[San Francisco? 1974-1980]. Four black binders. Approximately  leaves of handwritten text and pen/ink illustrations, some with ink washes. The notebooks are divided into four parts, A-D. The various parts total about 130 individual leaves of manuscript notes in blue and black ink with corresponding illustrations and various types of notebook paper. In some cases, text is written on both sides of each leaf. Each divided part describes the author's understanding of the Tarot card divination system with both the minor and major arcana hierarchy. In very good condition with each sheet in mylar and unmounted on black crepe paper. Some age wear to paper and reinforced black tape on binders, otherwise clean, bright, and legible. Very good. Item #983
The collection is either a student's book of notes or a lecturer's book of teaching notes, more likely a student of self-directed Tarot and esoteric thought instruction. From the style of drawings and the description of each individual card, the creator is most likely using the Waite-Rider-Smith Tarot deck as reference. The illustrations reflect the artistic style of Pamela Colman Smith directly. While there are no name attribution’s for the creator, there are references to well-known Tarot instructors and occult scholars, including Paul Foster Case and Jason Lotterhand. In 1978, Lotterhand published “The Thursday Night Tarot” book and edited by his friend and student, Arisa Victor. The book contained the "essence" of the Thursday night messages as they related to the 22 cards of the major arcana. He began his training with BOTA (Builders of the Adytum founded by Dr. Paul Foster Case) in 1933 and later served as Director of the organization. Both teachers used the Cabala and Hermetic symbolism as a framework because it was comprehensive enough without the complexity of Eastern thought systems. The method taught the elements of the tarot representing the rich symbolism associated with the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet and paired them with the illustrations of the Tarot. In various meditations on the “keys” of the images, those practices convey insights through the power of suggestion to the subconscious mind. This system, as influenced from Victorian era occultist Arthur Waite, utilized symbolism as the key to the Tarot. In The Key to the Tarot, Waite writes: “The true Tarot is symbolism; it speaks no other language and offers no other signs.”
This collection of primary source manuscripts and original art is an example of theosophical thought, outsider art, alchemical studies, and the continued idea of self-directed tarot and esoteric knowledge teaching, beginning at the turn of the century. There are also references to addresses and names of people based in San Francisco, thus alluding the creator was Bay Area, CA based. There are also a couple of drawings of the Golden Gate Bridge. The author is personally contemplative and responds to the tarot’s interpretative and intuitive nature of philosophical divination echoing the alchemical motto, “Solve et Coagula,” or dissolve the body and build up the spirit….