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A. E. Waite

  • British author
  • Born October 2, 1857
  • Died May 19, 1942

Arthur Edward Waite (2 October 1857 – 19 May 1942), commonly known as A. E. Waite, was an American-born British poet and scholarly mystic who wrote extensively on occult and esoteric matters, and was the co-creator of the Rider-Waite Tarot deck. As his biographer R. A. Gilbert described him, "Waite's name has survived because he was the first to attempt a systematic study of the history of western occultism—viewed as a spiritual tradition rather than as aspects of proto-science or as the pathology of religion."


Now, occultism is not like mystic faculty, and it very seldom works in harmony either with business aptitude in the things of ordinary life or with a knowledge of the canons of evidence in its own sphere.




We have now seen that there is no particle of evidence for the Egyptian origin of Tarot cards.




If in any divination the Tenth Card should be a Court Card, it shews that the subject of the divination falls ultimately into the hands of a person represented by that card, and its end depends mainly on him.




It will be thought that I am acting strangely in concerning myself at this day with what appears at first sight and simply a well-known method of fortune-telling.




The true Tarot is symbolism; it speaks no other language and offers no other signs.




The Empress has been connected with the ideas of universal fecundity and in a general sense with activity.




Behind the man is the Tree of Life, bearing twelve fruits, and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is behind the woman; the serpent is twining round it.



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