Erudition

Thanks for visiting my site, I’ve started this blog to share interesting/profound thoughts and observations I find on my journey towards Gnosis. The majority will be quotes I pull from the books I read and sometimes original thoughts that I have. The overall scope of my reading is about us, humans, the mind, consciousness, science, philosophy, art, myth, magic, history, etc., etc. – generally all relating to the attainment of Gnosis. For me Gnosis is defined as knowledge gained through direct experience and the tradition that embodies that core of knowledge, wisdom, and insight of humanity to it’s real nature as divine – leading to the deliverance of the divine spark within humanity from the constraints of earthly existence.

Part of this journey also includes the study of tarot, for it deserves serious scholarly research and consideration. The Tarot being regarded as leaves of some sacred book from the ancient pagan world, intended as symbols of philosophic principles – holding the keys to the sciences of universal procedures – intended to illumine the mind through the instrument of a mathematically ordered symbolism. So I’ll also be using this blog to hone my insight and organize my thoughts through the complex multilayered world of the Tarot and its symbolism.


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Wisdom

… the Bride-groom is King Solomon himself, it naturally follows that the fair Shulamite is she of whom he wrote: ‘I loved her and sought her out for my youth: I desired to make her my spouse, and I was a lover of her beauty.’ These words are addressed to the personification of “Wisdom,” a word that has nowadays lost its true meaning, and unfortunately fails to convey its original significance. Among the ancients “Wisdom” implied Love and Knowledge blended in perfect and equal proportions. Our English word Truth personifies what is perhaps the nearest approach to the original conception; but “Wisdom” meant more than Truth.

It was used to personify the Celestial Influence which at the later was described as the “Holy Spirit.” ‘Wisdom, which is the worker of all good things,’ says Solomon ‘taught me: for in her is an understanding spirit, holy, one only, manifold, subtil, lively, clear, undefiled, plain, not subject to hurt, loving the thing that is good, quick, which cannot be letted, ready to do good. Kind to man, steadfast, sure, free from care, having all power, overseeing all things, and going through all understanding, pure, and most subtil spirits.’

In Egypt Wisdom was personified by Isis, a manifold goddess of whom it was inscribed: ‘I am that which is, has been, and shall be, and no man has lifted my veil.’ Similarly of “Wisdom” the Hebrews wrote: ‘The first man knew her not perfectly, no more shall the last find her out. For her thoughts are more than the sea and her counsels profounder than the Great Deep.’ It is noteworthy that the writer of The Song of Solomon is himself perplexed at the complex character of his own heroin. …he leaves unanswered his own query, ‘Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners?’

Harold Bayley

The Reality of Freemasonry (a system of morality)

Elias Ashmole recorded it in his diary that the symbols and signs of Freemasonry were borrowed partly from the Knight-Templars and partly from the Rosicrucians. It is claimed for Freemasonry that it is a beautiful system of morality veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols, and, according to Dr. Oliver, ‘The noble and sublime secrets of which we (Freemasons) are possessed are contained in our traditions, represented by hieroglyphic figures and intimated by our symbolic customs and ceremonies.’ ‘Again’ says Dr. Oliver, ‘we have declared over and over again that the great secret of Christian Freemasonry is the practice of morality and virtue here as a preparation for happiness in another world.’

Harold Bayley

The Lost Language of Symbolism

I’m trying to absorb as much as I can about the language of Symbolism to aid in my understanding of the Tarot.

Although etymologists are agreed that language is fossil poetry and that the creation of every word was originally a poem embodying a bold metaphor or a bright conception, it is quite unrealised how close and intimate relation exists between symbolism and philology.

Harold Bayley

The Function of Symbol

…the essential function of the symbol is to explore the unknown and – paradoxically – to communicate with the incommunicable, the partial discovery of these unfathomable truths being achieved through symbols.

J.E Cirlot

Divinatory Mechanism

The mechanism of the Tarot like that of other divinatory or prophetic techniques, “is a universal phenomenon, for such techniques are based upon the higher activity of the unconscious in response to certain stimuli, and upon the automatic acquisition of unconscious stores of knowledge remaining unperceived until ‘read’ in accordance with the principles of numbers, orientation, form and space.”

A Dictionary of Symbols

Man, it has been said, its a symbolizing animal; it is evident that at no stage in the development of civilization has man been able to dispense with symbols. Science and technology have not freed man from his dependence on symbols: indeed, it may be argued that they have increased his need for them. In any case, symbology itself is now a science, and this volume is a necessary instrument in its study.

Herbert Read

The Magician

Usually, we tend to assume that our perspective on the world is our physical brain, and that we look outward from our skull through our eyes upon the rest of the world. This is only a conventional belief, and the magician is not bound by it. The entire perceived universe is created within your own mind, and resides within your mind. It is vital to understand and accept this truth. You do not exist in the world; the world exists within you. Because of this, you have the power to shift your point of awareness into anything you perceive.

Whatever may or may not exist completely outside of your own mind, if indeed the human mind can be said to have a boundary, is beyond your ability to perceive or interact with, or even imagine, in any way whatsoever. For you, it does not exist. What exists and has reality for you lies within your mind, and only within your mind, and this is why you, as a magician, have power over it. Since everything is a part of your mind, you have power over everything. You are shackled by the conventional teachings absorbed in your childhood, the limited perspective of science, the modern cult of materialism, all of which try to tell you that you cannot control the so-called outer world that lies beyond your body. This is a lie. Both your body and the world exists in your own mind, as part of your mind.

The ability to manipulate and control the point of view is in large measure a function of how you understand your reality. If you remain convinced that there is an absolute boundary between inside your body and outside your body, you’ll find it difficult to effectively project your consciousness into material objects, or to occupy with awareness your astral form and change its state, or its location in space. On the other hand, if you realize and accept that both your body and the external environment in which it functions are constructs of your own mind, it will be easier to learn the trick of projecting your point of view beyond your skin.

Donald Tyson

Tarot Potency

Similarly, the images suggest Egyptian, Greek, and biblical mythic elements. This does not support an Egyptian, Greek, or Hebrew source for the tarot, but it allows the association of the Tarot with certain aspects of these powerful racial currents in the western esoteric tradition. As a consequence, the Tarot can be used to channel the spiritual and magical energies of these traditions. In its broadest sense, symbolism is not dependent for its meaning on its period and place of origin. It transcends time and place. Tarot symbolism is as potent today as it was when placed on the card six centries ago.

The effectiveness of the card as instruments of divination has been proven countless times over the past 200 years. Occultist who have studied them are in agreement that they perpetuate in their structure an esoteric model of the universe that has great utility in tying together many diverse threads of magic, myth, and philosophy. It is my own personal assertion based on three decades of experiment, that the Tarot is equally potent as an instrument of practical ritual magic. It origins, be they ancient or modern, sacred or mundane, cannot diminish the meaning of the cards or deprive them of their power.

Donald Tyson

Tarot Magic

A deck of tarot cards contains everything you need to work a complete and effective system of ritual magic. With the cards alone, you can construct an astral temple, build an altar, cast a magic circle, create a triangle through which to actualize your purpose, manipulate the blind elemental forces of nature, communicate with other people and with spirits, cleanse atmospheres and places of destructive influences, make potent charms, extend and perform works of healing. You can use the Tarot to accomplish any purpose you would seek to achieve through more cumbersome and complex methods of ceremonial magic.

… The Taro is a symbolic model of the universe. Nothing external to it is required. … The magic is not in the cards, which are merely tools used to construct rituals and to represent various instruments and forces. The magic is in the person using them. The card’s act to focus and project the power of the mind.

Donald Tyson

Philosophy of Occultism in Pictures & Numbers

No study of Occult Philosophy is possible without an acquaintance with symbolism…. Symbolism cannot be learned as one learns to build bridges or speak a foreign language, and for the interpretation of symbols a special cast of mind is necessary; in addition to knowledge, special faculties, the power of creative thought and developed imagination are required.

In order to become acquainted with the tarot, it is necessary to understand the basic ideas of Kabala and of Alchemy. For it represents, as, indeed, many commentators of the tarot think, a summary of the Hermetic Sciences – the Kabala, Alchemy, Astrology, Magic, with their different divisions. All these sciences really represent one system of a very broad and deep psychological investigation of the nature of man in his relation to the world of noumena (God, the world of spirit) and to the world of phenomena (the visible physical world).

The letters of the Hebrew alphabet and the various allegories of the Kabala, the names of metals, acids and salts in Alchemy; of planets and constellations in Astrology; of good and evil spirits in Magic – all these were only means to veil truth from the uninitiated

P.D. Oupensky