The Hermetic Tarot was published in 1979 by US Games Systems Inc. (copyright mentioned on the cards). The booklet shows a copyright of 1980. This first edition was printed in Spain by Fournier and distributed by US Games System Inc. We don’t know how big the first print run was, but according to the enclosed control paper, this one might be copy number 5618.
The cards are printed entirely in black and white and the details and symbols in each card reveal many of the esoteric workings of the Secret Order of the Golden Dawn, which flourished around the turn of the century.
From the back of the box:
‘Witchcraft is the practice of natural and supernatural acts including evil power. In ancient times, the supernatural power of the witch was not always evil, but often was used for the power of prophecy. One of the most famous ancient witches was the Witch of Endon who lived in Palestine. The bible tells us that Saul, the first King of the Hebrews, consulted her before the battle with the Philistines. (I Sam. 28:7).’
- Page 1 of the instruction booklet
Papus is a pseudonym for Dr. Gérard Analect Vincent Encausse (GE), born on July 13, 1865 in Coruña (Spain) and deceased in 1916 in Paris on October 25 (Tubercolosis).
He was a significant French occultist and one of the founders of the French Theosophical Society (TS) that he parted from in 1890. Papus then founded another group, a sort of anti-TS, the ‘Groupe indépendant d’étude ésotériques’ based on pure esoteric values.
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