I just had an interesting but perplexing conversion on one of the Facebook tarot pages regarding the provenance of the tarot material associated with the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. There is apparently a widespread popular opinion that "Liber T," a compilation of the Order's tarot "knowledge papers," was actually written after Aleister Crowley's … Continue reading Chickens, Eggs, Carts and Horses
This method first appeared in a "whodunit" reading for a murdered New Hampshire woman that I posted in October of last year, but I can never find it when I want it so I broke it out into its own post. The court-card representing the suspect will typically have come up in an earlier spread … Continue reading “Pin the Handle on the Perp ” – A Suspect-Identification Spread
The German cosmobiologists of the mid-20th Century held that the "soft" aspects between planets (the sextiles and trines along with the less prominent quintiles and bi-quintiles) were largely a waste of time in that they seldom show anything "visible" happening. These astrologers focused on the "hard" aspects - squares, semi-squares, sesquiquadrates and oppositions - when … Continue reading Cosmobiology and the Chaldean Decans in Tarot
If you have been following my spread development arc, you will have noticed that I frequently make use of two graphic wheels showing the attribution of the 78 cards of the tarot to the system of astrological correspondences formulated by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. The foundation of this system is the arrangement … Continue reading Roll the Credits
As I prepare to do a presentation at a regional tarot meeting tomorrow on the history of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, I've been organizing my thoughts on exactly what that organization has meant to the modern esoteric tarot. Obviously, much of the foundation comes from the system of correspondences created by Samuel … Continue reading The Legacy of the Golden Dawn
Those new to tarot have many symbolic puzzles to solve when confronting the archetypes presented in the Major Arcana, but one that arises promptly is why there are two trump cards that seem to be about the same thing: Justice and Judgement. One of the simplest and most satisfying explanations I've seen is that Justice … Continue reading The Trial and the Verdict
The Lady and the Lion: Trump #11 in early decks and also in Aleister Crowley's Thoth but Trump #8 in decks based on A.E. Waite's model, this card has variously been titled Force (or Fortitude), Strength and Lust. Tarot de Marseille decks customarily show a woman opening the jaws of a lion, apparently without having … Continue reading Force, Strength or Lust?
During my recent exploration of the Opening of the Key (OotK) method as described by Aleister Crowley in both the Book of Thoth and in his 1912 release of the Golden Dawn tarot material in The Equinox, Volume 1, Number 8 (which he also identified as "revised and improved" from the version "given to students … Continue reading Christopher Hyatt and the Opening of the Key
As I discussed in a previous post, the Book of Thoth is silent about how to count and pair the cards when the Significator is at or near one end of the line, such that the full count can't be reached and pairs may not be achievable. In Israel Regardie's Complete Golden Dawn System of … Continue reading Counting with the OoTK: The Ultimate Solution?
Another question that the Book of Thoth leaves completely unanswered is how one goes about actually reading the paired cards on either side of the Significator at the end of the First Operation of the "Opening of the Key" (OotK) method. "Make a story of these cards." OK, Al, but are they to be read as … Continue reading How to Read the OotK Pairs