Because I couldn’t wait, here are some scans of the SMT4A artbook’sunused concept art for various Shin Megami Tensei IV Apocalypse demons, by Masayuki Doi! Included are rough concepts for YHVH, Inanna, Dagda, Cleopatra, Danu, Miroku, Satan, and Adramelech! Almost all of them look SIGNIFICANTLY different from their final versions.
“Yod—Wands—is the first spark, or desire, to create, coming directly from the Spirit. The first Heh—Cups—receives and germinates the creative urge. Genesis tells us, “There was darkness on the face of the Deep. And God said, Let there be light.” The light penetrates the dark deep, Yod enters Heh. Vav—Swords—develops the original spark, the way the letter extends the short, droplike image of Yod. Finally, the second Heh—Pentacles—shows us the finished creation.” Rachel Pollack’s Tarot Wisdom by Rachel Pollack
Years before Rachel Pollack’s book “Tarot Wisdom,” which was published in 2008, there was an amazing graphic design project called The Jewish Tarot by Leon Jacobwitz Efron in 2002. While the website that housed his ideas and teachings left the Web many years back, I am grateful to have had the chance to learn from him and save some of his work for my personal reference library. And this is where I first saw these associations of the letters with the tarot suits.
But the source of both of these is really the Sefer Yetzirah and the book Pardes Rimonim. In the elemental system of the Sefer Yetzirah there is a three element system: Air, Fire, Water. Not the 4 element system that started with the Greeks. In the world of the Sefer Yetzirah, Earth is a “complex element,” which means that it is created from two other elements.
Here is how Aryeh Kaplan explains it in his commentary on the Sefer Yetzirah:
"The fourth force, gravity, corresponds to “earth.” Earth, however is not a basic element, but a confluence of the other three.19 It is therefore represented by the final Heh in the Tetragrammaton, which is actually a repetition of the first Heh in this name.”
It continues on with:
“These three elements also relate to the experiential. Here, fire represents the radiation of energy, while water represents the absorption of energy. These are thesis and antithesis, giving and receiving, which themselves are manifestations of cause and effect. Air, which represents the transmission of energy is then the synthesis, linking the two.”
So those are the roots of the four elements in Judaism (but there is so much more) and how we work with them to associate, among other things, the letters of the tetragrammaton with the tarot suits.
Extra suggested activity: Print the second image, cut out holes in the eyes, poke holes through the temples then pull a string through them to make a mask that will cause piety, misinterpretation, and strife wherever you go!
Good Ending: Szechuan Sauce is now a mainstay at all McDonald’s throughout the world.
Neutral Ending: Szechuan Sauce shows up regularly as an event only condiment.
Bad Ending: Szechuan Sauce is forever banned from all McDonald’s along with other limited edition items.
Szechuan Sauce is now a government mandated right as each citizen of the United States receives a monthly ration.
Legion Ending: The entire world bows down to violent radicals as they are the only ones in possession of the remaining
Mr. House Ending: Although
Szechuan Sauce itself is gone, the VR experience is now able to accurately recreate the experience of eating it while supplying the user directly with a nutritious supplement.
Wild Card Ending: All government throughout the land is destroyed, replaced with a new system formed around the trading and acquisition of
Trick Ending: After the last of the sauce is depleted, the masses are convinced by a mind altering radio wave that it never existed.
Magic Ending: Letters discovered decades later reveal the Szechuan Sauce incident and all talk of it was the result of an amnesiac attempting to recollect memories of failing to obtain the sauce back in 1998.
Knife Ending: Dan Harmon is stabbed during a press event announcing the permanent return of
Submarine Ending: The last of the Szechuan Sauce is contained on the last McDonald’s left atop an oil rig. When an employee finds a submarine and attempts to escape from there, they are pushed into a vat of sauce by an unknown assailant where they drown.
Axe Ending: Employees happily present the permanent stay of
Szechuan Sauce, only to be brutally slaughtered by Pickle Ricks.
Coffin Ending: The last of the Szechuan Sauce is contained within a coffin buried underneath Dan Harmon’s house in a replica of Rick’s lab. Unfortunately, no one is able to figure out the password.
End or Beginning: On the verge of society collapsing due to the lack of
Szechuan Sauce, Dan Harmon develops the ability to send his conciousness back in time, altering The Rickshank Redemption to prevent
Szechuan Sauce from ever being rediscovered.
Payoff Ending: Fans all over the world make their own Szechuan Sauce
Circle of Fate: During an episode of Bojack Horseman, an off handed reference to a series of Lumiere replica candles released to promote the release of Beauty and the Beast leads to massive demand for a re release of the item.
Law Ending: YHVH himself descends to the mortal realm, confiscating all
Chaos Ending: Massive riots break out across the world due to the lack of
Szechuan Sauce, leading to a Mad Max style future.
True Demon Ending: The forces of reality itself respond to the cries of anguish from fans, replacing all liquids in the universe with Szechuan Sauce, leading to all beings dieing from their bodily fluids burning them alive.
Secret Ending-Another Time: NASA suddenly begins receiving signals from the Voyager, which has ascended into the 4th dimension. All of our reality turns out to be an MMO, Outside, played by higher level beings. The Szechuan Sauce incident was the result of the server not being able to handle the sudden influx of new players.