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Aeon418
10-05-2011 03:56
[QUOTE=RLG]But this is also exactly why so many people have trouble accepting the change; because it is partial and not necessarily justified by Liber AL.[/QUOTE]That's a little strong. Wouldn't it be more prudent to say it is not necessarily justified according to [i]some[/i] interpretations of Liber AL. The passage in question is not completely devoid of ambiguity and is open to interpretation. Is this not the reason why there has been so much debate on this issue?

But the fact remains that the only solution "revealed" by Crowley was the switch. You object to it (Fine with me BTW :)), but then you have to explain how Crowley revealed your particular attributions? Unless of course you interpret the conclusion to I:57 in a way entirely personal to yourself.

Personally I have no qualms about Crowley breaking with tradition. But the very notion that Crowley is breaking anything is based on the perceived correctness of tradition. What exactly makes it correct beyond the fact that it is old and has been repeated?

brightcrazystar
10-05-2011 08:42
[QUOTE=Aeon418]Of course not. It quite clearly says Tzaddi is not the Star.[/quote]

I don't think it says Tzaddi clearly.

[quote]But why are they mentioned in conjunction with each other? Because they formed part of the symbolic framework of Crowley's mind. This same symbol set is used as a medium for the transmission of the Book of the Law. So don't you think it is important to understand how Crowley viewed these symbols?[/quote]

We have no evidence that it is important how important the little Crowley viewed things.

[quote]Contrary to most of the discussion in this thread Crowley saw the Star as the card of Aquarius, and the Emperor as the card of Aries. It is this sign + card pairing that he attributed to the letters.[/quote]

He continued to vascillate between these as it suited him. You can say he was concealing it, but the fact is, I think he was still delibereating exactly how to go about the switch.

[quote]Arguments that the signs go with the letters are irrelevant because Crowley did not see it that way. Now, putting aside all arguments about the nature of Aiwass, are we to assume that he was ignorant or ignored the specific way Crowley viewed these symbols? All the evidence indicates otherwise.[/quote]


Crowley is patently, by the book, going to be wrong about certain things, some huge enough it requires a sequel, according to the book. I don't know how Crowley saw things, and I can only estimate that. I know that the idea of Aiwass as his socratic genius did hold enough weight for Crowley to consider, so he actually yes, might not give a single partial damn about how Crowley viewed these things.

[quote]So we're back to the chicken and the egg again. Because it does not already exist, it can't exist?[/quote]

I have maintained it was the chicken since I first was asked, never did I deliberate. Now, as an adult, I can find so many different reasons. but that main is the egg is defined by it's shell, which is primarily a calcium carbonate alkali that can be dissolved in vinegar and not even break the inner membrane. Linguisticaly, "Chicken" is as much as 200 years older than "egg."

[quote]
In the context of how Crowley saw the Tarot+Zodiac pairings it seems far from redundant to me.
Crowley was taught elementary Greek as a child. Like Latin, it was part of "classical" education back then. Having learnt it in childhood, Greek would probably have been much easier for him to write in haste than Hebrew acquired as an adult. Hence the re-touched Tzaddi.
[/quote]

Crowley had been in the Golden Dawn for a few years now, and I am certain he would have had more than a grasp of the Hebrew script by then. THe full verse says nothing more than

Invoke me under my stars! Love is the law, love under will. Nor let the fools mistake love; for there are love and love. There is the dove, and there is the serpent. Choose ye well! He, my prophet, hath chosen, knowing the law of the fortress, and the great mystery of the House of God. All these old letters of my Book are aright; but [a glyph assumed to be Tzaddi] is not the Star.

The fact is that "All these old letters of my Book are aright; but [alleged Tzaddi] is not the Star." Does not have to be about Tarot attributions at all. It may be a sign that Hebrew has nothing to do with Tarot at all. Yes, the letters are correct, but these two systems do not match each other. It could simply be saying that "the map doesn't match the terrain." Who knows what it was a reference to? What we do know is Tzaddi is Aries in every instance of the Sepher Yetzirah, except the one Jim Eshelman "translated". His vaildation for the change was a book not connected with The Sepher Yetzirah.

The reason this was brought up was because Jim Eshelman changed this, in his translation, and he did so because of he acceptance of Crowley's interpretation of that verse. He does so because his opinion, is that Tzaddi is Aquarius, and has always been so. Crowley, to him, discovered some major flaw with all previous interpretations of Hebrew, even by Jews themself.

[quote]
Again, this ignores how Crowley viewed these symbols. His mind, symbolic framework, and thought processes are the matrix Liber AL uses. To ignore this context in favour of tradition is a mistake in my opinion, when it is clear that Crowley was not working entirely within the confines of established traditon. Understanding how Crowley [u]was[/u] working is the important point, and to him the signs and the cards went together.[/quote]

In 1904, Crowley was doing mescaline and he sat on the Book of the Law for years. It *might be* that he in fact did not do what he was supposed to. He was told to do quite a bit, but it was not what he did. Or was it? Or should you even listen to the voices only you hear when preparing to make your mark on the world?

[quote]It is these pairings that were attributed to the letters. Whether we (or tradition) agree or not is beside the point, because that is how Crowley did it. So when Crowley saw "Tzaddi is not the Star" he would most probably have only considered it in terms of a card+sign counter-change. And that is exactly what he revealed as per the rest of the verse.[/quote]

This is retcon of Crowley's life. There is little case for thinking how he saw things. I am willing to bet that Crowley was a perplexed by some of this book as we are to this day, but there was pressure for an authority - one he favoured as himself.

The fact is in the Vision and the Voice (6th Aethyr), he details his passage through the 6th Aethyr on "December" 8, 1909. 7.10-9.10 p.m. He noted it WELL after he should have *adopted* this itself as such, in his commentary on the 6th Aethyr:
.
4.A = א the Swastika; V = ו = Atu V, the Pentagram; E = [Aries] and Atu IV, {Sulphur}.

The Star (called the Pentagram) = HEH = ARIES, and Atu IV.

Very clearly an endorsement for the transposition of the Star and the Emperor in sequence. He clearly says Heh is the "Pentagram" and is Aries... values from the Sepher Yetzirah value of Heh = Aries were consistent with most of his written work and the Magick world before the second expansion of Thelema, post-Crowley. This is when alot of the misinformation about Crowley arises.

Ross G Caldwell
10-05-2011 20:32
I think we can assume the butchered symbol in AL I:57 is meant to be a Tzaddi, because
1) Crowley always said it was, and he was there;
2) Crowley must have heard the word "Tzaddi", not "Ayin" or something else, since he claims he was taking dictation - "ayin" and "tzaddi" are very distinct words, and nothing but Tzaddi not being the Star would make any sense;
3) the claim "(x) is not the Star" only makes sense in the context of GD teaching regarding the Tarot, in which Tzaddi WAS the Star.

Aeon418 is of course right that Crowley meant the Star card to keep Aquarius; the path of Heh now mediates Aquarius and the Star between Chokhmah and Tiphereth.

I collected Crowley's remarks on this issue up to 1920 a few years ago on the issue on this thread -
[url]http://www.tarotforum.net/showpost.php?p=1055451&postcount=140[/url]

I repost it here for convenience. The main point of Crowley's thinking on the problem appears to be that it was when he discovered the "double loop in the Zodiac" that he became convinced that he had found the solution.

I think that the symbolism can be extended further - the Aeon of Horus is the Age of Aquarius, and succedes the Age of Pisces. So now Aquarius mediates the Word of the Aeon (Chokhmah - Magus) to the heart (Tiphereth) via the path of Heh, just as "Every Man and Every Woman is a Star". I find it elegant, but I don't know of any passage where Crowley says so explicitly.



[b]A chronology of passages with relevance to Crowley's Emperor-Star Heh-Tzaddi switch.[/b]

Because of recent discussions on another list, I was forced to go back and try to figure out the chronology and perhaps reasoning behind Crowley's decision to switch Heh with Tzaddi, not the position of the paths on the Tree of Life but the cards associated with each. I found that he had already come to make this switch by early 1918.

Crowley says on page 9 of the Book of Thoth (BoT) that [i]"He tried for years to counterchange this card, "The Star", which is numbered XVII, with some other."[/i] (note he assumed a "counterchange" and not some other solution). He goes on - [i]"He had no success. It was many years later that the solution came to him."[/i]

So when was that, exactly? And how was that, as well?

I think the answer to first question can be narrowed down to a matter of months; the answer to the second is thus probably within the events of those months, taking into account Crowley's general principle when solving Liber Legis puzzles that the solution [i]"will be marked by the most sublime simplicity, and carry immediate conviction"[/i] ("New Comment" (1919-1920)), II:76).

Chronology -

1904-1912

There is no discussion of this problem in anything published or written (that I know of) during the years 1904-1912.

Crowley doesn't allude to it until 1912, in the "Old Comment" to the Book of the Law (BL), I:57, published in "The Equinox" I/7 (March 1912) p. 392 - [i]"The last paragraph confirms the Tarot attributions as given in 777. With one secret exception."[/i]

However, it is clear that he didn't yet have an explanation for the exception, since the symbolism of the Chapters in the Book of Lies (1912-1913) still relies exclusively on the Tzaddi=Star and Heh=Emperor connection:

Chapter 5 (Heh=5) is "The Battle of the Ants." It is a meditation on war (Aries, Mars, Emperor).

Chapter 28 (Tzaddi is the 28th path on the Tree of Life by the GD system, and used in 777, which Crowley considered largely "confirmed" by the Book of the Law.) is called "The Pole-Star". (Tzaddi=Star)

Chapter 90 (Tzaddi is 90) is called "Starlight".

(Crowley's commentary on the Book of Lies is not contemporary with its composition, but does repeatedly insist that it was composed with such symbolism in mind.)

The next possible source for a discussion of this problem is the "Opus Lutetianum" or "Paris Working" (Dec. 31 1913-Feb. 12, 1914). Crowley used these workings sometimes to answer specific questions about Liber AL, but he does not mention it at all in this working.

1914-1918

Between 1914 and 1918, when Crowley was in North America (based in New York City), the only sources I have are his record of sex-magick workings "Rex de arte regia", his articles from "The International", the Amalantrah Working (Jan.-June, 1918), Liber Aleph, and his own and various biographers' notes about his activities. He doesn't allude to the "Tzaddi is not the Star" problem directly in any of these writings.

However, in one passage of the Amalantrah Working (April 20th, 1918), he does indicate more or less indirectly that he was searching for a *feminine* "counterchange" to the Tzaddi-Star attribution, with the Empress or the High Priestess:

[i]"He-Tzaddi-Yod-Vau is the tetragrammaton of the magical officers. He (Hebrew) is the Emperor, and the Tzaddi the Empress, or High Priestess, vide secret attributions indicated in Liber CCXX."[/i]

This quote illustrates clearly that he was seeking a counterchange of the woman of the Star with another feminine figure in the tarot. He was still, as he said later in the BoT, *trying* to find a solution.

But the equivalence of Heh with the Star had already occurred to him in 1918, as we may infer from lines in Liber Aleph (written in New York city in the winter of 1917-1918).

In Chapter 87, he is discussing the formula of the word ABRAHADABRA. He says that of the 5 letters in the word (ABRHD), the Sun, Mercury and Venus are R, B, and D (Resh=Sun, Beth=Magician, D=Empress). He then remarks: [i]"But the last of the Diverse Letters is H, which in the Tarot is The Star whose Eidolon is D."[/i]

This seems to indicate that he had considered the possibility that Heh, being the feminine part of the Tetragrammaton, was the most suitable substitution for the Star. It might even indicate that by early 1918, he had made the Emperor-Tzaddi substitution, but I know of no direct evidence for that. It is clear it should be, by his logic (counterchange), but I can't find it.

But that he had already decided in 1918 that the Star was Heh, is clear from Chapter 167 - [i]"From the Crown descendeth the High Priestess in the Path of the Moon (Gimel)... Next, from the Father (Chokmah) floweth the Virtue of the Star in the Path of the Water-bearer (Heh=Aquarius)... Third, from the Mother (Binah) are the Lovers in the Path of the Twins (Gemini)... These three are from the Supernals."[/i]

These quotes show without any doubt whatsoever that Crowley felt comfortable placing the Star on the path of Heh. But Liber Aleph was finished in March of 1918, while the Amalantrah passage was made in April 1918! Why didn't he already make the Heh of the Amalantrah passage the Star, and the Tzaddi the Emperor?

I can only guess, but I think it's because Crowley wasn't sure of it yet because he hadn't worked out the "double loop" thing in the Zodiac attributions of the Trumps. It was exactly this "symmetry", which also accounted for both the change of the Aeons and the GD switch of Teth-Lamed=Strength-Justice in the Tarot, that finally convinced him.

This passage from Liber Aleph attributing the Star to the path of Heh, from Chokmah to Tiphereth on the Tree of Life, is the earliest I have found in Crowley's writings. Given his apparent ambivalence to the attribution just a month or so later, it seems he was not ready to consider the "counterchange" to be the fulfillment of a prophecy - he just liked the idea of a trinitarian feminine influence from the three supernal sephiroth on Tiphereth (as he also insisted later in the BoT, page 203 note 1). Also, it seems the idea must have been new to him, since the counterchange it implies is not worked out in any detail.

Note that it is symbolism, and not a system such as Atbash or numbering the Trumps from Aleph=World to Tau=Fool, that gets him to this point. The remarks in Amalantrah and Aleph indicate that he is just hammering away at the problem, seeing what will fit.

Before Crowley finished Liber Aleph, and while the Amalantrah Working was in progress, Charles Stansfeld Jones arrived in New York. Jones' personality and unique approach to Thelemic Qabalism must be considered as significant influences upon Crowley's own thinking during this period.

Jones' main contribution was to consider the Serpent of Wisdom as *climbing* up the Tree, and hence the paths he climbed by were numbered in exact reverse to the traditional scheme. Aleph=Tau. It is not clear how much Jones had worked out the scheme by the time he visited Crowley, but given the coincidence in time is seems likely that Crowley got the idea in some way from Jones.

1919

Jones sent Crowley his "key" in September of 1919, and Crowley wrote back immediately exclaiming that it solved all the problems of the Book of the Law, and in fact that it had now "opened like a flower." (Jones' Liber XXXI, page 1). But given the earlier associations Crowley had made with the Star, it seems that little remained to be solved in the issue of the counterchange Crowley sought for Tzaddi.

It is important to remember that Crowley never bought Jones' complete system, and was solely devoted to the solution of individual puzzles. He always kept to the Aleph=Fool attributions, and only believed that *one pair* of attributions was wrong, because the Book of the Law I:57 said so (as he interpreted it).

1920

Finally, when Crowley was in Cefalù, he makes the first assertion of Emperor=Tzaddi that I can find. On June 2nd, 1920, he writes (in the course of a much longer passage): [i]"Of course Tzaddi the Emperor is of phallic shape..."[/i] (page 144 of the 1972 Symonds and Grant edition). His off-handedness, without explanation, indicates that he already took this for granted. I am therefore driven to the conclusion that he already made this counterchange in 1918, as intimated by the Liber Aleph passages.

To illustrate how he had *already* worked it out, this counterchange is mentioned on the 22nd June 1920 as well: [i]"And this Word seed in Aquarius, Hé, Nuith, who is 'Isis Mourning'... Now LA is Libra. Not is at once XI and VIII counterchanged in Tarot's natural order, as Hé is XVII and Tz is IV, revolving round Pisces as the other around Virgo.... Nu is Trump XVII, Aquarius, Hé, 5, etc...."[/i] (pp. 189-190).

Pp. 195-196 show a table of the Hebrew alphabet with the 777/GD correspondences, except H (He) = The Star and Tz (Tzaddi) = Emperor.

On the 30th of June (page 197) he writes: [i]"The 31-93 Key opens all doors. 418 Cancer balances Set in Capricorn. Nu in Aquarius balances AL in Leo, 419."[/i]

Page 198 - [i]"Nuith, Hé, Aquarius, XVII"[/i].

Additionally, in 1920 Crowley finished the so-called "New Comment" to Liber Legis (entry of December 21 1920). He had been writing it for over a year, since the Comment for II:76 mentions that it was written before Crowley received Jones' communication about AL, which happened around September 5, 1919.

In the "New Comment" to I:57, Crowley explains: [i]"I see no harm in revealing the mystery of Tzaddi to 'the wise'; others will hardly understand my explanations. Tzaddi is the letter of the Emperor, the Trump IV, and Heh is the Star, the Trump XVII. Aquarius and Aries are therefore counterchanged, revolving on the pivot of Pisces, just as in the Trumps VIII and XI, Leo and Libra, do about Virgo. This last revelation makes our Tarot attributions sublimely, perfectly, flawlessly symmetrical.

"The fact of its doing so is a most convincing proof of the superhuman wisdom of the author of this Book to those who have laboured for years, in vain, to elucidate the problems of the Tarot."[/i]

Jones had received a copy of this Comment by 1922, since he writes in "Q.B.L. or the Bride's Reception" (1922 ( page 71 of the Benjamin Rowe PDF version)), that the second part of verse I:57 had been explained by the Prophet in his comment, by changing the positions of the Star and Emperor.
(Emperor now the Path between Yesod and Netzach) Note that Jones' reasoning and Crowley's are different in this matter. Jones started with Aleph at the bottom and numbered upward, coming to Heh and putting the Emperor on that Path; Crowley assigned the Emperor to Tzaddi, occupying its traditional place on that Path counting downward. The fact that they coincide is because of Atbash, where Heh=Tzaddi.

It is clear then that Crowley was completely convinced of this counterchange by the end of 1920, and quite possibly by the end of 1918.

However, it should be noted that he arbitrarily used the old attributions if it suited him, since he regarded the two cards to be "revolving". This is identical to the case of VIII and XI, which are Lamed and Teth, and are hence out of alphabetical order in the Thoth deck, as are Tzaddi and Heh.

The three systems - alphabetic, astrological, and tarot - are not able to be seamlessly combined. But they can be elegantly and symmetrically related, and this is what Crowley sought and why he found the Tzaddi-Heh, Emperor-Star, Aquarius-Aries switch convincing.

Ross

Aeon418
11-05-2011 00:00
[QUOTE=brightcrazystar]I don't think it says Tzaddi clearly.[/quote]All the evidence points to it being the letter Tzaddi. Otherwise we can only conclude that Crowley lied about it, published the same fabrication multiple times, and then continued to carry on with the same charade in his private diaries and note books. (The latter can only have been for personal ammusement.) Do you honestly believe that?
[QUOTE=brightcrazystar]What we do know is Tzaddi is Aries in every instance of the Sepher Yetzirah, except the one Jim Eshelman "translated". His vaildation for the change was a book not connected with The Sepher Yetzirah.[/quote]I assume you mean Aquarius?

So let me see if I have this straight. Jim Eshelman is in the wrong because he made a change in his version of the Sepher Yetzirah based on a text unconnected with that work. But, turning it around, is it then valid to limit interpretation of Liber AL based on the contents of Sepher Yetzirah?
[QUOTE=brightcrazystar]Very clearly an endorsement for the transposition of the Star and the Emperor in sequence. He clearly says Heh is the "Pentagram" and is Aries... values from the Sepher Yetzirah value of Heh = Aries were consistent with most of his written work and the Magick world before the second expansion of Thelema, post-Crowley. This is when alot of the misinformation about Crowley arises.[/QUOTE]No, a lot of misinformation arises because people cherry-pick Crowley's writings looking for stray notes that confirm their own theories. At the same time they ignore important chronological factors. Your quote is from 1909, the same year that Crowley rediscovered the manuscript of Liber AL. Before that he had been trying his best to forget about the whole thing. His writings before that date clearly show that he was still working with the usual Golden Dawn attributions. It is only later, after his acceptance of Liber AL, that he begins to experiment and get a handle on the Tzaddi swap. His ideas on the swap didn't fall out of the sky fully formed. Crowley still needed to go through an experimental phase first. Entries in his diaries clearly demonstrate this development.

Aeon418
11-05-2011 03:20
Good post, Ross. Thanks. :)
[QUOTE=Ross G Caldwell]Crowley meant the Star card to keep Aquarius; the path of Heh now mediates Aquarius and the Star between Chokhmah and Tiphereth.[/quote]Yes, I also think Crowley wanted to keep the Star and Aquarius together because of the symbolism of the opposite sign, Leo. Taken together Aquarius and Leo represent the emerging archetypes at work in the New Aeon. Aquarius - Nuit/Babalon. Leo - the Beast. These replace the old guard of Virgo the Virgin and Pisces the Fish.
[QUOTE=Ross G Caldwell]I think that the symbolism can be extended further - the Aeon of Horus is the Age of Aquarius, and succedes the Age of Pisces. So now Aquarius mediates the Word of the Aeon (Chokhmah - Magus) to the heart (Tiphereth) via the path of Heh, just as "Every Man and Every Woman is a Star". I find it elegant, but I don't know of any passage where Crowley says so explicitly.[/quote]Crowley says something similar in the second to last paragraph of the Ace of Swords section in the Book of Thoth.
[quote=Aleister Crowley]From his father, Chokmah, he is informed through the Path of He, the Great Mother, the Star, our Lady Nuit, so that the creative impulse is communicated to him by all possibilities soever.[/quote]With the Emperor on the path of Heh you could say the creative impulse [i][u]was[/u][/i] communicated by Paternal law and order of God the Father. Being Aries he was seen as First cause, the prime mover. But lets not forget those temper tantrums either. ;)

(Eshelman has suggested that the Emperor on the path of Heh is symbolic of a stage in humam evolution where the primary focus is on the development of the Ruach - the intellect, the conscious mind.)

But now with the Emperor on the path of Tzaddi you have a good symbol for the conscious and willed direction of sexual energies. Oddly enough this requires a strong Ruach that is not liable to be over-powered and consumed by this Fiery Force (Aries). Love under Will.

RLG
11-05-2011 08:11
[QUOTE=Aeon418]That's a little strong. Wouldn't it be more prudent to say it is not necessarily justified according to [i]some[/i] interpretations of Liber AL. The passage in question is not completely devoid of ambiguity and is open to interpretation. Is this not the reason why there has been so much debate on this issue?[/QUOTE]

Dwtw
Yes, i can assent to that., but note that i said the switch is not *necessarily* justified by AL. If I:57 were not so ambiguous, there wouldn't be so much debate about it.

[QUOTE=Aeon418]
But the fact remains that the only solution "revealed" by Crowley was the switch. You object to it (Fine with me BTW :)), but then you have to explain how Crowley revealed your particular attributions? Unless of course you interpret the conclusion to I:57 in a way entirely personal to yourself.[/QUOTE]

Well, I never claimed AC revealed anything about the attributions I prefer. My position has been that switching Heh and Tzaddi are fine, so long as the zodiac travels with them, (as they did in the GD switch of 8 and 11 which AC undid).

I also think the simplest (but not exclusive) solution to the verse is to just rename the Star card something else; but AC did not take this approach.

I also believe that the verse may have nothing to do with the Tarot, at least after one has been through the third ordeal, and the Book is like stones of precious water.


One question somewhat addressed by Ross' excellent post; why should it have taken so many years to simply swap two letters? AC could have tried swapping Tzaddi with all the other 21 letters in a single night of work; the sheer absurdity of some of the results would have narrowed the field rather quickly, I would think.

Litlluw

brightcrazystar
11-05-2011 13:10
[QUOTE=Aeon418]All the evidence points to it being the letter Tzaddi. Otherwise we can only conclude that Crowley lied about it, published the same fabrication multiple times, and then continued to carry on with the same charade in his private diaries and note books. (The latter can only have been for personal ammusement.) Do you honestly believe that?
I assume you mean Aquarius?[/quote]

Actually, much as how a person who awakes from a dream thinks they remember it, but in fact is having their mind filed in with rational thought, this is not lying per se, just the brain ret conning the whole experience. I am willing to wager there is a place in the Book of the Law which can be interpreted as Crowley not even being able to understand the whole book, or the grave mysteries therein. Therefore, his every solution may not be vaild, and therefore what solutions do we know are? Also, many people close to him, and the people close to them attest he was not so clear, and looked for a solution but was confounded by memory lapses of this time from use of mescaline, perhaps even in conjunction with the time period.

As for this, I simply do not see where I have to believe or look for validation in the works of Crowley. I don't even see in this verse where it says he is the prophet being spoken of.

[quote]54. Change not as much as the style of a letter; for behold! thou, o prophet, shalt not behold all these mysteries hidden therein.

55. The child of thy bowels, he shall behold them.

56. Expect him not from the East, nor from the West; for from no expected house cometh that child. Aum! All words are sacred and all prophets true; save only that they understand a little; solve the first half of the equation, leave the second unattacked. But thou hast all in the clear light, and some, though not all, in the dark.

57. Invoke me under my stars! Love is the law, love under will. Nor let the fools mistake love; for there are love and love. There is the dove, and there is the serpent. Choose ye well! He, my prophet, hath chosen, knowing the law of the fortress, and the great mystery of the House of God.

All these old letters of my Book are aright; but [Tzaddi] is not the Star. This also is secret: my prophet shall reveal it to the wise. [/quote]

So perhaps, there is another prophet who did or will come that revealed it. Or maybe several did, and they were all half-right, for the absolute can not be framed absolutely in words or images. It could for different people these names and images awaken different powers in different sequences - that they are non-atomic, if you will. The beauty to me of humans is we can say "what if?" and not feel threatened if another says "what if?" The problem arises is when we DO feel threatened and we don't ask why.

[quote]So let me see if I have this straight. Jim Eshelman is in the wrong because he made a change in his version of the Sepher Yetzirah based on a text unconnected with that work. But, turning it around, is it then valid to limit interpretation of Liber AL based on the contents of Sepher Yetzirah?[/quote]

his "version" is claiming to be a translation. One does not limit, or represent the other. If I take a book and translate it, I am not expected to change it, just make it well-represented in a different language. If I translate Mein Kampf, I do not change Hitler's sentiment toward the Jews. If I translate stereo instructions, I do not make it a toaster. If I translate Plato, I do not insert Wittgenstein. I feel the translation of his work is BIASED, and that is unfortunate. I do have the text, and was disappointed because I trusted it to be a translation, not a redaction. It makes me ask, in the text, how much more did his redaction change it? And for myself, I tend to not trust redacted "translations".

[quote]No, a lot of misinformation arises because people cherry-pick Crowley's writings looking for stray notes that confirm their own theories. [/quote]

My own theories in general are from the oldest text of the oldest Magus of the Thelemic Tradition by" name", Lao Tzu. The tao is more than clear - One thing is not the other, simply because there is a correlation brought about by man or heavens. Association and correspondence are fluid concepts, and must be able to be adjusted. Crowley makes this case over and over. ALL of the interpretations are interesting to me. When I have the audacity to call myself Wise, I shall perhaps have a solid theory on this. Until then I look at the wise for an interpretation that tops all the others.

[quote]At the same time they ignore important chronological factors. Your quote is from 1909, the same year that Crowley rediscovered the manuscript of Liber AL. Before that he had been trying his best to forget about the whole thing. His writings before that date clearly show that he was still working with the usual Golden Dawn attributions. It is only later, after his acceptance of Liber AL, that he begins to experiment and get a handle on the Tzaddi swap. His ideas on the swap didn't fall out of the sky fully formed. Crowley still needed to go through an experimental phase first. Entries in his diaries clearly demonstrate this development.[/QUOTE]

I do not think there was much Crowley had a handle on in some of the best parts of his life, especially in his last 10 years. I say this with total respect, and not all due to his own fault. As for my quote, that was not part of the text from 1909, it was part of his 1924 comment, first published in 1952. It is clear the Star itself is Mercury as Chokmah, joined to the Heh and Vau paths. The woman is the Tzaddi, as her shape indicates the letter Tzaddi far more than the glyph from 1:57.

I also think if you look at the foundation of his work, it is a mixture of skepticism and enthusiasm tempering each other. I have tested EVERY letter connected to every value, and THEY ALL WORKED, albeit in different ways. I employed the ATBTh cipher far before I heard of Thelema, and do not see why any one version of a working assumption should be rejected if it berings about the desired end.

Crowley's entire working methodology was based on "whatever the cost, whatever the tool" and something tells me he employed both for as long as he could find the meaning he wanted in either.

Ross G Caldwell
11-05-2011 18:12
[QUOTE=Aeon418]Good post, Ross. Thanks. :)
Yes, I also think Crowley wanted to keep the Star and Aquarius together because of the symbolism of the opposite sign, Leo. Taken together Aquarius and Leo represent the emerging archetypes at work in the New Aeon. Aquarius - Nuit/Babalon. Leo - the Beast. These replace the old guard of Virgo the Virgin and Pisces the Fish.[/quote]

Exactly. New Comment on I:57 - "Tzaddi is the letter of the Emperor, the Trump IV, and Heh is the Star, the Trump XVII. Aquarius and Aries are therefore counterchanged, revolving on the pivot of Pisces, just as in the Trumps VIII and XI, Leo and Libra, do about Virgo. This last revelation makes our Tarot attributions sublimely, perfectly, flawlessly symmetrical."

THIS was his proof - the [i]elegance[/i] of the solution, the fact that it balanced a PRIOR initiated interpretation - the Cipher Manuscript's switch of Strength and Justice -, and the pertinence of both to the New Aeon. It wasn't just an arbitrary list of symbolic associations that convinced him (much less a mechanical method like ATBaSh, which I've heard a few people claim but for which there is no evidence whatsoever), but the fact that it had precedent and created balance, dynamic balance, in "Tarot's natural order" (the phrase he uses in the [i]Magical Record[/i] quoted below to refer to the TdM order, where Fortitude is XI).

People often forget - or don't take seriously enough - that Crowley believed that there was a correct, initiated association of the trumps with Hebrew letters and signs, planets, and elements. Would-be commentators should immerse themselves in GD teachings, ritual and history to begin to understand Crowley's symbolic world.

Aeon418
11-05-2011 20:37
[QUOTE=RLG]Well, I never claimed AC revealed anything about the attributions I prefer.[/quote]And why on earth would he? I'm suddenly thinking about Mohammed and a mountain for some reason...
[QUOTE=RLG]My position has been that switching Heh and Tzaddi are fine, so long as the zodiac travels with them, (as they did in the GD switch of 8 and 11 which AC undid).[/quote]And behind all this lies the [i]a priori[/i] assumption that the Sepher Yetzirah attributions are correct. Their correctness seems to be justified merely on the basis of age and the fact that they have been copied a few times. Is there something else I'm missing here?
[QUOTE=RLG]I also think the simplest (but not exclusive) solution to the verse is to just rename the Star card something else; but AC did not take this approach.[/quote]With the caveat, "but not exclusive", I have no objection to that interpretation.
[QUOTE=RLG]I also believe that the verse may have nothing to do with the Tarot, at least after one has been through the third ordeal, and the Book is like stones of precious water.[/quote]Of course it depends on how you interpret the third ordeal, but I am not inclined to disagree with you. AL I:22 would seem to have some relevance here, and takes the question in a more personal and subjective direction. But of course this is speculation until the ordeal has been passed. At less exalted levels the mere re-naming of a Tarot card does not sit well with me. I just don't see what any re-naming could reveal to the wise.

Aeon418
11-05-2011 21:37
[QUOTE=brightcrazystar]I am willing to wager there is a place in the Book of the Law which can be interpreted as Crowley not even being able to understand the whole book, or the grave mysteries therein.[/quote]Yes, I see this same "Trump card" being routinely played every time a seeming incongruity arises or a personal theory is being threatened. So if a Crowley shaped obstacle should suddenly appear on the horizon, no problem. Just whip out the "Crowley knows not this meaning all card", and you can safely ignore anything and everything you don't like with a clear conscience and the glad smile. :D
[QUOTE=brightcrazystar]Also, many people close to him, and the people close to them attest he was not so clear, and looked for a solution but was confounded by memory lapses of this time from use of mescaline, perhaps even in conjunction with the time period.[/quote]Which people exactly and when? Can you provide referrences?
[QUOTE=brightcrazystar]As for this, I simply do not see where I have to believe or look for validation in the works of Crowley. I don't even see in this verse where it says he is the prophet being spoken of.[/quote]Fine. But then the whole subject is in danger of being reduced to a quagmire of subjective, personal interpretation that is of no value to anyone beyond the individual reader. In that case the text loses much of it's wider contextual meaning and becomes a blank slate upon which anything can be projected. Without any outside frame of referrence each and every interpretation is equally valid and equally useless.
[QUOTE=brightcrazystar]One does not limit, or represent the other.[/quote]Exactly. But every time someone says Heh=The Star=Aquarius, then automatically someone else jumps up brandishing a copy of the Sepher Yetzirah and demands an immediate halt.
[QUOTE=brightcrazystar]As for my quote, that was not part of the text from 1909, it was part of his 1924 comment, first published in 1952. It is clear the Star itself is Mercury as Chokmah, joined to the Heh and Vau paths. The woman is the Tzaddi, as her shape indicates the letter Tzaddi far more than the glyph from 1:57.[/quote]This has already been covered in J. Daniel Gunthers, Initiation in the Aeon of the Child (The Fixed Mercury p.109 - 114) As he correctly points out, Crowley received the vision at a time when he was still using the old attributions. Hence his comment that Heh and Vau are the perfected sulphur and salt, respectively.


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