When I was preparing to teach my Tarot 101 class at Magus last week I decided to do a bit of research and the creators of two of the most common Tarot decks; the Rider/Waite and the Thoth. I’ve always recommend that students start with the Waite deck or one that follows his symbolism. I’ve never been a fan of the Thoth deck myself, but many people are drawn to it. I could list all the things I don’t like about Thoth and what I do like about the Waite deck, but I’ll save that for another time. What drew my attention was the similarities and differences between the two men.
I knew they were both involved in a Victorian occult group called The Order of the Golden Dawn. So I was curious about how they might have interacted. Well, they didn’t like each other much! In fact Crowley referred to Waite as “dead Waite”.
Waite was born in the US in 1857, his father died when he was quite young and his mother returned to England. He grew up in fairly humble circumstances. In contrast Crowley was born to well to do fundamentalist Christians (Plymouth Brethern) in 1875.
Waite’s biographer said that Waite was the first person to undertake a systematic study of Western mysticism as a spiritual tradition. Crowley on the other hand was influenced by Eastern philosophies including Hinduism, Buddhism and Egyptian practices. Early on Crowley created his own religion and declared himself its prophet.
They most certainly knew each other. Waite joined the Golden Dawn in 1893. He left in 1896 and re-joined in 1899. Crowley, who was 18 years younger joined in 1898. Waite was also a Freemason and at one point Rosicrucian.
Waite created his Tarot publishing it in 1910. Much of the symbolism was based on a complete deck that dated back to 1491. Crowley first envisioned his deck as a six month project, but it ended up taking five years! He completed the deck in 1943, but both he and the artist died before it was published by the OTO in 1969. Oh one more thing of interest! Crowley is widely believed to have been a spy!
-Carol, Magus Minion
If you are like me, you probably have tried using essential oils, tinctures, herbs, and teas for health and wellness. I have been using these types of remedies for over four years now and have found success with them.
While these remedies work well for some people, I often hear people say they have trouble finding the time to make tea multiple times a day, or that they haven’t found and tinctures or oils that help them. Many people, including me, have recently turned to flower essences for their ease and effectiveness.
Flower essences are mysterious mixtures that have been used primarily for pain management and for emotional and psychological maladies and traumas. They are very simple to use and can even be made at home. They seem to defy science since, while all across the world people have been finding success using them, no one has of yet figured out how they work.
There are hundreds of different flowers in use and each flower aids in a different way. Some help you with lower back pain, others help you make sense of your dreams. With the help of a knowledgeable practitioner you can create your own personalized mixture to suit your needs.
At Magus Books, we recognize the need for easily available flower essence information. Clare Nieto is our flower essence practitioner and is dedicated to the advancement of flower essence use in the modern world. Clare is funny, witty, and most importantly, knows her stuff when it comes to flower essences. Clare teaches classes monthly here at our very own Magus Academy. Whether this is your first time hearing about them, or you just want a little more information on them, Clare can help you progress toward becoming the best version of yourself you can achieve.
If you would like to be added to the list to get notifications of upcoming classes you can check out www.magusbooks.com or email Clare at email@example.com and check out her site at www.claregardnernieto.com
-Ryan Stewart, Magus Minion
I am a new Magus Minion and UMN student. I am not only new to the school and store, but also new to Minnesota. I moved from Los Angeles in the middle of winter to pursue an education in Psychology. I plan study human behavior and how body language can be observed to detect deceit and how to differentiate it from general stress. I originally came to work for Magus because of my side interests in various religions, specifically Taoism and Qabalah, and to learn more about herbalism. Since joining, I have also become fascinated with tarot, chakras, flower essences, and pretty much everything at Magus.
Every time I walk into the front door and descend into the store I feel as if I have walked into another dimension. From classes on various esoteric topics nearly every day, to hundreds of books on everything from Astrology to Chaos Magic, Magus is a refuge for anyone interested in learning more about history, life, and even themselves. While there are ample examples of excellent items, the one I would like to share is a simple, yet underrated one. Magus carries excellent reusable tea bags made from muslin. They are definitely a steal at 95 cents. I have nice tea infusers in my home as well but I end up using these more often since they are so useful. They fit in any cup, have long drawstrings for ease of use, and can hold 1-3 tablespoons of herbs.
As we continue to move up the Kundalini to the sacral chakra, the second chakra of the main seven. This chakra correlates with inner child work, sexual organs, life’s purpose, and addiction.
A classic stone that is commonly associated with the sacral chakra is carnelian. It is readily available at most holistic or crystal shops. This stone grounds and anchors you to present reality. It stimulates creativity and motivation, removes fear of death and promotes positive life choices. It also restores vitality. Carnelian is used to overcome abuse of any kind, the inner child, who holds trauma lives in the sacral chakra. Protects against rage, envy and resentment. Improves analytical abilities, it is a stone full of life force. The physical benefits are extensive, ranging from increasing fertility, helping with lower back pain and arthritis especially in the elderly. Carnelian has the ability to regulate bodily fluids and kidneys.
Another stone useful for the health of the sacral chakra is orange calcite. Calcite naturally comes in several colors, that share common healing characteristics, orange resonates most with the second chakra. It is known to be highly energizing and cleansing. It can balance emotions and remove fear, helpful in overcoming depression. This stone maximized potential while letting problems dissipate. Physically it helps to heal the reproductive system, gall bladder and intestinal disorders such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
-Lily, Magus Reader