Games for the Thoth. Speaking on the design of the Majors from my frame of mind, the voice of what I might describe as my inner genius came through more distinctly. I mean that inner genius we all have that we need to go through the structured, methodical process to unlock. I had started the project with the intent on having no depictions of humans. My speculation at the end of that struggle is it had to do with differing theology, so then I had to decide where my own theologies aligned.
The Marseille is by original intention a deck of playing cards that later got appropriated into a form of divination or fortune-telling, whereas both RWS and the Thoth were from beginning to end intended as esoteric and occult expressions of the tarot. You could even argue that both the RWS and the Thoth tarot decks are the product of spell-crafting, born from fertile pools of knowledge and magical experience. That is why these two in particular are the chosen parents.
Now those familiar with the logistics of deck production get the whole card deck vs. Whether you produce 80 cards or 78 for your tarot deck, you pay the same unit price for production. So I wanted to really make the most of the two extra cards. The first Minor I drew was the Four of Wands. And note there is a coloring error in one of the cups on the Four of Chalices.
Balancing the so-called evidence-based ritual and intuition-based ritual is how I approached each and every single card, one by one, in a very intentional order, which I call Realms.
The Majors are the Primordial Realm. Ever experienced mediation during a lawsuit? No probably not. Whereas illustrating the Majors was very…. Quick clarifying note on my Eight of Wands: the two stripey thingies above and below the eight wands or scepters are supposed to be rainbows.
But when I decided to go with a black and white deck, doh. The RWS Minors emphasize emotion and story. In contrast, the Thoth Minors emphasize symbolism of established esoteric concepts and principles. The Thoth feels more conceptual and cerebral to me.
And it was early in the morning. The first photo scroll back up if you care to was taken around sunrise and by the time we get to here, sun fully risen.
Courts were the hardest for me to conceive. The court cards, I think, are where I diverged the most substantively from both Waite and Thoth, to really just go off and hammer out my own point of view. All cards with the rooks and sealed envelopes are the Pages. All cards with the symbolic depiction of the activated element top center and featuring a horse somewhere in the pic are the Knights.Tarot is one of the most popular divination practices, and though occultists have been drawing the allegorical cards for centuries, illustrated decks are now popping up all over.
The intrinsic aestheticism of this ancient art has revitalized interest in tarot, making it a social media favorite — there's now even such a thing as emoji tarot. Despite its ubiquity, though, tarot can still seem elusive and confusing.
What exactly is tarot? What do the cards mean and how are they used? Don't fret: The tarot fundamentals are easy to understand. Here's what every beginner should know about the history of tarot, as well as tips and tricks for kick-starting your unique practice. Surprisingly, tarot is a relatively modern craft. Though tarot decks date back to the s, pictorial cards were originally used for games rather than prediction. Cartomancy, or fortune-telling through the use of playing cards, actually wasn't developed untilwhen French occultist Jean-Baptiste Alliette — known by his pseudonym, Etteilla, the inversion of his surname — created comprehensive links between illustrated cards, astrology, and ancient Egyptian lore.
Over the next century, mystics and philosophers continued to expand the role of tarot. In the late s, several London-based occultists formed the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, one of the groups responsible for the modern magical revival. Two of the group's founders, husband and wife MacGregor and Moina Maters, wrote a manual that detailed tarot's symbolic power, entitled Book T. This timeless deck is commonly known as the Rider-Waite deck and is still the most popular tarot variant for both beginner and professional card readers.
Their Thoth decknamed after the Egyptian god of alphabets, incorporates specific astrological symbolism into each card, linking the divination practice to the cosmos. There is no shortage of stunning, dynamic tarot decks. Since the mid-twentieth century, hundreds — if not thousands — of beautiful decks have been published.
The Tarot de Marseille deck is an elegant reproduction of a classic French deck; the Motherpeace deck perfectly captures the ethereal spirit of the s; the Black Power deck spotlights famous black luminaries. Some tarot readers believe that your first deck should be gifted to you.
While everyone loves presents, there is nothing more valuable rewarding yourself with the magic of divination, so I say you should relish the opportunity to choose your first deck. With so many enchanting options available, the most important variable is your unique connection to the cards. Whether you are shopping online or in-person, observe your emotions as you browse different tarot decks.
Does the one you're considering make you feel excited?
Trust your intuition: Your careful consideration will ultimately guide your interpretation of the cards. Explore the imagery: Are you enchanted by classical or modern representations? Note the symbols: Are they enticing? Remember, there is no hierarchy of tarot decks, so be sure to choose whichever deck truly tantalizes your soul. Let's talk about the structure of the deck and the meanings of its cards.
Any magical practice — tarot, astrology, or spell work — is based on the Hermetic axiom "as above, so below. Accordingly, the entire universe exists within a tarot deck, with each card representing a person, place, or event. These symbols are depicted in both the Major Arcana cards, which speak to greater secrets, and the Minor Arcana cards, which speak to lesser secrets. The Major Arcana cards represent monumental, groundbreaking influences. They punctuate our journeys and each stands alone as a powerful message, representing life-changing motions that define the beginnings or ends of cycles.
These dynamic cards appear during major transitions, signaling distinctive moments of transformation. The cards are numbered to represent stations within our greater journey through life; their chronological order reveals the passing of time.
The Minor Arcana cards, on the other hand, reflect everyday matters. These cards showcase ordinary people engaging in mundane activities, such as dancing, drinking, sleepingor quarreling.
They suggest action that is triggered by human behaviors and appear during gentle transitions that may be temporary or have only minor influence.The Hermetic Tarot by Godfrey Dowson is a masterpiece.
Guide to the Rider-Waite Tarot deck
As a Golden Dawn study deck, the card images are fundamentally focused on alchemical and astrological references such as the decans in the Minor Arcana, with the deck outfitted for theurgy. It can be integrated into personal rituals, meditations, and ceremonies and in fact is probably far better suited for such work than, say, the Marseille, Rider-Waite-Smith, or even the Thoth decks.
Godfrey Dowson draws heavily from elemental dignities and affinities, Western astrology as interpreted by the Golden Dawn, and the Qabalah. Corresponding alchemical symbols for the four elements and astrological symbols are embedded into each card to denote the attributions. In the court cards, the alchemical symbol corresponding with the classical element that the card itself represents appears on the top left and the symbol for the element corresponding with the suit appears on the top right.
For practitioners who adopt interpretive methods reliant on elemental dignities and affinities, that is a godsend. The backs of the cards are illustrated with the Hermetic Rose and hexagrams. As they are non-reversible, it may not be an ideal deck for reading with reversals. At the end of this deck review are correspondence tables that compare the RWS with the Hermetic Tarot.
Note the card titles assigned to each card in the Hermetic deck.
Rider-Waite vs Crowley-Thoth
The essences of the cards as denoted by the titles are almost transferrable onto the RWS. Practitioners who use the Thoth will be right at home with the Hermetic Tarot.
Overall, the Hermetic Tarot combines the many practical symbolic elements of the RWS and the haute esoteric nature of the Thoth for the creation of one incredible deck that every serious tarot practitioner will want in his or her arsenal. While I found the deck dysfunctional when reading mundane inquiries about the prospects of a romantic relationship or whether a promotion will be given at work, the Hermetic Tarot can be consulted when a seeker needs to channel or tap into greater universal life forces for personal empowerment.
A reading spread that takes well to the Hermetic Tarot is the Triquetra Spread. It is a simple spread that draws on three cards only, which will keep reading with the Hermetic Tarot under control, as the deck is black and white and detail-intensive.
Just try reading a Celtic Cross spread with the Hermetic Tarot and it will become immediately apparent why limiting the number of cards and keeping the message of the cards focused and intense is the better objective when using the Hermetic.
Rider-Waite-Smith (RWS) and Thoth Comparison with Spirit Keeper’s Tarot
The Triquetra Spread is based on the triquetra symbol, a symbol that is significant to many philosophies and religions. It represents a trinity of forces that combine into a unity.The Moon card refers to a deep state of sensitivity and imaginative impressionability, developed within a womb of deep relaxation. In a state of expanded consciousness, we cannot always control what happens. The Moon card represents the ultimate test of a soul's integrity, where the membrane between the self and the unknown is removed, and the drop of individuality re-enters the ocean of being.
What transpires next is between a soul and its maker. The Moon card reversed suggests that you might be deluding yourself, exaggerating or embellishing your version of a situation. Consider whether you are repeating an emotional, dramatic rendition of events rather than keeping to the bare facts.
The temptation to let yourself be swept away emotionally or psychically is understandable, but it doesn't help you find your balanced center in chaotic times. The Moon card advises that you trust your instincts and intuitions. Your aboriginal body, which is connected to all living things, is sharper and quicker than the cultivated, civilized self. The everyday mind may not be prepared for strange oceanic circumstances. Plus, it has no game plan. Your intuitive body will support you unerringly if you do not interfere with or try to control what you perceive.
A better approach would be to meditate. Try to just be a witness. Do nothing; let nature carry you forward. This may be your best option in this situation. A powerful message is waiting for you!
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The Hermetic Tarot by Godfrey Dowson: A Powerful Divination Deck and a Suggested Triquetra Spread
Sign up! Cary-Yale Visconti Tarocchi. Epicurean Tarot Recipe Cards. Fantastical Creatures. Phantas- magoric. Smith Waite Centennial. Tarot of a Moon Garden. The New Palladini Tarot.The Rider-Waite Tarot deck is probably the most popular deck in the world. It is the inspiration for thousands of new decks.
The Rider-Waite Tarot deck by A.Tarot Deck Interview - The Hermetic Tarot by Grün Eule
Waite and artist Pamela Coleman-Smith is the basis of many modern tarot decks. While the Rider-Waite deck is the choice for teachers and pupils, the purpose of the deck is quite different. Secret Societies are supposed to be secret, so how do you recruit new members? One answer is to create a tarot deck that piques the interest of the student to find out more.
This is done by deliberate obfuscation and mystification of the subject, omission of details, and a modest claim that by joining this Order and paying duesthe aspirant will find out the true secrets of the Tarot!
Waite leaves enough clues in the accompanying book and designs to show that the Golden Dawn still secret when the deck was published, but hinted at is the primary inspiration. Waite could then claim that he had not broken any of his solemn vows not to reveal any Golden Dawn secrets.
There are many versions of this deck, while most modern and original tarot decks are based upon it. Familiarity with the Rider-Waite deck will help you understand other decks. The Aces are separate from these groups, but I have put them with the Court Cards. Now you have time to reflect on your life, a tarot reading is great for giving focus, new direction and inspiration. Life goes on, and life continues to go on, perhaps in new or different ways, and I am here to help you. Shop My account Cart Checkout 0 Items.
Waite was head of his own secret society, an off-shoot of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Tarot Readings A tarot reading is a great way to find inspiration in these interesting times. Life goes on, and life continues to go on, perhaps in new or different ways, and I am here to help you Paul.Tarot symbols and interpretations vary by deck.
When comparing the most common Rider Waite Tarot deck with the Brotherhood of Light Tarot Egyptian Tarotit becomes clear that not only are the tarot symbols drastically different, but the names of each card changes between decks. What is the reasoning behind the variation of symbols between the Rider Waite Tarot and the Brotherhood of Light Tarot decks? Each deck represents divergent modes of conscious reflection and spiritual outcomes. A querent who makes use of the Rider Waite Tarot may feel lost when interpreting the Brotherhood of Light Tarot Egyptian Tarotas the unconscious attachments to each set of symbols varies greatly.
The Rider Waite Tarot Origins. The Rider Waite Tarot was the first deck of cards to be developed and widely accepted into practice. The symbols that appear within the Rider Wait Tarot can be easily learned and read by anyone who is familiar with Christian symbolism and beliefs, and this is perhaps the main reason these symbols or arcana appear as such. Although tarot cards date as far back the Renaissance, the Rider Waite Tarot deck was published by the Rider Company in Rather than applying the simplistic designs of the Minor Arcana as seen in a traditional deck of cards hearts, diamonds, clubs, and spades meaning cups, pentacles, wands, and swordsrespectivelyPixie expanded the symbols for each minor card with vivid imagery.
Who was Arthur Edward Waite? It is important to note, A. Waite was a member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn in before withdrawing to join the Outer Order of the Golden Dawn and eventually entering Freemasonry in and the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia in The main differences between the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and Freemasonry were that the former accepted women into their ranks, and Waite continued this tradition. Waite then founded the Independent and Rectified Order R.
The bulk of members were Freemasons and theosophists, and bythe Order was comprised of more women initiates than men. The Brotherhood of Light Tarot Origins. Zain and to be used by the The Church of Lightand this set of tarot first appeared in This tarot deck was developed by the Church of Light and illustrated by Gloria Beresford. A stark contrast between the Egyptian Tarot and the Rider Waite Tarot exists with the lack of illustrative imagery across the Minor Arcana, as each appears instead merely as the four suits varying by number— cups, coins, scepters, swords —alongside other symbols.
For this reason, the symbolism of the Brotherhood of Light Egyptian Tarot may be much more difficult to read and master for someone who is already familiar with the Rider Waite Tarot or traditional tarot decks.The Hermetic Tarot deck features the esoteric, black-and-white designs of the secret society known as the Golden Dawn, which emphasize the mystical, astrological and kabbalistic influences of the ancient order. The Society set down certain instructions for its members to follow, but these instructions were abbreviated at best.
Not surprisingly, as time went on and new members copied decks based upon previously drawn cards, the variances and modifications grew more and more pronounced.
Godfrey Dowson's cards in The Hermetic Tarot reveal a combination of detail and symbolism that capture the mood and sense of each pictorial image. Subtle variations exist in almost every card. For example, fingertips touch the stem of a rose bush in the 8 of Pentacles Lord of Prudence in contrast to the firm grasp of a hand in the 4 of Pentacles Lord of Earthly Power.
The mangled swords in the 9 of Swords Lord of Despair and Cruelty and the roses in full bloom in the 6 of Pentacles Lord of Material Success illustrate how skillfully the artist has created the cards. Repeated study of each card often reveals for the first time a new dimension and scope not seen in a previous reading. Working prior to the turn of the century, and drawing on a great deal of published information, library manuscripts, secret documents, and extensive personal research, Mathers assigned a complete set of correspondences between the Tarot and the zodiac.
Dowson has also provided clear symbols in his card designs which help the student correlate these astrological correspondences each time he or she reads the cards.
Crowley, of course, does the same in his deck, but the symbols are frequently less clear than portrayed here. A knowledge of astrology can greatly aid in the interpretation of the Tarot, and vice versa. It was the genius of the Golden Dawn to synthesize these systems. Godfrey Dowson successfully creates in The Hermetic Tarot a compelling reconstructed version of the Tarot that has taken its place as one of the most important esoteric Tarot decks published during the twentieth century.
The back design of The Hermetic Tarot deck is a rose in full bloom. Each card contains the sigil—the mark of a master craftsman. All the work by Godfrey Dowson bears this mark. The original artwork for the Hermetic Tarot deck was executed between to by the artist and is now is included in the Stuart and Marilyn R. Kaplan Playing Card Collection. Log In OR. Sign up! Cary-Yale Visconti Tarocchi.