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Kabbalah: a third system of interpreting the SY on the paths?

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.magick,alt.tarot,alt.divination,talk.religion.newage
From: Jess Karlin 
Subject: Re: Kabbalah: a third system of interpreting the SY on the paths?
Date: Sat, 02 Mar 1996 08:54:33 +0000

(Gentle) wrote:

> This relates to some reasearch I did a couple of years ago, wondering
> what a Tarot deck might look like using the Gra's correspondances for
> the SY, rather than the mangled translation-of-a-translation used by
> the GD.  

There are several versions of SY and many interpretations
of what they mean. The traditions surrounding the different
symbolic trees of creation are not all attached to the
various texts of SY---example, the complex tree system created
by Raymon Lull. Nor is kabbala a strictly Judaic composition.
It is an aggregate, just like tarot (and is, like tarot, 
initially a product of late medieval/renaissance metaphorical 
'tempering'). It is one thing to say you disagree with traditional tarot 
attributions, favoring one view over another, and quite another 
to suggest you understand the way in which its traditional construction 
DOES WORK in the way it is established. The motivation for 
changing correspondences often originates in an inability to 
grasp the ways in which the traditional correspondences properly 

The surprising thing is not that most of the Golden Dawn kabbalistic 
attributions are problematic (which would certainly motivate
one to either try to find the 'true' attributions or to abandon kabbala
completely as a metaphorical measure), but rather that so many of them 
DO make a great deal of sense.

> The results were interresting from a Kabbalistic standpoint,
> but seemed too divorced from the Tarot.  

Why would that surprise you? The form you were using was not 
MORE 'correct', just different. A pear tree looks like an apple
tree, somewhat, but they are not the same tree.

> I wound up concluding that
> what is most important about the cards is not their (late) Kabbalistic
> attributions, but their intuitive pictoral meanings.

That's a hasty conclusion, especially for someone 'dealing' with the
modern tarot based on Golden Dawn symbolism. Clearly, the 
intentional exclusion of kabbalistic considerations for those cards,
regardless of what one may think about the accuracy of those
correspondances, is simply an excuse and an invitation
to misinterpret their symbolism.

And what does "intuitive pictoral meanings" even mean?


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