Danger Kallisti's Reviews > Pictorial Key to the Tarot

Pictorial Key to the Tarot by Arthur Edward Waite
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Feb 12, 08

bookshelves: occult, reference-or-non-fiction, done-into-the-ground
Recommended for: people needing a tarot overview
Read in January, 2007

Yep, the guy who brought us the ubiquitous Rider-Waite tarot deck also brought us this gem of Victorian literature, shedding some “light” on the arcane subject of soothsaying.

It was almost impossible to read, it was so dense and frumpy. Half of the book just focuses on shooting down the ideas of other “parlor wizards” of the era. All of the imagery seems to be based in Judeo-Christian ideology, and any suggestion to other roots is cast down as “make-believe”. As if all of this isn't, to begin with.

Still, the value of divination tools lies not in the objects themselves, but in their ability to channel one's subconscious thoughts. The book did help me to understand my deck better, and to forced me to meditate more deeply on the meanings that I have personally ascribed to different symbols. I want to go back and read it with a notebook, so that I can record the thoughts I had when seeing what someone else had to say.

Verdict: it was worth the $3.50, and worth keeping as a reference, but certainly not destined to be a favorite.
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