Review by Solandia
A tarot deck unlike any other, collectively known as the Golden Dawn Enochian Skrying Tarot, it is actually two separate Tarot decks in one set of 89 cards and a complete system for magickal and spiritual growth.
The two tarots are related and share the same numbering and elemental correspondences, but differ in detail and symbolism. The face of these cards shows the deck known as the Enochian Watchtower Tarot. Instead of having a pretty back design, these card backs also have another Tarot system - the Western Tattvas Tarot.
Physically, the cards are smallish, similar in size to normal playing cards. The cardstock is thin and exceedingly slippery. (With 89 cards they make a higher stack than usual, and care must be taken not to accidentally send them scattering all over the floor!) An extra card has also been included, with the Pentagram Spread and Vayu Spread for the Enochian Watchtower Tarot and Western Tattvas Tarot respectively.
The Golden Dawn Enochian Skrying Tarot set was created by two couples: Bill and Judi Genaw, who are 'former employees of the space program', and Sandra and Chic Cicero, who created the Golden Dawn Magical Tarot and have written several books on occult topics. The latter provided the in-depth Golden Dawn and Tarot knowledge; the former the passion for the Enochian system, and the artistic talent.
About the Enochian Watchtower Tarot
Sixteenth century occultist and astrologer to Elizabeth I, Dr John Dee and his partner Edward Kelly, were the pioneers of Enochian magick. Through skrying and channelling, the Enochian system - including a language complete with alphabet, syntax and grammar - was recorded over a period of years. It was later developed and adapted into a full magickal system by the Golden Dawn.
The symbolism of the Enochian Watchtower Tarot is firmly grounded in Golden Dawn teachings. The four suits provides all the info a student needs for the skrying with the Enochian squares (the cards can even be arranged to the form the four complete tablets). These cards have no major or minor arcana, just four suits of 22 cards– Fire, Water, Earth and Air - plus one extra card. The suits are linked with the four elemental tablets or watchtowers, which are a large grid of 12 columns and 13 rows, divided into the four directions, containing various letters as dictated to Dee and Kelly by their angelic contacts.
Of the 89 cards, four ‘Godname Cards’ represent the spirit of that Enochian Watchtower. Four ‘King and Senior Cards’ represent the elemental tablets. Sixteen (four per suit) are ‘Kerubic and Sephirotic Angel Cards’, the governing forces of the four quarters of the watchtowers. Sixty-four (sixteen per suit) are ‘Servient Angel Cards’, and these are the more numerous cards representing the lesser forces, with sixteen in each suit.
The final card is the ‘Tablet of Union’. It is not used in spreads of the Enochian Watchtower Tarot, but it taken out of the deck and used as a “guiding force during a divination”.
Example Card Meaning: 53.
Meaning: Hardship and adversity, yet there is a strong sense of purpose. Will not accept defeat, but will continue to struggle against all odds.(Poorly placed: Angry, jealous, vengeful, secretive, plotting. Will not compromise.)
Card Type: Servient Angel
About the Western Tattvas Tarot
The Western Tattvas Tarot is a blend of Eastern and Western magick and symbolism, based upon the five alchemical symbols, the elemental triangles, which the authors have named the 'Western Tattvas', as the Western equivalent of the Eastern Tattva images dating back 2500 years.
The colours chosen for this side of the cards are what the book terms 'flashing colours', complementary hues that ‘flash’ when the human eye sees them next to each other. The result is not aesthetically pleasing, but the colours are meant to stimulate the brain and assist in skrying. The meanings for these cards are original divinatory meanings based on the Eastern Tattva meanings and the I Ching hexagrams, and have been created especially for these cards. (Note: all 89 cards of the Western Tattvas Tarot are used in spreads.)
Example Card Meaning: 53.
Hermetic Title: Maim of Maim of Ruach
Title in English: Water of Water of Air
Keyword: Elegance, Grace
Meaning: There should be a hidden strength of grace behind your outward display of elegance, and then you can attain your goals successfully. Although this approach will be enough when confronted with smaller issues, larger more controversial problems require help from another source.
Eastern Tattva or Hexagram: Pi
About the Companion Book
The complexity of this deck could indeed be daunting to the non-expert, but the authors have competently addressed this in the companion book. The book is very logically organised and is akin to a technical manual in its calm and clear instruction. It is dense with text; spreads and symbols are illustrated, diagrams are used where necessary but there is no wasted space. The authors have not included images of the cards with each divinatory meanings, only a few cards are included for example only.
The book is split into three sections – Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. The beginner can start with a small amount of info and get up and running with the deck quickly, while the adept can go straight to the more complex rituals and associations.
For beginners, there are short meanings for the cards, simple Tarot spreads, basic meditations and exercises for improving visualisation skills, a description of the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram and other rituals. In short, a complete system for beginning magickal study.
The Intermediate section begins with a more detailed explanation of the Enochian Watchtower system and further information on the card symbolism, and four more spreads (three for the Enochian Watchtower, one the Western Tattvas). There are more exercises for improving abilities, more advanced rituals eg the Supreme Invoking Ritual of the Pentagram), skrying procedures and samples.
The Advanced section explains Enochian pyramid skrying, Enochian ritual work, creating your own watchtower tablets, and has the complete card symbolism, correspondences and esoteric info in summary listing.
The Golden Dawn Enochian Skrying Tarot is a complex deck that is not for everyone, but designed for magickal and ritual work, skrying, astral projection and spiritual development, it is a solid introduction to ceremonial magick and an excellent technical manual for magickal growth.
Kate Hill (also known as Solandia) is the founder and editor of Aeclectic Tarot, and has reviewed more than 200 decks over the years.