Marcus Katz and Tali Goodwin (Tarot Around the World in 78 Days, Tarot Face to Face) the powerhouse team of Tarosophy Tarot Association (WorldWide) are at it again! This Spring the tarot world is going to receive a very special treat.
Secrets of the Waite-Smith Tarot: The True Story of the World’s Most Popular Tarot will be released on April 8th and we will never look at the iconic Waite-Smith tarot the same way again. “Uncover the secrets of tarot with never-before-seen material from Waite’s own hand, an exploration of the worlds and environments that shaped both Waite and Smith, and a practical guide to interpreting the cards. Drawing on Waite’s own words, examples, unpublished materials, and more, this groundbreaking book unlocks the symbols and intentions of the cards” (excerpt from the back cover).
I got my first taste of this book while attending TarotCon in Dallas back on October 2014. Marcus shared with the audience a little bit of what we could expect from this book. Just with that little taste, I was hooked! I have been reading the advance release copy for some weeks now and I will say I am completely satisfied with what I have been expecting.
I have had to explain a few times to people what the book is all about. “What secrets are left [to be revealed]?” is a common question in person and on the forum. Is this just another book in the Midrash style of reinterpreting the cards through creative means? No. Marcus and Tali have created a book, which is a historical reconstruction of the creation of the Waite-Smith tarot. As a religious studies student, what Marcus and Tali have done what scholars have did with the Bible, examining the historical context of its development. Over the years readers have looked at the images of the Waite-Smith and come up with their own interpretations for the reasons behind why the cards look the way they are, without contextual basis for these ideas.
The speculation is now over, Secrets of the Waite-Smith, through the detailed research of Marcus and Tali a picture is painted that shows us the what were the historical and or possible reasons for the rhyme and reason of the creation of the images in the deck. Arthur and Pamela have been resurrected, in these pages the lives of these two people are given due respect. Material not seen in decades is now shared for all to cherish. Reading Secrets of the Waite-Smith gives you an inside look into the minds of Arthur Edward Waite and Pamela Coleman Smith.
The book also offers great, forgotten treasures, like a lost method of divination written by Waite himself, among other methods for reading the tarot. Qabbalah and the Tree of Life are deployed in the book in conjunction with the Minor Arcana. Marcus always does a great job of explaining the role of Qabalah and Tarot, two independent systems which together form a great team.
Overall, Secrets of the Waite-Smith contributes a vast amount in the subject of tarot history. The images will not be the same for you once you read this book. I have fallen in love all over again with the Waite-Smith tarot; it is renewed. I would love to see an indie film made based on this!