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Aleph -- Ox

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helvetica
The Fool might be an untamed bull (yet to be proved!) - but in no way could he be an untamed "ox", for the simple reason that oxen are always, by nature, tamed (unless there were divinely operated castrations five millenia ago).
What is that werecat after?

http://www.letarot.com/jean-noblet/p...es/le-fov.html

Was is our LL Bateleur in animal disquise?

http://www.letarot.com/jean-noblet/p...-bateleur.html

Kwaw
Top   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helvetica
The Fool might be an untamed bull (yet to be proved!) - but in no way could he be an untamed "ox", for the simple reason that oxen are always, by nature, tamed (unless there were divinely operated castrations five millenia ago). The ox represents nature already tamed, and therefore suits the Magician/Bateleur rather better (this is a separate argument from that of Alef/breath of God/Fool, which I find more persuasive than the Fool/Alef/Ox one).
My sloppy semantics aside, "ox" and "oxen" were terms used synonymously with "bull" and "bullock" in the Old Testament. They are the same creature. The generic Hebrew word for bull, Bakar, is used for "bullock" in Issiah lxiv. 25, "cow" in Ezekiel iv. 15, and "oxen" in Genesis xii. 16. and refer specifically to adult horned cattle ready for the plough. You'll notice that bullock, cow and oxen are all terms for cattle 'sans' the male crown jewels. As far as I know Aleph is never used in that fashion.

The ancient peoples of every part of the world at that time were well used to the practice of castration to make wild animals docile. However it is still a contentious issue as to whether the ancient Hebrews castrated their cattle. The orthadox view is that they did otherwise they'd be too dangerous to bring under control.

With Aleph's meaning of "ox" I was trying to avoid seeing it in isolation, but rather as part of the overall meaning of the word.
I was also trying to apply this meaning to the card as the path from Kether to Geburah; the idea of something wild BECOMING tamed, or chaotic BECOMING ordered, seemed to me to lend itself rather well.

I know of no animal which is/was "nature already tamed". Except for the dodo.

Nice try with the Magician/Aleph thing, but I aint getting sucked into that one
Top   #22
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The meaning of ALPh or ALVPh. The 'V' [vau] as a 'weak' consonant or when used as a vowel can be dropped. The most common meaning of ALVPh is 'chief', deriving from pre-hebraic [phoenician 'god', 'leader' 'lord' 'chief' or 'god']. In aramiac it means 'to behold'. The lexicon included in the online bible gives:

AV- duke 57, guide 4, friends 2, governors 2, captains 1, governor 1, ox 2; 69

1) tame, docile
2) friend, intimate
3) chief

It derives from phoenican 'Al' meaning it is said 'strength' and 'G-d'. Aleph also means to learn, and in some kabbalistic traditions the connection with 'ox' it means not 'ox' but 'oxen' in a 'yoke'. The connection with 'to teach, to learn' is said to be derived from the fact that a young untrained ox would be yoked to an older ox, thus 'to teach and to learn'. The idea of 'yoke' includes the idea of 'to be with' and 'covenant'. By 'covenant' G-d is seen as in 'covenant' [yoked, beholden] to his people. "Strong authority" is seen as the older ox or strong leader. It may relate from anything to chief, captain, guard. It also means 'pillar' as a 'strong support'. By 'yoke' is meant union of two parties, whether of a young ox and older in training or of the union or covenant between man and god. Tame and docile relate to its domesticity.

However the online lexicon of the Bible is not quite comprehensive as it can be found in several places in the bible not mentioned by the lexicon, not meaning specifically 'ox' but in reference to calves and cattle in general.

For example in Dt 7:13:
"He will favour you and bless you and multiply you; He will bless the issue of your womb, and the produce of your soil, your new grain and wine and oil, the calving of your herd and the lambing of your flock, in the land that He swore to your fathers to assign to you."

A simliar sentence is repeated in Dt. 28:4;

"Blessed shall be the issue of your womb, the produce of your soil, and the offspring of your cattle, the calving of your herd and the lambing of your flock."

Notes to the Jewish Study Bible says of these two verses:

"calving…..lambing originally two Ugaritic fertility deities; the second, 'Astarte', is named at 1 Kings 11.5.
issue….lambing; For womb, ground, and livewstock, obedience to the Torah is rewarded with comprehensive fertility. Fecundity is contingent upon obedience to the covenant - and not upon either natural fertility or competing fertility gods."

The reference to competing fertility deities based upon the Hebrew words here for calving and lambing are also the names of two neighbouring fertility deities, related to the Bull god Al and to Astarte or Astoroth [eg., AShTRTH = lambing, also Astarte or Astoroth].

Similarly we may find it at Dt. 28.51

"It shall devour the offspring of your cattle and the produce of the soil, until you have been wiped out, leaving you nothing of new grain , wine or oil, of the calving of your herds and the lambing of your flocks, until it has brought you to ruin."

Is 30:24

"as for the cattle and the asses that till the soil, they shall partake of salted fodder that has been winnowed with shovel and fan."

The context of 'that till the soil' however could perhaps justify a translation of 'ox'. The verses here [22-26] concern the miraculous transformation of nature that will follow the cessation of idolatry.

In the Tanakh translation Ps 8:8 it is translated 'oxen'
"Sheep and oxen, all of them,
and wild beasts, too;"

but in Ps. 50.9 as 'bull':
"I claim no bull from your estate,
no he-goats from your pens"

and 50.13

"Do I eat the flesh of bulls,
or drink the blood of he-goats?"

[So ALPh it appears does not mean 'ox' specifically but can mean cattle, cow, bull, calf or ox depending upon context and how it is conjugated.]

Kwaw
Top   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwaw
What is that werecat after?

http://www.letarot.com/jean-noblet/p...es/le-fov.html

Was is our LL Bateleur in animal disquise?

http://www.letarot.com/jean-noblet/p...-bateleur.html

Kwaw

Aleph is attributed to the constellation Orion, called in Hebrew KSYL, which also means 'constellation' in general, but also 'fool'. The root also means fool, loins, flank [rear end], hope, confidence.

The words in bold below are all translations of the root KSL [hope,flank, confidence, folly, loins]:
Job 8:14 Whose hope shall be cut off, and whose trust shall be a spider's web.
Job 15:27 Because he covereth his face with his fatness, and maketh collops of fat on his flanks.
Job 31:24 If I have made gold my hope, or have said to the fine gold, Thou art my confidence;


Ps 38:7 For my loins are filled with a loathsome disease: and there is no soundness in my flesh.
Ps 49:13 This their way is their folly: yet their posterity approve their sayings. Selah.
Ps 78:7 That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments:


Pr 3:26 For the LORD shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.

Those in bold below of KSYL [folly, orion, constellation]:
Ec 7:25 I applied mine heart to know, and to search, and to seek out wisdom, and the reason of things, and to know the wickedness of folly, even of foolishness and madness:

Job 9:9 Which maketh Arcturus, Orion, and Pleiades, and the chambers of the south. Job 38:31 Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?


Isa 13:10 For the stars of heaven and the constellation s thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.


Am 5:8 Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name:

However I have gone into the alef fool correspondences loads of times already, instead of repeating myself I have put some together here:

http://www.thelogos.co.uk/kwawalef.htm

Kwaw
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helvetica
...unless there were divinely operated castrations five millenia ago...
All it takes to castrate a bull are a rubberband and a few months. I'm sure the ancients figured that out (with a leather band instead of the rubber, of course.)
Top   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwaw
Aleph also means to learn, and in some kabbalistic traditions the connection with 'ox' it means not 'ox' but 'oxen' in a 'yoke'. The connection with 'to teach, to learn' is said to be derived from the fact that a young untrained ox would be yoked to an older ox, thus 'to teach and to learn'. Kwaw
The meaning aleph with 'doctrina' - 'teaching' is very old and well known in western world, going back to at least St. Jerome.

Perhaps in the fool as a travellor we can detect a doctrine of exile and redemption, the latin term 'peregranatio' - travellor being connected with concept of both exile and pilgrimage; symbolism of seperation and reunification portrayed in renaissance neo-platonic ritualist and mythological motif as dismemberment and reunification:

"According to the theologians", Plutarch writes, "both prose writers
and poets, God is eternal, but yet, under the impulsion of some
predestined plan and purpose, he undergoes transformations in his
being...When the god is changed and distributed into winds, water,
earth, stars, plants and animals, they describe this experience and
transformation allegorically by the terms 'rending'
and 'dismemberment'.

Pico de Mirandola describing the ascent and descent of
the 'ladder' of reason as the steps upon which "we shall sometimes
descend, with titanic force rending the unity like Osiris into many
parts, and we shall sometimes ascend, with the force of Phoebus
collecting the parts like the limbs of Osiris into a unity." [Wind]

Among the neoplatonist of the renaissance another favoured figurement
of this was that of the 'mystery of the birth of Venus'. Venus
Urania, identified with the celestial virgin, is born from the sea
foam that was produced from the castration of Uranus, 'being the god
of heaven, Uranus conveys to formless matter the seed of ideal forms,
according to Pico "and because ideas would not have in themselves
variety and diversity if they were not mixed with formless nature,
and because without variety there cannot be beauty, so it justly
follows that Venus could not be born if the testicles of Uranus did
not fall into the waters of the sea".

So perhaps there is a relevance between the idea of the ox being a castrated bull. We may note that the letter aleph, said to be an ideogram of an ox yoke and plough, could also be seen as phallus and testes. The image of the fool is cognate with images of the period of the 'wandering jew' connected with the concept of exile, and the penis of the noblet fool appears to be circumcised.

The idea of 'yoke' includes the idea of 'to be with' and 'covenant'. By 'covenant' G-d is seen as in 'covenant' [yoked, beholden] to his people; and circumcision is the symbol of the covenant with G-d. Ps 78:7 That they might set their hope [in Hebrew ksl - also means fool and loins] in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments. Speculating of a pun on ksl [fool, hope, loins] their 'hope cut off' in Christian terms could reference the cutting of the foreskin as a sign of the covenant, but hope 'cut' off in obstinate folly of jewish refusal to accept the new covenant with christ as saviour; use of such a pun may indicate a converso or marrano influence. The connection of the tower with the 'flight into Egypt' made in another thread would perhaps emphasis a doctrine of 'exile and redemption' running through the tarot sequence.

Kwaw
Top   #26
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Thanks for all the information- I, who was so sure that Aleph was Le Batleur have been galvanised by doubt into inaction, until this talk about castration from 'Bull' to 'Ox' (wild to tamed as it were). Then I thought 'There's the space, the cipher!' The Fou is pre- castration- He is the wild untamed beast, the resolute wanderer(The marked man). Then the cat /dog gets hold of his family Jewels as it were- and voila! we have a start to the covenant- a place to start- an altar to action with all its tools - Le batleur. No wonder I cannot give numbers to my cards. Could I be on the right track? This question plagues me daily.... and I am glad to be born female by the way! ~Rosanne
Top   #27
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Have drawn (roughly)a cup emasculator from a farming book- puts a whole new take on the 'trifles' on the Batleur's table. The tool is all dismantled hehe! Or a new take of the spoon across le Fou's shoulder! Sorry to be so graphic in my humour ~Rosanne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dulcimer
I know of no animal which is/was "nature already tamed". Except for the dodo.
"Tamed" is not synonymous with "extinct". From the moment the crown jewels are removed, an animal's nature is tamed.

Agreed about the multiple use of "ox". But it is still nature tamed, and no longer wild. Actually and symbolically, from the moment the gelding has taken place and an animal is ready for the plough, he has gone beyond the Green Man/Fool stage.

Kwaw, as ever I delight in your generous scholarship

Rosanne - having looked at that tool (thank you!!), I am also glad to be both female and human.
Top   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kilts_knave
All it takes to castrate a bull are a rubberband and a few months. I'm sure the ancients figured that out (with a leather band instead of the rubber, of course.)
Exactly. But in that leather band lies the act of taming (the process of teaching a young ox how to plough, as Kwaw explained, is rather longer - with the yoke and the older ox providing the teaching elements).
Top   #30




 


 


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