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GD, Waite, Divination and Tarot

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.magick,alt.divination,alt.tarot,alt.pagan.magick,talk.religion.misc,talk.religion.newage
From: (nagasiva)
Subject: GD, Waite, Divination and Tarot
Date: 12 Jan 1998 15:21:19 -0800

49980103 aa2 Hail Satan!

re Waite's possible oaths of secrecy in the GD:
involvement in secret societies is often accompanied by an oath
of secrecy which ostensibly protects the instructions of the
community from private publishing, therefore retaining the draw
for those who like assimilating possible scarce resources.  in
fact quite a bit of what is considered 'secret material' is
either published with admitting it as such or so obscure and
specialized (such as initiatory rite scripts) as to be mostly
valueless to the general public and eclectic esotericists.  it
is most often and probably best cherished by the membership
and provides a sense of community and mystery.

re AEW's "true meaning" of the cards unavailable to noninitiates:
the notion that there is a 'true meaning' of 'the cards' is an
old and fallacious claim outside certain specific meanings of
the terms.  if the deck is created by a specific set of people
or a single individual (e.g. Smith-Waite, Harris-Crowley),
then we can talk meaningfully about what *they* meant by the
particular configuration of symbols constructed in *their*
deck.  typically the symbols are used in collage and drawn
from centuries of usage, wherein a great deal of historical
association has accumulated (a study of any thorough resource
on Symbology will demonstrate this).

in the case of Waite, unless there was outcry from his Order
there was probably no data identified as 'the secrets', and
perhaps specific interpretations of certain symbols were
merely alluded to or diffused to effect obscuration.  those
who are fond of Golden Dawn mysteries and instructions would
probably be provided an introduction by reading his texts,
as would be the case in the text of any member of this
involvement (e.g. Regardie, the Ciceros, even Crowley).

re what card interpretations he may have counfounded:
blinds and omissions could be identified by those who were
familiar with Golden Dawn mysteries and instructions.  I'd
suggest that another way to identify these would be to
compare a variety of presumed 'Golden Dawn' decks or
interpretations, such as Waite's overviews, 'Book T' as
communicated by Regardie in _Golden Dawn_, and the tarot
books published separately or with the decks by people who
claim to be members of some variety of Golden Dawn (there
are apparently now several -- see the alt.magick gdref,
"the Golden Dawn FAQ", by Steve Cranmer, obtainable through

re AEW's feeling that a 'higher message' was to be found outside
 of divination, one suited to mystical objectives:
this seems to be a common presumption continued by Case and today
by BOTA members and those influenced by Case.  I'd be curious to
know how far this anti-divination sentiment runs.  Crowley seems
comfortable with the term.  perhaps a very specific meaning for
'divination' is intended in the dissuasion.

it seems to me that most Golden Dawn members are mystics first
and magicians second -- that is, they place a great deal of
emphasis on personal transformation and spiritual maturation,
bypassing or playing down the achievement of power and the ability
to control physical or spiritual phenomena through the power of
the mind or ritualized symbolism (what I'd call psychicism or
demonology respectively).

re Waite's penchant for religion and mysticism:
there is a Protestant strain of mysticism which seems to be
heavily integrated to Hermetic organizations and instruction.
the inclusion of or focus on "Qabalah" and the Rosicrucian
presumptions of cosmology (Neoplatonic, other) seems to
inspire a belief in some form of 'God' and, along with that,
some method of achieving what is described as 'union' or
'reunion' with It.

re Waite's claim that Freemasonic rites had mystical symbolism
 and purpose:
given the Freemasonic focus on the Grand Architect of the
Universe and some form of 'Cosmic Lawbook', it isn't too
surprising to hear this.

re Waite's claim that the 'true meaning' of the Higher Cards
 has to do with an ineffable mystical union rather than "divination":
I'd like to hear more about what any think he means by 'divination'.
this argument has come up many times in alt.tarot with people who
didn't make a great deal of sense to me or obscured their rhetoric
with so much banter and flammage that they were unintelligible or
seemed intentionally vague.

so far what I've understood is that from Case and probably before
him (possibly Golden Dawn and maybe general Hermetics) there is
a religious bias against using tarot cards as a divinatory device
because it tends to lead to a redefinition of favored symbolic
significance, thereby obscuring a supposed implied communication
which might otherwise be assimilated through meditation and study.

I would call this a kind of tarot fundamentalism, and yet I'm
not sure I completely understand the logic of the argument.  it
seems to include many presumptions about how symbols are used
by the mind to mature and what graphic presentation and process
of tarot use are best for transformation of consciousness.

I'd suggest that these biases not only present an undue DIS-
respect toward divination (by whatever its meaning), but
blatantly exhibit the ignorance and naivete of those who
go about arguing them, and I'd love to hear response to this.

blessed beast!
nagasiva -- --
(emailed replies may be posted);; 408/2-666-SLUG
  join the esoteric syncretism in alt.magick.tyagi; 

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