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Thoth, Tree of Life, and The Star

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I'm sure this will show my ignorance (as I haven't used the Thoth for a while)...but hasn't the majors been assigned to the 'paths' between the sephira and not into the sephira themselves?

Excuse my ignorance.

Shaymus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaymus
I'm sure this will show my ignorance (as I haven't used the Thoth for a while)...but hasn't the majors been assigned to the 'paths' between the sephira and not into the sephira themselves?
Yes you are quite right. The orthodox view is that the majors are assigned to the paths. This is due to the supposed (not everyone agrees) corollation with the Hebrew alphabet which have traditionally been associated with the paths.

The position in this thread is that the majors may equally be assigned to the Sephiroth. A little heretical perhaps, certainly theoretical. It is a side issue and doesn't mean that this theory replaces the path association.

The reason behind making the Thoth specific to this idea is that Crowley's designs seem to be drawn with the Sephirotic placement in mind. Although, I might add, the RWS also seems to have a certain correlation in it too.
Maybe it's a Golden Dawn thing.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeon418
I have seen these card pairs before, but not arranged according to the Tree of Life. The same sequence can be found by just laying out the Major Arcana in a double line, 0 - X, XI - XXI. Each of the card pairs adds up to 21 and the first two, The Fool and The Universe spell the hebrew word ATh(Ateh, the opening of the Qabalistic Cross).

Of course if you start changing the cards around the pairs don't add up to 21.
But this 'magic' has to do with the numbers on the cards. if you change the cards round, they will still add up to 21 - it doesn't matter which trumps you put in X & XI - the numbers still add to 21! You could put the Fool and the Empress there, and they still sum 21 because it is the numbers that do so, not the quality of the trump.
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Ummm.....what!? I'm lost. LOL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeon418
Ummm.....what!? I'm lost. LOL
LOL
'Sfunny, this subject always brings the babble out of everyone....

What I was trying to say was that it didn't matter which Trump/Card you placed with a particular number, because the number of the pair would always add up to 21.

In the example I gave:
X & XI - traditionally Fortune and Lust.

If for some whacky bizarre reason you chose to re-assign the order of the cards, and decided to place (say, for example) The Empress at X and Death at XI, you would find that the cards still sum to 21.

I believe you were making a point that changing the order of cards would mean that you wouldn't get that pairing.

The point is that Waite changed the order of Strength and Justice and did not retain the original numbering, thus card VIII (whichever one it is) and card XIII will always add to 21.

It was a minor nit-pick at your argument, nothing of any great importance to grand scheme of things.

Now while I'm here, one of you knowledgable chaps may be able to answer this question:
Are the Hebrew letter associations with the paths of the Tree set? Are there various interpretations of what Hebrew Letter sits where, or is there consensus on this? - Independent of Tarot/Astrological/etc associations. This is a question of pure qabbalah, nothing else.
Is there, for example, an idea where Lamed DOES NOT occupy the 22nd path between Geburah and Tiphareth, that it is on another path?

This answer would be muchas gracias.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Windhorse
What I was trying to say was that it didn't matter which Trump/Card you placed with a particular number, because the number of the pair would always add up to 21.
Yes, but I was refering to the actual numbers on the cards themselves, not the number of their position. It's quite obvious that Crowley thought the card numbers where very important, otherwise he wouldn't have gone to such incredible lenghts to justify his own scheme.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Windhorse
Are the Hebrew letter associations with the paths of the Tree set? Are there various interpretations of what Hebrew Letter sits where, or is there consensus on this?
There's no consensus whatsoever! The Hebrew letters can be placed on the Tree in lots of different ways. (There are even different Trees!) But they all still reveal "truths".
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Windhorse

Are the Hebrew letter associations with the paths of the Tree set? Are there various interpretations of what Hebrew Letter sits where, or is there consensus on this? - Independent of Tarot/Astrological/etc associations.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeon418

There's no consensus whatsoever! The Hebrew letters can be placed on the Tree in lots of different ways. (There are even different Trees!) But they all still reveal "truths".

Quite so. Keep in mind that what we see today as the Tree of Life glyph is the result of European thought from the 16th century onwards, and much of that comes from 19th century Rosicrucian and Golden Dawn study. This is where the appellation of letters and cards to paths originate. However, their motives had more to do with ceremonial magick than any philosophising on the human condition and spiritual mechanics as we do these days.

When I refered above to "traditional" path associations I meant Western orthodox (i.e. Golden Dawn) tradition rather than original Judeac Kabbalah tradition which does not recognise the paths between the sephiroth as significant.

Sorry if I confused the issue with too many traditions.
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Thanks for clearing that up for me...

Cheers!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dulcimer
When I refered above to "traditional" path associations I meant Western orthodox (i.e. Golden Dawn) tradition rather than original Judeac Kabbalah tradition which does not recognise the paths between the sephiroth as significant.
Now this raises an interesting question:
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'?
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Quote:
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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Quote:
Originally Posted by Windhorse
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.
I don't agree with you that Crowley deviated from the Golden Dawn qabalistic tradition. His swap of the Emperor and the Star is based firmly on ideas contained in that tradition. If you don't understand the old tradition Crowley's "evolution" won't make much sense.

It's worth pointing out again that Tarot cards and their placement on the Tree of Life are not Qabalah. They are just a correspondence within the qabalistic scheme. Crowley didn't alter the GD's qabalistic tradition. All the hebrew letters are where the GD placed them. He just moved two tarot cards to reflect a change in consciousness from an external "God the Father" to an expression of inner divinity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Windhorse
So why is GD considered the 'norm'?
I pretty much agree with Dulcimer's comments on this question. I might also add that the GD qabalistic tradition is very open ended and very eclectic, in a way that moves it beyond it's Hebrew origins. Because it's not rooted in any one tradition it's very adaptable and can be used by anyone whatever religious beliefs (or lack of) they hold. It's a simple case of ease of use = greater popularity.
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