I do not think the SY depends on anything about cardinal, fixed, etc. signs. That is not mentioned.
It's a basic, that 3x4 = 12. There was a sexagesimalsystem used by the Sumerer. Another basic is, that 12 is good for cycles, cause you can divide it in 1/2, 1/3/ 1/4 and 1/6 and 1/12, which isn't so pleasant with 10. As time depends on cycles, you find there a use of 24 (2x12, hours), 60 (5x12, minutes and seconds) and 360 (30x12, degree and days of the year). The year has the pleasant quality, that it is about 12-13 moons and about roughly 360 days.
It goes too far too assume, that the SY didn't know the astrological 3x4 system of astrology/astronomy.
Or do you want to argue that the system of cardinal, fixed, and mutable signs somehow derives from the I Ching, too? Maybe so.
... :-) No, I can imagine, that the people in the west were able to count to 12 by own force.
I'm not saying you're wrong. But using your hypothesis as a basis for rejecting other hypotheses seems to me unjustified. Supposing that the ancient Hebrews had your complex understanding of the I Ching, or somehow duplicated your understanding of it based on sketchy knowledge, seems at least as speculative as what I am doing.
:-) ... There's naturally an abyss between me and them, but there's also an abyss between me and other modern persons, when I start to talk about I-Ching.
Perhaps this second abyss is greater than the first, as modern humanity has lost the sense for the really simple things. Leibniz, who detected the binary code, was totally puzzled, when he detected the binary code use of the Chinese in I-Ching.
In natural math the binary system appears before the decadic use. The decadic use comes to young humans, when Mum or Daddy show the thumb and say "One" and there are 10 long fingers.
The binary system understanding, which depends on the easiests numbers 1-2-3-4 developed, before you could speak any word. It's everybody's mental home, just the ability to differentiate. Light, dark, what's this noise? Sympathy - antipathy, who's "mummy"? In this jungle of the world you build the first concepts. 1, 2, 3, 4 ... and after that it get's too much for the moment. Anybody out there?
Contrasts pleasant - not pleasant, all oppositions = 2. Action - reaction - new situation. Thesis - Antithesis - Synthesis = 3. Time cycling: Mummy comes, mummy is there, mummy leaves, mummy is not there. = 4
Even the DNS is organized according I-Ching patterns, better "according binary code".
It does not seem to me a development that was so obvious as not to need writing down. On the other hand, since I don't understand it, I concede that I'm not in the best position to judge would have been obvious in ancient times.
If you still spoke of "fixed etc."... yes, it should been a basic.
We have contradictions with three authentic variants (Bahir, Long-Gra, Short). We've a 4th suggestion on the base of the similarities between SY and I-Ching caused by the binary scheme.
"Binary schemes" can explain many things: cubes and octohedrons, for example. It is how "binary schemes" are used that is crucial, of course. That complex use you attribute to the I Ching is a difficult one to transport from China to the Middle East.
But ou can interpret the SY by means of the I Ching; that's fine. I don't reject what I don't understand. It may be one interpretation out of several equally valid--not a lot, but several. As I say, I find the octohedron and cube interpretations to be equally valid and mutually compatible, each bringing out part of what is there.
The author of SY spoke of "32" in the manner of specific number groups, 22 (= 3 + 7 + 12) + 10 (1+3+6), which can be identified as belonging to the binary code pattern. An accidental meeting of such a complex number group is not plausible, somehow there should be a context.
The author spoke also about other math qualities (whic have nothig to do with binary code math), and it is not realistic to assume, that he invented all SY content himself. It's more plausible, that he had a natural social context, which had prepared him to do this operation : write the SY.
A Sammelsurium of different traditions, perhaps occasionally an own idea added here and there. It's plausible, that the "32 ways" in their full context weren't made by him, he just had gotten it from somebody. Did he understand the full context? It's not plausible, otherwise we wouldn't discuss these different suggestions for the zodiac signs. And the text has other weaknesses, and possibly also broken traditions after the author of SY.
Scholem (Origin ... p. 22) points in matters of an "earlier 32" to Preuschen, Zwei gnostische Hymnen. 1904 (object is a "Brautlied")
http://books.google.de/books?id=GJvhAAA ... olume&q=32
I found a German translation. It appears in the socalled Thomasakten as "Erste Tat des Apostels Judas Thomas",
Acta Apostolorum Apocrypha I, ed. R.A. Lipsius, 1891; II, 1 u. 2, ed M. Bonnet, 1898 (page 109)
I found an English version:
[this is the song]
The damsel is the daughter of light, in whom consisteth and dwelleth the proud brightness of kings, and the sight of her is delightful, she shineth with beauty and cheer. Her garments are like the flowers of spring, and from them a waft of fragrance is borne; and in the crown of her head the king is established which with his immortal food (ambrosia) nourisheth them that are founded upon him; and in her head is set truth, and with her feet she showeth forth joy. And her mouth is opened, and it becometh her well: thirty and two are they that sing praises to her. Her tongue is like the curtain of the door, which waveth to and fro for them that enter in: her neck is set in the fashion of steps which the first maker hath wrought, and her two hands signify and show, proclaiming the dance of the happy ages, and her fingers point out the gates of the city. Her chamber is bright with light and breatheth forth the odour of balsam and all spices, and giveth out a sweet smell of myrrh and Indian leaf, and within are myrtles strown on the floor, and [GARLANDS] of all manner of odorous flowers, and the door-posts(?) are adorned with freedst. And surrounding her her groomsmen keep her, the number of whom is seven, whom she herself hath chosen. And her bridesmaids are seven, and they dance before her. And twelve in number are they that serve before her and are subject unto her, which have their aim and their look toward the bridegroom, that by the sight of him they may be enlightened; and for ever shall they be with her in that eternal joy, and shall be at that marriage whereto the princes are gathered together and shall attend at that banquet whereof the eternal ones are accounted worthy, and shall put on royal raiment and be clad in bright robes; and in joy and exultation shall they both be and shall glorify the Father of all, whose proud light they have received, and are enlightened by the sight of their lord; whose immortal food they have received, that hath no failing (excrementum, Syr.), and have drunk of the wine that giveth then neither thirst nor desire. And they have glorified and praised with the living spirit, the Father of truth and the mother of wisdom.
A 32 is mentioned, twice 7 (female and male) and a 12.
32 = 32 ways
7 = 6+1 inside Sephiroth
7 = 6+1 inside double letters
12 = 12 in zodiac and simple letters
mothers = hidden or missing
3 first sephiroth = hidden or missing
The bride is generally received as "Sophia" (wisdom) by scholars.
Mike H wrote:
When Scholem says the Bahir came from the east, he might have been thinking of the person who brought secret sacred books to Lucca and gave them to the family I talked about at the beginning of this thread. Part of the family went to the Rhineland and part of it to Provence. Kabbalah was in Provence (Narbonne, which these days wouldn't be considered Provence) before it went south of the Pyrenees, and even then it went to Gerona before Castille. At least that's what I've read.
Right, the Kalonymos family. This might be.
When you speak of "transmission errors", these are usually due to mistaken assumptions on the part of the transcriber. Also, copyists were also redactors, i.e. correctors of what they took to be errors or confusions in the text. I have given reasons for thinking that such "corrections" were introduced in the Bahir and Long Versions, namely, the gradual loss of a geometric understanding of the zodiacal signs in relation to the night sky, replacing it with verbal configurations. The assumption that there was a hidden division into cardinal, fixed, and mutable signs where none existed is another possible reason for error. This feature can work in both directions.
There are a lot of trivial reasons for errors. We know this from our own operations. And these earlier persons hadn't a copy+paste function.
It seems to me that the Bahir is earlier than the Gra or Long Version. If so, it must be based on something earlier, because it only contains a fragment lifted from a longer text. That fragment is more similar to the Short Version than to the others. Is there any historical basis, as opposed to your speulations about the I Ching, for supposing otherwise?
Scholem perceives the Bahir as very chaotic (critical reader). Kaplan is much more optimistic ... :-) (believing reader).
In my opinion all three versions to the Zoia problem don''t get the original context.
From the general research experience: First (A) you have to get, that the "32 ways" are element of the binary code. Second (B) to this you have to get the zodiac riddle solved. If you're not really successful with A, you don't get B.
More difficult than B is the Sephiroth group (C), especially 4-9 or 5-10.
Much more difficult than ABC is the riddle about the number "620" ... :-) ... from the technical side. So the persons, who transported the "620" might lead to the real masters, who somehow knew, what they were doing. Naturally, everybody, who just transported the tradition of the 620, might know nothing about the real context.
One other issue of mutual interest is the question of when planets got associated with sefirot. It does not seem to be in the SY in any of its versions, or in the associated diagrams (Gra and Luria are the only ones I know for sure, where they are associated, in different ways, with the elemental letters and the diagonals). In Alemanno I only see Saturn mentioned, associated with Binah according to Idel. Pico makes other associations, for which he claims no Jewish authority (all are below Binah; he associates Saturn with Netzach). He knew the Zohar only through Recanati's quotations. But he also knew Gikatilla's "Gates of Justice". As far as I know, the Latin translations of these texts that he paid for are still sitting in Florence untranslated into any modern language, and maybe even still unpublished. There are occasional translations of bits of them in the literature, but nothing about planets that I know of.
Yes, they develop in chaotic manner, and it's not fun to have to do with so many contradictions. Isaac Luria becomes then interesting, offering qualitative new models. Well, I don't know enough about him.