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Any thoughts on Aeon?

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NewWorldAstrology  NewWorldAstrology is offline
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Any thoughts on Aeon?


New here - love the forum.

I am trying to connect Aoen and Judgment in the different decks, any thoughts?

I am finding that THOTH is easier for me for deeper more spiritual and psychological readings and more mundane ones (for the regular Joe) its easier to use decks like rider-waite.

I find this card the most difficult, pictorially to understand.

Any pointers?

Thanks gang!
Neil
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Aeon418  Aeon418 is offline
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The key thing to remember about the Aeon is that there is a change of focus and direction implied in the card. The standard Judgment is essentially a backward looking card. It implies as series of events in the past that have lead up to a point of Judgment.

In contrast the emphasis in the Aeon card is the future and the next step. This card draws a line under the past and leaves it behind. The next step is all that is important. I always indicates a definite step forward in any situation, and it is always a change for the better even though it may not always appear so.

The Aeon card is difficult to understand if you have no idea about Crowley's philosophy of Thelema. Essentially the old Judgment card represents the Judeo-Christian world view of the resurrection of the dead and the punishment of sins by a cruel and vengeful god. The Aeon card represents a future in which mankind will recognise it's own divinity.
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Any Thoughts On Aeon?


Good clarity of contrast between the old judgmental way and the dawning of a spiritual New World . It looks to me to be the Divine Child of the World being born out of the cosmic uterus, but not as a Messiah or Mahatma but each and all of us in this individually and collectively. The Unity yet to be,-- not the grand finale judgment for the accepted and rejected, that fear-religions have used to convert and control. The Aeon image dissolves away polarities and oppositions in its silencing mysteries.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Hall
The Unity yet to be,-- not the grand finale judgment for the accepted and rejected, that fear-religions have used to convert and control. The Aeon image dissolves away polarities and oppositions in its silencing mysteries.
I like that observation, Frank. There's a clear distinction between the inevitable certainty of Judgment, and the open (and hopeful) mystery of the future represented by the Aeon.
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I think the Aeon card is a difficult card, perhaps the most difficult of the Thoth deck. It presents a doctrine, which is a take-it-or-leave-it proposition, that something like history or reality goes through measured and meaningful periodic change - in the case of the Aeon, that a massive and inexorable spiritual change happens to humanity roughly every 2000 years, and that this is connected in some way to the precession of the Vernal Equinox (0 degrees tropical Aries).

If you don't believe any of this, how can the Aeon card make any sense?

Crowley believed it, Theosophists and many who believe an "Axial age" and other ways of "meta"-interpreting history believe it, but I don't. But just because I don't think the idea represents empirical fact, doesn't mean it doesn't mean anything. It obviously comes from somewhere, and reveals the thoughts of the creators of the idea. Thus, by studying what they meant, we may come to an understanding that goes beyond how they expressed their explanation of history (which I consider largely wrong), and arrive at something truer.

That is, to use Crowleyan-Hermetic terminology (from the first line of the Emerald Tablet), they were wrong about the "true" and the "certain without error", but what they wrote was very much "of all truth". That is, what the Aeon expresses, and what the belief in the spiritual meaning of the precession of Equinoxes expresses, what Crowley had Harris paint and the doctrine it illustrates, is timelessly and infallibly true.

The Aeon has many similarities with the old Judgment cards, and Crowley was well read in Christianity (I personally see Crowleyan Thelema as a kind of Christian Tantrism, or Left-hand-path Christianity). So, without going into the technical doctrines of Thelema that informed the design, it is perhaps good to compare the intentions first, with the aim of getting to the "of all truth" part, rather than dwelling on the dogmatic aspects, which could be erroneous (the "truth" in the limited sense).

Both the old card and the Aeon are about rebirth. In the one an Angel blows a trumpet from above, while in the new card a babe emerges in silence from the background. This babe is the New Aeon, which has not yet found its voice; in the old card, the reborn bodies are rising to an unknown judgment. The new card emphasizes the silence of the reborn; the old card emphasized the sound of the trumpet waking them up.

I don't find the old card negative in any way, in itself, since there is no implication of damnation in it. All of the rising bodies seem to be headed to paradise; this tarot card is very different from the scenes of the Final Judgment in Churches of the epoch, where there is a right side and a left side, with one going to heaven and the other to hell. In the tarot card, everybody could well go to heaven. Hell has already been passed anyway, 5 or 6 cards back. I think this implication of the inevitability of the upward progression is reflected in the new Aeon card.

The silence of the Aeon is the great difference between the meaning of the old card and the new one; but we all know that Horus is a war god, a hawk, and that as Crowley expected the New Aeon has been initiated according to his character. War is not quiet, which is why the child Harpocrates is ethereal, and silent. This baby aspect of Horus has yet to grow up, to be fully born; he is spirit, an idea, crying to be heard here and there, but not yet enthroned as his old self, Horus, still is in the background.

In this card, Horus takes the place of Christ in the Judgment seat, and the ethereal, silent child Harpocrates takes the place of the resurrecting figures in the old cards. We are Harpocrates, the children of the New Aeon, written still like a figure in water on the blazing plate of Horus' fire and war. We have been called out of the old, by the noise of his war, the old trumpet of Judgment, but we are still unsure what we will say when we gain flesh and sit in our turn upon the throne.

It lies to us, and all living people, to interpret older expressions into something meaningful for ourselves and our contemporaries. This is what Crowley did with the old Judgment card when he created the Aeon.

(I will forego the points about Christian doctrines about the end-times and the final Judgment being superceded or demolished; they too mean something, and by no means did they have a monolithic meaning to all of the hundreds of millions of people who lived between the first century and the 20th. Many of them saw the teaching of the "Last Judgment" as a realized eschatology - something that could happen in the here and now. They were the mystics, perhaps some of the great (even orthodox) theologians, some Gnostics, and others. They did not see time as linear, but cyclical or holistic, or even dual (an illusion of change in a sea of infinity, with no beginning or end). Christian thought lends itself to mystical interpretations, which is why there have always been so many "heresies" within it. The institutional churches are the tree, and the heresies are the leaves that sprout and grow and fall every season. The trunk preserves the structure, but the leaves are the reason for its existence. It is all-too-often a fine line between a saint and a heretic, and when you study this kind of history unbiasedly, you realize how frequently one could have been the other, if only some part of the context had been different.
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Another comparison/contrast between the old and the new card XX.

Both cards represent a fundamental change. The old card shows a change from temporal life to eternal life; the new card, change from an old view of the world to a new view of the world. In a sense, this new view is the same as "eternal life", and the old card is interpreted in the Aeon in a realized eschatological sense. That is, the Kingdom of God is within you, and it is here and now.

The Aeon card is the spiritual equivalent of moving from the geocentric cosmos (Earth-centered) to the heliocentric cosmos (Sun-centered). This is just as Achad expressed it in "Stepping out of the Old Aeon into the New"
http://www.hermetic.com/browe-archiv...old%20aeon.htm
http://www.skepticfiles.org/mys5/newaeon.htm
etc.

In the old geocentric aeon, you are the geocentric earth, and you think everything revolves around you - one life, what you do with it - and you await final judgment on that life; in the new heliocentric aeon, you realize that your earth, your body and life, actually revolve around something much more eternal, and that the day and night of this life are just the shadows cast by your true self, the Sun.

"Truth comes bubbling to my brim -
Life and Death are one to him!"
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Hello, all! I am new to this forum - just wanted to say how much I am enjoying the analysis of the Aeon card. I am much more familiar with Crowley's philosophy than I am with Tarot in any form. This seemed like an appropriate place to begin this journey. Ross, in this card, do you see the over-arching night sky, Nuit, as the universal source of life, of creation?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunshine2
Hello, all! I am new to this forum - just wanted to say how much I am enjoying the analysis of the Aeon card. I am much more familiar with Crowley's philosophy than I am with Tarot in any form. This seemed like an appropriate place to begin this journey. Ross, in this card, do you see the over-arching night sky, Nuit, as the universal source of life, of creation?
Absolutely. This card in a way is an interpretation of the Stele of Revealing; whereas Ankh-f-n-Khonsu was facing Horus and making offerings in the old Stele, in the new "stele" he has been given his commission now and turns to face outward, as Harpocrates. Ankh-f-n-Khonsu as Hoor-paar-kraat (Harpocrates) will be saying
Quote:
"I now go forth,
and with thanksgiving,
To do my pleasure on the earth
Among the legions of the living."
Nuit is the night (Nox) of all possibilities; Hadit is the point, as yet undefined; here he must be Harpocrates. Horus the elder is in the egg, Hadit, the old well-defined character; we know he will be merciless, and bring war. But war cannot last forever; it will consume itself, and in the blasted craters new flowers will sprout when all energy for violence is exhausted - this is the ethereal Harpocrates. Our future - each person.

Looking at it like the Naples arrangement, the first "point" is Horus, and the second is Harpocrates, placed right in front of you. This suggests that the card is asking you a question - Who are you? Who will you be?
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Ross G Caldwell  Ross G Caldwell is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunshine2
Ross, in this card, do you see the over-arching night sky, Nuit, as the universal source of life, of creation?
Further with the Stele of Revealing analogy, I think Nuit as the "star-body" of the heavens is representing "Every Man and Every Woman is a Star", and every act is a sacrament, a pulse of a star in her body. In the Stele, Ankh-f-n-Khonsu is making an offering; in the new "stele", the card Aeon, the offering has been accepted and Ankh-f-n-Khonsu is going out a new creature.

This Stele was a funeral stele; Ankh-f-n-Khonsu was hoping to be resurrected or reborn. There are so many parallels with the meaning of the old Judgment card and the Stele of Revealing here.

In the new card, he gets his wish, and indeed goes forth again upon the earth. Only now he has remembered himself in his "new" life; as a new-born babe Harpocrates, he remembers he was Horus, and so gains from this memory all of the wisdom of his previous incarnation.
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And, as so well said by Aeon418,

"The key thing to remember about the Aeon is that there is a change of focus and direction implied in the card."

So, given that the card is asking you a question, "Who are you? Who will you be?" (thank you, Ross!), we are, indeed, recognizing our divinity, our sacred connection to the infinite, as Universal humans. We are changing focus and direction, moving from the finite and limited, into infinite possibility.
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