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Card by card book on RWS imagery ?

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Card by card book on RWS imagery ?


For quite awhile now I've been exclusively using 78 Degrees of Wisdom as my "go to" tarot book when I'm trying to get a grip on the how's and why's of the RWS imagery. Lots of fun, that. Sometimes I wonder what Rachel Pollack was thinking or looking at... but overall, I love the book.
I would very much like to find something similar, but perhaps more in depth and less focused on the author's personal interpretations. Is there such a creature ? A book that takes the cards one by one and describes and analyses the imagery in a comprehensive manner ?
Suggestions ? I subsist on the Budget from Hell, and can really only afford one book at the moment...
Thanks !!
Michael
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I am currently working my way through Secrets of the Waite-Smith Tarot by Katz and Goodwin.

I have finished the interesting story of Waite and Colman and how they came to create the deck and have started the card by card section. I am finding it quite remarkable.
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I actually second this one. It is pretty comprehensive.

I do regret the sort of unattributed chunks from Pictorial Key to the Tarot in the minors section, though. They are there without saying RIGHT THERE ON TH PAGE that that is what they are. They should have indicated the source very clearly, so that it is easier to see where Katz/Goodwin's own material kicks in. It's not that they are uncredited - they are credited elsewhere - but it needs to be clearer, is all.
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You know, I remember seeing something about this book when it first came out... Thanks for bringing it back to my attention :-). This could very well be exactly what I'm looking for.
Thanks Alta !!

Michael
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The limiting idea here is "more in depth." The wealth of "Tarot 101" books out there is probably not what you want. Out of curiosity, I took a look at the bibliography in Seventy-eight Degrees of Wisdom to see what Rachel Pollack was thinking, at least in a general sense. Setting aside the Golden Dawn and Thoth-based stuff (which shares philosophical roots with the RWS) shortens the list considerably, and what's left may not be deep enough for your purpose.

The only ones I have on the short list are Eden Gray's The Tarot Revealed and Waite's Pictorial Key to the Tarot, neither of which goes deeply into the underlying "knowledge base." Personally, I branched out into the Golden Dawn system very early on, with Robert Wang's The Qabalistic Tarot and Gareth Knight's A Practical Guide to Qabalistic Symbolism, which, unlike some of the other works listed, cover both the Major and Minor Arcana. If you aren't interested in the qabalistic model, though, you may want to look elsewhere. I'm sure others here will have some good suggestions.
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Haven't read either of them, but there's also Fiebig and Burger's "The Ultimate Guide to the Rider Waite Tarot" and the Amberstone's "The Secret Language of Tarot", which looks more at the symbolism in the cards than looking at individual cards in depth.
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Agree with the Secrets book also want to point to this one:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/...e_of_Life?ac=1

just for the minors but it is one of the best books out there.
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Don't waste your money on books that promise more than they can possibly deliver. The minors are not necessarily all that deep, and there is a wealth of information on the majors in P. F. Case's masterpiece The Tarot: A Key to the Wisdom of the Ages as well as Waite's profound but somewhat restrained discussion in The Pictorial Key to the Tarot. The majors alone are worth a lifetime of study.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LRichard View Post
Don't waste your money on books that promise more than they can possibly deliver. The minors are not necessarily all that deep . . .
I agree with this. I use a dynamic (although figurative, not scientific) "velocity and mass" model based on the Tree of Life and esoteric number theory for the minors rather than an exhaustively descriptive one, joining the idea of decreasing potency with increasing complexity within the element of a suit. (Crowley on the 9 of Disks: "As a general remark, one may say that the multiplication of a symbol of Energy always tends to degrade its essential meaning, as well as to complicate it.") Preponderances or voids within a spread also figure in. Toss in a bit of astrological theory, elemental dignity and color symbolism, and that's about the extent of the depth I'm after. It's more the "energy signature" I'm looking for, not so much the narrative clues in the imagery; that's probably why I never bothered with the RWS in all the years I've been at this (until I started contributing here).
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