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Book: The Ultimate Guide to the Rider Waite Tarot by Fiebig & Burger

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cbiz83  cbiz83 is offline
Join Date: 26 Apr 2016
Location: Oregon, USA
Posts: 298

Originally Posted by rwcarter View Post
My general rule of thumb with the written word (even my own!) is to keep what resonates and discard what doesn't. Just because it's written (in a book or on the web) doesn't mean that one needs to take it as gospel.

I have the book and haven't read it. But even if one feels the interpretations of the symbols are rubbish, the book might be useful for pointing out symbols that one might not have thought of otherwise, like the dance in the 3C that I mentioned earlier.

You're absolutely right Rodney--and I'm glad you pointed this out. I was a bit too passionate about my opinion up there. The intro to the book and early material that talks about really looking at the symbols on a card is very well put. I might reject their other claims later, but that only indicates that it doesn't work for me personally. It might be a book that really works well for someone else.

You know, last week the Temperance card was following me around and apparently (given my quasi rant above), I didn't pay as much attention to it as I should have! - Chris
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Zephyros  Zephyros is offline
Join Date: 31 Jan 2004
Location: Israel
Posts: 8,179

I seem to remember another thread about this book, although I'm fuzzy about the details. If it is the book I'm thinking about, it isn't bad as far as books of its calibre go, I remember looking at exerpts of it online. It is short and to the point and seems to be made with readings in mind rather than the bigger picture of structure and symbolism. I remember serious problems pertaining to its editing (direct translations, funky syntax and typos) but that's forgivable.

The main problem, though, with books about the "big" decks like the RWS or Thoth is that these books very often reflect the authors' own views about the deck which are very often at odds with the original intent of the decks' creators. On the one hand one may say that this doesn't matter because of intuition, etc. I support that view somewhat, as even the creators of these decks were aware their ideas would be developed through iteration and use. The authors of this book seem well-read and I have no doubt that there is something of the Ring Cycle in the RWS, or at least the ideas, symbols and worldview that govern the backgrounds of both.

However, lacking any formal kind of citation of sources, one can only conclude that despite the bombastic name, the book isn't very "Waite-ish," which is a shame since the deck is. Very much so, in fact. Many symbols are far from universal or traditional and are used in different ways that may not be readily apparent. And if the views presented in the book are the authors' own then the book seems superfluous to me because anyone can do what they did, to journal the different symbols. There's no "magic" there, nothing to elevate this book from others.

Ultimately the question that should be asked is if one is really interested in these authors' vision of the deck, or whether they want to know what's actually going on there. Nobody is under the imperative to become a Waite scholar, but one should not delude themselves that this book is anything close to the "ultimate" book, or even in the neighborhood of authenticity. Rather, it an interpretation of the deck itself, using whatever tools the authors had at their disposal. As good as an interpretation may be, it is still second-hand.

Our own Abrac has done some marvellous research over in the RWS forum about the sources and influences of the images on the cards and has suggested some ideas that, supported by the source material, seem very likely to be true. Waite was a highly prolific author, and much about the deck can be gleaned from others of his books. If someone really wants to do the work and find out, the material is there in Waite's body of work. It isn't easy, but anyone can do it.
Top   #12
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PathWalker  PathWalker is offline
Walking the old paths
Join Date: 02 Jun 2008
Location: Always on chalk in my heart...
Posts: 11,457

Originally Posted by cbiz83 View Post

Regarding the curtain in Justice: "In the spectrum of colors, violet lies closest to invisible radiation."
Well that is technically true, although what relevance it has to the card meaning I don't know and you don't say LOL

But below red light you start to get into the low, heat spectrum, and above violet (and ultra violet) you get into the shorter wave (?) invisible spectrum.
This is coming from a chemist you understand - the physicist is out weeding the garden so I may be slightly off, but you get the gist.

But what they meant by it???

Top   #13


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