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Manley Hall & Other Opinions

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: Re: Manley Hall & Other Opinions(was "Re:Studying Magick")
Date: Wed, 26 Jun 1996 14:22:58 +0000

George Leake wrote:

> *all I know about Hall for sure is that he rightly questions Levi's
> assertion of a link between cabbala and tarot. He called the fact there
> are 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet and 22 tarot trumps a "happy
> coincidence". 

Yes, but why call it 'happy'?

> He might be daft otherwise, but this is one blind spot of
> otherwise brilliant theorists and practitioners of magic.

Some are blind, some are opportunistic, some are just having

> >More opinionating: Waite's tarot deck is probably the most popular deck
> in the world.

> *I would have to concur. I would add that its also the most imitated and
> perhaps least understood deck.


> >His symbolism is at odds with many other decks and he apparently took
> very seriously the tradition of tossing in deliberate errors in order to
> avoid any violations of his oaths of secrecy.

> *well, that's certainly being very kind to Waite...

Not it's not, it's true.
> *as far as his deck being at odds with other decks, there are many ways in
> which this is true, though I think a more accurate representation is that
> he reinterpreted the tarot in his deck. 

But, as we've seen, he did this in the context of a general
occult movement toward 'rectifying' the symbolism of tarot.
He appears to have acted not as an intiator so much as a 
documentalist of other people's ruminations, and then 
did not deliver the fully digested cud.

> At least this guy had a thought or
> three in his head instead of those who just ape Smith's artwork knowing
> nothing of its symbolic context.
> *the ways in which this deck differs include the use of reversals (in a
> way suggested by Mathers & other GD folks, and quite unlike Etteila's
> usage), now taken for granted as "traditional" despite being a relatively
> modern invention; 

Well, that level of presumption is held sacred by those who don't
like many questions being asked about what they hold dear.

They are PEA-brains, as in Pathological Enquiry Avoidance.

However, the modernity of tarot cartomantic practices really has 
nothing to do with whether such practices have behavioral 
precedence. Certainly, fortune-telling, as an art, is quite
ancient. Why not use cards as well as chicken gutz? Certainly
less messy and more humane (to the chickens at least).

> >Nonetheless, those Pamela Smith images inspire the intuition, making that
> deck a favorite among psychic readers.

> *I suppose that is a lot easier than doing the actual research...

Well, SOME of those people are probably psychic, although I've
never understood why those capabilities need any cardboard
inspirations, they should just be there. It is rather for
the psychically challenged that those mnemonics exist.

> >Waite was opposed to the idea that the Golden Dawn membership should
> actually practice magick.

> *never heard that one before...

Waite seemed quite conflicted about his dealings with the occult,
unlike Levi, for example, who saw no contradiction is his
religious beliefs and his practice of what he admitted was
black magick. So Waite, for example, would publish How Tos
on Goetic practices and then intentionally corrupt the information
so that it could not actually be used by anyone who did not 
already have access to the material through a legitimate
resource. He wanted people to know HE knew but he really did
not want his customers to know. So he corrupted most
everything he wrote.

> >His writing style was ponderous and filled with obscure references,
> making him difficult to interpret.

> *true! On the other hand, he DID make some good critiques of Levi's
> scholarship in Transcendental Magic.

Are you sure that's what those are, critiques? Or is he simply
trying to defame his main source so that he, Waite, then will
be looked to as the authority?

> *yes! Quite funny...tough cheese on Crowley though that he took Levi too
> seriously.

How do you know how seriously he took him? Or for that matter how
seriously Levi thought he should be taken?

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