The roots of modern Tarot

After having gained some initial experience with the Thoth Tarot, or another of the innumerable decks founded on the system created by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, some wish to expand their knowledge. Often they are unsure how to go about doing this.

In the study of any science (and I consider Tarology to be one), nothing helps understanding more than surveying its history, most of all the milestones in its development. Besides using a good “hitchhiker’s guide” (such as Ronald Decker: A History of the Occult Tarot), I regard the following texts as the most important ones for tracing Golden Dawn based Tarot back to its roots.

Cipher MS
The earliest outline of the GD system in general and its Tarot in particular.
http://hermetic.com/gdlibrary/cipher/

Sepher Yetzirah
The source for the attributions of zodiacal signs and Hebrew letters in Cipher MS.
http://www.hermetics.org/pdf/SepherYetzirah.pdf

Book T
This is the original GD Tarot manual.
http://www.hermetics.org/pdf/gd/t.pdf
 
Book Theta
In brief, an important extension of Book T, definitely worth reading.
http://www.thelema.org/publications/books/LiberT.pdf

The Book of Thoth
Although written by Aleister Crowley, this is by no means a book only about the Thoth deck but a brilliant treatise on esoteric Tarot and its structure in general, for the most part in keeping with the GD system.
http://keychests.com/item.php?v=zuygcpnchav
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