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


Origins and Uses of Tools

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.divination,alt.tarot,alt.lucky.w,alt.magick,alt.paranormal.spells.hexes.magic,alt.pagan.magick
From: (nagasiva yronwode)
Subject: Origins and Uses of Tools (was Re: Tarot Only For Use by Jews?...)
Date: Sat, 04 Nov 2000 20:46:07 GMT

50001104 Vom

>>>> It's completely irrelevant whether tarots are Jewish or not.

not to those who study its origins. not to some Jews. 

not to nazi occultists.

"Bill Walls Jr" :
>...It does indeed matter where the source for a (tool) comes from. 

to whom?

>For it determines, how a (tool) is to be used as well
>as helping the user understand the answer. 

only if the tool-user is dependent upon knowing the tool's origins in
ORDER to use it or understand its result.

>A (tool) created by a specific religion 

most religions borrow from other religions, siphon psychotechnologies
from mystical communities, and generally construct what serves the
mass from what lies within their grasp. when an individual does this
then hypersensitive people call it "cultural appropriation", but when
a group does it to another group, integrating pieces of half-understood
cultural symbols and ideas into their religion, this is lauded as an
interesting novelty and valuable cultural development.

>uses religious symbols to aid in interpretation. 

this is an imprecise description. tools don't use anything. 
tools may include symbolism, they may not.

>How then could you possibly hope to use this (tool) if you 
>don't know what the symbols read[?]

that depends entirely on to what use the tool is put. for use as a
fortune-telling device, the origin of the tarot is probably not
that important. for use as a communicator of the wisdom of the
designers of the deck, knowing the intent and meaning behind THEIR
use of symbols can go a long way to unlocking the significance of
their expression.

>It would be like giving an
>unlearned child a book to read. Sure they might come
>up with a pretty good story based on the pictures 

or use it to learn language, or to inspire the 
construction of a colouring book, or for a prop in a
play that the child is constructing, or as a magical tool.

>but would come nowhere close to what the actual story

in the case of a textual source, there is a demonstrable
'actual story' which may be easily obtained based on the
conventional interpretation of the letters and words as
a composite novel.

where tarot cards are concerned, the symbols used to make them
do not constitute, as a group, a comparably clear language. if
one were to study the materials of multiple media from those
who constructed the tarot, inclusive of their descriptions of
what the symbols meant to them, then this symbolism might 
become readily apparent, but unlike letters and words, their
significance as symbols means a great deal more than what is
expressed by the tarot deck artists. for this reason a host of
possible interpretations MAY be obtained from any religious
symbol set, varying widely dependent upon how far one ranges,
culturally, to obtain these significances.

the main reason that your analogy does not work is that there
are few comparable structures in cartomantic symbolism which
compare to the "word" of written language. implications and
the multitude of meaning behind any single symbol contribute
to greater contextual influence where symbols are concerned.
words have a similar quality, but their grammatic composition
is the primary factor to discern their significance.

a picture of a goose can convey flight, birds, some person or
being associated with geese, some cultural assignment based
on traditional associations which have nothing to do with
geese as animals, or some quality known or believed to be
inherent to geese. combining this with the number of PERSONAL
associations that one may bring to the observation of this
symbol (sounds of geese, goose-down pillows, goose dinners,
geese as guardian pets, etc.), one may be rather overwhelmed
by the meaning portrayed by the goose symbol as compared to
the relatively less complex meaning of the word 'goose' (from
the noun implying the animal to the verb referring to grabbing
a human's muladhara chakra and anything in between :>).
>> I meant that the origin of Tarot is irrelevant to the question of 
>> the reader's religious beliefs (ie. using Tarots does not make you 
>> Jewish even if that is where Tarot came from),  silly...*grin*

this much is clear. neither does it make you Egyptian or a 

>>>> Even if they were, I do not see how using something that
>>>> came from a source other than your own background/belief
>>>> system would determine your religious choice for
>>>> you -- this is the biggest lapse in logic yet!

it could inspire you to learn more about the source culture and
religion of the symbolism and object. it might lead TO conversion,
but would not necessarily make that conversion happen. words and
other symbols can have a catalyzing effect in the mind.

> Not really. Please refer to my statement above about the
> use of religious symbols.... 

what makes a symbol "religious"? where do religious symbols
become magical symbols? is there a difference? does the
meaning of a symbol reside within the graphic or in the
minds of the constructors, observers, or those who educate
regarding symbolism?

blessed beast!

FREE HOODOO CATALOGUE! send street address to: ; ; ; 
emailed replies may be posted; cc replies if response desired

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