Rider Waite 100th Anniversary Celebration NOW OVER
Saturday December 5th 2009,


See the review here


The Templar’s Room at the Devereux, Devereux Court, Temple, London WC2R 3JJ


In December 1909, the Rider-Waite tarot deck was completed and published. Influenced by Arthur E Waite a prolific author, well known for his knowledge of western occultism and membership of the 'Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn'. Waite commissioned artist Pamela Colman Smith, (Pixie), to create the artwork for the Rider Waite Tarot deck, the illustrations of the Minor Arcana are thought to be her own idea. A writer, illustrator and artist, she sadly received little recognition for her contribution to the world of Tarot and died penniless and unknown. This major event will become part of tarot history by marking the 100th anniversary of this renowned deck. An event dedicated to the contribution and impact Coleman Smith and Waite made to tarot worldwide.


2p.m. Welcome


2 .15 – 3.30p.m. Mary Greer Talk: “Waite and the Secret Tradition”
All of Arthur Edward Waite’s many books were really about one thing—what he called the Secret Tradition—an eternal wisdom that came to be veiled in emblems and symbols. So it should not be surprising that this idea is at the root of the deck he created with Pamela Colman Smith. Just as the Secret Tradition contains the memory of a loss that has befallen humanity (depicted in the Minor Arcana), so it also delineates a Path of Ascent returning the Soul back from whence it came, which Waite depicted in the Major Arcana. Its symbols serve as signposts to secret paths leading to a direct experience of Union with the Divine. In this talk I’ll give a few examples of the hidden messages that Waite embedded into the Tarot through the symbolism of both the Major and Minor Arcana.


3. 30 - 3.45 Q & A followed by break to 4.15


4.15 – 5.15 p.m. Paul Hughes Barlow -The Influence of the 'Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and Rider Waite Tarot

What did it mean to be a member of the Golden Dawn when AE Waite was a member? What were the forces and pressures within and around the Golden Dawn that helped shape the creation of the Rider-Waite deck? Who kept secrets, and who spilled the beans, and does it matter? While never a member of the Golden Dawn, it has had a profound effect on Paul's study of the Tarot. which continues today. Paul is currently researching the influence of Golden Dawn members on the development of the Tarot.


5.15p.m. – 6.15p.m. Mary Greer Workshop Session: “Pamela Colman Smith’s Instructions for Reading the Cards”

Pamela Colman Smith said almost nothing about her process of illustrating the tarot except that she had “just finished a big job for very little cash.” But elsewhere she counseled artists to “feel truly one thought, one scene, and make others feel it as keenly as you do”—and I believe she succeeded in doing this in her deck. In an article to art students Smith gave passionate instructions on how to deeply experience a work. We will discover what happens when we apply her own methods to reading the cards she left us.


6.15 – 6.30p.m. Q&A - Close


7p.m. Evening Celebration of the Rider Waite Tarot Party:

Optional dress code – come as a tarot card! First drink with our compliments, evening buffet included. Tarot readings, tarot chat and mingle with publishers, artists, authors and tarot enthusiasts from around the world. Close 10p.m.


The venue: The Devereux, Devereux Court, Temple, London WC2R 3JJ

In keeping with the atmosphere of Victorian and Edwardian London, where better to hold this event than an traditional English Pub right in the heart of the City. The venue is exclusive to our event and will not be open to the public.


Named after Robert Devereux; 2nd Earl of Essex. Situated close to Fleet Street it is inevitable that the pub has literary connections, in its time it was one of the most celebrated coffee houses in London, catering mainly for lawyers and was known as the ‘Grecian’ coffee-house. It was opened in 1702 and up until its closure in 1843 the leading literates of the time gathered there to deliberate, discuss and squabble. It is well documented that Oliver Goldsmith (playwright and novelist 1730-1774) and Sir Richard Steele (essayist, playwright and statesman 1672-1729) frequented the Grecian. In 1709 Tatler describes the Grecian as, ‘attracting men of learning where the arguments become so intense that swords were often drawn leading to death’. There is an intriguing diary entry dated June 1712 detailing several scientists dissecting a dolphin in the Grecian, those present included none other than Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727). The Grecian coffee-house ran from 1702 until 1813, the building then became known as the Eldon Chambers before its demolition in 1842. The Devereux Hotel was erected in 1844 and has been known as the Devereux ever since.


Illustrations from the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck®, known also as the Rider Tarot and the Waite Tarot, reproduced by permission of U.S. Games Systems, Inc., Stamford, CT 06902 USA. Copyright ©1971 by U.S. Games Systems, Inc. Further reproduction prohibited. The Rider-Waite Tarot Deck® is a registered trademark of U.S. Games Systems, Inc.






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