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Question Vitriol


I have posted in the IDS about being stumped on a few of the alchemical elements and trying to wrap my mind around it all..
I am trying to understand what i am reading in the Duquette book about the Alchemical Symbols Page 53 and 54..

I am understanding Vitriol is the combination of Sulfur, Mercury and Salt..
What relevance does this information have on the cards as in the Art card, Lovers, Hermit, Death adn Devil cards where does it all link..
Or am i on the wrong track completely?



can anyone else explain it a little better , or is there any reference to it in Snuffins book or the Book of Thoth that explains it a little better,... Or another chapter in Duquettes book that goes a bit more detail and a bit deeper..

DB xxx
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Hey Dancing Bear,

Not on the wrong track, but it's more complcated than that... The question you're asking is a complete study on its own, so there aren't really any soundbites that are going to be satisaying or accurate.

V.I.T.R.I.O.L. is also an acronym: VISITA INTERIORA TERRAE RECTIFICANDO INVENFIES OCCULTUM LAPIDEM which translates roughly as "Visit the interior parts of the earth; by rectification you shall find the hidden stone." So before you think about the interaction of sulphur, Salt and mercury you should think about what the alchemical tradition means by the Philosopher's Stone (and by extension the Great Work).

There is an alchemical substrata in the Thoth, but it's complicated and elaborate and a whole topic unto itself because Crowley had his own ideas into which Alchemy factored. Most importantly, there isn't an easy A+B+C=X forumla in any alchemical study. The entire tradition is written in elaborate codes, verbal and visual, that purposefully defy simple interpretation and explanation.

Crowley uses the Renaissance acronym because it is a magical directive as much as a spiritual one. Vitriol was understood both as a literal substance AND an idea. For your purposes, the best way might be to consider the symbolism at work in each card. Chunk it down to the identifiable elements and then trace them as they shift through the cards (the Orphic Egg is a fun one, actually). THEN start thinking about that acronym: VISITA INTERIORA TERRAE RECTIFICANDO INVENFIES OCCULTUM LAPIDEM. I posted on this elsewhere, but for simplicity's sake I'm gonna quote it here...

Rectify...from medieval Latin rectificare , literally “to make right,” from rectus “right” (source of English rectangle and rectum).] Also right as in the opposite of left (sinistre/which even then had the connotation of evil)... which reminds me of the Qliphoth as the shattered Sephiroth, so that ascending the Tree brings you closer to Limitless abundance/absence. Perspective again, right and left being directions that change in context. So too Morality/Immorality and Beauty/Horror.

Thence Crowley's wacky behavior. And the insistent retitling of this card: Art and Temperance are two very different things. With all due respect, I don't see this card as a New Agey urging towards "Balance" although that's mixed into the options available to the Artist. Harmony is a part of Art, but then disonnance is as well. IMO, I don't see Crowley psychologizing his behavior or looking for "Middle Path" wisdom. I'd say that Art (as a title and a concept) is more active and demanding of personal intent and responsibility. Temperance has an intemperate judgment built into it that is at odds with the new Aeon. Titling this Atu ART is such a bold, hopeful command to the rest of us. I hope he was right. People looking and leaping simultaneously, taking charge of creation.

Rectification and blending... so that it isn't just lightening your dark, it might also be darkening your light. Solve et coagulo. The full palette is made available because this card may be indicating that Artistry behind every choice that we make. And the desire to distinguish between them is transformed as well. Doesn't Gaugin say: the ugly may be beautiful, but the pretty never? The real miracle is the internal transformation, the ability to see the omnipresence of Magick. Believing is seeing

And don't forget that that first word "Visit" (also form Latin by way of French) means to "go and see." This isn't a question of a literal Indiana Jones excursion into subterranean Lairs. It's about vision (and wit and solvents etc.). Literalism is going to be the death of all of us.

An interesting aside; VITRIOL is a wildly loaded acronym. According to my OED, the word comes to us from medieval Latin vitriolum, from Latin vitrum “glass.” Acid and glass and wit and fury and the Philosopher's Solution all conveyed in 7 letters. In fact, glass is actually a liquid... a liquid that moves so slowly that it is hard to the touch, but so inexorably that windows in old houses are thicker at the bottom. And glass is a strange thing to see, because in looking at it, we are actually looking at what is beyond it. Its fundamental nature is transparency, like the Tree of Life. We "visit" through it. It is a sight which contains nothing of itself: Ain. Ain Soph. Ain Soph Aur.

No idea if any of that made sense... but maybe something will resonate? Or else I need to be on medication.

Scion
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scion
Temperance has an intemperate judgment built into it that is at odds with the new Aeon. Titling this Atu ART is such a bold, hopeful command to the rest of us. I hope he was right. People looking and leaping simultaneously, taking charge of creation.
Ahhh. I finally get ART. Or one piece of it that's been eluding me for a long time. Thanks Scion. I would love more discussions on the elements.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scion
For your purposes, the best way might be to consider the symbolism at work in each card. Chunk it down to the identifiable elements and then trace them as they shift through the cards (the Orphic Egg is a fun one, actually).
I am going to try this.

AW
ETA Great question, Dancing Bear.
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Awesome!


Scion,

That has got to be the best post on the Thoth tarot that I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Thank you.
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Talking Vitriol


wow that was an awesome Scion.

As well as the alchemical meaning

Taken literally and looked at in another way - Visit the interior parts of the earth; by rectification you shall find the hidden stone."
could mean that there are other resources of concerntrated wisdom and knowledge on earth and some relating directly to the earthly realm that can be meditated on to gain further illumination such as geomancy, runes ect (though crowley does not directly mention runes) and these can also be used as a springboard to visit other dimensions such as on the astral level.
The hidden stone could represent hidden knowledge and wisdom that bring illumination which are usually locked away in the subconscious or superconscious minds and can be accessed via meditation, trance, astral realms etc.
This could also apply to studying the thoth tarot via meditation etc also.

Just a thought (probably a totally mad one though)

blessings

crystal dawn
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Thankyou everyone for all of your help with this,,
I think i have got the gist of it all now ... Thanks again for all your input.
Scion brilliant explanation.. GP thanks for the email, CD the Rune angle is an interesting angle... as i love runes.. I will give this some thought

You all take care

DB xx
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if you just searched and read all of Scion's postings, you'd grow Wise
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Y'all are too nice. I'm just glad it didn't seem wacky and disjointed. .
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Crowley makes a definite point that Art was designed to be related to the Lovers. They are both cards that represent the relationship b/w opposites so it makes sense. One quick way to think of the relation is their astrological associations - Sag and Gemini, opposites on the zodiac. But I digress.

If you want to have some fun learning about vitriol, check out this page: http://web.archive.org/web/200702031...Tabulatext.htm

I posted an analysis of the VITRIOL image from the above website in my old blog (in purgatory right now). Take it w/a grain of salt as I am no scholar when it comes to alchemy:

As we can see from this figure, a configuration of 6 spheres (like Art’s multiple breasts) representing planetary opposites, along with earth and heaven, and two opposing hands, are all balanced.

The alchemical principles of sulphur (active) and salt (passive) are also balanced, and in Art, they are represented by the Red Lion and White Eagle respectively which have convened and changed colours. (These symbols perhaps may also be related to Leo and Scorpio, or the lion and the snake as featured in Strength/Lust and the Tower.)

The elemental pair is also joined with the seven point star of Babylon, suggesting the foundation of the mother, prima materia which leads us back to Diana, fertility and Sag as huntress. This connection with matter is emphasized by the Sovereign’s Orb (?) above the Babylon star which is similar to that held by Thoth’s Emperor of which Crowley writes in the BOT that it signifies “his energy has reached a successful issue, that his government has been established.”

Mercury rests in the center, representing the child and the synthesis but also, Sag’s arrow and the Thelemic Will as Crowley writes, “The arrow is, in fact, the simplest and purest glyph of Mercury, being the symbol of directed Will.” [BOT: 104]. He goes on in the appendix to describe a man with two arrows, one white and barbless, the other black and multibarbed. He shoots the white arrow at the heart of Eros, and as he does so, his own heart is pierced by the black arrow to which Eros replies, “Although thy shaft hath pierced me not, although the envenomed barb hath struck thee through; yet I am slain, and thou livest and triumphest, for I am thou and thou art I.” Following this, Crowley writes, “And then a voice comes: That which is above is not like that which is below. And another voice answers it: That which is below is not like that which is above. And a third voice answers these two: What is above and what is below?” [BOT: 141-2]

Again, this suggests that the process of Art or Temperance is not simply a marriage (Key 6, The Lovers), but a total synthesis in which all boundaries between man and god fall away while the arrow of Will is that which destroys the illusion.
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Some interesting ideas (as well as the 'traditional'), I especially like Scion's;

" I'd say that Art (as a title and a concept) is more active and demanding of personal intent and responsibility."

Also there is an art to being a magician ... as opposed to just practicing magick, the same as there is an art to being a swimmer, as opposed to just swimming. There is also an art to working the Thelemic / magical / alchemy / tantra that is depicted throughout the Thoth majors. The Art card gives some major clues.

On an internal alchemical level (taking one form of Vitriol - the universal solvent or acid) there is a substance which dissolves everything and allows a more intense magical perception. When everything is dissolved there is no difference between any one thing and any other thing. Al is the key to the Law (and lots of other stuff) Al (in 777) also stands for A.L. (Anhalonium Lewenii - forgive the spelling) which was a chemical synthesis (made by A.C. himself) of magic mushroom juice he bougth back from Mexico (now that's alchemy!) - at one stage he got Park Davis laboratories to whip him up a batch, which he says was stronger and superior to his, so much so, that he still had some left in the bottle which he carried around "to this day".

But is it the substance itself, or is the key, the reaction and the resultant secrecretion stimulated by ingestion of the substance. {is it the drug ecstacy people get off on, or is it the humanly produced seratonin that the drug stimulates the enocrine system to release?}. If we then take 'the interior of the earth' as a metaphor for the human energy systems the occult maxim poses another level of question.

Lately, since working with biodynamic agricuture and seeing so many similarities between it and alchemy (to the extent I now realise it is Earth Alchemy), the maxim can be interpreted in a literal sense (B.D. preparation 501 - in this specific instance.)

And so on ... have fun.

Release Sarah Tonin! (It wasn't her fault )
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