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Hermetic Deck

The Hermetic Tarot deck features the esoteric, black-and-white designs of the secret society known as the Golden Dawn, which emphasize the mystical, astrological and kabbalistic influences of the ancient order. Learn More

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Hermetic Tarot Deck

Major Arcana

The Foolish Man Tarot card in Hermetic deck
The Foolish Man
The Magician Tarot card in Hermetic deck
The Magician
The High Priestess Tarot card in Hermetic deck
The High Priestess
The Empress Tarot card in Hermetic deck
The Empress
The Emperor Tarot card in Hermetic deck
The Emperor
The Hierophant Tarot card in Hermetic deck
The Hierophant
The Lovers Tarot card in Hermetic deck
The Lovers
The Chariot Tarot card in Hermetic deck
The Chariot
Fortitude Tarot card in Hermetic deck
Fortitude
The Hermit Tarot card in Hermetic deck
The Hermit
Wheel of Fortune Tarot card in Hermetic deck
Wheel of Fortune
Justice Tarot card in Hermetic deck
Justice
The Hanged Man Tarot card in Hermetic deck
The Hanged Man
Death Tarot card in Hermetic deck
Death
Temperance Tarot card in Hermetic deck
Temperance
The Devil Tarot card in Hermetic deck
The Devil
The Blasted Tower Tarot card in Hermetic deck
The Blasted Tower
The Star Tarot card in Hermetic deck
The Star
The Moon Tarot card in Hermetic deck
The Moon
The Sun Tarot card in Hermetic deck
The Sun
Judgement Tarot card in Hermetic deck
Judgement
Universe Tarot card in Hermetic deck
Universe

The Wands

Ace of Wands Tarot card in Hermetic deck
Ace of Wands
Two of Wands Tarot card in Hermetic deck
Two of Wands
Three of Wands Tarot card in Hermetic deck
Three of Wands
Four of Wands Tarot card in Hermetic deck
Four of Wands
Five of Wands Tarot card in Hermetic deck
Five of Wands
Six of Wands Tarot card in Hermetic deck
Six of Wands
Seven of Wands Tarot card in Hermetic deck
Seven of Wands
Eight of Wands Tarot card in Hermetic deck
Eight of Wands
Nine of Wands Tarot card in Hermetic deck
Nine of Wands
Ten of Wands Tarot card in Hermetic deck
Ten of Wands
Princess of Wands Tarot card in Hermetic deck
Princess of Wands
Knight of Wands Tarot card in Hermetic deck
Knight of Wands
Queen of Wands Tarot card in Hermetic deck
Queen of Wands
King of Wands Tarot card in Hermetic deck
King of Wands

The Cups

Ace of Cups Tarot card in Hermetic deck
Ace of Cups
Two of Cups Tarot card in Hermetic deck
Two of Cups
Three of Cups Tarot card in Hermetic deck
Three of Cups
Four of Cups Tarot card in Hermetic deck
Four of Cups
Five of Cups Tarot card in Hermetic deck
Five of Cups
Six of Cups Tarot card in Hermetic deck
Six of Cups
Seven of Cups Tarot card in Hermetic deck
Seven of Cups
Eight of Cups Tarot card in Hermetic deck
Eight of Cups
Nine of Cups Tarot card in Hermetic deck
Nine of Cups
Ten of Cups Tarot card in Hermetic deck
Ten of Cups
Princess of Cups Tarot card in Hermetic deck
Princess of Cups
Knight of Cups Tarot card in Hermetic deck
Knight of Cups
Queen of Cups Tarot card in Hermetic deck
Queen of Cups
King of Cups Tarot card in Hermetic deck
King of Cups

The Swords

Ace of Swords Tarot card in Hermetic deck
Ace of Swords
Two of Swords Tarot card in Hermetic deck
Two of Swords
Three of Swords Tarot card in Hermetic deck
Three of Swords
Four of Swords Tarot card in Hermetic deck
Four of Swords
Five of Swords Tarot card in Hermetic deck
Five of Swords
Six of Swords Tarot card in Hermetic deck
Six of Swords
Seven of Swords Tarot card in Hermetic deck
Seven of Swords
Eight of Swords Tarot card in Hermetic deck
Eight of Swords
Nine of Swords Tarot card in Hermetic deck
Nine of Swords
Ten of Swords Tarot card in Hermetic deck
Ten of Swords
Princess of Swords Tarot card in Hermetic deck
Princess of Swords
Knight of Swords Tarot card in Hermetic deck
Knight of Swords
Queen of Swords Tarot card in Hermetic deck
Queen of Swords
King of Swords Tarot card in Hermetic deck
King of Swords

The Coins

Ace of Pentacles Tarot card in Hermetic deck
Ace of Pentacles (Coins)
Two of Pentacles Tarot card in Hermetic deck
Two of Pentacles (Coins)
Three of Pentacles Tarot card in Hermetic deck
Three of Pentacles (Coins)
Four of Pentacles Tarot card in Hermetic deck
Four of Pentacles (Coins)
Five of Pentacles Tarot card in Hermetic deck
Five of Pentacles (Coins)
Six of Pentacles Tarot card in Hermetic deck
Six of Pentacles (Coins)
Seven of Pentacles Tarot card in Hermetic deck
Seven of Pentacles (Coins)
Eight of Pentacles Tarot card in Hermetic deck
Eight of Pentacles (Coins)
Nine of Pentacles Tarot card in Hermetic deck
Nine of Pentacles (Coins)
Ten of Pentacles Tarot card in Hermetic deck
Ten of Pentacles (Coins)
Princess of Pentacles Tarot card in Hermetic deck
Princess of Pentacles (Coins)
Knight of Pentacles Tarot card in Hermetic deck
Knight of Pentacles (Coins)
Queen of Pentacles Tarot card in Hermetic deck
Queen of Pentacles (Coins)
King of Pentacles Tarot card in Hermetic deck
King of Pentacles (Coins)

About the Hermetic Deck

The early members of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn were encouraged to prepare personal Tarot packs for their own use based upon Mathers’ deck and his work. The Society set down certain instructions for its members to follow, but these instructions were abbreviated at best. Not surprisingly, as time went on and new members copied decks based upon previously drawn cards, the variances and modifications grew more and more pronounced.

Since Mathers’ original Tarot deck has not been handed down, today’s researchers of the Order of the Golden Dawn—whose numbers grow and flourish in Europe and the USA—often assign personal interpretations and modifications to their own version of the Tarot as it might have existed in the Order more than 80 years ago.

In 1967, a limited edition of 200 copies of The Book “T” appeared in Great Britain and it was reproduced again in 1978 by Robert Wang in An Introduction to The Golden Dawn Tarot. Godfrey Dowson's cards in The Hermetic Tarot reveal a combination of detail and symbolism that capture the mood and sense of each pictorial image. Subtle variations exist in almost every card. For example, fingertips touch the stem of a rose bush in the 8 of Pentacles (Lord of Prudence) in contrast to the firm grasp of a hand in the 4 of Pentacles (Lord of Earthly Power). The mangled swords in the 9 of Swords (Lord of Despair and Cruelty) and the roses in full bloom in the 6 of Pentacles (Lord of Material Success) illustrate how skillfully the artist has created the cards. Repeated study of each card often reveals for the first time a new dimension and scope not seen in a previous reading. One of the most important features of Dowson’s Hermetic Tarot is his emphasis on the Golden Dawn astrological attributions of the cards.

Working prior to the turn of the century, and drawing on a great deal of published information, library manuscripts, secret documents, and extensive personal research, Mathers assigned a complete set of correspondences between the Tarot and the zodiac. Dowson has also provided clear symbols in his card designs which help the student correlate these astrological correspondences each time he or she reads the cards. Crowley, of course, does the same in his deck, but the symbols are frequently less clear than portrayed here. A knowledge of astrology can greatly aid in the interpretation of the Tarot, and vice versa. It was the genius of the Golden Dawn to synthesize these systems.

Godfrey Dowson successfully creates in The Hermetic Tarot a compelling reconstructed version of the Tarot that has taken its place as one of the most important esoteric Tarot decks published during the twentieth century.

The back design of The Hermetic Tarot deck is a rose in full bloom. Each card contains the sigil—the mark of a master craftsman. All the work by Godfrey Dowson bears this mark. The original artwork for the Hermetic Tarot deck was executed between 1975 to 1977 by the artist and is now is included in the Stuart and Marilyn R. Kaplan Playing Card Collection.