The Magical Ritual of the Sanctum Regnum, interpreted by the Tarot Trumps. Translated from the MSS. of Éliphas Lévi and edited by W. Wynn Westcott, M.B. Fcap. 8vo, London, 1896.
It is necessary to say that the interest of this memorial rests rather in the fact of its existence than in its intrinsic importance. There is a kind of informal commentary on the Trumps Major, or rather there are considerations which presumably had arisen therefrom in the mind of the French author. For example, the card called Fortitude is an opportunity for expatiation on will as the secret of strength. The Hanged Man is said to represent the completion of the Great Work. Death suggests a diatribe against Necromancy and Goëtia; but such phantoms have no existence in "the Sanctum Regnum ' of life. Temperance produces only a few vapid commonplaces, and the Devil, which is blind force, is the occasion for repetition of much that has been said already in the earlier works of Lévi. The Tower represents the betrayal of the Great Arcanum, and this it was which caused the sword of Samael to be stretched over the Garden of Delight. Amongst the plates there is a monogram of the Gnosis, which is also that of the Tarot. The editor has thoughtfully appended some information on the Trump Cards taken from the early works of Lévi and from the commentaries of P. Christian.
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The pathology of the poet says that the undevout astronomer is mad the pathology of the very plain man says that the genius is mad and between these extremes, which stand for ten thousand analogous excesses, the sovereign reason takes the part of a moderator and does what it can. I do not think that there is a pathology of the occult dedications, but about their extravagances no one can question, and it is not less difficult than thankless to act as a moderator regarding them.