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Tarot and the High Magician...

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.magick,alt.pagan.magick,alt.divination,alt.tarot
From: nagasiva 
Subject: Re: Tarot and the High Magician...
Date: Tue, 10 Dec 2002 22:22:28 GMT

50021210 VII (Dragul):
>> I've been working through Kraig's Modern Magick (well actually I've
>> just started)... he stresses that the tarot is an invaluable tool in
>> the (high) magicians arsenal - 

oh these martially-oriented mages. ;> it really compares well in these
paradigms with asian martial arts. some mages eshew arsenals in favour
of grooming and administrative tools. 

>> I was wondering if those among you who consider yourselves practicing 
>> magicians would agree or disagree with that...

>I agree, but it's not the only 'invaluable' tool and it's not
>necessary (as long as you use -something-).  

no tool-less wonderworking possible? those psychics say it isn't 
magic (horrors!), some people here think telekinesis is magic 
(by strange logic and taxonomies, in my measure!).

>The Yi-Ching is another option, 

some oracle or divination device is valueble, I can see that.
I tend to consider them orientational, in a minor way, akin
to how the Abramelin Operation or any spiritual orientation
ritual might be large-scale (from High Magic's view).

>or you could just as well use runes or ogham sticks or any
>number of divination-meditation tools.  

not all divinatory devices necessarily involve meditation,
I've noticed, though tarot is one which often is used for
this purpose amongst secret society initiates and those
like me who enjoy experimenting and exploring.

>Tarot has the benefit of
>conveniently corresponding to the qabalistic tree of life, 

the 22-structure has an advantage for some applications of
this sort, agreed. apparently there are numerous trees of
life and some currents of Hermeticism siezed on one as the
best or most important or something, thereby enshrining it
in their occult tarot atop an Italian game whose numerical
structure was ripe for it. one might construct alternatives
also (that's what I'm doing, according to my own lights).

>so it aids in the study of qabala.  

debatable. that would depend on what 'the qabalah' includes.
if you're just talking about the ideas and lore identified
as such in social systems, then I suppose this is true, yes.
there may be a QBL which transcends these systems, however,
and if so this 'data' might be approached in more and less
successful ways.

>But the other tools have correspondences of their own that 
>can be useful as well.

my preference is to interfuse them into a Grand Unified
Divination System if possible. I see that many mages have
attempted it before me. syncretism has its advantages,
especially where it does not be oversimplified (e.g. 777).

so is it just correspondence which is the key? or could
any set of correpondences/attributions/associations be
of value to any person encountering it? flavours which
some would find less and more palatable based on their
upbringing and temperament/character?

>One of the reasons I don't like Kraig's book is because he makes
>definitive statements like this as if his method is the only option. 

this is a weakness of many initial expositors in a field,
and a byproduct of community strife (got to 'take a stand').
I used to have the opposite problem in person. I was told I
was too 'wishy-washy' "get off the fence!". they were right,
and had no appreciation of mediating perspectives. ;> now
that I've developed what I think are worthy trajectories of
stands, I enjoy shifting from stands to philosophic repose.

>Be aware of this.  He may have great advice but it is not 
>the only way.

it is my impression that he makes this caveat quite clear also,
though I know about which you're speaking and have observed in
many cases with people reading a popular author that that person
may be taken as gospel rather than as part of a valuable library.

>> Also, I've just picked up a GD deck (the one by the Ciceros) - what
>> comments, if any, would have to share about this particular deck or
>> the accompanying booklet? Any urgent cavaets?

I have nothing to add here, being unfamiliar with this deck. I know
it's been reviewed in alt.tarot before, however, so try Google groups
and get back to us with some quotes we can digest. ;>

>I'm not into the Ciceros' work.  For GD-style tools and information, I
>much prefer the Zalewskis or Robert Wang.

Wang has an error in Book T in his book on tarot, fucking up the 
associations of the Suits with the Elements -- I can quote it if 
you're interested, maybe he is revealing a hallowed truth ;>),
but on the whole his writing is fairly clear and I enjoy his style.

Poke's book on the Cypher Manuscript has been helpful in combination
with Book T (Mackenzie/Westcott/etc.) in ferretting out the details
of the symbolism intended for correspondences and how these changed
over time can be found in the new Decker/Dummett book. I am planning
on posting a kind of time-line matrix here when I get a chance, 
simultaneous to formalizing my own tarot.

thanks for your wonderful post, M.


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