Aeclectic Tarot
Tarot Cards & Reviews Live Tarot Readings Tarot Card Meanings Forum Archive

RWS Esoteric or Exoteric?

  > Aeclectic Tarot Forum > Tarot Special Interest > Rider-Waite-Smith


 
Teheuti's Avatar
Teheuti  Teheuti is offline
Resident
 
Join Date: 24 Aug 2003
Location: Northern California
Posts: 5,539
Teheuti 
Resident

Teheuti's Avatar

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeon418 View Post
But right from the beginning First Order Golden Dawn members were still required to swear oaths of secrecy in return for some rather mundane 'secrets'.
The oath of secrecy wasn't there to protect knowledge of the Hebrew alphabet! Just because the real "secrets" weren't revealed to Neophytes, doesn't mean that the oath wasn't significant right at the beginning. In any technical field the base information that is first learned is later shown to be inadequate or even "wrong" at the higher levels of knowledge. The first layers of information are about learning the magical terminology that will be used later in very different ways. The secrecy is more about about building the necessary tension (with the outside world) and community (with those on the inside) that's required for magical work. That secrecy has to be there from the beginning, even before one has all the vocabulary, practice and theory to be in a place to do the work of the Inner Order. It is one of the cornerstones of magic: To Will, To Know, To Dare, and To Keep Silent.
Top   #71
TarotVerbatim  TarotVerbatim is offline
Resident
 
Join Date: 28 Mar 2014
Location: Idaho, U.S.A.
Posts: 18
TarotVerbatim 
Resident

It's both. It depends on the person, the day, the occasion ... the whole scene.

Your use of the deck is what makes it what it is to you. Tarot is like a puppy that wants to communicate with you: It will figure out what pleases you. Tarot, in my opinion, is your subconscious - more exactly, a bridge to your subconscious. Why? Because part at least of subconscious files by image. Conscious mainly files by language, text, and meanings constructed from language-based thinking. A Rosetta Stone that assigns meaning to images (including symbols of course) makes a bridge. The more you use Tarot, the wider the bridge.

To me, the genius of Rider Waite lies in the psychology of the interactions you see in the social scenes depicted in the illustrations. A family power struggle in Ten of Pentacles, for example. And action goes both ways, and from different perspectives. Take Seven of Wands: protest, self defense, pushy and mouthy teenager-type attitude, person defending what's his, defending his home ... all of these apply. 'Gimme the car keys, and, no, I ain't buyin' the gas' as well as 'I'm mad as hell and I won't take it anymore.' Is this exoteric - yes. And this is the sort of thing that usually applies in questions usually presented to Tarot.

If you ask a spiritual question, it's spiritual. (The puppy wanting to please you.)

If you ask a mechanical question, it's mechanical.

If you ask a medical question, it's medical.

And so on.

Rider Waite is that flexible! I once asked, when I was learning the meanings, as a question that was a 'known,' so I could find the unknown meanings: Describe an internal combustion engine. Cards about explosion and cards about flow. Got it.
Top   #72
Mallah  Mallah is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 01 Mar 2008
Location: Colorado USA
Posts: 1,229
Mallah 
Citizen

What I like about it is that all that esoteric stuff is there in the deck, and if I know it, (and to the degree I understand it) I can access it and be reminded of it and use it in a reading. If I don't know it/understand it, I can gloss right over it and still use the deck. The same comes with working with clients. I don't have to get into all that stuff with them...I can let it ride "behind the scenes", where it is tastefully obscured....

If I use a TdM deck, (which I love,) it's debatable whether it's depicted AT ALL: it's so concealed...to the degree that we normally consider it an exoteric pack...It's all SO veiled, in fact, that many doubt if it was ever intended at all....(But if not, then who is the veiled Papess?? She is mystery itself; why the hell is she there if there is no esoteric "gnosis" suggested?) When the material is so delightfully NOT THERE, I have to remember it-- it is called forth from my inner storehouse of tools--or not--on a case by case basis.

With a deck like THOTH which is in-your-face occult, it's hard to ignore all the occult refrences...it's all hangin' out...like hard-core porn...nothing subtle about it...which was the function of the deck: "It's TIME for this stuff to be REVEALED....ta-DAAHHH...." And while it's all "revealed" visually, like a dream, it takes some time (a lot of time) to begin to put it all together and "get" what it all means.

You can kinda-sorta see all this in the Fools and the Magi from these decks.... The TdM and historical decks before Waite all had "Low" Magicians and Fools (the Magician wasn't even called that until Wirth, I don't think...he was Le Bateleur...the street performer...the Fool was a raggle taggle gypsy.

(BTW I believe that these two cards in the TDM suggest how the deck became associated with Gypsies...these two would wander into town, beg or trick us out of our money, and be gone the next morning...)

The decks after RWS seem to feature HIGH fools and magi...occultists think very highly of themselves.

And this historical unfolding/development/evolution is reflected in the dating of the decks too...Tdm came first, then RWS, then Thoth. It's like the RWS is the middle way, the compromise deck, between the two extremes.
Top   #73
Michael Sternbach's Avatar
Michael Sternbach  Michael Sternbach is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 30 Aug 2014
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 942
Michael Sternbach 
Citizen

Michael Sternbach's Avatar

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mallah View Post
What I like about it is that all that esoteric stuff is there in the deck, and if I know it, (and to the degree I understand it) I can access it and be reminded of it and use it in a reading. If I don't know it/understand it, I can gloss right over it and still use the deck. The same comes with working with clients. I don't have to get into all that stuff with them...I can let it ride "behind the scenes", where it is tastefully obscured....

If I use a TdM deck, (which I love,) it's debatable whether it's depicted AT ALL: it's so concealed...to the degree that we normally consider it an exoteric pack...It's all SO veiled, in fact, that many doubt if it was ever intended at all....(But if not, then who is the veiled Papess?? She is mystery itself; why the hell is she there if there is no esoteric "gnosis" suggested?) When the material is so delightfully NOT THERE, I have to remember it-- it is called forth from my inner storehouse of tools--or not--on a case by case basis.

With a deck like THOTH which is in-your-face occult, it's hard to ignore all the occult refrences...it's all hangin' out...like hard-core porn...nothing subtle about it...which was the function of the deck: "It's TIME for this stuff to be REVEALED....ta-DAAHHH...." And while it's all "revealed" visually, like a dream, it takes some time (a lot of time) to begin to put it all together and "get" what it all means.

You can kinda-sorta see all this in the Fools and the Magi from these decks.... The TdM and historical decks before Waite all had "Low" Magicians and Fools (the Magician wasn't even called that until Wirth, I don't think...he was Le Bateleur...the street performer...the Fool was a raggle taggle gypsy.

(BTW I believe that these two cards in the TDM suggest how the deck became associated with Gypsies...these two would wander into town, beg or trick us out of our money, and be gone the next morning...)

The decks after RWS seem to feature HIGH fools and magi...occultists think very highly of themselves.

And this historical unfolding/development/evolution is reflected in the dating of the decks too...Tdm came first, then RWS, then Thoth. It's like the RWS is the middle way, the compromise deck, between the two extremes.
Interesting post. A few additional thoughts...

Already the basic structure of the Tarot as it ties in with Numerology is highly esoteric. Then the symbolism even in a seemingly so simple deck like the ToM is as occult as it gets - and not only as far as The Popess is concerned. (Bear in mind, 'occult' means concealed.)

Doesn't The Juggler have all the four suits among his tools? Isn't his hat suggestive of a lemniscate? Doesn't his posture say "as above, so below"?

If throwing all that symbolism in was a totally conscious thing in the earliest versions of the Tarot or if it developed out of the collective unconscious, I, too, cannot say with certainty. But there it is, if you but have the eyes to see it! Esoteric systems do manifest in gradual stages as if pulled toward a Great Attractor by a causa finalis - as the examples of Astrology and Kabbalah show us as well.

Then there is the view taken by Sallie Nichols in her book Jung and Tarot that a deck like the ToM stands without description as to what the symbolism means, which she contrasts with modern occult decks like the RWS. This is true; but maybe the description has simply been lost long ago. Even Nichols ventures out i.e. into Egyptian mythology when talking about The Wheel of Fortune (if my memory serves me right).

To illustrate, the symbolism in decks like the RWS and the Thoth is open to infinite interpretation, too, notwithstanding the books written about them by their creators. Even those books invite a highly creative attitude toward them! So many threads on AT demonstrate this unambiguously. So, the way I see it, all those artificial distinctions break down in the final analysis.
Top   #74
Mallah  Mallah is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 01 Mar 2008
Location: Colorado USA
Posts: 1,229
Mallah 
Citizen

where's the "like" button?
Top   #75


 


 


Tarot Cards & Reviews Free Tarot Readings Tarot Books Tarot Card Meanings Forum Archive
Aeclectic Tarot Forum Links
· Tarot
· Tarot Special Interest
· Beyond Tarot
· Forum Library

Aeclectic Tarot Categories
· Angel Decks
· Dark & Gothic Decks
· Goddess Decks
· Fairy Decks
· Doreen Virtue Decks
· Beginner Decks
· Cat Decks
· Pagan & Wiccan Decks
· Ancient Egyptian Decks
· Celtic Decks
· Lenormand Decks
· Rider-Waite Decks
· Marseilles Decks
· Thoth Decks
· Oracle Decks
· List All Decks
· Popular Tarot Decks
· Available Decks
· Tarot Books
· What's New

The Aeclectic Tarot Forum closed permanently on July 14th, 2017. The public threads remain online as a read-only archive and resource. More information on our decision can be found here. Thank you for being a part of our active community over the past seventeen years.

Copyright © 1996 - 2017 Aeclectic Tarot. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy. Contact us.