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RWS Esoteric or Exoteric?

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Yeah. That's it.

It has got a kabbalistic base to it. The structure of it and all that.

But in the book Waite don't tell you about that, he tells you how to fortune tell, and then puts you down for it

Also, disregarding the book and looking at tbe cards.
The idea of earned success is not really shown by a hunched figure in a boat. Nor is the spledour of tipareth.
What is shown is the rank fortune telling meani g of a journey across water.

Apologies for messy post, but really struggling with the tablet interface.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lillie View Post
Lol. So typical.

Half the book is how to use the deck for fortune telling, the rest is vague hints about all the hidden secrets that he can't or won't tell.

Of course there is loads of ztuff in there, Symbolds and stuff. 30 years of the thoth and I do notice the odd thingy here and there.
But that's not the point, my impression is that the primary purpose of this deck was not to reveal hidden symbols or occult truths, but to produce a fortune telling deck to be sold to tbe general public. Who Waite seemed to think were not fit to be trusted with esoteric matters.

Does its job well, though.
Yeah ... I think I agree ... I mean, what would have been the point in producing such an esoteric deck that only 18 people would buy ? I think it WAS for the masses

... with a for those '18 in the know' .
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Yes!

Exactly

I always agreed with those that said Waite wouldn't tell secrets because of hiis vows.
So a fortune telling deck with a nod and a wink.

Not like thoth that lays it all out in the open.
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True, but even earned success can be seen there. The card is attributed to Mercury in Aquarius, and the first thing I think of there is moving across water, so there is that side to it. Next, it can be seen as a continuation of the previous card of people laying down their swords in "Defeat." After learning that lesson, they embark on a journey. I guess Waite saw the lesson learned in the Five as a rather somber one. The success that is earned is the lesson, even if the lesson sucks. That's just a question of philosophy, I guess. Crowley would interpret it through the eyes of "existence is pure joy." It still isn't that different from "Science."

The RWS is maddening because all evidence is anecdotal, and you're always left wondering. Even my interpretation is left lacking rather dismally, but there it is. Still, a distinction must be made between disagreeing with the visual interpretation of an esoteric idea, and claiming a lack of it.

As for the book, I think that in many places it speaks in code, and it was only after studying the Thoth that I began to understand it a lot more. True, it is useless if you come to a book already knowing what it says, but for those with eyes to see Waite can be quite illuminating. I do think the cards are better than the book, though.
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Anecdotal ... yes.

I sorta see it like;

Thoth minors visually try to depict an 'energy' ... its up to us to see how that energy applies to a situation.

RW minors depict a possible situation, it is up to us to discern the energy behind the situation and then apply that to other possible situations.

Ummmm mha ... did that make sense ?

Also , on second thought ... maybe Waite thought his esoteric system (outside of Tarot) would take off ??? ... and have a lot more than 18 people 'getting' what he said ... or joining up to find out ?
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I hope it didn't sound like I was denying any esoteric facet to this deck.
It's Waite. Of course there is.

I've only recently got into using this deck (for fortune telling), and it got me thinking about it.
Like, if Waite was gagged by his vows and couldn't tell his knowledge, then why did he make the deck?
He's clear in the book that he thinks most people aren't ready/able/prepared to know the truth that the tarot represents.
So as he spends a good bit of the book on divination (however scathing he is), then I can only assume that it was what he expected it to be used for when he made it.

I was curious about what other people thought, but I don't really have an axe to grind.
Hope it didn't come across like that, I'm on good meds! They make me fuzzy.

And a reboot really helped this interface business. Lol
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lillie View Post
I hope it didn't sound like I was denying any esoteric facet to this deck.
It's Waite. Of course there is.
Nope, not to me it didnt (but then I have read quiet a few of your posts , going back some time ) . But since esoteric means "intended for or likely to be understood by only a small number of people with a specialized knowledge or interest" ... we might say it is the MOST esoteric deck of them all
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lillie View Post
I've only recently got into using this deck (for fortune telling), and it got me thinking about it.
Like, if Waite was gagged by his vows and couldn't tell his knowledge, then why did he make the deck?
Oooo! a zillion answers there I suppose ...

He also wrote a book all about Black Magic and Pacts ... but doesnt he totally poo-poo that stuff elsewhere?

Nah, I wont get into a ravenest examines Waite psychologically here ... but this thread links to some interesting insights from one particular view and lots of info on which to base one's own further views on his motivations and aims.

http://www.tarotforum.net/showthread.php?t=213285

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lillie View Post
He's clear in the book that he thinks most people aren't ready/able/prepared to know the truth that the tarot represents.
So as he spends a good bit of the book on divination (however scathing he is), then I can only assume that it was what he expected it to be used for when he made it.
An enigma he is, at times.

Stay tune for ravenests new book - out soon ; 'How to Invoke a Demon - But Dont YOU LOT Do It ! '
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lillie View Post
I was curious about what other people thought, but I don't really have an axe to grind.
Hope it didn't come across like that, I'm on good meds! They make me fuzzy.
Dear Lillie , after a brief perusal of various internet chat forums, you have NO WORRIES about being fuzzy - from my end .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lillie View Post

And a reboot really helped this interface business. Lol
Maybe I should try that ?
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Unlike the RWS, the GD deck as described in Book T and recreated by Regardie and Wang has very little obvious esoteric symbolism from astrology or alchemy. However, there are clear indications that the RWS is in the GD tradition.

While I believe that the deck was designed for the use of Waite's Isis Urania GD group (after the original HOGD fragmented), his decision to publish it introduced additional constraints on its content: It must have enough popular appeal to justify the expense of publication, and it should not reveal so much GD influence that it could be construed as a violation of his initiatory oaths.

While the RWS is not significantly incompatible with Book T, it incorporated some changes to the GD imagery which reflect Waite's emphasis on mysticism rather than magic.
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Lillie, I was speaking in general terms, not especially at you. I tend to put my foot in my mouth. (:

As to why he did it, I think it was because despite his apparent snobbish attitude and ridicule for the layman in the PKT, he did have faith both in humanity and the GD system. It works, even if you don't know how or why, and he seemed to think people would benefit from it regardless of their education in esoteric matters. Of course, one could nitpick whether his message was lost due to constraints, and in my opinion his deck somewhat perverts some good things, which is a shame. But I do think (or prefer to think) that he ultimately had good intentions.

For example, most people memorize the meanings of the cards and then mix and match when performing a divination, using whatever method they wish (let's say "intuition"). The degradation of the elements through the suits is still a thread that goes through all the simplistic divinatory meanings, even if it is veiled, even if it is changed, perverted or misunderstood. I think he hoped some of that would nevertheless filter into people, even through the images. Whether he did it well or not is another matter.
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I see the Six of Swords image as Charon (suggesting the psychopomp aspect of Mercury), who earns his fee (the obol placed in the mouth of the dead) by ferrying the souls across the river Acheron to Hades. Thus the image suggests both Mercury in Aquarius and its interpretation as earned success. Here is a picture of Charon doing his job:
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