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Donald Tyson - Portable Magic Tarot Tarot In The Only Tool You Need (copyrighted book, review only)
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Portable Magic was written to show how a simple deck of Tarot cards can be used to work all the rituals of Western magic, with no special tools or instrument, no fancy costumes, no sigils or seals or talismans or lamens, no altar, no burning candles, no special rooms, or banners, or pillars. The Tarot really is all that you need - hence the subtitle of the book.Over the past couple of centuries, since the Tarot began to be used in the Western esoteric tradition in a serious way, it has been employed mostly for divination, an... More >>>
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Portable Magic was written to show how a simple deck of Tarot cards can be used to work all the rituals of Western magic, with no special tools or instrument, no fancy costumes, no sigils or seals or talismans or lamens, no altar, no burning candles, no special rooms, or banners, or pillars. The Tarot really is all that you need - hence the subtitle of the book.
Over the past couple of centuries, since the Tarot began to be used in the Western esoteric tradition in a serious way, it has been employed mostly for divination, and to a lesser extent as a way to categorize groups of symbols. The notion that it can also be used actively for practical magic has been floating around since Mathers and the Golden Dawn, where the trumps were employed to represent the twenty-two paths on the Tree of Life, but no one has ever set down a detailed system for doing so.
In several of my earlier books and essays, I've hinted at various ways the Tarot cards may be incorporated into rituals - for example, that the four Aces can serve in place of the elemental instruments on top of the ritual altar, or that a magic circle can be constructed from the twelve trumps that are associated with the signs of the zodiac. In private, I've been telling those who write to me for years that it is perfectly possible to base a complete system of magic on the cards, and only the cards. This book is my way of making good on my claim by furnishing that system.
The system of Tarot magic that is presented in Portable Magic is entirely new, but it is not based on feathers and hot air, but on the tried and proven magical correspondences of the Golden Dawn, which are the most widely used and recognized standards in magic throughout the world today. In this way Tarot magic is completely compatible with conventional ritual magic worked using the system of the Golden Dawn. The Golden Dawn occult correspondences for the Tarot trumps are still applied to the trumps in Portable Magic. Anyone accustomed to working in the Golden Dawn tradition, or in one of its numerous offshoots, would recognize immediately what is going on in this system of Tarot magic.
I have presented a series of rituals in the book that are modular. That is to say, the simpler rituals can be combined to produce more complex rituals. Some of the conventions from Tarot divination have been carried over into Tarot magic. The court cards still represent people, but whereas in divination they are interpreted in a passive way, according to how they fall in the spread, in Tarot magic they are actively manipulated to produce desired effects. In Tarot divination the Significator card is a court card that stands for the querent, but in Tarot magic the Significator is a court card that represents the magician in the layout, which is a magic temple in miniature.
Ceremonial magicians know that all true magic is worked on the astral level - that the physical trappings of ritual are no more than place holders for their astral equivalents, which are visualized in the mind. The system of Tarot magic set forth in Portable Magic carries this one step beyond, and creates the ritual circle and all it holds on the astral level with only a set of symbolic tokens, the Tarot cards. Its ease of use and practical advantages will be at once apparent to serous ritualists.
Donald Tyson (Nova Scotia, Canada) was drawn to science early in life by an intense fascination with astronomy. He began university seeking a science degree, but
became disillusioned with the aridity and futility of a mechanistic view of the universe, and shifted his major to English. After graduating with honors he has pursued a writing career.
Now Donald Tyson devotes his life to the attainment of a complete gnosis of the art of magic in theory and practice. His purpose is to formulate an accessible system of personal training composed of East and West, past and present, that will help others discover the reason for their existence and the way to fulfill it.