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using the thoth vs. knowing it

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abrac View Post
The Book of the Law, 1:57 says:

"All these old letters of my Book are aright; but Tzaddi is not the Star. This also is secret: my prophet shall reveal it to the wise."

Crowley, in his new comment to the Book of the Law, says the following:

"Tzaddi is the letter of The Emperor, the Trump IV, and He is the Star, the Trump XVII. Aquarius and Aries are therefore counterchanged, revolving on the pivot of Pisces, just as, in the Trumps VIII and XI, Leo and Libra do about Virgo. This last revelation makes our Tarot attributions sublimely, perfectly, flawlessly symmetrical.

The fact of its so doing is a most convincing proof of the superhuman Wisdom of the author of this Book to those who have laboured for years, in vain, to elucidate the problems of the Tarot."

He puts forward the idea that it's the correct ordering and correct attributions of the Tarot trumps that provides a "most convincing proof of the superhuman Wisdom of the author of this Book." So it's easy to see from this that correspondences play a very major role in occultism. They have almost a sacred quality.
Agreed, but I'm not sure he was emphasizing their use in divination there. Contemplation was the ideal way to blend the life of the cards with your own; divination was the "practical every-day commonplace way." He still seemed to consider the practice of divination sacred (I forget where I read that in his writings), but also that you had to be "besotted" with the living essence of the cards (the "blind man getting blind drunk" analogy) in order to make it so. Or so it seems to me.
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still thinking that a good way for me to learn more about this is to get a reading. perhaps i can talk one of you thothists into it?


http://www.tarotforum.net/showthread.php?t=232565
Top   #32
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But surely this is the same debate as the world and his mother reading the RWS without having read the Key to the Tarot - Pictorial or otherwise? And I suspect the overwhelming number of tarot readers who read with the RWS haven't read (or at least don't have on the tip of their tongue) all the necessary info required to fully do the RWS justice. But I suppose we live with it because the RWS looks less abstract. I have no evidence whatsoever for this but I really doubt most RWS readers live by the Key to the Tarot.

I have read the books on the Thoth - Duquette and Snuffin- and I have read The Book of Thoth a few times (four I think) and my copy is heavily annotated and I think I have taken it in. Plus I have read and got a lot from Perdurabo and gained a useful contextualisation- but when I read with the deck, I don't find that all this knowledge tumbles out. I still feel massively ignorant and astrology still hasn't gone into my brain and if it hasn't now then I doubt it ever will. But there is some pleasure still to be had with interacting with the Thoth deck, unravelling it, contemplating its references. I too have never really seen a reading with all these massive tracts of arcane erudition being drawn into a reading about our very mundane lives. You know, work, a colleague, jealousy, a cheating lover. I have difficulty envisaging this marriage, this merging of high arcana with life and honing it into a useful message.
Top   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Le Fanu View Post
But surely this is the same debate as the world and his mother reading the RWS without having read the Key to the Tarot - Pictorial or otherwise? And I suspect the overwhelming number of tarot readers who read with the RWS haven't read (or at least don't have on the tip of their tongue) all the necessary info required to fully do the RWS justice. But I suppose we live with it because the RWS looks less abstract. I have no evidence whatsoever for this but I really doubt most RWS readers live by the Key to the Tarot.

I have read the books on the Thoth - Duquette and Snuffin- and I have read The Book of Thoth a few times (four I think) and my copy is heavily annotated and I think I have taken it in. Plus I have read and got a lot from Perdurabo and gained a useful contextualisation- but when I read with the deck, I don't find that all this knowledge tumbles out. I still feel massively ignorant and astrology still hasn't gone into my brain and if it hasn't now then I doubt it ever will. But there is some pleasure still to be had with interacting with the Thoth deck, unravelling it, contemplating its references. I too have never really seen a reading with all these massive tracts of arcane erudition being drawn into a reading about our very mundane lives. You know, work, a colleague, jealousy, a cheating lover. I have difficulty envisaging this marriage, this merging of high arcana with life and honing it into a useful message.
I think this is a fair assessment overall. On the first point, even though I've now read the PKT assiduously for content, I still think it pales in comparison to many other books as a reference work, primarily in the area of divination. Also, I think Pixie having a fairly free hand with the artwork (unlike Frieda Harris) introduced some visual associations that probably weren't part of Waite's original script (and the world and it's mother rejoiced!). But I too am just guessing.

I think I've seen only a few people here who show an inclination to practice divination that could actually pour chapter-and-verse from the Thoth canon into a "garden variety" reading. The other learned types seem to have more of an academic interest. I would need a brain the size of a steamer trunk if I intended to lug all that around with me just to have it at my fingertips. Talk about heavy lifting! But I do manage to retain enough command of the chief correspondences - coupled with the visual cues on the cards - to be able to make good use of them when called for. I doubt I'll ever get there with the PKT; it's a bit like a steak without the "sizzle."
Top   #34
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It actually isn't that hard. One thing leans on another, and if you have a firm grasp on one the others come easily. If you have a basic understanding of the Tree of Life you've already done half the work, and can extrapolate almost all the deck's inner workings. By using the Trumps in lieu of astrology with the Minors you can make great headway there in understanding how that works. The more advanced philosophical stuff is all still built on the basic tools. Oftentimes I've pored over a card, writing volumes and analyzing its placement on the Tree of Life, Thelema and all the rest, and then I've gone to the BoT to see how I did and I've found Crowley arriving at the same conclusions I have. This doesn't mean I'm "right" by any means, only that once you grasp the basic rules (which really are very basic and easy to learn) you can take flight. If I can do it, anybody can; I firmly believe that.

When I do readings here I do tend to go all out in explaining my process, but that's because this is a learning forum and that's the point. Do I use the attributions when reading in real life? Yes but I don't include the sitter in my process, and also when you've learned them well you assimilate them and they come naturally. It only seems alien because the dominant theory of Tarot is free-style, free association "intuition," but what it simply means is that most symbols, the most important ones, aren't on the cards themselves.

It is actually much freer than reading by the books, as people generally learn meanings by heart and then mix and match according to the image. With the attributions I know no card by heart, but rather construct the meaning on the fly. It is by no means rigid. Rather I find the purely intuitive style far more limiting.

Now, all that can be said about why or why not to at least try to read this way is seen in the thread about Angeles Arrien. Pay close attention to Scion's comments, he's brilliant.
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I very hesitantly mention esoteric matters in certain forums because I get so many negative responses. Some highly respected people immediately react by asserting that my comments are irrevelant, others sarcastically reply that they have been reading successfully the wrong way for umpteen years, and some start poking fun at the Golden Dawn degree system . It doesn't really matter to me, except that I have learned to refrain from certain topics in certain forums.

People are generally nicer to closrapexa. He is indeed probably a nicer guy than I, and of course they may cut him some slack because he is an exotic Middle Easterner and lives in Israel, where Kabbalah is more common than in Western Europe and America.
Top   #36
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The Tree of Life is indeed the inspiration, as I see it. Somewhere along the way (possibly Regardie or William Gray) I picked up the idea that it's an infinitely expandable filing cabinet. Any feasible association can be appended to it (like 777 on steroids). Then all you need is a good mental indexing system. Good native intelligence is a plus, as is a quick grasp of the common ground between parallel systems of thought. The latter is crucial with the BoT since Crowley's knowledge - while encyclopaedic - is also kaleidoscopic, one idea morphing fluidly into another in the space of a sentence or two. It's what I find so much fun about it, but I know it's what drives some people crazy.

He never seems stiff-necked about his role as arbiter of all things tarot (or at least as much of it as was relevant to his objective and would fit between the covers). Unlike Waite, I don't think he once stated flatly "This is something I know but you aren't worthy," although he makes plenty of slightly arch allusions to that reality. Crowley's economy of presentation is another sore point for some; he implies far more than he says while also implying that he's exhausted his entire quiver of esoteric wisdom - "to reproduce the whole of his Magical Mind pictorially on the skeleton of the ancient Qabalistic system," as Soror I.W.E says in the introductory BIographical Note to my copy (although I've often wondered whether it's more of an Autobiographical Note). But if he wan't dense, the BoT would have ballooned to the size of the Three Books of Occult Philosophy and would be about as unwieldy; truly a reference work rather than a mind-altering read. To bring this back to topic, the latter state of perceptual awakening is what the aspiring Thoth initiate needs to take away from it to get well and truly beneath the surface of the imagery.

I'm still unsure of the "right" way to relate the Minor Arcana to the Majors for the purpose of reading the Thoth deck. The obvious associations are numerological, elemental, astrological, and sephirot/path alignment, but I'm not sure those are what we're talking about (unless perhaps it's the last one). THe "pips as Trumps" model that some use for Marseille interpretation also doesn't seem to be the correct system of correspondences. This is worthy of further discussion.
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I've had a reading from someone who used all the Golden Dawn stuff in the reading (they did not use the Thoth deck for my reading, they used a TdM) and I have to say that it was terrible.. They spoke about decans, astrological correspondences and lots of technical stuff and to be honest, I could not make head nor tail of it and couldn't relate any of the technical Golden Dawn references to my life or even to the part of my life that was being focused on.. I think this person got so carried away with what they knew, what they'd read etc that they forgot that they were actually meant to be doing a reading for a real person with real life (not esoteric) problems...

Personally, I think it's wonderful to study a deck and to know a lot about the symbols, symbolism etc if that makes the reading more in depth but I think the most important part of a reading is to make it relevant to the person being read for.. I judge whether a reading is a good one or not by how useful it is to the querant.. I'm not saying that the esoteric aspects shouldn't be in there but they are not necessarily useful things to convey to the querant unless the querant also knows a lot about that sort of stuff and wants it incorporated into their reading.
Top   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sulis View Post
I've had a reading from someone who used all the Golden Dawn stuff in the reading (they did not use the Thoth deck for my reading, they used a TdM) and I have to say that it was terrible.. They spoke about decans, astrological correspondences and lots of technical stuff and to be honest, I could not make head nor tail of it and couldn't relate any of the technical Golden Dawn references to my life or even to the part of my life that was being focused on.. I think this person got so carried away with what they knew, what they'd read etc that they forgot that they were actually meant to be doing a reading for a real person with real life (not esoteric) problems...

Personally, I think it's wonderful to study a deck and to know a lot about the symbols, symbolism etc if that makes the reading more in depth but I think the most important part of a reading is to make it relevant to the person being read for.. I judge whether a reading is a good one or not by how useful it is to the querant.. I'm not saying that the esoteric aspects shouldn't be in there but they are not necessarily useful things to convey to the querant unless the querant also knows a lot about that sort of stuff and wants it incorporated into their reading.
I pretty much do what closrapexa said:

"Do I use the attributions when reading in real life? Yes but I don't include the sitter in my process, and also when you've learned them well you assimilate them and they come naturally."

I tend to lean to the allegorical, lyrical or poetic side rather than the technical if I'm digging for more meaning in a "live" reading setting. I try to avoid a dry or academic presentation at all costs. The "blank stare" from a sitter is a sure sign that no connection has been made, so no valuable insights are making it across. In short, a mutual waste of time.
Top   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sulis View Post
I've had a reading from someone who used all the Golden Dawn stuff in the reading (they did not use the Thoth deck for my reading, they used a TdM) and I have to say that it was terrible.. They spoke about decans, astrological correspondences and lots of technical stuff and to be honest, I could not make head nor tail of it and couldn't relate any of the technical Golden Dawn references to my life or even to the part of my life that was being focused on.. I think this person got so carried away with what they knew, what they'd read etc that they forgot that they were actually meant to be doing a reading for a real person with real life (not esoteric) problems...

Personally, I think it's wonderful to study a deck and to know a lot about the symbols, symbolism etc if that makes the reading more in depth but I think the most important part of a reading is to make it relevant to the person being read for.. I judge whether a reading is a good one or not by how useful it is to the querant.. I'm not saying that the esoteric aspects shouldn't be in there but they are not necessarily useful things to convey to the querant unless the querant also knows a lot about that sort of stuff and wants it incorporated into their reading.
Yes indeed. I am all for study - I even do it - but I too have had a reading delivered with such a load of stuff that - even though I intellectually understood most of it - bore no relevance to my life. I don't find it that helpful to be told what decan will affect things, and that such and such positioning on the Tree of Life meant this or that. All I needed to know was (well, I'd rather not bring in the question again - but trust me, that info didn't help.)

I think in many ways an actual reading has to fly it alone, with the knowledge kept inside the reader. Sure, use it all to deliver the message, but don't trouble your sitter with it, unless they ASK for it. Though I have to say that when I was told how much I was missing by NOT using everything I knew to read, I tried it - and it almost blocked me from reading - used "consciously", it got in the way. Badly.
Top   #40




 


 


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