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"Original" Golden Dawn Materials (split from Holistic Tarot - Benebell Wen)


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"Original" Golden Dawn Materials (split from Holistic Tarot - Benebell Wen)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Teheuti View Post
I'm unaware of *all the disagreements* about the GD Tarot due to the splits and factions within the order - except for Crowley's differences (renaming some of the cards, switching the Emperor and Star, and numbering Strength/Justice like the Marseille). The "Book T" instructions are remarkably clear, although Mathers' examples of actual readings (which clarifies much) is not found in most modern copies of the text. We also have examples of readings from Annie Horniman and WB Yeats.
Now I'm curious. Beyond Liber T, the other material Regardie captured in The Complete Golden Dawn System of Magic (which I suspect was "massaged" somewhat) and Crowley's more referential work on tarot, is there a reliable source of Golden Dawn tarot material that's closer to its origins? (I seem to have misplaced Mathers' small booklet.) I have lots of commentary by later interpreters, bur nothing else I can point to as seminal. All the talk about the "Golden Dawn system" seems to lack a core body of knowledge that supports the premises.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barleywine View Post
Is there a reliable source of Golden Dawn tarot material that's closer to its origins? (I seem to have misplaced Mathers' small booklet.) I have lots of commentary by later interpreters, bur nothing else I can point to as seminal. All the talk about the "Golden Dawn system" seems to lack a core body of knowledge that supports the premises.
Mathers 1888 booklet was published the year the Golden Dawn was formed. It does not contain the GD system. It is primarily a translation of Etteilla's meanings.

"Book T" is the seminal work! It is available for free on the internet from several sites, however all the copies I know of are missing Mathers' example readings.

The entire "Book T" (an Inner Order teaching paper), including the very helpful example readings, is available in Robert Wang's An Introduction to the Golden Dawn Tarot - o.p., but it can easily be found used:
http://www.amazon.com/Introduction-G.../dp/0877283702
And in Regardie's Complete Golden Dawn System (thanks Barleywine).
To truly understand the system, I recommend laying out Mathers' examples with a pips-only deck and following along, step-by-step. It's well worth the effort.

Free copies of "Book T" (lacking the example readings):
http://www.tarot.org.il/Library/Mathers/Book-T.html
http://www.hermetics.org/pdf/gd/t.pdf
from Benebell's own website: https://benebellwen.files.wordpress....tarot-1888.pdf
from Abrac, an illustrated version - if you have Dropbox: https://www.dropbox.com/s/9vfukh0vnv...ook-T.pdf?dl=0

Greatly expanded material that stays close to the original in nature is
The Magical Tarot of the Golden Dawn by Pat & Chris Zalewski.
http://www.amazon.com/Magical-Tarot-...dp/B005C9X2QS/
Note: there are some complaints that he veres too far from GD tradition. I haven't read his book with a notion to compare details, so I can't speak to this.


There's a review of three books here: Wang, Zalewski and Cicero. Be aware that the Cicero's book contains magical work that's not from the original order but extrapolated from the GD system. I don't know if any contradictions exist as its been too long since I've looked at the book.
http://www.jwmt.org/v1n4/gdtarotbooks.html

Here is some additional Minor Arcana material that I typed straight from an original GD teaching paper, which I don't believe is generally known.
https://marygreer.wordpress.com/2008...-minor-arcana/

I have personally seen and handled several of the original GD notebooks (for instance - the paper transcribed on my blog above), and I have an original deck from the Felkins' New Zealand order. The Majors only can be seen here. I don't know why they never posted the Minors (a few of which can be seen on my blog post): http://hermetic.com/gdlibrary/tarot/...ra/tarot1.html .

I believe the only contradictions you'll find before the 1970s or 80s (other than pictorially) are the few conceptual changes Crowley made to the Thoth deck. What happens after that is that many tarot authors start adding their own ideas into the mix without being absolutely clear that they are doing so. It's not always adequate to make a general statement that one is making some changes because readers often can't or won't make the effort to discriminate between that which is original and that which isn't, but will rather assume that there is no canonical work.

I'm not against people creating their own GD-influenced system but the two easily become confused - for instance everyone who says - "Oh, I use Elemental Dignities" - as if we should all understand what they mean and then, after much confusion, it emerges that what they do has only the vaguest resemblance to the original and no understanding of what the term "elemental dignities" actually means. This kind of thing can easily be the source of the idea that there's no true GD system.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teheuti View Post
The entire "Book T" (an Inner Order teaching paper), including the very helpful example readings, is available in Robert Wang's An Introduction to the Golden Dawn Tarot - o.p., but it can easily be found used:
http://www.amazon.com/Introduction-G.../dp/0877283702
To truly understand the system, I recommend laying out Mathers' examples with a pips-only deck and following along, step-by-step. It's well worth the effort.
Thanks for the thorough reply, Mary. I looked at Wang's book on Amazon, where it's available used for only a few dollars. One reviewer said that if you have Regardie's "big Golden Dawn book," you have most of the material reprinted in Wang's. (I also have Wang's Qabalistic Tarot which, along with the Book of Thoth, formed the basis for my early studies in tarot.) I do have the Falcon Press publication of Regardie's Complete Golden Dawn System of Magic, so I ran through "Volume Nine, The Tarot" (which includes Documents N, O, P, Q, R and an unlettered Theoricus Adeptus Minor paper). There is a brief section with three-card examples by "G.H. Frater S.R.M.D" (Mathers) and a much larger section with OOTK examples by "D.D.C.F" (also Mathers). Volume 2 also has some material by Mathers, but no examples. Is this all of the available examples, or is there further material out there?

I have Zalewski's Kabbalah of the Golden Dawn, but not the tarot book. Will have to look for that one. Also, thanks for the link to your minor arcana paper; I think I'll find it useful.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barleywine View Post
I do have the Falcon Press publication of Regardie's Complete Golden Dawn System of Magic, so I ran through "Volume Nine, The Tarot" (which includes Documents N, O, P, Q, R and an unlettered Theoricus Adeptus Minor paper). There is a brief section with three-card examples by "G.H. Frater S.R.M.D" (Mathers) and a much larger section with OOTK examples by "D.D.C.F" (also Mathers). Volume 2 also has some material by Mathers, but no examples. Is this all of the available examples, or is there further material out there?
You are right - the Falcon Press edition does include the examples! Thank you. I don't know about the other editions of Regardie's Golden Dawn but they probably include these examples, too. I don't know why the online papers don't.

The only other examples I know of are brief - from Annie Horniman and WB Yeats. I discuss Annie Horniman's readings in depth in Women of the Golden Dawn. Yeats' readings are primarily just listings of the cards of the First Operation and a one-line conclusion. Also, he appeared to be dyslexic and some of the cards are marked differently when in the arc versus when pairing or listing triads - so they present a bit of a puzzle to solve. I've lectured several times using Yeats' readings regarding Maud Gonne (since we known know the outcome) as examples.
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Originally Posted by Teheuti View Post
The only other examples I know of are brief - from Annie Horniman and WB Yeats. I discuss Annie Horniman's readings in depth in Women of the Golden Dawn.
I will have to pick that up as a companion to Regardie's What You Should Know About the Golden Dawn and Ellic Howe's unflattering (and hated by many) The Magicians of the Golden Dawn. It can't help but be more even-handed compared to that second one.
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I will have to pick that up as a companion to Regardie's What You Should Know About the Golden Dawn and Ellic Howe's unflattering (and hated by many) The Magicians of the Golden Dawn. It can't help but be more even-handed compared to that second one.
Ellic Howe's book is excellent in that he presents one of the best collections of Golden Dawn related facts - as known up to the time of publication.

Re: Women of the Golden Dawn
Remember my book was written between 20-27 years ago before I had access to the internet. Everything was via library/archive visits in person, interlibrary loan (thank goodness), and other books. I might also weigh my evidence more critically now now than I did then.
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Originally Posted by Teheuti View Post
Ellic Howe's book is excellent in that he presents one of the best collections of Golden Dawn related facts - as known up to the time of publication.
I had a notion you might say that. It's been almost 35 years since I read it, but I recall him having a rather superior and dismissive attitude about his subject. I also recall some negative comments from the Golden Dawn fans here. When I get Women of the Golden Dawn, I guess I'll re-read Howe too.
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Originally Posted by Barleywine View Post
I had a notion you might say that. It's been almost 35 years since I read it, but I recall him having a rather superior attitude about his subject. I also recall some negative comments from the Golden Dawn fans here. When I get Women of the Golden Dawn, I guess I'll re-read Howe too.
I owe a lot of Howe, both in terms of the material in the book and his footnotes that led me to many of his own sources when I was researching the book in England and Ireland.
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There are also Tarot chapters in "The Golden Dawn" book by I. Regardie. I am not sure if they are the same material in "The Complete Golden Dawn System Magic".

If we remind ourselves that "A. E. Waite" the creator of the RWS deck was also a GD member, then it is clear that GD is not trivial part in RWS tarot studies.
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A New Dawn for Tarot: The Original Tarot of the Golden Dawn


Hello All

If you are interested in viewing the original papers and sketches of the Golden Dawn members, we have researched and published about 100 images from the Order archives as "A New Dawn for Tarot: The Original Tarot of the Golden Dawn" (Forge Press, 2014) 192pp, by Derek Bain with Marcus Katz & Tali Goodwin.

The book is available here: http://www.blurb.co.uk/b/5587190-a-new-dawn-for-tarot

It provides new information on (and photographs of) Westcott's own personal tarot decks, and several variations of each of the many Major Arcana sketched by the members of the order. These only go from the World card to the Death card, as these were the only ones used in the Outer Order rituals.

We licensed the images from the archive owners, and provided commentaries on their symbolism and history, as well as photographs of versions of the original Book T written by hand by several members.

---

"In this ground-breaking book, you will see for the first time in a century almost one hundred of the original documents and drawings of the Order of the Golden Dawn (founded 1888). The authors reveal the contribution of the Order to the tarot tradition, with unparalleled access to the archives of the original Order.

With images of the tarot drawn from the sketch books of the members, the book also includes previously unpublished work by Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers and Florence Farr, in addition to new photographs of W. W. Westcott, and new discoveries of the tarot actually used by the founders of the Order.

A New Dawn for Tarot also includes an image of possibly the only surviving original "tracing board" sized Tarot image used in the Orders initiation rituals.

With commentary by the authors and images lovingly reproduced in full-size on high quality lustre paper to provide the closest experience to handling the original papers of the Order."

---

Tali x
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