Category: The Pictorial Key to the Tarot

BEING FRAGMENTS OF A SECRET TRADITION UNDER THE VEIL OF DIVINATION By Arthur Edward Waite

CONTENTS: The Pictorial Key to the Tarot

Preface INTRODUCTION TRUMPS MAJOR, Otherwise, Greater Arcana THE FOUR SUITS, Otherwise, Lesser Arcana THE TAROT IN HISTORY THE TAROT AND SECRET TRADITION THE MAJOR ARCANA AND THEIR INNER SYMBOLISM The Outer Method of the Oracles THE SUIT OF WANDS THE SUIT OF CUPS THE SUIT OF SWORDS THE SUIT OF PENTACLES THE GREATER ARCANA AND […]

Preface

IT seems rather of necessity than predilection in the sense of apologia that I should put on record in the first place a plain statement of my personal position, as one who for many years of literary life has been, subject to his spiritual and other limitations, an exponent of the higher mystic schools. It […]

INTRODUCTION

THE pathology of the poet says that “the undevout astronomer is mad”; the pathology of the very plain man says that genius is mad; and between these extremes, which stand for ten thousand analogous excesses, the sovereign reason takes the part of a moderator and does what it can. I do not think that there […]

TRUMPS MAJOR, Otherwise, Greater Arcana

1. The Magus, Magician, or juggler, the caster of the dice and mountebank, in the world of vulgar trickery. This is the colportage interpretation, and it has the same correspondence with the real symbolical meaning that the use of the Tarot in fortune-telling has with its mystic construction according to the secret science of symbolism. […]

THE FOUR SUITS, Otherwise, Lesser Arcana

The resources of interpretation have been lavished, if not exhausted, on the twenty-two Trumps Major, the symbolism of which is unquestionable. There remain the four suits, being Wands or Sceptres–ex hypothesi, in the archæology of the subject, the antecedents of Diamonds in modern cards: Cups, corresponding to Hearts; Swords, which answer to Clubs, as the […]

THE TAROT IN HISTORY

Our immediate next concern is to speak of the cards in their history, so that the speculations and reveries which have been perpetuated and multiplied in the schools of occult research may be disposed of once and for all, as intimated in the preface hereto. Let it be understood at the beginning of this point […]

THE TAROT AND SECRET TRADITION

THE Tarot embodies symbolical presentations of universal ideas, behind which lie all the implicits of the human mind, and it is in this sense that they contain secret doctrine, which is the realization by the few of truths imbedded in the consciousness of all, though they have not passed into express recognition by ordinary men. […]

THE MAJOR ARCANA AND THEIR INNER SYMBOLISM

The Magician A youthful figure in the robe of a magician, having the countenance of divine Apollo, with smile of confidence and shining eyes. Above his head is the mysterious sign of the Holy Spirit, the sign of life, like an endless cord, forming the figure 8 in a horizontal position . About his waist […]

The Outer Method of the Oracles

Distinction between the Greater and Lesser Arcana IN respect of their usual presentation, the bridge between the Greater and Lesser Arcana is supplied by the court cards–King, Queen, Knight and Squire or Page; but their utter distinction from the Trumps Major is shewn by their conventional character. Let the reader compare them with symbols like […]

THE SUIT OF WANDS

King The physical and emotional nature to which this card is attributed is dark, ardent, lithe, animated, impassioned, noble. The King uplifts a flowering wand, and wears, like his three correspondences in the remaining suits, what is called a cap of maintenance beneath his crown. He connects with the symbol of the lion, which is […]