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The Qabalistic Tarot: A Textbook of Mystical Philosophy [Hardcover]

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

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Book Description

1 Nov 2004
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.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Marcus Aurelius Press; 2004 Revised Edition edition (1 Nov 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0971559139
  • ISBN-13: 978-0971559134
  • Product Dimensions: 25.4 x 17.8 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 721,118 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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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.

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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
Format:Paperback
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 Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars  24 reviews
56 of 56 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 Amazon.com
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.
40 of 41 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 Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
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.
33 of 34 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 Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
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.
27 of 29 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 Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
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**
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best on the subject! 18 Jan 2005
By Won Do - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
To totally understand the Qabalistic significance of the Tarot and their correspondences, this is the book. It compares Thoth, Rider-Wait, Golden Dawn and Marseilles decks. Going through each path on the Qabalah and describing its characteristics makes understanding the cards much easier. I have had this book since it first came out and I still refer to it to this day. If wanting to understand the Thoth deck, this book along with "Understanding Aleister Crowley's Thoth Tarot" by Lon Milo Duquette is a must, since they both very accurately explain the Qabalistic significance of the Tarot in very easy to understand terms. Its divinatory explanations are limited however and Wang uses excerpts from the "Golden Dawn" edited by Israel Regardie to cover this. From this part of the book it is a great jumping off point into other books that may supply more info in this area, but for the study of how the Tarot relates to the Qabalah, this book is unsurpassed.
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