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Q&A: Books of correspondence recommendations

By Psyche | June 10, 2008

This question came to me yesterday from Richard Phantastica of Phantastica Bricolage:

I was wondering about a general magical ref text… specific emphasis on symbolism (alchemical, hermetic, qabbalistic etc etc)

Any recommendations?

I was looking at The Complete Magician’s Tables by Stephen Skinner… & The Magician’s Companion: A Practical and Encyclopedic Guide to Magical and Religious Symbolism by Bill Whitcomb. Any idea regarding those?

Feedback would be most appreciated!

I’ve not read The Magician’s Companion, so I can’t comment on that, but it really depends on what you’re after as there are several books which might be suitable. Continue reading »

Q&A: Can tarot make decisions for us?

By Psyche | May 10, 2008

In a recent discussion on AIM I was asked about tarot’s role in decision-making. We’ve looked at tarot and accuracy, and sharing bad news with a client, but what happens when they want you or the cards to make a decision for them?

SPJ asked:

I’ve heard it’s not “good” practice to expect the tarot to make decisions for you and it may be better to only ask it what the outcomes to things might be if you continue down the same path?

Many will suggest that the mere fact the querent is aware of new possibilities may alter the outcome, but past experience has demonstrated that Continue reading »

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Q&A: The etymology of tarot

By Psyche | April 4, 2008

Last week I posted a list of my top five foundational books on tarot – books that give a solid grounding in tarot’s history and practical use.

Ankh-f-n-khonsu commented:

I’m no tarotist scholar, and I found Decker’s article in Gnosis (#46, Winter 1998) convincing and enlightening. However, I was left unconvinced that there was no connection to esoteric Egyptian tradition. Tony Bushby…suggests that 22 Hebrew characters were ‘occulted’ in the Egyptian Book of Thoth/God, and that ‘tarot’ is a plural form of Torah. [...]

In tarot’s fairly well documented history (letters, accounting ledgers, early examples of tarot cards and “regular” playing cards, etc.), there is absolutely no suggestion whatsoever that tarot cards were intended for use as anything other than an innovating card game. Serious tarot practitioners know this, it’s the occultists who resist reading anything in depth outside their genre – and I say this as an occultist myself! (Probably because occultists have invested so much in the mystification of tarot they figure it’d be a shame to stop now.)

That doesn’t mean that its repurposing as an occult tool is valueless; on the contrary, thanks to Lévi’s “modern” popularization in particular, the tarot has become a nexus of occult symbolism. The tarot’s medieval Italian symbolism has been reinterpreted with everything from kabbalah, the Hebrew alphabet, the tetragrammaton, astrology, the elements, etc. being mapped on to its structure. Continue reading »

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Category: Magick,Q&A


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