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Hermetic Tarot Notes on LWB and General Discussion

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Hermetic Tarot Notes on LWB and General Discussion


Found my LWB (knew it was around somewhere) it has the history of the deck in the Introduction.

It is not based on Mathers original deck as I first thought. It says:

Quote:
the deck...draws heavily upon the work of Mathers, Crowley, Case, Soror and Levi. A slightly different account of the cards can be found in the Book T: The Tarot by...Mathers...Dowson's cards in the Hermetic Tarot reveal a combination of detail and symbolism that capture the mood and sense of each pictorial image...
It says that the early members of the Golden Dawn were asked to prepare their own decks based on Mathers own deck. As more and more members joined, the deck became more different to Mathers deck. No one has a copy (that we know of) of Mathers deck.

There is some important information in the booklet such as the fact that the cards are collated in the following way: V Hierophant, then Foolish Man through to the Emperor; The Lovers through to the Universe. Knight, Queen, King and Princesses of Wands. Then Cups, Swords and Pentacles. Ace to Ten of Wands, then again, Cups, Swords and Pentacles.

The order of the Trumps (I take it the Hierophant either goes first because he acts as High Priest over the initiates or for astrological significance - clarification on this point would be most welcome).

It also says that the sigil on each card is not Dowson's signature but the stamp of a master craftsman.

I also found out that Soror who wrote the explanations for the Tarot Trumps is Great Honoured Sister Q. L. Hence G.H Soror - Soror must mean sister in Golden Dawn speak). I would like to know who Q.L is or what it stands for.

The Hermetic as does the Thoth and other GD decks, relies heavily on astrology. Later in the introduction it says:

Quote:
The true astrological year was begun by the Golden Dawn with the star Regulus at 0 degrees Leo, rather than the more common 0 degrees Aries. Thus the Five of Wands, 0-10 degrees Leo is the first pip card described in the book T and the Four of Cups, 20-30 degrees Cancer, is the last.
It then goes on to introduce Regardies' Golden Dawn for a more complete explanation.

These books might be of some use:
http://tarot.org.il/Library/English.html
The Tarot Library which contains many relevant texts including the BoT, Book T etc

These may also be of some interest:

An Introduction to the Study of the Tarot by Paul Foster Case
http://www.golden-dawn.com/goldendaw.../pdf/intro.pdf

An introduction to the Kabbalah
http://www.servantsofthelight.org/QBL/Index.html

The Oracle of the Tarot by Paul Foster Case
http://athenaeum.asiya.org/Case_Oracle_of_the_Tarot.pdf

Comparison tables of TdM and GD decks Majors and Minors
http://www.tarot.org.il/comparison/

If anyone knows of any good GD information on astrology that would be helpful.
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Quote:
Each card contains the sigil which is the mark of a master craftsman and all the work by Godfrey Dowson bears this mark.
I read that as meaning that this is his master work - and that is his mark. To me, one wouldn't put the mark of some other master craftsman on one's own work. That would be paramount to me drawing a stick figure and signing it Picasso. The quality of Dowson's artwork and the amount of detail in this deck indicates that he is indeed a master of his craft.

Alan McLean has an interesting write up in "Lesson 13" of his tarot study course of this and similar decks.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chiska View Post
I read that as meaning that this is his master work - and that is his mark. To me, one wouldn't put the mark of some other master craftsman on one's own work. That would be paramount to me drawing a stick figure and signing it Picasso. The quality of Dowson's artwork and the amount of detail in this deck indicates that he is indeed a master of his craft.
The LWB says
Quote:
Each card contains the sigil *** which is the work of a master craftsman and all the work of Godfrey Dowson bears this mark.
It is simply the stamp of a master craftsman. I don't know enough about Dowson in order to ascertain if he is a master craftsman or if this is pretension or a reference to free masonry. His signature is on Justice:
http://picasaweb.google.com/Galoregn...82982545314002

It does not say that the sigil is there because this is his 'master work' rather the stamp is on all his work.

I don't think this sigil is personal to Dowson unless of course you have other references that say it is. I can't find that much information on him. I'm also not sure how important this is to the deck.

eta from the reference you provided above:

Quote:
The Hermetic tarot is a relatively early magical tarot, being a series of pen and ink
drawings made 1975-77 by Godfrey Dowson, a self-taught freelance illustrator.
It seems the sigil is pretension as he is self taught and this is one of his early works.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caridwen View Post
The LWB says

It is simply the stamp of a master craftsman. I don't know enough about Dowson in order to ascertain if he is a master craftsman or if this is pretension or a reference to free masonry. His signature is on Justice:
http://picasaweb.google.com/Galoregn...82982545314002

It does not say that the sigil is there because this is his 'master work' rather the stamp is on all his work.

I don't think this sigil is personal to Dowson unless of course you have other references that say it is. I can't find that much information on him. I'm also not sure how important this is to the deck.

eta from the reference you provided above:



It seems the sigil is pretension as he is self taught and this is one of his early works.

I guess short of finding him and asking him, we will never know.
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