Adherence of the RWS Pips to Their Golden Dawn Roots

As a follow-up to my previous post on the relationship between the RWS and Thoth decks and their common source in the Golden Dawn’s esoteric system, I conducted a small exploratory analysis of the relative adherence of the RWS pip cards to their Golden Dawn roots. I took the descriptions in Liber T and compared them to the images in the cards. What I found is that about half of the 40 cards (21) have a relatively strong connection to the text, around a quarter are of middling compliance (10) and another quarter are weak in their alignment (9). Where adherence is middling or weak, it’s generally the extraneous anecdotal baggage in the imagery that does them in. Note that I didn’t go back to Waite’s Pictorial Key to the Tarot because I strongly suspect he got some of his non-Golden-Dawn ideas from his cartomancy material published as “Grand Orient.”

Here is the table:

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