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Insanity, Grant Morrison, MacGregor Mathers, and tarot

By | August 16, 2008 | Print This Post | E-mail This Post | Comments Off

Saturday Signal: attempting to sift signal from the noise of the Internet’s occultural cacophony.

    In our first Saturday Signal Beth asked “how our “fun day” (Saturday) got named after the least fun god/planet of the week”.  Last week we looked at one possible reason, and Gesigewigus commented on how the planetary hours align nicely with the days of the week: Continue reading »

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    Top 5 Foundational Books on Tarot

    By | March 24, 2008 | Print This Post | E-mail This Post | 5 Comments

    There are some books that are required reading for the serious student, and this list represents my top five foundational books on tarot – books that will provide a solid historical, symbolic and esoteric foundation for any student.

    1. Dogme et rituel de la haute magie (available in English as Transcendental Magic), by Éliphas Lévi (Alphonse-Louis Constant)

    First published in 1855 as Dogme et rituel de la haute magie, it became a foundational text for the French occult revival. It was translated into English by Arthur Edward Waite in 1896 as Transcendental Magic, its Doctrine and Ritual and gained wider recognition among English-speaking occultists on both sides of the Atlantic.

    Dogma et rituel became the first occult text to weave elemental, alchemical, astrological and planetary theory with kabbalah, the tarot and ceremonial magick, synthesizing the first wholly integrated system of magick. It served and continues to serve as the basis for much symbolism found in the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, the Ordo Templi Orientis, and various contemporary mystery schools. While lacking in historical accuracy, and allowing for many liberties taken with its symbolic integrity, Dogma et rituel remains an important historical work for this reason.

    2. A Wicked Pack of Cards: The Origins of the Occult Tarot, by Ronald Decker, Thierry Depaulis & Michael Dummett

    Published in 1996, this became the first modern book to seriously evaluate the various absurd claims occultists have made over the centuries regarding tarot’s origins and original intended use.

    Decker, Depaulis and Dummett slice through the myths, misdirection and outright lies occultists have made over the years, beginning with Antoine Court de Gebélin, and continuing on through Etteilla, Mlle Le Normand, Éliphas Lévi, Paul Christian, Papus and others, to provide us with the unvarnished truth and often quite scathing commentary. Continue reading »