Wang, Robert "The Golden Dawn Tarot Deck" TAROTKORTLEK
The Golden Dawn Tarot, 84 card deck with “Little White Book”, 3” x 5” Cards, Artist: Robert Wang
More than thirty years ago, U.S. Games Systems published the The Golden Dawn Tarot, revealing for the first time many truths and secrets of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, and its interpretation of the tarot. Dr. Robert Wang has faithfully rendered in authentic detail each card of The Golden Dawn Tarot deck based upon the esoteric notebooks of MacGregor Mathers. The card designs follow the symbolic framework of the Inner Tradition formulated by Mathers. Dr. Israel Regardie, the leading author/scholar in the occult field, skillfully guided the creation of The Golden Dawn Tarot, the last great secret teachings of the Order. The deck is now a classic, its symbols and references familiar to tarot experts everywhere.
“The Golden Dawn Tarot” is an esoteric deck, based on the systems used by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Wang worked under the direction of Israel Regardie, with card interpretations based on those developed by S. L. MacGregor Mathers. In his foreword, Stuart Kaplan notes that the Golden Dawn Society included as its members some of the foremost occultists and writers of its time. As part of their sacred oath, they were sworn to secrecy. Based upon the esoteric notebooks of some of these members, under the guidance of Dr. Israel Regardie, Wang has faithfully produced, in authentic detail, each card in the Golden Dawn Tarot.
Kaplan sees the publication of this deck as an important “missing link” in the development of Tarot. His suggestion is to study this deck along with other decks that evolved from the work of Golden Dawn members, such as the Rider-Waite Tarot, the “Builders of Adytum” (BOTA) deck issued under the guidance of Paul Foster Case, and the Thoth Tarot, by Aleister Crowley and Lady Frieda Harris.
Wang, in his introductory notes, refers to the “Golden Dawn Tarot” as the only truly esoteric deck ever to be published. It is also the only deck to reach public view that was designed for the exclusive use of a powerful secret fraternity. Included in this deck is esoteric symbolism that has been kept shrouded in mystery as part of the Western Esoteric Tradition. As does Kaplan, Wang notes that this is the deck from which some of the greatest esoteric writers of our age developed their ideas about the Tarot.
According to Wang, the purpose of the Tarot is to teach — teach about the nature of the universe, and about man’s relationship to the universe. Wang also sees the Tarot as illustrating the energies of the mystical system of Qabalah. The use of the Tarot for divination is seen as a means to provide an introduction to the visual patterns and subtle energies of the Tarot. In this respect, the true worth of the cards comes from repetitive usage, which helps to stimulate the unconscious and help develop psychic powers.
One spread is given in the LWB (Little White Book) for use by the reader, and it is simply termed the “Fifteen Card Method of Tarot Divination”. The spread was specifically developed so that the meanings of the cards could be determined from their relationship to neighboring cards (Elemental Dignities), rather than using reversals. The spread is set out in groups of three, and is not difficult to lay down, or to interpret.
There are 84 cards that come with this deck: the traditional 78 cards of the Tarot, four blank white cards, a card illustrating the positions on the Tree of Life, and a card listing in text the “Key to the Tarot on the Tree of Life”. The cards themselves are 3″ by 5″, of good quality, glossy card stock. The backs have a 1/2″ white border, followed by a 1/2″ green border, with symbols at the four corners, midway down each side, and in the middle of the bottom of the card. In the center we see a Cross, color coded by element, with a glyph of the Tree of Life in the middle. This graphic alone is well worth study for the symbolism that it contains.”
— Bonnie Cehovet, Aeclectic Tarot
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