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the secrets within the deck

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starchild  starchild is offline
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the secrets within the deck


hi everyone
ive been driving myself crazy doing reserch on the symbols of the RWS tarot cards. this site and all its old threads and links have been a great help. ive spent hours and hours and more hours squinting at the screen looking for that something and ive found a lot, (nothing that hasnt already been found on this site by the way, lol) but today i asked myself a question. what am i looking for?

apart from wonder of such a deck theres been something inside me driving me to feel there is hidden messages (symbols) within the cards. and yes ive found many messages, using this deck for so many years its about time i learnt more about the symbolism.

but, still today i thought. for there to be a great secret message hidden within this deck, it would mean that arthur knew secret secrets that the world didnt, it would also mean he shared these secrets with pam, (i just cant see her following instructions in such great details without asking why). so say they both knew a great secret. and they dropped it around the deck, hinting at it here and there.
what could this secret be that is so strong that a hundred years later im stuck in wonder and searching for it.?

do others feel there is a secret message within the symols, or did pamala just draw symbols she liked, and symbols arthur liked, without much meaning.?

if you do feel the deck hold secrets, or a secret, what conclusions have others come to?
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Abrac  Abrac is offline
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There's no question the deck's full of esoteric meaning but as far as there being one ultimate and overall secret, I don't know. It's a damn shame that Waite's writing style renders 90% of what he wrote unreadable. There are probably a lot of clues that no one has had the patience to uncover.
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t.town.troy  t.town.troy is offline
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Waite was a Mason and a member of the Golden Dawn, lots of symbols in both traditions. I believe Pixie was also a member of the GD. Some of the symbols are blatantly masonic, and the switch of trumps VIII and XI is straight from the GD.
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starchild  starchild is offline
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abrac, i agree its a shame that waite writing is so full of secrets, or seems to be that no one but himself seems to be able to fully understand it. maybe there isnt one big overall secret, just lots of little secrets, but secrets of what. peace, resusation, purity, ect. whats the point in hiding those kind of symbols.

t town troy, yes i understand waite was a mason and both him and pixie were into the GD, the majority of symbols ive seen so far are masonic, but still i wonder what was so great in the symbolism that they wanted to bring it into a deck. if he was following symbols from the golden dawn and from the masons, (i believe they were) then what was the point. they understood these symbols to mean something. surly its that something that im missing.

my dad was a mason, and ive studied a bit the masons just for the sake of this deck. and i realy cant see the reason for using these symbols. i understand the mason reason for the symbols but why place them amonst the deck in such a way. i just feel there had to be a reason behind it. not just ahhh lets add some lillys and rosys here and there.

this deck is begining to feel like a huge puzzle to me, one that i dont feel im much closer to understanding now then i was when i first started investigating these symbols. i feel im missing something.... of course i will never know what there reasons were. but i love other peaples imputs on this.
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Teheuti  Teheuti is offline
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The "key" to Waite's secrets is what he called "The Secret Tradition" (similar to Blavatsky's "secret doctrine" but focused on the Western tradition). You can get the basics from Waite's chapter "The Tarot and Secret Tradition" in Pictorial Key. These ideas are fleshed out in his more than forty books, some of which have titles like "The Secret Tradition in Freemasonry" or "The Secret Tradition in Alchemy."

Doctrine means teaching or principles.
Tradition signifies the transmission from generation to generation of beliefs/teachings/principles that are not canonical/official.

The Secret Tradition basically is about the transmission of knowledge about how humankind can achieve its fullest potential. Waite was even more specific about this:

He says that "The Secret Tradition contains: firstly, the memorial of a loss which has befallen humanity; and, secondly, the records of a restitution in respect of that which was lost . . . the keepers of the tradition perpetuated it in secret by means of Instituted Mysteries and cryptic literature." It is "a realization of the few of truth imbedded in the consciousness of all" through universal ideas [embodied in symbolism]. From a Jungian perspective, this would be the collective unconscious.

It is "the immemorial knowledge concerning man's way of return whence he came by a method of the inward life [i.e., mystical experience]." Basically, the Soul (like the Gnostic Sophia—which is a part of this tradition) "cometh from afar" and the Soul returns whence it came, and it "delineates the Path of Ascent."

The Minor Arcana tells four versions of the story of loss, while the Major Arcana depicts the path of ascent or restitution.

More practically, this Path of Ascent, that Waite called "the soul's progress," involves, most importantly:
1) a death and rebirth—the Mystery of a Death on the Cross, followed by a Resurrection therefrom, and
2) a Union of opposites (or Love)—epitomized as the sacred marriage of the Hierophant with the Shekinah in the Inner Temple of the Heart.

You can find some articles on the Secret Tradition in the Minor Arcana on my blog (found in my profile).
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Teheuti  Teheuti is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starchild
whats the point in hiding those kind of symbols
The symbols aren't hidden at all. They are right there on the cards. Waite's most famous statement is "The true Tarot is symbolism; it speaks no other language and offers no other signs."

The thing about a true symbol is that it is polyvalent; it represents a multitude of related ideas and references and therefore continues to unfold no matter how much you study it. As Waite says, "And much will remain to be said after any pretended unveiling."

Ultimately, a study of the symbols is supposed to lead to a mystical opening within the individual—not simply rote knowledge or information. The information about symbols simply serves as a key to open us to deeper knowledge that may eventually lead to wisdom.
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Abrac  Abrac is offline
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Thanks for sharing that Teheuti.

Waite, like a lot of other Western occultists, was strongly influenced by Kabbalah, and there's a belief within Kabbalah of a "secret tradition" going all the way back to Adam. Nesta Webster's Secret Societies and Subversive Movements talks about this:

"The immense compilation known as the Sepher-Ha-Zohar, or Book of Light, is, however, of greater importance to the study of Cabalistic philosophy. According to the Zohar itself, the 'Mysteries of Wisdom' were imparted to Adam by God whilst he was still in the Garden of Eden, in the form of a book delivered by the angel Razael. From Adam the book passed on to Seth, then to Enoch, to Noah, to Abraham, and later to Moses, one of its principal exponents."

Webster's book is quite interesting, though pretty heavy reading at times.
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Teheuti  Teheuti is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abrac
Waite, like a lot of other Western occultists, was strongly influenced by Kabbalah, and there's a belief within Kabbalah of a "secret tradition" going all the way back to Adam.
Yes, and Waite's book "The Holy Kabbalah" is a MUST read if you want to understand his use of Kabbalistic symbolism. But, Waite also included the Isis-Osiris myth as well as the classical mystery schools like that at Eleusis in the Secret Tradition, although he felt these all were not as complete as the Christian mysteries.

Waite was not into orthodox religion or what he called the "instituted mysteries," but rather the mystical path that could only be realized by an individual in the inner temple in that person's heart. Nor was he interested in the conspiracy theories that, I believe, Webster professed. It's been a really long time since I read her book, so I don't remember any particulars.
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starchild  starchild is offline
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thankyou all for your replys, very informative and its given me much food for thought. the replys have kept a few door open for me that i had previously closed. i was more stuck on the holy grail influance, if any, for some reason its what i see as the grail influance that keeps my fire burning. plus a few other things that i find more then interesting and although just thought, probly based on other peaples thoughts, its kept me more then exited about this deck.

the high priestess, if she is holding the sacred tora scroll, and to me it seems that she is, if she is in solomans temple sitting between the pillars holding the scroll, then it goes against everything that was known at the time. this sacred scroll, this position, it would of only been held by a male.

the queen of cups, if what she is holding in her hand is what the catholics have as a sacred vessle in churches (the name is on the tip of my tongue) if it is that, and ive seen one myself and they are very much alike, then this (cup) would have only ever been held by a male, never a women.

these two cards seem to me to show that arthur and pixie placed women in a position that the world had never seen at the time, not in 1909 nor any christian time befourhand.
i find these two cards to be both interesting and funny. going agains the norm is something ive always find interesting.

the death card to me is also one of great interest., the pope seems to be pleading for his life, or for the life of others. this goes in contrast to the exeptance of death that a pope is sopposed to hold.

out of the many W=M ideas that crop up with the ace of cups i could choose any one of them just as everyone, i have no idea what the initial is nor what its about.( the logical approch would be to see it for what it is, a big W) but lets say i pick the M for the mary idea. why mary magdalan, why nor mary for jesus mum. it would be a good idea to have a card that showed the conception, but ok, i go with magdalan instead, then on the pope card i come across the same W=M on his odd looking crown. now ive gone for it i have to stick with it, so this would now say to me the weight the pope has (christianity) on his crown because of the M scandle

i do see a general holy grail story within the entire deck, although i understand i could be finding what i seek, although i didnt start looking for this story, just curiosily into the symbolism. but like tarot does it takes everyone on its own journey.

the women in the world card, the last befour the begining of the majors, seems to show me that at the center of it all its about a women. boy do i have an imagination.

whatever the truth about this deck its opened up doors for me that is far more then telling the future, its opened my imagination, opened books from the past, reserch into old storys and myths, its took me into a world where sometimes i feel there is an entire map behind the cards and sometimes i feel i know the way of pams map of mountains, castle and lakes.

ive come to the conclusions that i am on the right path following the holy grail story, yet at the same time im so far from the truth of the symbols. sometimes things are more complex then we think and sometimes things are so much more simple. sometimes a feather is a message from an angel, a loved one, and sometimes its just a simple feather fallen from a bird. its what we read into it that makes the difference.

if my thoughtline (that could change anytime by the way) was correct, if this held the secret story of mary magdalan along with many other messages, does it matter, does it make any difference to me if mary had jesus children and the bloodline still continued, if she was so much more important then what is made out. not at all and yes, heaps. it makes no real difference in my life nor in my readings, the 6 of cups is still the six of cups, so to speak. and yet on a personal level, id like history to be remembered as correctly as possible and not such a do about nothing.
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t.town.troy  t.town.troy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starchild
the women in the world card, the last befour the begining of the majors, seems to show me that at the center of it all its about a women. boy do i have an imagination.
"Her" scarf is traditionally supposed to cover male genitalia. That would imply an essential androgynous nature, or the union of opposites.
P.F.Cases' BOTA deck "corrects" what he thought Waite had concealed. He (Case) also explains a lot of the symbols in the major arcana (roses-desire, lilies-knowledge, etc.), in his book "The Tarot, A Key to the Wisdom of the Ages".
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