above upon it.” (Chapter 1 in the Book of Ezekiel, the Bible)

The throne mention reminded me of the Chariot card in the Tarot because the card often resembles a steady throne. This would make sense, as the Merkaba is an ethereal chariot, not a physical one. Awaking to it could be compared to sitting on a throne, allegorically becoming one’s own ruler, or rather, being in power of oneself.

Another line that struck me was the following:

“And the likeness of the firmament upon the heads of the living creature was as the colour of the terrible crystal, stretched forth over their heads above.” (Chapter 1 in the Book of Ezekiel, the Bible)

I wondered what the “terrible” crystal could be. It made me think of the Platonic Solids - the patterns, which occur in the world of minerals and crystals. One of them is also the double tetrahedron. Nowadays, the popular depiction of the Merkaba is Star Tetrahedron (Double Tetrahedron light body), which stems from the works of Drunvalo Melchizedek. However, Melchizedek describes the Star Tetrahedron is the core of the Merkaba. In the second part of his book, the Flower of Life, he writes that the Merkaba is surrounded by a sphere, which consists of other Platonic solids, particularly the dodecahedron (which consists of pentagons, hence pentagrams).

Nevertheless, there is star symbolism in the Tarot as well. The card Star, in fact, depicts an eight-rayed star, and interestingly, Star Tetrahedron has eight points in total. Also, the Seraphim of the Merkaba vision were told to have six wings, which could resemble the six-rayed star or hexagram, the two-dimensional depiction of the Star Tetrahedron.

“And under the firmament were their wings straight, the one toward the other: every one had two, which covered on this side, and every one had two, which covered on that side, their bodies.” (Chapter 1 in the Book of Ezekiel, the Bible)

Lastly, there’s the mysterious Hangman card, which has been associated with the Tree of Life. In a different article I have written, I ponder the idea of whether the Kabbalistic Tree of Life could be half-complete, and whether the key to its completion is the Kabbalistic As Above So Below philosophy. Nonetheless, the Kabbalistic Tree of Life shows outlines of the six-rayed star and the hexagram, as well as the pentagon or pentagram, which again connects to Drunvalo Melchizedek’s depiction of the Merkaba.

It all comes back to the idea of the chariot or a person on a throne moving through the different realms within the Tree of Life. This could be also connected to the Seven Palaces. The Merkaba mystics considered the Seven Palaces the highest heavens - the realms closest to God’s throne. The Seven Palaces were guarded by angels and encircled by flames and lightning, hence the fire element and angel connection in the Tarot. Who knows if the Seven Palaces referred to the Seven Archangels as well, or in other words, the Seven Seraphim. And perhaps we could go as far as to assume that even the Seven Chakras?
Either way, the ascent to these Seven Palaces was called descent in most of the ancient texts. This reminds me of Odin’s descent in the Nordic mythology. The Norse god, Odin, hung himself upside down on the Tree of Life to obtain spiritual wisdom and bring people the Runes. And isn’t it fascinating that both the Runic and Hebrew alphabets derive from the six-rayed star pattern?

It seems that the descend to ascend philosophy represents a journey within, in order to understand the without… And isn’t that what Tarot is all about as well?

I can’t really draw a conclusion here, as this all is still work-in-progress for me. However, if you would like to read more of my thoughts and findings on the connection between the Merkaba, the Tarot, and Tree of Life, it’s all in my novel The Merkaba Mystery: