I once came across this comment from Pat Zalewski, a well-known member of the modern Golden Dawn organization with many books to his name. For our purposes, his “Big Yellow Brick” (as I call it) is chock full o’ Golden Dawn-style tarot goodness and if you fancy that style, it’s well worth owning.

from Initiatory Tarot of the Golden Dawn

Apparently someone had asked Mr. Zalewski about the tarot minor arcana, and how would a person know what the main attribution of a card is? Those loveable pips have so many associations, after all, especially among those who espouse astrology, qabala or other esoteric things that get brought into the pasteboard stew. His response is something that always stuck with me, and periodically I have re-read this quote as a reminder to myself, and I’d like to share it with you:

The focus should always be on the symbols on the card and the story that they tell. If you look at the Magical tarot of the Golden Dawn: start with the ace of each suit and follow the symbology of the cards through a series of ten steps, then the major patterns of the cards and what they are trying to say becomes clear. All the other associations, such as astrology and myth etc. take a back seats to this. Otherwise you would have a set of blank cards with astrological symbolism on them.

– Pat Zalewski via Yahoo Groups [minor edits for clarity]