Mishkan ha-Echad

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Waite's Fellowship of the Rosy Cross Tarot

Tarot enthusiast and esoteric scholar Mary K. Greer (author of Women of the Golden Dawn) posted an interesting blog on the original Waite artwork for his order, the Fellowship of the Rosy Cross (FRC), which was a derivative of the Holy Order of the Golden Dawn, itself a derivative of the original GD (with many of the more mystically inclined people joining it).

A book featuring the original artwork in full colour, along with Waite's commentaries, should be out before the end of the year, according to Greer. Check out her post, as there's some interesting information there.

Golden Dawn scholar Tony Fuller responded to the revelations with:

"It may be a little bit of a misnomer to say that are ‘discovered’. There are coloured versions of these cards/Keys (including a large version) which are in constant use by the FRC Order in London and elsewhere. The FRC has continued, almost without interruption since Waite established it. The coloured versions are even more dramatic. Dr R.A. Gilbert suggested that some of the cards may have inspired drawings for th original Lord of the Rings – Charles Williams, an influential member of the Inklings (Tolkien, Lewis) was also a member of the FRC for many years. Details can be found in Gilbert’s biography of Waite."

Greer added the following in response:

"The b&w images have been making the rounds for years. And colored versions have been in private hands but rarely shared with others and then usually under strict vows of secrecy. However, these are the original artworks—which seems like a pretty stunning discovery to me. Plus, those involved are willing to share them with everyone else. That’s news!"
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