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Tarot Crowley and Tzaddi

To: alt.magick,alt.lucky.w,alt.magick.tyagi,alt.occult.methods
From: Cavalorn 
Subject: Re: Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic -- Storax and Styrax
Date: Fri, 23 Aug 2002 08:37:34 +0100

In article <>, Gnome d Plume
> However the Emperor/Star
>exchange does date from Aiwas's statement that: "All the pages of my
>Book are aright except Tzaddi which is not The Star." This is a
>mandate to make an exchange--which Crowley finally did

That's one interpretation. There are others, e.g.:

'... and the great mystery of the House of God. All these old letters of
my Book are aright; but  is not the Star.'

All *these* old letters, note. 'These' is clearly a reference to
something immediate. If this were a reference to standard Hebrew letter
to Tarot trump attributions, one would expect to read 'all *the* old
letters', not *these*. Have all the other Hebrew letters been listed?
No. The only Hebrew letter which is mentioned is Tzaddi, which comes
*after* the word 'these' and thus cannot possibly exemplify what is
being indicated by 'these old letters'.

What, then, is the justification for assuming that 'these old letters'
has anything at all to do with Hebrew letters being incorrectly ascribed
to Trumps? Why did Aiwaz not say 'Hé is not the Emperor'?

We may also challenge that view which deems the 'traditional'
attribution of letters to Trumps to be 'old', since it does not seem to
be found before Eliphas Levi. Crowley did not know this at the time of
the receipt of Liber Legis. Aiwaz, perhaps, knew better.

[The truth of the matter is that] the comment concerns the curious use
of the title 'House of God' for the Tarot trump more commonly known as
the Tower. Observe that the comment about 'these old letters' comes
immediately after the use of the term 'House of God', as if the intent
were to clarify that usage. 

'these old letters of my Book' are thus the old titles of the Tarot
Trumps, of which 'The House of God' is an example. (This is not the only
passage in which Aiwaz refers to whole words by referring to characters;
compare the use of 'these runes' in AL II v 27.) 

By stating that 'tzaddi is not the Star', Aiwaz is pointing out that the
Tarot card usually called the Star is *misnamed*. The error is not that
the Hebrew letter Tzaddi is attributed to the wrong trump, but that the
trump to which Tzaddi is attributed does not bear the correct title. (To
call that card the Star would be a mistake akin to calling the Lovers
card 'the Cupid'.) The Prophet has to give it its proper title, and this
is to be one of the secrets retained by the adepts of Thelema. (You are
referred in this context to the comments on AL I v 22.)

Aiwaz simply refers to the Trump as 'tzaddi' in order to indicate which
Trump He is talking about, because (as he then goes on to say) its
proper title is to remain duly secret.

Contrast the above with AL II v 15 in which Aiwaz refers to the
'Emperor' Trump as 'the King'. Evidently these titles are close enough
one to the other not to warrant insistence upon a change; but to call
the Tzaddi trump 'The Star' is to miss the point of the card altogether.

Give me a woman who's taken her knocks,
Who's tasted both gutter and stars.
Give me a lady with holes in her socks.
Give me a princess with scars.

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