Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Tarot by Paul Foster Case

Paperback reprint of The Tarot from 1975
Originally published in 1947 a few years before his death, The Tarot by Paul Foster Case is largely regarded as one of the seminal texts on discerning the Tarot. Born in 1884, Case became an occultist in his teens and developed his lifelong passion for the Tarot in 1901, 46 years before the publication of this book. Case was at times a Freemason, a member of the order of the Golden Dawn, and later founded his own Mystery School called The Ageless Wisdom which is still in existence. Case's text, published and reprinted by the Macoy Publishing Company, discusses and explains in depth the 22 major arcana from the Tarot deck for divination, and is to be used in conjunction with Case's own deck that he developed called the B.O.T.A. deck (for Builders of the Adytum). Case's book was revolutionary for relating each of the keys of the major arcana to their Hebrew letter counterpart from the Qabalah and the Cube of Space/Tree of Life, and especially in a time when few people studied such things. Despite any belief or practice of the Tarot, Case's book is interesting nonetheless and explains to a degree the origins of playing cards. Pictured on the cover is an illustration of The Hermit, which is key number 9 of the major arcana, and is one of many beautiful wood-cut illustrations by an unknown artist that fill Case's book.

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