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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barleywine View Post
Of course. I was only responding to Abrac's specific mention of astrological symbols. There is certainly a wealth of other symbolism there.
Me too. I concur with your point.
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The GD deck is a whole other thing. I was contrasting the Waite-Smith with the Thoth.

I agree a lot of Waite's aren't explicit but can be implied. Strength = Leo, Justice = Libra, The Devil = Capricorn, The Star = Aquarius, The Sun = Sun. The spur on Death's heel doesn't look like any spur I've ever seen. It could be seen as symbolic of Scorpio's stinger. And there are those on the Chariot's belt that foolMoon mentioned. The second from the left looks like Cancer; those who knew the correspondences would notice this.

But I don't believe Waite took any of the astrological stuff very seriously, a least not as much as Crowley. By the time the WS Tarot was created he had already become disillusioned with the occult and magic.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barleywine View Post
The only explicit astrological symbol I ever noticed in the RWS deck is the Venus glyph on the shield of the Empress. Some are implied - like the ram heads on the throne of the Emperor and the lunar crescent at the feet of the High Priestess - but, unless I'm missing something, most of the Golden Dawn astrological associations aren't overtly displayed. Waite's deck doesn't emphasize the decans the way Crowley's does.
One cannot infer anything from the absence of symbols in a Tarot deck. The Golden Dawn attributions are not overtly displayed in the Regardie-Wang Golden Dawn deck either. In fact, they are strangely absent from every single card, as I recall.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abrac View Post
The GD deck is a whole other thing. I was contrasting the Waite-Smith with the Thoth.

I agree a lot of Waite's aren't explicit but can be implied. Strength = Leo, Justice = Libra, The Devil = Capricorn, The Star = Aquarius, The Sun = Sun. The spur on Death's heel doesn't look like any spur I've ever seen. It could be seen as symbolic of Scorpio's stinger. And there are those on the Chariot's belt that foolMoon mentioned. The second from the left looks like Cancer; those who knew the correspondences would notice this.
Paul Foster Case picked up on this. From The Tarot, A Key to the Wisdom of the Ages:

"The charioteer's golden belt suggests light, and is ornamented with indistinct signs, among which is one which is plainly the astrological symbol for Cancer. The position of this belt, moreover, suggests the slanting circle of the ecliptic."

Interestingly, regarding the Devil, Waite says "At the pit of the stomach there is the sign of Mercury." If it's there, it's more suggested than explicit; the Goat of Capricorn/Saturn is the more obvious symbolism. Case describes the Devil's feet as "the claws of an eagle," which is one of the esoteric correspondences of Scorpio and its regenerative power
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Originally Posted by foolMoon View Post
....... What would be the point, hiding something, and then telling where they are, and what they are for.
Thats an improvement on the 'usual Waite' ... which is often - hide something and hint that you know where it is and what it is really for but do not deem to tell the ' likes of us ' . . .
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Originally Posted by Richard View Post
One cannot infer anything from the absence of symbols in a Tarot deck. The Golden Dawn attributions are not overtly displayed in the Regardie-Wang Golden Dawn deck either. In fact, they are strangely absent from every single card, as I recall.
of course

.... if one had to swear an oath of secrecy not to reveal the Tarot / Hebrew letter correspondences , one cant ....

Oh ...... I shouldnt have revealed that
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Originally Posted by ravenest View Post
of course

.... if one had to swear an oath of secrecy not to reveal the Tarot / Hebrew letter correspondences , one cant ....

Oh ...... I shouldnt have revealed that
Actually, I lied. The Regardie-Wang Magician has a Mercury glyph; Judgement has a funny looking red thing that looks sort of like a W; and the Aces have some suspicious little squiggles.

ETA. What puzzles me about the Waite deck is that the secret GD stuff was no longer secret, so why was he so mysterious about it?
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Here's another one: at the bottom-most spoke of the Wheel of Fortune is what looks like the astrological symbol for Aquarius (although Pixie's looks like it was drawn by a left-hander, reversed from the way most astrologesr would draw it).

Case again:

"At the bottom of the same circle is one of the alchemical symbols for dissolution, identical with the astrological symbol for Aquarius."

Park's Aquarius glyph appears to be drawn in the conventional way.
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That's a good catch. I think Waite must've gotten his inspiration from Levi. On page 58 of Transcendental Magic is this diagram; Waite's arrangement is a little different though.

The Liungman Dictionary of Symbols says the Aquarius glyph symbolizes Transmutation in Alchemy. I'm not disagreeing with Case, I don't know. It does seem though in this context it's alchemical. Levi gives Salt, Sulphur, Mercury and Azoth, so Azoth seems as good as any.

The glyph looks upside down because of how it's oriented on the wheel. If you spun the wheel 180 it would be right side up.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abrac View Post
That's a good catch. I think Waite must've gotten his inspiration from Levi. On page 58 of Transcendental Magic is this diagram; Waite's arrangement is a little different though.

The Liungman Dictionary of Symbols says the Aquarius glyph symbolizes Transmutation in Alchemy. I'm not disagreeing with Case, I don't know. It does seem though in this context it's alchemical. Levi gives Salt, Sulphur, Mercury and Azoth, so Azoth seems as good as any.

The glyph looks upside down because of how it's oriented on the wheel. If you spun the wheel 180 it would be right side up.
J.E. Cirlot remarks (in A Dictionary of Symbols), that "Aquarius symbolizes the dissolution and decomposition of the forms existing within any process, cycle or period; the loosening of bonds." This seems to align with Case. Cirlot's first English translation from the original Spanish apparently occurred in 1962, long after Case's passing, so it's not clear who influenced whom, but my bet would be on Case's 1947 publication as precedent. That leaves Case's source material to ponder; I will have a slog through the voluminous BOTA course material I own to see if it sheds any light.
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