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Emblems/Symbols, Meditation/Reading and Case-workers

To: alt.tarot,alt.magick.tyagi,alt.magick
From: azoth@netcom.com (Az0th)
Subject: Re: Emblems/Symbols, Meditation/Reading and Case-workers (was Re: Plotinus, evil, ....)
Date: Fri, 23 May 1997 20:27:35 GMT

I heard R Brzustowicz (brz@u.washington.edu) say:

: >I haven't spent any time with Tomberg, but my '68 copy of Sadhu's _Tarot_
: >uses an esoteric deck showing considerable Rider-Waite influence. Even so,
: >his text, and I think also Ouspensky's, uses the images primarily as a bully
: >pulpit for philosophical dissertation, and doesn't really qualify as an
: >analytical commentary in the same sense as those other examples of our
: >proposed genre-type.

: I think they would be near the margins of the genre (either almost outside
: or almost inside).  

Well, not to get _too_ silly about splitting hairs, it might still be useful
to contrast discursive vs. analytical commentary text, and recognize the
marginal samples as discursive in intent, and the pure or primary samples as
analytical, WRT the reference imagery. In a similar vein, a relationship of
restatement to privileged analytical material, as Arriens, Ziegler or Suster
to Crowley's Thoth, would be discursive by definition. Levi's work, although
suggestive and influential, is incomplete, as is that of de Gebelin and
Pitois. Mathers' _Book T_ raised the ante considerably, and made less than
complete, consistent formulations passe.

: Yes:  in the "pure" specimens the Tarot emblems become as much an
: authorial utterance as the (written) text.  It's not that the text is a
: commentary on something existing independently, but the two have been
: devised as a single work.  

Succinctly put, although I realize that the real world isn't quite so tidy.

For example, Kuntz's _Golden Dawn Tarot_ chapbook from Holmes makes a good
case for including as authoritative and necessary commentary text on the
Rider-Waite artwork a number of his text productions above and beyond his
_Pictorial Key_, such as his work on the Grail legendry. That this follows
from a deficiency in the _Key_ & _Pictorial Key_ is the telling point, and
is not the same as including the author's expanded works as a 'background'
or discursive collophon.

: This means that the genre would include things like various para-Tarot
: image/text works, while leaving out things like Arrien's Thoth-illustrated
: book.

Yup, yup. Fallorio's Nightside Tarot, say, or Stewart's Merlin Tarot, would
be good examples. 

: >Even Dummett admits the value of her study. It's a far cry from Petrarch
: >to Luria, however.

: Perhaps.  Perhaps not.  What's the metric of distance in such matters?

Excellent question! I hope this isn't something like 'Just how big *is*
your idea, anyway?' };-]

Well, we could start with time and space, or period and distribution,
and work from there... Was Lurianic Kabbalah _ever_ part of popular
culture, as discinct from academic or vocational religious culture?

: >Definitely, as in Rosicrucian symbolism as well. Has anyone ever
: >remarked that the period of CRC's life provides a symbolic factor
: >in the date of his birth? I was fiddling about one day, inspired

: It is.  Numerical transformations are fluid enough, though, to yield many
: significant connections that, taken together, can reduce a text to
: incoherence.  It's not utterly implausible -- but a more likely connecton

Absolutely. Studion's _Naometria_ does however stand out as just this sort
of specifically Rosicrucian and millenialist numerology-gone-mad, although
it doesn't seem to have had a really broad appeal to the apologists.

: would be between CRC and the Holy Spirit (as in the ever-popular Joachite
: notion of three dispensations -- that of the Father, that of the Son, and
: that of the Holy Spirit).

I've never liked Joachite aeonology, except possibly as a pretext for 
taking Crowley's refurb more seriously than I do, but Christianity as
a species of solar mythology is not hard to reconcile with G.'.D.'.
2nd Order/CRC/Tiphereth/... associations, and helps resolve an apparent
conflict between Thelema's solar forms and their Rosicrucian precursors.
I think this may be another thread for another time...

: I'm not an art historian -- and will probably never have a chance to
: become versed in art history & intellectual history enough to make a stab
..
: I was just yesterday talking about this with a friend, who told me quite
: firmly that Tarot iconography is a recognized sub-discipline in the
: Italian art history world.  I have not had a chance to follow this up.

I hope that doesn't mean that the essential sources are in Italian. ;)

Az0th

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