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The Emperor's New Clothes

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belmurru
(@belmurru)
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"lashtal" wrote:
It'll take a long time to assess all the data you've provided, but I just wanted to thank you for making such an informative post.

It's what LAShTAL.COM was intended for!

Thank you very much for this welcome.

I'm glad to be able to provide something substantial for everybody to chew on.

The Liber Aleph passages were particularly eye-opening for me.

Ross


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belmurru
(@belmurru)
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"adonia444" wrote:
Ross,

I've just printed this off so I can review it properly. Dont ask, a weird hang up for me. I find this facinating actually. I've notices a few of the above points myself but never taken the time to actually dissect it like you have, very interesting! I hope after a proper review i'll be back to have something of actual interest to post. Dont hold your breath though. *grin*

Glad you found it interesting. I had never done it like this before last week - the dispute with Jess Karlin (on another thread here and on his own usenet group) inspired me to make the effort.

It goes without saying that I agree with Michael and Paul. It's VERY anti-climatic when such a well written post is followed up by really...nothing.

LOL - I thought people responded rather quickly!

One hopes when such time and effort are put into sharing ideas and research with the forums that other posters will have something else of importance or significance to add.

If anyone can, it would be really great. I suspected he might have mentioned "the switch" in some letter to Jones... and then I found Liber Aleph chapter 167!

The Amalantrah entry really threw me for a loop, though. There are Heh and Tzaddi, side by side, and he gives Heh to the Emperor!

That's why I thought the switch can be narrowed down to a few months... in April of 1918, AC still hadn't worked out the double loop, which was the final proof (elegant and symmetrical - he was a Libra after all) that he was seeking.

Thank you for posting! I'm looking forward to more constructive input from the rest of the members here.

Thanks for the welcome. It is my only Thelemic group.


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belmurru
(@belmurru)
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"Aum418" wrote:
93 all,

AL III:42. Success is thy proof: argue not; convert not; talk not over much!

My shortened opinion is that, if The Star 'works' for you as Heh/path from Chokmah-Tiphareth then "Success is your proof." If The Emperor works as Heh, "Success is your proof." All this intellectual debate holds no ground in the realm of the Tarot which is based off of pictoral abstractions not words and debates of Reason and Because.

On another note, Ross' objective scholarship is extremely commendable. Agape.

http://iao131.cjb.ne t"> http://iao131.cjb.net

Thanks. I agree with you. I believe Crowley had a light touch with this subject, and this is exactly why he wanted an elegant solution (just like he sought for II:76), not a convoluted qabalistic argument. He wanted "immediate conviction". He was like a mathematician who wanted an elegant formula.

Personally, I think the switch matters a great deal more for mystical practice with the Tree of Life than for divination. Having the path of Heh occupied by the Star is very different than having it occupied by the Emperor. But neither cards' divinatory meanings have been changed.

Ross


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belmurru
(@belmurru)
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"subrosa" wrote:
Hey! (inside joke...sorry)

I think I get it alright!

Fascinating thread! It would seem one of the bigger impacts of the Tz./Heh. switch in practical magick is in the YHVH formula. Fits rather nicley now with Nuit being more associated with the second and last Heh. 🙂
I was also under the impression the placement of the Emporer and The Star were not switched on the Tree, it was simply a switch of the letter attributions. In reading some of Crowley's path to this 'discovery' it's not clear though.

Your first point is why I found the Amalantrah analysis of the formula He-Tzaddi etc. so troubling (for the chronology). This was a perfect time for Crowley to have given He to the Star, just as he had a few months earlier in Liber Aleph...

Your second point (letter switch versus path-and-letter switch) is also an important discovery here. Crowley took it, like Achad, to be a switch on the Tree of Life. The card went over, and it took with it the astrological sign as well. Now Aries is between Yesod and Netzach.

This is why I put in the last paragraph that the systems are not seamless. They seek elegance in their relations. It is very important to remember the weight of the GD decision to put Justice as 11 - and thus keep the alphabetic order (Lamed=Libra=Justice). The "natural" tarot has Teth=Leo=Strength as 11, which Crowley honoured. But he honoured the "initiated" GD tradition as well, and this caused the first tangle in the otherwise straightforward Zodiacal attribution that was solved in an elegant way by adding another tangle at the precisely opposite side of the Zodiac-Tarot attributions - and this also addressed, incidentally, the precession of the Equinoxes and the changing of the Aeon (Aries-Aquarius around *Pisces*, the Old Aeon). Now Aquarius, the new Aeon, is elevated to the mediator between the supernals and the heart.

I think this could not have been missed by Crowley, but we should take very seriously his insistence on the symmetry of the solution in any case.

belmurru
Thank you for this info! What a first post!

You're very welcome. I was obsessed for a week with this problem, and although the answer is not definitive, it is better than 1923, which was the previous consensus.

I think the feminine nature of Heh started Crowley on this line... Heh has to be Nuit to the Yod of Hadit. So there is already a beginning of the solution.

Ross


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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"belmurru" wrote:
I think the feminine nature of Heh started Crowley on this line... Heh has to be Nuit to the Yod of Hadit. So there is already a beginning of the solution.

Ross

93,

It's not that simple. That is only in the view of the formula of Tetragrammaton.

For example,
Yod could be taken as relating to Virgo, the Mother - Nuit. Yod could also be taken as 10 = Malkuth; Yod is the Universe - Nuit.
Heh (which = 5) could be taken as the Pentagram, he who Goes - Hadit. Heh is also related to Breath which is related to energy & action - Hadit.

Heck, Yod is 10 and Heh spelled in full is 10; Nothing is that simple Qabalistically.

65 & 210,
111-418


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 Anonymous
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"parzival" wrote:
3. Every man and every woman is a STAR...

if "Every" = ALL = 61
and "man" = heh = 5
and "woman" = tzaddi = 90
the total is:

61+5+90=156


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belmurru
(@belmurru)
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"Aum418" wrote:
"belmurru" wrote:
I think the feminine nature of Heh started Crowley on this line... Heh has to be Nuit to the Yod of Hadit. So there is already a beginning of the solution.

Ross

93,

It's not that simple. That is only in the view of the formula of Tetragrammaton.

That's true. I'm not trying to argue the true interpretation here, just Crowley's take. It seems, from Aleph and Amalantrah, that he was using the Tetragrammaton formula as a way of attacking the problem. Also the Al(h)im chapter of Magick in Theory and Practice shows this.

For example,
Yod could be taken as relating to Virgo, the Mother - Nuit. Yod could also be taken as 10 = Malkuth; Yod is the Universe - Nuit.
Heh (which = 5) could be taken as the Pentagram, he who Goes - Hadit. Heh is also related to Breath which is related to energy & action - Hadit.

Heck, Yod is 10 and Heh spelled in full is 10; Nothing is that simple Qabalistically.

65 & 210,
111-418

Of course, anything (almost) is possible with Qabalah. The point that is significant for this thread and topic is that Virgo is between Leo and Libra, which are given to Strength and Justice in the tarot. Of course, in the tarot also Fortune intervenes, but Fortune is given to a planet (Jupiter), so the correct Zodiacal order is observed in the traditional GD correspondences, with Justice-Libra at 11, following Hermit-Virgo at 9 and before Death-Scorpio at 13.

Crowley didn't seek the solution to AL I:57 in the gematria of Heh or Tzaddi - or rather, if he did, it was unfruitful and is not recorded. He finally sought it in the feminine trinty of influences from the supernals, and it was clinched because it made symmetrical loops in the Zodiacal attribution of the Trumps, resolving the problem of the GD placement of Justice.

Thus he had a precedent "switch" on which to base his new one, and additionally it was balanced, since Virgo is opposite Pisces, and the Aeon that was changing is that of Pisces.

Ross


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belmurru
(@belmurru)
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"lashtal" wrote:
It'll take a long time to assess all the data you've provided, but I just wanted to thank you for making such an informative post.

It's what LAShTAL.COM was intended for!

BTW, thank you for this site and all the work you have put into it. The continually rotating pictures in the left frame are enough to make a Thelemite weep!

I imagine this is a reflection of the Oasis we have all passed through on our way through the desert.

Along with a lot of uninvited, but quite entertaining, rowdies.

Ross


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 Anonymous
Joined: 51 years ago
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"nevertire" wrote:
In 1989 I was given both the Thoth tarot deck and The Book of Thoth. It was great, except I couldn't understand the Double Loop in the zodiac. I carried on with life and left the Double Loop alone until recently - but in 2005 it still made no sense to me - except! - as a most excellent, and funny, practical joke. Has anybody else had this feeling?

Crowley says the matters are "rather technical". On the other hand, he says you should have appreciated, even as a novice, the alleged "balance and fitness" the Aiwass switch supplied to Tarot.

One thing to consider, if you wish to illustrate and at the same time to convince people that something "balanced" and "fit" has come about, it would probably aid the effort if you supplied readers with a balanced and symmetrical looking (but still mysterious) graphical aid.

It's a kind of programming that Crowley is doing, in lieu of actually explaining simply, or better yet thoroughly, the technical matters. Pictures sell better than words. If you see it, you believe. If you read it, you might ask annoying questions, like Frieda did.

So, maybe that drawing was included as much to convince Aleister as anyone else that something balanced and fit had happened. It seems not to have worked too well on everyone else.

(jk)


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 Anonymous
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"Aeon-93" wrote:
The first thing that you notice is that the Zodiacal and Hebrew letters corresponding to Adjustment (Justice) and Lust (Strength) are out of sequence.

The letters were not out of sequence.

The cards were deemed out of sequence, because their astrological signs in the sequence didn't match their pictures, and indeed seemed to be the reverse of what made sense.

"Aeon-93" wrote:
but it changed the traditional order of the Tarot trumps.

It seems a good and understandable change, if one is demanding a match to Hebrew letters. Nobody ever has much trouble understanding the reasoning behind the GD switch. Of course, some people might view that as a negative feature of it, that it isn't sufficiently esoteric.

"Aeon-93" wrote:
With the Thoth deck Crowley kept the traditional order of the Tarot trumps and thus created one loop in the Zodiac. Libra and Leo form a loop around Virgo.

Why a loop?

Thing is, when Crowley made that change back to what the Golden Dawn had determined, allegedly with initiated understanding, was an incorrect placement, he necessarily dragged the Hebrew letters with the cards. After all, the initiated insight was that the cards fit better with the astrological signs corresponding to the switched letters. But when he sent the letters packing to their new (old) positions, he changed the Hebrew alphabet, not merely from its Tarotic sequence, but from its ancient sequence, to something that made no sense. And he did this in part to balance his other corruption of the sequence, which, contrary to what he says, actually makes an excellent argument for Aiwass being nothing but a Wagner-cum-Cairo delusion.

But maybe that's because Crowley so thoroughly ignored what Aiwass wrote.

Explain please, how one goes from "All these old letters of my book are aright", with the ONE exception of Tzaddi not being the Star to now four letters are moved out of sequence?

All, but one does not equal four.

Does it?

"Aeon-93" wrote:
So without destroying the traditional sequence of the trumps Crowley managed to create a balanced and symmetrical attribution.

Wasn't it balanced and symmetrical after the Golden Dawn switch?

"Aeon-93" wrote:
The whole matter is explained perfectly clearly

Obviously not. Even Crowley admits it is "technical". Though he never explained the technicality.

(jk)


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 Anonymous
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"ianrons" wrote:
Yes, I can see where you're coming from on this one. Both "loops" are irrational, and therefore generally out of character for Crowley.

It seems quite in character for a person (or entity) who wrote: "All reason is a lie" and "Reason is like a woman; if you listen, you are lost".

(jk)


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 Anonymous
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"Aeon-93" wrote:
It was only later that occultists, starting with Court de Gebelin, claimed that the tarot had a secret esoteric significance and was linked to the hebrew kabbalah and astrology. And that's when we start running into problems.

But we should be specific about the nature of those problems.

For the most part, they have mirrored the problems of the organizations that have given life to occult Tarot. Secrecy was the key to everything. You had to have a secret, or you had nothing. And the great thing about the Tarot key was that it was always susceptible to someone claiming or better hinting that he possessed the secret key, which he would reveal to you, after an appropriate period of initiation, and payments.

The key became an occult commodity. It didn't start off a secret. It was secretized to make it more mysterious and marketable. In our own time we have seen orders, whose secrets have been published, necessarily go about (or claim to go about) re-writing the secrets to make them once again unknown. Are the secrets any better than the old published ones? Sure, because they are secret.

The best Tarot key is the one that is secret. Even Aiwass said only reveal it to the "wise". Crowley said his explanation would be so technical, only they could understand it.

That is one reason why finding out Crowley's Aiwass switch was already published is not something you have read before. It is a secret or mystery busting bit of data the industrial occultists certainly have seen no reason to reveal, assuming they knew about it, which some of them must have.

(jk)


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 Anonymous
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Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.

Here we go again! The double loop is to the least important aspect of this problem in that spiritual and mystical meaning is more important than arguments over genatria sums adding up. There is so much that Crowley didn't know that has since come to light, that doesn't mean his meaning is lost though.
The apparent swap between The Emperor and The Star on the Tree Of Life is in my opinion and experience (in that I have proven it to myself) fundamental to understanding Thelema as a whole. The Star being Heh has far reaching consequences that cannot simply be ignored. For instance the would YHVH can be brocken down into a sequence of male letter, female letter, male letter, female letter. Thus making the four letter would an alchemical sequence of fire, water, air, earth. This only descends into patriarchal drivel with the Emprorer as Heh. More imporatantly though to Thelema is the Star itself, being Nuith it is more appropriate to say that the Star is a Window than a Fish Hook, also to elivate the Star to where Crowley puts it on the Tree Of Life makes the upper supernal downward pointing triangle all female (The Star, The Lovers, The Empress) which means the upper heaxagram is balanced male-female (Nuith-Hadith). This I believe is so important to Thelemic tantra that it cannot be underestimated in importance.

A lot of people seem to despirately make Charles Stansfield-Jone be accepted as a prophet when he didn't do anything really. If you look at his work it is a virtual word for word undoing of all the changes Crowley made to the Golden Dawn system of magick. It shows Stansfield-Jone to be a traitor to Crowley and not his successor. It's as if he deliberately tried to undermine all of Crowley's work and return us all to the misserable Christian Dark Ages. I read enough of his work to know that it's only inteligent use is as toilet paper. Crowley rightly so bannished him as a fifth collumn of the enemies.

I have heard a lot of arguments against Crowley's adjustmenst to the Golden Dawn system to bring it into the New Age of Aquarius but none of them have offered a viable alternative. They all actually seem to be just sour grapes at Crowley beeting them to it. Especially with regards the promotion and treatment of the feminine divine elememt to Thelema, so sadly lacking in Neo-Masonic versions of Thelemic teaching. Perhaps the best thing for us to do is to try and forget our egos over this and look at it objectively. To stop trying to revive Theosophy and Masonry and deal with the world as it actually apears to be in this age.

Alex

Love is the law, love under will.


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 Anonymous
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Topic starter  

I've been getting into Alan Moore lately (thanks, Fr Eleutherios) and among many other interesting things I came across this, in A Disease Of Language:

"For example, regarding Promethea #12, we received a letter from a Thelemite (one who totally accepts the vision of Aleister Crowley, as outlined in Crowley's frankly scary Book of the Law) correcting us upon our association of the Hebrew letter/path Tzaddi with the Tarot card The Star, and referring us to Crowley's Book of Thoth for the master's explanation of why Tzaddi should more properly be attributed to The Emperor. Crowley mentions his sudden realisation that Tzaddi in fact shares the same etymological root as the words Tzar, Czar, Shah, Kaiser and Caesar, and must thus, therefore, be related to The Emperor. Now, I've got the greatest respect for Crowley as a magician and a thinker, as well as having a great deal of personal fondness for the man, but this is simply wrong, etymologically speaking. The root word of all the above, obviously, is Caesar, and the word Tzaddi simply bears a coincidental resemblance to one Russian variant of the word for Emperor. So while there may indeed be other Magical reasons for Tzaddi being The Emperor that I am not yet aware of, Crowley's stated reasoning seemed to me to be flawed upon this particular issue, and so thus we elected to stick with the traditional attribution of Tzaddi as The Star."


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 Anonymous
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Concerning the switching only the Hebrew letters instead of ATUs that was mentioned by nevertire, yes, this thing puzzled me when I read about it in the Book of Thoth. Crowley write:

"But the position is made clear enough by the accompanying diagram. It will be seen at a glance that now, for the first time, is a perfect symmetry established in the Tarot."

But in fact, when I look at the attributions of Crowley's deck, I don't see a "perfect symmetry". If we preserved the VII/XI switch, a symmetrical switch to that would be to Switch Emperor-Heh with Star-Tzaddi so that Star-Tzaddi is ATU IV, but then it wouldn't be true that "Tzaddi is not the Star." The dubious thing about Crowley's explanation is that he doesn't even mention this problem in his descriptions.

..

Well, I just noticed that one way to make these attributions again "perfectly symmetrical" would be to make VIII-Adjustment-Libra = Teth and XI-Lust-Leo = Lamed. See, this would make sense because Crowley though Lamed of AL/LA is highly important and wrote this about the ATU Adjustment:

".. for the letters Aleph Lamed constitute the secret key of the Book of Law, and this is the basis of a complete qabalistic system of greater depth and sublimity than any other. The details of this system have not yet been revealed."

Come to think of it, wouldn't it be appropriate to put the symbol of scales and balance to connect Chesed and Geburah on the opposite sides of the Tree? And Lust to connect Tiphareth and the Martial Geburah? "All of your letters are basically aright, but there is yet one more thing; Teth is not the Lust." 😉


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 Anonymous
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Well, something of a joy to find a forum that can answer to my intellectual appetites.
After about a decade I dusted off my very well used Toth deck in anticipation of finally getting to the massive task of creating a Tarot pack of my own, I ran into the brick wall of the "Double Loop Theory", which led me here.
Thank God for that too, I've been banging my head up until now.
Anyway I now have come to the conclusion that it would be better to keep the order of the Alphabet and simply switch The places of the Star and the Emperor effectively changing the correspondences of the Zodiac signs (which F:.P:. did anyway), when it's all said and done it makes sense for a number of reasons. One, to me, the double loop represents our occupation of the Aquarian age and possibly represents a revolving system of Zodiacal interpretation, after all the Tarot is a book of change and should remain mutable so it follows that a closer look at a possible revolving loop in the Zodiac, so when I reincarnate in 2,000 or so years I expect the Zodiacal loop to change accordingly. 😀
Of course there's the complacency of the Heh having the feminine attribute, and the fact that Tzaddi looks a hell of a lot like the Aires symbol.

Upon some thought I think that I will create the alternate "Traditional" Trumps too, because if you are using Tarot in divination, when it's all said and done the reading will end up the same.

Another thing that makes sense about the Emperor following the blasted tower is that at that point things became very patriarchal.
Just goes to show there is no one perfect system.

Hope no one minds the serious necro-bumb.
Peace.

777


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 Anonymous
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Alchemy is counted among the gifts Thoth bestowed humanity, and his Book is its’ primary text.

To understand one of the functions behind this strange loop within Tarot one must learn the preparation for “regulus antimonii stellatus”.
But you will need constellation 8:STAR, to understand the other side of the loop and why this Starred Regulus of Antimony is also known as the “Cor Leonis.”
http://books.google.com/books?id=wwc4AAAAIAAJ&pg=PA147&lpg=PA147&dq=regulus+martis&source=web&ots=eJWXpDf6Z9&sig=utNsLhlqm_CaYYNPI7wPBC2xkbY&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=9&ct=result#PPA147,M1

Who knows - you may yet discover how to turn lead into gold; but a more philosophical approach is recommended.

It may help to recognize that, within the trinity of sulphur, our Emperor corresponds to Antimony. Taking a closer look at Atu IV you may notice he is holding its’ alchemical symbol to his belly. Consider also his “Lover”, the Empress, with whom he will form a “Hermaphroditic Body” in Atu XIV.

You may also find it enlightening to read up on how Isis resurrects Osiris to conceive YHShVH. And that's not the only metaphor you'll need to mix
....if you want to be a Juggler.

Apples, anyone?
http://www.lashtal.com/nuke/PNphpBB2-viewtopic-t-3269.phtml


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abn53
(@abn53)
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I think this thread presents some interesting thoughts.
The tarot originally (XV Century) did not have qabalistic correlations indicated.
Levi in 19th C recognized a change between Teth and Lamed would put the tarot into zodiacal sequence, i.e. he kept the lamed before teth as a blind, apparently to follow his oaths.
In the GD the beginner was taught the classical sequence. This was changed at the practicus level...see the GD Cipher documents.
Crowley later added the heh/tzaddi switch to complement the teth/lamed one. See the diagram in Book of Thoth. However, if you follow the lines of that diagram, the zodiacal sequence is maintained, i.e., to get the later Crowley sequence you follow an outer circle, not the lines of the diagram, so they are not "connected". Both of the "twists" therefore seem unnecessary...and are not the simplest (cf Occam's Razor) explanation.

Also, check out the sequence of tarot trump described in the Class A part of the Vision and the Voice, Aethyr One--the bottom paragraph beginning on page 249 of Equinox IV, Volume 2. The sequence of the trumps is listed there.

I would like to see some meaningful discussion about this enigma.


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belmurru
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"abn53" wrote:
The tarot originally (XV Century) did not have qabalistic correlations indicated.

Right. That's because it didn't have any.

Levi in 19th C recognized a change between Teth and Lamed would put the tarot into zodiacal sequence, i.e. he kept the lamed before teth as a blind, apparently to follow his oaths.

Where does Levi recognize this? He attributed Teth to the Hermit, and Lamed to the Hanged Man. He started the sequence with Aleph as the Magician (Bateleur).

It is only with the Cipher manuscript, starting with Aleph as the Fool, that the letter Teth becomes associated with Justice, and Lamed with Stength, and therefore there is an apparent conflict between the astrology and the iconography of the cards. That is, Teth is Leo, but card number 8 is Justice in the traditional sequence, and Lamed is Libra, which is a woman with scales and should be Justice, but card number 11 shows a woman with a Lion instead. So the Cipher document invented an "Ancient Egyptian" explanation:

"VIII Justice = [Lamed]  and [LIbra]  and XI Strength - [Teth]  and [Leo]  which causeth a transposition for these are cognate symbols but at one time the sword of Justice was the Egyptian knife symbol of the sickle of Leo while the scales meant the [Sun]  having quitted the balance point of highest declination.
To the female and the lion gave the idea of [Venus]  Venus Lady of [Libra] repressing the fire of Vulcan ([Saturn] in [Libra]) exalted. But earliest was the lion goddess to [Leo] and Ma to [Libra] with her scales. And this is better."
( http://hermetic.com/gdlibrary/cipher/ - ff. 54-55)

As far as I know, this "problem" could never have occurred to Levi, given his Hebrew letter card correspondences.

Both of the "twists" therefore seem unnecessary...and are not the simplest (cf Occam's Razor) explanation.

The simplest explanation is that there is no true or original Sefer Yetizrah Hebrew letter astrological association with the Tarot trumps. This was invented by occultists in the mid-19th century, resulting in two "schools", the French (Levi, Papus, Wirth) and English (Golden Dawn and Crowley (Heh-Tzaddi switch)).

As early as 1918, Crowley appears to have come to think of the Star as the path of Heh, but it is not until 1920 that we see him expressing the full "double loop" discovery. See the detailed chronology of his thinking here:
http://www.lashtal.com/forum/http://www.lashtal.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=3.msg12194#msg12194

The GD never knew a "loop" in the Zodiac; it just happens that given the SY (Sefer Yetzirah) associations to the cards, Teth=Leo and Lamed=Libra happen to be on either side of Virgo (Yod). When Crowley realized that Heh=Aries and Tzaddi=Aquarius happen to be on either side of Pisces in the same SY Zodiac-letter scheme, and that this makes a perfectly loop exactly on the other side of the Zodiac circle, I believe this symmetry was the elegance that confirmed for him that assigning the Star (with Aquarius) to Heh and therefore the Emperor (with Aries) to Tzaddi, was the correct solution.

This does not satisfy some people, because the GD switch still kept the SY Zodiac letter attributions (Teth is still Leo, Lamed Libra), but Crowley's solution changes the Zodiac of the letters - now Heh has Aquarius and Tzaddi Aries. So it is not "perfect" in the sense that it matches the GD switch on every point, but the symmetry of the double loop, as well as the sybmolism of the Star with Aquarius as the path between Chokhmah and Tiphereth was good enough for Crowley.


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