Egyptian Tarot archetypes
10-31-2018, 09:05 AM,
#1
Egyptian Tarot archetypes
I’ve been reading a few books, and I continually run into the ancient Egyptian archetypes of the Tarot as given by Ra. But there is little information concerning these images coming from the Egyptians. I’m of the bias that Ra taught the ancient Egyptians these concept complexes. It’s suspected that the Tarot is the Book of Thoth “written” by Hermes Trismigestus. The Egyptians looked to Hermes as a great Divine teacher. (Hermes has becomes synonymous with Thoth and Mercury/Hod.) The cadecus is his symbol.) His 42 books guided Egyptians for centuries. Mercury is the messenger of the gods. (Compare this to how the Egyptians saw Ra: as gods.) im not saying Hermes is Ra, im just noting an interesting synchronicity. The books were all but destroyed since then, but Manly P Hall says this:

Quote:According to Legend, the Book of Thoth was kept in a golden box in the inner sanctuary of the temple. There was but one key and this was in the possession of the “Master of the Mysteries,” the highest initiate of the Hermetic Arcanum. He alone knew what was written in the secret book. The Book of Thoth was lost to the ancient world with the decay of the Mysteries, but it’s faithful initiates carried it sealed in the sacred casket into another land. The book is still in existence and continues to lead the disciples of this age into the presence of the Immortals. No other information can be given to the world concerning it now, but the apostolic succession from the first hierophant initiated by Hermes himself remains unbroken to this day, and those who are peculiarly fitted to serve the Immortals may discover this priceless document if they will search sincerely and tirelessly for it.

Pythagoras used a symbol for teaching with his disciples: Y, the forking of the ways. If you’ve read the Ra Material, then you are familiar with this concept. It’s said that Pythagoras picked up this concept during his time with the Egyptians. It’s much akin to the Lovers Tarot card. A man facing forward, arms crossed, with two women facing left and right at his side. In the description of the symbol “Y”, this image is used by Pythagoras!

The main point I want to make is that these 22 archetypes as taught by Ra have been very influential in our world. Personally, I think the Egyptian pictures are the best. They’re clearer to me; easier to understand. The concepts flow one into the other. Compare them to modern decks like Rider-Waite and the image of Lovers doesn’t at all seem to indicate a “forking of the ways” or a polarizing choice to be made, for example. Don’t get me wrong, that’s not to say the modern decks aren’t good!

Where did L/L and subsequently the Church of Light get these images from? If I’m not mistaken, HP Blavatsky wrote about them in one of her books? That’s what I really want to know: where did these images come from? Where were they preserved? And how do we have them now? The original images or “concept complexes,” which form the basis of the Tarot as we know it now. I heard they were pictured on the walls of pyramids, but I can’t confirm that.
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10-31-2018, 07:27 PM,
#2
RE: Egyptian Tarot archetypes
What about this one?

[Image: Jean_Dodal_Tarot_trump_06.jpg]
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10-31-2018, 09:07 PM, (This post was last modified: 10-31-2018, 09:18 PM by Bring4th_Austin.)
#3
RE: Egyptian Tarot archetypes
(10-31-2018, 09:05 AM)Nau7ik Wrote:  Where did L/L and subsequently the Church of Light get these images from? If I’m not mistaken, HP Blavatsky wrote about them in one of her books? That’s what I really want to know: where did these images come from? Where were they preserved? And how do we have them now? The original images or “concept complexes,” which form the basis of the Tarot as we know it now. I heard they were pictured on the walls of pyramids, but I can’t confirm that.

The best that I can tell is that, once Don asked Ra about the tarot and Ra explained that they gave it to the ancient Egyptians, Don, Carla, and Jim found a correlation to the Egyptian history and the claims of Brotherhood of Light. They then used the Brotherhood of Light deck when questioning Ra (per Ra's approval). Don was maybe already familiar with the BoL specifically, and they have a very in-depth system of study for the tarot. Being unable to obtain permission to print the BoL deck in the books, Jim found a book in the public domain with very similar images (George Fathman's Royal Road), so those are what are printed in the book. They also commissioned an artist to redraw the first seven based on Ra's recommendations. There are some sweet higher quality versions in The Ra Contact "The Major Arcana" (Volume 2).

The best I can tell is that the images supposedly given by Ra enter our historical record as the Tarot of Marseilles, popping up around 1500 in France according to this Wikipedia page. Don asked Ra about these images being copied from the walls of the Great Pyramid and Ra seem's to confirm. For whatever it's worth, I found no indication that this has been verified by any archaeologists who have studied and explored the pyramid. In fact, it seems as though the walls in the Great Pyramid are abnormally sparse. Not sure where Don's information was from or if there is a way to cleanly reconcile Ra's statements with traditional Egyptologists' claims.

I wrote to the Church of Light several years ago to see what they had to say about the tarot's origins and got back this very interesting and informative reply. Not sure how reliable this account is, but it does trace things back in a way that could correlate with Ra's narrative:

Quote:The folkloric history of the tarot can sometimes be vague, referring to “the knowledge of the ancients,” or “remote antiquity.” The oral tarot tradition may not always be able to cite dates or authors, but provides a wealth of esoteric ideas that may later be proven true as new discoveries are made by future researchers on the topic. The Brotherhood of Light tarot tradition relies heavily on this oral tradition as well as what little tarot scholarship was available in the first half of the 20th century when C. C. Zain wrote and rewrote The Sacred Tarot. At the time of Zain’s writing, French authors such as Antoine Court de Gébelin, The Comte de Mellet (Louis Raphaël Lucrèce de Fayolle), Etteilla (Jean-Baptiste Alliette), Paul Christian (Jean Baptiste Pitois), and Eliphas Lévi (Alphonse Louis Constant), publishing in the 17th and 18th centuries, were the only scholarly works available on the tarot. Zain would be dependent on English translations of these works, which were not widespread.

Court de Gébelin was the first author to assert the Egyptian origins of the tarot. He believed that in time of remote antiquity, Egyptian sages had secreted their knowledge away in the images of the tarot. These allegorical images had survived because they were not recognized as anything more than an innocuous game. In 1781 he wrote “That originally the twenty-two figures of the atouts or emblem parts of the tarot were painted on the walls of the temples. A fashion inherited from biblical times, to enable the worshippers to recognize the sciences, arts or conditions represented by the figures and their attributes when it was wished to consult them.” In Le Monde primitive Vol. 5, Court de Gébelin describes the tarot as: “Game of cards well known in Germany, Italy, and Switzerland. It is an Egyptian game, as we shall demonstrate one day; its name is composed of two oriental words, Tar and Rha, Rho, which means Royal Road.” Court de Gébelin was considered an erudite scholar, and as one of the few intellectuals writing on tarot, his writings would impact later authors such as Paul Christian and C. C. Zain.

Around the same time that Court de Gébelin was asserting the Egyptian origins of the tarot, a couple of esoteric manuscripts appeared on the European scene; Crata Repoa (1785), which described initiation into the Egyptian Mystery schools, and Egyptian Mysteries: An Account of an Initiation, attributed perhaps inaccurately to Iamblicus, a Neo-Platonist of the 4th Century.  Egyptian Mysteries describes the process of initiation and subsequent esoteric training centered on the images of the Major Arcanum. Curiously, even though the initiation is set in ancient Egypt, the descriptions of the initiatory symbols most closely match the imagery of the tarot of Marseilles. Later artists would design Egyptian-styled tarot cards based on the influence of this document. Egyptian Mysteries is seminal to The Brotherhood of Light oral tradition, for it was on a translation of this manuscript, believed to be quite ancient, that C. C. Zain based The Ritual of Egyptian Initiation, The Sacred Tarot, and the organization and structure of The Brotherhood of Light Lessons.

As the first lesson in the series of 210 lessons, The Ritual of Egyptian Initiation forms the scaffolding on which all of The Brotherhood of Light Lessons are arranged. It also sheds light on The Sacred Tarot revealing the major Arcanum of the tarot as representing the initiatic steps of the mystery schools. In his day Paul Christian’s work would have been the most authoritative writings on the tarot. Writing in 1916, Zain states: “In this work we are fortunate in having a treatise, not entirely inaccessible to modern readers, that gives a detailed description of the Egyptian Mysteries. Iamblichus, a noted scholar and Neo-Platonist who lived in the first half of the fourth century, wrote a work upon the Egyptian Mysteries in which he portrays the principal steps and trials imposed upon the candidate during initiation. This description was translated into the French by P. Christian, and has been drawn upon freely for information by the more eminent students of the tarot, as it contains a complete description of the Egyptian tarot. In 1901 it was translated from French into English by my good friend Genevieve Stebbins, who has given me permission to make use of her translation in this chapter and in Course VI, Sacred Tarot.” The year 1901, was also the date that Edgar de Valcourt-Vermont using the pseudonym of Comte C. de Saint Germain translated and published portions of Paul Christian’s work on the tarot in the back chapters of a book titled Practical Astrology.  The Egyptian tarot images illustrating Practical Astrology are based on the Falconnier-Wegener Tarot deck, illustrated by Maurice Otto Wegener and published in 1896 by R. Falconnier as Les XXII lames hermètiques du tarot divinatoire (The XXII Hermetic Cards of the Divinatory Tarot). The first known “Egyptian” tarot, these images were based on Paul Christian’s descriptions and became the prototype for all future “Egyptian” decks. These were the tarot cards used by Brotherhood of Light and Church of Light students prior to The Brotherhood of Light deck being designed by Gloria Beresford in 1936.
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11-01-2018, 08:42 AM,
#4
RE: Egyptian Tarot archetypes
Thank you Austin!!
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11-02-2018, 03:04 AM,
#5
RE: Egyptian Tarot archetypes
Quote:Court de Gébelin was the first author to assert the Egyptian origins of the tarot. He believed that in time of remote antiquity, Egyptian sages had secreted their knowledge away in the images of the tarot. These allegorical images had survived because they were not recognized as anything more than an innocuous game. In 1781 he wrote “That originally the twenty-two figures of the atouts or emblem parts of the tarot were painted on the walls of the temples. A fashion inherited from biblical times, to enable the worshippers to recognize the sciences, arts or conditions represented by the figures and their attributes when it was wished to consult them.”

Is there any historical evidence? Because there is a great gap between biblical times and first (trump) tarot cards. And where are the paintings on the walls?
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11-02-2018, 06:31 PM, (This post was last modified: 11-02-2018, 06:45 PM by Bring4th_Austin.)
#6
RE: Egyptian Tarot archetypes
(11-02-2018, 03:04 AM)loostudent Wrote:  
Quote:Court de Gébelin was the first author to assert the Egyptian origins of the tarot. He believed that in time of remote antiquity, Egyptian sages had secreted their knowledge away in the images of the tarot. These allegorical images had survived because they were not recognized as anything more than an innocuous game. In 1781 he wrote “That originally the twenty-two figures of the atouts or emblem parts of the tarot were painted on the walls of the temples. A fashion inherited from biblical times, to enable the worshippers to recognize the sciences, arts or conditions represented by the figures and their attributes when it was wished to consult them.”

Is there any historical evidence? Because there is a great gap between biblical times and first (trump) tarot cards. And where are the paintings on the walls?

My own thinking centers around the accuracy of the claim that the book Egyptian Mysteries: An Account of an Initiation 1) actually describes esoteric training based on the tarot images (I haven't read it or looked into it), and 2) if the attribution to Iamblicus is accurate. This would bridge a huge gap between biblical times and the first cards that showed up in the 1500s. There would still be lots of gaps and holes - that is still a massive gap in time between when Ra would have given the images and Iamblicus was alive, and there is still no evidence of the images being painted on any walls.

But regarding the images being painted, I just had a thought. Wherever Don got the information about the images coming from the walls of the Great Pyramid, it could be the same place where the information about them being painted comes from. So perhaps Don's question was asking if they were painted on the walls of the pyramid. Given the history of the Great Pyramid, it's completely likely that the paint didn't last very long after it stopped being maintained. And that could explain why the walls of the pyramid seems sparse - instead of physical inscriptions, the walls were flat for the paintings. In fact, Ra describing some of the original coloring of the images (describing what looked black as originally being red in 97.12) lends itself to the idea that these images were indeed paintings and not physically inscribed into the stone. (This may have been obvious to some people but was a point of mystery to me.)

But either way, like a lot of Ra's historical accounts, any belief in the information is going to come from how reliable we believe the contact was. There are plenty of things that Ra talks about that seems contradictory to the traditional historical narrative (as well as the current scientific paradigm). It's up to each seeker to determine how these things weigh against each other. Do we trust Ra's account more than modern historians/scientists because we feel the nature of the contact offers that account more veracity? Or do we feel that such a source of information can't trump our modern human efforts at discovering history and science? I think it's valid to float in between in a sort of comfortable cognitive dissonance.
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11-03-2018, 08:25 AM,
#7
RE: Egyptian Tarot archetypes
That’s what I was thinking, that if they were painted on the walls and used for teaching, then I’m sure the paint would have peeled away in the thousands of years since the Great Pyramid was used as a temple of initiation.

Either way, the images are totally valid and they work. Someone knew what they were doing.

For what it’s worth, Helena Blavatsky says this:

Quote:“The real Tarot, in its complete symbology, can be found only in the Babylonian cylinders, that anyone can inspect and study in the British Museum and elsewhere. Anyone can see these Chaldean antediluvian rhombs, or revolving cylinders, covered with sacred signs; the secrets of these divining ‘wheels,’ or, as de Mirville calls them, ‘the rotating globes of Hecate,’ have to be left untold for some time to come” (Helena P. Blavatsky, CW XIV:106).

I’ve never been there, nor I have been able to find satisfactory images of these revolving cylinders. Ra does imply that the Tarot came before the Chaldeans.
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01-21-2019, 09:47 AM, (This post was last modified: 01-21-2019, 09:50 AM by Nau7ik.)
#8
RE: Egyptian Tarot archetypes
Maybe I’m being biased with my preference of the Egyptian archetypal images, but I’ve been studying the cards more and many occultists view the Lovers in a wholly different way (almost) than the intended meaning from the Egyptian images. Crowley says the Lovers (or more properly ‘The Brothers’) is a story of Creation; That this is the true traditional meaning. It can also be found in the Rider-Waite deck. In the Thoth deck, Crowley depicts the Lovers according the symbolism of “The Chemical Marriage of Christian Rosenkruetz”, which is a profound alchemical allegory. If you are attracted to occultism, I would suggest reading this book. It’s symbolism is used in many places and understanding of such symbolism was ever under a veil for me until I read the book.

[Image: thoth_the_lovers_tarot_card.jpg]

I will quote significant (to me) quotes from Crowley on the Lovers:

“The subject of this card is Analysis, followed by Synthesis. The first question asked by science is: “Of what are things composed?” This having been answered, the next question is: “How shall we recombine them to our greater advantage?” This resumes the whole policy of the Tarot.”

“The Royal Persons concerned are the Black or Moorish King with a golden crown, and the White Queen with a silver crown. He is accompanied by the Red Lion, and she by the White Eagle. These are symbols of the male and female principles in Nature; they are therefore equally, in various stages of manifestation, Sun and Moon, Fire and Water, Air and Earth.”

In regard to the Cupid, “From this, it may appear that he represents the intelligent (and, at the same time, unconscious) will of the soul to unite itself with all and sundry, as has been explained in the general formula with regard to the agony of separation.” This is like the Genii in the Egyptian cards, I think.

This quote is why I say that the interpretation is “almost” completely different:
Quote:In this symbolism is therefore a complete glyph of the equilibrium necessary to begin the Great Work. But, as to the final mystery, that is left unsolved. Perfect is the plan to produce life, but the nature of this life is concealed. It is capable of taking any possible form; but what form? That is dependent upon the influences attendant on gestation.

To me, that sounds like the Choice of polarity that must need be made for the transformation of mind. The natural compliment to VI. The Lovers is, according to Crowley with the use of alchemical symbolism, XIV. Art/Temperance, which is the consummation of the Royal Marriage. So Temperance/Art/“The Alchemist” would the Great Way of the Body in Ra’s system.
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