a cache of usenet and other text files pertaining
to occult, mystical, and spiritual subjects.


Hermetic Fantasies and Crypto Jews

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.tarot,alt.magick,alt.divination
From: nagasiva 
Subject: Hermetic Fantasies and Crypto Jews (was Tarot Card Games ...)
Date: Sat, 24 May 2003 08:59:36 GMT

50030523 VII

sri catyananda  about the Crypto-Jew playing card text:
# The article was not written with specific respect to Tarot (tarocchi,
# tarock) sets, but the TIMING is interesting. The Inquisition -- and
# thus the Jewish use of playing cards to disguise Jewish prayer --
# occurred BEFORE the Egyptomania craze. 

granted that the Inquisition story is accurate.

# The expulsions and forced
# conversions of Jews in Spanish-held lands dates to 1492, when tarocchi
# was certainly in vogue. Also, note that the article in question
# documents the practice of card-playing on both the Sabbath and the
# Jewish High Holy Days as STILL occurring among Ladino Spanish Crypto
# Jews at the present time, both in Madrid, Spain, and in New Mexico, 
# USA.

I'd rather say that it reports it as occurring at the present time.
unless we have some reason to think its practice extends backwards
in time to the Inquisition in an unbroken manner, why should we?
that continuity seems important in a consideration of whether it
is "STILL occurring" rather than, for example "also occurring now",
or "has begun again".

# Now consider your choices:
# A) From 1492 down to the present day Ladino Crypto Jews have used
# tarocchi (tarock) cards to hide their prayer and their Torah teachings
# from Christians -- but the Hermetics, Freemasons, and/or Egyptophiles
# did not [...] know this at all, and just fantasized or MADE UP the idea
# that Jews used playing cards to disguise hidden spiritual lessons -- a
# complete coincidence! 

ok, let's call this the 

	Cosmic Esoteric Coincidence Theory 
		of Tarot-Kabbalah Connection

it seems somewhat unlikely as stated. ignorance on the part 
of Hermetics/Freemasons/Egyptophile for what was being 
used to avoid Christian condemnation seems odd somehow. 
maybe there is a huge overlap of membership such 
that Jews would be sure to also exclude the rest? :>

# or 
# B) Some Hermetics, Freemasons, and/or Egyptophiles either 
# knew Crypto Jews or WERE Crypto Jews, and thus they told the 
# truth when they said that the Jews used tarocchi cards as 
# guides to spiritual mysteries. 

this would of course be the 

	Crypto Jew Influence Theory
		of Tarot-Kabbalah Connection

the main problem with this is that it contends the use of
tarocchi cards "as guides to spiritual mysteries" when it
seems the evidence only points to card playing as a cover 
for religious identity at least, observance at most. there
isn't anything in the material I've seen so far indicating
that anyone is saying the cards were being manipulated in
design, for example. does being a guide to a spiritual
mystery include becoming an excuse to oppressive authorities
who are checking up on whether religious activities are
taking place in the home? or does what was *on* the 
cards make any difference, granted some unbroken usage?

# Choice (B) seems more logical to me than choice (A), 

are those the only ones available from which to choose?
how about

(C) Lots of people have played cards. Sometimes cards have
been used as an excuse to do something else which was
forbidden. By sheer coincidence, Hermetics like Eliphas Levi 
found the resonance between the 22 trumps of cards (esp. 
reflecting on the combined writings of Court de Gebelin 
and comte de Mellet in Monde primitif!) and 22 letters of 
Hebrew alphabet in card decks in their (same?) region to be 
too attractive to pass up as a device for communicating 
their Hermetic philosophy. They took advantage of a well-
prepared sociological predisposition (that the Tarot 
had been dubbed 'The Book of Thoth') and ran with it.

let's call this the

	Egypto-Resonance Coincidence Theory 
		of Tarot-Kabbalah Connection
it seems to be what Dummett/Decker and jk are advancing.
I hope to be corrected if in error. :>

sri catyananda continues, describing the merits of (B):
# simply because it merely requires direct knowledge of 
# something that would at that time have been known to 
# hundreds of thousands of Ladino Crypto Jews, 

Levi had knowledge of Court de Gebelin and de Mellet.
did de Gebelin and de Mellet know Crypto Jews or were
they themselves such? any reason to think so?

# while choice (A [you had B here]) requires a very 
# far-out yet highly accurate fantasy to have been 
# coincidentally true. 

I'd agree that (B) seems more realistically possible
than (A) above. and what do you think of (C)? is the
coincidence sufficiently conservative that it starts 
to sound a more plausible/possible coincidence than (A),
a more sociologically-supportable contention than (B)?



The Arcane Archive is copyright by the authors cited.
Send comments to the Arcane Archivist:

Did you like what you read here? Find it useful?
Then please click on the Paypal Secure Server logo and make a small
donation to the site maintainer for the creation and upkeep of this site.

The ARCANE ARCHIVE is a large domain,
organized into a number of sub-directories,
each dealing with a different branch of
religion, mysticism, occultism, or esoteric knowledge.
Here are the major ARCANE ARCHIVE directories you can visit:
interdisciplinary: geometry, natural proportion, ratio, archaeoastronomy
mysticism: enlightenment, self-realization, trance, meditation, consciousness
occultism: divination, hermeticism, amulets, sigils, magick, witchcraft, spells
religion: buddhism, christianity, hinduism, islam, judaism, taoism, wicca, voodoo
societies and fraternal orders: freemasonry, golden dawn, rosicrucians, etc.


There are thousands of web pages at the ARCANE ARCHIVE. You can use ATOMZ.COM
to search for a single word (like witchcraft, hoodoo, pagan, or magic) or an
exact phrase (like Kwan Yin, golden ratio, or book of shadows):

Search For:
Match:  Any word All words Exact phrase


Southern Spirits: 19th and 20th century accounts of hoodoo, including slave narratives & interviews
Hoodoo in Theory and Practice by cat yronwode: an introduction to African-American rootwork
Lucky W Amulet Archive by cat yronwode: an online museum of worldwide talismans and charms
Sacred Sex: essays and articles on tantra yoga, neo-tantra, karezza, sex magic, and sex worship
Sacred Landscape: essays and articles on archaeoastronomy, sacred architecture, and sacred geometry
Lucky Mojo Forum: practitioners answer queries on conjure; sponsored by the Lucky Mojo Curio Co.
Herb Magic: illustrated descriptions of magic herbs with free spells, recipes, and an ordering option
Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers: ethical diviners and hoodoo spell-casters
Freemasonry for Women by cat yronwode: a history of mixed-gender Freemasonic lodges
Missionary Independent Spiritual Church: spirit-led, inter-faith, the Smallest Church in the World
Satan Service Org: an archive presenting the theory, practice, and history of Satanism and Satanists
Gospel of Satan: the story of Jesus and the angels, from the perspective of the God of this World
Lucky Mojo Usenet FAQ Archive: FAQs and REFs for occult and magical usenet newsgroups
Candles and Curios: essays and articles on traditional African American conjure and folk magic
Aleister Crowley Text Archive: a multitude of texts by an early 20th century ceremonial occultist
Spiritual Spells: lessons in folk magic and spell casting from an eclectic Wiccan perspective
The Mystic Tea Room: divination by reading tea-leaves, with a museum of antique fortune telling cups
Yronwode Institution for the Preservation and Popularization of Indigenous Ethnomagicology
Yronwode Home: personal pages of catherine yronwode and nagasiva yronwode, magical archivists
Lucky Mojo Magic Spells Archives: love spells, money spells, luck spells, protection spells, etc.
      Free Love Spell Archive: love spells, attraction spells, sex magick, romance spells, and lust spells
      Free Money Spell Archive: money spells, prosperity spells, and wealth spells for job and business
      Free Protection Spell Archive: protection spells against witchcraft, jinxes, hexes, and the evil eye
      Free Gambling Luck Spell Archive: lucky gambling spells for the lottery, casinos, and races