Le Tarot Divinatoire: Clef du tirage des Caries et des sorts. Par le Dr. Papus. Demy 8vo, Paris, 1909.
The text is accompanied by what is termed a complete reconstitution of all the symbols, which means that in this manner we have yet another Tarot. The Trumps Major follow the traditional lines, with various explanations and attributions on the margins, and this Plan obtains throughout the series. From the draughtsman's point of view, it must be said that the designs are indifferently done, and the reproductions seem worse than the designs. This is probably of no especial importance to the class of readers addressed. Dr. Papus also presents, by way of curious memorials, the evidential value of which he seems to accept implicitly, certain unpublished designs of ÉIiphas Lévi; they are certainly interesting as examples of the manner in which the great occultist manufactured the archœology of the Tarot to bear out his personal views. We have (a) Trump Major, No. 5, being Horus as the Grand Hierophant, drawn after the monuments; (b) Trump Major, No. 2, being the High Priestess as Isis, also after the monuments; and (c) five imaginary specimens of an Indian Tarot. This is how la haute science in France contributes to the illustration of that work which Dr. Papus terms livre de la science éternelle; it would be called by rougher names in English criticism. The editor himself takes his usual pains and believes that he has discovered the time attributed to each card by ancient Egypt. He applies it to the purpose of divination, so that the skilful fortune-teller can now predict the hour and the day when the dark young man will meet with the fair widow, and so forth.
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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.