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Tarot and Judeochristian Authorities

To: alt.magick,alt.christnet,alt.magick.tyagi
From: tyagi@houseofkaos.abyss.com (nagasiva)
Subject: Tarot and Judeochristian Authorities (was Re: tarot fear)
Date: 10 May 1997 04:43:17 -0700

49970510 AA1  Hail Satan!

[see the post to which this was a response if you want the full text]


in alt.tarot, "J. Karlin"  writes:
>...here are the scriptural arguements (from both Torah and 
>Talmud) that proscribe divination.

I have not studied this.  I am not a Jew.  I am only Christian by a
very irreligious perspective.  I understand Christian religion to 
often proscribe "divination" (sometimes as 'sortilege' (RCatholic).
I agree with jk that Christians who engage tarot are not Biblical
in a traditional (and especially fundamentalist) sense.

that said, I will argue against what is concluded here within this
(now archived :>) essay.  thank you for posting it, Mr. Karlin.


>...whether or not the Bible prohibits divination ....
>The real difference between the two comes in looking at the 
>intentionality of the operator.

>Basically, if one intends to determine the divine
>will, that is a sin. Only the High Priest of Israel
>was allowed to do this. Revelation and prophecy, however,
>are something else altogether, and are acceptable
>because they are 'gifts' from God.

I use this criteria below.


>It does however represent my reason for thinking
>...any Christian or Jew who reads tarot cards
>has obviously not read his Bible.

there are self-professed Christians (Jews?) who do not accept the
entire traditional texts of their faiths as parameters (e.g. some
Christians do not accept the OT as requirements on account of the
New Testament's indications that these are now suspended under a
new contract, sealed by the Blood of the Lamb).


>...what the Talmudic commentaries had to say about these
>sciptures. And this is what is being discussed here---

so qualified.


>From the Babylonian Talmud, Soncino edition
>Hullin Tractate

>In a discussion of what constitutes a lawful omen versus
>an unlawful one (that is, divination) we read---

>"An omen which is not after the form pronounced by Eliezar, 
>Abrahams's servant, or by Jonathan, the son of Saul, is not 
>considered a divination!"

>Eliezar in Gen 24:14 commands of Yahweh to show him a sign 
>(whose form is established by Eliezar) so that he may know the 
>Will of God for his master, Abraham.

>Jonathan in 1 Samuel 14:9-14 also intentionally establishes 
>the conditions by which he shall know the Will of God.

>In both cases therefore, the conditions and forms by
>which the omen shall be received and interpreted are 
>established by the receptor and interpreter BEFORE 
>the sign is received with the intention of receiving 
>the information.

>In other words they establish, before any sign comes to them, 
>that if such and such a sign should appear it will mean this 
>and if this other sign should appear it will mean that---
>precisely the same thing one does when reading 
>tarot cards which have pre-established meanings and 
>conditions of interpretation associated with them.

>Therefore, tarot IS divination as described here and it is to 
>be proscribed under the Law.

except that "tarot" is not necessarily only this method.  it is
also possible to interpret the signs AS THEY OCCUR, a more
intuitive approach to 'divination' and tarot.  just because you
may not like this method it doesn't make it impossible.  people
can 'derive from the God' their meanings in the tarot at the time.

in this case it is not: "determin(ing) the divine will", and is
therefore not "a sin", by your above definitions.  they can be
received by God at the time of the reading.  this is a means by
which a Jewish or Christian reader could satisfy your examples here.


>On the question of lot-casting---

>Please note that when people are told by God to cast lots THAT 
>can not be divination (which, by definition, is performed in 
>accordance with the wishes of the operator, not God)....

"by definition" of only a limited type (Biblical, perhaps).
that is, 'performing omen-reading according to the wishes of
the operator' is defined as 'divination' by the translators
(possibly the authors/editors for all I know :>) within this
scripture.  people may use the term 'divination' to apply to
other things which may or may not be Bibically accordant,
and in this sense they may engage what *they* call 'divination'
yet still be within Biblical Law (an example is found above).


>...no more of a behavioral exhortation to emulate or 
>repeat it than did Peter's cutting off the ear of the officer
>sent to arrest Jesus---it was a unique, understandable
>but unacceptable behavior. After all, why should Christians
>want to emulate the behavior of the Roman soldiers who also
>'cast lots' to divide the clothing of the dead savior?

very lovely.


>On the meaning of Exodus 22:17 (18)---
>From: Berakoth, chapter 3

[...]

>"...they that divine by a ghost or a familiar spirit come under 
>the heading of sorceress [and should be put to death by stoning]...."

interesting.  this explains why Crowley and Co. may have wanted to
do all this HUA business (I'm becoming convinced that heresy and/or
establishing a tradition whereby the precursive taboos were broken
is central to the Hermetic and/or greater cultural slant which I
call the GMC).


[... lots of OT text describing that these folx should be stoned]

>Then in the Shabbat, Chapter 7
>(in a discussion on separate culpability)

[...]

>For R. Ishmael taught as follows:

>Please NOTE---there is a GENERAL prohibition against
>magic and the specifications of that prohibition include---

I saw 'magic' prohibited where it isn't illusion.  I saw the
words below related to but not strictly identified with 'magic'.
in fact, you quoted text which delineated '*forbidden* magic',
describing that which is not forbidden as 'illusion-making'
(my terminology).  so 'magic' outside this sense is assuredly
forbidden by the text you quote, and it is this lesser
category which should be associated with the below:

>1. Sorcery
>2. Witchcraft
>3. Divination
>4. Necromancy

again, this 'divination' is the Biblical type, and all of this
is being proscribed in the OT/Torah.


[...]

>...the meaning of the word is VERY clear and the
>only reason one might discuss the limited usage of 'poisoner'
>is in reference to the apparent confusion that may have
>been created when the Greek word 'pharmakous' was used in 
>the Septuagint....

agreed.


>on the question of idolatry or idol-worship---
>The Sanhedrin says-

>"He who engages in idol-worship is executed-it is all the 
>same whether he serves it, sacrifices to it, offers incense 
>to it, makes libations upon it, prostrates himself 
>before it, accepts it as a god, or says to it-'thou art my god'."

>Thus, there is a distinction made here between using 
>the power or deity (as in divination or magic) and actually
>accepting it as a god (worshipping it). Both are prohibited.

but the act itself, if related to the *proper* God is not.


>one can identify the power and goodness (and more
>importantly, the omniscience) of Yahweh both by what he
>allows and what he finds abominable and he must
>find magic and divination abominable because both
>practices seek to diminish the role of the omniscient
>and omnipotent God to decide the fate of the universe.

by the clear definitions of 'magic' and 'divination' above,
within the OT/Torah, yes.


>What you or I may perceive as exceptions to his vast 
>array of prohibitions misses this point....

in the case of Christians who proclaim themselves not to be
covered by the Law any more (cf. New Testament, particularly
Paul in his letters), it doesn't miss the point at all.


>the spirit of the Law MUST fundamentally be formulated in 
>acknowledgment of Gods unique and privileged divinity---
>privileged in that he and he alone is allowed to 
>arbitrate the affairs of man and the universe.

and tarot can be conducted with this attitude.


>So, any behavior that contradicts this spirit MUST be deemed
>unlawful and sinful. 

agreed.


>That's also largely the point intended (and generally missed by 
>'believers') in Jesus' mission to fulfill the Law.

agreed, though the fulfillment comes through its 'breakage of
the chains of the Law' (for those who have been cleansed of the
sins of Adam and Eve through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, Son
of God).  that is, the New Testament allows one to transgress
the Law of Moses because that new contract is LARGER, more 
important than literal rules.  the rules become secondary to the 
SPIRIT of the Christ's message as received, which is LOVE.

given this understanding *any* behavior could be sanctioned by
God, and this is one of the reasons there are so many sects of
Christianity which profess a variation from proper behaviors,
a reason why there are such a number of sects.

given this understanding tarot and even magick could be allowed
(though I suspect that the latter would be harder to justify),
especially if either brings one into contact with or to worship
of another god or has one dictating something *to* the God (I
have shown that neither is necessary in the case of tarot, and
this holds for all manner of "divination" by conventional usage).

tyagi@houseofkaos.abyss.com
nagasiva
-- 
see http://www.hollyfeld.org/~tyagi/nagasiva.html  and  call: 408/2-666-SLUG!!!
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