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The Emperor card. Information, please?

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The Emperor card. Information, please?


I just bought a copy of the 1998 US Games verson of Thoth with 3 Magus cards.

However, I noticed The Emperor card has the Hebrew alphabet Tzaddi instead of Heh and I was wondering if this was a delibrate rearrangement or did I manage to get myself a deck with typo error?

And if it was delibrate, what is the history behind it? Any information would be most helpful. Thanks.

Ash
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Abrac  Abrac is offline
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It is deliberate. Crowley chose this arrangement based on communications he received from his Holy Guardian Angel, Aiwass. If you do an internet search on this topic you should be able to find out plenty.
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Brilliant!!!


Now I'm more confused than ever.. If the Hebrew alphabet for The Emperor card is Tzaddi, wouldn't it be more respectful to swap the postitions of the cards in "his" creations rather than swap the alphabets from which the Hermetic Qabalah draws it's influence from?

Just curious... I thought it was a typo error because changing a sequence that has been around for so long seemed like sacrilege. Isn't it sort of like, "Let's swap the sequence to .. A, B, C, D, R, F, G, H.. so on and so forth because an angel told me so. If you really must know, MY angel told me so. What the h*LL, I'll just rewrite the whole darn thing since they've got it wrong all these centuries!!! Oh... wait, here's the mathemetical formula to justify the whole thing, all 25,000,000 pages of it."

I read an account of how Mr. Crowley met/spoke to Aiwass here and I'd hate to come across as disrespectful but isn't it possible the guy was schizo?

I think I'll just bury this deck deep and take out Swami Rama's book.

Thanks for your help though, Abrac.
Ash
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Hi Ash,

Please don't bury the deck deep. It's a good deck.

Basically the story of the Hebrew letters and the tarot cards goes like this -

In the late 1700s, some people began to equate the 22 trumps to the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. In 1781, two essays mentioning this equation were published. The second essay started with Aleph=World and worked down to Tau=Fool.

During the early 19th century, this equation became popular, but people preferred to reverse it. Thus Aleph=Magician. The Fool was a problem, and they attributed him to the letter Shin - standing for the Holy Spirit.

There were apparently a lot of arguments about the true attribution. The European Continental tradition stayed with the Aleph=Magician, Shin=Fool, and World=Tau position, but some thought that the Fool should be Aleph, and the rest should follow in order.

This attribution made its way into a document called "The Cipher Manuscript", which became the founding document of a Secret Society named "The Order of the Golden Dawn."

The Cipher Manuscript attributed the Hebrew alphabet to the tarot cards based on astrological and elemental properties derived from an old Kabbalistic work, the Sefer Yetzirah. The Sefer Yetzirah attributed the elements (except for Earth), planets, and Zodiac signs to the Hebrew alphabet. The Cipher Manuscript took over most of these attributions, but was inconsistent with the edition of the Sefer Yetzirah that it was based on in some places.

In particular, the Cipher Manuscript insisted that the cards Strength and Justice were switched in ancient times, because Strength shows a lion and should be Leo=Teth, and Justice has scales with should be Libra=Lamed.

Therefore the modern tarot pack was out of order - not the alphabet. Thus Waite's pack makes Justice card 11, and Strength card 8.

So, the whole issue of the Hebrew attribution was controversial, not only because of the Continental origins of the system and the 19th century conventions, but also because of the Cipher Manuscript's authority for the English Order of the Golden Dawn.

The Golden Dawn was founded in 1888, and by 1900 it was suffering a schism based on rumors that the Cipher Manuscript, and thus the whole authority for the order, was fraudulent. The legend of the Cipher Manuscript was based on its originating with "Secret Chiefs", which were the same as the "Hidden Masters" of Theosophy. Thus, some of the people in the Order of the GD interpreted the crisis as one involving getting in touch with the Secret Chiefs behind the Order, and getting new instructions as to how to move forward.

Aleister Crowley was one of those, and during a magical working in 1904 he received a text which he called "Liber Legis", the Book of the Law. He didn't know at the time that he would consider this received text to be the communication that everyone was looking for. In his commentary on the text, Crowley said that he mentally asked a question of the Secret Chief - his Angel Aiwass - about the attribution of the Hebrew letters. The response was "All these old letters of my book are aright; but (Tzaddi) is not the Star." "Tzaddi" is in parentheses here because in the text it is the Hebrew letter.

In the Cipher Manuscript and GD tradition, Tzaddi WAS the Star, so this was a revelation to Crowley. For many years, Crowley worked on this riddle, and finally came to conclusion that the attributions of the letters Heh and Tzaddi had to be switched on the Tree of Life. Thus Heh now had the Star and the sign Aquarius, and Tzaddi had the Emperor and the sign Aries.

The point of all of this is to say that the Hebrew alphabet and its order don't change for Crowley, only the attributions of these letters to the tarot cards. The Emperor now mediates the path between Netzach and Yesod, while the Star mediates the path between Chokmah and Tiphereth. Previously, it was vice-versa. But the order of the letters and the paths don't change - only the cards and astrological attributions of the path.

Crowley found further, even final confirmation, for this switch when he compared it to the previous GD-Cipher Manuscript switch of Strength=Leo and Justice=Virgo. He found that the astrological attributions of Star=Aquarius and Emperor=Aries made a perfectly symmetrical loop at the exactly opposite side of the Zodiac to the previous one. He considered this symmetry on both sides proof that the same hidden masters were behind both attributions.

Ross
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Back in those days there weren't too many schizos Ash, because they had just invented the term. Besides, anybody on the level Crowley was on would naturally be misunderstood and consequentially labeled a schizo. How many would label the son of man a schizo? Nowadays it has become a popular mode of thought: Freudism, the new religion.

Thank you for your detailed explanation on this Ross. I was wondering the same thing as Ash since she brought it to my attention. Crowley was so adamant about keeping the tarot keys in the traditional order, and it's true that they don't exactly line up to the zodiac and alphabet, which can be confusing. I have a question for you. What's the deal with the courts being switched in Thoth and 777? It's easy to understand the crossover when it comes to the dualistic airy signs of Gemini and Libra, but he did the same thing with Virgo and Capricorn. Your thoughts on this matter would be much appreciated since your authority is apparent.

On a bit of a tangent, I must question the wisdom of allowing one's holy name to fall on human ears, let alone going public with it. I suppose that is the choice one must make if the HGA makes it for you, but in my understanding the secret name is supposed to be guarded.
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Thanks, Ross.. your explanation did clear things up for me too. I was getting quite obnoxious.. sorry.

It makes better sense now that I have a better understanding of the history behind it and the changes that took place when this deck was created.

Little secret J: As to how many people actually suffered from schizophrenia at that time, I really do not know. Perhaps even the psychiatrists then can't tell for sure but I'm pretty sure that it was around way before Paul Eugen Bleuler named it such. And even if people suffered from it, perhaps psychiatrists didn't know as much about schizophrenia then as they do now, so the diagnosis may well have been different then.

Freud on the other hand, coined terms such as id, ego, superego among several others; founded the theory of psychoanalysis and worked mainly on repressed/suppressed sexual desire stemmed from childhood. Also, quite popular is the concept of the subconscious; is that the new (age) "religion" you mentioned?

There is a lady here in Singapore who claims she speaks to angels and charges several hundred dollars a session to tell querents what their angels are trying to tell them. I don't know what to think of her yet I find it hard to believe angels would stand for such practice. But then, my angel has been keeping mums so who am I to judge?

Back to the deck though, I'll take your advice Ross, and not bury it just yet. But I am not at a stage to understand the various arguments posed by those who followed the teaching of this man nor does it appeal to me, the complicated theories introduced. It reminds me of a man my friend speaks of often, Rudolf Steiner and I am more inclined towards the what the Hindu swamis have to share at this point of my journey.

Enjoy the discussion, if it continues. I trust it will be enlightening for those interested in this topic.

Ash
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I doubt that the angels would stand for what that lady does either Ash. Unless you're referring to the angel of money, and that means she in fact talks to the beast. Then again, maybe she's making it up as she goes along, like many so-called psychics do.

I meant to imply psychology itself as the new religion, with schizophrenics and such as its heretics, psychiatrists as the clergy, and people like Freud and Jung as its prophets. While there's a lot to learn by using psychology, people take it too far when they interpret it as truth. I'll bet most of the people in the past suffered from a wide variety of mental illness if you classify them according to this new system. But that's just not fair. I've heard people cite Mohammed himself as an example of paranoid schizophrenia, narcissism, manic depression, and so forth, but a man on his level is simply above the concept of psychology. Who is to say that a person who talks to spirits is delusional? Unless one knows those spirits well, it's awfully difficult to say.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lampkin
I'll bet most of the people in the past suffered from a wide variety of mental illness if you classify them according to this new system. But that's just not fair.
You're right, J. Thanks for reminding me.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lampkin
Who is to say that a person who talks to spirits is delusional? Unless one knows those spirits well, it's awfully difficult to say.
And I thought no one was interested in the madness vs. magic or illumination vs. neurosis argument! Aha! It rears it head!

An interesting point I find is that; can we really judge a delusion as opposed to a spiritual expereince? Most religious people seem delusional in my book.

[eg, I heard a Mufti dissing an athiest, the Mufti was angry that west allows such immoral practices as women not being properly dressed in public and sees that as a problem in society and he finds it REALLY offensive ... Well, Mr. 'psycopathic' Mufti, I don't find it offensive at all, but what I DO find offense is dead and mutilated babies writhing in hospital beds, and people being bombed and beaten in the street and hands being chopped off, etc etc. I find that a LOT MORE offensive. (And I find it just as offensive when it happens due to high altitude bombing as well as factional Moslem in fighting.
rant, rant ]

Remember that TV wierd series about the people with mental problems that all shared a house. One guy couldn't write anything, or even have paper or pens or pencils about. He chained his leg to the bed at night when he slept.

He had to drop his phobias while he lived in the house, there was paper and pens and pencils everywhere, yet the psycologist allowed the leg chain at night.

Why? (And to return to my original point).

because he was a sleepwalker, and he went about at night doing wierd stuff, so the chain fulfilled a realistic and helpful function for him.

My point is that we can't really judge a persons strange behaviour as 'mad' or whatever label we choose IF that behaviour pattern fulfills a helpful need and does not hurt others.

I think we have to start judging people on what benefiets their behaviour brings other than how wierd their methods seem to us.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sacredashes
I read an account of how Mr. Crowley met/spoke to Aiwass here and I'd hate to come across as disrespectful but isn't it possible the guy was schizo?
Try this thread ; http://www.tarotforum.net/showthread.php?t=79895

[If you're game ]
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