Crowley's switch

#1
Huck wrote: Well, look at that, what astrology has brought to us in matters of virtue-iconography and astrology-iconography:

Fortitudo: A woman or man with a lion ... we have the zodiac-sign Leo
Justice: A woman with a libra ... we have the zodiac-sign Libra
This specific similarity caused Crowley's confusion about a double loop of the zodiac and his "Tzaddi is not the star".
This is not true. It was the Golden Dawn "Cipher Manuscript", the foundational document of the Order, that makes those attributions and "corrected" the Tarot de Marseille placement of those Virtues. Crowley had nothing to do with it.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cipher_Manuscripts

I reproduced the important quote in this AT post earlier this year:

"Crowley was taught, and believed, that the GD attributions, given in the Cipher Manuscript, were the true ancient tradition (even though he knew it was forged), and that Levi's "Continental" system was a blind, which the French occultists mistakenly followed. The Cipher Ms. states the reason for the counterchange of Justice and Strength as:

"VIII Justice = [Lamed] and [Libra]
And XI Strength = [Teth] and [Leo] which
causeth a transposition
for these are cognate symbols
but at one time the sword of
Justice was the Egyptian
knife symbol of the sickle
of Leo while the scales
meant the [Sun] having
quitted the balance point
of the highest declination.
To the female and the lion
gave the idea of [Libra] repressing the
fire of Vulcan ([Saturn] in [Libra]
exalted. But earliest was
the lion goddess to [Leo] and Ma
to [Libra] with her scales. And this
is better."
(fols. 54-55; words in [brackets] are symbols in the original document)

As far as Crowley was concerned, there were correct and ancient attributions for the Tarot, the Initiated Tradition. Any change, such as he proposed for Tzaddi and Heh - and Aquarius and Aries going with the Trumps not the Letters/Paths - had to come from the same initiated source - the Secret Chiefs.

Trying to solve the problem posed in I:57 suggests an implicit recognition of the authority of the Secret Chiefs, since they issued the challenge in the first place. History and reason do not recognize a problem. Thus if anyone comes along with a "better" solution than Crowley's, they must be playing the initiate's game, and therefore assume the mantle of prophet with the authority to make the change."
http://tarotforum.net/showpost.php?p=30 ... stcount=56

Cipher Manuscript, pages 54-55 (the quote above is the last 2 lines of 54 and the first 16 of 55):
http://hermetic.com/gdlibrary/cipher/

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The Golden Dawn people never talked of any "loop" (of Strength-Leo and Justice-Libra around Virgo). It was only when Crowley saw that his preferred switch of Hebrew-letter Trump attributions produced an astrological switch of Emperor-Aries and Star-Aquarius around Pisces, that he started calling the result, with the previous Golden Dawn one, a "double loop in the Zodiac". This symmetry was for him the elegance that proved the switch from Emperor-Heh to Tzaddi, and Star-Tzaddi to Heh, was the correct solution to the problem posed by the Book of the Law, I:57.

In 2007 I detailed the evidence of Crowley's response to the problem as he perceived it here -
http://tarotforum.net/showpost.php?p=10 ... tcount=140
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Re: Temperance

#2
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:
Huck wrote: Well, look at that, what astrology has brought to us in matters of virtue-iconography and astrology-iconography:

Fortitudo: A woman or man with a lion ... we have the zodiac-sign Leo
Justice: A woman with a libra ... we have the zodiac-sign Libra
This specific similarity caused Crowley's confusion about a double loop of the zodiac and his "Tzaddi is not the star".
This is not true. It was the Golden Dawn "Cipher Manuscript", the foundational document of the Order, that makes those attributions and "corrected" the Tarot de Marseille placement of those Virtues. Crowley had nothing to do with it.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cipher_Manuscripts
Hm ... I think, I formulated this correct. The Cipher manuscript wouldn't likely have suggested the exchange, if the presented Fortitudo and Iustitia hadn't their specific outfit. Ergo: Without the outfit not Crowley's confusion (and also not Waite's). Well, and that all would have happened "not without the Cipher book" and not without Kenneth Mackenzie and Till Ulenspiegel and Thomas Murner and not without all these silent Tarot cards with these details.

Luckily we know now, that there were a lot of Tarot sequences.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Temperance

#3
Huck wrote: Hm ... I think, I formulated this correct. The Cipher manuscript wouldn't likely have suggested the exchange, if the presented Fortitudo and Iustitia hadn't their specific outfit. Ergo: Without the outfit not Crowley's confusion (and also not Waite's).
No, you've still "wrongly formulated" the question. There's no "confusion" on the part of Crowley - this is just the esoteric system he was taught. He understood it perfectly, and it makes perfect sense in that system. He wasn't confused about anything. Waite doesn't attribute Hebrew letters or astological Signs to his cards, although he alludes to an initiated secret which he can't reveal for why he switched the places of Strength and Justice.

Crowley still had nothing to do with the Strength-Justice switch in the Golden Dawn's Tarot trump order. It is incorrect to imply that he did. Wrong formulation. The "specific similarity" of Tarot de Marseille Strength with a Lion and Justice with Scales (I don't think any Tarot varies on this personification of Justice) also has nothing to do with the "Tzaddi is the Star" problem. This is also an incorrect formulation.

Since you think you have correctly formulated it, however, and since I don't understand what you mean, I will assume that I misunderstand you and that you can explain it more clearly, with more words. A couple of paragraphs should do. I will give you a few hours.
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Re: Temperance

#4
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote: I will give you a few hours.
... :-) ... and what happens then?

As I understand English language "Crowley's confusion" in my sentence could address "Crowley's own personal confusion", or the "confusion, that Crowley started for others" (especially if the speaker speaks with ironic language).

I know definitely by own experience, that a few were confused by the double loop of the zodiac, but about Crowley (either confused or not confused by the strange experience, that somebody or something declared, "that Tzaddi is not the star") I personally don't know - I can't ask him.

In the article of you, that you linked to, you yourself addressed doubts about the date, when Crowley precisely knew or assumed, that He and Tzaddi somehow should have an exchange with their attributes. You come to a conclusion of c. 1918. The Tzaddi scene took place 1904. So - somehow -, if your analysis is right, one might conclude, that Crowley had been 14 years "confused" about "Tzaddi is not the star" and found then to a second insight, which told him "now you got it".

But I think this problem not so interesting, and I'm not interested to prove, that Crowley was confused. The situation was simply so, that Crowley and others and the research of early 20th century hadn't our level of information. There were different rows of early Tarot cards, the idea of the Golden Dawn, that they had the "true order and arrangement of the Tarot cards" looks in this context just funny. Especially funny had been in the development of Tarot during 20th century, that believers of the French orders had their fights with believers of the English order in the time of early internet.

If one changes the row of the cards, naturally also the attributions fall to other places, as this other Hebrew letter order was connected to some Sepher Yetzirah attributions.

I'm myself often enough confused, why should I assume, that somebody else was never? Isn't that part of "human life", that we occasionally are? And reading Crowley's autobiography, I didn't have the impression, that he insisted in stupid manner, that he came perfect to this world.

So what are you going to defend?
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Temperance

#5
Huck wrote:
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote: I will give you a few hours.
... :-) ... and what happens then?
And then I explain it. I didn't want to give you days, because you might then be able to study the question and write a sensible response.

It is a complicated question, but it is simply a series of facts, not arguing interpretations of anything. Not very many people understand the GD and Crowley's fiddling with the order of the trumps.
As I understand English language "Crowley's confusion" in my sentence could address "Crowley's own personal confusion", or the "confusion, that Crowley started for others" (especially if the speaker speaks with ironic language).
If "the confusion that Crowley started for others" is what you meant, then a normal English speaker would never say "Crowley's confusion". 99.9 percent of the time, this would mean "the confusion Crowley had", "the confusion in Crowley's mind", or, well, just "Crowley's confusion".

But you didn't say just "Crowley's confusion", you said that something caused Crowley's confusion, which means that your attempt to retreat to obscure possibilities of English diction makes even less sense. Did you really mean to say that the Fortitude's Lion and Justice's Scales caused the confusion that Crowley started for others?

No, it is clear what you meant, and your attempt to confuse the issue is troubling to me. Please admit when you don't know what you are talking about.

Well, Crowley didn't start it, the Golden Dawn (GD) did, and Waite's deck perpetuated it with the switch of the positions of Justice and Strength.

Whichever way you want your statement to be taken, it is still wrong - Crowley DIDN'T start it.

Moreover, he actually put Strength (as "Lust") BACK at position 11, and Justice (as "Adjustment") at 8. But he still kept the GD Hebrew letter attributions.

However you want to spin what you said, you are wrong - Crowley did not have, and did not start, any confusion about the positions of Justice and Strength in the Tarot.

It is your refusal to admit your error and accept correction that is causing me to pick on you about it. Normally when a mistake is corrected, one will say "thank you" to the one who corrects you.

This is far from the first time, although I didn't berate you the last time, because it was not your mistake, although you tried to rescue it by stretching the truth so far it could mean anything.
viewtopic.php?f=12&t=845&p=12095&hilit=mestier#p12096

The lesson is that a mistake is a mistake, and it should be acknowledged as such, corrected, committed to memory, and then any personal feelings (and theories based on the mistake) forgotten.
I know definitely by own experience, that a few were confused by the double loop of the zodiac, but about Crowley (either confused or not confused by the strange experience, that somebody or something declared, "that Tzaddi is not the star") I personally don't know - I can't ask him.
This is not the point, and Crowley couldn't have been confused about a term and a concept he himself invented (the "double loop" in the Zodiac). You also don't have to ask him, you just have to read what I collected from him about the concept.

It would be very easy to demonstrate the reason why he called it a double loop, with a moving image, but I don't know how to do that. I have found that most people are too lazy to get the concept through intellectual effort, so it remains like some kind of "mystery" to many Crowley deck users. The more you try to explain it to them, the more they suspect you of pushing a personal interpretation. Therefore, we need someone who can make a simple series of moving images, so even idiots can SEE it.

Like this:
1 - the Zodiac in a circle.
2 - the Sepher Yetzirah 12 Single Letter attributions of the signs of the Zodiac.
3 - the GD-Tarot de Marseille order of Tarot Trumps (Aleph=Fool) attributed to the single letters/zodiac (Teth=Leo=Justice, Lamed=Libra=Strength).
4 - the Cipher manuscript transposition of these two attributions (Teth=Leo=Strength, Lamed=Libra=Justice).
5 - a moving circle around Virgo showing that these two positions are revolving, a "loop" of these two signs around Virgo.
6 - highlight Heh=Aries=Emperor, Tzaddi=Aquarius=Star, on either side of Pisces.
7 - a moving circle around Pisces showing how the the transposition of these two sign-letter attributions around Pisces creates a second "loop" in exact balance on the other side of the circle of the Zodiac.

If that doesn't get the concept of the "double loop" through someone's mind, then there is no further hope for them.
In the article of you, that you linked to, you yourself addressed doubts about the date, when Crowley precisely knew or assumed, that He and Tzaddi somehow should have an exchange with their attributes. You come to a conclusion of c. 1918. The Tzaddi scene took place 1904. So - somehow -, if your analysis is right, one might conclude, that Crowley had been 14 years "confused" about "Tzaddi is not the star" and found then to a second insight, which told him "now you got it".
But this has nothing at all to do with your original statement, that "Crowley's confusion" had something to do with Justice and Strength. In fact he had no confusion, he believed the doctrine whereby Justice had the letter Lamed and the sign Libra, and Strength had the letter Teth and sign Leo, and when he had accepted that the Star might be Heh and the Emperor Tzaddi, he noticed that these two signs are also separated by only one sign, Pisces. The Secret Chiefs' "transposition" of Justice and Strength was matched exactly, balanced, on the other side of the Zodiac, to the transposition of Aries and Aquarius, Emperor and Star. So Crowley figured he had found his solution.
But I think this problem not so interesting, and I'm not interested to prove, that Crowley was confused.
What is important is take responsibility for your statements, admit when you are in error, or not to make uninformed assertions that turn out to be wrong and then try to defend them by twisting the meaning of words or phrases.

Crowley was not "confused" in any case. You are confused. About Tarot history, Crowley, like all the occultists, was simply WRONG, but that is not the question here. You are imposing that standard on them.

The issue here is what they believed and why they believed it. It is no different to studying the biblical story of creation or Ptolemaic cosmogony. We know that both are wrong in factual terms, but it is anachronism to say they were "confused" when they drew conclusions from what they believed.

It is in fact quite logical to believe that the Earth is fixed at the center of the universe, and everything turns around it. That is a simple, unconfused belief. What is confusing is to believe that the Earth is floating in nothing. That is not the case, but that is what most people who don't know a little bit about astronomy actually think is happening. They believe it because nobody believes otherwise these days, and there are satellites and space travel and whatnot, and scientists are really smart when they aren't working for a Liberal conspiracy to destroy America.
The situation was simply so, that Crowley and others and the research of early 20th century hadn't our level of information.
That is irrelevant to the question of this thread. If you don't want to discuss the history of occult ideas about Tarot, then don't make erroneous statements about it. If you do state something in error and are corrected, accept your mistake and move on.
So what are you going to defend?
I'm going to defend staying on topic and not being anachronistic and mixing everything up. I don't care whether the occultists were right or wrong about real Tarot history, when I talk about occultist writings about Tarot. I care about what they said and why they said it. It is part of intellectual history, culture, whatever.

I happen to know a lot about Aleister Crowley and his ideas, which is why I caught you bullshitting here. Perhaps many times I don't catch you, because I don't know about the subjects you are writing about. But about this one I know the facts, perhaps better than anyone who has written about them on the web. I also know about Tarot history, which is why I will defend the facts against bullshit in most places I find it. I don't go LOOKING for trouble, but if I am in a conversation where someone says something stupid or bullshits, I'll point it out. Often that person will admit their mistake and learn, but sometimes they will defend their mistake and then an argument might ensue.
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Re: Temperance

#6
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:I'm going to defend staying on topic and not being anachronistic and mixing everything up.
Alright, I remember dark, that the topic was "Temperance" and I said in this context and as answer to a question of MikeH ...
Huck wrote:... :-) ... I think, a key to understanding Greek mythology is to learn their genealogy. And that's a jungle of many contradictions ... but none the less there's some mathematical logic.
Well, look at that, what astrology has brought to us in matters of virtue-iconography and astrology-iconography:

Fortitudo: A woman or man with a lion ... we have the zodiac-sign Leo
Justice: A woman with a libra ... we have the zodiac-sign Libra
This specific similarity caused Crowley's confusion about a double loop of the zodiac and his "Tzaddi is not the star".

Natural question: where would be the pictures of Prudentia and Temperance in the zodiac? My answer ...

4th zodiac-sign Cancer: a water animal with two very big hands = Temperance with two cups of water
5th zodiac-sign Leo: Fortitudo ... as already described
6th zodiac-sign Virgo: Prudentia ... cause Virgo is generally addressed as being prudent
7th zodiac-sign Libra: Justice, as already explained


... this would make sense.
The sentence ...
This specific similarity caused Crowley's confusion about a double loop of the zodiac and his "Tzaddi is not the star".
... is a bypassing sentence which just explains something about Justice and Strength and has not much other function. The condition of Justice and Strength is of importance for the following "longer green passage", which is the actual message of that what I wrote. It's indeed - my humble opinion - an interesting observation, and - in my not humble opinion - a least of similar value as this " double loop of the zodiac" idea.

This was the topic and what you said, was "I'm going to defend staying on topic and not being anachronistic and mixing everything up."
But you've blown up this single sentence. Alright, why not, I'm not so critical.

Now you seem to want, that I confess a mistake ...

Let's see:

action A: Justice had 8 and Strength had 11 .... in Marseille Tarot.

Action B: The Cipher manuscript changed that to "Justice has 11 and Strength had 8" to make their kabbalistic concept fit better. Forgery? Error ?

Action C: Crowley's "higher knowledge" spoke "Tzaddi is not the star" and Crowley's research idea's circled around this point and finally he came up with the idea, that there must have been an exchange between 4 Emperor and 17 Star.

Well, Crowley detected an error and tried to repair. Fair attempt, but it really didn't work and the whole case had no win, at least not in Tarot history. Crowley had just invented a new Tarot ... he didn't really explain the past with it

Well, everybody can invent his own Tarot in whatever manner he likes. Do what you will etc.
Well, and it's the right of everybody to give his/her opinion to this from of creativity. I made the choice to speak of "Crowley's confusion", cause in matter's of Tarot history it wasn't really a progress. I would say, that he replaced one error with another. Bu I'm really not so interested in this topic.

I don't claim to know all and everything about Crowley, and I likely never did. And I will not, cause I find it not so interesting to read too much of him.
In matters of I-Ching, something which I loved my time and from which I think, that I understand something of it, he simply talks bullshit (as far I know his work). But there are so many, who have talked some nonsense in this topic, that I don't care.

So, what shall I excuse for ... that I've an own opinion?

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

"But Tzaddi is not the star?"
I, of course, don't know, what Crowley's "higher self" wanted to say here, but Tzaddi has some special conditions in the development of the European alphabet, which didn't use Tzaddi, but went directly from P to Q instead of Pe - Tsade - Qoph ... Tzaddi was lost. Naturally a problem especially for the number-system connected to the alphabet.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Temperance

#7
Huck wrote: Alright, I remember dark, that the topic was "Temperance" and I said in this context and as answer to a question of MikeH ...
Huck wrote:... :-) ... I think, a key to understanding Greek mythology is to learn their genealogy. And that's a jungle of many contradictions ... but none the less there's some mathematical logic.
Well, look at that, what astrology has brought to us in matters of virtue-iconography and astrology-iconography:

Fortitudo: A woman or man with a lion ... we have the zodiac-sign Leo
Justice: A woman with a libra ... we have the zodiac-sign Libra
This specific similarity caused Crowley's confusion about a double loop of the zodiac and his "Tzaddi is not the star".

Natural question: where would be the pictures of Prudentia and Temperance in the zodiac? My answer ...

4th zodiac-sign Cancer: a water animal with two very big hands = Temperance with two cups of water
5th zodiac-sign Leo: Fortitudo ... as already described
6th zodiac-sign Virgo: Prudentia ... cause Virgo is generally addressed as being prudent
7th zodiac-sign Libra: Justice, as already explained


... this would make sense.
I changed the topic to the esoteric forum so we wouldn't be offtopic of discussing the iconography of Temperance.

The present forum is hardly used, so I don't know what I would consider offtopic here, as long as the original post is somewhat kept in mind.
The sentence ...
This specific similarity caused Crowley's confusion about a double loop of the zodiac and his "Tzaddi is not the star".
... is a bypassing sentence which just explains something about Justice and Strength and has not much other function.
It is a factually incorrect statement, it doesn't matter what its function was intended to be. This is why I split the thread into another forum, since now we are discussing a point of esoteric Tarot, and not the iconography of Temperance.

Your point about why Justice is Libra and Strength is Leo in one system - which you mistakenly say statrted with Crowley but which is really Golden Dawn - is true for the Cipher Manuscript, and the author of that document used the same logic as you.

But that is not what I am addressing here. I realize you don't care, but I'll go on anyway.
The condition of Justice and Strength is of importance for the following "longer green passage", which is the actual message of that what I wrote. It's indeed - my humble opinion - an interesting observation, and - in my not humble opinion - a least of similar value as this " double loop of the zodiac" idea.


I don't think either idea is valuable at all for pre-Gébelin Tarot historiography. You are doing precisely what the occultists who founded the Golden Dawn did - looking at the Tarot and trying to find reasonable esoteric explanations for it (Libra-Justice and Leo-Strength are very reasonable, but they mess up the Sepher Yetzirah order - but they are SO reasonable, that they did it anyway). But there are none - Tarot is not esoteric. It doesn't matter which sign or Hebrew letter you want to assign a card to, or why you want to do so - it is, historically, irrelevant for the interpretaton of Tarot iconography prior to the 19th century.
This was the topic and what you said, was "I'm going to defend staying on topic and not being anachronistic and mixing everything up."
But you've blown up this single sentence. Alright, why not, I'm not so critical.
I blew up this single sentence because it is a gross mistake and I am a specialist in this question. You act no differently in this respect when it comes to other questions of Tarot history. I have schooled you in the facts of the question now. Hopefully you won't make the same mistake again.
Now you seem to want, that I confess a mistake ...
Yes. And you keep making it.
Let's see:

action A: Justice had 8 and Strength had 11 .... in Marseille Tarot.
Right - good.
Action B: The Cipher manuscript changed that to "Justice has 11 and Strength had 8" to make their kabbalistic concept fit better. Forgery? Error ?


Right in the first part, but wrong and irrelevant with the rest, which shows why you go wrong. You really ARE an occultist - you want to have the RIGHT Kabbalistic interpretation!

It doesn't matter whether it was a forgery, or a joke. How on Earth could it be an "error", unless you believe there is a CORRECT Kabbalistic interpretation?

Is this true, you believe the 22 trump system is based on the Hebrew alphabet? And there is a correct system? Which is it, then?
Action C: Crowley's "higher knowledge" spoke "Tzaddi is not the star" and Crowley's research idea's circled around this point and finally he came up with the idea, that there must have been an exchange between 4 Emperor and 17 Star.
Yes, but you jumped the chronology here. A whole school of Golden Dawn initiates - including Waite - believed that the transposition of Justice and Strength in the Trump order was the true and secret tradition. It was not just some weird idea of Crowley.

"Action C" should be "Golden Dawn Cipher Manuscript tradition becomes English Tarot doctrine".

Many Waite-Smith users, the majority of American and English users I guess, could not imagine Tarot without Justice at 11. This is important when understanding English speaking Tarotism, which is a large part of the lore of Tarot in the last century, and remains the dominant model on the web.
Well, Crowley detected an error and tried to repair. Fair attempt, but it really didn't work and the whole case had no win, at least not in Tarot history. Crowley had just invented a new Tarot ... he didn't really explain the past with it
Not exactly, his "received book" just told him that "(Tzaddi) is not the Star", so he figured there had to be another transposition in the traditional order. He would never have said that he himself detected an error. He believed his book was dictated by a Secret Chief, and had the same authority as the Cipher Manuscript.

It is interesting that you seem more interested in the potential truth of the GD and Crowley's beliefs, rather than just an academic interest in them. In fact there is no truth in the esoteric Tarot's claims - they are utterly devoid of value for pre-Gébelin Tarot history. I am interested in this history only because I was deeply involved in it for two decades, and I don't want my knowledge to go to waste. But like the study of Fairy Tales, the only value of knowing about them is in their cultural reception, and their psychological importance. It is absurd to ask "Did Bluebeard really have seven wives, or only six?"

The modern mythographic phemonenon that excites me the most is the Holy Blood Holy Grail mythos. This is unfolding before our eyes, in ways very similar to what happened to Egyptian Tarot two centuries ago. There are comparative lessons here for the historian.
So, what shall I excuse for ... that I've an own opinion?
No, what we're discussing is not your opinion, it's the facts of the case. If you want to argue when Crowley solved the problem posed to him by the Book of the Law, that is a matter of opinion. But the facts about the GD transposition and that Crowley did not start it, I'm just correcting you on those facts.

You're very welcome.
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Re: Crowley's switch

#8
Hm ...

Action A: Somebody invented the Hebrew alphabet

Action B: The Sepher Yetzirah connected (at least in one of its versions) the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 12th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 18th and 19th letter of the Hebrew Alphabet in a sequence to the zodiac signs Widder till Pisces, so that 9th letter became related to Leo and the 12th letter to Libra.

Action C: Justice had 8 and Strength had 11 .... in Marseille Tarot.

Action D: Eliphas related the row of Sepher Yetzirah to the Tarot cards as known.

Action E: The Cipher manuscript changed the position of the Fool and so changed all and everything in their order. Additionally somebody thought, that some error MUST have occurred with the order of TAROT (500 years old and known for many variants), so they altered the position of Justice and Strength. Well, considering their limited knowledge about specific Tarot history details, it was an excusable assumption.

Action F: Crowley's "higher knowledge" spoke "Tzaddi is not the star" and Crowley's research idea's circled around this point and finally he came up with the idea, that there must have been an exchange between 4 Emperor and 17 Star. But he didn't change the Tarot (which might have been excusable similar to the change of the Golden Dawn), but he did change the row of the sequence of HEBREW ALPHABET, more than 3000 years old and not so much known for many variants, if we don't take the step and explain each of the many alphabets as a variant.

Well, that was an attempt to change History ... or shall we call it an attempt of forgery? Wasn't it so, that Crowley spoke of a new Aeon? Wasn't that not very much like "cloud Nr. 7"?
At least that was a very exotic contribution in the longer story of Tarot History. If I address that as "Crowley's confusion" I would say, that this is a harmless expression. Or do me the favor and say, how one should address this somewhat crazy process in a global manner. Founding a new religion? A special variant of Messianism? Has this really something to do with Tarot History?
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Crowley's switch

#9
Huck wrote:Hm ...

Action A: Somebody invented the Hebrew alphabet

Action B: The Sepher Yetzirah connected (at least in one of its versions) the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 12th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 18th and 19th letter of the Hebrew Alphabet in a sequence to the zodiac signs Widder till Pisces, so that 9th letter became related to Leo and the 12th letter to Libra.
The first instance of what became the Hebrew alphabet is in graffiti by Sinai copper miners around 1600BC to 1400BC. The current letters forms are an invention by Neo-Babylonian scribes writing in Aramaic, dating from around the 4th century BC. Dagesh, adding dots to letters, to mark vowel sounds and aspirate/non-aspirate distinctions (p/f or b/v) is even later, first centuries CE. Seeing the workings of the spirit in the aspirations of speech is a highly striking originality of Sefer Yetzirah and its late Babylonian Talmudic milieu.

The specifically Jewish mystical tradition in the classical era, as does all Jewish religious history of that era, evidences a strong rivalry between the old priesthood and the newer rabbinate. Mystical priests were Merkabah riders, rising through the spheres to get to the heavenly temple, to which the ark had been raised when Jerusalem fell to the Babylonians (that's what Ezekial's chariot vision describes). By doing this, they restored the destroyed link between heaven and earth. The rabbis (perhaps adopting a view that originates in the Alexandrian community, see Philo) held that the actual text of the Torah was the divine Logos, and had replaced the lost ark as the active link to the divine. Mystical ascent must therefore take place via meditation on the text.

The entire tradition of analogical or deep bible reading, whether kabbalistic or monastic, derives from this idea (Also, the ongoing crisis within post-biblical Judaism of God's silence and of arguing how to restore the lost link to heaven is what gave the Christian message of an incarnation its initial persuasive power)

Ascribing the system of Yetzirah interpreted letters (i.e. the 3/7/12 division) to the tree of life is early medieval, as are the many extant concrete systems of assigning letters to planets and star signs. The Hebrew versions are unanimous in ascribing the three horizontal paths to the three mothers; the seven verticals to the seven doubles, and the twelve diagonal paths to the twelve singles. But they vary in the specifics. By this standard, all the Christian sources, based on the Renaissance translations of the text, have it completely wrong; although they are arguably no latter in origin than the current ascriptions used by Jewish kabbalists.

The occult tradition, whether Christian or Jewish, is filled with Crowley and Mather types rediscovering long lost truths that require emendations to existing texts. This makes the copying of older Kabbalistic texts far less trustworthy than the scribal tradtition for sacred texts.

In other words, the final settling of the issues you are referencing is far less old than the Tarot itself; and the earlier history of Hebrew writing or mysticsism are irrelevant to it

More generally, my considered take on occult history, after about 40 years of on and off exposure, is that there never was much of a passage of secrets from master to disciple, and that it's much more frequently isolated people thinking they are rediscovering and reviving a lost tradition by interpreting an obscure text. The only exception seems to be the proto-scientific correspondence of the "invisible colleges" that shape Renaissance Neoplatonism, Hermeticism and Alchemy. The subsequent revelations, cipher texts, secret masters, heavenly lodges, secret socieities, etc all seem to be recycling the texts and the interpretations of that single era.

Re: Crowley's switch

#10
Hm ...

... :-) ... Do you suggest, that that He and Tzaddi or similar words weren't part of the alphabet counting system c. 1000 BC and hat they hadn't a specific position (He = 5th letter; Tzaddi = 18th letter) ?. Alright, perhaps I should have said Paleo-Hebrew alphabet or Old Hebrew alphabet for more specification, but to which variant of Hebrew the Golden Dawn and Crowley referred to? And how they considered it to be?

For the Sepher Yetzirah, it's considered 1st - 6th century, so maybe your "early medieval" (I see it defined as 5th - 10th century) doesn't fit really, perhaps "Late Antiquity" fits better.

The 3-7-12 scheme is very old, at least as old as the dice game (3-6-12 in games with two dice), but as a subordinated figure of the binary system it's also VERY old (part of I-Ching). 3000 years is not exaggerated. It's somehow plausible, that it was used in Egypt c. 2500 BC. It's use as an astrological program might be younger, but anyway, likely also older. I see this scheme somehow already in Hesiod's writings. Actually I would think, that already the Alphabet-inventor, who decided for 22 letters, knew about it and used it as a didactic instrument.
Jim Schulman wrote:Dagesh, adding dots to letters, to mark vowel sounds and aspirate/non-aspirate distinctions (p/f or b/v) is even later, first centuries CE. Seeing the workings of the spirit in the aspirations of speech is a highly striking originality of Sefer Yetzirah and its late Babylonian Talmudic milieu.

Maybe this is younger and caused the expression "double letter", but this doesn't change, that the mathematical structure is similar young. It just says, that the double writing form was structured according an already known pattern.
"19-year cycle (235 synodic months, including 235−19×12 = 7 embolismic months)" ... 7 and 12 was already used in the 19 years-calendar ... definitely older.

The specific detail of Sepher Yetzirah, which the Golden Dawn definitely used, might be younger.

But Crowley suggested an Alphabet-change, or not?
Huck
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