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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teheuti View Post
I discussed my own version of the Vices angle in this card in a podcast last year. I mentioned it earlier here but it was dismissed so I chose not to argue the point. I do believe that the vices are being alluded to in the GD tarot, although that's not the primary way that I personally read the card.
Yup, if it is by S. L. Mathers, I suppose it is from Golden Dawn. I had the same questions as the OP about this card quite a while ago, but got nowhere at the time. But recently when I was reading about the GD, there were the answers.

Regardless how I or other people read the card, I would still be interested in knowing what GD had said about it.
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Originally Posted by bluelagune View Post
Interesting association. Mercury is the old medicin man. The draggon looks like power. Same. Moon and high priestess for vailed figure does point into extra ordinary abilities. Maybe superpowers?
Yup ... and hidden, mystical
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Waite: "Divinatory Meanings: Fairy favours, images of reflection, sentiment, imagination, things seen in the glass of contemplation; some attainment in these degrees, but nothing permanent or substantial is suggested."

What did he mean by "these degrees?" Does it refer back to those things immediately preceding, and if so, why does he refer to them as "degrees?"
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abrac View Post
Waite: "Divinatory Meanings: Fairy favours, images of reflection, sentiment, imagination, things seen in the glass of contemplation; some attainment in these degrees, but nothing permanent or substantial is suggested."

What did he mean by "these degrees?" Does it refer back to those things immediately preceding, and if so, why does he refer to them as "degrees?"
I think he means "some attainment in these things" but implying that they mark stages or degrees of development or attainment (not necessarily consecutive). Placed in Netzach (the 7th Sephira or 4th from the bottom) it marks a somewhat developed but still low level of attainment in the GD, for instance.
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After hearing someone say awhile back that the glowing figure in this card is supposed to be a mushroom, I've been looking for anything that might validate this view. In Waite's Azoth, or, The Star in the East I ran across the first concrete link to mushrooms, the first one I've seen anyway. In the context of talking about Shekinah, he says:
"Her archetype has been fabled in heaven by the mycologists of the whole world, as 'a virgin-spirit of most ineffable loveliness.' "
Mycology, as it turns out, is the study of fungi, which among other things includes, you guessed it, mushrooms. Why would mycology have an opinion on of all things Shekinah, or her archetype. I'm still trying to figure that one out. It might have something to do with the fact that some mushrooms are bioluminescent, meaning they glow in the dark. Apparently philosophers and others have noted this phenomenon for centuries, as this article relates:
"Aristotle (384–322 BC) reported a mysterious light, distinct from fire, emanating from decaying wood. Pliny the Elder (23–79 AD) mentioned feasting on a glowing, sweet fungus found on trees in France and, in the late fifteenth century, a Dutch consul gave accounts of Indonesian peoples using fungal fruits to illuminate forest pathways. Bioluminescent fungi have intrigued generations of observers, and a handful of scientists still carry that torch of curiosity, answering questions about how and why these mushrooms glow."
Maybe someone else knows more about this. What I find interesting is the clear reference from Waite regarding fungi. This makes the hypothesis of the glowing figure as a mushroom at least plausible. Not to mention the connection of mushrooms with fairies. Waite wrote several books with fairy themes in his early years and talks quite a bit about them in his other writings. He even mentions "Fairy favors" as one the card's divinatory meanings.

I'm coming to think these visions are genuine but are of what Waite calls the phenomenal, as opposed to the noumenal [the ultimate reality or ultimate truth behind all phenomena which can't be expressed]. They might be similar to phenomena or visions conjured up by a spirit medium, some of such things Waite believed were genuine, but were only of the phenomenal world. The thing they most look like to me though really are dream visions.
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Abrac, it's all about DMT. Found in Amanita Muscaria mushrooms, and naturally in the pineal gland. Used by shamans for thousands of years. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amanita_muscaria
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N,N-Dimethyltryptamine
If you research people's Ayahuasca experiences they talk of a goddess (Mother Ayahuasca).
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General Book of the Tarot, by A. E. Thierens, [1930], at sacred-texts.com

Seven of Cups

TRADITION: Thought, soul, spirit, intelligence, idea, memory, imagination, conception, meditation, contemplation, reflexion, deliberation, views, opinion. Reversed: Project, intention, desire, wish, resolution, premeditation. Another version has: "Fairy favours . . . things seen in the glass of contemplation; some attainment in these degrees but nothing permanent or substantial is suggested." (W.)

p. 130

THEORY: If we eliminate 'soul . . . spirit . . . and desire,' words too far apart from the original meaning, we find in tradition a very pure rendering of the effects of the Water of the soul on the house of Gemini, the Third, the house of the changeful concrete mind and thought in which indeed nothing is permanent, and everything is passing, ephemeral. These effects must be very varied, including the most fantastic plans and conceptions, and 'fancy' is the most fitting word for this card. It will denote many intellectual proceedings and has to do with travelling for short distances, sight-seeing, considering, gathering impressions, etc. The word 'reflexion' is really quite appropriate in its place here, because the card represents the conditions of mind in which the surroundings are simply reflected in the soul. There may come seductive and suggestive images, some of which may be realised, but others will remain just fancy. The description which is given by W. is very accurate and points to the fact, that under the third house come nature-spirits and genii, who will eventually help, guide or mislead man.

CONCLUSION: Thoughts, intelligence, ideas, imagination, plans, suggestions, fancy, fantasy; reflexions and opinions, deliberations and intentions. Much in this card will not come into physical reality. Short travels, sight-seeing, impressions, views. Changefulness, unstable conditions. Promise and surprise, but always much more promise than fulfilment. 'Fairy favours.'
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gofannon View Post
Abrac, it's all about DMT. Found in Amanita Muscaria mushrooms, and naturally in the pineal gland. Used by shamans for thousands of years. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amanita_muscaria
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N,N-Dimethyltryptamine
If you research people's Ayahuasca experiences they talk of a goddess (Mother Ayahuasca).
Thanks for all the additional info. So when Waite says "mycologists" that probably includes shamans and others who are experienced with the effects DMT, not just scientific researchers as I originally thought. This opens the possibility that Waite himself was experienced, or Pamela, or both. At the very least he was aware of the magical properties of mushrooms.
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There were several psychonauts in the GD, Crowley being the most famous of them but also Allan Bennett. Waite would probably have been familiar with different substances and practices regardless of whether or not he experimented with them himself. I don't know whether the figure is a mushroom, but at the very least he was at the right place at the right time.
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I doubt its primary layer is supposed to be a mushroom; it only seems suggested as a secondary layer. I'm not even totally convinced of that, only that it's possible.

On the surface it looks like someone covered in a sheet and glowing from within. What this is supposed to be I'm not really sure. It could be an apparition, something Waite might have seen in his seance-going days. He was convinced of the genuineness of apparitions but viewed spiritualism as an alluring, but ultimately misleading, distraction from the true path. That would fit into the context of the card at least.
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