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"At last the Mystery of the Origin of Playing Cards is Revealed in this Beautiful Volume, with 4000 Illustrations Demonstrating how the Emblems are used in the Temples of the Magi."
~ Olney Hawkins Richmond
Author of "The Mystic Test Book"
Grand Master of the Order of the Magi
Father of Cardology
Written and Compiled Under the Authority of the Mystic Brotherhood by Olney H. Richmond
Olney H. Richmond published information about the true meaning of the playing cards in 1893 in his book, The Mystic Test Book or The Magic of The Cards. It was given this title because he claimed that everything inside could actually be tested for its validity. He gave some miraculous demonstrations for the newspaper reporters who came to see and understand his work. The book's full title is The Mystic Test Book or the Magic of the Cards: Giving the Mystic Meaning of These Wonderful and Ancient Emblems in Their Relationship to the Heavenly Bodies, Under All Conditions; with Rules and Processes for Reading or Delineating the Emblems.
The Mystic Test Book is the foundation of the study of the ancient mystical science that is today called Cardology. Many have read this book and understand nothing, while others study its pages and concepts and understand some of it. A rare few read all of it and understand all of it. That is the mystic and magic of the book and the cards themselves.
Olney H. Richmond starts the book with the following:
The Little Book.
THE BOOK OF THE SEVEN THUNDERS.
"And when the Seven Thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven, saying unto me, seal up those things, uttered by the Seven Thunders, and write
"And I took the little hook out of the Angel's hand and devoured it; and to my taste it was sweet as honey; but as soon as I had devoured it, it became bitter unto my inside."
"And he said unto me, you must prophesy again before many peoples and nations and tongues and kings."
(Correct translation of Rev. X, 4, 10 and 11.)
As a text to this work read and consider the above, and it would be as well to read the entire tenth chapter of Revelations, for the whole book is a mystic one.
If you are able to "read between the lines" you will comprehend that the "little book" that was capable of voicing the "7 thunders," that is, the voices of the seven planets, was the only and original testbook of the mystic brotherhood. Did you or did anyone ever know of another book that was always made small enough to "hold in the hand?"
At last the utterances of the little book which was sealed for a time, are to be opened unto the gaze of men. At last its wonders are to be unfolded partially that we may prophesy before many peoples.
Read Chapter V of Revelations.
No other book that ever had an existence upon our planet, has within itself the wonderful properties that are indubitably attached to this little book. No other "book" has been so "sealed" with hidden emblematic meanings as to defy all attempts to "open" its pages.
It is the oldest book known and it existed long before the modern written languages were thought of.
Its history extends so far back into the dim recesses of the past, that we must per force ask our readers to take circumstantial evidence as to its early history and uses.
THE ORIGIN OF PLAYING CARDS.
The ancient origin and uses of "playing cards," which is the name they have been called by since the XIV Century has been shrouded in mystery, and their invention has been claimed by nearly every civilized nation upon the globe. The Chinese, Persians, Egyptians and several other ancient nations, claim the honor of their invention.
A pack of cards, said to be a thousand years old, is preserved in the Museum of the Royal Asiatic Society. It is also claimed that they have been known in India from time immemorial.—(Cyc. Brit , Art. Cards.)
When we find a certain invention claimed by a large number of Nations, scattered over our globe, in widely separated localities, we must conclude that none of them were the inventors, but on the contrary, obtained the inventions of some nation preceding them by many years.
This is actually the case with our test book, as well as with many other things used in modern times.
In addition to the great length of time that has elapsed since its invention, we have the fact to contend with, that the ancient and secret order that alone understood and used this mystic book, sedulously guarded the sacred emblems from the knowledge of the outside world. They were each and every one of them sworn not to "cut, carve, paint, mark or write them" upon any substance whatever, except for use in the Temples of the Mystic Brotherhood.
To read the rest of Olney H. Richmond's, The Mystic Test Book, in its entirety online for free, go to:
You can also read and/or hear (click audio button in upper right hand corner) his book from the Georgia Public Library Service online at: https://archive.org/stream/mystictestbook01
CENTENNIAL EDITION: THE MYSTIC TEST BOOK by Olney H. Richmond by Iain McLaren-Owens is available in our online store: