Review of Freemasonry



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MASONIC ALLUSION AND SYMBOLISM IN THE FIGURES AND INTERPRETATIONS OF THE MAJOR ARCANA OF THE TAROT BY ARTHUR EDWARD WAITE
by Bro. William Steve Burkle KT, 32°
Scioto Lodge No. 6, Chillicothe, Ohio.
Philo Lodge No. 243, South River, New Jersey


Arthur Edward Waite (1857 - 1943)[i] was a mystic, an occultist, and an enthusiastic Freemason. Bro. Waite was also a prolific author in each of these subject areas, and was the founder of numerous mystic organizations[ii], some for which Masonic Membership was a prerequisite, and others which were loosely based upon the tenets of Freemasonry. Of all of Waite’s lifetime accomplishments, the one for which he is best remembered is his publication (1910) of a unique set of Tarot cards, which came to be known as the Rider-Waite Deck, or the RWD. This deck was unique because it was the first modern deck in which the cards of the Minor Arcana were illustrated and not just those of the Major Arcana (the creator of the Sola Busca Deck did this earlier[iii] - i.e. the late 15th Century).

Waite bundled an explanatory pamphlet with this deck called The Key to the Tarot[iv]. Bro. Waite also later produced an illustrated book[v] which offered a detailed explanation of the meaning of each of the 72 cards which comprise his deck, along with a discussion of the history of the Tarot. This interesting book is “classic Waite” complete with stilted language and attacks upon his ideological rivals. It is also one of the premiere texts dealing with the interpretation of the Tarot used to this day.  Earlier Tarot Authors such as Jean-Baptiste Alliette, (aka Etteilla, 1738 – 1791) and S.L Mathers (1854-1918), both Freemasons, were believed to have heavily influenced Waite’s Tarot Interpretations and the images or illustrations he used. When the Tarot interpretations of A.E. Waite were studied[vi] using a statistical analysis of carefully selected keywords describing the meanings of the Major and Minor Arcana, it was found that more than 48% of the keywords were statistically congruent.  Tarot scholar and researcher R.V. O’Neil[vii] reports that in an article in the Occult Review[viii],” Waite stated that as he and Pamela Colman Smith designed the deck, “we have had other help from one who is deeply versed in the subject.” O’Neil further states that “Roger Parisius (Figures in a Dance: W. B. Yeats and the Waite-Ride Tarot) suggested that this help came from W.B. Yeats”. W.B. Yeats, the famous Irish poet was a member of the Golden Dawn, an organization with which Waite was prominently associated.  Waite was also involved with Gérard-Anaclet-Vincent Encausse (aka Papus, 1865-1916)[ix] who asserted Egyptian origins for the Tarot. Papus was a key member of the gnostic Martinist Order. Waite incidentally wrote the preface to Papus’ Tarot of the Bohemians[x].

 Thus Arthur Edward Waite provides the most modern, and authoritative interpretation of the Major Arcana of the Tarot by a well-known Freemason, whose sources are incorporated into his own work, and who there-by provides a continuum of the tradition of Tarot dating more than 100 Years. Though Bro. Manly P. Hall (1901- 1990) [xi], also published interpretations of the Tarot (1925) these pre-dated his Masonic affiliation (1954) and are sufficiently different from those of Waite as to indicate that they do not represent this tradition.

This paper will explore the interpretations given by Bro. Waite in his illustrated textbook[xii] for those cards in the Rider-Waite Deck which make up the Major Arcana, as conceived by Waite and artistically rendered by Pamela Colman Smith (aka “Pixie”). It will examine his cards, illustrations, and interpretations for evidence of Masonic allusion and symbolism. Many others have also produced interpretative texts of the Tarot. Where appropriate or when interesting, the interpretations of others will be mentioned. For my purposes I will consider that Waite’s interpretation includes both the figurative symbolism presented by the illustration in its parts and in whole, as well as the more subtle over-all impression conveyed by the translation. The below discussion will serve to clarify my meaning.

The Tarot

It is not within the scope of this article to offer anything other than a very brief description of the Tarot, its history, its variants, or its application. Suffice it to say that Tarot is a means of Divination referred to as Cartomancy in which a series of illustrated cards are used to render an impression to the reader of various circumstances which may influence or may have influenced the path in life taken by the person for whom the reading is being performed (called the Querent), along with events which may come to pass. From this, the Querent is guided to a better understanding of his or her life, and to consider how a positive future outcome may be achieved.  The Tarot does not assume that a person’s fate is fixed, but rather that an individual can affect one’s fate by making wise (or poor) choices in the present. In this process, the Diviner (reader) follows generally accepted interpretations of the rich symbolism given for the Major Arcana, while the Minor Arcana are treated somewhat more mechanical and contain more rigid meanings. I would hasten to add that the above is my own interpretation of the use of the Tarot, and may differ from the way others see it.

It is often stated that each of the cards in a Tarot deck (especially the Major Arcana)  portrays a compelling image of one or more aspect of the human condition, and that taken together a Tarot deck represents the vast majority of all possible human experiences (referred to as Universal archetypes). This is what makes the Tarot so evocative (or expressive), and why the Tarot deck is said to create such empathy between a gifted reader and a Querent. There is in fact a well known Author[xiii] who wrote a tale about a number of Tarot Adepts who were traveling through an enchanted forest and lost their voices. The Adepts in the tale continued through the forest telling their own entire life stories by displaying Tarot cards to one another. This tale is of course an invention; the power of the images contained within a Tarot deck is however quite effectively revealed through this fable.

If my description of the use of the Tarot sounds vaguely psycho-analytical, I should mention that Carl Gustav Jung, the pioneering Psychoanalyst, was a Tarot adept, and studied the Tarot for use as a tool in his practice[xiv]. Jung’s published works on the Tarot are in fact some of the best available in terms of rendering an objective account of the amazing subtleties by which the human psyche perceives the meanings and messages of the cards. In his work[xv], Jung produced a graphical plot of the four functions of consciousness, with "Thinking" and "Feeling" on the X-axis (called the "Rational Axis") and with "Intuition" and "Sensation” on the Y-Axis (called the "Irrational Axis").  In Jung’s analysis, intuition and sensation are considered as tools to "investigate" reality but not to make decisions. On the other hand "emotions" and "thinking" are involved in the decision making process (rational.) In Jung’s theory, the two aspects of self converge through various techniques (dreaming, meditation, and tarot cards) at the intersection of the X and Y Axis. Universal archetypes (i.e. tarot card illustrations) are the symbols employed in these processes.  Accordingly, the "total self" is simultaneously the investigator (using intuition and sensation) and the decision-maker (using thought and emotion). Jung’s theory considered that the Tarot facilitates convergence and opens us to our total selves.

The Tarot cards themselves are divided into two separate groups called the Major Arcana (A term which Waite popularized[xvi]) and the Minor Arcana. The Minor Arcana contains 56 cards divided into 4 suits. The suits in the Rider-Waite Deck are called Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles. These 4 suits correspond to the "standard" modern playing card deck suits of Clubs, Hearts, Spades, and Diamonds (Waite in fact wrote[xvii] a short piece on a method for divination using standard playing cards). It is conventionally considered that the suits also represent the four basic elements Fire, Water, Air, and Earth. The Major Arcana contains 22 cards, the images of which, according to Manly P. Hall[xviii] represent the 22 chapters of the Book of Revelations. Waite makes no reference whatsoever to this concept, but rather echoes the view proposed by Jung. Others have maintained that the Major Arcana represent the 22 letters of the Hebrew Alphabet, a concept which Waite rejects[xix]. He (Waite) considers the Major Arcana as richly symbolic, but treats the Minor Arcana as “fortune telling” devices. Having said this, nowhere does he insinuate that they are in any way ineffective in this role, merely that they lend themselves less to intuitive considerations. Because the interpretations of the Minor Arcana are considered by Waite to be more-or-less fixed, I have chosen not to include them in this paper which is aimed at discovering Masonic allusion in the RWD.

Each of the 78 cards of the Major and Minor Arcana in the Rider-Waite Tarot deck bear an illustration. The Major Arcana however are not associated with a suit. One basic technique for using the Tarot deck, called the Celtic Cross[xx] and detailed in Waite’s text, requires that a total of six (6) cards be dealt face down and arranged in a particular cross-like pattern, with four (4) additional cards dealt and arranged vertically in a column beside the cross. The cards are then turned up one at a time and interpreted first individually, and then as a whole. The cards meaning and its relative position in the “cross” or “column” both figure into the translation. For an effective Tarot reading (using the Rider-Waite Deck) all of the cards are considered both individually and together to arrive at a net impression. For a more detailed description of the Tarot, and the Celtic Cross in particular, I refer the reader to Waite’s illustrated text, The Pictorial Guide to the Tarot.

Masonic Association with Tarot

            In spite of the fact that Tarot Decks have recently been produced with the purposeful (and sometimes superficial) addition of Masonic themes and symbols (i.e. The Masonic Tarot, the Square and Compasses Tarot), there is no historical precedence for such a deck. Tarot itself, is considered by Waite[xxi] to have originated from sources in Southern France during the 13th or 14th Century A.D. (at the earliest). Albert Pike, in his Morals and Dogma in 1874 cryptically mentions the Tarot during his discussion of the Knight of the Sun, or Prince Adept[xxii] in which he states that Tarot contains the Kabalistic Alphabet. Other associations of the Tarot with Freemasonry are largely speculative and reliable information is difficult to find. It is this writer’s belief that the primary associations of the Tarot with Freemasonry may be related to their supposed link to the Kabala, the link of Tarot Card illustrations to Hermetic symbolism, and to the fact that numerous designers of Tarot Decks and Tarot Interpreters have coincidentally been Freemasons. As Freemasonry has evolved through the Centuries, so have our rituals; rites and orders have come and gone; and it is entirely possible that past associations with the Tarot may have vanished as well. Many of the Occult and Mystic organizations founded or lead by Waite (notably including the Builders the Adytum or BOTA, Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia or SRIA, and the Order of the Golden Dawn) have certainly used the Tarot extensively. The Tarot, like Freemasonry itself has a somewhat muddled past and much of its true history has been lost to us. Bear in mind, that the lack of a clear Masonic association does not necessarily imply a lack of Masonic significance.

            Interestingly, Waite himself had a very definite position on the relationship between the Tarot and Freemasonry. In his book The Hidden Church of the Holy Graal[xxiii], which discusses the Grail Legend and which was published (1909) about one year prior to the date of the publication of his Deck, Waite includes a chapter (IX) entitled “The Hallows of the Graal Mystery Rediscovered in the Talismans of the Tarot”.  In this Chapter he presents his conclusive view that the Tarot is the “canonical Hallows of the Graal legend”. This is a telling statement since in his previous Chapter (VIII) “The Analogy of Masonry” he draws the parallel between the Graal Legend and Freemasonry, comparing the character Percival to the Master Mason in search of light. The obvious logic follows that the Tarot and Freemasonry are considered to be closely intertwined in Waite’s view.

Analysis of Waite’s Interpretations

            I would first like to mention that an incredibly detailed analysis of the illustrations of the RWD Major Arcana has been performed by O’Neil and Gardner using a method known as Quantitative Iconography[xxiv]. This analysis provides an intricate breakdown of the details of each image along with a tabulation of Tarot decks which pre-date the RWD and which use identical imagery. I have taken the liberty here of adopting a very useful tool devised by O’Neil/Gardner in their work on Quantitative Iconography in my own analysis; specifically I have incorporated the tabular breakdown of the card images they have provided, and have evaluated each detail of the card image in terms of its Masonic Symbolism as opposed to its source as the Authors did. 

In order to also include Waite’s descriptive interpretation as a part of this analysis, I needed some method for distilling the often verbose explanations of the cards meanings.  During my research I discovered a distillation of such keywords in the form of a “.pdf” file[xxv] at an eclectic website called “Wizard & Witch”. This file provides both Waite’s original interpretation as well as a list of keywords extracted from his interpretations of the Major Arcana, which I carefully examined and found to be absolutely relevant. This list of keywords was also compared to that produced by S. L. MacGregor Mathers in his work The Tarot[xxvi] and was found substantially in agreement with this source, which was influential in the design of Waite’s deck. Keywords (in some cases with minor modifications by yours truly) from this list were accordingly incorporated into the O’Neil/Gardner table creating a composite table which could be used for my purposes.

I have also used both volumes of The Lost Language of Symbolism[xxvii] by Howard Bayley as reference materials for my analysis, along with the many reference sources for images of Masonic Symbols found at Paul Bessel’s website[xxviii] (Thank you Paul).  This analysis is of course, based upon my own direct examination of card images and examination of the corresponding interpretation provided by Waite. Where a literal Masonic association is insinuated I have summarized what I believe that association to be as a table note. In order to avoid presenting an exhaustive list in which many card image details have no probable Masonic theme, I have edited the table to show only those cards having literal symbolism or interpretations (based upon keywords)  which I believe to actually bear Masonic allusion. This is provided below as Table 1. 
The complete unexpurgated worksheet used in this effort is attached as Appendix 1.

 I recognize that my methodology is fairly subjective and is limited by my own knowledge and recognition of Masonic symbolism and allusion. I point out that any errors or shortcomings found in this analysis are strictly my own.  I would invite the reader at this point to download a free online copy of Waite’s Pictorial Key to the Tarot at the Lodgeroom International Download Center[xxix], and to compare my analysis his own.

 I remind the reader that Table 1 identifies only details in symbols or keyword allusions which are literal or overt in terms of Masonic reference. In some instances these references were somewhat tenuous, but were included in the table for more detailed investigation.


Table 1 - Condensed Composite Table, Showing Cards from the Rider-Waite Major Arcana which reveal literal Masonic significance in detail of symbolism or in interpretation.

The Magician

Details

Masonic Symbolism

Notes

Keywords

Masonic Allusion

Notes

Age - Youth

Yes

1

-

-

-

Coin on Table

Yes

2

-

-

-

The High Priestess

Details

Masonic Symbolism

Notes

Keywords

Masonic Allusion

Notes

B/W Pillars

Yes

3

Secrets

Yes

4

Cross

Yes

5

Mystery

Yes

6

-

-

-

Silence

Yes

7

-

-

-

Passion ®

Yes

8

The Empress

Details

Masonic Symbolism

Notes

Keywords

Masonic Allusion

Notes

-

-

-

Light ®

Yes

9

The Emperor

Details

Masonic Symbolism

Notes

Keywords

Masonic Allusion

Notes

Crown

Yes

10

Aid

Yes

11

Age - Elderly

Yes

1

Benevolence ®

Yes

12

-

-

-

Compassion ®

Yes

13

The Hierophant

Details

Masonic Symbolism

Notes

Keywords

Masonic Allusion

Notes

Throne

Yes

14

-

-

-

The Lovers

Details

Masonic Symbolism

Notes

Keywords

Masonic Allusion

Notes

Central Sun

Yes

15

Beauty

Yes

16

Age - Mature

Yes

1

-

-

-


 

The Chariot

Details

Masonic Symbolism

Notes

Keywords

Masonic Allusion

Notes

Solid Cube

Yes

17

-

-

-

Black/White Sphinxes

Yes

18

-

-

-

Age - Mature

Yes

1

-

-

-

Strength

Details

Masonic Symbolism

Notes

Keywords

Masonic Allusion

Notes

Age - Mature

Yes

1

-

-

-

The Hermit

Details

Masonic Symbolism

Notes

Keywords

Masonic Allusion

Notes

Age - Elderly

Yes

1

Treason

Yes

19

The Wheel of Fortune

Details

Masonic Symbolism

Notes

Keywords

Masonic Allusion

Notes

Tetragrammatron

Yes

20

-

-

-

Justice

Details

Masonic Symbolism

Notes

Keywords

Masonic Allusion

Notes

Age - Mature

Yes

1

Law ®

Yes

21

Crown

Yes

10

-

-

-

The Hanged Man

Details

Masonic Symbolism

Notes

Keywords

Masonic Allusion

Notes

Age - Youth

Yes

1

-

-

-

Death

Details

Masonic Symbolism

Notes

Keywords

Masonic Allusion

Notes

-

-

-

Mortality

Yes

22


 

Temperance

Details

Masonic Symbolism

Notes

Keywords

Masonic Allusion

Notes

Circle/Dot

Yes

23

-

-

-

Age - Youth

Yes

1

-

-

-

The Devil

Details

Masonic Symbolism

Notes

Keywords

Masonic Allusion

Notes

Pentacle

No

-

-

-

-

The Star

Details

Masonic Symbolism

Notes

Keywords

Masonic Allusion

Notes

7 stars

Yes

24

-

-

-

Age - Mature

Yes

1

-

-

-

The Moon

Details

Masonic Symbolism

Notes

Keywords

Masonic Allusion

Notes

Moon Central

Yes

25

Danger

Yes

26

Moon Full & Crescent

Yes

27

-

-

-

Thirty-two Rays

Yes

28

-

-

-

The Sun

Details

Masonic Symbolism

Notes

Keywords

Masonic Allusion

Notes

Sun Central

Yes

15

-

-

-

Red Cross

Yes

29

-

-

-


Notes to Table:

1.      The RWD makes reference to three specific age categories, these being Youth, Mature, and Elderly. The Masonic relevance is found in the broad interpretation that each of the three Craft degrees represents a man at a different stage of life (Youth, Maturity, and Old Age).

2.      The Masonic association here is taken as the coin representative of the Wages of a Master Mason referred to in both the Craft Degrees and certain Degrees of the York Rite.

3.      These pillars are two in number, one black and the other white, and each individually bearing the letter B and the letter J respectively.

4.      The relevance here is contained within the modern description of the Craft as being a Society with Secrets (as opposed to a Secret Society).

5.       The cross is a prominent symbol within certain of the York Rite Degrees, usually combined with the image of a crown.

6.      Mystery here is taken as referring to the Lost Word of Masonry.

7.      Silence here is taken as associated with the oath of obligation for a Mason to never reveal the secrets of Masonry.

8.      A Mason is instructed to subdue his passion and always remain within certain prescribed bounds within which he may not error.

9.      Light is that which a Freemason most desires.

10.  The Crown as mentioned in an earlier note is a symbol used in certain York Rite Degrees, usually in combination with a Cross. In the Craft degrees the Crown is emblematic of the Crown of King Solomon, which takes the form of the Top Hat worn by the Lodge W/M.

11.  A Freemason is obligated to render aid within the length of his cable tow.

12.  Masonry is a Benevolent Fraternal Organization, contributing to Charities and Promoting benevolent organizations around the world.

13.  A Freemason shows compassion to his Brothers in so far as it does not jeopardize his own livelihood or that of his family.

14.  The chair of the Lodge W.M. is likened to a throne.

15.  The image of the Sun is a common Masonic Symbol.

16.  Beauty is one of the Virtues held in special esteem by Masons. Note that the Card “Strength” is also named after a Virtue of importance to Masonry, but ironically the details or keywords related to this card have no specific Masonic allusions.

17.  A cube is the first and most basic Platonic Solid.

18.  The black and white sphinxes represent Isis and Osiris. A pair of such sphinxes graces the central hallway of the House of the Temple in Washington D.C., Headquarters for the Southern Jurisdiction of the 33rd Degree of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry.

19.  The crime of Treason is held as especially heinous by Freemasons. This is incorporated into one of the obligations for the 3rd Degree, and also comprises a complete Ritual theme within the Scottish Rite.

20.  The Tetragrammatron holds special significance for Freemasons. It is closely associated with the Kabala.

21.   Law in this case is taken as the Volume of Sacred Law upon which every Mason binds himself to the Craft and assumes his Obligations.

22.  Mortality is a common theme in the 3rd Degree, and the symbol of the Momento Mori is a long standing symbol of the Craft.

23.  The PointWithin a Circle is a prominent Masonic Symbol.

24.  The symbol of seven stars is used in certain degrees of the Scottish Rite.

25.  The symbol of the full Moon  is used in Freemasonry

26.  The word danger is moderately connected to Masonry in the form of the Grand Hailing Sign.

27.  The symbol of a crescent Moon is also commonly used in Masonry.

28.  The primary Masonic reference here is contained within the number 32, an important number within the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry.

29.  The red cross bears Masonic allusion to the Red Cross of Constantine.

Summation

It is evident from my analysis, even given the distinct possibility that I have missed one or another subtle detail, that very few of the symbols or interpretations of the Rider-Waite Deck display anything close to overt Masonic association (as we know it in Freemasonry today). I also point out again that my tabular analysis was designed to find literal (overt) Masonic references and that Table 1 contains some less than solid Masonic allusion.

high_priestess_tarot Specifically, of 350 total card details evaluated, only one (the High Priestess card with pillars labeled B and J, shown here as Figure 1) proved to have direct, overt, and identifiable association with Masonic symbolism. Of 240 keywords examined, none overtly or specifically alluded to Masonic principles when taken in the context in which they appeared. These numbers are in the final analysis statistically insignificant given the fact that Masonic symbols and philosophies have been influenced by and adopted from many other established traditions, especially Alchemy. In fact a very large number of the symbols and interpretations found in the RWD distinctly and directly allude to Alchemical principles.

Consequently I am led to conclude that literal (or overt) Masonic-Specific Imagery is not prevalent in the Major Arcana of the Rider-Waite-Deck; I would however offer that given Jung’s explanations of the Universal Archetypes portrayed in these cards, it would be very unusual indeed if Masonic allusions could not be discerned. One excellent exposition offered by W.B. P.C. Browne[xxx],  details the Masonic allusions present in several different Tarot Decks, including the RWD, and can be found at Phoenixmasonry Masonic Museum[xxxi] under the heading “Masonic Tarot Card Deck”.

The study which I present here represents only one method for analyzing the RWD for Masonic content; further efforts by others, employing different techniques may produce different results. If you are involved in performing such an analysis, I’d like to hear from you. I may be contacted at wsburkle@sprynet.com.



[i] R. A. Gilbert. 1987. The One Deep Student, a Life of Arthur Edward Waite. Wellingborough.  From the Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon. Retrieved August 3, 2008

from http://freemasonry.bcy.ca/biography/bibliography.html.

[ii] Ibid. The One Deep Student, a Life of Arthur Edward Waite.

[iii]Voley, Holly. 2001. A Journey Through the Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot Deck. Retrieved August 3, 2008

from http://home.comcast.net/~vilex/.

[iv] Waite, A.E. The Key to the Tarot. Rider & Co (1999) ISBN-10: 0712670629; ISBN-13: 978-0712670623 .

[v] Waite, A.E. (1910/1911). The Pictorial Key to the Tarot: Being Fragments of a Secret Tradition under the Veil of Divination. Rider and Sons. London.

[vi] Revak, James W. (2000). The Influence of Etteilla & His School on Mathers & Waite. Retreived August 4, 2008

from http://www.villarevak.org/emw/emw_11.htm.

[vii] O’Neil, R.V. Sources of the Waite/Smith Tarot Symbols; The Magician (Note 2.b.). Retreived  August 8, 2008

from http://www.tarotpassages.com/old_moonstruck/oneill/1.htm.

[viii]Waite, A.E. (1909). The Tarot: A Wheel of Fortune. Occult Review. (Volume X) pp. 307-317.

[ix] Revak, James W. (2001). Great Tarotists of Yesteryear: Papus. Retrieved August 8, 2008

from http://www.villarevak.org/bio/papus_1.html.

[x][x] Papus. (1892/1972). The Tarot of the Bohemians: The Absolute Key to Occult Science. Trans. A. P. Morton Third Edition, Revised, with Preface by Arthur. E. Waite. Wilshire Book Company. pp. xvii . ISBN 0-87980-158-1.

[xi] Hall, Manly P. An Analysis of Tarot Cards.  In Masonic, Hermetic, Quabalistic, and Rosicrucian Symbolical Philosophy (Subscribers Edition). Being an Interpretation of the Secret Teachings concealed within the Rituals, Allegories and Mysteries of all Ages. Golden Anniversary Edition. 1925-1975. H.S. Crocker Company, Incorporated, San Francisco MCMXXVIII. pp 129-132. Retrieved August 2, 2008

from http://www.phoenixmasonry.org/masonicmuseum/secret_teachings_of_all_ages.htm.

[xii] Waite, A.E. op. cit. The Pictorial Key to the Tarot.

[xiii] Calvino, Italo. 1979. Castle of Crossed Destinies. Harvest Books. Trans. William Weaver. ISBN-10: 0156154552 ISBN-13: 978-0156154550.

[xiv] Schueler, Gerald PhD. 1997. Chaos and the Psychological Symbolism of the Tarot. Retrieved August 4, 2008

from http://www.schuelers.com/chaos/chaos7.htm.

[xv] Jung, C.G. (1956/1976). Symbols of Transformation. Hull, R.F.C. (Trans). Bollingen Series XX The Collected Works of C.G. Jung. 5. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

[xvi] Wood, Juliette. (1998). The Celtic Tarot and the Secret Tradition. Folklore. pp. 15-24.

[xvii] Waite, A.E. (1912). A French Method for Fortune Telling. Manual of Cartomancy and Occult Divination. Rider & Sons.

[xviii] Hall, Manly. op. cit. An Analysis of Tarot Cards. pp 129-132.

[xix] Waite, A.E. op. cit. The Pictorial Key to the Tarot. pp. 161.

[xx] Waite, A.E. op. cit. The Pictorial Key to the Tarot. pp. 299-304.

[xxi] Waite, A.E. op. cit. The Pictorial Key to the Tarot. pp. 38-40.

[xxii] Pike, Albert. (1874). Morals and Dogma of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry. Supreme Council of the 33rd Degree. Masonic Publishing Company. New York . pp.777.

[xxiii] Waite, A.E. (1909/2002 The Hidden Church of the Holy Graal: It’s Legends and Symbolism. Fredonia Books. ISBN-10: 1589639057; ISBN-13: 978-1589639058.

[xxiv] O'Neill, R. V. and R. H. Gardner. 1982. Quantitative iconography. Journal of the International Playing Card Society XI (1): pp. 15-23. In Sources of the Waite/Smith Tarot Symbols. (R.V. O’Neil). Retrieved August 2, 2008

from http://www.tarotpassages.com/old_moonstruck/oneill/.

[xxv]  Wizard & Witch. Rider-Waite Tarot Card Meanings. Retrieved August 2, 2008

from http://www.wizardandwitch.com/free-stuff-resources/rider-waite-tarot-card-meanings/

[xxvi] Mathers, MacGregor, S.L. (1888/1992). The Tarot: Its Occult Significance, Use in Fortune-Telling, and Method of Play, Etc. ISBN-100877287546.  ISBN-139780877287544 Retrieved August 3, 2008

from  http://www.dragonlibraryebooks.com.

[xxvii] Bayley, Howard. (1851/2000).The Lost Language of Symbolism: An Inquiry Into the Origin of Certain Letters, Words, Names, Fairy-Tales, Folklore, and Mythologies. 2 Vols.. Book Tree. ISBN 1585090700, 9781585090709.  ISBN 1585093092, 9781585093090.

[xxviii]  Bessel, Paul. (1998-2008). Masonic Graphics, Pictures, Clip Art in Paul M. Bessel’s Homepage. Retrieved August 2, 2008

from http://www.bessel.org/maspix.htm.

[xxix] Lodgeroom International UK.  Waite Tarot Pictorial Key. Retrieved August 5, 2008

from http://www.lodgeroomus.net/downloadcenter/index.php?act=view&id=42.

[xxx] Browne, P.C. (1998). The Masonic Tarot (A History). Lyceum Lodge of Research No 8682 E.C. in Phoenixmasonry Masonic Museum. Retrieved August 28, 2008

from http://www.phoenixmasonry.org/masonicmuseum/Tarot_Cards_Masonic.htm



APPENDIX 1

The Unexpurgated Composite Table

Note: ® = Reversed

The Fool

Details

Masonic Symbolism

Notes

Keywords

Masonic Allusion

Notes

Cliff

No

-

Folly

No

-

White Dog

No

-

Mania

No

-

Dog Leaping

No

-

Extravagance

No

-

Age - Youth

No

-

Intoxication

No

-

Red Feather

No

-

Delirium

No

-

Blonde Hair

No

-

Frenzy

No

-

Looking Up

No

-

Negligence ®

No

-

White shirt

No

-

Absence ®

No

-

Colorful Tunic

No

-

Distribution ®

No

-

Belt of Circles

No

-

Carelessness ®

No

-

Falling Boots

No

-

Apathy ®

No

-

White Rose

No

-

Nullity ®

No

-

Staff

No

-

Vanity ®

No

-

Purse

No

-

 

 

 

The Magician

Details

Masonic Symbolism

Notes

Keywords

Masonic Allusion

Notes

Lemniscus

No

-

Skill

No

-

Age - Youth

Yes

1

Diplomacy

No

-

Black Hair

No

-

Address

No

-

Right hand up

No

-

Subtlety

No

-

Left hand down

No

-

Sickness

No

-

Wand

No

-

Pain

No

-

Points down

No

-

Loss

No

-

Headband

No

-

Disaster

No

-

White Tunic

No

-

Ensnarement

No

-

Red Cloak

No

-

Enemies

No

-

Snake Belt

No

-

Self-Confidence

No

-

Stone Table

No

-

Will

No

-

Knife on Table

No

-

Querent (if male)

No

-

Cup on Table

No

-

Physician ®

No

-

Rod on Table

No

-

Magus ®

No

-

Coin on Table

Yes

2

Disgrace

No

-

Carvings

No

-

Disquiet

No

-

The High Priestess

Details

Masonic Symbolism

Notes

Keywords

Masonic Allusion

Notes

B/W Pillars

Yes

3

Secrets

Yes

4

Lotus tops

No

-

Mystery

Yes

5

Veil behind

No

-

Future

No

-

Cubic Throne

No

-

Attraction

No

-

Age - Youth

No

1

Querent (if female)

No

-

Black Hair

No

-

Silence

Yes

6

Blue Dress

No

-

Tenacity

No

-

Blue Robe

No

-

Wisdom

No

-

Cross

Yes

7

Science

Yes

-

Horned Orb

No

-

Passion ®

Yes

8

Head Veil

No

-

Ardour ®

No

-

Scroll

No

-

Conceit ®

No

-

Part Hidden

No

-

Superficiality ®

No

-

The Empress

Details

Masonic Symbolism

Notes

Keywords

Masonic Allusion

Notes

Stone Bench

No

-

Fruitfulness

No

-

Shield

No

-

Action

No

-

Cushions

No

-

Initiative

No

-

Orbed scepter

No

-

Time

No

-

Left Hand on leg

No

-

Unknown

No

-

12 Star Tiara

No

-

Clandestine

No

-

Pearl Necklace

No

-

Difficulty

No

-

Gold Lapel

No

-

Doubt

No

-

White Gown

No

-

Ignorance

No

-

Flowers on Gown

No

-

Light ®

Yes

9

 

 

 

Truth ®

No

-

 

 

 

Clarification ®

No

-

 

 

 

Rejoicings ®

No

-

 

 

 

Vacillation ®

No

-

The Emperor

Details

Masonic Symbolism

Notes

Keywords

Masonic Allusion

Notes

Square Dais

No

-

Stability

No

-

Stone Throne

No

-

Power

No

-

Ram Heads

No

-

Protection

No

-

Crown

Yes

10

Realization

No

-

Red White Stones in Crown

No

-

Stature

No

-

Trefoil

No

-

Aid

Yes

11

Age - Elderly

Yes

1

Reason

No

-

White Beard

No

-

Conviction

No

-

Body Armor

No

-

Authority

No

-

Armored Legs

No

-

Will

No

-

Uncrossed Legs

No

-

Benevolence ®

Yes

12

Red Tunic

No

-

Compassion ®

Yes

13

Red Robe

No

-

Credit ®

No

-

Ankh

No

-

Confusion ®

No

-

Hands on Throne

No

-

Obstruction ®

No

-

Orb

No

-

Immaturity ®

No

-

No Shield

No

-

 

 

 

The Hierophant

Details

Masonic Symbolism

Notes

Keywords

Masonic Allusion

Notes

Stone Pillars

No

-

Marriage

No

-

Dais

No

-

Alliance

No

-

Throne

Yes

14

Captivity

No

-

Dotted Circle

No

-

Servitude

No

-

Black/White Tiling (Rug Border)

No

-

Mercy

No

-

Crossed Keys

No

-

Goodness

No

-

Triple Crown

No

-

Inspiration

No

-

Earlaps

No

-

Society ®

No

-

Triple Cross

No

-

Understanding ®

No

-

RH Blessing

No

-

Concord ®

No

-

3 Fingers

No

-

Kindness ®

No

-

White Tunic

No

-

Weakness ®

No

-

Red Cloak

No

-

 

 

 

White Trim

No

-

 

 

 

3 Crosses

No

-

 

 

 

2 Attendants

No

-

 

 

 

The Lovers

Details

Masonic Symbolism

Notes

Keywords

Masonic Allusion

Notes

Central Sun

Yes

15

Attraction

No

-

Straight Rays

No

-

Love

No

-

Angel

No

-

Beauty

Yes

16

Age - Mature

Yes

1

Success

No

-

Red Wings

No

-

Failure ®

No

-

Cloud

No

-

Foolishness ®

No

-

Apple tree

No

-

Discord ®

No

-

He Right, She Left

No

-

 

 

 

Both Blonde

No

-

 

 

 

She looks up

No

-

 

 

 

He looks at her

No

-

 

 

 

The Chariot

Details

Masonic Symbolism

Notes

Keywords

Masonic Allusion

Notes

River

No

-

Succor

No

-

Solid Cube

Yes

17

Providence

No

-

Four pillars

No

-

War

No

-

Starred Canopy

No

-

Triumph

No

-

Shield on Front

No

-

Presumption

No

-

Lingham & Yoni

No

-

Vengeance

No

-

Winged Disk

No

-

Trouble

No

-

Black/White Sphinxes

Yes

18

Riot ®

No

-

Egyptian Headdresses

No

-

Quarrel ®

No

-

Laurel Wreathe

No

-

Dispute ®

No

-

Age - Mature

Yes

1

Litigation ®

No

-

Circle/star tiara

No

-

Defeat ®

No

-

Scepter in Right Hand

No

-

 

 

 

Moons on Shoulders

No

-

 

 

 

Breastplate

No

-

 

 

 

Square on chest

No

-

 

 

 

Strength

Details

Masonic Symbolism

Notes

Keywords

Masonic Allusion

Notes

Phallic Hill

No

-

Power

No

-

Field Behind

No

-

Energy

No

-

Plain Sky

No

-

Action

No

-

Lemniscus

No

-

Courage

No

-

Age - Mature

Yes

1

Magnanimity

No

-

White tunic

No

-

Success

No

-

Closing Mouth

No

-

Honors

No

-

Left on Top

No

-

Despotism ®

No

-

Lion Standing

No

-

Abuse ®

No

-

Licking Hand

No

-

Weakness ®

No

-

Facing Left

No

-

Discord ®

No

-

She behind Lion

No

-

Disgrace ®

No

-

Lion looking up

No

-

 

 

 

Tail between legs

No

-

 

 

 

Looking down

No

-

 

 

 

The Hermit

Details

Masonic Symbolism

Notes

Keywords

Masonic Allusion

Notes

On Peak

No

-

Prudence

No

-

Grey Sky

No

-

Circumspection

No

-

Standing still

No

-

Treason

Yes

19

Grey Robe

No

-

Dissimulation

No

-

Peaked Hood

No

-

Corruption

No

-

Hood on Head

No

-

Concealment ®

No

-

Face Shows

No

-

Disguise ®

No

-

Age - Elderly

Yes

1

Policy ®

No

-

White Beard

No

-

Fear ®

No

-

Looks Down

No

-

Cautious ®

No

-

Right Hand Lamp

No

-

 

 

 

Lamp Black

No

-

 

 

 

Cylindrical

No

-

 

 

 

Holds Up

No

-

 

 

 

Left Hand Staff

No

-

 

 

 

Plain Wood

No

-

 

 

 

Faces Left

No

-

 

 

 

The Wheel of Fortune

Details

Masonic Symbolism

Notes

Keywords

Masonic Allusion

Notes

Wheel Free-floating

No

-

Destiny

No

-

No Turn Handle

No

-

Fortune

No

-

Sphinx Atop

No

-

Success

No

-

Sphinx Seated

No

 

Elevation

No

-

No Platform

No

-

Luck

No

-

Sphinx has Sword

No

-

Felicity

No

-

Sword over shoulder

No

-

Increase ®

No

-

Egyptian Headdress

No

-

Abundance ®

No

-

4 Winged Beasts

No

-

Superfluity ®

No

-

Fox-face Ascending

No

-

 

 

 

Fox-face Naked

No

-

 

 

 

Serpent descending

No

-

 

 

 

ROTA

No

-

 

 

 

Tetragrammatron

Yes

20

 

 

 

Triple Circle

No

-

 

 

 

8 spokes

No

-

 

 

 

Signs on 4 Spokes

No

-

 

 

 

Justice

Details

Masonic Symbolism

Notes

Keywords

Masonic Allusion

Notes

Sword

No

-

Equity

No

-

Right Hand

No

-

Righteousness

No

-

Circle & Dot

No

-

Probative

No

-

Scales

No

-

Executive

No

-

Stone Pillars

No

-

Deserving

No

-

Drape

No

-

Law ®

Yes

21

Cubic Throne

No

-

Legal ®

No

-

Dais

No

-

Complications®

No

-

Age - Mature

Yes

1

Bigotry ®

No

-

Blonde

No

-

Bias ®

No

-

Red Gown

No

-

Severity ®

No

-

Green Robe

No

-

 

 

 

Green Stole

No

-

 

 

 

Crown

Yes

10

 

 

 

3 Peaks

No

-

 

 

 

Square

No

-

 

 

 

Foot Out

No

-

 

 

 

The Hanged Man

Details

Masonic Symbolism

Notes

Keywords

Masonic Allusion

Notes

Single Upright

No

-

Wisdom

No

-

No lopped Branches

No

-

Circumspection

No

-

Beam alive

No

-

Discernment

No

-

Inverted

No

-

Trials

No

-

Arms behind

No

-

Sacrifice

No

-

Hands untied

No

-

Intuition

No

-

Legs crossed

No

-

Divination

No

-

Left leg behind

No

-

Prophecy

No

-

Rope

No

-

Selfishness ®

No

-

Age - Youth

Yes

1

Political ®

No

-

Blonde

No

-

 

 

 

Red Tights

No

-

 

 

 

Blue Tunic

No

-

 

 

 

Red Belt

No

-

 

 

 

Slippers

No

-

 

 

 

Hair falling

No

-

 

 

 

Eyes Open

No

-

 

 

 

Relaxed

No

-

 

 

 

Death

Details

Masonic Symbolism

Notes

Keywords

Masonic Allusion

Notes

Cliff

No

-

End

No

-

River

No

-

Mortality

Yes

22

Viking Boat

No

-

Destruction

No

-

Skeleton

No

-

Corruption

No

-

Red Plume

No

-

Failure

No

-

White Horse

No

-

Loss

No

-

Fallen king

No

-

Inertia ®

No

-

Bishop

No

 

Sleep ®

No

-

 

 

 

Lethargy ®

No

-

 

 

 

Petrifaction ®

No

-

 

 

 

Somnambulism ®

No

-

 

 

 

Hopelessness ®

No

-

Temperence

Details

Masonic Symbolism

Notes

Keywords

Masonic Allusion

Notes

Mountains

No

-

Economy

No

-

Pond

No

-

Moderation

No

-

Radiant Halo

No

-

Frugality

No

-

White Tunic

No

-

Management

No

-

Circle/Dot

Yes

22

Accommodation

No

-

Square

No

-

Church ®

No

-

Triangle

No

-

Religion ®

No

-

Blonde

No

-

Priesthood ®

No

-

Age - Youth

Yes

1

Disunion ®

No

-

Right Foot in water

No

-

Misfortune ®

No

-

Left Foot on Land

No

-

Competition ®

No

-

Gold Chalices

No

-

 

 

 

Matched

No

-

 

 

 

Pours Water

No

-

 

 

 

LH to RH

No

-

 

 

 

The Devil

Details

Masonic Symbolism

Notes

Keywords

Masonic Allusion

Notes

Goat Head

No

-

Ravage

No

-

Curved Horns on Devil

No

-

Violence

No

-

Pentacle

Yes

-

Vehemence

No

-

Beard

No

-

Force

No

-

Squatting

No

-

Effort

No

-

Bat Wings

No

-

Fatality

No

-

Eagle Talons

No

-

Predestination

No

-

Furred thighs

No

-

Evil ®

No

-

Torch

No

-

Weakness ®

No

-

Points Down

No

-

Pettiness ®

No

-

Right Hand up

No

-

Blindness ®

No

-

Open Palm

No

-

 

 

 

Cubic throne

No

-

 

 

 

Two Figures

No

-

 

 

 

Horned Figures

No

-

 

 

 

Chain/Rope

No

-

 

 

 

The Tower

Details

Masonic Symbolism

Notes

Keywords

Masonic Allusion