A Sephirothic Odyssey
A Sephirothic Odyssey: A Journey in Consciousness with the Golden Dawn Temple Tarot is the 300 page companion book to the Golden Dawn Temple Tarot and reference work for Kabbalah studies. The book focuses on Kabbalah, spiritual growth, and heightening one’s consciousness.
By Harry Wendrich & Nicola Wendrich
Book - 300 pages - Published by Wendrich artHouse
Review by Mythic Silence
“A Sephirothic Odyssey: A Journey in Consciousness with the Golden Dawn Temple Tarot,” is written by Harry and Nicola Wendrich of Wendrich artHouse, the creators of the Golden Dawn Temple Tarot. This 300 page book is a companion to their Golden Dawn Temple Tarot.
As the title suggests, this book’s content focuses on Kabbalah, spiritual growth, and heightening one’s consciousness. It is packed with information from cover to cover. It cannot be completely assimilated in a single reading –you will definitely return to it as a reference when working with the Golden Dawn Temple Tarot!
The prologue highlights some of the events that took place in the creators’ lives while they were working on the deck, and discusses the ways the specific cards they were painting at the time corresponded with those events. This exposition illuminates the heartfelt dedication that went into the creation of the deck, and the “behind the scenes peek” gave me a new appreciation for the blood, sweat, and tears that went into the project.
In the next section the Trump cards are examined. The heading for each card entry includes its Hebrew letter association, title, astrological correspondence, and a Tree of Life diagram with the corresponding path highlighted. The entries themselves explore the symbols and design of each card. The focus of the explanations is primarily spiritual and related to Kabbalistic and astrological concepts rather than strictly divinatory meanings. Quotes, personal poems, or Bible verses accompany the entries for the cards when applicable.
Next, there is a section dedicated to Ain Soph and the composition of the Tree of Life, including the four worlds, the elements, the Sephiroth, and more. Clear and pertinent diagrams accompany the text, which aid in visualizing and understanding the concepts being explained. A detailed exploration of the pip cards follows, and it maintains the spiritual focus and the emphasis on explaining the details in the imagery. I especially enjoyed the structure of this section of the book. The nature of the individual Sephira is explained, followed by an entry for each of the corresponding suit cards. For example, Malkuth is discussed prior to the entries for the ten of each suit. The entry for each Sephira includes its magical image, God name, archangel, order of angels, planet, spiritual experience, titles, and a quote from Sepher Yetzirah. The entries for each pip card include its esoteric title, divine name, astrological correspondence, Sephirothic color, and angelic correspondences. I really appreciated the inclusion of the angels associated with each card, as those correspondences are less familiar to me, and I had not seen them listed and explained in a Tarot companion book before.
The court cards are discussed in their own section and follow a similar format to the pips. Kings are discussed in general terms followed by entries for each specific King, and this pattern continues for the entire court. The entries for the court cards include their titles, astrological sphere of influence, and other information pertinent to the card’s rank.
The book concludes with a fascinating discussion about the updated color scales used in the deck. If you want to learn more about the deck’s use of magenta as a primary color and how this affected the other color associations, this chapter provides a thorough examination that will not disappoint you. The authors discuss the color theory behind their decisions as well as the spiritual guidance they received on the matter, which makes for a very interesting read. Tables that compare the color associations provided by Regardie, Cicero, and the authors are supplied for easy reference. The appendix includes additional tables that highlight the changes to the Golden Dawn color scales as well.
The appendices also contain personal meditation experiences and a list of divinatory meanings for the cards. Since the bulk of the content in the card entries deals with symbolism and maintains a Kabbalistic focus, the appendix is an excellent quick reference for keyword meanings and themes that aren’t emphasized in the individual card analyses.
This book is best suited to owners of the Golden Dawn Temple Tarot, as a lot of the content is devoted to the symbolic significance of specific details and decisions regarding the deck. If you are someone who values the use of occult systems in relation to Tarot, this book would be an excellent resource for furthering your understanding of Kabbalistic and astrological relationships with Tarot themes. A rudimentary knowledge and understanding of Kabbalah, or at least having additional resources on the subject handy, is useful for getting the most out of the text.
This softcover book is well edited and filled with pertinent illustrations, including black and white reproductions of the cards. Color references are also included for the chapter on the color scales, which is especially useful for appreciating the modifications that the creators’ have made to the existing scales. The paper is smooth and thick, but not glossy, and the text is crisp and reasonably sized for easy reading.
Conclusion: If you own the Golden Dawn Temple Tarot and are interested in using it as a spiritual tool, this companion book would be an excellent addition to your studies. Those who incorporate the Golden Dawn or related systems with their Tarot practice are sure to enjoy the blend of study, passion, and spiritual insights that went into the creation of this book. The choices that the creators made in the development of both the deck and book are deliberate and thoughtful, which I find very inspiring. It is a treat to read the work of authors who hold a devoted and reverent attitude toward the spiritual integrity of Tarot and the systems that can be utilized in conjunction with it.