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Kabbalah/Tree of Life system... and Tarot

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moonbow*
One thing I have decided, for now, is that I won't try to tie up the Tarot with the Tree of Life until I know more. Then perhaps I will come up with my own allocations, unless I read something which leads me to think I can work in another way.
. . . and . . .
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I'm intrigued by what he says about Gematria. I like numbers.
Warning: Gematria has little to do with Kabbalah (according to both me and Gershom Scholem). Assuming you are serious about wanting to know if there is a real link between paths and trumps, here is what I know (and it is not that much).

Standard arrangement of letters on paths in Hermetic Kabbalah may actually be the original tradition, but the application of it to trumps is flawed by the demonstrable fact that trumps are based on bardic numeration, not Hebrew. The Hermetic pattern shows it may well have originated with those who knew bardic numbering, because in it the (Hebrew) equivalent of E or 2 (heh) descends to Tiferet from 2 and that of I or 3 (zayin, since yod is II, the mistletoe-like loranthus which hovers above the ground or line) descends to there from 3. This is significant because 2 and 3 are the supernal father and mother in the tradition of the Name (or that part of said tradition that has survived).

I am speaking of the arrangement: alef 1-2, beyt 1-3, gimel 1-6, dalet 2-3, heh 2-6, vav 2-4, zayin 3-6, cheyt 3-5, teyt 4-5, yod 4-6, kaf 4-7, lamedh 5-6, mem 5-8, nun 6-7 (N is bardic 13, or 6 + 7), samekh 6-9, ayin 6-8, peh 7-8, tzaddi 7-9, qof 7-10, reysh 8-9, shin 8-10, tav 9-10.

If you would be interested in discussing this intriguing possibility further, let me know. [Bardic numerical order is: (H=0) A E I O B M P F K G T D N L R S U KK(Q) II(Y) SS AA, or (cheyt) alef heh zayin ayin beyt mem peh [samekh, F being a pagan substitute] kaf gimel tav dalet nun lamedh reysh shin vav qof yod tzaddi teyt [a consonant in all alphabets save the Keltic, evidently].]
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Hi Venicebard, I'm sure many of us would be interested to know if there is a link between the Tree of Life paths and the Tarot, and not just the trumps either.

It appears that Gematria is a subject for debate too as some people 'do' connect it to the Kabbalah. Much of what I have read in this thread and on the net over the last few weeks leads me to think that the individual can apply whatever suits them personally to the Tree of Life. I'm not even sure if it's the Hermetic Kabbalah that I'm interested in... I suspect not, and this is the only place that I have read that bardic numbering is involved too, (back to Google). So you are saying the Kabbalah is not based on Hebrew!!! I think this is why many find it difficult to connect to understanding the Kabbalah/Kabala/Qabalah/Cabala... the spelling even seems to relate to different belief systems.
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Oh my! i have been thinking about the same -but which one?- dilema as you, Moonbow. I grew up with RJ Stewart's philosophy via me mum, so it seems to make sense to follow his kabbalistic pattern, but i wanted to look a bit more widely ( i haven't researched as much as you though).

The way i was trying to choose a system went like this: lay the majors out in that particular author's pattern on the tree and look at where each card is between two sepherot, and see if it makes sense. but in both Stewart's and Other's methods there were cards that seemed obvious choices for that placement and others which i just didn't get.

Why are there so many different interpretations? I know that K and Tarot don't have common origins or perhaps even a longstanding connection, but when you see the variety of interpretations it starts to look almost random.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SittingIdiot
I share your feelings of frustration with GD asphyxiation; even Robert Wang's very well-done book is consumed by it.
Well what do you expect from a book specifically devoted to the Golden Dawn system? Kosher Tarot?
Robert Wang makes it abundantly clear in his introduction that he is writing about the GD system, but he does not claim it is the be-all-and-end-all of Tarot/Qabalah schemes. It is just one of many possibilities. All of the various systems of applying Tarot to Qabalah are little more than a "house of cards" specifically designed to create a certain symbolic pattern. The individual placement of the cards only makes sense when considered as part of a combined whole.

What Wang recommends is that the student learn one system and the rules by which it works. Once this is done the student can tinker with the rules of the game, or even break them. But at least the student will be working from a solid foundation and will be able to learn from those who have gone before.
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Gareth Knight makes a profound observation. In his Experience of the Inner Worlds he describes the workings of a group using the Tarot cards as psychic doorways. He states that "From a formal Qabalistic point of view it was found possible to start a Path working from virtually any Tarot trump - which suggests that the sacrosanct and rigid application of Tarot correspondences to the Tree of Life is of little real importance."

Thus, one must always approach these materials with the attitude that no matter how specific the system, it is only one means of approaching an inner reality. My own style of approach involves building a solid intellectual foundation for ideas of each Tarot card, yet doing so with full understanding that every tower of ideas must eventually fall, and a new tower built in it's place.

The Qabalistic Tarot ~ Robert Wang.
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"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction." -- Albert Einstein
The complete Kabbalah of the Tarot is established by the first card.
The Magician (Aleph) "enters" but Aleph is part of a Triadic Unity,
Aleph-Mem-Shin, so we have in reality ALL 3 of these appearing.

Air (Aleph), Mem (Water), Shin (Fire), align to the 3 Zodiac signs
of Aquarius, Scorpio, and Leo. None of which has an exaltation...

Now enter The High Priestess, card two and letter two, Beth,
which signifies The Moon, exalted in Taurus, sign of Earth.

Card three, The Empress, is Venus, exalted in Pisces,
and card four is The Emperor, Mars, ruler of Aries.

So you now have all 4 fixed signs, and Venus in Pisces,
with Mars "opening the door" to Aries, letter five and
The Hierophant ~ Aries, wherein is exalted The Sun.

As if into open arms, Aries appears between Taurus
and Pisces...and the stage is already busily active...

It happens with Aleph, as a complete Circle of the Zodiac,
fully inhabited by all 22 cards, in a single Kabbalistic flash,
but it isn't Kabbalah like you find in the books: this is real.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fulgour
but it isn't Kabbalah like you find in the books: this is real.
In a Universe where perception is nine tenths of the law, it's as "real" as any other system.
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The problem with Wang's approach (and those who support him) is precisely in the suggestion mentioned by Aeon418:
"What Wang recommends is that the student learn one system and the rules by which it works. Once this is done the student can tinker with the rules of the game, or even break them. But at least the student will be working from a solid foundation and will be able to learn from those who have gone before."
Once one has imbued oneself with that 'system', it becomes increasingly difficult to see either Tarot or Kabalah in its own terms, as the mind has made consistent effort to bring together disparate things, in a way determined by the GD.

Better to study each of these in isolation, for then can reading GD materials (whether Wang or other) be ascertained for what it is.

The faculty of discrimination is increased by understanding each area of study on its own terms, not by overlaying correlations that limit or alters each.
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jmd, I don't believe I recommended any one particular system in my previous post. So I'm puzzled how you could have interpreted "one of many possibilities" as Golden Dawn? You seem to be implying that I was pushing the GD system. I was not.
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Correct, Aeon418 - I was actually commenting on Wang's recommendation that a person stick to ONE system and effectively imbue themselves with it.

The problem is if one chooses, I would suggest, a 'system' where the overlays are already made, for then a habit of mind establishes links between disparate 'systems' (such as the Tree of Life, Astrology, Tarot, Alphabets, etc).

If a 'system' already presents these as correlated, then I would advocate the opposite of that which Wang suggests: do NOT choose such a system, but rather study tarot on its own merits, Kabalah on its own foundation, Astrology by its own various methods, and alphabetic traditions on their own.

Then - or at least, once one a basic foundation for each of these is established - one can look at such overlayed systems as presented by the GD (or the different system presented by the OKRC [Kabalistic Order of the Rose Cross]) and more easily assess and discriminate what is being presented.
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...a good start


Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeon418
In a Universe where perception is nine tenths of the law, it's as "real" as any other system.
Hello Aeon418! I am so glad that you liked my post.
I had hoped that it would be a "Liberating" experience.
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