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Greater Arcana Study Group—The Magician

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Originally Posted by LRichard View Post
The Magician is the path from Kether to Binah. Anyhow, why would the Adam Kadmon be transmitting energy from Kether to Hod specifically?
Try out my exercise that I posted above, see what happens
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Originally Posted by Yelell View Post
Is the tree of life 3 dimensional instead of 2 dimensional? Spheres instead of circles - more like a molecular model?
There are many versions of the ToL. The three dimensional model is explained in the web site of one of the OTO lodges: http://www.scarletwoman.org/scarletl...v7n1_tree.html

Here is Robert Wang and his tinkertoy model:
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Originally Posted by Parzival View Post
I have really learned much from this thread of comments and questions. I went back to Case's chapter/essay on the "Magician." What an amazing range of detailed coverage. It impressed me that he made sense of the number(1), the letter(Beth), the planet(Mercury), the color(yellow surround) , the red roses with five petals, the white lilies with six petals, and the table (with its four tools). He emphasized how the "superconscious" is channeling through the "concentration" of the "conscious." He noted the upper and lower tips of the wand as "Above and below." Case certainly covers much more about the grand image/s than does Waite. As to an earlier inspired comment by Inevia, the Magician is producing a field of energy, no doubt, but mental, I think, by way of willed intention and concentration, to join Spirit and matter. But what specifically is his focus of thinking? Is this Buddhist, Platonic, Kabbalistic, or what, as to the very thinking actually there?
Given the Golden Dawn context, the Magician's background can be thought of as Hermetic/Kabbalistic (with neo-Platonism tying into this). Agrippa von Nettesheim with his Astral Magic comes to mind. But of course, the Magician could symbolize any individual uniting the spiritual with the physical in the manner you aptly described. Man as the metaphysical link between Heaven and Earth is not least an important theme in the Chinese and Japanese schemes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yelell View Post
Is the tree of life 3 dimensional instead of 2 dimensional? Spheres instead of circles - more like a molecular model?
Besides what is mentioned in the interesting article that LRichard linked, there are further 3d models of the ToL, such as the "Quantum Tree" which Robert C. Stein describes in The Mystery of the Letters.
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I think it is a mistake to get too involved with a specific literal interpretation of every detail of a Tarot image. To do so is interesting but may detract attention away from its intended meaning (like the literal, fundamentalist approach to the Bible, which can be a substitute for facing the sometimes hard truth of what is being communicated). The Magician's pose is symbolic of what he does, which is explained fairly adequately in Case's book (if one accepts his Golden Dawn perspective).

As for the Adam Kadmon, he is the primordial man, the Anthropos of the Gnostics, who is essentially (as far as is possible for an emanation) identified with God, in at least some of the Kabbalistic literature. Thus earthly man was created in the image of Adam Kadmon (God). Just as the ToL is a diagram of Adam Kadmon, it also is a diagram of man (that which is above being as that which is below and vice-versa).

I think we can all agree with Michael Sternbach that insofar as the human being is a conduit for the supernal energy to reach all the Sephiroth, he is the Magician. (All the Major Arcana have a close relationship with the individual, this being an aspect of their universality.)
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"Why is love called a magician?" asked Ficino.

"Because" he replied, "all the power of magic consists in love."

"And what is this magician `love'? The mediating power uniting heaven and earth, gods and men."

Ficino is echoing Socrates from Plato's Symposium:

"And what is he [love]?”

"He is a great spirit, and like all spirits he is intermediate between the divine and the mortal." "And what is his power?" asked Socrates. "He interprets," she replied, "between gods and men, conveying and taking across to the gods the prayers and sacrifices of men, and to men the commands and replies of the gods; he is the mediator who spans the chasm which divides them, and therefore in him all is bound together, and through him the arts of the prophet and the priest, their sacrifices and mysteries and charms, and all, prophecy and incantation, find their way. For God mingles not with man; but through Love."
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwaw View Post
"Why is love called a magician?" asked Ficino.

"Because" he replied, "all the power of magic consists in love."

"And what is this magician `love'? The mediating power uniting heaven and earth, gods and men."

Ficino is echoing Socrates from Plato's Symposium:

"And what is he [love]?”

"He is a great spirit, and like all spirits he is intermediate between the divine and the mortal." "And what is his power?" asked Socrates. "He interprets," she replied, "between gods and men, conveying and taking across to the gods the prayers and sacrifices of men, and to men the commands and replies of the gods; he is the mediator who spans the chasm which divides them, and therefore in him all is bound together, and through him the arts of the prophet and the priest, their sacrifices and mysteries and charms, and all, prophecy and incantation, find their way. For God mingles not with man; but through Love."
How wonderful that Ficino saw Eros as a Magician, and it fits right in with the card.

The quote from Socrates is more specifically talking about the God, Eros. His role is very apparent in the 15th century Italian Lovers card and in the Marseilles, and loses a bit of his raw power as the Waite archangel who seems to be blessing Adam & Eve.

I talk about this quote from Socrates in my article on the history of the Lovers card iconography in Tarot in Culture, vol. 2.
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Originally Posted by Teheuti View Post
How wonderful that Ficino saw Eros as a Magician, and it fits right in with the card.

The quote from Socrates is more specifically talking about the God, Eros. His role is very apparent in the 15th century Italian Lovers card and in the Marseilles, and loses a bit of his raw power as the Waite archangel who seems to be blessing Adam & Eve.

I talk about this quote from Socrates in my article on the history of the Lovers card iconography in Tarot in Culture, vol. 2.
Facinating. Also this is apparent in the Hermit-like figure of the Thoth Lovers card, performing the ceremony between the two figures. It all makes circular sense (like a Moebius) as there is a Mercurial connection between the Magician/Magus and the Hermit. When creating Tabula Mundi's Ten of Disks (the last decan of Virgo which is ruled by Mercury) interestingly I "saw" this connection as the Adam Kadmon, the ten disks of the Tree of Life and the connection between heaven and earth, or Kether and Malkuth.
The Magician is probably one of my favorite RWS cards. Great thread!
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Originally Posted by Babalon Jones View Post
there is a Mercurial connection between the Magician/Magus and the Hermit.
Are you referring to the Hermit-like figure in the back of the Lovers card? Yes, it's fascinating because Mercury/Magician rules both Virgo/Hermit and Gemini/Lovers. But the Hermit doesn't look like Eros.
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Or as Diotima replied to Socrates question [in Plato's Symposium] he (Eros/Love) is like his Mother (Poverty) and Father (Reason / Zeus), describing him in terms that we might see as encompassing aspects of both the Fool and the Magician.

As a child of Poverty we see in him aspects of the Fool:

"And as his parentage is, so also are his fortunes. In the first place he is always poor, and anything but tender and fair, as the many imagine him; and he is rough and squalid, and has no shoes, nor a house to dwell in; on the bare earth exposed he lies under the open heaven, in-the streets, or at the doors of houses, taking his rest; and like his mother he is always in distress.

As a child of Reason, aspects of the Magician:

"Like his father too, whom he also partly resembles, he is always plotting against the fair and good; he is bold, enterprising, strong, a mighty hunter, always weaving some intrigue or other, keen in the pursuit of wisdom, fertile in resources; a philosopher at all times, terrible as a magician, wizard, sophist. He is by nature neither mortal nor immortal, but alive and flourishing at one moment when he is in plenty, and dead at another moment, and again alive by reason of his father's nature. But that which is always flowing in is always flowing out, and so he is never in want and never in wealth; and, further, he is in a mean between ignorance and knowledge."

end quote from Symposium by Plato.

According to Agrippa (and others) the Number One, is the number of Eros.

In the TdM cycle I tend to see the figure at the center of the two women as our magician flanked between Venus Urania representing the love of Heavenly Wisdom (of which our Popesse is a type) and Venus Natura, the love of Earthly desires, and of creation (of which the Empress is a type):

I+II+III = VI (the lover).

Perfect love consist not in choosing between one or the other, but encapsulates both: the love of God and the love of one's neighbour; of creation and creator. In Platonic terms, from the love of creation, the visible, one is led to love of the of the creator, the invisible. The charioteer is the perfect 'groom', one in whom perfect love resides. From perfect love, as Augustine says comes Perfect Virtue. The second layer of the TdM cycle represents that of virtue. Virtue does not protect one from the vicissitudes of life, rather encountering them with virtue strengthens virtue and perfects the soul, which leads us into the final seven cards of the TdM cycle.

The love of God alone, while displaying hatred of one's fellow man, is not true love -- but merely self-righteousness, that leads to tyranny and terrorism. That of one's fellow man but not God, hedonism, selfishness. Those in which perfect love, for the visible and invisible creation and the creator, God and one's fellow man - is represented by the triumphal Prince, the perfect groom (VII) for the perfect bride (XXI).
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In Azoth, or, The Star in the East, p. 188, Waite drops a clue to his meaning of roses and lilies. The quote is a bit long but it all leads up to what he says in the final sentence. It will be seen he takes an all or nothing approach to his Mysticism, in theory at least.
"The science of activity is an extension of the science of attitude. It is motive taking shape in practice, and in this department of mystical wisdom the course is so plain that it will admit of statement within the compass of a very few words. One purpose only must possess and animate our actions; whatsoever be the diversity of their character, both in and by them all we must approach to the divine union. Omnia et in omnibus Christus [Christ, all and in all] says a terse mystic aphorism, and when we understand rightly what Christ is, it holds the sum of the practice of all perfection. Commonly speaking, there is little doubt that the path of this maxim is a path of tears and thorns, because it must be traversed prior to our entrance into the Promised Land of the New Life. Negatively taken, it simply means that in all things we must "cease to do evil," and positively that we must "learn to do good." There can be no qualification or compromise; there can be no distinction between grave and venial trespass [i.e. mortal and venial sins per Roman Catholic doctrine]. We must absolutely touch nothing, think nothing, do nothing, which does not make for God, and this certainly is a task so hard that there is nothing in the Herculean labours to compare with it. It will, in many cases, mean the uprooting of the associations of a life and of the tendencies inherited from generations. There is, however, no possible escape, and we must cast round us as best we can for sources of encouragement and consolation. Let us, therefore, remember that the way of the Mystic is ultimately of roses and lilies."
I can see two possible ways of understanding "roses and lilies." In the traditional sense as Rosicrucian symbols for Christ (as all and in all); or the meaning could be in his preceding statement, ". . . we must cast round us as best we can for sources of encouragement and consolation." Waite, in the book, talks a lot about the necessity of cultivating beauty in one’s environment. In view of the task facing the Mystic, one laced with "tears and thorns," the cultivation of roses and lilies is necessary as a counterbalance. Considering the roses and lilies comment comes directly after his comment about finding sources of encouragement and consolation, I tend to lean toward the second possibility, but it could mean both. Either way, it’s interesting to hear Waite in his own words.
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