The triple tiara, the crosses on the stole and slippers, the tonsure of the supplicants at hierophant’s feet all proclaim a Christian rather than a pagan setting.
The ‘Egyptian tarot’ presents the pillars either side of the priestess in different colors – white and black or black and red. Sometimes also arrogance. Waite specifically says (in The Key to the Tarot) that the lantern is a beacon for others. Here we have one of the few instances where the meaning suggested by Waite, in the persona of Grand Orient, needs analyzing. The World – The glory thereof under the powers of the higher providence, the sum of manifest things; conclusion on any subject. Fatal and not voluntary.
War, conquest, victory, strife, ambition. The Trump cards pose less of a challenge and I will start with them.
In certain combinations, destruction, danger, fall, ruin. 21. Ages. Although Waite, in his summation of The Emperor’s divinatory meanings, appears to move away from the G.D. paradigm, note that Paul Foster Case, who like Waite and Coleman Smith, had been a member of the Golden Dawn, agrees with his interpretation. For Trump 13, Waite sets aside the Marseille image and has Ms Coleman Smith instead adapt one of the earliest Italian designs from the mid-fourteenth century. They represent archetypal images and energies and tell the story of the Fool, as he starts at number 0 and travels through all of life’s experiences, ending with the World card at number 21.
9. “Skill in any department within the sphere of the subject [consulted about]; subtlety; savoir faire; on the evil side, trickery; also occult practice, apart from the wisdom of adeptship.”, In the Golden Dawn system of divination, a card might be ‘dignified’ or ‘ill-dignified’. Thus Paul Foster Case assigns Trump 14 the significances: Combination, adaptation, economy, management. When I speak of Waite in the following section, I am referring to him writing under the nom de plume Grand Orient. All the keyword Crowley employs are compatible with the interpretation the G.D. put upon the card. The change was brought about by Paul Christian’s commentary on the Trumps. The minor arcana is divided into 4 suits (similar to playing cards). Fluctuation (whether for good or evil is again shown by cards connected with it.)”. It should not be forgotten that Waite and his artist Pamela Coleman Smith were both members of the Golden Dawn when the latter drew and painted, under the former’s direction, the pictures for the tarot deck that now bears both their names. The appraisals are, of course, nothing more than two sides of the same coin.
It can be found in the chapter on The Fool in his book The Tarot. He has also had her add a feather to the wreath on the child’s head, replicating the wreath sporting a single plume that adorns the brow of the Waite-Smith Fool. 3. (When writing as Grand Orient, Waite is generally more straightforward and less grandiloquent than he normally is. Your readings will have more clarity if you are aware of the origin of your card meanings and are careful not to apply meanings to the cards that aren’t supported by the imagery.
15. Change, alteration, Increase and Decrease.
The Major Arcana (aka Trump Cards) To understand the meaning of individual tarot cards, it’s important to know that there are 22 major arcana cards in an average tarot deck. The matter itself. For once, Waite’s keywords for the Trump throw light on those favored by the author of the Order’s Paper on the Tarot. Temperance – New blood, combination, admixture, with the object of amelioration; providence in desirable change. They were issued orally and I and my fellow students were very glad to have them. The symbol on the priestess’s breast is, in the ‘Egyptian tarot’, is the sigil for Mercury. Synthesis. 15. It is too ideal and unstable to be generally good in material things. Involuntary Change.
The phrase ‘half-light’ plainly has special connotations in Waite’s philosophy; compare with ‘full light’ assigned to The Sun in the following paragraph. Divine Wisdom. Start by reviewing our definitions of each major arcana and minor arcana card to develop a basic fluency in the tarot deck. 16. Empress – The sphere of action; the feminine side of power, rule and authority; woman’s influence; physical beauty; woman’s reign; also the joy of life, and excesses on the evil side. Even though the trump (Major Arcana) images have remained fairly stable over Tarot’s 550-year history, there have been two major shifts in how these cards are interpreted. 3.
Crowley has: attraction, beauty, love, and when reversed or ill-dignified instability, indecision, union in a shallow degree with others. 20. There are continental decks whose symbolism points more candidly in that direction.