By Ronald Decker
First released in 2002, hugely wanted, and at last on hand back, A History of the Occult Tarot is the vintage paintings at the historical past of the Tarot deck and its makes use of in occult circles. beginning with the past due nineteenth century, the authors—art historian and old card curator Ronald Decker and previous Oxford good judgment professor Michael Dummett—examine how the Tarot went from a deck used easily for card video games to being the popular divination instrument of occultists, a bridge to the spirit global, or even a map of the subconscious brain.
Looking on the humans and enterprises who followed the Tarot, starting from the Theosophical Society and Aleister Crowley to the Order of the Golden sunrise and P.D. Ouspensky, this compelling scholarly examine Tarot’s occult historical past describes a few of the attention-grabbing decks utilized by occultists in addition to the key histories of magical and occult teams of the past due nineteenth century via modern occasions. it's one of many crucial histories of the topic and a key quantity for the libraries of all severe scholars of Tarot.
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Additional resources for A History of the Occult Tarot
The text actually emerged in Palestine or Mesopotamia some time between AD 100 and 600. 7 The Sepher Yetzirah cryptically discusses ‘the 32 secret paths of wisdom’. These are the ten basic numerals plus the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Hebrew was revered as the language that the Bible represents as spoken by the Creator. The emphasis on numbers perhaps indicates a debt to the Pythagoreans, who also venerated the decad as a cosmic system. In the Sepher Yetzirah, the ten integers are categories or stages or powers used by the Creator.
The rightmost column gives, for comparison, the pathways on a Tree congruent with our figure 5, but with the association of letters as given by a contemporary Cabalist, Z'ev ben Shimon Halevi, for instance in his book The Way of Kabbalah (London, 1976). Here the principle is that a pathway leading to a higher (lower-numbered) sephira is always associated with a letter earlier in the alphabet than one leading to a lower (higher-numbered) sephira. Christian Cabalists also relied on the Kabbala denudata (The Cabala Unveiled, Vol.
Some of the esoteric societies in our survey still exist and still use the Tarot – the story continues. But the phase involving secret teachings has surely run its course. Occultists themselves have become more open and less worried about the popularisation of their ideas. Besides, ideas can scarcely be hidden in a global community that has grown ever more egalitarian and communicative. The last Tarot ‘secrets’ were well on their way to becoming common knowledge when the ‘counter-culture’ appropriated the Tarot in the 1960s.
A History of the Occult Tarot by Ronald Decker