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Dulcimer  Dulcimer is offline
Join Date: 17 Oct 2005
Location: Yorkshire, UK
Posts: 192

Originally Posted by Windhorse

Since when did Golden Dawn ideology become the 'orthodox' tradition of qabbalah in the west?!
I realise we are in the Crowley/Thoth forum, and that therefore we are looking at cards based on the GD system - but Crowley appears to have deviated somewhat from the GD anyway because he recognised flaws.
So why is GD considered the 'norm'?
I think for two reasons:

1) the popularity of the ubiquitous Rider-Waite-Smith deck, especially amongst those of us becoming aware of occult matters in the 60s and 70s. Even now the majority of Tarot cards by modern artists are based on this deck. Not a bad thing of course, it is a great Tarot deck. But it does perpetuate the view espoused by GD. So, simply by being popular it has become the measure of "genuine" tarot;

2) the shear wealth of material published by the Golden Dawn over the decades. Most Western literature on the subject is based on the Golden Dawn's interpretation of the Kabbalah. Much of it repetitous. That's not to say they're not right of course. Most of what they have to say works for Western sensiblities, so no-one really questions it. Even Crowley's early methods were largely based on Golden Dawn teachings. He tinkered a little here and there, made some things public (mostly the sexual bits), but when it came down to it his views owed more to Eastern philosophies than Western. So even he didn't greatly challenge their view. He simply moved elsewhere for his inspiration.

In the end then, I'd say popularity, familiarity, and unquestioning repetition have allowed - rightly or wrongly - the Golden Dawn view to become the orthodox view.

We shouldn't forget though, that until the Golden Dawn came along there was little the general public had access to regarding occult matters. Even less we could understand (have you tried reading Agrippa or Barrett? Sheesh!). So we should be grateful that they brought the Kabbalah to our attention. At the time they filled a void, so it's probably not surprising that their view became the 'norm' since there was little competition.
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