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Vlanes  Vlanes is offline
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Bill Butler


Hi everyone,

I am reading "The Definitive Tarot" by Bill Butler and I quite like it. Unfortunately, I cannot find any information about the author. I remember vaguely that I read somewhere that he had committed suicide, but I don't know whether it is true.

If anyone knows where I could learn more about this writer, I would be very grateful for the information.

With kind regards,

Vladislav
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Rallwedd  Rallwedd is offline
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Bill Butler


Hello Vlanes

I wonder if it was a pseudonym? I have the Definitive Tarot, and always wondered if the author had taken "Bill Butler" from "W. B. Yeats" who was of course, "William (Bill) Butler Yeats".

Rhosyn
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I have Bill Butler's Dictionary of the Tarot, published in 1975. It says he was born in Spokane, WA and at that time ran a bookshop (Unicorn Bookshop) in the Welsh countryside.
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I have the book too. He died in 1977 - soon after it was published.

http://hqinfo.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05...op-better.html

I see no suggestion of suicide, but then, maybe a page like this wouldn't mention it even if true.
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Thank you, everyone, for replying and for the information. Following your lead, I did some search and found this most interesting article:

http://www.nlcaonline.org.uk/page_id..._0p18p95p.aspx

He was a fascinating personality. It says he died of a drug overdose, whether intentional or not, is unclear...
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I've owned his Dictionary of the Tarot since the 1970s, it was one of the first Tarot books I ever had. The descriptions of the few decks out there in the 1970s is pretty interesting, and his number and suit method was a big help in the beginning.
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Sounds like quite the character. And it's interesting to see that there is some research (as well as forthcoming books, by the looks of things) being done on the subject of the small presses of the 60s-70s.

In case anyone is wondering, Butler's "Definitive Tarot" and "Dictionary of the Tarot" are different editions of the same book. One well worth acquiring, at any rate, if only for its coverage of the various schools of tarotic thought.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _R_ View Post
Sounds like quite the character. And it's interesting to see that there is some research (as well as forthcoming books, by the looks of things) being done on the subject of the small presses of the 60s-70s.

In case anyone is wondering, Butler's "Definitive Tarot" and "Dictionary of the Tarot" are different editions of the same book. One well worth acquiring, at any rate, if only for its coverage of the various schools of tarotic thought.
I didn't know that. More useful than as a simple keyword reference source, I find the comparative coverage of so many different tarot writers and thinkers to be the best thing about the book. Robert Wang did something similar but stopped at the four major systems: Thoth, RWS, TdM and Golden Dawn (his own deck with Regardie).
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I didn't either - I'd never heard of the other title and was going to try find it - so thanks for saving me money !
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