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Swords and Wands associations... a different turn on the subject.

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Swords and Wands associations... a different turn on the subject.


Okay, now I know that we've discussed this topic time and time again, but I feel that I have some interesting information worth discussing.

My husband and I were reading through some of our books and noticed something; here is the quote ( a long quote) from Deborah Lipp's "The Elements of Ritual" .. page 7-6.

"...However, Waite's membership in the Golden Dawn included an oath of secrecy, and so he hesitated to reveal too much in his deck or accompanying book. He decided to switch two of the elemental correspondances in order to preserve his oath....But Swords and Wands are abstract tools, not in common usage at the turn of the last century. The Golden Dawn associated Air with Wands and Fire with Swords--Waite reversed those two and filled his deck with Fiery Wands and Airy Swords......

...On the other hand, the original association used by the Golden Dawn and others made a good deal of sense. The sword is the stronger and more destructive tool, and fire is more destructive than air. The wand is the tool of the intellectual magician, but the sword is the tool of the willful warrior (Fire associated with Will). ...."

We also noticed that DJ Conway in his Celtic Dragon Tarot gives some what the same story and reason.

Now I'm not trying to start an arguement... I was a bit surprised by this myself.... I was wondering... what do you guys make of it?
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I'd say Ms. Lipp hasn't bothered to read Book T.

From Book T
Quote:
The Ace of Wands is called the Root of the Powers of Fire.

The Ace of Swords is called the Root of the Powers of Air.

The Lord of the Flame and the Lightening; the King of the Spirits of Fire; Knight of Wands

The Queen of the Thrones of Flame; Queen of Wands

The Lord of the Winds and the Breezes: the King of the Spirits of Air; Knight of Swords
Etc.

Pretty poor scholarship on Ms. Lipp's part. This information was first made public by Crowley in 1912 (although he did not give the GD credit) and definitively issued by Regardie as Book T (Volume 8 of his The Complete Golden Dawn System of Magic) in the 1930's when he broke his GD oath. As you can see from the quotes, the GD associated wands with fire and swords with air.
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And we can certainly all agree that Crowley's scruples didn't necessitate *his* keeping secrets. ;-)

In justification for the GD system, A primary aspect if the intellect is to *discern*. This comes from a latin root meaning "divide", which is what a sword does.
Also, given a water cup hearkening to a womb or whatever, the wand (a shaft surmounted by a cone) is the more obvious sexual corollary to put with the elemental corollary of fire.

To quote from Crowley's "Book 4", under Chapter VIII - "The Sword":

Quote:
"The word of the Lord is quick and powerful, and sharper than a two-edged sword."...The Magic Sword is the analytical faculty; directed against any demon it attacks his complexity... It was the function of the Cup to interpret the perceptions by the tendencies; the Sword frees the perceptions from the Web of emotion.
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Thanks guys... these are all interesting quotes.

But I know that if I researched into Crowley or Waite I could find information regarding this topic.

I was just wondering... does anyone have an opinion on this? I'd really like to know what some students of the RWS system think about all this. It would really help me to make an opinion of my own, if I could see what other minds think.
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Hi

If you are asking what Waite and the GD thought, well, I think the above quotes show that.
Crowley was, I believe the first to reveal the GD secrets.

And although Waite was supposed to have put deliberate mistakes into the cards he may or may not have designed (see other thread for details) It seems that swapping the elements is not one of them.

But, if you want to know what other people (like me) think. Well, I'm not big on Waite, but I do rather like Crowley.

My thought is that I have seen various ways of applying the suits to the elements. I have seen swords as water in a couple of decks.

All systems have their merits, I do not think there is a right or a wrong way Just different ways.

I use the swords = Fire system, because it was what I first learned, and what is used on the deck I use. (The Thoth)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lillie
I use the swords = Fire system, because it was what I first learned, and what is used on the deck I use. (The Thoth)
Are you sure?

I am certain Swords=Air in Crowley's system.
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Duh!



Thankyou for spotting the deliberate mistake.

I keep making mistakes at the moment.
fuzzy head syndrome.
I loose concentration.

Yes. That is exactly what I meant!

Swords = Air.
Wands = Fire.

I use that, cos it's on the Thoth, and it's how I learned it.
Other systems confuse me (easily confused, as is clear to all!) so I stick to one.
But still, nothing necessarily wrong with the others.

Thank you Ross. I could have read that over a thousand times without seeing my mistake.
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Quote:
I use the swords = Fire system, because it was what I first learned, and what is used on the deck I use. (The Thoth)
On what basis do you say that the Thoth equates swords with Fire? Crowley repeatedly says in BoT that Swords are associated with air.... for example on page 202
Quote:
The Ace of Swords is the primordial Energy of Air.....
or on page 204
Quote:
Three of Swords - Binah, the Great Mother, here rules the realm of Air.
whereas for the suit of wands he says
Quote:
The Two of Wands is called the Lord of Dominion and represents the energy of fire; fire in its best and highest form.
Moreover, the suit of wands is astrologically associated with the three fire signs i.e. Aires, Leo and Sagittarius whereas the suit of swords is associated with the three air signs of Geminii, Libra and Aquarius.

So it would seem to me that Wands = Fire in the Thoth unless I misunderstood what you said.

p.s. saw your reply to Ross after I posted my question. Phew... got confused there myself. I don't think Crowley departed from the GD system at all in the Courts and small cards.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wizzle
On what basis do you say that the Thoth equates swords with Fire? .
On the basis of being a moron who can't read what she's written.

Sorry. It was a mistake.

Swords is, was and will always be Air in the Thoth deck.

I would go back and edit the original post, but then it would look like I was trying to pretend that I had never said anything so foolish.

And clearly I did.

I hang my head in shame.
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No need for head hanging at all. Your brilliant mind was merely thinking new things while your fingers were still typing. Been there and done that.
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