Book of Thoth - Tarot
01-25-2018, 09:35 AM, (This post was last modified: 01-25-2018, 09:52 AM by Nau7ik.)
#1
Book of Thoth - Tarot
Hello B4,

I’m writing this post today because I am finding some very troubling things in a book that I am finally reading. I’ve had the Book of Thoth by Aleister Crowley for a long time, which is the companion book he wrote for his tarot deck, Thoth. Named after the Egyptian Mercury, the god of wisdom and books. I think the Thoth deck is beautiful and artistic.

The only problem is that as I’m reading the book I’m finding Left Hand Path symbolism and philosophy in its pages... Specifically in relation to the Book of the Law / Liber AL. Ive discerned a while ago that the Book of the Law is negative and was channeled by a negative entity, Aiwass. I’ll share some quotes:

Quote:XVII. The Star pg. 111
“I give unimaginable joys on earth: certainty, not faith, while in life, upon death: peace unutterable, rest, ecstasy; nor do I demand aught in sacrifice.”

Pg. 97
“Pity not the fallen! I never knew them. I am not for them. I console not: I hate the consoles and the consoler.”

The entire chapter on XI. Lust. (The Scarlet Women is the whore of Babylon riding upon the beast.) [read Chapters XIII, XVII, XVIII of the Apocolypse (Revelation) in relation to the below quote.]
“Now ye shall know that the chosen priest and apostle of infinite space is the prince-priest the Beast; and in his woman called the Scarlet Women all power is given. They shall gather my children into their fold; they shall bring the glory of the stars into the hearts of men...”

Much of the symbolism he uses is from the Book of the Law mingled with the traditional symbolism and associations.

I believe Crowley had already started walking on the LHP at this point. His polarity seems mixed to me. And if we remember what Ra said in the Law of One... basically that Crowley is in “deep inner pain” right now, i.e. hell.

I think that I am going to use a new deck to learn with. I wanted to study the Tarot from the Qabalistic viewpoint after being inspired by the beautiful bright soul of Dion Fortune. (She suggest the Waite deck.) I have the Church of Light deck to study the tarot arcana as taught in the LoO. I want to keep the systems separate, rather than trying to mix Ra’s with the Qabalistic associations.

What do you think about this? Is Crowley LHP to you? What do you think of the Book of the Law and Aiwass? Or the O.T.O. For that matter? (I already know the OTO is left hand path order.)
Do you have any advice or suggestions to study the Tarot from a positive, preferably Qabalistic, approach? I hear the Book of Tokens is a really good one to meditate upon.
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01-25-2018, 12:14 PM,
#2
RE: Book of Thoth - Tarot
Ra says Crowley was a positive entity, but became very confused while incarnate and didn't work on opening his heart chakra. So he is currently healing in the inner planes, between incarnations - not in negative 4th density. At least, Ra doesn't say that.

I think the Crowley example is a good one, I think often people come even to these forums who are "overstimulated with the true nature of things" which results in "behavior that was beyond the conscious control of the entity". The good news for us, is we have Ra, who has held our hands and tried to implore the importance of opening the heart chakra, for our own safety/protection.

Either way, you should obviously do what resonates with you the most.

Quote:18.10 Questioner: I see. The entity Aleister Crowley wrote “Do what thou wilt is the whole of the law.” He was obviously in understanding, to some extent, of the Law of One. Where is this entity now?

Ra: I am Ra. This entity is within your inner planes. This entity is in an healing process.

18.11 Questioner: Did this entity, then, even though he intellectually understood the Law of One, misuse it and therefore have to go through this healing process?

Ra: I am Ra. This entity became, may we use the vibration sound complex, overstimulated with the true nature of things. This over-stimulation resulted in behavior that was beyond the conscious control of the entity. The entity thus, in many attempts to go through the process of balancing, as we have described the various energy centers beginning with the red ray and moving upwards, became somewhat overly impressed or caught up in this process and became alienated from other-selves. This entity was positive. However, its journey was difficult due to the inability to use, synthesize, and harmonize the understandings of the desires of self so that it might have shared, in full compassion, with other-selves. This entity thus became very unhealthy, as you may call it, in a spiritual complex manner, and it is necessary for those with this type of distortion towards inner pain to be nurtured in the inner planes until such an entity is capable of viewing the experiences again with the lack of distortion towards pain.
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01-25-2018, 01:59 PM, (This post was last modified: 01-25-2018, 02:09 PM by anagogy.)
#3
RE: Book of Thoth - Tarot
(01-25-2018, 09:35 AM)Nau7ik Wrote:  What do you think about this? Is Crowley LHP to you? What do you think of the Book of the Law and Aiwass? Or the O.T.O. For that matter? (I already know the OTO is left hand path order.)
Do you have any advice or suggestions to study the Tarot from a positive, preferably Qabalistic, approach? I hear the Book of Tokens is a really good one to meditate upon.

I think he was unwittingly left hand path, as you said, being warped by his association with the entity Aiwass and probably a whole bunch of negative physical people as well. I think he had some metaphysical talent but was quickly warped by negative forces (not surprised at all). I don't really respect Aleister Crowley or his works, and really never have once I sampled some of it. The more I learned of his life story, the more I realized he was no great magician. He was in constant conflict with others, and in legal troubles, and had constant poor health (I didn't see a great talent of changing reality to be in conformity with his will). But people in occult circles worship the ground he walked on. Old works create a spurious type of interest and fascination in people, regardless of it was just gibberish from another decade. One credit I will give him is he studied a lot of different traditions, but the words 'jack of all trades, master of none' comes to mind.

But then I think Qabala as a whole is mostly LHP to begin with. The Kircher Tree, which most Qabalists use, is in my view one of the most left hand arrangements of the archetypes I could possibly imagine. But that assumes I know what paths represent which archetypes (which I believe I do, but anyone can be wrong), so it really is a matter of personal discernment.

So unfortunately I can't advise you on a good Qabala approach to the tarot, because I don't see Qabala as directly corresponding to the pure archetypes as delineated by Ra (which were accurately linked to the cosmic mind). I think Qabala has some tertiary overlap with the actual archetypes but it diverges in some pretty big ways. Does that mean magic cannot be done with it? Not necessarily. Magic can be done with any system. But it is like the difference between programming languages. There is a more fundamental one, and then another one is built upon that one, which is sort of an abstraction of the more fundamental, and so on. The more the abstraction, the more you get away from the main power, but it doesn't mean it can't be effective. Sometimes abstraction makes some things easier, so it sort of depends what you are trying to do. This is just my personal point of view.

This is a long winded way of saying Qabala isn't for me, personally. Kabbalah, on the other hand, I'm still very much into. But if you learn something interesting about Qabala, I'm all ears. Maybe you will eventually show me its good side. As a side note, I'm reading Dion Fortunes's book right now just for kicks (I skimmed it years ago, but when you said you really liked it, it inspired me to reread it since I couldn't remember anything from the skim read years before).  

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01-25-2018, 02:14 PM,
#4
RE: Book of Thoth - Tarot
I read this book years ago. together with some of his poems. I liked the part in the book where the entity is telling him to write down that life is full of joy and he was not willing to write that, and the entity says ''my will is stronger''.

The book seemed pretty STS.. his poetry however wasn't.
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01-25-2018, 10:40 PM, (This post was last modified: 01-25-2018, 10:41 PM by Spaced.)
#5
RE: Book of Thoth - Tarot
It's funny I actually just finished reading The Book of Thoth and I had pretty much the same reaction as you and those passages you quoted are some of the exact same ones that raised red flags for me. I pushed through and read the whole book because I actually really like the deck, it speaks to me and so far the readings I've done with it have been very accurate, but I was experiencing a lot of headaches and negative feelings while working through the book, like I was pushing up against a current. I found a lot of his interpretation of the major arcana to be distorted and of mixed quality and polarity (or just plain gibberish), but I actually liked the info on the minors and court cards, which I hadn't really understood very well previously.

I've been mingling with people who are into the occult and many of them swear by Crowley so I thought I'd check some of his work out but to me it seems a mixed bag and most of it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I'm actually friends with someone who runs a local initiatory school based on Thelemic thought and he seems pretty on the level to me, but they aren't associated with the OTO. I followed the main Thelema group on facebook but the people there take Crowley's word as gospel and gang up on anyone who says anything negative about him and like, get tattoos of his face and use the place of his death as true east when doing magic rituals, etc. The whole thing strikes me as a cult of personality. I think there is some useful material in there, and like anything with discernment you can sort out the good ideas, but it's not really enough for me to keep looking into it.

One thing the experience has led me to realize is that the Ra material is the best material for esoteric studies that I've come accross and has inspired me to read it all again from book 1.
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01-26-2018, 03:07 AM, (This post was last modified: 01-26-2018, 04:15 AM by Aion.)
#6
RE: Book of Thoth - Tarot
The Waite deck is the 'original' Tarot in terms of its use as a divinatory system and as a system of initiation. There are plenty of claims of ancient origins of Tarot, including in the Ra Material, but none of these have been substantiated historically or archeologically. The Waite deck is related to the initiation process of the Golden Dawn and was the first version to be crafted as such (historically). All of the symbols of that deck as such are specific to that system.

When it comes to Crowley you have to look a lot at his anti-Christian attitude and through that you can see how many of the symbols of Thelema took shape. It was also likely something of a slap in the face to the Golden Dawn since he knowingly inverted and twisted the meanings of numerous symbols they used.

If you want to learn the system of the Waite deck it is still well kept by the Builders of the Adytum. I believe the Builders of the Adytum offer correspondance learning.

Tarot and Qabalah or Kabbalah are tools and like any system can be used to different ends. There have been many, many opinions on both of these things so in the end you have to feel for what seems right for you.

Quote:76.9 Questioner: Is there, in Ra’s opinion, any present-day value for the reuse of the tarot as an aid in the evolutionary process?

Ra: I am Ra. We shall repeat information. It is appropriate to study one form of constructed and organized distortion of the archetypical mind in depth in order to arrive at the position of being able to become and to experience archetypes at will. You have three basic choices. You may choose astrology, the twelve signs, as you call these portions of your planet’s energy web, and what has been called the ten planets. You may choose the tarot with its twenty-two so-called Major Arcana. You may choose the study of the so-called Tree of Life with its ten Sephiroth and the twenty-two relationships between the stations.

It is well to investigate each discipline, not as a dilettante, but as one who seeks the touchstone, one who wishes to feel the pull of the magnet. One of these studies will be more attractive to the seeker. Let the seeker then investigate the archetypical mind using, basically, one of these three disciplines. After a period of study, the discipline mastered sufficiently, the seeker may then complete the more important step: that is, the moving beyond the written in order to express in an unique fashion its understanding, if you may again pardon the noun, of the archetypical mind.

I sometimes wish that the group had chosen to learn about the Tree of Life because I've always been curious what Ra's tree would look like, but alas, c'est la vie.

Even if you keep the same 22 Archetypes, what then of the ten Sephiroth? Would they have used the same words such as Matrix, Potentiator, Catalyst, etc? Who knows.

Personally, I think the less you try to focus on 'correlation' and trying to match up systems with eachother the more you will learn. I don't think there is much sense, as an example, in trying to correlate the Tarot Archetypes of Ra with the Tree of Life of Hermetic Qabalah or the chakras of Theosophy with the dantien of Taoism or the Archetypes of Jung with the Deities of Hinduism. I think they are all just paints for the canvas but each is its own palette of colours. However, that means mixing can sometimes have unexpected results. Instead, I look at it more as relating the systems to eachother rather than trying to fit them all in to eachother. I think that all systems of philosophy are part of a cognitive mental web or matrix of which we are all a part and that to understand it isn't necessary to put them against eachother but rather to see how each fills its own particular space within the collective consciousness. Each part is purposeful, even if the purpose isn't always understood. Maybe it's never really understood.

Don't get me wrong, it's not that I think these things are referring to separate realities per se but rather than the vehicle of understanding these things are just the vehicle of contemplation. I think there is something in the unique way that each mind contemplates and formulates the universe within.
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01-26-2018, 04:04 AM,
#7
RE: Book of Thoth - Tarot
(01-25-2018, 01:59 PM)anagogy Wrote:  But then I think Qabala as a whole is mostly LHP to begin with.

/.../

This is a long winded way of saying Qabala isn't for me, personally. Kabbalah, on the other hand, I'm still very much into.

What about the third option - Cabala? Any experience?
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01-26-2018, 04:34 AM, (This post was last modified: 01-26-2018, 07:11 PM by anagogy.)
#8
RE: Book of Thoth - Tarot
(01-26-2018, 04:04 AM)loostudent Wrote:  
(01-25-2018, 01:59 PM)anagogy Wrote:  But then I think Qabala as a whole is mostly LHP to begin with.

/.../

This is a long winded way of saying Qabala isn't for me, personally. Kabbalah, on the other hand, I'm still very much into.

What about the third option - Cabala? Any experience?

Every tradition has insights, and misconceptions.

Cabala has some insights to offer, such as the notion of Tiphareth being the representation of incarnate Jesus. I felt some inner resonance with that, keeping in mind that the Jesus story is not new. It's a tale as old as time. It is a powerful archetypal story.

[Image: th?id=OIP.aSfHHZJphQc5EQ2DUr87PQHaHa&...mp;pid=1.7]

The truth is, if one wants to grasp the archetypal mind by the horns and learn its secrets, you have to go beyond it all.

Tarot is a very interesting thing, and what I love about the tree of life is it shows how the tarot connect with one another, so its very cool!

Seeing a crude rendering of the universal mind in even the most shallow ways is awe inspiring.

It is like getting a small glimpse at the divine architecture of the creator itself.

Your faculty of will is that which is powerful within you as co-Creator. You cannot ascribe to this faculty too much importance.
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01-26-2018, 07:52 AM,
#9
RE: Book of Thoth - Tarot
(01-26-2018, 04:34 AM)anagogy Wrote:  Cabala has some insights to offer, such as the notion of Tiphareth being the representation of incarnate Jesus. I felt some inner resonance with that, keeping in mind that the Jesus story is not new. It's a tale as old as time. It is a powerful archetypal story.

The truth is these comparrisons are just a falsification of truth, spreaded by Zeitgeist, Dan Brown etc. A fallacy repeated many times. There is no such correspondence. However I acknowledge archetypes in stories and myths. They are universal and don't have to be literal or copied. Similarly Ra said about archetypes and densities: "The relationship is tangential in that no congruency may be seen. However, the progress through the archetypes has some of the characteristics of the progress through the densities. These relationships may be viewed without being, shall we say, pasted one upon the other."

Regarding Kabbalah, Cabala and Qabala. Kabbalah is a part of the Jewish tradition. As I understand you have to completely accept Judaism to really study the Kabbalah. Cabala is a Christian rendering and Qabala is further rendering by occultists. I don't know if this combinations were just pasted even though Christianity and Judaism are closely related.
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01-26-2018, 10:08 AM,
#10
RE: Book of Thoth - Tarot
@Spaced, yes I am going to finish the book as well. I figured there would still be useful information regarding the minor arcana cards. I feel that I can sort through the negative symbolism and philosophy with the Major Arcana.

@Aion, thank you for responding! I was hoping to hear from you. Yeah I think committing to one form of the study of the archetypal mind would be best. I’m not trying to mix Ra’s system of Tarot with the Tree of Life.

With the study of Ra’s system of tarot, the first seven have started flowing into each other. I take that to be a good sign. I have a LOT to learn. But I am willing. However long it shall take.

As a side note, I’m seeing a lot of different spellings for Qabalah. I spell it that way. I assume the spellings are interchangeable because ‘Qabalah’ is a hebrew word and people spell the translation differently. I don’t know that there’s a difference in systems. The only differences I recognize with Qabalah is that it can used for the Left- or Right Hand Paths. Correct me if I am wrong please.

Another random question... what is an ipsissimus? Ra has said in the LoO that it is an adept who has mastered the Tree of Life on the negative path. Therefore it would be a secret grade. Dion Fortune mentioned it in her book but not in a negative way, but as the highest grade in initiation on the Tree of Life.
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01-26-2018, 10:51 AM,
#11
RE: Book of Thoth - Tarot
(01-26-2018, 03:07 AM)Aion Wrote:  When it comes to Crowley you have to look a lot at his anti-Christian attitude and through that you can see how many of the symbols of Thelema took shape. It was also likely something of a slap in the face to the Golden Dawn since he knowingly inverted and twisted the meanings of numerous symbols they uused
Yeah, his parents were fundamentalist Christians and I think he was railing against that and the Christian mysticism in the golden dawn. "Eff you dad! I'm the chosen apostle of infinite space!"
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01-26-2018, 06:41 PM,
#12
RE: Book of Thoth - Tarot
(01-26-2018, 07:52 AM)loostudent Wrote:  The truth is these comparrisons are just a falsification of truth, spreaded by Zeitgeist, Dan Brown etc. A fallacy repeated many times. There is no such correspondence. However I acknowledge archetypes in stories and myths. They are universal and don't have to be literal or copied. Similarly Ra said about archetypes and densities: "The relationship is tangential in that no congruency may be seen. However, the progress through the archetypes has some of the characteristics of the progress through the densities. These relationships may be viewed without being, shall we say, pasted one upon the other."

You're right. Upon further research, the connection is dubious among those myths. But as you said, it isn't that important in lieu of the universality of archetypal motifs.

(01-26-2018, 07:52 AM)loostudent Wrote:  Regarding Kabbalah, Cabala and Qabala. Kabbalah is a part of the Jewish tradition. As I understand you have to completely accept Judaism to really study the Kabbalah. Cabala is a Christian rendering and Qabala is further rendering by occultists. I don't know if this combinations were just pasted even though Christianity and Judaism are closely related.

This is correct, except that I don't believe you have to completely accept Judaism to study Kabbalah, anymore than you have to completely accept Ra to study the archetypal system they presented. I think that's basically just dogma. If the knowledge is available (in books, in people, the internet as a whole), then you can study it with no problem whatsoever.

I guess my problem with most of these systems is, if you are not trying to see the relationship between the tarot, the tree of life, and astrology, it feels kind of pointless to me. I don't feel like it is a case of "choose whatever you like, there is no wrong answer!" There is a correct architecture, and an incorrect architecture (or at least, a slightly distorted architecture). I want the least distorted architecture, and that is what I seek, and anything I feel is less than correct goes by the wayside when that realization is made. But due to the subtle nature of how these archetypes connect with one another, even the truth is hard to prove once it is realized. It is difficult to show people your "inner math".

I feel like a lot of these systems are not actually detailing the archetypal mind, rather they are merely rote systems of mental association -- memorization of correlations between various aspects (which most of the connections I find quite dubious for example, in Aleister Crowley's case). In other-words, I think most of it just gibberish and superstition. Thus, they have no real connection with the original tree of life, which was at least an attempt to map the archetypal mind (keeping open to the fact that there could be errors here as well), but instead are just attempts at lobbing on to their lexicons, because it gives the systems an air of authenticity (no matter how undeserved).

(01-26-2018, 07:52 AM)Nau7ik Wrote:  Another random question... what is an ipsissimus? Ra has said in the LoO that it is an adept who has mastered the Tree of Life on the negative path. Therefore it would be a secret grade. Dion Fortune mentioned it in her book but not in a negative way, but as the highest grade in initiation on the Tree of Life.

My understanding is it is an individual who has worked their way up the tree of life in the reverse path of the lightening flash of creation. As Ra said it is the mastery of the Tree of Life by a negative adept. It is the "Path of the Wizard" as opposed to the "Path of the Saint" (the STO adept).

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01-26-2018, 07:44 PM, (This post was last modified: 01-26-2018, 07:45 PM by Spaced.)
#13
RE: Book of Thoth - Tarot
Ipsissimus is the highest grade in the Golden Dawn system, but I think most agree that it's not attainable in life.

Crowley's A∴A∴ uses the same grade system and I think they claim it is attainable.
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01-26-2018, 07:54 PM,
#14
RE: Book of Thoth - Tarot
Q'uo also referred to the Ipsissimus as the service to self adept, as entities incarnate.

Quote:So, while it is true that the attainment of the kind of focused service-to-self orientation very often does begin by working on negative emotions by honing the fine edge of hate, so to speak, it is not generally a manifest phenomenon that these emotions, in their expression, are associated with the individuals in question. Having said that, we will say that there are such individuals. And, having said that, we will also say that the presence of such individuals in a planet which is attempting to achieve harvestable quality of being into fourth density does constitute a real challenge, and is an element in the confusion generally observed in your social energy complex at this time. In fact, we would go one step further, and say that it is a rather significant element in that confusion. What makes it particularly difficult is that it is not always clear (in fact, ultimately it is never clear to any other entity) what the underlying polarity of its fellow citizens might be. And, it is very easy, therefore, to deceive others with regard to one’s intentions; and it is very easy to make a presentation of oneself such that others are drawn into the orbit of the service to self, or Ipsissimus adept, [5] who seeks harvestable quality of its being on the negative path.

http://llresearch.org/transcripts/issues/2017/2017_0903.aspx

My understanding of the archetypical mind is that it is really like a series of very intricate connect-the-dots games. So you have a blueprint (astrology, tarot, tree of life) and then you take that system and the series of imagery that it evokes internally, and mediate and reflect and build upon it. Slowly the picture unfolds - or maybe it's a sheet of music? Anyway, in this way you train your subconscious to reach for this information, to intuit from your deeper and infinite self, and it will definitely reward you, with sincere effort. I don't think it matters which system you use - I love the Law of One and the imagery of the tarot sings to me infinitely - but I do think it is important to stick with one and focus upon it, and not try to balance understanding between all three schools or even two. I think you need a solid set of symbolism that is rooted in the deep mind for it to work well. For me at least, after studying the archetypical mind for many years now, each picture on the card is evocative, and whenever I hear something like "Tower" or "Wheel", it's a bell, like Pavlov, to think about the movement that the image represents. And then I am usually able to distill some further understanding from the event occurring, because it reminds me to put it in this rich framework that has already been created. Honestly, I can't recommend serious study of the archetypical mind enough. As anagogy mentioned, it's just so difficult to "show your work", but I need to make a better effort to try. But, this is why I encourage everyone to set a serious intention over the course of many meditations, and see what happens! Oh yeah, and don't forget to consciously keep opening the heart chakra!! Conscious polarization + intention to understand the archetypical mind + meditation = fruit will be born.

Or:

[Image: tarot12.jpg]
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01-26-2018, 09:27 PM, (This post was last modified: 01-26-2018, 09:39 PM by Aion.)
#15
RE: Book of Thoth - Tarot
(01-26-2018, 07:44 PM)Spaced Wrote:  Ipsissimus is the highest grade in the Golden Dawn system, but I think most agree that it's not attainable in life.

Crowley's A∴A∴ uses the same grade system and I think they claim it is attainable.

Golden Dawn and A∴A∴ actually do not use the same grade system. A∴A∴ is derived from Golden Dawn but they are not the same. Thelema and Golden Dawn are actually incompatible in many ways and although Crowley got his start through them Thelema is an entirely different entity and which does not actually reflect the Golden Dawn system. Part of this is due to the limited but present Christian elements which are within Golden Dawn teachings.

Also, I always find it curious how Ra seems to imply that Don would benefit from the Golden Dawn system, yet make the mention of Ipssissimus as being one who has achieved service to self. This suggests to me that it's possible Ra was referring to the Thelemic Ipsissimus in this question rather than that of the Golden Dawn. The evidence for this is that it is in the Thelemic system that Ipsissimus is considered attainable but not typically so in the Golden Dawn system as you have mentioned. In the previous question Don had been looking at a diagram of magical grades on the Tree of Life, but it was never stated exactly which version he was looking at.

Looking at the Q'uo quote again it seems like they are referring to the Thelemic idea of Ipsissimus as an incarnate individual seeking negative harvestability. Part of the issue I think here is that the same word has been used by multiple groups but in these mentions in the channelings it is never specific.

Quote:42.16 Questioner: I had one experience in meditation which I spoke of before which was very profound approximately twenty years ago, a little less. What disciplines would be most applicable to re-create this situation and this type of experience?

Ra: I am Ra. Your experience would best be approached from the ceremonial magical stance. However, the Wanderer or adept shall have the far greater potential for this type of experience which, as you have undoubtedly analyzed to be the case, is one of an archetypal nature, one belonging to the roots of cosmic consciousness.

42.17 Questioner: Was that in any way related to the Golden Dawn in ceremonial magic?

Ra: I am Ra. The relationship was congruency.

42.18 Questioner: Then in attempting to reproduce this experience would I then best follow practices for the Order of the Golden Dawn in reproducing this?

Ra: I am Ra. To attempt to reproduce an initiatory experience is to move, shall we say, backwards. However, the practice of this form of service to others is appropriate in your case working with your associates. It is not well for positively polarized entities to work singly. The reasons for this are obvious.

I believe the reason Ra said these things is because Golden Dawn is explicitly about group work. Without group work, there is no Golden Dawn according to my understanding. Golden Dawn is not meant to be done solo and some would argue it is ineffectual to do so. This is different from Thelema where the purpose is the grasp the "true will" of the self. The intent behind the Golden Dawn is to be of service and to offer that light unto the world, not to keep it for yourself. That is why, I believe, there are so many influential artists, writers, and actors/actresses which have come from their ranks.
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01-26-2018, 09:58 PM, (This post was last modified: 01-26-2018, 11:43 PM by Aion.)
#16
RE: Book of Thoth - Tarot
(01-26-2018, 10:08 AM)Nau7ik Wrote:  @Spaced, yes I am going to finish the book as well. I figured there would still be useful information regarding the minor arcana cards. I feel that I can sort through the negative symbolism and philosophy with the Major Arcana.

@Aion, thank you for responding! I was hoping to hear from you. Yeah I think committing to one form of the study of the archetypal mind would be best. I’m not trying to mix Ra’s system of Tarot with the Tree of Life.

With the study of Ra’s system of tarot, the first seven have started flowing into each other. I take that to be a good sign. I have a LOT to learn. But I am willing. However long it shall take.

As a side note, I’m seeing a lot of different spellings for Qabalah. I spell it that way. I assume the spellings are interchangeable because ‘Qabalah’ is a hebrew word and people spell the translation differently. I don’t know that there’s a difference in systems. The only differences I recognize with Qabalah is that it can used for the Left- or Right Hand Paths. Correct me if I am wrong please.

Another random question... what is an ipsissimus? Ra has said in the LoO that it is an adept who has mastered the Tree of Life on the negative path. Therefore it would be a secret grade. Dion Fortune mentioned it in her book but not in a negative way, but as the highest grade in initiation on the Tree of Life.

'Qabalah' is usually used to refer to the body of Western Hermetic traditions which incorporate the Jewish philosophy of 'Kabbalah'. This is differentiated from the Christian Cabala which was given that spelling to differentiate it from the others. However, it all goes back to the same Hebrew root which is actually QBLH. (קַבָּלָה)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermetic_Qabalah
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kabbalah
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_Kabbalah

So when someone is differing those spellings it's usually because they are distinguishing between the original Jewish philosophy and that of the Hermeticists. As Ra said, the Tree of Life can be used for either direction of polarization. However there are some Hermetic societies which use Lurianic Kabbalah and so it's not exactly a clear cut line.

As for Ipsissimus it is a Latin word which means "very own self". It was used by the Golden Dawn, based on old Rosicrucian grades and was then adopted by Crowley for his own system of Thelema. In Thelema the idea is considered achievable in life and is seen to be the complete realization and grasping of one's own 'true will'. (Thelema means "will".) Thus, in that sense in Thelema, Ra's description makes sense. In Golden Dawn however the idea is the exact opposite. The intention of connecting with and realizing one's divine genius as a vehicle for service to humanity is at the heart of the Golden Dawn practice and the Great Work is that of building and raising up the collective wherever possible. It's generally not considered possible to reach the grade of Ipsissimus while incarnate in the Golden Dawn as they consider that to be the point of unification with the Creator, at least from what I've understood of their philosophy and hence the "very own self" is Infinity which is All.

Thus, I am fairly certain that Ra and Q'uo were referring to the Ipsissimus of Thelema. I have an idea about how this works and that is that I think that Ra responds not just to the words that are asked, but they actually also read the 'context' of the words within the mind of the questioner, that is Don. I think that oftentimes Ra is responding to things which are specific in Don or another questioner's mind and not always 'generally'. Of course, that is just a theory and it is difficult to ascertain the context of the question. It may also be true for Q'uo, it's hard to say. I could be way out in left, or maybe right, field.

Also, for anybody who is interested in the origins, or rather inspiration, of the Tarot deck designs used during the Ra contact.

http://green-door.narod.ru/sg-tarot.html
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01-27-2018, 12:32 AM,
#17
RE: Book of Thoth - Tarot
Hey Aion, thanks for your posts. I've been interested in that section about Don and the Golden Dawn lately. I imagine he must have read up on them (maybe through Israel Regardie's book?) prior to the Ra contact and the idea that he had an initiatory experience during meditation is quite interesting. I've been wondering if the Ra contact would have been possible without him having gone through that initiatory experience.
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01-27-2018, 10:14 AM,
#18
RE: Book of Thoth - Tarot
Thank you all for your helpful and illuminating responses! I see the difference between the different systems behind the different spellings of ’Qabalah’. I’ve always been interested in the Western occult esoteric tradition of qabalah, which is why I spell it that way, I suppose. But now I know that they are not interchangeable and that there are differences.

Aion’s explanation of ipsissimus totally makes sense. There’s the grade belonging to the Thelemic school and then the Golden Dawn grade, which I am sure Dion Fortune was referring to. She had also mentioned that true Ascended Masters are not incarnate in the physical. They may be considered masters within the incarnation but she said she doesn’t recognize a true ascended master unless he is without a physical body. (Also consider the Buddhist grades of enlightenment. There is a level with complete and perfect enlightenment “with remainder” I.e. the arahants still incarnate in physical bodies.)

The next books on Qabalah I plan to read are Israel Regardie’s books. I read the Tree of Life when I was like 17, but don’t remember much of it. A Garden of Pomegranates looks like it’s be good.

Quote:So you have a blueprint (astrology, tarot, tree of life) and then you take that system and the series of imagery that it evokes internally, and mediate and reflect and build upon it. Slowly the picture unfolds - or maybe it's a sheet of music? Anyway, in this way you train your subconscious to reach for this information, to intuit from your deeper and infinite self, and it will definitely reward you, with sincere effort. I don't think it matters which system you use - I love the Law of One and the imagery of the tarot sings to me infinitely - but I do think it is important to stick with one and focus upon it, and not try to balance understanding between all three schools or even two.

@Jade, yes! I totally agree. I don’t think I’m going to use Crowley’s tarot cards for meditation. Too much negativity. But the Tree of Life incorporates the tarot and astrology. Each card is assigned a hebrew letter, and a zodiac, element, or planet is assigned to each card, and these can further illuminate the card. But all of this is already included within the Tree of Life. I feel the magnetic pull that Ra talked about in regard to the three systems with the Tree of Life. I had been interested in it before I found the Law of One.
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01-27-2018, 11:17 AM, (This post was last modified: 01-27-2018, 11:20 AM by loostudent.)
#19
RE: Book of Thoth - Tarot
(01-26-2018, 06:41 PM)anagogy Wrote:  This is correct, except that I don't believe you have to completely accept Judaism to study Kabbalah, anymore than you have to completely accept Ra to study the archetypal system they presented. I think that's basically just dogma. If the knowledge is available (in books, in people, the internet as a whole), then you can study it with no problem whatsoever.

Original Kabbalah is an integral part of the Jewish tradition. This is the study of inner dimensions of Torah. Maybe you don't have to be Jewish but it makes sense that observances and knowledge of Jewish Law are prerequisite. Some also say you need a teacher to guide you.
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01-27-2018, 01:29 PM,
#20
RE: Book of Thoth - Tarot
Ra sometimes mentioned the four classic elements: fire, water, air and earth. This concepts look simpler than other systems. Is there any value in studying this?
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01-27-2018, 02:07 PM,
#21
RE: Book of Thoth - Tarot
I believe those are essentially the archetypes that are harvested from previous octaves. They are the mover (air & fire) and the moved (earth & water). So, there is probably plenty of value in meditating upon them in this context, and how therefrom stems the ability to develop service to self or service to others.

You can find them in the Tarot, and obviously astrology has the elements built into its symbolism. Here is earth meeting water and the implications of each are quite immense:

[Image: tarot17.jpg]

Ah and look, right before it is fire meeting air:

[Image: tarot16.jpg]

Thanks for the thoughts!!
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01-27-2018, 07:54 PM, (This post was last modified: 01-27-2018, 10:33 PM by Aion.)
#22
RE: Book of Thoth - Tarot
(01-27-2018, 10:14 AM)Nau7ik Wrote:  Thank you all for your helpful and illuminating responses! I see the difference between the different systems behind the different spellings of ’Qabalah’. I’ve always been interested in the Western occult esoteric tradition of qabalah, which is why I spell it that way, I suppose. But now I know that they are not interchangeable and that there are differences.

Aion’s explanation of ipsissimus totally makes sense. There’s the grade belonging to the Thelemic school and then the Golden Dawn grade, which I am sure Dion Fortune was referring to. She had also mentioned that true Ascended Masters are not incarnate in the physical. They may be considered masters within the incarnation but she said she doesn’t recognize a true ascended master unless he is without a physical body. (Also consider the Buddhist grades of enlightenment. There is a level with complete and perfect enlightenment “with remainder” I.e. the arahants still incarnate in physical bodies.)

The next books on Qabalah I plan to read are Israel Regardie’s books. I read the Tree of Life when I was like 17, but don’t remember much of it. A Garden of Pomegranates looks like it’s be good.


Quote:So you have a blueprint (astrology, tarot, tree of life) and then you take that system and the series of imagery that it evokes internally, and mediate and reflect and build upon it. Slowly the picture unfolds - or maybe it's a sheet of music? Anyway, in this way you train your subconscious to reach for this information, to intuit from your deeper and infinite self, and it will definitely reward you, with sincere effort. I don't think it matters which system you use - I love the Law of One and the imagery of the tarot sings to me infinitely - but I do think it is important to stick with one and focus upon it, and not try to balance understanding between all three schools or even two.

@Jade, yes! I totally agree. I don’t think I’m going to use Crowley’s tarot cards for meditation. Too much negativity. But the Tree of Life incorporates the tarot and astrology. Each card is assigned a hebrew letter, and a zodiac, element, or planet is assigned to each card, and these can further illuminate the card. But all of this is already included within the Tree of Life. I feel the magnetic pull that Ra talked about in regard to the three systems with the Tree of Life. I had been interested in it before I found the Law of One.

Just so you know Israel Regardie was never actually in the Golden Dawn but was in the off-shoot the Stella Matutina which was quite Christianized, so even though he published "The Golden Dawn", the materials are actually from Stella Matutina which came later after the original Golden Dawn split. Another thing to mention in regards to Regardie is that he was initially brought in to magic by Crowley and so there are Thelemic concepts laced throughout his works and much of his correspondance in his books also reflects his influence by Crowley. (For example there is no "Holy Guardian Angel" in Golden Dawn traditionally.) His works are no longer recommended by the Hermetic Society of the Golden Dawn, although that does not mean they are without value, just that they do not actually reflect the traditional and there are numerous additions. (Such as the Middle Pillar, that was a Stella Matutina ritual and not Golden Dawn.) So they are worth reading but keeping in mind where the info comes from.

If you are interested specifically in the Qabalah of the Golden Dawn this is a decent resource.

http://www.goldendawntrust.com/kabbalah-of-the-golden-dawn
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01-27-2018, 08:58 PM,
#23
RE: Book of Thoth - Tarot
(01-27-2018, 12:32 AM)Spaced Wrote:  Hey Aion, thanks for your posts. I've been interested in that section about Don and the Golden Dawn lately. I imagine he must have read up on them (maybe through Israel Regardie's book?) prior to the Ra contact and the idea that he had an initiatory experience during meditation is quite interesting. I've been wondering if the Ra contact would have been possible without him having gone through that initiatory experience.

Perhaps somewhere in the biographies it tells something of the books he has read, I do not know. Often during the contact it seems implied that without any of the specific experiences of each individual it may have never occurred. While free will seems like such a paramount idea there does seem to be a certain synchronicity to the lives of the individuals.
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01-28-2018, 01:49 AM, (This post was last modified: 01-28-2018, 01:53 AM by anagogy.)
#24
RE: Book of Thoth - Tarot
(01-27-2018, 11:17 AM)loostudent Wrote:  Original Kabbalah is an integral part of the Jewish tradition. This is the study of inner dimensions of Torah. Maybe you don't have to be Jewish but it makes sense that observances and knowledge of Jewish Law are prerequisite. Some also say you need a teacher to guide you.

I'm quite aware. But just because I predominantly study Lurianic Kabbalah (a Judaic tradition), doesn't mean I accept all its idiosyncrasies. There is distortion there (it's not perfect), just not as much distortion as the other traditions in my opinion.

(01-27-2018, 01:29 PM)loostudent Wrote:  Ra sometimes mentioned the four classic elements: fire, water, air and earth. This concepts look simpler than other systems. Is there any value in studying this?

Yes, there is extreme value to be found here. In fact, deeply understanding the elements is precisely the key to unlocking the gateways of the tree of life.

Your faculty of will is that which is powerful within you as co-Creator. You cannot ascribe to this faculty too much importance.
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01-28-2018, 09:43 AM, (This post was last modified: 01-28-2018, 10:07 AM by Nau7ik.)
#25
RE: Book of Thoth - Tarot
Something interesting to contemplate that I got from Fortune’s book: air as negative fire, and earth as negative water (which is also a good way to remember the alchemical symbols for the elements).

Thank you @Aion for the link! I will check it out. I want to study the Qabalah until I get the basics, but I also believe that a teacher and a group setting is needed for practical Qabalah and pathworkings. And yes I forgot Regardie was a student of Crowley. He seems a lot less distorted, but I’ll have to check out his stuff to make sure. I have The Middle Pillar book by Regardie still. On a side note, I remember when I had started researching all of this stuff when I was about 17. I tried doing the Middle Pillar and LBRP and now that I look back to that, I had no idea what I was doing. I heard that the Middle Pillar can be quite powerful, so I guess it’s good I didn’t know what I was doing.

Is Dion Fortune’s order still in operation? “Order of the Inner Light”. Does anyone know anything about it?
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01-28-2018, 09:08 PM, (This post was last modified: 01-28-2018, 09:39 PM by Aion.)
#26
RE: Book of Thoth - Tarot
Yes, her order is still in operation, as well as an established off-shoot.

http://www.innerlight.org.uk/
http://www.lvx.org/about.html

Middle Pillar was a ritual of the Stella Matutina and Regardie recommended it only be done with supervision. It can indeed be very powerful. The Stella Matutina and the Alpha et Omega were the two temples which emerged out of the dissolution of the original Order of the Golden Dawn. The Alpha et Omega continued in the traditional manner under the guidance of Mathers while the Stella Matutina was formed by Dr. Robert Felkin (who was a very strong Christian) and which modified and added numerous elements which really makes it its own tradition.

Dion Fortune did not actually stay with the Golden Dawn very long but was more drawn to Theosophical thought so she is a good source for people with that leaning.

I also highly recommend the works of Manly P. Hall. The five chapters on Qabalah in his book 'The Secret Teachings of All Ages' are an excellent snapshot. This is the first chapter with the next four coming after it. The whole book itself is a goldmine of interesting ideas, I would definitely recommend taking a browse through its index.

http://www.sacred-texts.com/eso/sta/sta27.htm
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01-29-2018, 10:01 AM,
#27
RE: Book of Thoth - Tarot
I actually have Manly P. Hall’s “Secret Teachings of All Ages”! I haven’t read it in a while, so I’ll look through it again.

I’ve not been too attracted to Theosophy, but I think reading the “Secret Doctrine” and “Isis Unveiled” would be well to do.

I’ve been feeling quite inspired and motivated this year ever since I read Fortune’s book. And I actually bought it because I became inspired to do so. I was thinking of a good book to read and then “The Mystical Qabalah” popped into my head and I said “perfect”.

Thank you again! I very much appreciate it Smile
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01-29-2018, 07:24 PM,
#28
RE: Book of Thoth - Tarot
(01-29-2018, 10:01 AM)Nau7ik Wrote:  I actually have Manly P. Hall’s “Secret Teachings of All Ages”! I haven’t read it in a while, so I’ll look through it again.

I’ve not been too attracted to Theosophy, but I think reading the “Secret Doctrine” and “Isis Unveiled” would be well to do.

I’ve been feeling quite inspired and motivated this year ever since I read Fortune’s book. And I actually bought it because I became inspired to do so. I was thinking of a good book to read and then “The Mystical Qabalah” popped into my head and I said “perfect”.  

Thank you again! I very much appreciate it Smile

I haven't read too much on Theosophy except for the works of Alice A. Bailey who was somewhat outside of the main movement. I find some of her works very interesting and thoughtful. I haven't read The Secret Doctrine or Isis Unveiled either. I tried to once but just found them kind of hard to digest. However, it is interesting to note that the original images for the Brotherhood of Light Tarot deck were first published in a book by Comte De St. Germain who is a prominent Theosophical figure. Honestly, the Ra Material is pretty Theosophical to my eyes.
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01-30-2018, 05:59 AM, (This post was last modified: 01-30-2018, 06:05 AM by loostudent.)
#29
RE: Book of Thoth - Tarot
(01-28-2018, 01:49 AM)anagogy Wrote:  Yes, there is extreme value to be found here. In fact, deeply understanding the elements is precisely the key to unlocking the gateways of the tree of life.

There is also the Chinese pair yin and yang. Male-female polarity is also a harvest of previous octaves of Creation. And we also have triadic concepts - mind, body and spirit ...

(01-28-2018, 09:43 AM)Nau7ik Wrote:  Something interesting to contemplate that I got from Fortune’s book: air as negative fire, and earth as negative water (which is also a good way to remember the alchemical symbols for the elements).

Interesting. I always thought the opposites are earth - air (sky) and fire - water.
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01-30-2018, 09:57 AM,
#30
RE: Book of Thoth - Tarot
Here’s the philosophy from “The Mystical Qabalah”:
Quote:These four Elements are said to be the Earth, Air, Fire, and Water of the Wise - that is to say, four types of activity. They are represented in notation of esoteric science by four different types of triangle. Fire is represented by a triangle upwards; Air by a similar triangle with a bar across it, thus indicating that Air may be esteemed as akin in nature to Fire, but denser. In fact, we should not go far wrong if we called Air, Negative Fire, or Fire, Positive Air. Water is represented by a triangle point downwards, and Earth by the same triangle with a bar across it; and to these two symbols the same principles apply as to their predecessors.

Supposing, then, we consider the Fire triangle as representing unconditioned force and the Air triangle representing conditional force, the Earth triangle as representing totally inert form and the Water triangle as representing an active type of form, we have another mode of classification available. In the most ancient myths, the air, or space-god, is the parent of the sun, celestial fire, and water is the matrix of earth. This comes out clearly on the Central Pillar of the Tree of Life, where Kether, space, overshadows Tiphareth, the sun centre, and the watery Yesod, the moon-centre, overshadows the earthly Malkuth.

The ability for the Tree of Life to explain metaphysical and spiritual principles and concepts, is why I love it! What other mysteries lie hidden within the glyph and the relationships of the Sephiroth and the paths? Wink
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