26 Nov 2011 Leave a Comment
It is with delight I can announce the historic publication of the Waite-Trinick Tarot book, Abiding in the Sanctuary.
Abiding in the Sanctuary: The Waite-Trinick Tarot, A Christian Mystical Tarot (1917-1923) is now published and available in a limited edition hardback copy of 186pp with over 80 full-page colour and b&w photographs, illustrations, charts and tables. There are only 250 copies of this historic book available and it is likely to sell out quickly. It includes a preface by Mary K. Greer, biographies and backgrounds on Waite, Trinick, Pipppet and H. M. Duncan from my research, and a commentary on the images by Marcus Katz, with a double-page spread of the Tree of Life and the correspondences of the images and Hebrew letters. The book also contains two methods of working with Tarot published for the first time, Lectio Divina (“Divine Reading”) and the Formula of Paradise, both of which are ways of working with sacred texts – or in this case, images.
Whilst I complete my article on “Waite’s Women” for our Tarosophist International magazine, issue 13, which is available free for all members of Tarot Professionals – and for purchase by the public – I thought we could time-travel today to the year 1557, the year in which Anne of Cleves, the last of Henry VIII’s wives to die, passed away, and the year in which Mary of England and Philip of Spain waged war against France.
In 1557, Catelin Geofroy of Lyon, France, created a fanciful Tarot deck in which we see the earliest ordering of the Majors in the “Marseilles” fashion. The four suits are Lions, Monkeys, Pheasants and Parrots.
Also in that same year, 1557, Jerome Cardan , a 16th century mathematician, wrote De rerum varietate and included in it a strange symbol for the planet Saturn.
And finally in 1557, in Venice, Peregrinaggio di tre giovani figliuoli del re di Serendippo was published by Michele Tramezzino, “a tale of the three Princes of Serendip” (the Persian name for Sri Lanka).
How these three latter events come together is in the nature of serendipity.
It was Horace Walpole (1717–1792) who coined that term, serendipity, referring back to his memory of the Persian folk tale of the three princes. In the folk tale, the Princes use seemingly random clues to find a camel, which they deduce is lame, blind in one eye, missing a tooth, carrying a pregnant woman, and bearing honey on one side and butter on the other. It turns out in the story that this apparently ridiculous conclusion is true, and their sagacity is rewarded.
In research, the presence of serendipity brings “happy accidents” in its wake. One goes looking for a birth certificate for one person, only to accidentally find a war record for another – and then, to later recall that name because it turns up again in another context. The art of the Sage is to connect the accidents, for there truly are no coincidences when following a calling. The Waite-Trinick project has been blessed with serendipity throughout and it is a pleasure to bring it to publication.
So what of those three events in 1557? Well, the ZOSO symbol used for Saturn in 1557 became embedded in Marcus Katz’s unconscious mind via Jimmy Page’s usage of it, only to emerge again as the embedded O-S-O symbol in Tarosophy. It there stands for Saturn, meaning Tradition, the old within the new. The tale of the Three Princes written in 1557 gave me the title for this article, as I was thinking about writing about serendipity. The creation of that particular Tarot deck in 1557 gives us a comparison about the ordering of the Waite-Trinick Tarot images, which we explore in the book.
In every year, like 1557, some seeds are planted, and others are nurtured. In every year some seeds, long buried, come to their fruition. We rarely know when we are creating something that a century later will be read, studied, looked upon or researched and sometimes we find ourselves called into the field to do some digging.
I hope you enjoy the fruits of our labour on the Waite-Trinick book and find within it a renewal of the mystery, majesty, and marvel of Tarot, a never-ceasing story of serendipity.
I look forward to more time-travelling Tarot with you again in the future!