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What I've seen in too many posts here already is a certain tendency to interpret what is a perfectly natural desire to talk around fishy topics, as the unequivocal intention of establishing (or rescueing) an unsustainable theory. Personally, I don't give so much relevance to the lack of transparency in the conduct of nineteenth or eighteenth century occultists; what I find fascinating, in the first place, is the mere existence of those figures. Maybe because I'm full of literary curiosity. I believe it was Dumas that said: 'True, I have raped history, but it has produced some beautiful offspring'.
For the same reason I really enjoyed reading some chapters of the Histoire de la Magie, that an illustrious contributor just made a reference to. I have no problems with people proving historical frauds, as long as those involved in the discussion don't become the target of poisonous attacks. In the process of such investigations, I've found incredible cultural artifacts, ideas and data coming out, that I would otherwise never have the chance to hear about. Being this forum clearly oriented towards history and its facts, it must be admitted that speculation and of course fiction are a bit out of place. Fair enough.
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Moderator note:


As none of the moderators are historians, it makes it difficult for us to sort out arguments. You all will have to sort out fact from theory yourselves, however, again, we ask that do so in a civilized manner.

As Sulis mentioned, Solandia is going to review this thread and decide how to proceed.

Regards,
Alta
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l'appeso  l'appeso is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ross G Caldwell View Post
My point was his claim, not what we suspect was his inspiration. In a book called "The History of Magic", he names Iamblichus as his source, and provides what appears to be an extensive portion of that work. Christian does not inform the reader that he has invented the whole initiation scenario.

Crata Repoa itself, of course, consists of seven steps of initiation, not 22, and it makes no mention of the alphabet or images corresponding to it.

Christian clearly seems to have been inspired by this work, but he does not inform the reader of this, and it provides in any case merely the kernel of his own invention, which he rather ascribes entirely to Iamblichus.

Christian's invention is the forerunner of Michael Poe's "Temple of Serapis in Naples" a century later. Both are scholarly frauds.



This book does not exist, that I can find. Every source which cites it derives directly or indirectly from H.P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled, footnote 751.

I searched in the general catalogues of 6 major libraries, and not a single one knows the strange name "Malhandrini". Presuming a typo, the forms "malandrini", "malhandrino", and "malandrino" also produced no authors with dates earlier than the 20th century and nothing resembling the title. This has taken me a couple of hours.

The libraries were:
Bibliothèque Nationale de France
British Library
Oxford University (OLIS catalogue)
OPAC SBN (Italian national catalogue)
Library
of Congress (the largest library in the world, in number of items)
Harvard University (HOLLIS)

Anyone doubting my research competence or the negative result is welcome to look for themselves.

It appears that Blavatsky invented this author "Humberto Malhandrini" and the book "Ritual of Initiations". I would guess that it was in order to give greater antiquity and thererfore authority to the then relatively recent Crata Repoa (only a century old when she wrote; it would be as if an author writing today appealed to a book published for the first time in 1912 as the evidence of an ancient tradition).

So it seems that Blavatsky is guilty of a little fraud herself.
Ironically malandrino is italian for trickster
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Quote:
Originally Posted by l'appeso View Post
Ironically malandrino is italian for trickster
In spanish, Malandrín: Rogue, perverse, malignant.
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The Moon is in a very beautiful conjuction with Venus tonight, for those able to see it. Take a look if your skies are clear.

Quote:
Originally Posted by l'appeso View Post
Ironically malandrino is italian for trickster
Thanks! I saw it used but didn't look it up.

I suppose she may have been making a joke for those in the know.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ross G Caldwell View Post
The Moon is in a very beautiful conjunction with Venus tonight, for those able to see it. Take a look if your skies are clear.
Thanks - a pleasing diversion from all the ill feeling there seems to be here.
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Pontifex Maximus


Dubious attributions of authorship are a literary tactic not uncommon within the genre of “sacred” text. While this practice has no doubt been abused by unscrupulous forgers purely for commercial gain, it has also been utilized by many adepts of the occult to convey added dimensions of allegory to their writing. The “tricksters of the bright warrior” may not have written down their ‘secrets of initiation’, but perhaps they were a play on words meant to illustrate a more profound ‘fact’. One might make the same case regarding the “Unveiling” of Yahweh’s generosity, or the Genesis “drawn out” of water.

A running theme within “the occult” is that of placing an intentional flaw within one’s work for the purpose of focusing attention onto a deeper mystery. While the practice is no doubt misleading, it has ‘hidden’ (occultus) those truths which their authors have deemed most instructive for initiates ‘receiving’ (QBLH) for themselves. A notorious example, albeit contested, is the transposition of Strength and Justice within the cycle of 22 major arcana, as their correction relate directly to the transmutation of Lead (Saturn) into Gold (Sun) when accessing the otherwise concealed Knowledge of the Cube embedded within the Tree of Life. That is- if one apply Tarot as a cypher for the Hebrew Letters [aleph=0], partitions them by digital root, and then configures those partitioned sets within the QaBaLaH Tree.

Whatever the degree of enlightenment attained by recognizing these lies, they are not kind to the methodology of serious historians. Though we might experience an epiphany concerning the nature of “truth”, in general, the practice does not win the occultist much praise from those who must rely upon facts to construct their narratives. Thus, the unbridgeable gap. Yet, there is still a perspective on history offered here -more etiological in nature, as with mythology, and valid in a way that the strictly literal cannot grasp.

An ibis-headed deity of ancient Kemet did not paint the cards we call Tarot, true, but there are more profound lessons in seeking out their relationship to the hieroglyphs from which our earliest alphabets were derived than by ascribing their invention solely to the art of gambling. One might even come to appreciate how they can serve as a key to PaRaDiSe.


sic transit gloria mundi
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I've set up a poll - please vote.

http://www.tarotforum.net/showthread.php?t=174043
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