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Tarot Purpose, Knowledge, and Occult Philosophy

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.magick,alt.tarot,alt.divination,alt.pagan.magick
From: nagasiva 
Subject: Re: Tarot Purpose, Knowledge, and Occult Philosophy
Date: Sun, 29 Feb 2004 08:53:32 GMT

50040229 vii om -- following up an old post sitting in my outbox

Humble T*r*t S**r :
# ...there are more conforming uses for them, such as game
# playing, and fortune telling, as well as ceremonial rites 
# and what is popularly termed "self-development".
# You know, self development using tarot has been going on 
# almost the entire time tarot has been used by occult types.  
# How new-age is that?

I'm not sure that's entirely true. cartomancy using the
Tarot may have, but "self-development" in some mystical
way probably has not.

#># Do I want the vehicle of my spiritual belief system [Tarot]
#># to be used in this way [for ascertaining historical facts]? 
#> 
#> do we have any say in the matter? is it our business what
#> anyone other than we may do with it? where is this vehicle
#> truly located? is there a specific deck which we don't want
#> touched or you'll feel violated? or if it was stolen, for
#> example, would we just go out and buy another one? do we
#> change purchased decks with every reading, or were we given
#> one made for us by our religious master? did we make it
#> ourselves as part of our spiritual development? there are so
#> many possibilities here which could apply from your words.
#
# Wow. Tarot as a spiritual belief system.  

it's true! there are many who integrate Tarot as an essential
part of their path, of course. like the mapping element for
our sefirotic tree structure around which we've constructed 
our ceremonial systems for mystical development.

# Well, many claims have been made for and against that. 
# New-agers particularly, seem to want to make it some 
# sort of overt talisman, some public reverence to their 
# belief system.

reverence? reference I can see, especially where it begins
to include some kind of ancient pedigree and mystic overtones.

# But occultists do that too, albeit not overtly.  

some have a hang-up on the Book of Thoth and Egyptomania.
it keys into longstanding Judeochristian mystical interests
like the co-option of the Jewish Kabbalah toward Hermetic
and quasi-Christian ends.

# I don't know that tarot could be described as a spiritual 
# belief vehicle, any more than a [ceremonial] magician 
# might be able to describe hir wand as such, or hir altar.

that's a very good point. it depends on whether you think
the whole implies a concise and/or complete doctrine. the
die-hard Tarotists maintain that there is only *ONE* real
message to be found (using the proper "keys" or "key" of
course, and they know what it is, probably because 
they've been initiated to the proper mysteries).

# It more definitely forms perhaps a part of the vehicle 
# in some sense.

absolutely.

# The vehicle, as a whole, is the body seeking the 
# spirit(ual) goal though.

that's one take on it to be sure. another perspective on
the vehicle would be the edifice of tradition within which
the Tarot played so important a part. it could, even more,
be identified as a means by which the god Tahuti-Thoth was
to communicate with the aspirant and teach hir magic!!!!!!

back again to mundane info-seeking using the Book of Thoth:
#> do I want my (occult! :>) Tarot used in this way? yes surely.
#> do I want my (occult! ;>) Tarot used *by me* like this? no way.
#> I don't want to take the chance that the magical purpose for
#> which I'm constructing it will be lost somehow in this tangent.
#
# One would want it to edify, and explain one's journey, 
# if journey is a correct term for the undertaking.  

that's one use for the Book, yes.

# But one can't put wheels on it and expect it to take 
# one where enlightenment (or spiritual goals) live.

it does kinda sound weird, especially since so many think
of the Tarot *as* a wheel (nee ROTA after the faux-Postel).

# It is, like most magick, a mission of mind over matter...

I didn't understand or find agreement with this portion
of your post. perhaps the mind-over-matter paradigm does
not really resonate with me. I'm not a mental-supremacist. :>

#> the Book of Thoth should be examined by anyone with interest.
#> if they choose to use it as a doorstop, I won't waste my time
#> trying to stop them. if they demonstrate through empiricism 
#> that it is a practical and repeatable mechanism from which to 
#> obtain reliable knowledge, that's wonderful!
#
# It makes a grand door stop.  And is rather fine for propping 
# up lop sided tables.  

I saw some 3.25" floppies being used for these purposes!
there have been suggestion for them as coasters of course.

# However, it is a waste of a text which has value - what
# value that is, however, is a subjective thing....

I'm not with you here. the Book of Thoth is essential as
a magician's Guidebook, comparable in many ways with other
Magic Books like the Wiccan Shadowbook or the Chaote's
Necronomicom (which Poke says doesn't exist, pfooey ;>).

# There is much within the BoT which *should* be of interest, 
# and further, of education, even to the simplest of minds.

here I'll chime in agreement. but this "BoT" isn't what
Crowley wrote, so much as what the magician *hirself*
creates as the functioning Spinning Wheel reflecting
the Numbers and Letters.
  
# ...tarot, properly used, can point to the *real* question, 
# and hence the *real* answer, only if so desired.

desire is one prerequisite, yes. another is skill, insight.
practice makes perfect even in the reading of signs.

#> and the answer to that differs markedly based on spacetime
#> and identity. level of devotion and within what course of
#> religious practice we've entered will probably determine
#> our response.
#
# Indeed.  One can look at it as subjectively as one chooses.
#
# Which is a fundamental reason why an objective consideration 
# is at least in part necessary - proper and true understanding 
# of the subject cannot follow without objectivity - and some 
# type of understanding is not what is being sought, unless 
# one is prepared, as most of us are, to lie to, and about, 
# oneself at every turn.

a wonderful observation. investment in particular results
may predispose one to see this as all that *could* obtain.

#> Yijing is called by some THE ideal fortune-telling device.
#> devout Taoists consider it part of their Canon. should one's
#> family copy of this classic religious text be itself used
#> for bibliomancy?? does it even exist as a paper book? 
#
# It is less subjective than other methodologies, although it 
# too can be misinterpreted. And in effect, when one pulls 
# sticks, or drops coins, one is doing precisely what one 
# does when practicing bibliomancy.

ah but I think my point was missed here. say that the Yi
was hallowed by the family and kept in a box with silk,
brought out and kissed, suffused in incense and spun in
circles only with great reverence when the family wanted
to ascertain the next course of action in some confusing
moment of indecision.

now take that book out of the box, open it carelessly
or with trepidatious awe, and stick a blade into its
pages. interpret the fall of the blade as the answer
to the query silently intoned during the insertion.

is the use of this book, which ostensibly is supposed
to be the *reference* for the divinatory activity and
instead is substituted for the selection moment properly
or improperly used? where can bibliomancy not intrude?
 
#> these questions perplex those interested in occult philosophy. 
#> despite popular academic and arcane interests mistaking what 
#> is called philosophy for stipulated doctrine, dogma even, 
#> without regard for empiricism, or real advance, the actuality 
#> of its practice, composed of general inquiry, self-examination, 
#> and breadth of exposure, is its true and lasting value.
#
# Perplexion is only one way of describing the situation one finds
# oneself in when one has questions without immediately apparent
# answers.

or means of evaluating their solution!!

# They are, rather, [challenges], stages - levels against which 
# one might measure one's attainment in the subject.

agreed.

#> the best use for Bibles may be as compost or kindling.
#> the same may be true of Tarot.

# That rather depends on one's definition of "best" - like so many
# descriptive words, it is only a subjective term.

too easily segmented into 'subjective' and 'objective', I'm not
one to whole-heartedly support this division. operating as a
magician may require abandoning of the relativism of such a
paradigm, instead supporting the sacrosanct and perfect move
we learn from the bosom of our gods.

y
r       B
o      l         b
n     e        e
w    s       a
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d  e     t
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.com@nagasiva
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