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Originally Posted by closrapexa View Post
......While groups such as the Golden Dawn may have appropriated it for their own ends, Jewish Kabbalah is an extension of faith, not magic or occult or anything like that.......
I wonder whether the prevailing opinion of Kabbalah as Torah hermeneutics is as restrictive as it seems. Aryeh Kaplan (an Orthodox Rabbi) certainly gets into magic and self realization in his Sepher Yetzirah book.
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Hmmm. I don't think it is restrictive, depending on how you look at it. Study of the Torah and self-realization are the same thing, the will of the creator and all that. One need not study Kabbalah for self-realization however, even having children is a form of it. Now, were I to invoke pretension, I would say that a clue to why this is appears in Genesis and Proverbs, in that a certain type of angel, the cherubs (כרובים) are mentioned only twice in the Torah, and later on in the rest of the bible pretty sparingly. The first time is when god expels Adam and Eve from Eden, putting a cherub at the gate with a flaming sword. The next time we see cherubs, they are the angels guarding the Ark of the Covenant.

Now, in Proverbs 3:18, in speaking of the Torah itself, we have a verse saying "it shall be as a Tree of Life to all who hold it." The implication is that attainment is possible through being fully attuned to the will of the creator, and the will of the creator is the Torah, and this is what the flaming sword is guarding. I'm explaining this on one leg, but it has to do with immortality, subjectivity and the original Tree of Life, which from a story point of view is pretty mysterious, being mentioned about twice in the expulsion story. I recommend you read Serpents of Desire, a series of essays by Rabbi David Fohrman. Any mythology should be analyzed on its own terms, and this is what he does, although I disagree with some of his more social conclusions.

In more practical terms (if you can call it that) there is a tradition of practical magic in Kabbalah, although from my understanding it is more of a fringe thing. One of the more famous examples is a Kabbalistic curse placed on many Israeli leaders (among them Yitzhak Rabin) denying the subject of God's forgiveness (even theologically, this premise presents problems), called the Pulsa diNura. Whether it works or not is debatable, since although Rabin himself (and consequently the peace process itself) was indeed assassinated, there has seldom been a Prime Minister of Israel that has not pissed off the religious orthodoxy in one way or another and has not had this curse placed upon them. Most do, it's practically considered a rite of passage, meaning you have "arrived." Rabin is hailed as proof of the curse's success, but nobody talks about all the times it didn't work.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by closrapexa View Post
......I recommend you read Serpents of Desire, a series of essays by Rabbi David Fohrman. Any mythology should be analyzed on its own terms, and this is what he does, although I disagree with some of his more social conclusions.......
Thanks. I've begun reading it.

ETA. Update. I'm on part 6. Amazing the information he gets out of the text using mostly just common sense. (Not that I believe that common sense is 100% reliable.)
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For other study decks , Liber T and the Haindl decks should give a lightly different view point.

I tried other decks that i generally read with or just feel at home with and forcing qabalah on them does not really work but it does shed new light on cards I cant connect to .
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coyoteblack View Post
......I tried other decks that i generally read with or just feel at home with and forcing qabalah on them does not really work but it does shed new light on cards I cant connect to .
Forcing anything on anything goes against the grain with me. Some decks seem to be forcing Tarot onto the Tree of Life (or other esoteric systems) by altering the traditional images and slapping on some Hebrew letters and astrological glyphs (and sometimes even Runes or Yijing hexagrams). Even the Waite deck does this, albeit covertly, and I am not totally comfortable with it.

Actually, the Tree of Life can be adapted to lots of different things, as Z'ev ben Shimon Halevi demonstrates in his Kabbalah book. The Tree is sort of like a memory palace, and some people find it convenient as well as meaningful to use it's various features as a structural matrix for Tarot. However, if the Tree-Tarot correlations do not fall naturally into place, it usually does not help very much to force the issue. For me, a litmus test is whether the ten Sephirot correlate acceptably with the first ten Trumps. Except for a possible mismatch of Sephirah 8 (Hod) and Trump VIII (Justice), the Marseille matches up pretty well for me but may not suit everyone.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by closrapexa View Post
I recommend you read Serpents of Desire, a series of essays by Rabbi David Fohrman. Any mythology should be analyzed on its own terms, and this is what he does, although I disagree with some of his more social conclusions.
Thank you for that, I just had the chance to read through all twelve sections and IMHO it's excellent deductive/analytic work - something I wish was more common in the US bible-belt.
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Originally Posted by Breakbeat_Mystic View Post
Thank you for that, I just had the chance to read through all twelve sections and IMHO it's excellent deductive/analytic work - something I wish was more common in the US bible-belt.
I used that as well as its companion series about Cain and Abel when analyzing the Lovers and the entire triangle below Tiphareth. It yielded fascinating results.
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Originally Posted by closrapexa View Post
I used that as well as its companion series about Cain and Abel when analyzing the Lovers and the entire triangle below Tiphareth. It yielded fascinating results.
Right off the bat yeah that jumped out at me - Adam's hearing God declare the Tree of Life at the center, Eve declaring the Tree of Knowledge at the center, and in the card you have each of them right there by the respective trees.

Seems like the implication is often given tho that in the lovers it's Raphael (possibly symbolizing the Mercurial aspect of higher self) speaking to the subconscious which in turn the man or conscious self looks to as a conduit for his higher guidance. I don't know that I could take a direct trace of both narratives without seeing it as saying the serpent is acting as higher self - not impossible, but that also makes Raphael, Mercury, and Fohat all rhyme together in ways that I'm not quite sure what to do with at this point.
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LRichard:

The author of Revelations was John of Patmos.. not the same author as the one who compiled the Gospel of John. FYI. Also there is a hot debate on weather the Johannine Prologue is somewhat parallel to the Barbeloite or Sethian Pronoia Monologue that is at the end of the Nag Hammadi Codex - Secret book of John. They are very much perpetuating the same ideas.

Glad to hear your knowledge of bibliolotry! Not to be rude about the John comment, its a common mistake. Elaine Pagels new book Revelations was the one that fixed it for me..

Tim.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GnosticTarotCards View Post
LRichard:

The author of Revelations was John of Patmos.. not the same author as the one who compiled the Gospel of John. FYI. Also there is a hot debate on weather the Johannine Prologue is somewhat parallel to the Barbeloite or Sethian Pronoia Monologue that is at the end of the Nag Hammadi Codex - Secret book of John. They are very much perpetuating the same ideas.

Glad to hear your knowledge of bibliolotry! Not to be rude about the John comment, its a common mistake. Elaine Pagels new book Revelations was the one that fixed it for me..

Tim.
Thanks for confirming my response to Breakbeat_Mystic on 2/12/2013. I also question whether the beginning of the Gospel was written by the same person (or persons) who wrote the bulk of the book. There does indeed seem to be agreement between the ideas expressed at the beginning of the Gospel and the Gnostic mythology of the Apocryphon of John (not to be confused with the Apocalypse of John (or Revelation), although most of the book expresses fairly conventional Pauline type theology. It is a radical departure from the Synoptic Gospels, which keep the theologizing to a minimum.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LRichard View Post
Yes, the Gospel of John sucks you in with neoplatonic sounding jargon at the beginning, before degenerating into what many consider to be the most anti Jewish of the four gospels. It is also the most compatible with Pauline theology, which makes it a favorite of fundamentalists and evangelicals. The author of John's gospel is a very clever fellow.

BTW, the Greek used in John's Apocalypse is quite different from that of the Gospel. It is much more grammatically irregular, and the vocabulary is dramatically larger. I seriously doubt that the Gospel and the Apocalypse (Revelation, not Revelations) were written by the same dude.
ETA. Also there was extensive editing done to the Gospel. The famous story of the woman caught in adultery (John 8: 1-11) was not part of the original manuscript.

.
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