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'Real' vs. 'Nonhistorical, Intuitive' Meanings

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.magick,alt.tarot
From: azoth@netcom.com (Az0th)
Subject: Re: 'Real' vs. 'Nonhistorical, Intuitive' Meanings (was Re: Dog in The Fool card?)
Date: Wed, 14 May 1997 16:27:59 GMT

Hi Jan,
 
>Several of the books I have read give specific examples and/or exercises on
>how to do this type of meditation/visualization.
...
>They refer to the visualization technique of imagining yourself entering
>the card, actually stepping into it, looking all around at the people,
>landscape, etc. and interacting with the characters depicted there,
>imagining what they would say to you, and so forth. As a matter of fact,
>*so many* of the books mentioned this technique that I just assumed I was
>exceptionally dull in not being able to practice this method.

This routine is mostly of interest to magicians in training. If you're
not one of Them (or one of Us, for that matter), you can toss it.

The essential applicability of this technique to tarot is in showing you
how to ask the too-obvious questions. It brings you face to face, as it
were, with the imagery, and leaves you squarely in the position of having
to wonder, 'What now?' It's the 'What now?' that's important.

Answers come and go, and are almost always less interesting than the
questions that you ask, and as I was recently reminded, keep asking,
over a lifetime of study and experience, and the only really wrong
questions are the ones you fail to pose. An example? OKfine.

I don't know what particular cards you're looking at, so we'll look
at some of mine, and for the sake of discussion, we'll pick out the
Tower, Blasted Tower, Atu XVI, House of God, War or whatever you'd
like to call it. It's the one with the tower on it, getting blasted.

Now, if you're looking at one of our newfangled 'occult' versions,
you're probably trying to figure out all those widgets, triangles
and yods and maws and crowns and all-seeing EYEs and *stuff* put
there by people for us to figure out. Most of it actually means
something, and you can ask lots of questions about the *stuff*.

If it's a Golden Dawn flavored card you'll be asking questions
about the path of Peh on the Tree of Life and how Mars mediates
between Netzach and Hod, and if you've read Book T or the Ciceros'
treatise, you'll be asking even more questions about the Qlippoth
and the Veils and the reign and fall of the kings in Edom. You'll
ask questions about mouths and speech and the tower of Babel, and
if you get around to Case you'll count the bricks and wonder about
the flesh of Adam and on and on and on. Lots of interesting *stuff*.

You'll ask questions about colors and scales of color and if 
you're looking at Thoth you'll have to wonder about Love under
Will and eagles and serpents (choose well, grasshopper!) and
that Eye and ... lots more *stuff*. One question leads to another
and you can do this sort of thing for a very long time and have
a lot of fun. I've been at it for more than a quarter century,
and I've barely scratched the surface. None of us ever does
more than scratch the surface, because the universe of questions
is vast.

Well then, maybe, after a few or many years you might find yourself
standing alone on a mountain side, under blue skies after a storm.
Watching the lightning in the distance, still crashing down around
_somebody's_ head, you might be reminded of the Tower, being blasted,
and imagine for a moment that the bare stones of the mountain are the
rubble of all that remains. You might, surrounded by the stark simplicity
of earth and sky and the storm that washed it all be inspired to consider
a question that had always before been too obvious to ask, 'Why a tower?'

Why a tower? What's this tower thingy, why is it here and why should I
care if it gets blasted, anyway? Perhaps, it is a frontier garrison,
a militant presence in a foreign land, a model of territoriality and
acquisition by force. Even if I didn't know about Mars and the path
of Peh, I have some idea why towers have been built, and in what sorts
of places. So what?

So, if I'm a soldier posted there, it's a safe place for a bunk and a
meal, at least. So, if I'd rather be home with my family, it's a duty
call, necessary so long as it's necessary, but hardly enjoyable. So, if
I'm a career officer, it's the possibility for advancement, putting down
an uprising, say. So, if I'm the governor of this place, it's the best
implement of my influence, or it may only be a remnant of a meaningless
holding action in a backwater of empire, deserted by everyone capable
of leaving. So, if I'm one of the indigent population, it's perhaps only
a source of oppression, a habitat for usurpers and enemies. Why a tower?
Viewpoint, vantage, vista, vertigo...

A single blast from above changes everything. To retreat, to rebuild,
to rejoice, to remember, to _deal_ with something gone that had seemed an
enduring part of the landscape, whether it had been desirable, or only
tolerable, or eminently removable. It's hardly surprising that the path
of Peh, the path of Mars, should tug so forcibly at our hearts and heads,
our very personal concessions to Netzach and Hod, but there's more to the
Tower, more depth and immediacy and meaning, than such *stuff*, and quite
a sufficiency to find in the simple picture of a tower, being blasted. Why
a tower?

The real questions, the useful questions, lead us back into Life, and
the way people live it, and not into books and the way people write
them, three steps removed from the sudden blasts of lightning which
still transform the landscapes of our souls.

Az0th

--
      We attained to be starry grains of gold dust in the sands of
      a slow river.  ---  LIBER LIBERI VEL LAPIDIS LAZULI - V:17.

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