TAROT OF THE BOHEMIANS - Papus / A.E. Waite, 1920s OCCULT MAGICK GRIMOIRE
THE TAROT OF THE BOHEMIANS: THE MOST ANCIENT BOOK IN THE WORLD FOR THE USE OF INITIATES
Book Details + Condition: David McKay Company (Philadelphia). Scarce Third Edition Revised, circa 1920 (ND). By Papus (Gerard Encausse). Translated by A.P. Morton. With Preface by A.E. Waite. Dark purple textured cloth-bound hardcover, with gilt title (etc) to spine. Includes very scarce dust jacket. 355 pages. Illustrated with numerous plates and woodcuts. Gerard Encausse (1865 - 1916), whose esoteric pseudonym was Papus, was a Spanish-born French physician, hypnotist, and popularizer of Occultism, who founded the modern Martinist Order. In this work, Papus discusses advanced topics of the tarot deck, and espouses theories of its ancient origins. A beautiful copy of this very scarce title, with light fading to purple cloth of lower front board and spine edge; interior is clean and free of markings; rare dust jacket remains in very good condition, with light chipping to spine edges, and is now protected with a mylar cover. Also for sale: a Second Edition Revised of this same work.
"Tarot of the Bohemians, along with the Pictoral Key to the Tarot, constitute the core literature of 19th and early 20th century 'Tarotism'. However, PTK is to the TOB as arithmetic is to differential calculus. If you have no experience reading occult literature of this period, you may find yourself profoundly lost after the first couple of pages, staring at the abundant and profoundly esoteric tables, charts and diagrams, trying to get a clue as to what Papus is talking about. Papus is after a 'Theory of Everything', and finds evidence for it in the Tarot and a set of correspondences with everything from the tetragrammaton to numerology and astrology. His claim that the Tarot preserves ancient, profound knowledge by way of the Romany/Gypsies (i.e. 'Bohemians') all the way back to Egypt, India and Atlantis is unsubstantiated. There is no evidence of any kind of playing or fortune-telling cards prior to the thirteenth century, either in literature or folklore. Note that playing cards could not have become popular until the introduction of printing in Europe. The Tarot is believed to have originated from an elaborate deck of cards invented in Italy in the fourteenth century. The Romany people probably started to use this deck for cartomancy (fortune telling by cards) about a century thereafter. As Papus notes, all of the early cards depict people dressed in the costume of this period. Late in the book, Papus condescends to pen a section, in his words, 'for the ladies' (cue Barry White music here), which gives some basic instruction in cartomancy using the Tarot deck. However, this is by far the weakest portion of this book. Papus is at his best when he is spinning elaborate webs of correspondence between the Tarot and the Macrocosm. This book is hard work, but if you master it you will have a profound grasp of the inner life of the Tarot deck." [FROM ESOTERIC ARCHIVES]