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Why is Fool Aleph instead of Magician

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Originally Posted by Ruby Jewel View Post
I'm presently reading "Synchronicity" by C.G. Jung, and I am constantly reminded of the Fool as that "subjectless simulacra" that is described therein. The Fool comes and goes on the Path and is everywhere at once. How is it that it gets pasted onto a certain spot on the Tree and given a "specific" letter? Could it be that "no thing" means just that.... no number, no letter, no address, no gender..... no thing. The Fool appears as a "synchronous event" throughout the entire path as in a meaningful coincidence. It takes on the quality and experiences of each of the arcana. So much hypothetical analysis only reminds me of the "elusive quality" of the Fool. I can't say anything about the Tree of Life because I do not know enough to speak of it but I am aware that Jewish priests deny the alphabet has anything to do with the Tree of Life. Does anyone pay attention to that? I mean, in the end, how can one simply ignore them and the entire Jewish history? And instead put all their eggs into the GD basket? I ask, "is that prudent?"
The connection of the Hebrew alphabet with the Tree of Life is based on the oldest extant book of Jewish esotericism, the Sepher Yetzirah.

Further, Kabbalah was removed from a strictly Jewish context and merged with Hermeticism already in the Renaissance, and it was in that epoch that Athanasius Kircher developed his version of the Tree which became the foundation of the GD's take on it.

In my view, the GD and other esoteric schools are legitimate heirs of this Kabbalo-Hermetic tradition, extrapolating it in various directions, such as we are discussing here.
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Originally Posted by Barleywine View Post
I'm not sure about the opinions of Orthodox rabbis on kabbalah, but here's a Jewish mystical philosopher who had quite a lot to say on the subject.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gershom_Scholem
Hi Barleywine. I read this in its entirety, with great interest. Thank you. Some interesting names here. In the late 80s I studied at the New School of Social Research in NYC....so I have a cursory familiarity with some of this. Interesting that any Jewish intellectual would adopt the Hegelian dialectic as a philosophy as it was, I believe, the philosophy of the Third Reich. I think it is interesting that Jung considered language and numbers as aspects of mysticism, and of the same nature as archetypes....things humanity "discovered" rather than invented. I agree with that. I do not claim that the Hebrew alphabet is not mystical in nature as I am inclined to agree with Jung's point of view. Scientific investigation, by definition, is based on proving an hypothesis false. It is in that spirit I pursue my investigation of the Thoth tarot. Case is not above that for me....nor is Crowley. It is quite possible that Case was more interested in "dethroning" Papus and assuming the "chair".... or perhaps even diverting the truth.....than he was dedicated to perpetuating the true "wisdom" of the tarot. When I compare Case and Papus, the cards speak for themselves.
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Originally Posted by Ruby Jewel View Post
Interesting that any Jewish intellectual would adopt the Hegelian dialectic as a philosophy as it was, I believe, the philosophy of the Third Reich.
That's a misconception. Please see:

http://www.hegel.net/en/faq.htm
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Originally Posted by Michael Sternbach View Post
The connection of the Hebrew alphabet with the Tree of Life is based on the oldest extant book of Jewish esotericism, the Sepher Yetzirah.

Further, Kabbalah was removed from a strictly Jewish context and merged with Hermeticism already in the Renaissance, and it was in that epoch that Athanasius Kircher developed his version of the Tree which became the foundation of the GD's take on it.

In my view, the GD and other esoteric schools are legitimate heirs of this Kabbalo-Hermetic tradition, extrapolating it in various directions, such as we are discussing here.
Would I be correct in assuming the GD adopted the Tree of Life with the Hebrew alphabet intact?" And then attempted to assign the tarot to it in accordance with the numbers? If that is the case, it seems a rather "pastiche" affair. To say the GD is a legitimate heir is one thing, but to say the Hermetic tradition would approve of the addition of the tarot to their system is another.

I don't believe Papus uses the Tree...just the alphabet. His system is based on "trining of the square" and winds up being comprised of 3 sets of trines (a set being a negative and a positive) and an extra trine at the end for the transition back to the beginning. It is circular in nature rather than hierarchical. The third set of trines (Devil 13 through Moon 18) is the Dark Night of transformation. All the yods at the top of each trine are 1, 4, or 7 or a reduction to those numbers and, therefore, can only begin with the Magician as the first card as it is numbered "1". It works like this...the 4th number (which is the 2nd Heh) becomes the next yod.

1,2,3
4....

Also you will see that when you put the Fool between 20 and 21, the Fool replaces the World card, and the World becomes #22 (a 4)....and the first yod of the next life cycle.....
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Originally Posted by Michael Sternbach View Post
That's a misconception. Please see:

http://www.hegel.net/en/faq.htm
I wasn't implicating Hegel or his philosophy....just saying Hitler used it to justify his political system. I'm not sure where you are taking exception here.
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Also, it is important to keep in mind here that as a system sourced in "mysticism".... it is not something "invented"...... Did the GD "invent" by "pasting" the tarot onto the Tree of Life?" If so, then I would consider it quite suspect....and not at all an aspect of mystical wisdom passed down to us through the Ages as were both the Tree of Life and the tarot, as well as the alphabet and the numbers.
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This topic has come up many times in the past. It is the old French/Continental view of Tarot versus that of the Golden Dawn. Those who insist that Aleph is not the Fool should find a kindred soul in Christine Payne-Towler Her ArkLetters are the holy bible of this state of mind. Those who go in that direction eventually discover that it is not the prevailing opinion of the majority of ATers and on that basis often decide that this is not a particularly congenial forum.

Personally, I am of the Golden Dawn persuasion. It took me many years to learn the system and become comfortable with it. It seems that most of those who take this route are in agreement that it is internally consistent and a good basis for self discovery.

Debate on this matter is fruitless, and I am not inclined to join in.
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Originally Posted by Richard View Post
This topic has come up many times in the past. It is the old French/Continental view of Tarot versus that of the Golden Dawn. Those who insist that Aleph is not the Fool should find a kindred soul in Christine Payne-Towler Her ArkLetters are the holy bible of this state of mind. Those who go in that direction eventually discover that it is not the prevailing opinion of the majority of ATers and on that basis often decide that this is not a particularly congenial forum.

Personally, I am of the Golden Dawn persuasion. It took me many years to learn the system and become comfortable with it. It seems that most of those who take this route are in agreement that it is internally consistent and a good basis for self discovery.

Debate on this matter is fruitless, and I am not inclined to join in.
I understand. I don't expect to change anyone's mind, and if I can expand it, then I have achieved a worthy purpose. The fact that it has come up many times in the past says to me it is a legitimate consideration. Your contribution here is much appreciated....I don't seek out people who only agree with me. The only reason an invetigation would be fruitless is in the case of a mind that is closed. I'm not convinced that is typical of everyone here. Btw...my best friend in college was working on a PhD in math....I still laugh thinking about our arguments....they were over the top....and I miss those days.
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Originally Posted by Ruby Jewel View Post
......Btw...my best friend in college was working on a PhD in math....I still laugh thinking about our arguments....they were over the top....and I miss those days.
Small world. I also did my PhD in math. I was awarded the degree in 1966.
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Small world. I also did my PhD in math. I was awarded the degree in 1966.
One of the biggest revelations of this lifetime was to realize how small the world is....when I went to NYC to be an artist for 10 years, and was always running into my old students and professors. My friend was a dancer getting his PhD in math and I was getting my masters in Painting & Drawing, and dipping into the philosophy department. We would meet in the local coffee shop and get into these outrageous arguments that would ultimately overflow onto the street...too funny for words now. This was the mid 80s and I was in my early 40s...no excuse....so what else is new (lol). But I guess this is OT...so I beg forgiveness...
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