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Lore347 
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Right in front of me, indeed. I find most things I have serious issues understanding are usually so simple that once understood I can't believe I missed it. I think I have it figured out, yes. Thanks for being so patient!

It is as you said, and Crowley's description of what is basically a shifting system with 3 'variables' using a static 2 dimensional image is where I was tripping myself up. Let me try.

The loops show what continuously changes, not what is changed and now at rest. The diagram isn't meant to represent a static system (which of course is one of Crowley's big points about the wisdom of the new Aeon). These circles show where on the zodiac the changes occur, as Leo-Lib rotate around Vir and Aqu-Ari revolve around Pis as we switch between the Astrological, Numerological, and Hebrew systems. We are supposed to imagine the cards in question revolving around as each pattern of organization comes into play.

As for the 8-11 GD swap et al., I was aware of that one, which of course confused me even more. Sometimes one just gets stumped on the simplest things. Thanks for helping me see what I was missing.

Last edited by Lore347; 25-06-2008 at 01:12.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ross G Caldwell
I'm not aware that anybody in the GD ever thought that the switch of positions of Justice and Strength was a "loop" around Virgo. The switch in the first place was due to the authority of a single document which the founders claimed to have come from the Secret Chiefs, and the document's reasoning was historical and iconographical - primarily, Leo should go with a card that has a Lion, and Justice with the sign of the Balance, Libra.
Yes, that is one of the big differences between the Thelemic and Golden Dawn traditions IMO. The GD made their number change to homogenize the systems. They felt that in order to be correct, each system of ordering had to be perfectly parallel. Crowley, on the other hand, felt that everything was in motion and changing (even though while changing, on the largest scale all remained unchanged). He would have had no issue with the systems not being parallel. I suspect that he distrusted portions of the Homogenized GD system simply because the parallels appeared too contrived, too rigid and unmoving.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lore347
Yes, that is one of the big differences between the Thelemic and Golden Dawn traditions IMO. The GD made their number change to homogenize the systems. They felt that in order to be correct, each system of ordering had to be perfectly parallel. Crowley, on the other hand, felt that everything was in motion and changing (even though while changing, on the largest scale all remained unchanged). He would have had no issue with the systems not being parallel. I suspect that he distrusted portions of the Homogenized GD system simply because the parallels appeared too contrived, too rigid and unmoving.
I think you're right, the GD thought that the Sefer Yetzirah attributions of the letters to the signs had to be maintained in the Tarot as well - and it was an easy change to make, because it only involved one pair of cards. Those cards were additionally two virtues, so the change did not do any symbolic damage to the order of the trumps.

But if Crowley had felt this need to stick to a straight Sefer Yetzirah-Hebrew letter-Tarot card attribution, he would have had to put the Emperor between the Tower and the Moon, and the Star between the Empress and the Pope! (in addition to making "Lust" number VIII). Even if none of these occultists had an explicit understanding of the "generic" Renaissance meaning of the sequence, it was implicitly clear (I suspect) that such an order was inelegant and made hash of the sequence's natural meaning.

Moreover, Crowley had good reason to want Lust to be numbered XI. So his answer was, in the Trump sequence, to ignore the Zodiac and Hebrew letter order, and follow the TdM number order only. So both of the former systems are subordinated to the Trumps, whereas in the Golden Dawn the Tarot was subordinated to the Sefer Yetzirah's Astrological-Alphabetic order.

Ross



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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lore347
The loops show what continuously changes, not what is changed and now at rest. The diagram isn't meant to represent a static system (which of course is one of Crowley's big points about the wisdom of the new Aeon). These circles show where on the zodiac the changes occur, as Leo-Lib rotate around Vir and Aqu-Ari revolve around Pis as we switch between the Astrological, Numerological, and Hebrew systems. We are supposed to imagine the cards in question revolving around as each pattern of organization comes into play.
I agree. The loops show graphically, and are intended to show a dynamic, of how the two switches move. Their intrinsic and mutual symmetry is further proof to Crowley that the same Secret Chiefs that made the first switch (in the Cypher Manuscripts), made the second as well (in Liber AL).

Ross



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Hi everybody. I'm just reading the book from Lon Milo DuQuette about Thoth tarot and he mentions this contradictions about Emperor's paths and confusing Crowley's quote about 'authority derived from chokmah and exerted upon tiphareth'.

I think I have a possible explanation for this, I'm little bit lazy so I will just copy a part of e-mail I sent to Mr DuQuette to explain this. Basic idea is, that saying 'Emperor's authority is derived from chokmah and his power is then exerted upon tiphareth' is not the same as saying 'Emperor is the path connecting chokmah and tiphareth'. There are more subtle connections and relations between sephiroths, paths and respective tarot trumps and this one is even graphically pointed out on the card itself, if you look carefully. Here is my explanation for this:

//I think Crowley's quote doesn't necessarily mean that Emperor 'is' the ray of light(=path) connecting chokmah and tiphareth.
Instead, if you imagine the actual painting literally placed on the path of Tzaddi where it belongs, then on its right side will be pillar of descending light up from chokmah all the way down to netzah, as a descent of Father's influence down to matter... (Emperor is said to be *combination of energy in its most material form with the idea of authority.*).
And in the same time, Sun - tiphareth is on his left side and so to say 'behind him'. Its same as on the painting itself.. ray of light at the right side and Sun not in the center of Emperor, but behind him, above his left shoulder. So exactly the same configuration on both the painting and the tree of life.
And not only that.. arms of Emperor form a triangle with his head on the top - staring at the Sun. There is the same triangle on the tree of life, with path of Tzaddi as a base and 2 arms - Nun and Samekh leading towards tiphareth, like an arrow pointing at the direction of his authoritative gaze. And to make things even better, this arrow/line of his sight first crosses the path of Pe attributed to Mars, to finally land on the Sun... which is answer to the question how does he 'exerts his power upon tiphareth' .. Emperor is Aries, in which Mars is the ruler and Sun is exalted.//

and thats it. You can find logic in this system also by looking at the path of initiation itself, climbing the tree of life. For exapmle - putting your life in order and under your conscious controll (=path of Emperor), then sacrifising your Self (=path of Death) in order to gain consciousness of tiphareth.. arriving here, you loose a lot of assets of your old ego, but some remains - for example notion of necessity of some kind of order and fatherly authority in order to continue on your true path. And this energy/understanding can be personified as the authoritative gaze of an old Emperor sitting down there in your past and watchning your steps.. and in terms of astrology, its the power of Aries to exalt the Sun.



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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neophyte View Post
In the book of Thoth, Crowley states that the Emperor's power is derived from Chokmah and brought to Tipareth, yet on his diagram in the back of the very same book, he fills in the Star on this path. He gives the path from Sephiroth 7 to 9 as the path of the Emperor, which is in conformity with Crowley's switching of the star, and attributing of Tzaddi to the Emperor.
My question is why did Crowley make the statement about the power derived from Chokmah? Surely he is aware of the path he himself has given the Emperor, so what is his reasoning of writing this? Is there a mystery contained within, or is it to confuse readers, or possibly test them?? Any thoughts?
This thread is old, as is this question, but I am thinking about the same thing, and wanting to add some comments about it for the record. This seems the most apt place...

The question is not put quite properly, if it is to ask why the "cards" are switched. The right question is "why would the 28th Path (from Netzach and Yesod) be Heh, when it should be the 15th Path (from Chokmah to Tiphareth)?" The nature of this question is not a Tarot question. It's a Tree of Life/Paths of Wisdom question. The Tree of Life and the Paths were not set forth for the purpose of describing Tarot. If we are to use them as such, then the question is, how is that best done. There are 22 Paths between Sephiroth and thus, one for each Tarot Trump.

The fact of the matter is that the Trumps may not always perfectly fit the Path.

I think what happened here is that the Tzaddi is the Stabilizing intelligence, and so in Tarot form, it seems appropriate to assign The Star, as the woman's foot traditionally rests on the stabilized water. In the Western Mystery Tradition this represents meditiation. Tzaddi, the fish-hook, draws in meditation, the "water" of the Higher truth, reels it in, crystallizes it...that which was not "thought" of but "drawn down". This is known as "The dweller between waters". The Emperor on the other hand, represents Reason: that which is consciously "thought of". The Path from Netzach to Yesod is that which would connect the Desire of the Individual to its Astral form, which will form the basis for that to become reality. In a way, it is a stabilization process. Crystallization of one's desire in the inner world, in preparation for it to manifest in the outer world, Malkuth. It means that Tzaddi works very well in this path. Indeed: this is the dweller between waters.

However, what if one wants to emphasize the point that this is a conscious process? That the personal mind in doing this? And it is not being drawn down from above? But rather: a reflection of that which is above? That personal mind is represented by the Emperor...Reason...conscious thought. Then, one might think of putting Heh here "The Emperor".

We have to remember that, The Emperor, while representing "Reason" and conscious thought, is not, from a Qabbalistic point of view, connected with our individual minds. The letter Heh which it is connected with, is spelled HH. The One Higher mind, is the only mind. Our individual minds are a reflection of it. Heh means "Window" and the glass through which the Looking Out is done is the same glass through which the Looking In is done...and so, perhaps to Crowley, Heh was a better attribution for the "dweller between waters".

Conceivably an issue arises concerning the Triangles in the Tree of Life, because the personal mind only operates on the lowest one, known as "the Astral Triangle". These are discussed indepth and beautifully, by by Dion Fortune in the "Mystical Qabbalah". Heh is normally ascribed to the Fifteenth Path, which connects Chokmah - a Sphere in the Supernal Triangle beyond which the human mind exists and can operate - to Tiphareth, a Sphere of the Ethical Triangle, at the very edge of human consciousness. Therefore, IF we are thinking of a Tarot card, that is to represent the personal mind, consciousness and Reason, it becomes an issue, to place that card in the Supernal Realm. I think that Crowley may have been trying to rectify this point. Perhaps he thought that it all worked much better, if the Emperor - Reason; he who brings personal Will/Desire (Netzach) to bear in the inner realm (Yesod) in order to manifest reality (Malkuth) would be the Emperor, Heh.

After all, this is where the crystalizing, stabilizing influence operates...and furthemore, in the Thoth Tarot, "The Universe", where the manifestation has been brought to bear, there is a distinct parallel to the Star. They mirror each other. He is making a point there.

Now, it must be remembered that in the lower Triangle, the Astral Triangle, where the personal Will operates (and which Crowley was so concerned with), we already have the Sphere Hod, the mind, operating. So it is not necessary really, to put the Emperor there. It is understood. However, the Hermetic principles apply here...All is Mind (the conscious mind/Will is not separate). That which is above is below and that which is below is above, for the purposes of the One Thing. Is Crowley trying to emphasize this through the use of Heh...the Window? That the "dweller between the waters" that appears to be the personal Will, is "that which is above?" - However, the Star, as the fish hook, makes that same point, but in a different way.

The best I can arrive it is maybe. Just some thoughts. Thanks for reading. LVX

Last edited by Mirror of Galadriel; 4 Weeks Ago at 09:42.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mirror of Galadriel View Post
The best I can arrive it is maybe.
This is it in a very concise nutshell, and exactly where I landed after decades of contemplation on the subject. As a student of astrology first and a qabalistic aspirant second (beginning in 1968 for one and 1972 for the other), once I figured it out I've become reasonably satisfied with the "double loop" explanation as introducing the zodiacal symmetry Crowley sought once he reinstated the TdM order of Justice/Adjustment and Strength/Lust. Ross made a very comprehensive and convincing argument for this earlier in the thread. The rest of it strikes me as an extravaganza of overreaching (of which the Tzaddi-Tsar-Czar conflation stands as the most suspect example) to force-fit this concept into what originated as a mystical epiphany and not a logically-deduced imperative (all the convoluted rationalizing came later). I wonder if it ever occurred to Crowley to question his source before undertaking all that heavy lifting.

A lot of very thoughtful and elegant observations have been made in this thread, but ultimately, like Omar Khayyam, I've come "out by the same Door where in I went." Having a better understanding of what Crowley may have been about hasn't convinced me to undertake adopting it into my own thinking any more than my own lengthy deliberations have.



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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mirror of Galadriel View Post
The question is not put quite properly, if it is to ask why the "cards" are switched. The right question is "why would the 28th Path (from Netzach and Yesod) be Heh, when it should be the 15th Path (from Chokmah to Tiphareth)?" The nature of this question is not a Tarot question. It's a Tree of Life/Paths of Wisdom question.
Sure, it becomes a Tree/Paths question when you frame it like that. But as far as I'm aware it's never been a question of changing Paths or letters. The Paths/letters are the one constant factor in the whole switcheroo drama. The Paths and letters never move. Correspondences like Tarot cards and zodiac signs move.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mirror of Galadriel View Post
The Tree of Life and the Paths were not set forth for the purpose of describing Tarot.
Of course not, it's the other way around. A good Qabalistic Tarot should represent the Paths/letters.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mirror of Galadriel View Post
I think what happened here is that the Tzaddi is the Stabilizing intelligence, and so in Tarot form, it seems appropriate to assign The Star, as the woman's foot traditionally rests on the stabilized water.
Are you making a switch in the 32 Paths of Wisdom and transferring the [Constituting] Stabilizing Intelligence to the letter Tzaddi? It's usual attribution is the Natural Intelligece.
Quote:
The Fifteenth Path is called the Constituting (Stabilizing) Consciousness, because it constitutes the Substance of Creation (etzem ha-B’riah) in pure darkness. According to masters of contemplation, this is that darkness referred to in Scripture, “and thick darkness its swaddling band.”
Quote:
28th Path - Tzaddi: The Natural Intelligence. Through it is completed (or, perfected) the nature of all that exist beneath the sphere of the Sun.
The text for the 15th Path is obviously a better match for the Star than the Emperor as per the Golden Dawn attribution. Likewise the text for the 28th Path is a better fit for the Emperor. The old attribution to the Star does not make much sense.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mirror of Galadriel View Post
I think that Crowley may have been trying to rectify this point. Perhaps he thought that it all worked much better, if the Emperor - Reason; he who brings personal Will/Desire (Netzach) to bear in the inner realm (Yesod) in order to manifest reality (Malkuth) would be the Emperor, Heh.
I agree with the reasoning behind the switch of the Emperor to the 28th Path. But there seems no need to change it to the letter Heh. The letter Tzaddi and the Natural Intelligence can describe this process even better.
Quote:
Originally Posted by James Eshelman
Because of the correspondence of the Hebrew letters to the Tarot, which is prevalent in the Western Mystery Tradition, it is valuable to look more closely at how this meaning evolved. Qabalists of a hundred years ago taught that the Twenty-eighth Path of Tzaddiy corresponds to Atu XVII, The Star, one of the preeminent female images of the Tarot. Within the Thelemic model, however, it is taught that this was an error; that Tzaddiy corresponds to Atu IV, The Emperor, arguably the chief symbol of paternity, among the Tarot trumps, and, by implication, of phallic authority. In this light, in examining the root, TBO (root of Natural), we find that its meaning is “to sink, to press into”! From this primary meaning, it came also to mean “to impress, to seal,” as with the pressing of a royal signet into malleable wax; and then, “to sink, to be dipped in or plunged in.” The phallic implications are inescapable! In the Rabbinic Hebrew of the Midrash period, the form TBO, teva’a, came to mean a coin or medal – something that had been pressed or impressed – and, finally, a substance which is to be shaped. In Modern Hebrew, the word for the “nature” or “character” of a thing is this same TBO, teva’a.

So the “nature” of this “Natural Consciousness” is, first, only partly the field of Nature in the sense of the material world and its phenomena. This it is – from the philosophical view that this is the waxen substance which has been imprinted, shaped, and molded by the phallic, paternal, impressing, sealing, “plunging in” mode of Consciousness represented by this letter Tzaddiy. But it is also the “nature” or “character” of a person or thing, the fundamental disposition or temperament of a person – again, probably viewed as that with which he or she has been imprinted or impressed. On the Tree of Life, this Twenty-eighth Path marks the impact of the fiery desire force of Netzach, the Hidden Consciousness, on the malleable, waxen, adaptive, receptive aspect of the psyche represented by Y’sod, the Pure Consciousness.



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Quote:
Originally Posted by sagus93 View Post
Hi everybody. I'm just reading the book from Lon Milo DuQuette about Thoth tarot and he mentions this contradictions about Emperor's paths and confusing Crowley's quote about 'authority derived from chokmah and exerted upon tiphareth'.

I think I have a possible explanation for this, I'm little bit lazy so I will just copy a part of e-mail I sent to Mr DuQuette to explain this. Basic idea is, that saying 'Emperor's authority is derived from chokmah and his power is then exerted upon tiphareth' is not the same as saying 'Emperor is the path connecting chokmah and tiphareth'. There are more subtle connections and relations between sephiroths, paths and respective tarot trumps and this one is even graphically pointed out on the card itself, if you look carefully. Here is my explanation for this:

//I think Crowley's quote doesn't necessarily mean that Emperor 'is' the ray of light(=path) connecting chokmah and tiphareth.
Instead, if you imagine the actual painting literally placed on the path of Tzaddi where it belongs, then on its right side will be pillar of descending light up from chokmah all the way down to netzah, as a descent of Father's influence down to matter... (Emperor is said to be *combination of energy in its most material form with the idea of authority.*).
And in the same time, Sun - tiphareth is on his left side and so to say 'behind him'. Its same as on the painting itself.. ray of light at the right side and Sun not in the center of Emperor, but behind him, above his left shoulder. So exactly the same configuration on both the painting and the tree of life.
And not only that.. arms of Emperor form a triangle with his head on the top - staring at the Sun. There is the same triangle on the tree of life, with path of Tzaddi as a base and 2 arms - Nun and Samekh leading towards tiphareth, like an arrow pointing at the direction of his authoritative gaze. And to make things even better, this arrow/line of his sight first crosses the path of Pe attributed to Mars, to finally land on the Sun... which is answer to the question how does he 'exerts his power upon tiphareth' .. Emperor is Aries, in which Mars is the ruler and Sun is exalted.//

and thats it. You can find logic in this system also by looking at the path of initiation itself, climbing the tree of life. For exapmle - putting your life in order and under your conscious controll (=path of Emperor), then sacrifising your Self (=path of Death) in order to gain consciousness of tiphareth.. arriving here, you loose a lot of assets of your old ego, but some remains - for example notion of necessity of some kind of order and fatherly authority in order to continue on your true path. And this energy/understanding can be personified as the authoritative gaze of an old Emperor sitting down there in your past and watchning your steps.. and in terms of astrology, its the power of Aries to exalt the Sun.
Your explanation does make sense, Sagus. It looks like a consistent explanation for the symbolism of the card and deck, and could be correct in the esoteric sense, whether the authors intended this meaning, or not.
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I also feel that where the Emperor card domiciles in ToL does not matter. The ToL is static, but Tarot cards are dynamic. When using ToL spread, the Emperor card can come out any position in the Sephiroth or Path, and it gets read according to the combination of it's native energy and the path / sephiroth it fell on. Not on its own.

What Crowley said about it was text book origins. What we are doing with them is conflating the energies, and coming up with divinatory messages.



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