I have been reviewing all my tarot material lately as I gather information on a book I have been meaning to write for a while. What is interesting from a Golden Dawn perspective is how Samuel Mathers appears to have started well with the Tarot, but then clung on to some things within tarot to maintain a tradition he was undermining.Take for example the Moon card. The traditional interpretation of the moon card is bad. It represents illusion and suggests that the querant is being fooled by themselves or others. This is the negative aspect of the Moon.However Mathers made it clear that the Moon as seen by the Golden Dawn was on the side of Mercy and therefore
Lately I have been doing a lot of work on the Golden Dawn version of the angels of the Shemhamphorash. For those who came in late, the Angels of the Shemamphorash are based on a cabbalistic system connected to the 72 letter name of God. The Golden Dawn did some serious surgery to the system by orientating them to Leo rather than the more traditional Aquarius and assigning each of the two angels a Tarot card connected to their decan.While I will probably report back later on my experiments, one thing that all this has taught me is that there are no good or bad cards in tarot.The Golden Dawn attributed some pretty nasty titles to some of the cards.
For many years I have been making talismans (and Sigils) on the computer. This is mostly because I am messy and cannot get paint to do the things I really want to do.Traditionally however magicians were told to “make their own” and I reasoned that I had actually made my own talismans on the computer and had just printed them out. My belief was that it was not so much the physical body of the talisman which was important, as the entity which you ensoul it with.Recently though I have been experimenting with making sigils using a half computer half me approach. I make the template for the talisman on the computer and print it out in light
Madeline Montalban (8 January 1910–11 January 1982) was a fascinating character in the field of 20th century magic. Stories swarmed around her until the real Madeline disappeared leaving only the stories. Writing a biography about her, as Julia Philips has done is nearly impossible, even her close friends had difficulty getting past the stories that surrounded her.In 1998 David Goddard told me one such story about how he and Maxine Saunders met Montalban to discuss her legendary Angel Magic course. He said he had never met her before and it was a late at night meeting. He believed that she was a woman in her late 40s. They sat up talking until dawn and when the sun came into