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Tarot Elements

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.pagan.magick,alt.magick,alt.tarot,alt.divination,alt.metaphysics.sacred-geometry
Subject: Tarot Elements
From: nagasiva 
Date: Fri, 18 Jul 2003 06:12:32 GMT

50030606 VIII om pact anniv

>> 	there's 3 STATUS-sections to concern ourselves with:
>> 	1) Mega-Cards (trumpsuit!?)
>>	some include elements in their attributions,
>> 	including 3-element systems related to the Sefir Yetzirah
>> 	or 4-element systems related to Aristotlean classics+
>> 	but I like 5-element system along Chinese standards
>> 	2) People-Cards (courtsuit??!)
>> 	often combined in a 4x4 (=16) matrix for attribution,
>> 	but 5x5 is also quite satisfying
>> 	3) Weenie-Cards (numbers?!)
>>	by suit? by number? most seem to focus on
>> 	a Planet+Sign/Suit combination without
>> 	all possibilities covered (inelegant!)
>> 	though [C.C. Zain!] surpasses this. [see below]
> I am new to learning the associations behind the various 
> Tarot card organizations.  

the organization usually associated with the conventions is 
the Golden Dawn, in the Cypher Manuscript, apparently written
by Kenneth Mackenzie (that's one sensible theory). Westcott 
founded the order with the manuscript along with Mathers. 
they faked a direct authorization from the Secret Chiefs (a
supernatural spiritual agency of divine beings written about
by Rosicrucians for ages) via a sister they called 'Fraulein 
Sprengel', and then promoted the order's methods and ideas.

Book T, as the tarot composition within the order came to 
be called, contained their basic associations which later 
influenced Waite in his deck with Pamela Colman-Smith, 
as well as Aleister Crowley in his deck with Lady Freida 
Harris. the OTO has been pretty heavily involved with 
Crowley's deck *post*-production, but I am not sure what 
level of involvement the OTO had with its construction
other than that Crowley was involved and Harris 
may have been an OTO member. 

> Could someone give me texts or web references to aid my
> understanding the differences between 3, [4] and 5 element 
> systems used in the Tarot?  

I don't give out simple references, but will use some 
to produce the following for you:


	3 Element System (Trumps)


	used in association with the Trumps; 

	its origin for Tarot is Sefer Yetzira (SY), Jewish mystical 
	documents that occultists have used as source for their 
	establishment of Trump associations since de Gebelin's 
	'Monde primitif', which contained the essay by de Mellet 
	asserting connection in number (22) with Jewish mysticism.

		Papus and the Cypher Ms. duplicate the Elemental
		associations in their decks and play with the 
		Planets a bit through the Trumps, after the SY.

                               PAPUS             CYPHER MS
		Aleph -- Air   I Magician        0 Fool  
		Mem   -- Water XIII Death        XII Man Hanged
		Shin  -- Fire  0 Fool            XX Angels 

since the SY is composed of a variety of editions, its symbolic
association schemes varied, as did the desires of occultists 
to arrange such sequences (perhaps for uniqueness, signatory). 
for example, while Papus and the Cypher Ms. retained the same
Elementary and Zodiacal sequences they varied their Planetary 
sequence of attribution within the Trumps:

   Beth     Gimel   Daleth    Kaph      Pe        Resh     Tau

   II       III     IV        XI        XVII      XX       XXI


[Papus' placement of Fool between XX and XXI sets a similar sequence

 into a different letter/card attribute than decks with 0 < I]
    I        II      III       X         XVII  XIX    XXI


    II       III     IV        XI        XVII    XX     XXI

from whom Papus extended.

or compare

     II       III     IV       XI        XVII    XX      0

who may share some commonalities with each.

or compare


A   B       D     K      M     Q      R     S      X      Y       Z
SUN         VENUS        MOON         JUPITER      URANUS         PLUTO
    MERCURY       EARTH        MARS         SATURN        NEPTUNE

which achieves an astronomical sequence but does not maintain the 
SY pattern [P-planet; S-Zodiac Sign]:


instead corrupting it to correct zodiacal and astronomical 
rationality, adding the Earth Element *and* Planet, unified:


this leaves the Elemental sequence unaltered, shifted later in
trump and incorporating Earth, which in some attributions was
given to one of the final cards (e.g. Crowley's XXI/Universe/tau).


	4 Element System (Numbers/Courts)


	Court Matrices 

	gaming decks had royalty cards in varying numbers,
	that upon which Occult Tarot was constructed having
	4 in number and identified by early occultists 
	making decks as


                EARTH       WATER        AIR         FIRE


	QUEENS              X 

	KINGS                             X

	KNIGHTS                                        X


in which the X represents the intersection of the Element
attributed (KNAVESxEARTH = EARTH OF EARTH or "the earthy
part of Earth").

these quadressentials are described by Aristotle, among others,
with a relational quality in matrix that is used in divination
and magic, alchemy, etc.:

       "Down to the eighteenth century, and later still in
	isolated cases, alchemists believed that the characteristics
	of an object could be stripped from it to reduce it to First
	Matter, to which other and better characteristics could then
	be added. They were supported by the prevailing theory of
	matter, developed by Plato and Aristotle and embellished by
	later philosophers, the theory of the four elements.
	According to this theory, which remained almost unchallenged
	until Robert Boyle attacked it in the seventeenth century,
	the universe was constructed by a god or lesser supernatural
	intelligence who created First Matter, or who found it in
	existence, moulded and animated it. The four elements of fire,
	air, water and earth were the first development from First
	Matter. Each of these elements combines two of the four
	primary qualities which exist in all things -- hot, cold, wet
	and dry. Fire is hot and dry, air is hot and wet, water is
	cold and wet, earth is cold and dry. Everything is made of
	the four elements, and the differences between objects or
	materials are caused by the differing proportions in which
	the elements are combined in them." [Cavendish]
a composite of this design:
		         Dry  \     |     /  Hot
		                \   |   /
		                  \ | /
		     EARTH ---------------------- AIR
		                  / | \
		                /   |   \
		         Cold /     |     \  Wet
compare with the Zodiacal signs and their elements:
                       CAPRICORN    |      SCORPIO
               AQUARIUS             |              LIBRA
(WATER) PISCES ----------------------------------------- VIRGO (EARTH)
               ARIES                |              LEO
                       TAURUS       |      CANCER

which are a different configuration, among a finite set of

> The court cards in a 5x5 matrix?  The inelegance of
> Planet+Sign/Suit combination in regards to the pips?

yeah here you go, the latter then the former [Thoth Tarot]:
	Fire  /   Air  /  Water / Earth (Numbers)

	Clubs / Diamonds / Spades / Hearts 

	A       A        A        A  -- Aces Roots of Elements

	2 -- Mars in Aries (Dominion) *SEE NOTE
	3 -- Sun in Aries (Virtue)
	4 -- Venus in Aries (Completion)

                5 -- Mercury in Taurus (Worry)
                6 -- Moon in Taurus (Success)
                7 -- Saturn in Taurus (Failure)

                         8 -- Jupiter in Gemini (Interference)
                         9 -- Mars in Gemini (Cruelty)
                        10 -- Sun in Gemini (Ruin)

                                  2 -- Venus in Pisces (Love)
                                  3 -- Mercury in Pisces (Abundance)
                                  4 -- Moon in Pisces (Luxury)

	5 -- Saturn in Leo (Strife)
        6 -- Jupiter in Leo (Victory)
        7 -- Mars in Leo (Valour)

                8 -- Sun in Virgo (Prudence)
                9 -- Venus in Virgo (Gain)
               10 -- Mercury in Virgo (Wealth)

                         2 -- Moon in Libra (Peace)
                         3 -- Saturn in Libra (Sorrow)
                         4 -- Jupiter in Libra (Truce)

                                  5 -- Mars in Scorpio (Mars in Scorpio)
                                  6 -- Sun in Scorpio (Pleasure)
                                  7 -- Venus in Scorpio (Debauch)

        8 -- Mercury in Sagittarius (Swiftness)
        9 -- Moon in Sagittarius (Strength)
       10 -- Saturn in Sagittarius (Oppression)

                2 -- Jupiter in Capricorn (Change)
                3 -- Mars in Capricorn (Work)
                4 -- Sun in Capricorn (Power)

                         5 -- Venus in Aquarius (Defeat)
                         6 -- Mercury in Aquarius (Science)
                         7 -- Moon in Aquarius (Futility)

                                  8 -- Saturn in Pisces (Indolence)
                                  9 -- Jupiter in Pisces (Happiness)
                                 10 -- Mars in Pisces (Satiety) *SEE NOTE
a veritable DNA strand sampling of the possible conjunctions!!
12 x 4 = 48 omitted combinations. C.C. Zain runs the Small
Cards at one another in a matrix in a manner like the Courts:

     SCEPTRES    CUPS             COINS           SWORDS
 Ace Aries-Aries Cancer-Cancer    Libra-Libra     Capric-Capric
  2  Aries-Leo   Cancer-Scorpio   Libra-Aquar     Capric-Taurus
  3  Aries-Sagit Cancer-Pisces    Libra-Gemini    Capric-Virgo
  4  Leo-Leo     Scorpio-Scorpio  Aquar-Aquar     Taurus-Taurus
  5  Leo-Sagit   Scorpio-Pisces   Aquar-Gemini    Taurus-Virgo
  6  Leo-Aries   Scorpio-Cancer   Aquar-Libra     Taurus-Capric
  7  Sagit-Sagit Pisces-Pisces    Gemini-Gemini   Virgo-Virgo
  8  Sagit-Aries Pisces-Cancer    Gemini-Libra    Virgo-Capric
  9  Sagit-Leo   Pisces-Scorpio   Gemini-Aquar    Virgo-Taurus
 10  Leo (FIRE)  Scorpio (WATER)  Aquarius (AIR)  Taurus (EARTH)
and those are the most common 4-element systems I know.


	5 Element Systems (Trumps/Courts/Numbers)

for an example of a 5-Element-Trump, 5-Suited, 5-Court deck,
as I have reproduced it here already several times. a 5x5 matrix
isn't too difficult to extrapolate from the 4-element Court chart.

        Richard Cavendish, "The Black Arts". 
	Dummett/Decker, "A History of the Occult Tarot". 
     copyright nagasiva 2003. all rights reserved.

~Subject: Small Cards (Sign+Planet Inelegance/Incompleteness)

50030529 VII   

from the "Oh, and by the way...." corner.

re Elemental Dignities in Small Cards 
		and Traditional Incompleteness and Inelegance

one might criticize occult Tarot tradition by analyzing its associations
with Planetary Energies as incomplete, or missing key combinations
because the Small Cards (being 40 in number until one *arbitrarily*
selects out the Aces and leaves 36) don't accomodate a 

          12 Zodiac Sign x 7 Planet [= 64]

or even a 12 Zodiac Sign x 3 Planet [= 36] symbol-set

and instead have been mapped as 2-9 [= 36] to a 

          12x3 Zodiac Sign / 7-Planet-Series 
          =36               =35[!] + 1         matching.

this is inelegant! Mars is doubled on cards 10C/2W! 
many Planet-Sign ccombinations have been omitted! 
those which DO appear are not rationally-distributed!!

this appears in Golden Dawn-related Tarot history from 
Book T through Crowleyan and other decks, and ought
to be a secondary (after removing any Crowleyan 
Emperor-Star lunacies are removed!!) revision point 

for prospective occult Tarot designers.




50030624 viii om Pisces-Age-Y2006

I wrote (amongst 3/4/5 Element systems):
>> 4 Element System (Numbers/Courts)
>> 	Fire/Air/Water/Earth
>> 	Court Matrices 
> I understand this part and the layouts of the zodiac with associated
> elements and the Aristotelean hot-dry-wet-cold layout.


> What I have been researching for several months now is based 
> on my understanding that Levi associated wands with air and 
> swords with fire - but I don't know why.  

maybe he thought of air and spirit as somehow related, being
an ex-Roman Catholic and all. he could have seen visions of
fire and Jesus and who knows what.

> The Golden Dawn associated wands with fire and swords with 
> air - but I don't know why.  

that'd be Kenneth Mackenzie I'll wager. check it out. their
associations of Elements with Trumps varied tremendously too,
cuz they put the Fool in different places (Levi at XX Fire
and the GD folx at 0 Air). could this have something to do
with it? it wouldn't surprise me.

> Do you understand the reasoning behind these assignmnets 
> or behind the switch?

nope, but anybody can dream up any kind of reasoning that
they want. the history of the occult tarot is multiplex.
Knapp and company had a third configuration of suit/element.
I'll bet its all over the map based on who had what ideas
and therefore only depends on who you trust/like. let's 
look at the possibilities and likelihoods:

with 4 suits we're talking 1 for each in a 4-element system 

     LMNT    AIR       WATER     FIRE     EARTH

SPADES       sword      oar      coal     shovel

BATONS       tree       water     fire    veggies
                        spout    pillar

BOWLS        lung       cup     cauldron  urn/flowerpot

DISKS      fan-wheel    mill    pinwheel  coins/discus

we're really only limited by our imaginations and how
believable we could be to those who will project some
kind of fancy origins for the deck and character.

given the hot-dry-wet-cold layout it might complicate
matters even more! keen huh?!



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