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The Pictorial Key to the Tarot (Dover Occult) Paperback – June 10, 2005
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About the Author
About the Author:
"Arthur Edward Waite (October 2, 1857 - May 19, 1942) was a scholarly mystic who wrote extensively on occult and esoteric matters, and was the co-creator of the Rider-Waite Tarot deck. As his biographer, R.A. Gilbert described him, "Waite's name has survived because he was the first to attempt a systematic study of the history of western occultism - viewed as a spiritual tradition rather than as aspects of proto-science or as the pathology of religion." Born in the United States, and raised in England, A.E. Waite joined the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn in 1891, became a Freemason in 1901, and entered the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia in 1902. The Golden Dawn was torn by further internal feuding until Waite's departure in 1914; a year later he formed the Fellowship of the Rosy Cross, not to be confused with the Societas Rosicruciana. By that time there existed some half-dozen offshoots from the original Golden Dawn, and as a whole it never recovered." (Quote from wikipedia.org) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
The book suffers from several problems :
- The book is a hard reading - Waite's style is obfuscated, which makes the non-trivial material harder to understand.
- Waite doesnt tell the whole truth, and not even half of it, not to mention the inclusion of misinformation. Examples include unexplained symbols (symbols on charioteer's belt, the fool's clothings, and many others), desciption of the emptress being 'virgo intacta', etc.
- Some of the cards' descriptions contradict, or at least appear to contradict, the pictures on the cards.
- Waite borrows a lot from earlier writers, but then goes on to pass criticism on his sources and belittles them.
So the book has to be read very carefuly, criticaly, and with a lot of patience. And those who do so *will* gain - the book is better than many of the instant tarot reading guides, giving truer and deeper information from the horse's mouth.
I suggest people to read this book, but *not* as the first book on the deck, and preferably along with other material (e.g. books about the golden dawn, tarot history, or symbolism).