The Tarot of the Golden Dawn. 1933, The Oracle of the Tarot, http:// (editor), 1996, The Golden Dawn Tarot, Holmes. Self-Initiation into the Golden Dawn Tradition by Chic and Sandra Tabatha Cicero offers self-paced instruction. The Essential Golden Dawn An Introduction to High. Initiatory Tarot of the Golden Dawn Deck: Lo Scarabeo. Introduction to the Study of Tarot 7 7. Netzach (jmb) Victory; Occult Intelligence. Hod (suv) Splendor; Perfect Intelligence. Yesod (suxh) Foundation; Pure Intelligence. Malkuth (,ufkn) Kingdom, or Realization. An Introduction to the Golden Dawn Tarot: Including the Original Documents on Tarot from the Order of the Golden Dawn with. An Introduction to the Golden Dawn Tarot: Including the Original Documents on Tarot from the.
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The Tarot of the Golden Dawn. The Tarot of the Golden Dawnby Joseph Gurney. Introduction. The pseudonymous “Fraulein Sprengel,” supposed author of the Cipher Manuscripts, clearly thought that the Tarot was an immensely important subject for the Golden Dawn.
Six folios – ten percent of the total number – concern a lecture on the Tarot which was delivered to members of the grade of 3=8 Practicus. If one were to join the Golden Dawn, having absolutely no prior knowledge of the Tarot or what it is meant to be, one would glean the following from the way that the order teaches the subject – Firstly: the Tarot Trumps are visual symbols of the initiate’s progress on the Tree of Life, and through the Order itself. Secondly: the Tarot generally is a method of uniting Astrology and the Qabalah, in particular the attributions of the Hebrew alphabet, and teachings on the Sephiroth, the Partzufim, and the Tree of Life generally. But even in this it is not mere fortune telling. The teachings given to Golden Dawn initiates say that one should approach a Tarot Divination with as much care as one would a full ceremonial magic operation – literally in fact.
The recommended method of Tarot divination in the Golden Dawn is in fact a synthesis of cartomantic practice, ceremonial magic, and clairvoyance. The peculiar attributions of the individual squares of the Enochian tablets as specified by the Golden Dawn require one to know the Tarot in order to appreciate all of the various forces which are at work. However, successor groups to the Golden Dawn developed them to a high degree. The most famous of these other Tarot applications as far as modern day occultists are concerned is the practice of Pathworking on the Tree of Life, in which the Tarot trumps are focal points for clairvoyant excursions along the paths which link the various Sephiroth.
The earliest reference I can find to “Pathworking” as an actual practice appears to have been authored by J W Brodie- Innes. When one considers that the aim of the Golden Dawn system is to access the Tree of Life in all its many subtleties, one can appreciate that the Tarot is a powerful theurgical tool. A Brief History of the Tarot prior to the Golden Dawn. In order to understand how important the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn was to Tarot, it is first necessary to appreciate what state the subject was in prior to the foundation of that society. The first definitive evidence of a seventy- eight card tarot deck occurs in the late fifteenth century – the “Sola- Buschi Tarocchi” which is dated to 1. There are earlier decks, such as the Visconti decks which date from circa 1. Note that the so- called “Visconti- Sforza” deck which is nowadays available is only a modern approximation of the original Visconti decks, as there is no historical record that any of the originals had either a “Devil” or “Tower” card.
The earliest evidence for playing cards in Europe generally is from 1. Bern, Switzerland, implying they had been in existence at least from some time in the mid- fourteenth century. It was at this time that Antoine Court de Gebelin first alleged that the Tarot was in fact the “Book of Thoth” – a repository of the ancient mysteries of Egypt, which had been brought to Europe by the Gypsies.
Firstly: both de Gebelin and his contemporary, de Mellet, put “The Fool” at the head of the Tarot trumps ahead of the so- called “Game of Cups” or “Juggler” – which is the old title for the “Magician.” Secondly: they associated the suits of the Tarot to the suits of common playing cards in the following manner – Spades, Swords, Hearts, Cups, Diamonds, Batons (i. Wands), and Clubs, Coins (i. Some cartomancers have found this somewhat counter- intuitive, and instead attribute Diamonds to Coins and Clubs to Batons as did Papus. Thus it was that Eliphas L. This is exemplified by the Juggler card of the Tarot of Marseille, who is depicted playing a game of cup and ball.
Hence, the first numbered trump, “The Juggler” is assigned to Aleph, the second- numbered, “The Female Pope,” to Beth, and so on. The un- numbered trump, “The Fool,” is placed in the penultimate (i. The following points need to be emphasised: Note that “Justice” is the eighth- numbered tarot trump, and “Strength” is the eleventh. This is the original order of these two cards as found in ancient decks such as the Tarot of Marseille. Some uninformed modern commentators mistakenly believed that when Crowley made “Balance” the eighth trump and “Lust” the eleventh, he was somehow changing around their order: in fact he was leaving the order of these two cards untouched as compared to traditional Tarot decks.
The Golden Dawn. The Golden Dawn was founded in 1. W Wynn Westcott, Robert Woodman, and S L Macgregor Mathers. This happened as a direct result of Westcott acquiring, in 1. Cipher Manuscript.” Various forms of speculation have been put forward as to where this Cipher Manuscript came from, but the solitary primary source on the subject – Westcott’s own account – is categorical in stating that it came from the Reverend A F A Woodford, a fellow member of the SRIA, and Westcott’s mentor in the Qabalah.
They demonstrate that Tarot was an extremely important part of the Golden Dawn’s teachings right from the outset. Hence, the trumps are essentially in the same order as that of the Tarot of Marseille, but with two crucial differences.
Firstly, “The Fool” is placed at the head of the Trumps – following the example of de Gebelin. Secondly, “Strength” is assigned to Leo and the letter Teth, and “Justice” is assigned to Libra and the letter Lamed. However, the Cipher Manuscript, although it adjusted the astrological and Hebrew attributions of the two trumps, it actually kept the old numbering. In referring the Minor Arcana to the suits of ordinary playing cards, the Golden Dawn follows the scheme of de Gebelin, and that followed part of the time by Papus, depending on which chapter of “Tarot of the Bohemians” one is reading, i. Wands – Diamonds, Cups – Hearts, Swords – Spades, Pentacles – Clubs. How Tarot was taught in the Golden Dawn. An initiate of the Golden Dawn first encountered mention of the Tarot in the grade of Zelator, i.
In the next grade, that of Theoricus, the first part of the ceremony features a large reproduction of the Tarot trump “The Universe” prominently displayed on the central altar. The next grade ceremony of Practicus was in three parts: in the first two the initiate was shown the trumps of “Judgment” and “The Sun” respectively. In the fifth grade ceremony, that of Philosophus, the candidate was shown three trumps: “The Moon,” “The Star” and “The Tower.” In each case the various ceremonies follow the initiatory rationale of the Golden Dawn: as a Candidate is advanced to a new grade, they are initiated in the mysteries of a Sephirah of the Tree of Life, and in those of all the paths leading up to the Sephirah. Hence: Number Name of the grade The candidate is initiated in. In the original Practicus ceremony, the new 3=8 is shown a diagram of trumps / letters of the Hebrew alphabet whilst traversing the path of Resh.
One of the officers, the Hegemon, pointed out the diagram to the candidate, saying: This shows the true and genuine attribution of the Tarot trumps to the Hebrew alphabet which has long been a secret among the Initiates and which should be carefully concealed from the outer world. Here we have another curiosity: the lecture on the Tarot which appears to have been given out to Practici differs substantially from that specified in the Cipher Manuscript, the former being an original composition by Macgregor Mathers. For example, as to why “The Juggler” is associated with Beth, a letter which should correspond to a planet, and not Aleph, which corresponds to Air, the Cipher Manuscript says this: The Juggler is the natural symbol of Mercury the god of tricksters and also the deeper knowledge. According to him, each Tarot trump is to be thought of as the combined product of the Sephirah at the upper end of the path in question, the astrological significance of the path itself, and the Sephirah at the lower end of the path. So to take the example of “The Juggler” again, Mathers says: 1.
The Juggler=The Crown of Understanding, the beginning of material production, the Primum Mobile acting through the Philosophic Mercury on Saturn. At the top of the path is Kether, which is the Crown, and also represents the Primum Mobile, and the idea of “beginning.” Beth itself is attributed by the Golden Dawn to the planet of Mercury. At the bottom of the path is Binah, which is Understanding, and also represents Saturn and the general idea of motherhood, giving birth, i. In the Cipher Manuscript this is very brief: Cards of each suit: The 4 suits are the 4 worlds. The 1. 6 cards are the lower fold Tetragrammaton.
It was all theoretical knowledge to be memorised: initiates were not expected to do practical work or divination, and consequently the divinatory meanings of the Tarot cards were not touched upon. How the Tarot was taught in the “Inner Order”After spending a minimum of seven months in the grade of Philosophus and passing the required examination, the initiate was entitled to be advanced to the grade of “Portal of the Paths of the Vault of the Adepti.” This grade does not have a direct equivalent in other Rosicrucian orders, such as the SRIA. According to the Golden Dawn idiom it represented the outer or lower half of Tiphereth. It was created by the founders of the Golden Dawn to complete the symbolism of the outer order which was otherwise left unresolved by the Adeptus Minor ceremony.
However, it is only when the initiate reaches the grade of Adeptus Minor that the full genius of the order’s teachings on the Tarot is fully revealed. Most of the Inner Order’s teachings on the Tarot were composed by Macgregor Mathers, no doubt assisted by his wife Moina and, if legends are to be believed, by the Secret Chiefs of the Third Order.