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Qabalah and Tarot History

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.magick,alt.consciousness.mysticism,talk.religion.misc
From: catherine yronwode 
Subject: Re: Qabalah and Tarot History (was Hermetic QBL ...)
Date: Sat, 22 Dec 2001 08:28:51 GMT

James Revak:

> >Additionally, in an enigmatic  

but very cute!

> > passage in _The Pictorial Key_, Waite may imply 
> >that he rejects the important GD notion that the Fool, the
> >"zero card", is the first of the Majors.  In the subject passage he
> >first rejects LÈvi's notion of placing the "zero card" or "zero
> >symbol", i.e., the Fool, between Trumps 20 and 21.  He also rejects
> >what he describes as Etteilla's notion of placing the "zero card"
> >last.  These were two significant ways of dealing with the Fool in
> >Waite's day.  The only other significant way of dealing with the 
> >"zero card" in Waite's day, to the best of my knowledge, was to 
> >place it first, which is the teaching of the GD.  But Waite says 
> >(and read him carefully), "I have seen yet another allocation of 
> >the zero symbol, which no doubt obtains in certain cases, but it 
> >fails on the highest plane. . . ."


> ***Placing it between 20 and 21 fails on every plane. ****

And as i was taught, his "enigmatic" passage was designed to leave you
to come to the obvious conclusion that, as zero, it DOES go first (duh)
which is the GD way, but that he -- Waite -- had personal problems with
this from a religious point of view. In other words, he was under
Obligation to not completely reveal the GD system, then did so
bass-ackwardly for "those with eyes to see" and THEN stated that
although Obligated to conceal it, he had his own doubts about it. 

I saw this as the honest statement of a man caught on the horns of a
dilemma. He could not in good conscience reveal the system completely in
order to dispute some portion of it from a mystical standpoint (and you
all can see his point about the problems "on the highest plane" of the
Fool being aleph being zero, right?) -- so he gave the reader a simple
3-part multiple choice, demonstrated that two parts were incorrect, and
then said that the third and only "correct" answer was something that
bothered him. 

Made perfect sense to me in 1967, the first time i read it; makes
perfect sense to me now. 

If you come at Waite from the standpoint of working WITH, rather than
opposing or mocking his Obligation, you will find it a lot easier to
read between the lines because you won't be frustrated by HAVING TO read
between the lines. 


In a very good scholarly book on archaeo-astronomy i read sweveral years
ago, the authors noted that among the ancient Persians or Assurians or
some-such there was some hero who was the son of a widow who had some
connection to some star or constellation --  and in a footnote they
said, isn;t it odd, just strange, you know, that when General Armistead
fell at Gettysburg (US Civil War, for non-US readers) his last words
were "Is there no help for the Widonw's Son?" and maybe this is evidence
of some deep human linkage of ideas, along Jungian lines, blah blah blah
blah blah -- or maybe not. 

Now you have two choices (at least) in interpreting that footnote:
Either the authors were really, truly saying something about the Jungian
collective unconscious ... or they were saying something about
themselves, and were in fact passing along the Assyrian or whatever it
is myth because they thought it would be of particular interest to
certain people who might be familiar with the Civil War General or ...
or something else entirely, which they don't wish to name. 

I sense this same quality in Waite's writing: he wanted to speak freely
about the GD system, but was not in a popsition to do so. Hence that
silly-wonderful three-way choice of where the Fool could go. It's
classic: if you know, you know; if you don't, it's gobbledegook.  

cat (helping widow's sons since 1994) yronwode

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