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Ruby Jewel  Ruby Jewel is offline
Join Date: 02 Apr 2014
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Ruby Jewel 

Originally Posted by Barleywine View Post
I'm with you on this. As I've said elsewhere, I didn't own or use an RWS deck for almost 40 years; the meaning of this card in the Thoth was always very clear - and unpleasant. So I too see the contents of the cups as phantasmagorical, carrying the message: "Nothing is what it seems." It looks to me like the scene in Raiders of the Lost Arc where adventurers had to select the Holy Grail from a table-full of fancy chalices; most got the answer "You chose poorly" as they died horribly. The Golden Dawn called it "The Lord of Illusory Success," and Crowley just "Debauch" - which may have been more a product of his overwrought wit than a reasonable approximation, but he didn't mince words in saying it reveals "the obscene and shameful secrets of a guilty conscience." (He saw Venus as severely degraded here, representing external splendor and internal corruption.) Wang said "Sometimes this is dissipation, a wallowing in emotions, or a self-deception." I think the modern trend of trying to put a positive "spin" on every card (affirmation, you know) has led to this and other RWS cards being misconstrued.

Oh, and the description I've seen of the hooded phantom is "a shrouded figure with a halo" (although it looks more like an aura to me). Somewhere I've seen it described as showing the blindfolded Aspirant about to be led into the sanctuary where initiation will take place.
I had my interested piqued last night when I was studying the Magician and I remembered the guy in the black suit with his back to us.....and how much he reminded me of an actual magician...and it came to me....."he is conjuring up an illusion"...... that's what magician's do....they manipulate reality.....create fog, mystery, manifest things out of a cup....and all of a sudden, this card started to make perfect sense to me. I had just never seen it described like that in a book...still, the meaning of the hooded phantom eludes me...maybe it is when the magician yanks away the handkerchief where previously was a bird (or whatever) and it has now mysteriously disappeared....but you are right about the aura....
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