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The Qabalistic Tarot [Paperback]

Robert Wang
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Oct 1987
Hailed by reviewers as 'a masterpiece' and as 'the single most profound reference of its kind', The Qabalistic Tarot has become the standard in its field, a book essential to all students of Tarot symbolism. It is both a textbook and a sourcebook for the symbols of the Western Hermetic Qabalah, a corpus of mystical ideas which have, for centuries, exerted a powerful influence on the development of Western thought. Dr. Wang explains the Tarot as an externalization of a mystical system which has evolved from approximately the third century C.E. to our own time. He traces the development of Qabalistic ideas from the Neoplatonic through the Medieval, Renaissance, and Modern periods, systematically discussing each Sephira and Path on the Tree of Life. He uses the Tarot images as a point of visual reference, and provides a thorough explanation of the symbolic intricacies of the Paths. The Qabalistic Tarot is recommended as a comprehensive textbook for individual study or for the classroom. The first and only work based on the four major decks in use today, it is the ideal companion book for the Golden Dawn Tarot, the Thoth Tarot, the Rider-Waite Tarot, or the traditional Marseilles deck.
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Red Wheel/Weiser; New edition edition (1 Oct 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0877286728
  • ISBN-13: 978-0877286721
  • Product Dimensions: 25.2 x 17.8 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 871,157 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Robert Wang is a medievalist art historian/artist. He is the creator of the Golden Dawn Tarot Deck in collaboration with the late Israel Regardie and is the artist of the acclaimed Jungian Tarot Deck. His books include studies of Jungian archetypal imagery and of the historical development of such movements as Hermetic Qabalah and Rosicrucianism. Paintings by Robert Wang include the first complete illustrations for Grimms' Fairy Tales and The Short Stories of Edgar Allen Poe. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Received in super quick time 15 Dec 2013
By Judith
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book was advertised as second hand and in good condition so I had expected signs of wear but - much better condition than expected. Well done !!
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very accurate 23 Oct 1997
By A Customer
This book provides a very clear and concise interpertation of the Tarot. It can easily be used as a "reading" companion. The quick reference for the minor cards are made very easy by the "Lord of..." reference. I have many freinds that want this book
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.9 out of 5 stars  27 reviews
59 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most advanced and deepest tarot book I've seen. 6 May 2001
By Uri Raz - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is a masterpiece - it's very informative & researched (which make it contrast sharply with the many - too many - shallow formulative books published nowadays), and gives a wide and deep view of the tarot.
Wang explains the tarot using the Qabala (especially the tree of life) and some astrology, based on the Golden Dawn tradition, giving it a context and underpinning - the tarot is presented not as a collection of pictures, but as the structured tool that has a structure and ordered basis in western occult tradition. To illustrate his explanation, he compares the Tarot of Marseilles, his own Golden Dawn deck, Waite's Rider deck, and Crowley's Thoth deck. The book can be used as a guide for all of those decks, or as the best companion guide to the books that accompany them (e.g. the Pictorial Key to the Tarot or Book of Thoth).
Though the book is not the easiest to read (and needs to be read more than once to be fully digested), the language is concise, the structure of material logical and clear, and is worth every cent of its price and every moment spent reading.
The only complaint I have about this book is the poor binding - the pages are poorly glued at the back which made the pages break into four groups quickly. I wish a plastic binding back was used instead.
43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Book on the Qabalah 19 Oct 2004
By Steven D. Hasting - Published on
Without a doubt, this is the best book on the Qabalah, bar none. Notice how I spelled Qabalah: this book is from a Western Occult perspective, make no mistake.

Wang explains the Qabalah better than anyone else I've ever read. His language is sometimes a little stiff, but remember this is a very difficult subject. Sometimes words fail the author who attempts to describe such sublime ideas. Wang is able to gently lead one into understanding, like the adept he is.

Now, his Tarot deck leaves a LOT to be desired. I don't recommend that at all. But this book will become your favorite, of that I'm sure. And, it will become the only book you need to understand both the Qabalah, and the Tarot.

Buy this book !!! If this subject interests you, you definitely NEED it.
34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the very best advanced tarot texts available 1 May 2000
By A Customer - Published on
This book is something of a rarity -- a genuinely advanced tarot text. Going far beyond mere divinatory meanings, it cogently puts the occult tarot together with its Qabalistic underpinnings. It is not an easy read, but the writing is engaging and lucid. Students of qabala will find it further illuminates this difficult subject (even if they don't have prior experience with the tarot), and tarot enthusiasts of any level will find much here to expand their knowledge and understanding of the cards.
28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Without a doubt, the only book you'll ever need.... 25 July 2000
By John Roehm - Published on
I cannot say enough how much this book has offered to me in learning the heremetic tarot. Dr. Wang has clearly researched his subject and offers a wealth of information to the tarot student. Even though I have spent countless dollars on various books, I always find myself going back to this book. My copy is so worn, it is funny! Dr. Wang offers you so much information, it is beyond compare. Although my chosen deck is the Hermetic Tarot (it is not featured in his text), you still have endless information and explanations of the tarot as it relates to the western tradition. You have a teachings of Qabalah, astrology and the tarot and commentaries on decks such as the golden Dawn and Thoth deck. I cannot recommend any other book on the tarot as much as this one. Enjoy and Peace to you. CHEERS **takes a sip of Chianti**
30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Constant Companion Qabalah 2 Sep 2001
By Nancy R. Fenn - Published on
I call this review "Constant Companion Qabalah" because I keep this book always near my desk. As a professional astrologer, VisionCoach and expert Tarot symbolist, I find this book the single most profound reference of its kind. It has been my constant companion since I first read it back in 1989. I have since read it at least three times from cover to cover and I refer to it constantly in the classes I teach. Robert Wang has thoroughly mastered the material. He has access to the secret doctrines of the mystery schools such as The Order of the Golden Dawn. His approach is intellectually and practically balanced with a profound understanding of the spirituality and mystic wisdom of the Qabalah. This is a book that will stay with you at whatever level you meet it and meet you at whatever level you wish to take it to later. Perhaps it goes without saying, but a good working knowledge of astrology and Tarot is a real plus before cracking the spine of this one!
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