Why did Eliphas Lévi link Le Mat with Shin?


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Originally Posted by Teheuti View Post
Check your history. That's how the Egyptians were defeated - because the Hyksos invaded with their chariots and easily overcame the Egyptians who didn't have them. Of course, the Egyptians quickly became adept at the new technology.
I know all that (my comment was meant to facetiously reference the movie The Ten Commandments). In the main, I was suggesting perhaps they knew of wheels but held them taboo or something. Hell, Egyptians in the Old Kingdom knew the exact size and shape of earth, complete with a formula for the flattening at the poles! Their cubit was a round fraction of a degree of latitude (which is why it was slightly longer in Greece). So they certainly were not scientifically backward or anything. On the other hand, of course sophisticated cultures often miss the obvious: just look at today's scientists' overarching ignorance of the four elements and of the fact that particle physics confirms them!
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... :-) ... perhaps they hadn't so much horses ...

Well, we know, that the Greek at Troja had war chariots (Homer said so). But could they ride? Likely not.
But the Greek had centaurs ... in their mythology. And we don't have any archeological evidence for the existence of Centaurs. So - simple logic - one likely has to conclude, that Greek interpreted horsemen as Centaurs.
We know (from mythology), that the Centaurs lived in the Northern region.

holy wiki says:
Quote:
Horse taming and horseback culture arose first in the southern steppe grasslands of Central Asia, perhaps approximately in modern Kazakhstan
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centaur

So it's not so astonishing, that the Hyksos had horse chariots and Egyptians not.
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Originally Posted by venicebard View Post
I know all that (my comment was meant to facetiously reference the movie The Ten Commandments).
Sorry - I didn't get your reference to the Ten Commandments; it was too hidden for me. Irony and facetious references usually don't come across very well in print.

This speaks to whether or not Lévi was putting down Christ. It's hard to tell without examining his whole body of work while looking for such a theme. My impression is that he struggled with his relationship to the Catholic Church in that he found the institutional Church very short-sighted, while remaining priestly in regards to his own understanding of Christianity - but I can't point out places that support that. Also, his thinking changed over time. I believe his later works return to a more traditional Catholic outlook, perhaps because he was seeking approbation.

ADDED: (not to venicebard, but generally) I use wikipedia all the time. I find it's a great place to start research, get an overview, and it often presents a broader approach than more specific tracts that focus on one person's (or discipline's) agenda.
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Originally Posted by Yygdrasilian View Post
Given that we enter the provence of 'hidden secret meanings' whenever discussing such doctrines & rituals of transcendental magic, the historian's criteria for evidence suffers an immediate disadvantage.

Thus, the question of whether the sequence as a sequence has any special symbolic meaning may well be illuminated by inquiries into whether any rationales exist for calling Tarot a "Book of Hermes".
Yes, and the 'historians' will never be able to solve that question (dispite inevitable claims to the contrary) because of the refusal to consider internal evidence, as if internal evidence were not documentary evidence. Just as the archeologists will probably never acknowledge the Sphinx to be thousands of years older than Khefren, they're so busy studiously ignoring the geologists who try to explain it to them. Blinders keepers. I do sincerely pity those who have been mind-numbed by academia and its little compartments, whose fences stand in the way of any understanding deeper than what one compartment by itself can manage—indeed those fences stand in the way of empiricism itself, which is the very thing that defines 'science'.

However: having penetrated to the heart of the mysteries tarot embodies (in interests of truth must I put it this way even though few-to-none here may acknowledge it), I can categorically say that very little (indeed almost nothing) of it was OR IS understood by the occultists. [The sum total of what even the Golden Dawn grasped (that was or is not made clear and unambiguous in the general literature anyway) is (1) one of possibly two correct applications of letters to paths, and (2) correct correlation of planets to Sefirot in the world of Asiyah.]
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Most probable solution...


I believe the strongest justification for a correlation that puts LeMat between XX and XXI (didn't someone state this already, based on the 20 + 2 thing?) is that on the Day of Judgment (trump XX) the choice for each soul is between New Jerusalem (trump XXI) and oblivion (LeMat).
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Originally Posted by venicebard View Post
I believe the strongest justification for a correlation that puts LeMat between XX and XXI (didn't someone state this already, based on the 20 + 2 thing?) is that on the Day of Judgment (trump XX) the choice for each soul is between New Jerusalem (trump XXI) and oblivion (LeMat).
Personally, I think that is a great justification! It makes sense. And perhaps even Eliphas Lévi would have agreed, at least in part, with you, although he focused on it differently in his own text.

On a different topic - Lévi's Catholicism: R.A. Gilbert, in his introduction to Lévi's The Mysteries of the Qabalah: The Occult Agreement of the Two Testaments, discusses Lévi's lifelong devotion to the Catholic faith. Gilbert concludes that Lévi remained "a faithful son of the Church throughout his life" as shown by "his passionate defense of the Papacy, and the exaltation of Catholic Christianity over all other religions." He was influenced by Hoëne Wronsky's philosophy of Messianisme [the return of Christ as the Holy Spirit] to which Lévi gave his own twist by uniting magic with Messianic prophecy.

We can see a hint of this with his prophecy at the end of his manuscript of the Clefs Majeures et Clavicules de Salomon:
http://www.tarot.org.il/Library/Levi...%20Salomon.pdf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by venicebard View Post
I believe the strongest justification for a correlation that puts LeMat between XX and XXI (didn't someone state this already, based on the 20 + 2 thing?) is that on the Day of Judgment (trump XX) the choice for each soul is between New Jerusalem (trump XXI) and oblivion (LeMat).
Levi wrote c. 1856, the 3 Minchiate Francesi versions were made somehow between 1660-1730.

In version 2 of the Minchiate Francesi (with 42 units) the Fool Momus got the position 29. As the positions 31-42 got zodiac and months function, they somehow stand outside the usual row and the used system so has (somehow) only 30 units. 29 would be the "second last" position ... as by Levi, but between Love (28) and Fortune (30).

I only have few pictures of version 2, but they should be similar to those of version 3 (where they have other numbers). There they look this way:





see more:

http://tarotforum.net/showthread.php...04#post3027404

So we have the phenomenon, that Levi made something, which in a similar way was already done before.

*********************

In the common Tarocchi game rules we have (usually), that highest trump (World), lowest trump (Bateleur) and Fool (cannot trump, but can't be captured) and all 4 kings have 4 or 5 points (the highest values in the game).

The Kings-point are not sure; Kings can be captured by each trump.

The Bateleur points are not sure; the Bateleur can be captured by each other trump.

The Fool-points are sure; but the Fool cannot capture any other card (which would increase his automatic point value)

The World-points are sure and to this one may add the points, which the player gets when he capture other cards.

So we have a natural game ranking:

highest card: World
second highest card: Fool

It really doesn't need a high philosophical explanation.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huck View Post
So we have a natural game ranking:

highest card: World
second highest card: Fool

It really doesn't need a high philosophical explanation.
Huck, are you suggesting that we discount what Lévi actually said about both the cards and the Hebrew letters that he related to them? Is it your opinion that Lévi would have had no other purpose than their value in a Tarock game? Wouldn't he then have made some reference to the game?

ADDED: Based on your theory, wouldn't this order then have been taken up by game-players as the natural order of the cards?
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Originally Posted by Teheuti View Post
On a different topic - Lévi's Catholicism: R.A. Gilbert, in his introduction to Lévi's The Mysteries of the Qabalah: The Occult Agreement of the Two Testaments, discusses Lévi's lifelong devotion to the Catholic faith. Gilbert concludes that Lévi remained "a faithful son of the Church throughout his life" as shown by "his passionate defense of the Papacy, and the exaltation of Catholic Christianity over all other religions." He was influenced by Hoëne Wronsky's philosophy of Messianisme [the return of Christ as the Holy Spirit] to which Lévi gave his own twist by uniting magic with Messianic prophecy.
Waite, if I recall correctly, described Levi's defense of Catholic christianity 'machiavelian', striking at the roots of that which he claimed to be defending - and certainly one may see in it plenty of at least anti-clerical, reformist concerns and pursuance of concepts condemned as heretical by the church he is 'defending' - perhaps it was the several terms of imprisonment that he served for his writings that led him to write in such a 'machiavelian' way?

I don't think there is much doubt about his religiosity, and its essentially Christian albeit unorthodox nature (he did not believe in eternal damnation for example, a concept he found incompatable with that of a loving God, and so ascribed to a form of universal salvation (that included the redemption of Satan and all the 'fallen angels'), a heresy for which the church found Origen 'in error' - his concept of God as a 'pantheistic' synthesis of all humanity in whom God resides is not one I hear the Roman Catholic church talk much of either).

His vision of a 'new world'*, which was associated with an age of woman/spirit may be interesting to us here perhaps for the important role in it of 'madness' - there are no prisons in his vision of the new society, but there are hospitals for the treatment of madness (symptoms of which might include for example, a too self-indulgent liking for luxury and such like moral weaknesses and vices). Each area of his new society comes under the regency of supervisors, ever watchful for symptoms of madness in need of appropriate treatment...

kwaw

*A vision he claimed to have experienced while in prison for 'impiety and insurrection' after the publication of The bible of liberty, a book "of questionable orthodoxy in matters of religion and of revolutionary intent in politics." At trial his prosecutor said of him: '"a cleric who has vowed to uphold the faith has turned on it with the very instruments that his religion has furnished him."

ref:
Eliphas Levi, Master of the Cabala, the Tarot and the Secret Doctrines By Thomas A. Williams
Politics and the Occult: The Left, the Right, and the Radically Unseen By Gary Lachman
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Yes, and the 'historians' will never be able to solve that question (dispite inevitable claims to the contrary) because of the refusal to consider internal evidence, as if internal evidence were not documentary evidence.
I don't mean to get off topic, but this is an essential issue in the whole history section. Furthermore, Eliphas Lévi starts and ends his book, The Key of the Mysteries with the issue of what he calls Science and Mystery. Both are seeking to answer essential questions but they go about it in different ways. Science (including History) looks to an examination of facts (hard evidence), while Religion and, to some extent, Philosophy, look to analogy and revelatory experience.

I just stumbled across a recent book featuring a debate between the two sides:
War of the Worldviews: Science Vs. Spirituality
http://www.amazon.com/War-Worldviews...dp/0307886883/

We won't be able to solve this age-old conundrum here, but the Historical section on Aeclectic reserves the right to examine and compare hard evidence. All the other sections, as far as I know, are open to personal theories and opinions.

Anyway, the book looks interesting as is the short video with the authors, and the comments by readers.
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