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Elemental Questions

To: alt.magick,alt.magick.tyagi,alt.pagan.magick,talk.religion.misc,talk.religion.newage,alt.religion.wicca,alt.pagan,alt.gothic,alt.tarot
From: Jess Karlin 
Subject: Elemental Questions (was Manley Hall or something)
Date: Fri, 05 Jul 1996 10:13:24 +0000

George Leake wrote:

> >He apparently took that to mean I 'invented' the whole thing.
> >Well, you can't control what people are going to think
> >you mean---the dilemma of most occultists.

> *well, I thought you said the system you used you invented. As far as the
> system in WANG/THOTH--

What is Wang/Thoth? There is no 'system' in Wang. Wang was
just acting as a copyboy, and not a good one.

His list of meanings, in the 'divination' section
of his 'Qabalistic Tarot' is taken directly from 
Mathers. One clue that Wang did not know much of anything 
about Thoth or Golden Dawn or anything really is that 
he includes Mather's explanations of the card meanings 
in the back (which include references to 'dignities') 
but the only thing he says about these meanings is 
that they are in the 'language' of Mathers. 

In this, I believe he means to say that he thought
the odd use of the term, 'dignity' (which is the only
unusual usage in these explanations), was some sort of
affectation of Mathers. I've met other people who 
had this same reaction when reading about something
being 'ill-dignified' for the first time. Particularly
someone who is ignorant of astrology would NOT know
what was being talked about.

So, in other words, Wang probably had no idea of what was meant 
by the term, 'dignity'. And this view is bolstered by 
the fact Wang DID NOT bother to explain the use of dignities at 
all in the section in his book on 'divination', not even 
bothering to include something simple and basic, as 
Regardie at least does in the tarot section of 
Complete Golden Dawn System of Magic. And this is
odd since he takes all this stuff from Regardie.
If he appreciated what 'dignities' were he would
have discussed it.

This is typical of Wang's approach in this book, 
just scribbling down words and ideas which he did 
not understand hoping the readers might then be 
bothered to go do the work Wang should have in the 
first place.

If this 'approach' reminds us of any dearly and
recently departed it ought to.

>how connected is that to your system, JK?

OK, let's take this one step at a time---take notes---

1. Thoth uses a system for generating alternative meanings in
readings called 'elemental dignities'.

2. This system was, I believe, invented for or at least
incorporated into Golden Dawn tarot methodology by Mathers. 
It is a far superior and more interesting system than
using 'reversals', but it is also harder to learn.

3. The explanations for how to use it, or even how to get
started thinking about it, are minimal. Certainly in
Thoth there is little help on the thing.

4. Soooo---about 15 years ago, I devised a matrix
by which I could establish some precise ways in which to
determine the elemental effects of one card upon another.
It was also a mnemonic jumping-off place for thinking about
using the system and I've had reports from people who
have used that it was helpful to them.

That's the part that I was talking about as mine, not
the original idea for elemental dignities.


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