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Reading 'The Pictorial Key to the Tarot' by AE Waite - Confused?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeTheAltarboy View Post
I actually *like* Waite’s style. The golden age of my particular romanticism is Victorian England. ;-)

I also like the Pictorial Key. My advice is simply to read it *as though you already understand him*, so as not to be frustrated. And trust that the parts you're missing now will be filled in later. If you keep reading about tarot, they will be!
Great advice.
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Personally, I'm waiting for a very well-known tarot author to write "The Pictorial Key to the Tarot - In Plain English".....

To be honest I haven't read PKT from cover to cover in 15 years or so. So a lot that went over my head when I first read it might make more sense now (a la MikeTheAltarBoy's advice), but part of me just can't be bothered - I'm the type who, if I'm not in on the joke, I just move on....
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teheuti View Post
Waite's book is brilliant and very deep. Yes, his writing is awkward but extremely precise (personally I think that Waite was a high functioning Asperger's). He chose all his words carefully and he was also trying to convey succinctly the basics of his mystical understanding of the cards. He was rude regarding other authors but he felt they all missed the point.

My suggestion is to read Pictorial Key through to the best of your ability. Then go on to other authors such as - Paul Huson's The Mystical Tarot or Cynthia Giles' The Tarot: History, Mystery and Lore, etc. Yes, read Eliphas Lévi if you are really serious about the Golden Dawn, Thoth and/or Rider-Waite-Smith Tarots or the French tradition of Papus and Wirth. Read Papus; read Wirth (a new edition of his book will be out soon); and read Paul Foster Case. All of them will have references that will lead you to other things. Eventually go back and read Waite and you'll find you understand him at a whole new level. These are all books that benefit from being read multiple times - first to introduce you to important concepts and eventually to really understand what is being said.

I have several posts on Waite and his ideas on my blog.

Mary
Thank's so much Marty for your in depth response to my thread. I am enjoying reading this book, i only read it a few pages at a time as i don't have hardly any free time to myself. I am starting to appreciate his style of speech and i get your point re; Aspergers as i do know a person with Aspergers and i can make links also - now that you have mentioned this, between similarities with use of words and language. Oh and is there a link to your blog?

Mags :.)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwcarter View Post
personally, i'm waiting for a very well-known tarot author to write "the pictorial key to the tarot - in plain english"..... :d
I Second The Motion!
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Pages 62-63 giving me a headache - reading it over and over - probably over reading it.... Re; Secret Doctrine in the Tarot. Is he talking about different ideas of (Mathers and Papus) why the tarot 'works' for divination such as arctypes and numerical order. Is he talking about the images having actual magical power?

Any thoughts?

Thanks Mags :.)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MagsStardustBlack View Post
Pages 62-63 giving me a headache - reading it over and over - probably over reading it.... Re; Secret Doctrine in the Tarot. Is he talking about different ideas of (Mathers and Papus) why the tarot 'works' for divination such as arctypes and numerical order. Is he talking about the images having actual magical power?
He doesn't mention magic anywhere on those pages except to say that the Tarot is not of Ceremonial Magic.

It's always best to read exactly what he says:
"It is the presentation of universal ideas by means of universal types, and it is in the combination of these types—if anywhere—that it presents Secret Doctrine."

To translate into a Jungian perspective -
It consists of archetypes seen as archetypal symbols, which, as they appear together (combined) in the deck, present mystical teachings.

Furthermore: It is an early example (in images) of ideas found in Hermetic writings that have also appeared in alchemy, Kabbalism, astrology and ceremonial magic. Thus, similar ideas can be found in the Tarot, but there is no indication that Tarot came directly from any of these.

On page 65 he clearly states, "The Trumps Major . . . have been adapted to fortune telling rather than belong[ing] thereto."
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teheuti View Post
He doesn't mention magic anywhere on those pages except to say that the Tarot is not of Ceremonial Magic.

It's always best to read exactly what he says:
"It is the presentation of universal ideas by means of universal types, and it is in the combination of these types—if anywhere—that it presents Secret Doctrine."

To translate into a Jungian perspective -
It consists of archetypes seen as archetypal symbols, which, as they appear together (combined) in the deck, present mystical teachings.

Furthermore: It is an early example (in images) of ideas found in Hermetic writings that have also appeared in alchemy, Kabbalism, astrology and ceremonial magic. Thus, similar ideas can be found in the Tarot, but there is no indication that Tarot came directly from any of these.

On page 65 he clearly states, "The Trumps Major . . . have been adapted to fortune telling rather than belong[ing] thereto."
I must be tired or have read too much in one go as it just didn't make sense to me. As the archetypal symbols appear together, they present mystical teachings (secret doctrine). Does he mean the specific combinations in correlation with each other, reviel secret teaching - is this why the symbolism is at times hard to desipher the meanings as not just knowing the meaning of the symbols is enough, they create a picture - if you like?

Thanks very much for clarifying these pages for me :.)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MagsStardustBlack View Post
Does he mean the specific combinations in correlation with each other, reviel secret teaching - is this why the symbolism is at times hard to desipher the meanings as not just knowing the meaning of the symbols is enough, they create a picture - if you like?
His very next sentence says:
"That combination may . . . reside in the numbered sequence of its series or in their fortuitous assemblage by shuffling, cutting and dealing."

As I keep saying, it's all there.
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Ok thanks for your thoughts and time.
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BTW, I understand what you mean about Waite not making sense when I get tired. I can only read him in small batches before I start going bonkers. Then I come back to it and am surprise again about how clear he is, until I start going under again. The effect is maddening.
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