Learn About An Introduction to the Study of the Tarot
For five centuries or more Tarot cards have been used in Europe, ostensibly for games and fortune-telling, but really to preserve the essentials of a secret doctrine. They form a symbolic alphabet of the ancient wisdom, and to their influence upon the minds of a few enlightened thinkers we may trace the modern revival of interest in that wisdom.
This revival may be said to date from 1854, when Eliphas Levi published Dog meet Rituel de la Haute Magie, the first of a series of occult books in which he named the Tarot as his most important source of information. His influence appears in the writings of H. P. Blavatsky; it pervades the teachings of the French occult school, headed by Papus (Dr. Gerard Encausse); it is developed for English readers in the works of S. L. MacGregor Mathers, A. E. Waite, Dr. W. Wynn Westcott, and others; it enters the New Thought movement in various ways, notably through the essays of Judge Troward, and it even extends to Scottish Rite Masonry in the United States, by way of Albert Pike’s Morals and Dogma, which repeats verbatim passage after passage from Levi’s Dogme et Rituel.
Levi’s opinion of the Tarot was very high. He recommended it to occult students as a key to all mysteries. “A prisoner evoid of books,” he declared, “had he only a Tarot of which he knew how to make use, could in a few years acquire a universal science, and converse with an unequalled doctrine and inexhaustible eloquence.