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-   -   Liber Theta (http://www.tarotforum.net/showthread.php?t=156882)

Aeon418
29-04-2011 22:10
Liber Theta
 
James A. Eshelman's, [b]Liber Theta:[/b] [i]Tarot Symbolism & Divination[/i], is now available for free download.

[url]http://www.thelema.org/publications/[/url]

Richard
30-04-2011 10:22
[QUOTE=Aeon418]James A. Eshelman's, [b]Liber Theta:[/b] [i]Tarot Symbolism & Divination[/i], is now available for free download.

[url]http://www.thelema.org/publications/[/url][/QUOTE]
Thanks very much for the heads up! It's a very well-written document. However, having read most of it, Crowley's epiphany that [I]Tzaddi is not the Star[/I] still makes me uncomfortable (and probably always will).

graspee
30-04-2011 12:47
I read Liber Theta when it first came out a little while ago and found it very good. I have been recommending it to people from a Thelemic background who wanted information about starting to use tarot for divination.

I agree with you, though LRichard. Recently I have been experiencing something of a "crisis of faith" when it comes to Crowley and the Golden Dawn too. The Golden Dawn switching Strength and Justice seems artificial to me now, and then Crowley switching The Star and The Emperor.

So in fact recently I have been ignoring the whole issue of the order of the Trumps and attributions to things such as Hebrew letters, and concentrating on just the cards themselves.

Richard
01-05-2011 00:10
[QUOTE=graspee].....So in fact recently I have been ignoring the whole issue of the order of the Trumps and attributions to things such as Hebrew letters, and concentrating on just the cards themselves.[/QUOTE]Glad I'm not the only one having issues with the GD and Crowley orderings. For therapy I've been studying the TdM, since it is refreshingly pre-GD/Waite/Crowley. :)

Aeon418
01-05-2011 02:36
Crisis of faith. Where does faith come into it? In my opinion it doesn't, unless the system of attributions is viewed as little more than a curio who's only purpose is to satisfy the intellect.

Thankfully Jim has focused on the practical applications of the system. Only by working with it over an extensive period will it reveal anything of value.

graspee
01-05-2011 20:20
When I said "Crisis of Faith" I guess I should have put it in inverted commas to make clear that I was being quirky. I don't really think it's a faith, it's a system of beliefs that was kind of important to me, so using that phrase is like a comedic shorthand.

Oops, just noticed I did actually put "crisis of faith" in quotes, hehe.

Aeon418
01-05-2011 22:26
Fair enough. :)

But I still think the objections that have been raised in this thread are missing the point. The attributions listed with the Trumps are there to facilitate meditation on the imagery of the cards, not to define it. The mind is "primed" with this information beforehand, but the focus of the meditation is the card itself.

Most objections that I see about attribution systems are intellectually based, but the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

RLG
02-05-2011 13:43
Dwtw

Switching Heh and Tzaddi to different trumps, without also switching their astrological signs, is a mater of selectively changing the attributions given in the Sefer Yetzirah.

When Mackenzie and/or Mathers swapped the positions of trumps 8 and 11, they did not separate the letters Lamed and Teth from their respective signs; in fact, they did this *because* of the signs associated with those letters. This is not the case with Heh/Tzaddi, where Heh is no longer Aries and Tzaddi is no longer Aquarius. Crowley's "double-loop argument" is specious at best, as the two loops are not of the same kind at all.
Eshelman hangs a lot on the thin evidence of a line from the Zohar about Tzaddi; he even goes so far as to change his translation of the Sefer Yetzirah to attribute Tzaddi to Aries, which is completely his own interpretation, and not part of tradition at all.

The question arises, if Tzaddi has a concealed meaning, why doesn't Heh have one as well, and if it does, why is this not mentioned in the Zohar? A similar question would be, how can "ALL these old letters of my book be aright" except Tzaddi? For tzaddi to be changed means that at least TWO "letters of my book" are not aright.

But the Heh/Tzaddi thing always end up in a mud-wrestling match, so anyone competent and interested can find out all they need to know, on the web, from better sources than myself. Suffice it to say that a simpler explanation of Liber AL 1:57 is that the name of the Trump XVII needs to be changed, not the esoteric attributions.

A separate problematic statement from the introduction is this one:
"there is not a single mention of this (qabalistic meanings embeded in the tarot) in any of the vast esoteric writings that have survived from those centuries.
The only sensible explanation for this seems to be that the correspondence was taken so seriously that it went underground – and that there has been a true secret tradition for centuries."

Seriously? The ONLY sensible explanation is that it was all hidden? I beg to differ; the much more sensible explanation is that there was no such qabalistic content in the tarot, since there is no mention of it by writers who felt free to write on many other topics of esoterica. It's easy to say that there is no evidence because it was all kept secret, since there is no way to disprove that. It's much more difficult to come up with positive evidence for such an assertion of qabalah being wedded to the tarot from the outset.

All the evidence we have so far points to tarot being a card game appropriated by occultists for their own purposes. there's certainly nothing wrong with that, and yes, the proof is in the use of the cards. one can train themselves to use any system of associations; that doesn't mean that they were intended by the creators of Tarot. So call a spade a spade and just admit that we're taking archetypal forms and using them in a flexible system to our best ability and trying to make it meaningful in our praxis.
The Golden Dawn invented some interesting correspondences to the Tarot. Many of them fit, and a few do not. I personally like the Star being attributed to Venus just as much as Aquarius; I have my own network of associations that work for me. But I don't presume them to be a priori correct, or to have been intended by the inventors of tarot.

Well, I'm drunk and probably shouldn't be writing today. Gonna go contemplate how the Emperor is actually the element of Air.

Litlluw
RLG

Richard
02-05-2011 14:42
Drunk is good for writing. William Faulkner did it all the time. It just seems a bit presumptuous to reassign Tzaddi to Aries and Heh to Aquarius merely because "Tzaddi is not the Star." I'm getting a bit mellow too, but I need to blow my French horn for awhile because there's an orchestra rehearsal today.

Richard
02-05-2011 16:38
The Star is Sirius, which annually predicted the flooding of the Nile, which was essential to Life for the Egyptians. The Waite card shows water being poured out on the land and the river. Aquarius was the Celestial Nile to the Egyptians. The Water-Bearer (Isis?) poured out water to flood the Nile so that vegetation would be reborn. The Tzaddi fish hook seems entirely appropriate in this context.

Aeon418
02-05-2011 19:15
[QUOTE=Aeon418]Most objections that I see about attribution systems are intellectually based, but the proof of the pudding is in the eating.[/QUOTE]I think that proves my point. :laugh:

Aeon418
02-05-2011 22:32
[QUOTE=RLG]Suffice it to say that a simpler explanation of Liber AL 1:57 is that the name of the Trump XVII needs to be changed, not the esoteric attributions.[/quote]Ok then, what's the new name? I'm all ears. :)

Crowley never re-named Atu XVII. And yet he's the one who was supposedly meant to reveal it.

Heh is the letter of revelation.

Aeon418
02-05-2011 22:34
Personally I've enjoyed Jim's analysis of the Court cards the most.

graspee
02-05-2011 23:06
RLG's post was very good. I agree with it almost entirely.

Aeon418
03-05-2011 05:06
[QUOTE=graspee]RLG's post was very good. I agree with it almost entirely.[/QUOTE]But what about the rest of Liber Theta? Or does an historical quibble and a difference of opinion on a bit of technical data vitiate the whole thing? Or am I the only one that read past the introduction? :laugh:

Richard
03-05-2011 05:13
[QUOTE=Aeon418]But what about the rest of Liber Theta? Or does an historical quibble and a difference of opinion on a bit of technical data vitiate the whole thing? Or am I the only one that read past the introduction? :laugh:[/QUOTE]

It is excellent in every way. My misgivings about Tzaddi were in no way intended as a criticism of the document.

RLG
03-05-2011 08:13
Dwtw

I'm a little more sober today. I did not criticize anything beyond the introduction because I was trying to focus my double-vision on a couple issues raised at the beginning of the document. Liber Theta has plenty of useful material in it, and any quibbles I have would be a topic for a separate post.

My predilection is for the Star to be related to Venus, and then the two vessels might be Venus as morning and evening star. The main star depicted on the card is often seen as the star of Bethlehem, heralding the birth of the messiah, who called himself the bright morning star in Revelation 22:16.

As for the new name of Atu XVII, my own interpretation would be, for English, the plural "Stars", and for classic Greek, the word Galaxias, (English Galaxy) which equals 306, or 17 x 18, and Atu 17 is the 18th in sequence when the Fool is placed at the beginning. Galaxias means 'milky', from the term Galaxias Kuklos, the milky circle, aka the Milky Way. Since it is a circle, and surrounds the Earth, the milk being poured from its vessels is from above and then below, as depicted in the Star atu. Renaming Atu XVII as the Stars or the Galaxy aligns this card with Nuit, as "infinite space and the infinite stars thereof"

The reason that Heh and Tzaddi can switch fairly easily is shown in the method of ATBaSh, and there are certainly correlations to be drawn from the feminine number 5 that correlate with the Star card also, such as "the shape of my star is the five pointed star". It's all in how you want to approach it. One could switch Heh and Tzaddi by classic methodology, regardless of any verse found in Liber AL. One can also switch Bet and Shin, Gimel and Resh, etc.

The fact that the feminine letter Heh doesn't seem to correlate well with the Emperor is just another piece of evidence that the Tarot was not originally designed with the qabalah in mind. Some of the G.D. correspondences work well, and some do not. A much better fit could be found if there was no insistence on a linear match-up between the alef-bet and the tarot sequence.

Litlluw

Always Wondering
04-05-2011 04:06
This will keep me busy for a while. A year or two just on the Major Arcana. His meditation patterns for the Minor Arcana look interesting. There didn't seem to be any explaination to the pattern choice in my first quick read but maybe when I get a minute to lay them out it will make some sense.
Lots of information. It seems very complete. This is going to the front of my reading list.

Thanks for the link.

AW

brightcrazystar
05-05-2011 10:57
[QUOTE=RLG]
Seriously? The ONLY sensible explanation is that it was all hidden? I beg to differ; the much more sensible explanation is that there was no such qabalistic content in the tarot, since there is no mention of it by writers who felt free to write on many other topics of esoterica. It's easy to say that there is no evidence because it was all kept secret, since there is no way to disprove that. It's much more difficult to come up with positive evidence for such an assertion of qabalah being wedded to the tarot from the outset.
[/quote]

No, you get the point all wrong. In fact most of the Tarot world does. The argument is not that Tarot was made by Qabalists or that Tarot Readers lean on Qabala for interpretation. The argument is that Qabalists, since at least the 16th century have used Tarot and it was a replacement for things they used before it, and precursor to things used afterwards.

As for the debate it is Christian in origin, ever since the writings of Pico della Mirandola, who first combined Magick with Qabala and reconciled Neoplatonic thought and Christian Faith, it is clear Qabala has been openly employed in Christian thought, in total or part. This means since the 1400's Qabala has been employed directly in relation to the EXACT notions of Christianity that inspired Tarot. And Christian Qabalists were applying it to everything they could. So among the world of Italy of its time, you have Mirandola promoting Christian Qabala, especially to artists, and you have cards displaying those same virtues. Along with these come all the parts of the Natural Philosopher movement and thus Astrology and other guidances of Magick.

The connection is easy to make that artists might have interest in Tarot and Christian Values might also know or be Magicians, and these correspond to Qabala that they are learning about through the works of Mirandola. This dates them to around the same time as the creation of Tarot. If you think some of the Magicians of their days were not already using Tarot - you simply do them little credit. We have been working with any tools we can find for as long as we can, and the first thing we do is dissect them to learn their nature.

Most would probably not use cards though, because of the need for metals and the power of wax imprints from woodcuts.

This is why Crowley created the Thoth Deck, to make a Tarot deck for magicians by magicians, and not simply a borrowing of a earlier tool from people who may have had no capacity for magick or clinging to inefficient or obsolete correspondences or conventions.

[quote]All the evidence we have so far points to tarot being a card game appropriated by occultists for their own purposes. there's certainly nothing wrong with that, and yes, the proof is in the use of the cards. one can train themselves to use any system of associations; that doesn't mean that they were intended by the creators of Tarot. So call a spade a spade and just admit that we're taking archetypal forms and using them in a flexible system to our best ability and trying to make it meaningful in our praxis.[/quote]

I further admit it was likely done back as far as the origins of Tarot and sure, and was done with many things before Tarot, so there is no way to presume it would not be done with this. In fact, it is more likely Magicians were substituting Tarot decks well before the works of Levi, and at least for some - it was probably a tool to consider, as Qabala was already married to the very same Christian virtues as the Tarot.

I do not think we are taking archetypal forms and playing with psycholgical play-doh. I think when we are tapping into actual magic, it is NOT simply inside some jungian context. That is the outer order self-help model, not the inner order real contact with objective spirits. I do not know if everyone gets to that level or not, but to me, there is more than Self and Other dynamics that most lean on. This is not para-psychology or auto-hypnosis unless you are tapping into nothing but wishful thinking.

As for the Qabala, only the lesser part is written.

Richard
05-05-2011 13:36
The Sepher Yetzirah clearly correlates He with Aries and Tzaddi with Aquarius. I suppose that since they permuted the planetary correlations of the double letters, they might as well mess with the simple letters as well. To make things even easier, why not just ignore the Sepher Yetzirah altogether?

brightcrazystar
05-05-2011 14:26
Yes, in Chapter 5, abundantly clear in every one of the Five versions.

I am not going to, and never will support the idea that the glyph in that verse is a "Tzadi". The *glyph* no more looks like a Tzadi in Liber XXXI than an "X" does, and has less to do with it.

Tzadi is "hunt" not "fishhook." It is the process of staying perfectly still and waiting for prey.

The phrase "not the Star" is important for me. It's multiplicity is part of the evidence of its transpersonal nature, to me.

This phrase is La H-Tzava or La H-Kokav. It's value is 135 or 88.

135 is the value of several words, 25 entries in Strongs Biblical Hebrew Concordance. Also the following, highlighted in a privately updated version of 777

A denounced woman - ONIH (Scarlet Woman)
“Gathering” - QHL (The Fold of Nuit)
To make easy for one; assist or support - QLH (All the times mentioned in the BOL)

88 is the value of 5 words from Strongs Biblical Hebrew Concordance. Also the following from a updated 777

Redness; sparkling - ChKLL (The Fiery RED of Martial Current. Red Triangle)
To be hot - HMM (Burning and swooning, baby)
Darkness - ChSK (Nuit again; and NOX)
Roaring, seething; burning - NChL (The very nature of a star)
Pure, innocent - ChP (yeah right - how about bare and rejoicing)
Snare, danger - PCh (the hunt is all about the ambush)

ALL of this is sufficient to carry forth the attributions of Tzadi to Aries, and furthermore The Star as found in the Rider Waite and the Thoth Deck.

Some magical loop in the sky is a stupid reason to change such an elegant attribution. Rather a Magician should be able to hold two contending ideas in his head and employ both, as per the ATBSh. As for the Golden Dawn, their transposition makes sense in that it reconciles a math problem in the ATBSh which Rabbi have notices for centuries. It also makes FAR more sense.

Aeon418
05-05-2011 19:01
[QUOTE=LRichard]To make things even easier, why not just ignore the Sepher Yetzirah altogether?[/QUOTE]The same argument could be directed at the Kabbalists who concocted the Gra version of Sepher Yetzirah. They [u]silently[/u] changed some attributions to suit their own purposes and bring the text into conformity with the Zohar. The only difference between that and what Jim Eshelman has done in his own translation is that Jim has openly pointed out the changes he made.

brightcrazystar
05-05-2011 20:35
Well, the Gra was changed to match the Zohar, with a peculiar cross-association between Saturn and Venus and Jupiter and Mercury.

The Golden Dawn cipher manuscript gave its attributes, not the Sepher Yetzirah. As it was not yet translated into English, it is possible that the persons who wrote the Ciphers were not as well versed in the Hebrew as the Westcott, Woodrow, and Mathers. The book is not mentioned in the Neophyte cipher, but was added to it in the lecture of the Neophyte. In his translation, Westcott gives his reason for changing the ones he does - "clairvoyant investigation."

Aeon418
05-05-2011 22:37
[QUOTE=brightcrazystar]Well, the Gra was changed to match the Zohar, with a peculiar cross-association between Saturn and Venus and Jupiter and Mercury.[/quote]But the main point is that changes [i]were[/i] made and a precedent established. The latter day Kabbalists certainly didn't let "tradition" stand in their way. They just got on with it, in spite of the fact that they were altering what is considered to be their own tradition. And yet in the non-Hebraic world this same "tradition" is routinely dusted off and wheeled out as an objection to anyone who does the same. The following is a typical example.
[quote=RLG]Eshelman hangs a lot on the thin evidence of a line from the Zohar about Tzaddi; he even goes so far as to change his translation of the Sefer Yetzirah to attribute Tzaddi to Aries, which is completely his own interpretation, and not part of tradition at all.[/quote]Heaven forbid that anyone should try to break with tradition. After all, tradition is old and therefore authentic. :rolleyes:

brightcrazystar
06-05-2011 06:18
[QUOTE=Aeon418]But the main point is that changes [i]were[/i] made and a precedent established. The latter day Kabbalists certainly didn't let "tradition" stand in their way. They just got on with it, in spite of the fact that they were altering what is considered to be their own tradition. And yet in the non-Hebraic world this same "tradition" is routinely dusted off and wheeled out as an objection to anyone who does the same. The following is a typical example.
Heaven forbid that anyone should try to break with tradition. After all, tradition is old and therefore authentic. :rolleyes:[/QUOTE]

While I do agree in some ways:
Here is the difference - the latter day Qabalists DID speak fluent Hebrew, most on a daily basis, regardless of what country they were in.

No one set is clear, and this is because all of them are as young as this side of the Moabite dedaction of the Semitic Script, but the conversational language of the Biblical Hebrews is born of the Proto-Biblical Hebrew that they have a much firmer grasp of. The problem with "innovation" is so much of it in the 13-15th centuries was done by people who simply did not know Hebrew. Even moreso was done later in the 19-20th centuries, and especially after the establishment of post-modernism as part of the default human condition.

As for the "Gra" version, the Gra is a man, Vilna Gaon, and was a foremost leader of Qabalistic thought. He committed the Tanakh to memory before his fifth birthday, and got the entire Talmud committed to memory in time for his Bar Mitzvah! This was a man of the 18th Century who was perhaps one of the most knolwedgeable, non-rabbinical Jews of his time, or any other. He was not just making changes he felt like.

Also, NO version of the Sepher Yetzirah (Short, Long, Saaida, Gra, Gra-Ari) makes any changes to the Letters of the 12 Elementals, or Single Letters. The Changes are almost exclusively to the Double Letters and the Planets, none of which are fixed in Hebrew studies. This is searching for the unestablished.

The reason Jim Eshelman makes the change is simple. I give respect to him where due, and am not trying to insult him, just calling attention to something that is clearly a fact. He is a Thelemite, and like many is biased toward the letter being a Tzadi. He is fairly dogmatic in his Thelemic mindset towards the works of Crowley. In fact, he comes from a time when most the copies of the Book of the Law did not include and could not include the original handwriting in facsimile manuscript. He does not work from a basis of noticing something of his own. He is looking to validate Crowley's attribution, period. He starts from a bias of supporting Crowley and that is fine, but when he begins to venture into the world of it was FINALLY revealed as the truly correct essential truth, well then - I simply, respectfully, do not agree. The Glyph is unlike any Tzadi I have seen anywhere else. Crowley RESIGNED to make it Tzaddi and it was not a immediate change. The problem is it says "all of these letters" BUT one... if it were a transposing, it should logically say "all but these two are aright, Heh and Tzaddi." A simple switch is not the solution, or TWO would not be aright.

Still, I have not found a way to reconcile one completely, and at the sake of all others. All have some value. Here is another to consider:

If anything I would say it looks like anything like a letter in total other than a CRUDE Proto-Hebrew He, that I would say it looks like a Moabite Bet and a Hebrew Beth superimposed. Beth is given an attribution in Hebrew of Mercury, or Kokabh, (koh-kahv) which is the hebrew word for "Star." What is to say this is not a call to reassign Beth to the Moon? Gimel, which is from the Root Gam is to "walk toward water", a reference to the movement from oasis to oasis - where Mercury is elementally Water in the G.D. and A.'.A.'. and - furthermore this movement from station to station is similar to the Kerux in the G.D. temple.

This also attributes Mercury BACK to the Middle Pillar, and The Moon to the Influx of Unity to Understanding leading from Kether to Binah. Thus Aleph, Beth and Gimel all become the three fold word of Thoth coming from the Mouth of Ra. It also further demonstrated the influx of Water down the Severe Pillar by path and Sephiroth..., Kether, Moon, Sphere of Saturn/Shin, Chariot, Sphere of Mars, Hanged Man, Sphere of Mercury, taker of fire, and then Shin the Fiery Judgement (which is Shin pouring into the Malkuth) This is the process by which the Waters of life become the Fire of Creation and Judgement.

To me, that glyph is the mark on the Magus card right on the staff on the Table. It also reconciles to my belief that the work of the Aeon was revealed by two sources, the RWS deck and the BoL - something working through several Agents.

As for the attributes, this could make, with meanings suitable to biblical hebrew studies, not simple word for word like GD learn:

Bet - "Household, Family", Moon
Gam - "Walk to water", (nomadic passage from Oasis to Oasis) - Mercury
Dal - "Give Way, Announce" - Venus
Kaph - "Palm, Tame, Appease" - Jupiter
Peh - "Scatter, Blow, Disrupt" - Mars
Resh - "Top, Summit, Head, Prime" - Sol
Tau - "Monument, Sign, Milestone, Marker" - Saturn

This makes TOTAL sense from an etymological standpoint.

Bet is the basis of family, guided by the lunar cycle of woman*
Gam is the basis of tribe, guided by their herds and star observations
Dal is the giving way of Dark to Light, the morning star
Kaph is ability to guide direct and pass tradition and discipline
Peh is the ability to enforce one's right to move the heard and protect
Resh is the Elder Chief, the highest light, and the highest
Tau is the markers to follow, the dots to connect as you sojurn.

This order is Moon, Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, Mars, Sol, Saturn

This order is very close to the maximum brightness, or average apparent magnitude of each - accounting only for the facts that Venus is brighter than mercury quite often, and saturn is at the endf... though mercury can still be easier to locate to this day - so that could have something to do with it. The order could actually be older than the discovery of saturn by ancients.

They, with this letter switch, then break down into the following soundshape families:
B P = Lips = Moon and Mars
G K = Glottal = Mercury and Jupiter
D T = Tongue = Venus and Saturn
R = Mouth = Sol

The change yields one thing of immediate note:
This is exactly the way the Days of the week are ordered, as opposed to the attributes given in the Sehper Yetzirah, which are no way similar to our own, and thus even the names of the days we use. No other system has such a symbolic importance in modern terms immediately apparent. Reconciling this has been the reason most variation in the Sepher Yetzirah attributions exists.

Sepher Yetzirah, Short Version, for comparison.

B - Saturn - Sunday
G - Jupiter - Monday
D - Mars - Tuesday
K - Sun - Wednesday
P - Venus - Thursday
R - Mercury - Friday
T - Moon - Sabbath

Sepher Yetzirah, Gra Version, for comparison

B - Moon - Sunday
G - Mars - Monday
D- Sun - Tuesday
K - Venus - Wednesday
P - Mercury - Thursday
R - Saturn - Friday
T - Jupiter - Saturday

Neither of these reconcile to the Cube of Space as well as our own days of the Week. None of these reconcile to the books and libraries of Western Magick as well as the switch I make. Also, I have the added benefit that the switch I make also supports a good bit of Dee's work - which figures highly into my own work, and the entire Western Magick Tradition, Golden Dawn or Thelemic.

Is my switch any more right that Crowley's, or the Gra's? I do not know - but it is both practical and functional - and reconciles to every magickal system I employ with Hebrew.

Again, this is all conjecture, but equally as reasonable as any other established and more in line with proto-biblical Hebrew lingusitics.

RLG
06-05-2011 13:59
[QUOTE=Aeon418]But the main point is that changes [i]were[/i] made and a precedent established. The latter day Kabbalists certainly didn't let "tradition" stand in their way. They just got on with it, in spite of the fact that they were altering what is considered to be their own tradition. And yet in the non-Hebraic world this same "tradition" is routinely dusted off and wheeled out as an objection to anyone who does the same. The following is a typical example.
Heaven forbid that anyone should try to break with tradition. After all, tradition is old and therefore authentic. :rolleyes:[/QUOTE]


Dwtw

I'd appreciate if you wouldn't put words in my mouth. I didn't say one should leave tradition alone for it's own sake. Being old doesn't make anything authentic automatically. But to change it to suit your own purposes, WHILE LEAVING THE REST OF IT INTACT is just playing games to satisfy an agenda.
As another commentator said, at that point you may as well ignore the SY altogether. If the GRA version does that also, then caveat emptor.

IOW, you can't just change a line or two of the SY and then say, 'what a wonderful system; I've made it prefect with my little changes'. Should we be changing a few lines of Genesis to suit ourselves also?

The idea is not that old = authentic; the idea is that the SY is an intact document that lays out a system. if one doesn't like it, they can make up their own, (as the GD did with the planetary letters) but deliberately mistranslating a single part of it to satisfy a questionable line in Liber AL doesn't seem kosher. pun intended. And IIRC, JE doesn't make it explicit at the beginning of his SY that he has changed a part of it to suit his own doctrinal interpretation.

I'm all for creating your own set of associations; I abandoned the misguided GD ones a long time ago. Yet the ones I use do not pretend to be sort-of based on the SY in the parts that suit me. but then, i don't believe the Tarot was designed by qabalists in the first place, and the coincidence of 22 letters doesn't line up nearly as well as people would like them to, (Cancer = the Chariot?) aside from the fact that it is often done by those who don't understand a word of Hebrew and are simply being cultural imperialists who like to modify others' symbol systems for their own purposes.

That doesn't mean one shouldn't incorporate Hebrew into their tarot, if that floats their boat. Let a thousand systems flourish, if that be the will of those who work with the Tarot.

Litlluw

RLG
06-05-2011 14:12
[QUOTE=brightcrazystar]No, you get the point all wrong. In fact most of the Tarot world does. The argument is not that Tarot was made by Qabalists or that Tarot Readers lean on Qabala for interpretation. The argument is that Qabalists, since at least the 16th century have used Tarot and it was a replacement for things they used before it, and precursor to things used afterwards. [/QUOTE]

Then you misunderstood my point, since i basically agree with you. people have used the tarot for all kinds of purposes since its inception. But there is no evidence that the Tarot was originally designed with the qabalah in mind. if qabalists later used it, which they probably did at some point before Gebelin, it would be no different than making a gummy bear or alice in wonderland deck; and I'm pretty sure the creator of tarot did not have bears and mad hatters in mind when drawing the triumphs and making a game out of them.

RLG
06-05-2011 14:20
Dwtw

The main evidence that the glyph in AL 1;57 is a Tzaddi is that AC translated it that way in the typescript redaction, couple with the fact that the Tarot, as he understood it in 1904, attributed the letter Tzaddi to the Star card. And since there is no argument that The Star is mentioned in the verse, the glyph can only be a tzaddi. it is truly a poorly drawn letter, actually being one letter drawn over another. to me it looks a lot like an ayin (which closely resembles a tzaddi) accidentally drawn, and then drawn over as much as possible to look like a tzaddi. Whatever it was, it was done in haste, and very poorly, but AC never wavered in saying that he felt it was a tzaddi, and so we must accept that that is the word he 'heard' during the dictation, and just wasn't able to draw it very well.
The alternative is that whatever letter it 'really' is, is being touted as the new letter-attribute of the Star card, whose name is officially 'Not the Star'. (e.g. all these old letters of my Book are aright, but [actually] ayin is not the Star)... but it stretches credulity to make such an interpretation. And it would still require two letters to be switched, so it does not make things any simpler.
Ah well, writing sober isn't much fun. I'll stop ranting now.

Litlluw

brightcrazystar
06-05-2011 14:59
[QUOTE=RLG]Then you misunderstood my point, since i basically agree with you. people have used the tarot for all kinds of purposes since its inception. But there is no evidence that the Tarot was originally designed with the qabalah in mind. if qabalists later used it, which they probably did at some point before Gebelin, it would be no different than making a gummy bear or alice in wonderland deck; and I'm pretty sure the creator of tarot did not have bears and mad hatters in mind when drawing the triumphs and making a game out of them.[/QUOTE]

I am sorry if I misunderstood you.

I think there is a strong case for Christian Virtues and Neoplatonism to be synergized in Tarot, if not its precursors. This was contemporary to the works of Qabalists of the time, and thus it is easy to imagine that Tarot WAS based on this common influence of Neoplatonic approaches to reconciling Christianity with Judiasm, even if it was not known or popularized at the time.

As for Letter attributions, not every aspect of Tarot is suitable to that. If fact there is three traditional forms of letter use; Temurah, Notariqon, and Gematria. The rebus style play used now is not even traditional at all. The Sepher Shaar Aur is a GREAT book to use in connection to studying Tarot and it does not employ a letter attribution style of values such as the Sepher Yetzirah.

As for the Sepher Yetzirah; Westcott does not alter these. The source text for the attributes of the Hebrew letters is the Cipher documents, not the Sepher Yetzirah. They do not mention the games of alchemical ghana yoga that the modern Qabalist plays with these, though such games were a subject of the work of Isaac Luria, where all things can be cooresponded to a celestial and alchemical value, or interplay or values. It is likely Luria was a HUGE influence on the Golden Dawn Cipher Manuscripts, and his work shines in the pages of Eliphas Levi quite bright.

Richard
06-05-2011 15:20
1 Attachment(s)
What is it?

brightcrazystar
06-05-2011 15:28
[QUOTE=RLG]Dwtw

The main evidence that the glyph in AL 1;57 is a Tzaddi is that AC translated it that way in the typescript redaction, couple with the fact that the Tarot, as he understood it in 1904, attributed the letter Tzaddi to the Star card. And since there is no argument that The Star is mentioned in the verse, the glyph can only be a tzaddi. it is truly a poorly drawn letter, actually being one letter drawn over another. to me it looks a lot like an ayin (which closely resembles a tzaddi) accidentally drawn, and then drawn over as much as possible to look like a tzaddi. Whatever it was, it was done in haste, and very poorly, but AC never wavered in saying that he felt it was a tzaddi, and so we must accept that that is the word he 'heard' during the dictation, and just wasn't able to draw it very well.[/quote]

It looks nothing like Crowley's Hebrew. If he was told Tzaddi, I am sure he would have drawn one, por written the word out. Look at his Tzaddi here, or in Liber Arcanorum. [url]http://www.the-equinox.org/vol1/no2/eqi02020f.html[/url]

But still, the Book of the Law does not say "Tzaddi is not Aquarius." It says "[Tzaddi] is the not the Star". If Tzaddi is still Aquarius, but not the star - then Aquarius is now The Emperor, and The Star is Aries, which is still Heh. The attribute changed is the Trump, not the zodiacal sign. This would be the proper switch indicated by "[Tzaddi] is not the star." Furthermore, there is more proof this might hold water. In fact I am still more inclined to think this holds more weight than just reassigning the celestial connections in the Sepher Yetzirah.

[quote]The alternative is that whatever letter it 'really' is, is being touted as the new letter-attribute of the Star card, whose name is officially 'Not the Star'. (e.g. all these old letters of my Book are aright, but [actually] ayin is not the Star)... but it stretches credulity to make such an interpretation. And it would still require two letters to be switched, so it does not make things any simpler.[/quote]

yah that is the kicker, every "switch" would indicate two are wrong in relation to Tarot.

Abrac
06-05-2011 15:58
Scratch that, I need to check something.

Abrac
06-05-2011 16:07
There's an article on tarot by one M. Le C. de M.*** (Comte de Mellet) that accompanied de Gébelin's own article in his [i]Monde Primitif[/i]. In it, de Mellet orders the trumps in reverse order, starting with the Universe and ending with the Fool. Following the list of trumps it says: "These twenty-two original Cards are not only hieroglyphics, which placed in their natural order tell the history of the first times, but they are also as many letters [the Hebrew alphabet is composed of 22 Letters]...." This article is noteworthy as one of the first sources (if the [i]the[/i] first) identifying a link between the tarot and the Hebrew alphabet.

An interesting aspect of de Mellet's arrangement is that if you assign the Hebrew alphabet in reverse order corresponding to his order: Universe=Aleph, Judgment=Beth, etc., Heh will correspond to the Star and Tzaddi to the Emperor.

So it would seem that the seeds for Crowley's reversal had existed for a long time. Whether or not this is where he got the idea will forever be a mystery, but it does raise questions.

[url=http://www.donaldtyson.com/gebelin.html]The Game of Tarots[/url] by Antoine Court de Gébelin with "Study on the Tarots" by by M. Le C. de M.*** (in English)

Aeon418
06-05-2011 20:57
[QUOTE=brightcrazystar]Also, NO version of the Sepher Yetzirah (Short, Long, Saaida, Gra, Gra-Ari) makes any changes to the Letters of the 12 Elementals, or Single Letters. The Changes are almost exclusively to the Double Letters and the Planets, none of which are fixed in Hebrew studies. This is searching for the unestablished.[/quote]And why not search for the unestablished? Why not go with something new? Particularly when the source purports to be a new dispensation. Or must we be restricted by the past? Just because something hasn't been done before, it doesn't mean it can't be done now.
[QUOTE=brightcrazystar]He is a Thelemite, and like many is biased toward the letter being a Tzadi. He is fairly dogmatic in his Thelemic mindset towards the works of Crowley.[/quote]You're quite possibly right. But then again you would really have to ask Jim for a difinitive answer.
[QUOTE=brightcrazystar]In fact, he comes from a time when most the copies of the Book of the Law did not include and could not include the original handwriting in facsimile manuscript.[/quote]Again, you would really have to ask Jim himself. But Jim has stated that he did not initially accept the Tzaddi switch, and argued with Soror Meral on this point. Plus Jim was able to examine the original manuscript, once it was found.
[QUOTE=brightcrazystar]The Glyph is unlike any Tzadi I have seen anywhere else. Crowley RESIGNED to make it Tzaddi and it was not a immediate change.[/quote]I agree. It does look like it has been re-written again later. But let me ask you something. How good is your written Hebrew? Personally I can write Hebrew script [i]at a certain pace[/i]. But I can't write it at anywhere near the same speed that I can English. If I were taking down dictation in haste and a Hebrew letter or word was suddenly thrown at me I would very likely just bodge it and carry on, or even write it in English.
[QUOTE=brightcrazystar]The problem is it says "all of these letters" BUT one... if it were a transposing, it should logically say "all but these two are aright, Heh and Tzaddi." A simple switch is not the solution, or TWO would not be aright.[/quote]OK, I'll try a bit of a tongue-in-cheek re-write of I:57.
"[i]All these old letters of my Book are aright; but [Tzaddi] is not the Star, and [Heh] is not the Emperor. This is not very secret, because I've just told you the answer. And my prophet does not have to reveal anything to anyone.[/i]" :laugh:

The fact remains that the only thing Crowley "revealed" was the the card switch. And even then he waited until the 1940's before going public. And his attitude seems to have been that most people wouldn't get it anyway. Even with the publication of MTP he was still using the old attributions, but calling them exoteric.
[quote]The letter He is the formula of Nuith, which makes possible the process described in the previous notes. But it is not permissible here to explain fully the exact matter or manner of this adjustment. I have preferred the exoteric attributions, which are sufficiently informative for the beginner.[/quote]There is no evidence that he tried to re-name the card or anything else. If a simple re-naming of the Star were required, as per RLG, why mention the letters at all? And what can any name change possibly reveal anyway? :confused:

Personally I've always been struck by, "my prophet shall reveal it." Heh is the letter of [i]revelation[/i].

brightcrazystar
07-05-2011 01:55
Abrac, that is amazing! Very cool to see. I might look more into this. I admit my knowledge of Qabala is greater than my academic knowledge of Tarot.

A418:

Searching for the unestablished is fine. Making redaction is also fine, if there is reason, or otherwise it just works, or works better. Innovation and tradition scratch each other's backs.

As for J.Eshelman, I have spoken to him about Crowley's writing and the Sepher Yetzirah, and many other topics. I know he did not originally accept the Heh-Tzaddi switch Crowley uses, but he does now. He knew it fit well, but could find no source for it like he does.

My written Hebrew is better than my written English. I am a Lefty, and honestly the best language I write is "Enochian." English is not my strong point people would be arguing over what those English words were around that fairly obvious [Tzadi]. "OK that is clearly a Tzadi. Does that say "Tzadi starts the car?", or "Tzadi is for her store?" No, silly! I says "Tzadi is not her work!" :)

As for a source for it, well that is sort of what Liber L vel Legis is, IF that is in fact what it says. That is my question, why doesn't it say "All these old signs of my stars are aright, but Tzadi is not Aquarius." It doesn't. It says "[Tzaddi] is not the Star." This implies that the incorrect attribution is with Aries to the Star, and Aquarius to the Emperor by ATBSh cipher. There are other ciphers to use. By ALBM cipher, the switch could be between Tzadi and Zain, for example. This would easily be just as eloquent as the ATBSh switch, and support the AL connection.

By ATBSh cipher, though, it says now that Tzadi (still Aquarius) is not the Star. It is the Emperor. The Star is Heh, that is to say Aries. Doesn't the make sense for the Lord of the Aeon changing, that the Nashir (Aquarius, as Bird of Prey) would become Emperor? This means Heh, as Aries, becomes the Star - the Scarlet Woman? Taleh (Aries) becomes the Star, and D'li (Aquarius) becomes the Emperor. This switches the focus of the Emperor from the Lamb (Taleh, or Aries) to the Bearer of the Gra'al. Neither of these signs are female. I still think the Major Arcanum should be Ordered to the Hebrew, and if that means changing the numbering of the Star and the Emperor, so be it.

But regardless, Crowley NEVER changed his own or any publication of 777 to reflect these values. In 777 - Heh is still Aries, so it is with most of the "practical" applications besides Tarot in magick, anyways. It is this way in MTP, Equinox, and many other tables of correspondence.

Personally, I favor the Emperor is Aquarius, in the Aeon of Horus - and Aries is the Star. It would at most require recoloring and reordering of the cards - and the Star would be red scale and the Emperor would be purple scale... but would make a far more interesting switch and not muck about with most every application of these in the Western Tradition as it currently exists.

As for the attribution of Tzadi to The Emperor, I can easily see this. I can however, see many others.

Aeon418
07-05-2011 04:02
[QUOTE=brightcrazystar]Searching for the unestablished is fine. Making redaction is also fine, if there is reason, or otherwise it just works, or works better. Innovation and tradition scratch each other's backs.[/quote]I come from an engineering background, so my primary focus is always, "does it work." Tradition and history have their place. But often when it comes to working with this stuff in a practical hands-on-way it does not matter so much.
[QUOTE=brightcrazystar]As for J.Eshelman, I have spoken to him about Crowley's writing and the Sepher Yetzirah, and many other topics. I know he did not originally accept the Heh-Tzaddi switch Crowley uses, but he does now. He knew it fit well, but could find no source for it like he does.[/quote]Fair enough. :) But it sounded like you were trying to paint Jim as some sort of dogmatic Tzaddi-funddie just because he [u]may[/u] not have had the opportunity to see the strange Tzaddi in the manuscript at an early enough date in his career. The implication being that if he had seen it early on he wouldn't be so sure of the switch today.

Just an observation. We're all a little guilty in this thread of refering to the notorious switch as the Tzaddi-Heh switch. When in actual fact Crowley never describes it in such terms. He only talks about counter-changing card positions. Crowley seems to have connected the zodiac signs to the cards first and foremost. The attributions to letters seem to come via the cards and not the other way around.
[QUOTE=brightcrazystar]But regardless, Crowley NEVER changed his own or any publication of 777 to reflect these values. In 777 - Heh is still Aries, so it is with most of the "practical" applications besides Tarot in magick, anyways. It is this way in MTP, Equinox, and many other tables of correspondence.[/quote]Like I already said, Crowley didn't go public with the switch until the 1940's with the publication of the Book of Thoth. Up until then it was a secret that was only communicated to initiates within Crowley's circle. In all publications up to that point he stayed with the Golden Dawn attributions, while dropping a hint here and there occasionally.

In the Book of Thoth Crowley did try to update the correspondence tables. We all know it wasn't a complete success. Whether Crowley simply made a hash of it, or was trying to communicate something indirectly through deliberate mistakes is an open question.

brightcrazystar
07-05-2011 05:12
[QUOTE=Aeon418]I come from an engineering background, so my primary focus is always, "does it work." Tradition and history have their place. But often when it comes to working with this stuff in a practical hands-on-way it does not matter so much.
Fair enough. :) But it sounded like you were trying to paint Jim as some sort of dogmatic Tzaddi-funddie just because he [u]may[/u] not have had the opportunity to see the strange Tzaddi in the manuscript at an early enough date in his career. The implication being that if he had seen it early on he wouldn't be so sure of the switch today. [/quote]

Well, look at this way, what EXACTLY in the functioning component of the The Star? As a rule, what would be the best, most integrated material for that component to be made of - heh or tzaddi, or some other?

One thing is clear, The Book of the Law, does not say "Tzadi is Aries" - I can find nowhere where this switch of these traditions needs to be made. It PERHAPS implies that "Aquarius" is not the Star. The ATBSh cipher would render this to Aries being the Star, and the Emperor being Aquarius. This would change the order number of the Trumps, which is PERSONALLY the way I would work with that. However, I am still not totally convinced it it is a Tzaddi. I generally think Crowely's switch is still up for debate in no less than five ways. I generally, however, do reject the interpretation as "Tzadi is Not, The Star" as simply too convenient, and in the context of the passage, redundant and obviously would not require any change but the name of the Trump.

As for Crowley wirting other languages, he was clearly not bothered by the switch to Greek for "Thelema" in the approriate verse detailing the "word of the Law."

[quote]Just an observation. We're all a little guilty in this thread of refering to the notorious switch as the Tzaddi-Heh switch. When in actual fact Crowley never describes it in such terms. He only talks about counter-changing card positions. Crowley seems to have connected the zodiac signs to the cards first and foremost. The attributions to letters seem to come via the cards and not the other way around. [/quote]

Connecting the Letters to the Signs of the Zodiac is the Sepher Yetzirah.
Connecting the Letters to the Trumps is the revision of Eliphas Levi.

The verse corrects Levi, [Tzadi] and The Star, not Tzaddi and Aquarius. There is no cause, by the verse, to alter the association of Aries and Aquaruis to the traditional letters from the Sepher Yetzirah. The Card order could change, for every number is infinite; there is no difference. The Associations could change, from Trump to Letter, but the fact is "Tzadi as Aries" is not refuted in the Book of the Law.

If in fact, Heh is the Star, and Heh is STILL Aries - it reconciles easily. The Star is now Aries, and is attributed to Heh. The result is The Emperor is now Aquarius, and is STILL Tzadi. The transition to the Tarot does not mean it switches all attributes. It simply requires a reordering (and perhaps recoloring) of the Trumps in question.

As for the idea of Heh, and thus Aries, or Taleh, to The Star, this is quite sublime. Even moreso is the notion that Tzadi, and thus Aquarius or D'li, is now on the Throne of the Emperor. The Khabs is in the Khu, not the Khu in the Khabs, indeed. And look how it changes the linear tale of the Major Arcanum is these are switched. If it isn't enough to have the Star between The Empress and the Hierophant, then how about the fact that The Emperor emerges from the Fall of the Tower. Is this the real intent, I do not know. I wasnt' there.

The "open expanse" of the star, and the theme of Ganymedes as the bearer of he Grail is then brought to bear in the Emperor; as well as another Grail Bearer - Parzival. I personally REALLY like that idea, and implement it in my own deck, which is still under development - and REALLY needs to get underway. (At least my artist is almost free)

[quote]Like I already said, Crowley didn't go public with the switch until the 1940's with the publication of the Book of Thoth. Up until then it was a secret that was only communicated to initiates within Crowley's circle. In all publications up to that point he stayed with the Golden Dawn attributions, while dropping a hint here and there occasionally.[/quote]

Most of Crowley's Inner Circle, to hear tell, did not even focus on Tarot. It is clear We know it was not a passion of Lady Frieda Harris, Jane Wolfe, or Germer. Of all his inner circle, it seems the I Ching was FAR more favoured. Even Crowley preferred it. Tarot is not the largest component of any form of Magic I have ever seen, and certainly not even Crowley's own Qabala.

[quote]In the Book of Thoth Crowley did try to update the correspondence tables. We all know it wasn't a complete success. Whether Crowley simply made a hash of it, or was trying to communicate something indirectly through deliberate mistakes is an open question.[/QUOTE]

I sense that he simply is trying to still convince himself, so he is getting a bit mixed up in that. I think he created a different working assumtion, and all have their own merits. I just don't see any definable merit to the idea of changing Tzadi to Aries and Heh to Aquarius. I can rationalize it, but do not see how it changes much for the better. Do you?

Aeon418
09-05-2011 21:23
[quote=brightcrazystar]One thing is clear, The Book of the Law, does not say "Tzadi is Aries"[/quote]Of course not. It quite clearly says Tzaddi is not the Star. 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?

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. 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=brightcrazystar]I can find nowhere where this switch of these traditions needs to be made.[/quote]So we're back to the chicken and the egg again. Because it does not already exist, it can't exist?
[quote=brightcrazystar]I generally think Crowely's switch is still up for debate in no less than five ways. I generally, however, do reject the interpretation as "Tzadi is Not, The Star" as simply too convenient, and in the context of the passage, redundant and obviously would not require any change but the name of the Trump.[/quote]In the context of how Crowley saw the Tarot+Zodiac pairings it seems far from redundant to me.
[quote=brightcrazystar]As for Crowley wirting other languages, he was clearly not bothered by the switch to Greek for "Thelema" in the approriate verse detailing the "word of the Law."[/quote]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=brightcrazystar]The verse corrects Levi, [Tzadi] and The Star, not Tzaddi and Aquarius. There is no cause, by the verse, to alter the association of Aries and Aquaruis to the traditional letters from the Sepher Yetzirah.[/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. 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=brightcrazystar]Most of Crowley's Inner Circle, to hear tell, did not even focus on Tarot.[/quote]Favoured divination methods have nothing to do with revealing secret correspondences. In all of Crowley's publications up to the 1940's he used the Golden Dawn scheme. But he had already figured it out, and was using the swap decades before then. His diaries are evidence of this fact. It was only with the publication of the Book of Thoth that he decided to go public. And, had he lived long enough, he would have done it again in Liber Aleph.
[quote=brightcrazystar]I sense that he simply is trying to still convince himself, so he is getting a bit mixed up in that.[/quote]Personally I see simple editorial mistakes that weren't caught before publishing. Crowley was playing around with both the old and new attributions over 20 years earlier.

Grigori
09-05-2011 23:29
I find Gunther's presentation on the doctrine of the Thelemic Messiah the most compelling argument supporting the switch, based on much of Crowley work outside of only Liber Al. To me it is primarily tzaddi that is not the Star (rather than heh is not the emperor) for the many reasons he presents.

This is not to say that tzaddi was not the Star. To argue that Crowley was trying to correct an error in previous attributions seems to miss the point entirely. To me, it makes undeniable and stunning sense that tzaddi was the Star, but is no longer.

I don't consider any system of attributions correct, nor would consider any system incorrect for being contradictory to my own. But tzaddi is not the Thelemic Star, that I am certain of. For details I can only recommend chapter 5 of Gunther's book, as to do his description justice I would have to copy the whole thing here, so shall not try.

RLG
10-05-2011 02:31
[QUOTE=Aeon418]
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. Arguments that the signs go with the letters are irrelevant because Crowley did not see it that way. ... and to him the signs and the cards went together. 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]

Dwtw

I have to disagree somewhat with this. The reason that the signs are paired with certain cards is because of the Hebrew Alef-bet order, and for no other reason. The GD even switched the order of Strength and Justice specifically so that the letter order would stay linear, and the symbols on the cards would be aligned with the zodiac signs of the letters.

The Hebrew letters are the fundamental symbol, then the zodiac, then the Tarot; in that order.

So to say that AC did not see the signs going with the letters is not entirely accurate; he knew why each sign was aligned with a Tarot trump; but when he did his swap, he certainly did not switch the signs as well, (which a SY 'purist' would insist on). This is evidence that although he knew the letter-sign connection, he was only interested in the letter-trump connection, as you noted. 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.


Litlluw

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.

Aeon418
11-05-2011 22:00
[QUOTE=Ross G Caldwell]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.[/QUOTE]Well said, Ross. :)

Getting a handle on Crowley's symbolic world view is an essential part of creating a solid foundation on which future exploration and speculation can be based. Knowing how Crowley used and viewed these symbols provides much needed context and direction. I don't understand how some people can advocate ignoring that context in favour something else. Like it or not, the core Thelemic texts were filtered through the architecture of Crowley's mind and thought patterns. To then claim that Crowley's views and ideas are irrelevant to the understanding of these texts is crazy in my opinion.

Ross G Caldwell
11-05-2011 22:01
[QUOTE=Aeon418]
Of course it depends on how you interpret the third ordeal, but I am not inclined to disagree with you. [/QUOTE]

Speaking of the Ordeals, here is an interpretation of The Comment (in Class A) as a key to them.


A comment on The Comment

The four injunctions of "The Comment in Class A" or "Tunis Comment" can be seen as magical and moral tests, and as interpretative keys to some passages of the Book of the Law. That is, each is one of the Powers of the Sphinx or Magical Virtues, each an element, and each also explains one of the "Ordeals" of AL III: 64-67, as well as to the "grades" of "thelemites" in I:40, followed by the summary command of the Law.

1. Each of the four admonitions or injunctions corresponds to one of the four Powers of the Sphinx - "To Know" (Scire), "To Will" (Velle), "To Dare" (Audere), and "To Stay Silent" (Tacere).

The first admonition, "The study of this book is forbidden. It is wise to destroy this copy after the first reading", corresponds to Scire, to know. Those who know their Wills will be in agreement with the essential moral message of the book, and have no further need to read it. Those who either do not know, or know but are curious and courageous anyway, will disobey the admonition and dare to walk in a dangerous place.

Thus the second admonition, "Whosoever disregards this does so at his own risk and peril. These are most dire", corresponds to "Audere", to dare. It is daring to read it a second time, and thereupon to study it.

The third admonition concerns the Power of Silence, Tacere: "Those who discuss the contents of this book are to be shunned by all, as centres of pestilence." Thus they do not discuss it, but remain in silent contemplation, or do they do not mind being shunned by all, and become like Hermits.

The final injunction therefore corresponds to Velle, to Will: "All questions of the Law are to be decided only by appeal to my writings, each for himself." Thus this final sentence of The Comment presumes that the reader has dared to know, to have questions, to have respected silence in regards to others' interpretations, and finishes with an appeal to the primacy of the individual Will.

2. Each Power corresponds to one of the four elements:

Scire - Air - Fool
Audere - Water - Hanged Man
Tacere - Earth - Hermit (Virgo)
Velle - Fire - New Aeon ("Do What Thou Wilt")

(cfr. Liber D, s.v. 741 "(Sum of) 1-38; AMThSh, the letters of the elements, hence a concealed YHVH")

3. The Ordeals of reading AL III:64-67 can be read in the light of The Comment.

First Ordeal - Silver - To Know
Second Ordeal - Gold - To Dare
Third Ordeal - Stones of precious water - To Stay Silent
Fourth Ordeal - Ultimate sparks of the intimate fire - To Will

To Know the Book makes it the reflection of Silver (the Moon); to Dare to study the Book makes it the achievement of Gold (the Sun). To Keep Silence about the Book makes it the alchemical transmutation of Stones of Precious Water (the Secret). To Will the Book makes it the highest Initiation, Ultimate Sparks of the Intimate Fire (the Highest in the Lowest).

4. The Three Grades of Thelemites, with the final Power of the Sphinx.
THELEMA

The
Hermit
Earth
Lover
Earth
Man of Earth
All

Or -

THELEMITES

The
Hermit
Earth
Lover
Earth
Man of Earth
I
T
E ("Ite", To Go, the Fifth Power of the Sphinx, "Do What Thou Wilt…")
Sparks (the ultimate letter and reward of ordeal)

Thus the Man of Earth subsumes the other grades (by the letter "e"="earth" between all of them), and prepares for the final step, "Do What Thou Wilt Shall Be The Whole Of The Law", which is synonymous with the Fifth Power of the Sphinx, and the Fourth Ordeal of III:67. Note that the final sentence of the verse I:40 is not a grade, but an explanation of the word Thelema, which in itself has three grades, but is summed up in the last "word" of eleven words.

The word Thelema as three grades and "Do What Thou Wilt…" thus corresponds to the last Ordeal, "To Will", in which the Book will be seen as "ultimate sparks of the intimate fire."

That intimate fire is the Great Work, and the ultimate sparks are the creations flung out of the furnace of its activity.

Richard
12-05-2011 01:19
Since this forum is about the Thoth, there really can be no argument about the Heh-Star-Aquarius and Tzaddi-Emperor-Aries correspondences. I just personally feel more comfortable with the natural alignment of the simple letters with the zodiac. Simply interchanging Emperor with Star but keeping the GD's Letter-Path-Zodiac correspondences is not acceptable because I don't want to disconnect the Star from Aquarius. Sigh.

With my trusty Marseille Tarot firmly in hand, I shall run away from these arcane issues for awhile. :)

Always Wondering
12-05-2011 01:23
[QUOTE=Ross G Caldwell]Speaking of the Ordeals, here is an interpretation of The Comment (in Class A) as a key to them.
[/QUOTE]

This is very helpful, Ross. I was going to have to ask about the third ordeal this morning, but this explains so much. Thanks for posting it.

AW

Aeon418
12-05-2011 05:30
[QUOTE=Ross G Caldwell]Speaking of the Ordeals, here is an interpretation of The Comment (in Class A) as a key to them.[/quote]Ross, just out of curiosity, do you regard the Comment as Class A? It's official status is a bone of contention in some circles. At one extreme there seems to be the view that it is an inspired text whose purpose, among others, is to prohibit the kind of discussion we are having in this thread. At the other end of the spectrum there are people who outright reject the Comment as un-Thelemic.

As far as I know Crowley never gave it any official designation. The first occurance of it's Class A status that I can find is in a book authored by Marcelo Motta. Oddly enough it is also Motta's ex pupils, Breeze, Gunther, and Wasserman, who make the same claim today. (And of course Breeze a.k.a. Hymenaeus Beta is the current editor of the "official" Crowley publications at the moment, and so it's his view on the Comment that gets published.)

Knowing the circumstances under which it was written I'm not altogether convinced it is was "inspired" in the sense implied by Class A. (Basically it was a tool of convenience to get Norman Mudd off Crowley's back.) But I don't reject it either. I like the challenge it presents to the reader.

brightcrazystar
12-05-2011 05:39
[QUOTE=Aeon418]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]

Note, I never said this. You seem to be tailoring me to be the advesary you are used to dealing with. I just exercise caution in thinking I know when he was right, or what he was thinking. Crowely made of himself such a man that it is impossible to know him through his writings. The study is for people willing to do their own research. The laity have everything spelled out for them. Crowley was MUCH more intent on making people make sense of their own work than his. Also note, I do not have a preference to associations - I do not work that way. To me "Let Tzaddi equal Aries" and "Let Tzaddi equal Aquarius" are dimensions I CREATE as working assumptions; the dimensions of variables I need for the formulas of my work. I will back up that there is no reason to switch the Sepher Yetzirah, but that is just because to me translation should be FAITHFUL. Footnotes can easily clarify Crowley's association - which has NOTHING to do with the Sepher Yetzirah. I do not say one is wrong, I say one has no basis in the Sepher Yetzirah.

As for what Crowley heard, no one here knows it was a Tzaddi. We only know it was remembered to be a Tzaddi five years later, on the other side of a bit of memory loss.

[quote]Which people exactly and when? Can you provide referrences?
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]

How much more need for dogma is there for a self-determining world. What better exposition of Law than a mosiac of the mysticism of the ages? The whole world is post-modern now, or at least post-post modern. Interpretation is everything.

As for who - Short list: Ebony Anpu was the last person to speak to Grady McMurtry. I was the last person to speak to Ebony, as he was my teacher and I subletted a room from him. He swore to me that it was a different matter entirely - nothing about any Hebrew letter at all. I honestly believe he believed that. What he told me made sense. I never spoke to Grady, but several people agree that Grady was convinced it was not a Tzaddi by Crowley himself - even if it was just an entertaining thought. Crowley to his end days entertained skepticism to his own integrity and importance. Why shouldn't we? Professor Bob Stein is one of the most enthusiatic and informed Thelemic scholars I know of, and he remains as unconvinced of any one thing or any other thing as I. He has lectured and authored papers on this subject. Sam Webster, Joseph Maxx, and others I knew far before there was a Open Source Golden Dawn, all still remain unconvinced. I have also heard it from several people down the O.T.O. line much more versed in this. The current Master of Tahuti Lodge and I discussed it this very last weekend, and several weekends before - during a social luncheon after Initiations. Several members of the Rose Croix, my own Bishop in the E.G.C., and even a member of the Electoral College (though Bob was one for 11 years anyways) that is one of the closest living links to Crowley himself - Bill Heidrick. It was Phyllis and Eshelman of all the people I met, who demanded it could be no other letter or solutions. Their fall-back each time was the same part of the Book of Thoth - a book known to have several other inaccuracies and contrary thoughts in it. Several people in the "Thelemistas" schism of the old Thelema Lodge (my old lodge) were some of the most senior people in the Order, and many are still leaving a verdict out. C.F. Russell also questioned it, and apparently debated both for it and against it with Crowely himself, each playing both part of the debate.

Personally, I have read many documents and not all of them vibe with the Book of Thoth interpretation. Furthermore, as a student and Initiate I am encouraged to think for myself, not simply take anything for granted. As for this, I see it is an INELEGANT solution - for it does not address the subject to the letter. It requires TWO letters go aright, not simply one.

[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]

I personally do no such thing. But everytime someone brings up a copy of the Sepher Yetzirah with an unfaithful correspondence of Tzaddi and Heh, I do say there is no base for that besides in Crowely's work.

[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.[/QUOTE]

But it was after the Equinox of the Gods, and the commentary was written long after his acceptance of Thelema and in by 1924 he was still using those attributes, which he dieliberates in some of his final years in his diaries - then PERHAPS there is no reason for anyone ese to think or claim they can address this with authority.

I have it on good faith, and can confirm by personal experience even the mystery traditions of the west that hold this change do not apply it across the board - not even Jim Eshelman. They use what suits their purpose, or what is the most harmonious, and sometimes simply what tradition dictates - even in regards to the letters Heh and Tzaddi. Crowley did the same, if that matters to you.

Aeon418
12-05-2011 05:49
[QUOTE=brightcrazystar]Note, I never said this. You seem to be tailoring me to be the advesary you are used to dealing with.[/quote]Just a quickie before I go out the door. My usage of the the word "you" was intended to be generic. I do appologise if you feel victimized by my comments. It was not my intention. :)

Richard
12-05-2011 07:46
[QUOTE=Aeon418].....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]Forget the Sepher Yetzirah for a moment. What's bothersome is that there is a logical correspondence between the twelve simple letters and the twelve zodiacal signs. The pairings Heh-Aries, Vau-Taurus, Zayin-Gemini, etc. is a simple correspondence based on the order of occurrence of the letters and the order of the signs. The eleventh simple letter Tzaddi is paired with the eleventh sign Aquarius. [B]It is an observation, not an invention of the Sepher Yetzirah.[/B] Changing this violates the mathematical elegance, that's all.

[Now, back to the TdM.]

RLG
12-05-2011 08:12
[QUOTE=Aeon418]And why on earth would he? I'm suddenly thinking about Mohammed and a mountain for some reason...[/QUOTE]
Not sure what you mean here, I was responding to your comment.


[QUOTE=Aeon418]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]

Absolutely, the assumption is that the SY attributions are the starting point, and they are kept in every other instance of letter-zodiac correlation. so naturally i am indicating the idea of Tzaddi = Aquarius within the confines of the tradition whence it originated. if one goes beyond that tradition, then any correlation whatsoever can be spoken of. But AC was working from within the GD paradigm.

I think it would be helpful to distinguish between my insistence that the zodiac stays with the letter, and the supposed 'correctness' of such a thing. I don't care if the SY is correct or not, least of all do I presume this because of its age and tradition. I don't even use those associations myself. But when discussing this subject, one has to start where AC started, and that is ultimately from the SY, as modified by the GD, Mckenzie, Mathers, et. al.

Hopefully we can quit flogging that horse now. I say tradition be damned...but respected in its context.

[QUOTE=Aeon418]
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.[/QUOTE]

Well, AC thought it pretty important to rename the virtues and the Angel/Judgement in his tarot. That's four re-named cards. (he also posited a couple alternatives to VI and XVI in TBOT). If renaming had no revelatory effect, why did he bother to do that?

I've seen you do lots of gematria on these pages; surely these different names for things don't reveal anything to the wise, do they ;-)

Litlluw

Ross G Caldwell
12-05-2011 18:37
[QUOTE=Aeon418]Ross, just out of curiosity, do you regard the Comment as Class A? It's official status is a bone of contention in some circles. At one extreme there seems to be the view that it is an inspired text whose purpose, among others, is to prohibit the kind of discussion we are having in this thread. At the other end of the spectrum there are people who outright reject the Comment as un-Thelemic.

As far as I know Crowley never gave it any official designation. The first occurance of it's Class A status that I can find is in a book authored by Marcelo Motta. Oddly enough it is also Motta's ex pupils, Breeze, Gunther, and Wasserman, who make the same claim today. (And of course Breeze a.k.a. Hymenaeus Beta is the current editor of the "official" Crowley publications at the moment, and so it's his view on the Comment that gets published.)

Knowing the circumstances under which it was written I'm not altogether convinced it is was "inspired" in the sense implied by Class A. (Basically it was a tool of convenience to get Norman Mudd off Crowley's back.) But I don't reject it either. I like the challenge it presents to the reader.[/QUOTE]

I've always taken for granted that it was Class A, and like you, I appreciate the challenge it represents (as well as its ironic humor). I like grappling with extreme and paradoxical things.

I guess the the fact that it is printed without equivocation in [i]Equinox of the Gods[/i], the note on page 126 of that book says it is "the really inspired comment" (the one promised in III:40), it seems authoritative in the 1938 AL, he reiterates his claim of "inspiration" in [i]Magick Without Tears[/i] 50 (p. 316 of the Falcon Press 1982 edition), and nothing Crowley himself writes seems to indicate any degree of doubt about its authority, just led me to take it for granted as "The Comment" promised in the Book itself.

But, you're right, I can't find an explicit assertion by Crowley that it is "Class A". I haven't seen the diary for November 1925 in which he must have written it.

I haven't met anybody who actually read it once and destroyed it. Most who go on to become Thelemites seem happy to take the "Dare" and become "centres of pestilence".

So - I guess there is room for doubt about whether it should be taken as Class A then (and therefore open to Qabalistic analysis). Common usage and Crowley's example would seem to put it there, but there is no explicit acknowledgment of its status beyond "inspired".

Always Wondering
13-05-2011 01:52
[QUOTE=Ross G Caldwell]So - I guess there is room for doubt about whether it should be taken as Class A then (and therefore open to Qabalistic analysis). Common usage and Crowley's example would seem to put it there, but there is no explicit acknowledgment of its status beyond "inspired".[/QUOTE]

So only Class A works are open to Qabalistic analysis? I've never really read much about the classes of material. Is there a guide or something?

AW

Ross G Caldwell
13-05-2011 02:59
[QUOTE=Always Wondering]So only Class A works are open to Qabalistic analysis? I've never really read much about the classes of material. Is there a guide or something?

AW[/QUOTE]

Sorry, that was poorly phrased. Of course anything at all is open to Qabalistic analysis. For a Thelemic instance, look at the "Interlude" in Magick in Theory and Practice. If you're steeped in the stuff, you can interpret anything through that lens.

What I meant to say was that if inspired in the Class A sense, we might expect the text to [i]contain[/i], conceal, reveal, etc., the same kind of word, gematria, and mathematical relationships that the other Class A books do. This is in contrast to the inner dynamic Qabalism of the "Interlude" and every adept's practice of seeing everything at all Qabalistically, from a stubbed toe to a Spoonerism to a shooting star on Wednesday night at 10:15 pm. These depend on the level of the adept's "qabalization", rather than on the intent of the source or cause of the event, like in the case of the Class A texts.

brightcrazystar
13-05-2011 03:55
Here are the general classes of publication, AW:


A. Text which represent the Adept. They are considered the "Holy" books.
B. Essays, usually on pre-existing topics, redacting them for The New Aeon
C. Opinion, and suggestions. Crowley as scholar writing to other scholar.
D. Official Rituals and Instructions
E. Manifestos, Public Statements. Writings addressed to humanity at large.

Many people argue as the Book of the Law requires a comment,per its own instructions, that the comment is part of the book. It is otherwise not a seperate publications and that would make it a Class E and Class D, or perhaps just a Class E. There is case of writings being in more than one class.

Aeon418
13-05-2011 04:06
[QUOTE=brightcrazystar]As for what Crowley heard, no one here knows it was a Tzaddi. We only know it was remembered to be a Tzaddi five years later, on the other side of a bit of memory loss.[/quote]We know no such thing! After the dictation and sometime before he left Egypt, Crowley prepared a typescript and two carbons from the original manuscript. Now irrespective of any memory loss that Crowley [i][u]may[/u][/i] have suffered over the years, it's a bit of a stretch to suggest that his memory failed in the space of a few days and prevented him bashing out a copy on a typewriter.

As we all know Crowley eventually misplaced the original manuscript, but he never lost the Book of the Law. He always had a copy of the typescript to work from. (At one point he was even considering publishing it as part of his Collected Works.) So to suggest that Crowley's recollection of the Tzaddi symbol rests on the discovery of the manuscript five years later is a bit of a weak argument.
[QUOTE=brightcrazystar]But it was after the Equinox of the Gods, and the commentary was written long after his acceptance of Thelema and in by 1924 he was still using those attributes,[/quote]Crowley was still in his experimental period then. His diaries from that time show that he was using the old and new attributions on an either/or basis. He didn't have full confidence in the new attributions until the 1930's.

As for the commentary, it must be pointed out that he received the vision in question in 1909. A time when his symbol set was still true to the Golden Dawn scheme. In places this is reflected in the vision. (Note how he refers to Heh as the perfected Sulphur.) In 1924 he was still experimenting with the attributions, so he went along with what he knew best at the time.

brightcrazystar
13-05-2011 13:30
[QUOTE=Aeon418]We know no such thing! After the dictation and sometime before he left Egypt, Crowley prepared a typescript and two carbons from the original manuscript. Now irrespective of any memory loss that Crowley [i][u]may[/u][/i] have suffered over the years, it's a bit of a stretch to suggest that his memory failed in the space of a few days and prevented him bashing out a copy on a typewriter. [/quote]

He also first prepared for the publication of the Book of the Law in 1907. A time when also was first known to proclaim himself in touch with the Third Order. Despite what he says later, he showed it to Elaine Simpson (Soror Fidelis) and he was bid in a scrying session to go back to Egypt, which he did not do.

People say this 1909 timeline like it is gospel, even though he was already writing the Majority of the Holy Books, including the account of a Master of the Temple before this time. Many of these are where we see the emerging authority. Crowley's admissions and his diaries are full of contradictions, and that is where the greatest support for this comes.

It seems to me that a person claiming Mastery of the Temple, and such authority as Magick in Theory and Practice would have had some great idea of his importance enough to have solidified his use of the Hebrew Letters, if they were to be the fundamental key of the magick of the West he hoped Qabala to be.

[quote]As we all know Crowley eventually misplaced the original manuscript, but he never lost the Book of the Law. He always had a copy of the typescript to work from. (At one point he was even considering publishing it as part of his Collected Works.) So to suggest that Crowley's recollection of the Tzaddi symbol rests on the discovery of the manuscript five years later is a bit of a weak argument.[/quote]

The symbol is overwritten, and likely with a different implement. It surely looks like a deliberation on the glyph to me. Most of the contents of the book of the law, contrary to thoughts on the matter, DID NOT etch themselves onto the memory of Aleister Crowley at the time of dictation.

[quote]
Crowley was still in his experimental period then. His diaries from that time show that he was using the old and new attributions on an either/or basis. He didn't have full confidence in the new attributions until the 1930's.[/quote]

Crowley's LIFE was one experimental period after another. No one is required to accept each of them. He expressed eaily as much doubt as he did determination on many a subject. There is a lot of Book of Thoth one can be skeptical of, and still find value in the rest.

[quote]As for the commentary, it must be pointed out that he received the vision in question in 1909. A time when his symbol set was still true to the Golden Dawn scheme. In places this is reflected in the vision. (Note how he refers to Heh as the perfected Sulphur.) In 1924 he was still experimenting with the attributions, so he went along with what he knew best at the time.[/QUOTE]

Who is so sure this is true? I heard Eshelman claim this, but found little evidence of it besides Soror Meral's insisting. I respectfully remain skeptical it was this simple.

In 1909, he was already claiming Master of the Temple, had already started A.'.A.'., and was already taken to claiming superior authority among all Adepts. He started this in 1907, and expects people to imagine he had not yet considered the importance of the book of the law, though it had been instrumental to so many of his 1907 and 1908 work. hmm?

The exact criteria is not met by a counter-change he proposes. This would mean TWO letters are not aright. The exact phrasing, is ALL of these letters of "my old book" (presumed to be Tarot) are "aright" - ALL of them. it continues - "but [a mark on the page] is not the Star." What can be far more telling is the following possibilities are in no way the only ones to consider:

The symbol could be a Beth, proto-hebrew - and a correction on Crowely's specific understanding of the Star - thus the eight pointed on the Star is in fact, Venus, at the topmost point of the 28th path between Netzach and Yesod. Crowley spoke of it as Mercury long before. And it could be saying [proto-hebrew Beth and Masoretic Beth overwritten] is not the Star. Crowley has NO knowledge of proto-Hebrew, so he could not know such a thing; while Aiwass might very well. This understanding makes for a great interpretation of the text, but remains a personal conjecture, not an insistence. As "Star" is "Kokabh", the name of the Sphere of Mercury in the Hebrew, this is even a greater notion of reason.

The symbol could be the single worst Tzaddi I have ever seen instance of in my life, but I do not see why in his first Magical prime Crowley, who left other instances of Hebrew would make it look so horrible. Furthermore, the switch to Masoretic hebrew is uncharacteristic of the book. Furthermore, the verse does not mention any changing of the Zodiacal attributions, or placement on the Tree of Life. Even if it is a Tzaddi, all it speaks to is the inaccurate title of the Star. If this was the intent, it was poorly implemented. Also, Crowley's claim for a loop made to counteract Leo and Libra are not accurate. The Symbol has nothing to do with Tarot, and may be some other sense. In this case one should even wonder if it is Hebrew at all.

Mul La-Gula is the "Great One" - the ultimate origin of Aquarius. Retitling Key XVII by the name "The Great One" is perhaps enough to recorrect the change. This constellation is also called the "Kidney Star" and was connected to observations of the planet Venus, and Inanna as enthorned bride of Ea. Later emerging as a syncretic form Mul-La-Gula is later seen as a masculine being, but originally was female. Lahmu was the being incorporated as the component to make the masculine form, though he is often shown with his enthroned female consort.

This is an elegant solution, and speak to scholarship not available in Crowley's time... which simply requires a retitling of a card, and a clarification that would change the number of the stars in the sky on the card, from Eight to Seven, or the number of points, the number of stars, or both. At this rate, there become more than a few different options.

Something was written and Crowley tried to make sense of it in retrospect, and made a riddle where there was none. It is confounded by his own overwriting of the mark, and some brains (even his own) see it as one symbol.

The underlying symbol could be a 90 degree rotated Heh, and masoretically marked as Final. Again poorly illustrated, but this has more than a few times mentioned.

The exact nature of that verse was deliberately withheld by Crowley, or lost as a few parts of the book were in the first chapter. This is part of it major complication.

RLG
13-05-2011 14:49
Dwtw

A solution to AL I:57 that requires changing only one Hebrew letter, not two:
All these old letters of my Book are aright, but Tzaddi is not the Star...Tzaddi final is.

Litlluw
RLG

brightcrazystar
13-05-2011 15:28
[QUOTE=RLG]Dwtw

A solution to AL I:57 that requires changing only one Hebrew letter, not two:
All these old letters of my Book are aright, but Tzaddi is not the Star...Tzaddi final is.

Litlluw
RLG[/QUOTE]

Good one!

[quote]It is finally to be observed that the white light which descends upon him indicates the position of this card in the Tree of Life. His authority is derived from Chokmah, the creative Wisdom, the Word, and is exerted upon Tiphareth, the organized man.[/quote]

- [i]Crowley, on the Emperor in Book of Thoth, as befits the path between Chockmah and Tiphareth.[/i]

Though I still wonder if the Book of Thoth, was published to his liking as it was published 2 years and nine months before the end of his life, when he was already terribly suffering and shortly before he would have a constant nurse. As it was, the terrible pressure of knowing this would likely be his last publication was extreme, so the likelyhood for error was great, but the quote above could be no error, if it is displayed on the card, and so succinctly describes a specific position on the Tree. I see the book, and feel the optimism wrapped in it, and the idea that he is still looking for validation of Magick as much as himself in a world that owes his several degress of gratitude, even for all his mucking up a few things of relatively low consequence.

Unfortunately, though, one of those things loosed of integrity is his own credibility and for that he remains a subject of scrutiny and conjecture - which humanizes him, and makes me admire him more. To think he dared where Gods fear to tread, knowing how great he portent for failure... That is a life dedicated the powers of the Sphinx! I think there is a good chance he was not supposed to succeed entirely as he hoped, or even claimed. I refuse to be dogmatic about a single word of Crowley's. In all things, consider.

Otherwise, why would the notions of failure be so great in the Book of the Law. As most Initiates know, the penalties and the threats are also the rewards in their own way. This is why you can tell a real Magician is giving a sign, he does so with the weight of his experience of the Grade, not simply a textbook knowledge of some trivia about mythology. A person must purify their will before they bid it be done, or it can be actually very non-life affirming and self- destructive. How much then for a Magician who could scarcely speak a daily obeisance for a month without begging the universe for a distraction? He was a prototype in need of future models by his own admission. He also was adamant there were things he had concealed, mistaken, and simply not thought to do. That is the point our work begins.

Richard
13-05-2011 15:51
[QUOTE=RLG]Dwtw

A solution to AL I:57 that requires changing only one Hebrew letter, not two:
All these old letters of my Book are aright, but Tzaddi is not the Star...Tzaddi final is.

Litlluw
RLG[/QUOTE]Clever. :D Or one could just leave out Tzaddi and use Heh for both the Star and the Emperor, just as there are two occurrences of Heh in the Tetragrammaton, each with a different significance. Anyhow, Tzaddi spelled out is 104, which by Pythagorean numerology reduces to Heh = 5.

Aeon418
14-05-2011 03:29
[quote]All these old letters of my Book are aright; but צ is not the Star. This also is secret: my prophet shall reveal it to the wise.[/quote]Whether we regard the "prophet" as Crowley or another person, it is clear that this person shall know the answer to the riddle and will reveal it.

I don't regard myself as this prophet, so I just work with the transposition that Crowley proposed. But some people are convinced that Crowley's solution is wrong. OK, fair enough. Then they go one step further and provide their own solutions.

So my question is: which one of you guys is the prophet?

brightcrazystar
14-05-2011 04:18
I am, save that I understand a little

;)

RLG
14-05-2011 06:57
Dwtw

So am I, for I know the law of the Fortress :-)

Litlluw
Resh Lamed Gimel

RLG
14-05-2011 07:12
[QUOTE=LRichard]Clever. :D Or one could just leave out Tzaddi and use Heh for both the Star and the Emperor, just as there are two occurrences of Heh in the Tetragrammaton, each with a different significance. Anyhow, Tzaddi spelled out is 104, which by Pythagorean numerology reduces to Heh = 5.[/QUOTE]


Dwtw

The 'tzaddi' glyph is the 104th letter on page 18 of chapter 1.
Tzaddi is the 18th letter of Hebrew, and spelled in full it equals 104

This glyph is also the 111th letter on the page, when going "from right to left and from top to bottom", suggesting also a connection with Alef, which is 111 when spelled in full. Though I see aspects of an Alef in this glyph, I would not suggest that is what he was trying to write, especially because Alef and Tzaddi have similar shapes. Since no other letter was attributed to the Star, Tzaddi is the only thing that makes sense, and the internal evidence of the 'chance shape of the letters and their position to one another' lends additional weight to this conclusion.

Purely by visual evidence, I believe AC attempted to write a Tzaddi, but actually drew an Ayin, (they are rather similar), realized his mistake, and overdrew a Tzaddi as best he could in the haste to keep up with the dictation.
Curiously, he never seemed to explain in print why this glyph is drawn so poorly. But whatever the first marks were, it certainly looks like the overwrite was an attempt at a Tzaddi, which lends further credence to the idea that it was the word Tzaddi that he heard from the mouth of Aiwass.


Litlluw
RLG

Aeon418
14-05-2011 07:18
[QUOTE=RLG]So am I, for I know the law of the Fortress :-)[/QUOTE]
[b][u]He[/u][/b], my prophet hath chosen, knowing the law of the fortress, and the great mystery of the House of God.

RLG
14-05-2011 07:33
Amazing what the 'stops' can accomplish when arranged 'as thou wilt'! Too bad there's a comma in the holograph after the word prophet. Bu then 'my prophet' might be an aside, and HE still referring to someone else. If my initials were H.E., would that help my claim any ? ;-)

Aeon418
14-05-2011 08:05
[QUOTE=RLG]Amazing what the 'stops' can accomplish when arranged 'as thou wilt'! Too bad there's a comma in the holograph after the word prophet.[/QUOTE]Too bad or otherwise, the stops as thou wilt. ;)

Personally I consider the wording of that sentance a little curious, [i]especially in light of what follows[/i]. The word "He" seems extraneous and the sentence reads fine without it.

Aeon418
14-05-2011 08:32
[QUOTE=brightcrazystar]Most of the contents of the book of the law, contrary to thoughts on the matter, DID NOT etch themselves onto the memory of Aleister Crowley at the time of dictation.[/quote]Two questions.

1) How do you know what did and did not stick in Crowley's mind at the time of the dictation?

2) Contrary to which thoughts on the matter?

Always Wondering
18-05-2011 07:16
[QUOTE=Ross G Caldwell]Sorry, that was poorly phrased. Of course anything at all is open to Qabalistic analysis. For a Thelemic instance, look at the "Interlude" in Magick in Theory and Practice. If you're steeped in the stuff, you can interpret anything through that lens.

What I meant to say was that if inspired in the Class A sense, we might expect the text to [i]contain[/i], conceal, reveal, etc., the same kind of word, gematria, and mathematical relationships that the other Class A books do. This is in contrast to the inner dynamic Qabalism of the "Interlude" and every adept's practice of seeing everything at all Qabalistically, from a stubbed toe to a Spoonerism to a shooting star on Wednesday night at 10:15 pm. These depend on the level of the adept's "qabalization", rather than on the intent of the source or cause of the event, like in the case of the Class A texts.[/QUOTE]
Thanks Ross. Yes, that's what I was after. More of an expectation than a rule. This is helpful as I am beginning to learn how to read these texts in this way.

AW

Always Wondering
18-05-2011 07:18
[QUOTE=brightcrazystar]Here are the general classes of publication, AW:


A. Text which represent the Adept. They are considered the "Holy" books.
B. Essays, usually on pre-existing topics, redacting them for The New Aeon
C. Opinion, and suggestions. Crowley as scholar writing to other scholar.
D. Official Rituals and Instructions
E. Manifestos, Public Statements. Writings addressed to humanity at large.

Many people argue as the Book of the Law requires a comment,per its own instructions, that the comment is part of the book. It is otherwise not a seperate publications and that would make it a Class E and Class D, or perhaps just a Class E. There is case of writings being in more than one class.[/QUOTE]

This clears some stuff up. I was confusing A and E, I think. Thanks BrightCrazyStar.

AW

Aeon418
19-05-2011 19:48
[quote=brightcrazystar]Most of the contents of the book of the law, contrary to thoughts on the matter, DID NOT etch themselves onto the memory of Aleister Crowley at the time of dictation.[/quote][QUOTE=Aeon418]Two questions.

1) How do you know what did and did not stick in Crowley's mind at the time of the dictation?

2) Contrary to which thoughts on the matter?[/QUOTE]*Bump* :)


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