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78 Degrees of Wisdom

Thread originally posted on the Aeclectic Tarot Forum on 15 Dec 2001, and now archived in the Forum Library.

numbrel  15 Dec 2001 
OK, I have the book now. Everyone has said such wonderful things about it and also mentioned studying it together. But now I can't find any posts about studying it! Are you all corresponding off this board or am I just not finding the messages?


bec  15 Dec 2001 
sorry Numbrel,
the only study group Iīve heard of inhere is the one we have going in constellations and mandalas. And weīre using Mary K Greerīs books; tarot for your self, constellations and mirrors.
Is this the study group you seek ? 

truthsayer  16 Dec 2001 
i can only remember the book being suggested as an excellent resource and study guide. rachel pollack has an extensive background in tarot plus her writing style is entertaining. this isn't a book i can sit down and read straight thru but i still enjoy skipping around learning.

since you want a study group on 78 degrees of wisdom, why not start one here yourself? all you need is a willingness to learn. i'm sure others are interested in this book, too. in 3 days, i can join you studying the book. 

Butterfly  16 Dec 2001 
It is a wonderful book, I feel like it really connects me to the collective wisdom behind the tarot.
I don't know of any study groups around this book. But I'd be really interested to take part in one. 

catlin  17 Dec 2001 

As I wanted to do a thorough re-reading of this book over X-mas, I'd love to tune in in your future study group project.

Just let me know when you will start with it. 

Jewel  17 Dec 2001 
What a great idea! I would love to take part in this study group! I am currently reading the book (just finished the major arcana section) and it is terrific. I think the study group would offer us an opportunity to discuss the symbolism of tarot as well as ask each other relevant questions regarding our favorite decks in the context of what we lear through this book. Count me in!

~Scartches her head~ With this being the second study group to emerge I am wondering if we should ask Solandia to create a "Study Groups" forum and move this thread and the "Constellations & Manadalas" one to that forum ... what do you guys think?

Love & Light, 

numbrel  18 Dec 2001 
Hi, thanks for the replies. I don't mean to "post and run." My computer has problems with Aeclectic and sometimes I write a nice long message and it gets lost. I would happy to start a study group after the first of the year. I leave for a big vacation on Friday and I won't be back for 3 weeks. I will try to check in while on the road, but I don't know how regular I can be.

Like I said, I just got the book and I am slowly working my way through it. If there is someone who feels they really want to lead the study group, I do not mind at all. I am back in college and wouldn't mind someone else taking the lead. But if no one else wants to, I will.


Jewel  18 Dec 2001 
The beggining of next year sounds good to me too. I am also leaving on vacation starting this Friday and will not be checking in.

Happy holidays to all!

Love & Light, 

purplelady  18 Dec 2001 
I have 78 degrees of wisdom on my shelf and have never read it. I would love to join your study group and read the book! Hope I have time! 

genna  18 Dec 2001 
I have also started reading 78 Degrees of Wisdom a few days ago and would like to participate in the study group.
Love and Light,Genna. 

Jewel  19 Dec 2001 
Cool looks like we have a new study group starting next year! Great work there Numbrel. I also do not have time to lead this group, and perhaps we do not need a leader per se. One of the things I would like to see in the study group is how we apply that knowledge to the decks we most commonly use as we go through the book so that we can all learn about the symbolism (and compare and contrast it to the RW) in other decks as we as review. I don't know about you guys but I learn best from application. How does that sound? I think it could enhance our knowledge of our favorite decks and maybe gain some new insights about them. If this works for the gourp I will be using the Robin Wood for this exercise. Any other ideas of what we would want to see in our study group?

Love & Light, 

genna  19 Dec 2001 
That sounds great.I like the idea of comparing our most used decks with the RW and Rachel Pollackīs interpretation of it very much.
Love and Light,Genna. 

numbrel  19 Dec 2001 
Jewel (20 Dec, 2001 01:57):
One of the things I would like to see in the study group is how we apply that knowledge to the decks we most commonly use as we go through the book so that we can all learn about the symbolism (and compare and contrast it to the RW) in other decks as we as review. ... If this works for the group I will be using the Robin Wood for this exercise. Any other ideas of what we would want to see in our study group?

This is a great idea. I will be using my Russian Tarot of St. Petersburg.


genna  23 Dec 2001 
I will be using the Tarot of a Moon Garden,even though I dislike the companion book(except for the description of the symbolism of the cards of the deck).I like the art and there is some of the Rider-Waite symbolism present.

Love and Light,Genna. 

Melvis  23 Dec 2001 
What a great idea! I'd wanted to join the Mary Greer study group with you, Bec & Jewel, but I work at a retail gift store and December is just too hectic to have so many projects going on. ;)

Anyway, I'd love to be a part of this study group in January. I agree, Jewel, that we don't necessarily need a leader. How about if someone just gathers suggestions for study questions and topics of discussion from all those who are interested in participating? Then it's just a matter of presenting them to everyone after we begin.

BTW: I'd be happy to volunteer as this kind of a "group leader" but as I said, I have a lot of projects going on right now that I have to finish first...such as the two other F.A.C.T. cards that I have partially finished and need to complete! ;)

My choice of cards to create for the collaborative deck was highly influenced by this book, incidently. I wanted to pick cards that didn't get a lot of attention but really had something to say. When I read what Ms. Pollack wrote about the Five and Six of Pentacles, it just blew me away. There were so many layers of meaning that she found in just those two cards that I was really inspired.

Anyway, I'll save the rest of my babbling for the group. I'll see you all there!



Red Emma  25 Dec 2001 
Christmas Day, 2001 (2 p.m. PST, [usa])

Count me in! As I'm retired, I study quite regularly but pretty much as a dilettante. However, I do like to broaden and deepen my knowledge. I'm half asleep today, and wasn't quite sure about the deck recommendations. Are we supposed to all use the same deck? I've just ordered two new decks from, which blows my budget for a while. I do have the Moon Garden deck, but I've been looking for it in vain. When something I decide to do keeps evaporating like a mirage, I tend to think that "The Goddess" wants me to do something else. Frequently I discover that what does happen (instead of what I'd planned) turns out to be much better for me. Cheers, Red Emma 

genna  26 Dec 2001 
Hi Red Emma!

I think we were to use the deck we use the most in readings and if it isnīt the Rider-Waite we could compare it with that deck.I donīt think it matters if some of us use the same deck,or the R-W deck.

The Moon Garden is my choice because it has some R-W symbolism in it that my favourite deck lacks,so it would be easier for me to use this deck,as Iīm a beginner.

Love and Light,Genna. 

scorpio  26 Dec 2001 
i read the older publication of this book from the library that just covers the major arcana so i recently purchased the book so i could read the new version so a study group would be fun, count me in. 

Cocobird5  27 Dec 2001 
I would also like to join this study group. I have the book and think it has an enormous amount of information. 

Jimilyn  29 Dec 2001 
This sounds like fun to me!

I have that book and haven't gotten around to reading it yet. So this would be a good reason to get started reading it. I have so many books I want to read that I have a terrible tendency to "get distracted" by another book. ;)


synchronicity  31 Dec 2001 
I just received "The Seventy Eight Degrees of Wisdom" for my birthday and would love to join the group. When do we start and is there a leader?


Melvis  02 Jan 2002 
Hi, all! Happy New Year!

I was thinking of starting a new thread this weekend that starts with one of the first chapters of the book, where Rachel puts the first three cards and the last card of the Major Arcana into a diamond pattern and discusses it.

Since we're all using different decks, I think it would be cool to do this with our own decks and talk about what we see in relation to what Rachel sees when she does it with the RW deck. (I'd do it now, but I don't have my cards/book with me.)

The pattern goes like this:


00 = The Fool
1 = The Magician
2 = The High Priestess
21 = The World

What does everyone think about this as a starting point? Then, when we want to switch to new Chapters (new topics of discussion) we can just start new threads.



P.S. I think I'll be using the Legend/Arthurian Tarot as my 'study deck.' 

Kaz  02 Jan 2002 
Melvis, good idea, I have borrowed the book and I would like to join discusion. Maybe it's handy to put this "diamond-discussion" in a new thread anyway?


cj  02 Jan 2002 
Ok..I don't have the book yet..I will work on it...can I still study?

the deck I have been using the most lately is the Sacred Circle.


PS would love an email to let me know when you start 

Kiama  03 Jan 2002 
Ooh! Ooh! Please let me join! I hadn't read this thread til just now, on the 3rd Jan, cuz I don't have the book (Yet) but will be of to buy in when I leave the house today!


*I'll be usin Robin Wood* 

Jewel  03 Jan 2002 
This is absolutly fabulous!!!! We will have tons of fun with this I am sure. As Melvis' secretary ~giggles~ (sorry Melvis I just hired myself *LOL*) I would like to recap what I understand we are all agreeing to AND I will put a few other suggestions. Once we get the ground work on how we want to proceed then Melvis can take it away ... I absolutly love the idea of starting with the diamond by the the way . Okies here is what I undersrand we are all agreeing to:

1) The group is open to all, those with the book, those getting the book, those who are curious about the book, those who seriously want to be a part of this book or no book.

2) We will start a new thread with each chapter we discuss so that we can stay focused.

3) Melvis will be our fearless leader although we are ALL responsible for keeping this study group alive.

4) Study group participants will use what ever deck they choose to use.

5) The purpose of the study group is to discuss the book and apply the knowledge we learn to the decks we prefer. By this I do mean adding/discussing some of the symbolism in your deck that might not be a part of the RW deck, what you think it means, how it compares, etc.


1) How about 1 chapter every 2 weeks? Since most of us have expressed how busy we are this would ensure that everyone would have time to read the chapter, and there would be no pressure/hurry or worry about falling behind. It would be a laxed pace that would allow us to try to go really deep into the subject vs. a hit and run approach *LOL*. I really want sink my teeth into this ~giggles~.

2)For group members to make additional suggestions/coments in this thread and keep the chapter threads clean and dedicated to discussion and questions of that chapter (like you guys have done with the Aeclectic project).

3) That all Chapter related threads be marked something like "78 DW - blah blah blah Chapter" or whatever ... just an easy identifyer for group participants.

4) All questions are great questions! If at some point any one of us gets confused, twisted up or what ever let the group know so we can nurture each other and continue learning together.

5) Lets agree on a start date. Melvis??? suggestions???

~Hops of her soap box pertending she is Ace Ventura~ "I have excorcised the demons" *LOL*

I am really excited about this!!! I am so happy there is so much interest. By the way, any and all of you who would care to join the Mary Greer study group (Tarot Constellations and Mandalas is the thread) you are more than welcome to join. Read the thread, start at the beggining of Tarot for Yourself, ask questions, give opinions, etc. I know I for one do not mind retracing steps to work with others as it only reinforces what I learn.

Love & Light, 

Cocobird5  03 Jan 2002 
All of your suggestions sound great. I'm looking forward to starting.


Cocobird5  03 Jan 2002 
All of your suggestions sound great. I'm looking forward to starting.


jema  04 Jan 2002 
hey, i am in! that way i will get to re-read the book in a more structured way.
looking forward to this:-) 

Kiama  04 Jan 2002 
I think all of Jewel's suggestions are great, esp. the thing about a chapter every two weeks. I'm a fairly busy person, and this will fit in really well with me.

And thankyou Melvis for being the leader!

Kiama *With 78DW ready in her right hand, left hand eagerly waiting by the keyboard....* 

Raven  05 Jan 2002 
This book was suggested in the Barnes and Nobel University Intro to Tarot course. That's why I looked into the thread and I was excited to find the study group starting and that my timing seems to be right on the mark.

I'm going to try to find the book today and I'm really excited about being able to join this group.


synchronicity  05 Jan 2002 
Synchronicity sitting here at the starting gate all psyched up and ready to's got the starting gun?


Melvis  05 Jan 2002 
Wow! This is great! Here we go...

Jewel: Your name suits ARE a jewel to sum up the ideas to date so succinctly! ;)

I think 1 Chapter every 2 weeks would give everyone a chance to get involved. As we accumulate chapters, it may get to be closer to 3 weeks between new chapter introductions, 'cause I'm sure we'll all keep checking back on previous chapter threads as more people contribute to them! We'll play it by ear...

I will put "78 DW:" as the starting point on all the study group threads. I was going to use "78 DOW:" but my mind kept seeing it as a Homer Simpson quote, (D'oh!) so I reconsidered! :D

I'll also start a "78 DW: F.A.Q." thread that explains what we're doing, and can be a place to ask general questions. I'd stick with this thread but I find it annoying when I have to go through more than a couple pages to get to the new replies! ;)

Anyway, I'll post the Diamond spread info tomorrow evening (Sunday, Jan. 6 in the States) as our starting point.

Ready, everyone! Here we go....



arizonagirl  05 Jan 2002 
Oh, oh, me too, me too!! I won't have the book til next week, but since it's been suggested that you'll cover 1 chapter every 2 weeks, I can catch up. *sobbing* I just read this thread today. 

Chrissy  06 Jan 2002 
I would love to join in your study group, too. What do I need to do? Just check this forum every few days or so? How will everyone else approach this? 

Jewel  07 Jan 2002 
~Smiles at Melvis~ thanks for the compliment. I really think this group will be a real successful study group and perhaps a spring board on how we can approach future books we want to disect and study together.

I totally agree with Melvis that we should play it by ear and if we have a lot of discussion on a particular chapter that we slow the pace accordingly. Also the "78 DW F.A.Q. Thread is a WONDERFUL idea!

Again, for those of you that do not have the book yet, or want to see how this group goes prior to getting the book, please feel free to participate. As Melvis said, we will probably be adding on to "78-DW" threads and I am sure Melvis (and I know I will) check any of these threads as they pop up even after we have covered a chapter.

Again Melvis, thank you for taking on the leadership of this study group and please let me know if there is anything I can do to support you in this role.

Looking forward to studying with all of you, 

The 78 Degrees of Wisdom thread was originally posted on 15 Dec 2001 in the Talking Tarot board, and is now archived in the Forum Library. Read the threads in Talking Tarot, or read more archived threads.

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