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Nosgo 
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Lightbulb Court Cards - Elemental Correspondences


Here's my first question about this deck :

I am used to the RWS and Thoth court card system (Page/Prince/Queen/King and Princess/Prince/Queen/Knight) as well as their elemental correspondances but I don't really understand why in this deck the Fire part of court is representend by Knight and the Air part by King? Even the names seems to go in the opposite direction : Lords are closer to Kings than to Knights and Princes to Knights than to Kings (at least for me). Is it a printing error by manufacturers? If not is there something in the Regardie's Golden Dawn book which explain this change? And last, how do you interpret those cards? Like the Thoth court cards or differently?
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Abrac 
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If you compare Book T http://www.tarot.org.il/Library/Mathers/Book-T.html with Dowson's Courts you'll see he mostly used it as a pattern. Book T uses "Knave" and Dowson uses "Princess"; and he changes the wording a little, but 99% of it is from Book T. Knights on horseback are supposed to better represent the active fiery aspect. Not sure what the logic is for the Kings in Chariots. Book T or Regardie might have something; it seems like a good place to start looking at least. It's not a misprint though.
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Barleywine 
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In his "unauthorized" 1912 publication of Liber T (long before the Book of Thoth), Crowley made this marginally helpful observation:

"Note that the Kings are now called Knights, and the Princes are now called KIngs. This is unfortunate and leads to confusion; the Princes may be called Emperors without harm." (Huh?) "Remember only that the horsed figures refer to the Yod of the Tetragrammaton," (aka "Fire") "the charioted figures to the Vau."



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Zephyros 
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Dowson was heavily influenced by the Thoth, as evidenced by the art in some of the cards as well as a few other things. For example, he identifies the Sun as Heru-Ra-ha, Lord of the New Aeon. In some ways his deck is a merging of traditional Golden Dawn stuff and newer Crowley stuff. So it makes sense that he would borrow the names of the Courts from the Thoth. But it's a mix, and the names of the Courts reflect this, they're neither here nor there.

But it's essentially the same, horses are at the top, chariots are the Son. Daughters stand, Queens sit. The idea is that the horses "go forth" to the Queens and beget the sons who rule, being a combination of their parents' best traits. I don't remember where, but in several places I've read Emperor and Empress as the son and daughter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleister Crowley
The Princes represent the Forces of the letter Vau in the Name. The Prince is the Son of the Queen (the old King's daughter) by the Knight who has won her; he is therefore represented as in a chariot, going forth to carry out the combined Energy of his parents. He is the active issue of their union, and its manifestation. He is the intellectual image of their union. His action is consequently more enduring than that of his forbears. In one respect, indeed, he acquires a relative permanence, because he is the published record of what hasbeen done in secret. Also, he is the "Dying God", redeeming his Bride in the hour, and bythe virtue, of his murder.
The Chariot itself maybe follows the same reasoning, too.



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Last edited by Zephyros; 27-05-2016 at 09:12.
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Barleywine 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zephyros View Post
Dowson was heavily influenced by the Thoth, as evidenced by the art in some of the cards as well as a few other things. For example, he identifies the Sun as Heru-Ra-ha, Lord of the New Aeon. In some ways his deck is a merging of traditional Golden Dawn stuff and newer Crowley stuff. So it makes sense that he would borrow the names of the Courts from the Thoth. But it's a mix, and the names of the Courts reflect this, they're neither here nor there.

But it's essentially the same, horses are at the top, chariots are the Son. Daughters stand, Queens sit. The idea is that the horses "go forth" to the Queens and beget the sons who rule, being a combination of their parents' best traits. I don't remember where, but in several places I've read Emperor and Empress as the son and daughter.
I have also seen the "Emperor" and "Empress" titles elsewhere. The thinking required to get there is a bit convoluted (since Kings are usually portrayed as regional rulers and Emperors are higher up the food chain), but I think Crowley gave a reasonable rendering of it in the quote you posted. He must have been reading The Golden Bough around the time he wrote that; I know he expressed admiration for Fraser via reference to his work in a number of places in the BoT. I've tried to read it a few times but I glaze over with all the minutiae.



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Nosgo 
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Thank you all for your imput, it's clearer for me now. The tetragramaton correspondance make sense. If we think in terms of element, yeah I understand why the wild horses are fire and Knight instead of Kings (Knight sounds younger and more energetic than Kings).
Maybe we could see Kings as "sitted figure" like they're are not anymore on a throne but on a moving chariot wich already implied that the Knight will take their place to be with the Queens? The Air element sounds to me like they don't have all the fiery energy of the youth but through their life they grow wiser, less impetuous, more experienced.

What I do find strange, it's the associated meanings and symbols of the Kings in the Hermetic deck correspond to the Knights of the Thoth. I mean I understand that Dowson get inspired a lot by the Thoth (how can one not could see this ;p) but why didn't he go the same way? Taking the Knight of Cups essence in Thoth or Hermetic (they are basically the same) goes more with the idea of the upper court card of the suit. This Knight has achieve temperance, and master his emotions. He's not passive but at least, regarding the meaning and symbols, he's less aggressive and instable than the King (in hermetic) or the prince (in Thoth).
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Zephyros 
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I'm not sure what you mean. Are you talking about the deck's LWB?



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Nosgo 
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Yes I was refering to the meanings written in the LWB of the Hermetic deck, sorry my english ain't the best ;D
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Zephyros 
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Good question. I think the answer lies in the additional attributions each Court has which rounds out its personality. The elemental attributions give you how each Court wields its unique "power" but it is the decanwhich gives you who they are as a person. Those qualities are wildly open to interpretation, and looking at them closely one can see somewhat that Crowley and Dowson weren't very different in their interpretations.

For example, the Knight of Cups is attributed to three decans, Moon in Aquarius, Saturn in Pisces and Jupiter in Pisces. All three together do give us a passive, perhaps dreamy individual although he seems well aware of his emotions and has the ability to articulate them. The maturity is there, however, but there's a lot more to this person than just what's on the surface and his active/passive nature grants him a chameleon-like ability to adapt to any situation. This also gives him a rather untrustworthy nature, whether it is by his design or his general flakiness, of which he has in abundance.

Now, that's just my own interpretation. Using the same tools one can see how different writers arrived at their conclusions. It's actually difficult to tell how much of the LWB is purely Dowson, since it was co-written by Stuart Kaplan and Uri Raz, but it the entry on the Knight of Cups it says: "Graceful. Poetic. Enthusiastic if aroused. Venusian. Indolent. A proposal. REVERSED: Untruthful. Sensual. Idle. Subtelty. Artifice." It isn't really too far off from my own clumsy attempt. Crowley writes of the Knight: "The characterisitics of the person signified by this card are nevertheless mostly passive, in accordance with the Zodaical attribution. He is graceful, dilettante, with the qualities of Venus, or a weak Jupiter... He is exceedingly sensitive to external influence, but with no material depth to his character... he is, on the whole, so superficial that it is hard to reach this depth. "His name is writ in water.""

Remember that active or passive qualities do no necessarily mean the same thing for every Court. This Knight is the active quality of Water, in itself a passive element, so he actively externalizes that passivity. Pheobe, from Friends, for example, could fit well as a Knight of Cups. Her heart is on her sleeve, but there's not much else going on other than that.

The Prince, or King, has a far more volatile set of attributions, Jupiter in Libra, Mars in Scorpio and Sun in Scorpio. The impetuousness of his youth are well illustrated by his decans and he seems to go more "by the book" than his father, in terms of pinning down his personality.



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Barleywine 
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One thing I like to do is make an astrological story out of the three decans and attempt to relate it to the court card they support. For the Knight of Cups, only royal Jupiter in Pisces - as the traditional ruling planet - is comfortable in its role, and is a fitting place for the Knight to fetch up. Moon in the sign traditionally ruled by Saturn - its antithesis - is a bit discomfited since the austere halls of Aquarius don't offer it a salubrious berth, and hard-bitten Saturn in Pisces is insensitive to its soft, mystical nature. Venus is exalted in Pisces, but Saturn sits on her, quelling the Venusian enthusiasm. So the Knight is more than a little schizophrenic right from the start. Arising in fixity, where the Moon doesn't enjoy much fluidity, and evolving into mutability via the rather surly, unsympathetic agency of Saturn, it seems that the Knight goes through two identity crises before he comes into his own with Jupiter in the sign of its rulership. He may begin with an abstract, intuitive idea of who he is, but mutability implies being "all things to all people," so he morphs into a chameleon, perhaps instinctively developing a hard Saturnian shell in the process as a token gesture of passive-aggressiveness (Crowley's "crab" issuing from the cup borne by the Knight). Jupiter standing on the shoulders of Saturn has a solid vantage point, but both of these "heavies" piled onto the vague, amorphous Moon in flighty Aquarius (this combo reminds me of what they used to call California Gov. Jerry Brown - "Governor Moonbeam") would feel like standing in quicksand. So this Knight might think he is emotionally rock-ribbed and stalwart, but he has feet of clay. Crowley's idea of a charming, dilettantish light-weight who aims to please but quickly runs out of gas would seem to match this profile well. Not someone I'd want on my team when the going gets tough (well, maybe as the PR man).



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Last edited by Barleywine; 29-05-2016 at 07:09.
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