- Arthur Edward Waite
name = Arthur Edward Waite
image_size = 150px
caption = Arthur Edward Waite in the early 1880s
birth_date = birth date|1857|10|02
death_date = death date and age|1942|05|19|1857|10|02
nationality = American flagicon|US
known_for = Rider-Waite
spouse = Ada Lakeman, Mary Broadbent Schofield
children = Sybil Waite
parents = Captain Charles F. Waite, Emma Lovell
relatives = Frederika Waite
Arthur Edward Waite (
October 2, 1857- May 19, 1942) was a scholarly mysticwho wrote extensively on occultand esotericmatters, and was the co-creator of the Rider-Waite Tarotdeck. As his biographer, R.A. Gilbert described him, "Waite's name has survived because he was the first to attempt a systematic study of the history of western occultism - viewed as a spiritual tradition rather than as aspects of proto-science or as the pathology of religion." [Gilbert, R.A."A.E. Waite: Magician of Many Parts", Wellingborough, Northhamptonshire, 1987, p.361]
Waite was born in the
United States. [ [http://www.kheper.net/topics/Hermeticism/Waite.html Arthur Edward Waite ] ] Waite's father, Capt. Charles F. Waite, died when he was at a very young age, and his widowed mother, Emma Lovell, returned to her home country of England, where he was then raised. [ [http://www.controverscial.com/Arthur%20Edward%20Waite.htm Arthur Edward Waite ] ] As they were not well off, Waite was educated at a small private school in North London. When he was thirteen, he was then educated at St. Charles' College. [ [http://everything2.com/index.pl?node_id=1674656 Arthur Edward Waite@Everything2.com ] ] When he left school to become a clerk he wrote verse in his spare time. The death of his sister, Frederika Waite, in 1874 soon attracted him into psychical research. At twenty-one he began to read regularly in the Library of the British Museum, studying many branches of esotericism.
When Waite was almost thirty years old, he married Ada Lakeman (also called 'Lucasta') and they had one daughter, Sybil Waite. [ [http://www.nndb.com/people/958/000050808/ Arthur Edward Waite ] ] Some time after Lucasta's death in 1924, Waite married Mary Broadbent Schofield. He spent most of his life in or near London, connected to various publishing houses, and editing a magazine "The Unknown World".
A.E. Waite joined the
Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawnin January of 1891, became a Freemasonin 1901, [ [http://freemasonry.bcy.ca/biography/esoterica/waite_a/waite_a.html Arthur E. Waite ] ] and entered the " Societas Rosicrucianain Anglia" in 1902. The Golden Dawn was torn by further internal feuding until Waite's departure in 1914; later he formed the Fellowship of the Rosy Cross, [ [http://www.ghostvillage.com/resources/2004/resources_04062004.shtml Arthur Edward Waite by Lee Prosser ] ] not to be confused with the Societas Rosicruciana. By that time there existed some half-dozen offshoots from the original Golden Dawn, and as a whole it never recovered. [Howe, Ellic,"The Magicians of the Golden Dawn", London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1972]
Author and scholar
's "Transcendental Magic, its Doctrine and Ritual" (1896) having seen reprints in recent years.
Waite is best known as the co-creator of the popular and widely used Rider-Waite
Tarotdeck and author of its companion volume, the "Key to the Tarot", republished in expanded form the following year, 1911, as the " Pictorial Key to the Tarot", a guide to Tarot reading[Waite, A.E., "The Key to the Tarot", London, 1910] . The Rider-Waite-Smith tarot was notable for being one of the first tarot decks to illustrate all 78 cards fully, in addition to the 22 major arcanacards. Golden Dawn member Pamela Colman Smithillustrated the cards for Waite, and the deck was first published in 1910.
*Waite, Edward, "Inner and Outer Order Initiations of the Holy Order of the Golden Dawn", Canada:Burnaby, 2005. ISBN 0-9735931-7-2.
* [http://autorbis.net/tarot/biography/tarot-history-researchers/arthur-edward-waite.html Short Biography]
* [http://www.mastermason.com/luxocculta/waite.htm "The Masonic Career of A.E. Waite"] , "AQC" Vol 99 1986
* [http://www.waitegenealogy.org/FamilyGroups/aewaite.htm Genealogy and links]
* [http://www.archive.org/search.php?query=creator%3AArthur%20Edward%20Waite%20AND%20mediatype%3Atexts Works by Arthur Edward Waite] at
Internet Archive(scanned books original editions color illustrated)
* [http://www.sacred-texts.com/cat/srchauth.htm?search_str=waite Works by Arthur Edward Waite] at sacred-texts.com (plain text and HTML)
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