Mary Greer Admits To Arrien "Nonsense"

Recently, on Aecletic Tarot Forum (ATF), where of course I am banned, a virtual rebellion took place on one Thoth thread where my arguments were at least given a hearing, and forced Mary Greer into making the public admission that her teacher, Angeles Arrien, had written "nonsense" and "factual errors" in her best-selling anti-Thoth book, The Tarot Handbook.

Many years ago of course, Greer's first rude encounter with what she called the internet (actually Usenet), involved her attempting to spread Arrien's propaganda about how Crowley didn't really do any work on Thoth and that the deck was mostly the work of Frieda Harris. This was all nonsense of course, as Bill Heidrick and myself pointed out to Greer at the time. But Greer was undaunted, and continued her efforts to salvage the Arrien doctrine, which was of course nothing but pure cartofeminist drivel.

It was many years after this that I wrote what is I think the definitive (well, OK, ONLY) account of this campaign to attack what the cartofeminists viewed as the patriarchal domination of Tarot. Their method of fixing the problem was to lie about how occult Tarot, particularly the Waite and Thoth decks, were made and the relationships between the deck designers, Waite and Crowley, and their respective artists, Smith and Harris.

In the couple of years since I published this article, it does seem a well-deserved antipathy towards what happened has started to be articulated in spheres outside my own.

In the ATF thread mentioned above, one poster, Aeon418, summarizes the problem with Arrien's book, and at the same time gives a pretty good description of the thesis of my article:

"It's no secret that the political climate of the late 80's and into the 90's was one of intense hatred against Crowley and his views on Tarot. There was a concerted effort to erase Crowley's contribution to the Thoth Tarot and replace it with something else, anything else, as long as it wasn't Crowley. Arrien's book is a classic example of that attitude. An attitude that has been echoed by other authors like Wanless and Banzhaf."

Of course it really was a secret, or news, to many people, before I began to articulate this view.

But now, Greer, who tried to come to Arrien's defense in the thread, is being forced to publicly deal with her support of Arrien's ideas and her anti-Thoth book:

"Angie says some stuff that is nonsense or factually wrong."


"...she ignored far too many of the truly profound things Crowley had to say."

Greer then tries to point out that despite that nonsensical "stuff" (i.e., the main thesis and much of the content of Arrien's book), it is allegedly balanced by Arrien's "wonderful ways of looking at the cards from a personal growth and cross-cultural perspective."

Unfortunately, it is not the perspective that Crowley and Harris had, in fact Arrien is intentionally ignorant of it, and so what she says is irrelevant from a Thoth Tarot perspective.

Or, as Aeon418 put it:

"The trouble I see with The Tarot Handbook is that it does not teach the language of the Thoth. Instead it teaches the highly personal language of Angeles Arrien."

Or we might say a language aimed at the "personal growth" (and profit) of Angeles Arrien and her followers.



Asiya said…
Did AE remove that thread? When I click on the links, I get an error message.
jk said…
No, they just split it up and moved it, so the link is fixed now.