Re: Incongruences in Oswald Wirth’s Tarots

#1
Reugelith wrote:
21 Nov 2020, 04:09
2. But the following I cannot understand it by any means: The Yin Yang (I Ching) symbol in La Papesse (1926): It is so out of place; How it is related with Freemason iconography?.
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https://i.pinimg.com/originals/83/9b/bb ... 5cf878.jpg


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https://insightfulvision.com/gallery-oswald-c.php



I don't know, which is the one of 1889 (probably the second ?) ... both have the Yin-Yang symbol. Here is a Wirth deck, where the Papesse looks, as having no Yin-Yang-symbol:
https://tarot-heritage.com/2019/06/26/o ... benedetti/
I found it again in the British Museum with an 1889 ... https://www.britishmuseum.org/collectio ... 11-48-1-22
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I'm not an expert in Oswald Wirth, also not in matters of Crowley, but Crowley had interests in I-Ching since .... I don't know precisely. At least in the time of Book of Thot, which is later than 1926. The magical records of the beast 666 (1914-1920) show, that Crowley used the I-Ching in this period, eatlier than 1926/27. There are publications, which indicate, that Crowley translated the I-Ching, likely based on Legge, who was much eatlier.
https://hermetic.com/crowley/libers/lib216

The theories of Aleister Crowley to a connection between I-Ching and Tarot, which he gave with the Book of Toth I regarded as nonsense in the time, when I was active with the I-Ching (and I still do), cause there is a better way to connect the Golden Dawn Tarot theories to the I-Ching, if one believes in the Golden Dawn theories about Tarot (which are based on ideas of the Sepher Yetzirah to the socalled "32 ways of wisdom" .... created very early at a date between 1st century and 5th century AD).
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http://trionfi.com/tarot/new-themes/sepher-yetzirah/
I agree with the idea, that there is a mathematical connnection between the "32 ways of wisdom" and the "I-Ching with 64 hexagrams".

I could imagine, that there was some influence of Sepher Yetzirah ideas on the genesis of Trionfi/Tarot decks during 15th/16th century, but I don't think, that this was a very dominant factor.
I don't know, if there was a communicative connection between Wirth and Crowley, but somehow it looks probable to me, that Wirth knew a little bit about English Tarot decks and ideas of the Golden Dawn development.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Incongruences in Oswald Wirth’s Tarots

#2
James Legge translated all Chinese classics during his long life. He died 1897. An influential I-Ching translation was published 1899 short after his death.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Legge

Richard Wilhelm published his German translation of the I-Ching in 1924. Wirth was from Switzerland and this means, that he likely was bilingual in German-French. So the Yin-Yang emblem might have entered Wirth's Tarot in this way in 1926/27.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oswald_Wirth .... " Swiss occultist, artist and author"
https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oswald_Wirth
https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oswald_Wirth
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_W ... inologist)
https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Wilhelm ... Wilhelm founded the first sinology institute in Frankfurt 1924 after having lived a longer time in China during 1900-1924 at 3 different journeys. He quickly got much public attention.
He died 1930. C.G. Jung wrote a "Nachruf", later he wrote an introduction to the English I-Ching version. C.G. Jung was also from Switzerland. Jung is called a personal friend of Richard Wilhelm. Possibly there was also a connection between Wirth and Jung ... I don't know. Richard Wilhelm was born in Stuttgart in the Southern part of Germany, not too far from Switzerland.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

Re: Incongruences in Oswald Wirth’s Tarots

#3
You would need to go and read Wirth’s book, now available in English, to confirm or infirm your theories. Wirth’s booklet has been retranslated and published again recently, although I have not seen either edition. It is apparently a condensed version of his main work. You can find more details on this forum and elsewhere.

That done, you might want to consider a number of points, the first being the mythical Egyptian origins of Freemasonry, as opposed to that of the Tarot, and secondly, the manner in which Freemasonry was able to co-opt symbols belonging to traditions other than those of the builder’s art.

Finally, the question of the Book of Changes and the associated diagram may be easily resolved if one considers some of the influential French translations and commentaries of the time - and neither Crowley, Wilhelm nor Jung enter into this - those by P.L.F. Philastre, and the partial translation (only the first two trigrams) and commentary by one of the grey eminences of Belle Epoque occultism, Albert de Pouvourville, alias Matgioi; Gnostic, Freemason, Taoist, member of a Triadic secret society, and mentor to René Guénon among others.

Re: Incongruences in Oswald Wirth’s Tarots

#4
Reugelith wrote:
21 Nov 2020, 04:09
2. But the following I cannot understand it by any means: The Yin Yang (I Ching) symbol in La Papesse (1926): It is so out of place; How it is related with Freemason iconography?.
I may have an answer to part of your question...

Wirth joined with Gérard Encausse aka Papus in 1888 to form the Rosicrucian Kabbalistic Order of the Rose-Croix. The answer may be found in the book, "The Science of Numbers" (Papus).

Here, the number two is associated with a table of figures on page 98 which he calls "Chinese apparel". In it , item 2 is called" eulr:
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"Two denotes the elements which can give birth: father-mother, active-passive, spirit-matter, etc. This is the principle called binary (ibid, p.99)."

Re: Incongruences in Oswald Wirth’s Tarots

#5
For esotericists at the end of the 19th century, all civilizations came from a first, mythical civilization that must be rediscovered. See the books by René Guénon cited above.

They do not therefore find it contradictory to have Taoist, Egyptian or Masonic symbols (the black and white paving) hold on the same support, all of which refer to a universal archetype.

Their tarots wanting to be divinatory, the goal is to make the "arcane" as explicit as possible and to impose on it a meaning that we might not find otherwise.

That's why I don't really like these tarots. Wirth's is however less overloaded than Papus's. And, although less well illustrated, more respectful of the initial cards than that of Waite.

Re: Incongruences in Oswald Wirth’s Tarots

#6
Huck: Where does the quotation from Reugelith come from? Where is the rest of the post? I do not like to comment on isolated sentences taken out of context.

That said, in Wirth's case, the details on his cards are, at least in part, mnemonic devices for remembering what he says about them. So it is essential to look at what he says, as Ronan suggests. Unlike in the pre-Etteilla days, we have a tarot card designer who spells out what he has in mind (pp. 67-68 of 1980 English translation):
On leaving Unity in which all is merged (Aranum 1) we come to the sphere of the Binary or of differentiation: it is the entrance square to the Temple of Solomon, wherein rise the two columns of Jachin and Boaz between which is enthroned the Priestess, in front of a veil with iridescent folds which mask the entry to the sanctuary.
So the yin-yang on the book is related to the polar opposition of the two columns. Yin-yang is female-male and active-passive, one type of binary opposition. Yachin-Boaz in Freemasonry is similar. Here is a passage from one Masonic site (https://www.rimasons.org/trestleboard/2 ... az-joachim):
However viewed, the pillars as stated earlier represent the equilibrium of two opposing forces. Aside from their dimensions, in York Rite Masonry the pillars are most often seen with a ball or globe placed on top. In essence the pillars most likely had a bowl, one containing fire and the other water. The celestial globe or fire bowl surmounting Jachin symbolized the divine man, the terrestrial globe or water bowl symbolized the earthly man. The pillars also connote the active and passive expressions of divine energy, the sun and the moon, sulphur and salt, good and bad, etc. The door placed between them leads to the House of God and standing at the gates of Sanctuary they are reminded that Jehovah is both androgynous (both male and female) and an anthro-pomorphic (having human qualities) deity.
However there seems to be no agreed upon interpretation among Masons. Another site, besides speaking of male and female, speaks of the columns as symbolizing "the great architect" as a "pillar of fire" and a "pillar of cloud." These are in Anglo-American Masonry; Wirth's would have been in a slightly different tradition, that of the "grand orient".

As far as Wirth's intent for the yin-yang symbol, Firepickles is surely right. Supporting that interpretation are the Popess's two keys, of the Sun and the Moon. Wirth says (p. 67):
Of these keys which open hidden aspects of things (Esotericism) one is gold and is related to the Sun (Word, Reason) and the other silver, hence having an affinity with the Moon (Imagination, intuitive lucidity). That means that one must unite strict logic and sweet impressionability if one aspires to divine hidden things, the knowledge which Nature hides from a great number of us.
There is also the colors of the two columns (p. 68):
Of the two columns one is red and the other blue. The first corresponds to Fire (vital, devouring warmth, male activity, Sulphur of the Alchemists), the second is related to Air (the breath which feeds life, feminine sensibility, the Mercury of the Wise). All creation stems from this fundamental duality: Father, Mother - Subject, Object - Creator, Creation - God, Nature - Osiris, Isis, etc.
Fire and air correlates with the Masonic "pillar of fire" and "pillar of cloud".

In these quotes I have left out Wirth's astrological symbols for Sun and Moon, and alchemical symbols for Sulphur and Mercury, the standard ones in each case. The quotations are from the 1980 translation of Wirth's Le Tarot des imagiers du Moyen Age. , 1927. I have checked its accuracy against the French.

Of the three versions of the card that Huck presented in the first post, the top one is that of 1927, done for his book, and the bottom one is of 1889, done for Papus's book. The middle one is an engraved one done for the reprinting of Wirth's book after his death. There may be elements in it that Wirth never anticipated.

Reynard wrote,
For esotericists at the end of the 19th century, all civilizations came from a first, mythical civilization that must be rediscovered. See the books by René Guénon cited above.
I am not sure what you mean by a belief that "all civilizations came from a first, mythical civilization that must be rediscovered." How can one rediscover a civilization that one believes is mythical? I assume you mean "all civilizations came from a first, myth-based civilization that must be rediscovered", where "myth-based civilization" means one once actually existing with a non-Judeo-Christian prisca theologia of stories.

I do not see Wirth in 1927 taking that position. He writes of the tarot subjects (p. 22), after surveying the proponents of a "supposed Egyptian origin" for the Tarot:
These ideas are timeless: they are as old as human thought, but they have been expressed differently, according to the climate of the age. The philosophical system of Alexandria gave them verbal expression, whereas the Tarot was later to present them in the form of symbols. If not by its substance, at least by its form, the Tarot proves itself to be an original work which in no aspect at all reproduces pre-existing models. Archeology has not found the slightest trace of what could constitute the remains of an Egyptian Tarot, either gnostic or even of Graeco-Arab alchemy.
(The last bit is translated wrong. I think it should be "...the remains of a Tarot, whether Egyptian, gnostic or even of Graeco-Arab alchemy" ["...les vestiges d'un Tarot egyptien, gnostique ou meme alchemiste greco-arabe."]) Wirth's orientation is rather that there are archetypal ideas common to many if not all civilizations, expressions of the human species once it has reached a certain cultural level. In this case, it is simply a matter of the word "two", combined with various dichotomies present in the culture, some of which, such as male/female, are probably common to all cultures. It is not far in space, and none in time, between Wirth's Geneva and Jung's Zurich.

Re: Incongruences in Oswald Wirth’s Tarots

#7
I wrote ...
at 21 Nov 2020, 06:34
Reugelith wrote: ↑
21 Nov 2020, 05:09
2. But the following I cannot understand it by any means: The Yin Yang (I Ching) symbol in La Papesse (1926): It is so out of place; How it is related with Freemason iconography?.
MikeH wrote ... at 26 Dec 2020, (04:19 MEZ, I assume)
Huck: Where does the quotation from Reugelith come from? Where is the rest of the post? I do not like to comment on isolated sentences taken out of context.
I don't know.
It seems, that Reugelith and his text has disappeared to nowhere. The card with a Papesse with a Yin+Yang symbol existed, Reugelith wasn't wrong with it.
Huck
http://trionfi.com

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