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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Sternbach View Post
No, because I know that it excites you. But what do I care - after all, I'm not a mod on this forum website.
Ohhh ... but I have been good, havent I ?

(Now to run off and make trubs ' elsewhere ' ......
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foolMoon View Post
Browsing BoT tonight, I came across this passage in pp.33



Crowley too, sounds pretty sceptic on the part of astrological connections to Tarot cards. I was really saying what he was saying here.

I didn't imagine the GD people would have had copied exactly what had been done hundred or thousands years ago by the ancients, but they would have had their own clear principles and theories behind their system.

I will do some further research with the suggested preliminary readings. Just ordered afore mentioned Agrippa book from Amazon.
Well, its A system. Scepticism is perhaps best used after one comprehends a system , then you can fine tune it away from the general, which allows skeptical observation ... he didn;t seem that sceptical about his own revisions, calling the star emperor swap as his best proof ever of his whole 'revelation' .

(But it is a valid view, on one level, to be skeptical of everything, as long as one moves on from there and takes the action that should come from skeptical analysis )

It goes back even further. Micheal above approached the concept of 'Spheres' ) energies come in through Saturn, work their way inwards through 'crystalline' spheres of the planets, to the sphere around us, the Moon, and that regulates the energy to earth and us. It isnt just a planet whizzing around, its a whole sphere, we are all inside the sphere the sphere of Saturn ... and Jupiter and Mars , and so on, so a 'flux' or 'medium oif transference' is ever present .

Agrippa was a key node in this hermetic thought practice. In paces, he may be hard to understand as he wrote in a world that had a different time set.

I highly recommend this is read first { 1.} , even just chapter 1 , its clear and pretty brief, and will be invaluable knowledge for comprehending , how those people thought, and the whole basis of the concept of interrelationship between things and WHY they were considered certain things related to and influenced other things ( or represented their energies in a different mode) ..... the 'why' is a bit of a long story ; pre dualistic thought, hermetic thought coming from Plato, and other classic sources, some Egyptian, some from Zurvanism ( 'The Magi' ) and Zoroaster, 'Chaldeans' , Islamic Hermetics, Agrippa (Ficino's , 'Star Magic' { 2.} etc ) ... and for a modern excellent view on all of them and how they linked together in a 'philosopher chain', to lead up to present day concepts we have about 'magic / occult' etc (in such a rationalist scientific age ! ) I highly recommend {3.}

1. https://archive.org/details/originsofmoderns007291mbp (free book )

2. http://www.renaissanceastrology.com/...stromagic.html (site article .... Ficino is pretty essential node in development of these ideas )

3 . http://www.harpur.org/PJCHsecretfire.htm (" He uncovers that tradition which alchemists imagined as a Golden Chain of initiates, who passed their mysterious 'secret fire' down through the ages." )


If you read Ch 1 of Butterwoth (1.) , and follow the progression of people through history outlined in 'Philosopher's Secret Fire' ( 3.) , you will have such a head start on anything you read afterwards .... and be immune to Crowley's above criticisms , well, partially ( No one can be completely immune )
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ravenest View Post
Ohhh ... but I have been good, havent I ?

(Now to run off and make trubs ' elsewhere ' ......
Gotta try harder if you insist on getting modded "elsewhere".

Talking about this forum and thread, I found your last few posts particularly good. Not that I wouldn't have already known all that, of course, but they are very comprehensive for newbies; good job! Therefore 谢谢, booglebear, arigato gozaimashita etc.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ravenest View Post
Well, its A system. Scepticism is perhaps best used after one comprehends a system , then you can fine tune it away from the general, which allows skeptical observation ... he didn;t seem that sceptical about his own revisions, calling the star emperor swap as his best proof ever of his whole 'revelation' .

(But it is a valid view, on one level, to be skeptical of everything, as long as one moves on from there and takes the action that should come from skeptical analysis )

It goes back even further. Micheal above approached the concept of 'Spheres' ) energies come in through Saturn, work their way inwards through 'crystalline' spheres of the planets, to the sphere around us, the Moon, and that regulates the energy to earth and us. It isnt just a planet whizzing around, its a whole sphere, we are all inside the sphere the sphere of Saturn ... and Jupiter and Mars , and so on, so a 'flux' or 'medium oif transference' is ever present .

Agrippa was a key node in this hermetic thought practice. In paces, he may be hard to understand as he wrote in a world that had a different time set.

I highly recommend this is read first { 1.} , even just chapter 1 , its clear and pretty brief, and will be invaluable knowledge for comprehending , how those people thought, and the whole basis of the concept of interrelationship between things and WHY they were considered certain things related to and influenced other things ( or represented their energies in a different mode) ..... the 'why' is a bit of a long story ; pre dualistic thought, hermetic thought coming from Plato, and other classic sources, some Egyptian, some from Zurvanism ( 'The Magi' ) and Zoroaster, 'Chaldeans' , Islamic Hermetics, Agrippa (Ficino's , 'Star Magic' { 2.} etc ) ... and for a modern excellent view on all of them and how they linked together in a 'philosopher chain', to lead up to present day concepts we have about 'magic / occult' etc (in such a rationalist scientific age ! ) I highly recommend {3.}

1. https://archive.org/details/originsofmoderns007291mbp (free book )

2. http://www.renaissanceastrology.com/...stromagic.html (site article .... Ficino is pretty essential node in development of these ideas )

3 . http://www.harpur.org/PJCHsecretfire.htm (" He uncovers that tradition which alchemists imagined as a Golden Chain of initiates, who passed their mysterious 'secret fire' down through the ages." )


If you read Ch 1 of Butterwoth (1.) , and follow the progression of people through history outlined in 'Philosopher's Secret Fire' ( 3.) , you will have such a head start on anything you read afterwards .... and be immune to Crowley's above criticisms , well, partially ( No one can be completely immune )
Well, I am not sure if Crowely was that futile and negative sceptic for the sake of being sceptic. I read him as rather realistic and open minded about the astrological association to the trump cards.

He is not saying, it is unknowable or not making sense, hence they are not useful or helpful, but what he is saying is that there is no right way to associate them. He says,

" These are all blind steps on the way to the real Light: when the Universe is perceived as one, yet with all its Lights, each necessary and each distinct."

So, he is being quite open minded about various ways of the association, and saying whatever way you associate, practice and understand them, if you could reach the enlightenment, it's cool. In other words, the goal of the association is not the association itself, but rather it is just blind steps to reach the Light and enlightenment. How positive, realistic, relaxed and opened minded he is, is he not?

Agrippa's books seem, despite having been written a few centuries ago, regarded as one of the most important and comprehensive books on the whole subject, i.e. Magick, Cabala and Divination in general. So I was going to get the book one day, if not for reading it, then even just for reference.

Butterfield book you mentioned with the link seem also very interesting. I will download it and read, come back with my thoughts. Thanks
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ravenest View Post


I highly recommend this is read first { 1.} , even just chapter 1 , its clear and pretty brief, and will be invaluable knowledge for comprehending , how those people thought, and the whole basis of the concept of interrelationship between things and WHY they were considered certain things related to and influenced other things ( or represented their energies in a different mode) ..... the 'why' is a bit of a long story ; pre dualistic thought, hermetic thought coming from Plato, and other classic sources, some Egyptian, some from Zurvanism ( 'The Magi' ) and Zoroaster, 'Chaldeans' , Islamic Hermetics, Agrippa (Ficino's , 'Star Magic' { 2.} etc ) ... and for a modern excellent view on all of them and how they linked together in a 'philosopher chain', to lead up to present day concepts we have about 'magic / occult' etc (in such a rationalist scientific age ! ) I highly recommend {3.}

1. https://archive.org/details/originsofmoderns007291mbp (free book )

I skimmed through the first chapter of this book by Butterfield. It seems more concentrating on the Aristotelian system than Plato. Aristotle was the father of philosophy of Science, so maybe it is not surprise.

But I felt it is a bit out of focus from what we have been discussing here, because we are dealing with issues with Metaphysics, not Science. OK, in ancient times maybe the divide was not clear, but it had been clearly separated by the German philosopher, Immanuel. Kant since 1700s.

He drew a line between Science and Metaphysics. Metaphysical issues cannot be dealt same way as Scientific way, because it is in the realm of belief, not universally verifiable truths. (I think we have gone over this before.)

Anyhow, they are in totally different world. One has to either be in one or the other, but not on both when discussing these issues. Here, we are in the world of Metaphysics, not Science.

But the book is a good read, and well written I think. I will keep reading it to the end when time permits. Thanks.
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I think you must have really 'skimmed' it ! And I am talking about the early part of the books time range, hundreds of years before Kant .

And yes, the world of science and metaphysics WERE the same before and during the first part of this period (after 1400 ) as change began to occur - thats sorta been my whole point - this movement after 1400 created a type of dualism that separated the two. Astrology didnt work in some modern vague and disputable way, the way they understood the world back then ... astrology HAD to exist and be influential, according to their 'observational understandings' then.

This lack of understanding of the original principles behind the modern 'occult' is based on the lack of knowledge or even the lack of knowledge that this whole corpus of teaching ever existed in the first place. Many modern people think . why bother ? Most just go to some sight with a stated opinion about 'your gemstones are' and thats it, no reason or rhyme about it. Try asking them "Why ? " and see what answers you get !

Yes, the book is about science, hence the title. But Ch 1 outlines the way of thought that prevailed previously ( your 'world of metaphysics ') , that is, an earlier 'metaphysical science' based on previous metaphysical axioms that came about from natural observations or via hermetics from the early writers who accessed Islamic, Jewish and Greek writings.

They treated the hermetic texts as an ancient source of knowledge ..... until the Causabon 'incident ' where the books where shown to be of relatively recent ( back then ) authorship. That started the whole shift. The chapter talks about how the world and the forces that effect us in it were thought to operate.

At least it did when I read it


Perhaps, when a source is there that has the potential to underpin one's whole concept of what happened and how and how the people that developed our own current occult / metaphysical concepts that still carry over to us today, that source needs to be actually read to understand ts content ?


The thing is .... we still ( well, those of us that give the occult and metaphysics some or any type of validity ) hold some of their old principles in our concepts , while the rest of our concepts have changed due to the scientific outlook. So many are stuck between the two - without necessarily realising it .

Take astrology as an example. many people believe in astrology , but ask them how they think it works . No way can they come up with any working hypothesis that accords to the modern scientific world view .... thats why many people say astrology is rubbish and people that believe in it are idiots confused by fantasy. They may talk about 'radiation of influence' or 'rays' ( hermetic concepts not modern ones ) or do the opposite and cite the Moon and tidal effect ( insignificant for other planets though ) . BUt previously these things WERE in accord .... there was no 'problem of the transference of energy' eg.from a planet to earth, as earth was set IN the medium or 'field' of every planet.


Oh well, I tried . I may be pushing it uphill again , and probably should pull my head back into my hermitage .
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PS in case folks dont know of Casaubon

" In 1614 he published De rebus sacris et ecclesiasticis exercitationes XVI which consisted of a philological analysis of Corpus Hermeticum, a series of neo-platonic texts. He placed their origin in the third or fourth century AD, rather than in a much earlier "hermetic" period to which they had generally been ascribed. "

This had a great effect on their acceptance by the church, they had previously been accepted as valid ancient books, after this, many considered these books fakes.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_Casaubon
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I think our topic is either Science or Metaphysics. It is not the Science, so toss it away. No mix allowed, because they don't share any common ground.

Here, we are dealing with Metaphysics, i.e. the issues with Religion, Ethics, Occult and Divination ... etc. In here, you have 3 options.

1. You choose and follow one of the traditional sectors or systems you believe in.

2. You create your own and practice with it.

3. You mix the traditional system you follow with your own system, and practice it.

If you can explain how they all work, then it is great. But they not always explainable, or making sense. Some associations, beliefs, doctrines and practices are by tradition of thousands of years, some are from historical and influencial orders such as the GD or A.A. Some you know they are related by your own feelings, imagination, meditation or experience.
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Let's slow down here for just a minute. I wish to question your respective definitions of science and metaphysics.

I'm willing to accept your proposition that there is a fundamental division between the two, and that we are currently dealing with the latter (even though, as Ravenest has so beautifully pointed out, that division actually has little historical relevance in understanding the source of the current widely accepted correspondences). However, it's incorrect to say that metaphysics "is in the realm of belief, not universally verifiable truths". Even your buddy Kant (of whom I'm personally not much of a fan) would have disagreed with this. Kant hated belief, and moreover, his categorical imperative was all about universality.

So let's instead propose a different set of definitions (if you'll accept them). Science is empirical, striving for truth based on observational knowledge, whereas metaphysics is purely rational, relying on reason and logic to reveal truths about things we can never directly observe. (In that sense, it's a bit like math.)

Why is this distinction important? Because your argument that metaphysical systems "are not always explainable, or making sense" is wrong. Some systems go back thousands of years, yes, which means that in order to understand them, we have to follow them back thousands of years. (This is exactly what Ravenest has proposed, if I've understood correctly.) But they can still be understood, if you're willing to hunt for the primary sources.

On the flipside, yes, some may be derived from personal, irreducible metaphysical intuitions. Those intuitions are perfectly acceptable on an individual basis, but if they lack intellectual rigor, then they're no basis for a broader, more generalized metaphysics. (This point is similar to the religious idea of UPG; if you have a personal revelation from God telling you that you should wear yellow to church every Sunday, you're more than welcome to do so, but that revelation is not sufficient reason for other people to wear yellow, too.)

If the existing system for astrological correspondences in Tarot doesn't work for you, you are of course welcome to develop a system of your own for personal use. (I myself am guilty of the selfsame sin.) That's totally fair game, and no one on this forum could stop you even if they wanted to. However, you cannot then bring that system into the public sphere and expect people to recognize it or work within its framework. Your personal system can only ever be personal.

And even if you do stray from the garden path, I would still recommend that you do the research (especially since you've bought the books) necessary to understand the existing system of correspondences. There is an underlying logic there, and it's important to recognize that. True, the system is rational rather than empirical, and is in many ways disconnected from the world of modern science, but that does not in any way imply that there aren't still rules guiding its construction. And abandoning that system altogether, or mixing and matching from it without understanding it, means that you'll lose the rigor that makes the system what it is.
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It's probably more than a little disingenuous to propose at this late date in such a long and thought-provoking thread, but I was wondering if it's possible to identify which key works in the Golden Dawn corpus (including its crucial antecedents) one who wants a reasonable grounding in the system would take to that proverbial "desert island." (I'm not suggesting a complete philosophical library, just the vital "entry-level" few).

Over the years I've accumulated several that seemed important, but I was drawn off into Thelema early on and my Golden Dawn explorations were somewhat curtailed, except by obvious association to my other interests.

I have a couple that qualify in the "warm cat-piss" category: Mathers' Zohar translation from the Knorr von Rosenroth Latin The Kabbalah Unveiled (more on that later) and Waite's The Holy Kabbalah, as well as Westcott's Sepher Yetzirah.

The legitimacy of Regardie's "reportage" aside, I have the Falcon Press "brick," The Complete Golden Dawn System of Magic, which purports to contain the original GD papers, but I'm suspicious that Regardie may have exercised some "editorial license" with them.

I have Agrippa's Three Books of Occult Philosophy, which seems to go a long way toward filling the "antecedent" niche. On the other hand, I don't have The Picatrix, which looks like another contender in that category, or anything by Eliphas Levi.

I have a number of seemingly non-essential works by other "interpreters" who were either GD-affiliated or influenced: Dion Fortune, William Gray, Gareth Knight, etc. as well as a complete set of Case's BOTA correspondence course.

If you had to select a half-dozen as "core" contributors to the system, where would you start?

By the way, I absolutely love serendipity: I randomly cracked open The Kabbalah Unveiled to Chapter LXI, and lo-and-behold, there was a thorough explanation of the "right arm" and "left arm" of Microprosopus, which has a direct bearing on a discussion I had with Zephyros in a another thread a couple of weeks ago. Until I sort it out, I'm both confused and illuminated (that is to say, thrilled) in equal measure, which is a good start toward understanding.
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