AOS Tarot, circa 1906?  

  RSS

belmurru
(@belmurru)
Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 1015
15/06/2015 7:30 pm  

"In the Spring of 2013 a 78-card, hand-painted tarot deck created c.1906 by the mystic and artist Austin Osman Spare, was identified within the collections of The Magic Circle Museum in London.
"Lost Envoy reproduces Austin Spare’s tarot deck in its entirety for the first time,...
"Expected publication date: Winter 2015."

http://strangeattractor.co.uk/further/lost-envoy/

Has anyone seen these cards, and has it been verified that they are by him?

And - what do they look like?


Quote
manofwycombe
(@manofwycombe)
Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 76
16/06/2015 5:21 am  

I saw the cards at the Magic Circle's history gathering last saturday where Jonathan Allen, one of the society's associate museum curators, gave a presentation on the "discovery" of the cards. I would say that there can be no doubt that they are Spare's work and would strongly recommend early ordering, for those interested in the special edition of the book.


ReplyQuote
belmurru
(@belmurru)
Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 1015
16/06/2015 1:57 pm  
"manofwycombe" wrote:
I saw the cards at the Magic Circle's history gathering last saturday where Jonathan Allen, one of the society's associate museum curators, gave a presentation on the "discovery" of the cards. I would say that there can be no doubt that they are Spare's work and would strongly recommend early ordering, for those interested in the special edition of the book.

Thanks for the first-hand account, manofwycombe.

I trust your eyes to make the judgment of Spare’s authorship of the art, but I’m still going to have to see something for myself to judge the pack of cards to be an authentic Tarot of Austin Osman Spare, and not a recreation using his art. I’m suspicious because they don’t even offer us a glimpse of any of the cards, even a low-res image of some pages of the book. And why the vagueness of the publication date? I’m also surprised that they didn’t make a reproduction of the pack of cards, since they do offer their own cards in their store –
http://themagiccircle.co.uk/merchandise
They are prefectly capable of getting cards made, I mean.

I guess I’ve seen too many hoaxes, not only in the fields of Tarot and Magic, of course. I distrust marketing hype with nothing substantial offered as a teaser. I’ll hold onto my money until I actually see something of what I’m buying, in other words.

There is a rare set of 26 (identical except for the number) “Surrealist Racing Forecast Cards”, which Spare published around 1936 -

From the Weiser Antiquarian Catalogue no. 121 -
http://weiserantiquarian.com/catalogonehundredandtwentyone/

“Austin Osman Spare. Surrealist Racing Forecast Cards. London, : Privately Published by the Author, circa 1936?) . First Edition. An original set of 26 "Surrealist Racing Forecast Cards" produced by Austin Osman Spare. Each card measures 3.75" x 2.5" and bears a reproduction of (the same) 'automatic' design of a face by Spare, numbered in the top right corner 25 - 50. The back of the cards is blank. They are housed in their original small buff envelope, with printed title. (Harper A13) Only 26 sets of these sets of cards are known to exist - these having come from the estate of Spare's friend Denis Bardens.
“The "Surrealist Racing Forecast Cards" - also known as "Obeah Cards" - were apparently designed by Spare with the intention of divining winning horses at the race track. The overprinting on the wrappers refers to "instructions" but these are not present, and indeed only one set is known to exist - apparently incomplete - in typescript. The text of this, and other material pertaining to Spare's cards and his system of divination are described in the book "Two Tracts on Cartomancy," Fulgur, 1997. According to Harper the cards were listed as item 176 in the catalogue of the 1936 Walworth Road studio exhibition as "Obeah Cards - for forecasting racing results." Spare is also said to have advertised them in the British printed precursor to "Craigslist", the weekly "Exchange and Mart."

The advertisement referred to above –

There was also an AOS inspired Tarot by “Bambolaneratarot”. It is no longer for sale, but an image of the set of 22 trumps can be found in Google Images with the keywords “spare” “tarot” “cards”

https://www.etsy.com/fr/listing/177062799/aos-austin-osman-spare-jeu-de-tarot


ReplyQuote
William Thirteen
(@williamthirteen)
Member
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 1102
16/06/2015 8:37 pm  

is there no mention of them in Harper's "Notes Towards a Bibliography of Austin Osman Spare"?


ReplyQuote
 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
Posts: 0
16/06/2015 8:59 pm  

Thanks for that summary, belmurru - you've obviously got your eye firmly on the ball, Spare-wise. As the book is not due to be published until the winter, perhaps the publishers don't want to show what's offered at such an early stage. We'll have to see and make our judgement when the time comes round. I'm aware that the author of the Two Tracts intro essay has contributed a piece on the dating and context of the Spare Tarot to the SA book - which I hardly think he would do if he had any doubt about its veracity. All will be revealed, I guess...


ReplyQuote
 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
Posts: 0
17/06/2015 9:01 am  

There are three images now on the original link.


ReplyQuote
Anonymous
 Anonymous
(@Anonymous)
Joined: 1 second ago
Posts: 0
17/06/2015 9:04 am  

AOS, unlike Crowley seemed to be completely at odds with cabbalistic traditions so it's interesting that he actually did this.


ReplyQuote
belmurru
(@belmurru)
Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 1015
17/06/2015 10:57 am  
"simhanada" wrote:
There are three images now on the original link.

Yes, and as manofwycombe said, they are definitely Spare. And they are definitely early. My doubts are allayed.

Another person in touch with Jonathan Allen reports that "there are 78 cards with 22 recognizable trumps." It is clearly a very original creation; perhaps what we see are an Ace (of Spades?), then a difficult one, Devil or Lovers, maybe; then another card with a number "1", so either another, non-standard Ace (of Moons?) or a trump, perhaps the Magician.

I'm very interested in what tradition Spare has based himself on. If it is esoteric at all, which is not certain if the suit of Spades is really there - it could not have been the Golden Dawn teachings, so it must have been the Levi-Christian-Papus-Wirth school. Or, he could just have taken a fancy to the common French Tarot pack, and gone from there with his own imagination and a smattering of occult reading.


ReplyQuote
Michael Staley
(@michael-staley)
Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 3762
17/06/2015 6:08 pm  
"david" wrote:
AOS, unlike Crowley seemed to be completely at odds with cabbalistic traditions so it's interesting that he actually did this.

These cards were probably painted around 1906, to judge from the leftmost of the three images recently loaded to the publisher's website which has affinities with the imagery of Spare's work around this time, for example the two dummy books published as Two Grimoires (Starfire Publishing, London, 2011). At this time, to judge from the imagery in those bookworks, he took an interest in the symbolism of the Tarot, geometrical figures, elementary weapons, and numbers. A few years later, of course, his interest in some of this waned, as exemplified by his scathing remarks in The Book of Pleasure.


ReplyQuote
Anonymous
 Anonymous
(@Anonymous)
Joined: 1 second ago
Posts: 0
17/06/2015 9:07 pm  
"Michael Staley" wrote:
"david" wrote:
AOS, unlike Crowley seemed to be completely at odds with cabbalistic traditions so it's interesting that he actually did this.

These cards were probably painted around 1906, to judge from the leftmost of the three images recently loaded to the publisher's website which has affinities with the imagery of Spare's work around this time, for example the two dummy books published as Two Grimoires (Starfire Publishing, London, 2011). At this time, to judge from the imagery in those bookworks, he took an interest in the symbolism of the Tarot, geometrical figures, elementary weapons, and numbers. A few years later, of course, his interest in some of this waned, as exemplified by his scathing remarks in The Book of Pleasure.

Thanks for clearing that up i.e.

hat ks norf  ulec  rigp


ReplyQuote
 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
Posts: 0
18/06/2015 3:22 pm  

Belmurru mentioned Spare's Obeah cards. The tradition of consecrating the cards was not mentioned in Zos speaks!, but the name suggests some form of consecration (?).
Maybe he thought of the automatic drawings on the cards as a kind of consecration?

Here's a 'how to consecrate' blog to those of you who haven't consecrated your cards yet, delivered from one of the best witches in recent years, Sarah Lawless:
http://sarahannelawless.com/2015/06/11/consecration-and-desecration/


ReplyQuote
newneubergOuch2
(@newneubergouch2)
Member
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 247
31/05/2016 11:36 am  

My strange attractor spare tarot book arrived today. About to crack it open.


ReplyQuote
Alan_OBrien
(@alan_obrien)
Member
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 141
15/07/2016 9:29 pm  

I bought the book Lost Envoy three days ago. I bought it at Watkin's on Cecil Court for £30. They seemed to be running out of the book; they had a dozen in the window and some downstairs, but none on the ground floor.

It is a superb book. It might be the best Tarot book I have ever bought. I can't think of a better one.

It is 338 pages and I'd say that half of those have colour illustrations. Every one of Spare's cards is given a page of its own, first as an illustration, then later as a page giving the text found on that card.

Spare had a great idea. He connected various cards by drawing an image crossing over two or more cards. For example a snake is drawn in the background of four cards but is only visible when those four cards are next to one other. It is a great idea which I am sure Tarot creators will include in future decks.

There are short, entertaining and sometimes funny essays by Helen Farley, Gavin Semple, Phil Baker, Arthur Ivey, Jonathan Allen, Sally O'Reilly and Alan Moore & Kevin O'Neill.

I think this is the kind of book that will keep me interested not just for months but possibly for years. I can't imagine anyone interested in either the Tarot of Spare to be without it.


ReplyQuote
 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
Posts: 0
18/07/2016 1:02 pm  

"Spare had a great idea. He connected various cards by drawing an image crossing over two or more cards. For example a snake is drawn in the background of four cards but is only visible when those four cards are next to one other. It is a great idea which I am sure Tarot creators will include in future decks ."

- Yes. And this principle of "connectiveness" was utilized in his art throughout his whole career as an artist. One can't see the whole "picture" until everything are connected properly. His brain must have been hyper connective.


ReplyQuote
 Anonymous
Joined: 50 years ago
Posts: 0
18/07/2016 1:29 pm  

Here's a painting where he refers to The Focus of life, the formula, the same formula as in The Formula Of Zos Vel Thanatos: http://www.collectionet.co.uk/collection/item/drawing-austin-osman-spare-1888-1956/

Enjoy!


ReplyQuote
Alan_OBrien
(@alan_obrien)
Member
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 141
29/06/2019 8:30 am  

I may be far behind the curve here.
Camel

The drawing here reminds me strongly of a sigil in Crowley’s Liber 231, the one that is like a camel’s head.

Did Spare draw the sigils for Liber 231?


ReplyQuote
Michael Staley
(@michael-staley)
Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 3762
29/06/2019 9:38 am  

@Alan_OBrien

Did Spare draw the sigils for Liber 231?

Many years ago I used to suspect that, but apparently they were drawn by J. F. C. Fuller from Crowley's rough designs.


ReplyQuote
Alan_OBrien
(@alan_obrien)
Member
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 141
29/06/2019 11:49 am  

Just to be clear, this was the sigil I meant.

Characith

There is certainly a similarity, but one swallow does not make a Sumer🤪 and it must be either a coincidence, or perhaps Spare had drawn his own copy of the sigils and was subsequently slightly (subconsciously) influenced by them.

Many thanks, Bro Staley.


ReplyQuote
Tiger
(@tiger)
Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 1308
29/06/2019 6:21 pm  

nice glyph
nice text

a camel’s head i could see doubling as a maneless lions head

8. Also came forth mother Earth with her lion, even Sekhet, the lady of Asi.

9. Also the Priest veiled himself, lest his glory be profaned, lest his word be lost in the multitude.

13 ….hidden in Amennti

17 ….as a fluidic fire, making her beauty into a thunderbolt.

18. By her spells she invoked the Scarab, the Lord Kheph-Ra, so that the waters were cloven and the illusion of the towers was destroyed.

19. Then the sun did appear unclouded,

A phantasm for a fleeting moment the sigil evoked.
https://hermetic.com/crowley/libers/lib231


ReplyQuote
Share: