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Impact of PCS on the RWS deck (split from: I don't think I could go back to Rider Wai

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Miss Woo  Miss Woo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LRichard View Post
The illustrations in the pips are based on the 36 astrological decans described in the Picatrix and refined in Book T, a document to which PCS did not have access. Waite did have access to the book, and described the ideas behind the illustrations to PCS, who executed them masterfully.

The so-called "RWS meanings" given in The Pictorial Key to the Tarot, are a collection of "traditional meanings," not necessarily Waite's, which are not always consistent with the illustrations. I have gone into this in detail elsewhere, so I don't want to do it again. You don't have to take my word for it, but I am right nevertheless.
It's okay, I believe you

I really must apologise... I have this habit of spouting my head off about things I really know nothing about and the history and creation of the Rider Waite deck is one of them. It's one of the down sides of being a confident person. So please excuse my ignorance
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" Daggy Christian artwork " .... I think it is that very artwork that made it popular. That and the idea to make the artwork in little visual cameo scenes . (Not that I personally like it ... I think some of it is atrocious ... especially on the trumps. - Waite does " sound out-dated now in a weird Victorian/Christian way" to me as well . )

The scenic minors seem to make it easier to read for many people and the artwork style is perfect for a 'pre-modern' 'faux romantic' a la tarot look .... just what a lot of people want. Sort of like a tour through 'Arthurian Disneyland' that is easily comprehensible from the surface and able to receive projections of deep 'significance' for the imaginative .... and some codified masked 'secret stuff' .
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Let's not forget that Waite and Smith were greatly inspired by the Sola Busca Tarot which they saw in an exhibition and which is naturally a Medieval deck.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Sternbach View Post
Let's not forget that Waite and Smith were greatly inspired by the Sola Busca Tarot which they saw in an exhibition and which is naturally a Medieval deck.
They also used imagery motifs from the Etteilla, such as the Caduceus in the Two of Cups. Since the Majors were based mostly on the historical decks, why not the Minors also?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LRichard View Post
They also used imagery motifs from the Etteilla, such as the Caduceus in the Two of Cups. Since the Majors were based mostly on the historical decks, why not the Minors also?
Not only the Caduceus. The red elixir on Eteilla's card turns into a winged red lion! The Red Lion being synonymous with the Philosopher's Stone which is the result of the conjunction of Male and Female.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Sternbach View Post
Let's not forget that Waite and Smith were greatly inspired by the Sola Busca Tarot which they saw in an exhibition and which is naturally a Medieval deck.
I am not in disagreement here, just want to re-approach it from a different point of view: You are a member of the Second Order of the Golden Dawn. Having already made your very own Tarot deck as an Adeptus Minor, also having knowledge of Book T, you want to collaborate with a hand artist to create a deck which contains some of your ideas, but not all of your secret knowledge, since you decided to remain truthfull to the Oath you gave as a Neophyte and not make the secret attributions know. You have an artist who gave up from the Order having a rank low enough not to know anything about the secret attributions (Smith).

So, Waite has all he needs to execute his plan: A partner who didn't possess his knowledge (the knowledge necessary to reveal the Order's secrets), so he could get it done the way he wanted, with the secrets intact, a deck base from older decks and not his Magickal one (the one he painted back when he was initiated to the grade of Adeptus Minor) and finally, he did promote some of your hidden personal knowledge as you see fit, making a deck which appears exoteric to the average Tarot enthusiast, but which has a certain ammount of your mystical knowledge for the "initiated" individual and not all his knowledge and understanding. Voila!

And here we have it: A deck the average Tarot enthusiast-reader can use without much effort to learn many things, a "hidden" aspect of the Tarot which can be realized and appreciated by Initiates, and Waite's own obscure writings, which do possess deep understanding of the issues they elaborate with, but which cannot be understood by the average reader. His job: Done! He managed to create a deck according to those standards which influenced the current Tarot world very much, kept the Order's secrets hidden, promoted some of his ideas in a more exoteric manner, making it usable by a good portion of humans and also made his works hard to study because of their obscurity.
Top   #16
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I don't think Waite was trying to conceal a lot of GD secrets in the Waite-Smith tarot. He wrote in his autobiography that the GD didn't really have a very good understanding of divination. He goes on to say he was afraid Pamela might pick up GD secrets psychically and include them in the deck. He doesn't say he was trying to conceal something and didn't want it revealed, only that Pamela might inadvertently reveal something, regardless of what his intentions were. Furthermore, Waite explains that his ideas about the tarot cards were evolving beyond what he'd been taught in the GD. If this is the case, why would he go to all the trouble to conceal something originating in a system he neither respected nor practiced any longer?
Top   #17
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I think any autobiography needs to be dissected slightly and not taken at face value. This is true especially of an enigmatic personage like Waite.

Firstly, although he says outright that he had little to no hand in the Minors, they show obvious GD material as well as overall structure. There are things on them that Smith, despite her psychic gifts, couldn't have known. The cards themselves betray the fact that Waite was either lying or simply stretching the truth. Between the card meanings and general symbolism and description and rather obvious esoteric inserts like the Tree of Life or a Red Lion, the truth does come out, and isn't even that hard to find.

Secondly, there is the matter of the Courts. Like the Minors, they show clear Golden Dawn influence as well as hints to their proper places on the Tree of Life. Although the PKT describes them in one (wrong) order, the cards themselves once again have the information Waite sought in writing to conceal. The descriptions in Book T do fit the Courts, but in that book they are described in the correct order.

As to why Waite said what he said, I would assume it to be a combination of several factors. Ego would certainly play a large part, as much of his later career was re-forming the GD system into something that would better suit his more mystical tendencies. He would not want to be seen as a copy-cat. In addition, I got the feeling from other members' notes about him that he had somewhat of a chip on his shoulder, and was not the easiest man to get along with. Feeling perhaps snubbed, this would cause him even more to assert his own successes over others'.

Secondly, while he did eschew the magic of the Golden Dawn, he still utilized its initiatory system of grades, and in some of those grades much of the original GD material would still be of use, no matter what he said.

Still, something that's bugging me is this: In Crowley's review of the deck in the Equinox, he mentioned 777 as a published book. Although 777 is obscure (in order to use it, you have to know what it means), if it were, indeed, published already, it would mean many of the secrets were out already. Would Smith have consulted it, or known of its significance? Crowley also talks about how reticent Waite is in telling the truth, but his wording suggests Waite's secrecy is about things that aren't secrets anymore.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by closrapexa View Post
Still, something that's bugging me is this: In Crowley's review of the deck in the Equinox, he mentioned 777 as a published book. Although 777 is obscure (in order to use it, you have to know what it means), if it were, indeed, published already, it would mean many of the secrets were out already. Would Smith have consulted it, or known of its significance? Crowley also talks about how reticent Waite is in telling the truth, but his wording suggests Waite's secrecy is about things that aren't secrets anymore.
777 was book-reviewed in The Occult Review 1909 July issue by "GCJ" (most likely George Cecil Jones), which means all the editors of OR and PCS could knew the GD tarot attribution then. The Equinox and OR were not on bad terms as the former put full page ads on the latter many times. Jones as "V.N." even wrote an article explaining the GD tarot attribution in OR 1910 May issue.
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That makes sense time-wise, but it's anyone's guess if Smith would have consulted it. But if the information had already been made public, how is Waite's secrecy explained?
Top   #20




 


 


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