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The Tarot: A Key to the Wisdom of the Ages Paperback – June 1, 2006

4.5 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The serious Tarot student...will find Case's book a gold mine of information."

About the Author

Paul Foster Case (1884-1954) was one of the leading American occultists of the twentieth century. His book, The Tarot, and his deck of Tarot cards significantly influenced how Tarot is taught and understood today in the United States, and in other parts of the world.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: TarcherPerigee; Reprint edition (June 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1585424919
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585424917
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84,828 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book, explaining the symbolism of the B.O.T.A. Tarot Keys, is significant for a number of reasons. This was one of the first works in which several Occult secrets about the Tarot-- secrets which, until then, had been closely-guarded by a handful of reclusive Orders and Fraternities-- were revealed to the general public for the first time.

Perhaps most importantly, this was the first book that openly published the correct Hebrew letter attributions of each Key-- publicly linking Qabala and Tarot for the first time. Previous books on the subject had either employed blinds or blatant falsehoods to conceal the correct attributions. Publishing these correct Hebrew letter attributions was a bold step, and although it's hard to imagine today, Case's decision to go public with this information was extremely controversial among Occultists at the time.

This book also revealed the Tarot tableau, a pattern for laying out all of the Tarot Keys which reveals certain relationships and dissimilarities between them-- relationships which might not otherwise be apparent to the casual reader. This tableau was used by the American branch of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn when Case was Praemonstrator of that Order, and like the correct Hebrew letter attributions of each Key, it had never been openly published before.

Last, but certainly not least, this was the first published book to reveal ALMOST ALL of the Tarot attributions on the Qabalistic "Cube of Space" diagram. Until the publication of this book, most Occultists had never even heard of the Cube of Space, had no idea what its attributions were, and couldn't have guessed about how it related to the much better-known "Tree of Life" diagram.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is one of the most serious studies on the sybolism of the major arana as designed by Paul Foster Case otherwise known as the BOTA deck, and is quite simular to the Rider- Waite deck, which in my opinion are two of the best decks to start out with. It lays an essential foundation for anyone who seriously wishes to use the tarot for spiritual growth and divination.
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Format: Hardcover
If you take a delight in the esoteric, cryptic, and seemingly irrelevant, pay attention to this book. Case puts every card in its context; he invariably begins by describing its Hebrew origins, its diverse associations, and its symbolic place in the tarot. As with any real tarot book, it is useless without considerable meditation and tarot-work outside of the book; slowly the perspective that he communicates will enrich your understanding of the cards.
This book will be useless to any who haven't gotten the basic gist of tarot already. You see, it is simply a combination of the elements and numerology; numerology is, I think, the richer aspect of the two. Once you have a basic understanding of it, this book has the information to refine that understanding. It can also help to introduce you to the Caballah through the Tarot.
If you aren't too used to tarot cards yet, try buying a book that addresses numerology directly, but very straightforwardly--Case is more straightforward than the old guarde of esoterists, but that won't mean much to a newcomer.
Also, some newfangled Tarot decks don't (I believe) really pay all that much attention to numerology. If that is the type of deck you are reading, this book will be useless to you. Some fairly orthodox decks are the Rider/Waite deck, the Golden Dawn Tarot, and the Thoth deck.
Yet another thing: Case comes at it from the Hebrew side, but the Egyptian side is also extremely relevant. I don't know much about astrology, but word is that side is also suitable..especially for a deck such as Thoth, which has astrological symbols all over the place. Case addresses a bit of astrology.
This book has taught me a great deal and continues to do so. It is not for everyone, still I recommend it extremely highly.
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Format: Hardcover
The definitive work on the occult Tarot of the Western Hermetic Tradition.
Includes astrological, numerological, colour, Hebrew letter, and musical, correspondences.
Deals mainly with the Major Arcana, and although divination is covered, it is not the book's main emphasis.
I've never read a book so full of erudition, wisdom, practical advice, and clear, concise explanation. My copy goes with me wherever I go.
in L.V.X.
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By A Customer on June 15, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I can not say enough about this book. I have had several copies over the last 30 years. Everytime I return to it, a new layer of knowledge is revealed. I keep a copy at work so that I can meditate on the Keys. The effects of these mediations are profound. This is the good stuff, that has stood the test of time, and comparison to other methods.
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Format: Hardcover
Paul Foster Case dedicated his life to enlightening Mankind through his esoteric teachings. He was a leading Adept of the Rosicrucian Order of the Alpha et Omega headed by S. L. MacGregor Mathers. Case joined the A.ÿ.O.ÿ. in 1918 after an invitation from the Cancellarius of Thoth-Hermes Lodge, Michael Whitty. Case's fraternal motto in the Order was Frater Perserverantia {perseverance}. Frater Perserverantia advanced through the outer grades, culminating in his initiation into the Rosae Rubeae et Aureae Crucis in 1920. Case corresponded with Dr. John William Brodie-Innes {Fr. Sub Spe} and Dr. Israel Regardie {Frater Ad Majorem Adonai Gloriam} about the Cabala, politics of the Golden Dawn lineal succession, Tarot, and overlooked dangers of Enochian magic. Case later established the Builders of the Adytum (B.O.T.A), which continues to exist as an international Order providing comprehensive training in the Western Mystery Tradition, Tarot, Cabala, and Alchemy. Paul Foster Case was a prolific writer and some of his books include: An Introduction to the Study of the Tarot (1920), A Brief Analysis of the Tarot (1927), The True and Invisible Rosicrucian Order (1927), The Book of Tokens (1934), The Great Seal of the United States (1935), The Open Door (1938), and The Tarot: A Key to the Wisdom of the Ages (1947). Tarot: A Key to the Wisdom of the Ages is an exquisite work of Tarot allegory, Cabalistic symbolism, astrology, and meditation of the Arcana. All students of the Western Mystery Tradition, whether working as Hermits or within the confines of an established Fraternal Order, will find the meditations and astrological correspondences of the Trumps invaluable.

Tarot, published in 1947 is an instant occult classic for students of the interlocking systems of the Invisible Colleges.
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