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Hebrew letter Tarot correlations

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kwaw's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally posted by jmd
The three coins adding to 21 in some decks is indeed fascinating, as is, of course, that the twenty-two majors have precisely twenty-one of them numbered, making even more explicit the triangular number 231, or, indeed, the two-hundred and thirty-one gates which may be formed from any two letter/gate-posts.
Yes, and if the number XXI is significant we may note that if we place the fool first and pair the first card with the last, the second from the penultimate, the third with the third from last etc., then we get eleven pairs the sum of whose face values equals 21, and 11x21=231, the sum of 0-21. If we do it with the fool at the end then we get 10 pairs that equal 23 and 1 pair that = 1. Of course we still have 231 (10x23+1), but keeping to the number 21 seems more elegant, neat and consistent to me.

If you do the same with the letters, ie Aleph 1 + Tau 400, reducing the sum to a single digit, ie, 4+0+0+1=5; you get 11 pairs to the single digit value of 5. 11x5=55 and 55 like 21 and 78 is a triangular number, being the sum of the numbers 1-10.

Kwaw
Top   #61
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I guess it is what system works best for the individual. i know that each hebrew letter is given a planetry symbol or zodiac sign as are the tarot cards and when you match the tarot cards to the hebrew letters you would expect these signs to match and in most cases they do, thats unless you take crowley,s advice and then it becomes confusing because then the star and the emperor switch places without actually changing their own planetry or zodiac sign, confused? you will be, hee hee. I like to just keep things fairley simple and it makes far more sense to me that if you are going to match the hebrew letters to the tarot that all the zodiac and plantery symbols match, but thats just me, we are all different arnt we. Maybe crowley deliberately put in this mistake as he did in his booklet on geomancy. As long as the system you are using makes sense to you, then that is all that matters.
blessings

crystal dawn
Top   #62
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Tarot, Kabbalah, and Judaism


I have been reading this thread with interest, and what strikes me most is that trying to mine a tradition not your own leads to a whole lot of nonsense.

I was brought up Roman Catholic, then went to college where most of my friends were Jewish, and married a Jewish man. I've been a member of a Jewish family for over 30 years, have made the holidays all during that time, have a Jewish son, daughter-in-law and grandson. I am still amazed at the number of things that I mis-learned before I became Jewish.

Learning Hebrew was/is a continuing adventure. It is not something you can just appropriate parts of - it will necessarily be incomplete and incorrect.

Havae you considered how Jews feel about appropriating part of their religious tradition and using it in your own way without regards to the history of the Jewish people or real understanding of the religious principles supporting Kabbalah?

People such as Crowley and Levi (not his real name, he took a Jewish name for his own reasons...) appropriated these materials from the Jewish people at a time when it was considered inappropriate for anyone to study Kabbalah until they were forty years old, trained in the Torah and Talmud, and married. It was not intended for non-Jews.

The kind of exoticism that existed about Jews was the reverse side of anti-Semitism, much as the Noble/Brutal Savage stereotypes are about Native Americans. If you are going to be honest about your scholarship, it is important to acknowledge that deep racism and exoticism lies at the bottom of a lot of fascination with Kabbalah, and Native American and so-called Gypsy spirituality.

The one book on Tarot that I would suggest to those of you who have real interest in Kabbalah as part of a living Jewish tradition is Kliegman's Torah and the Tree of Life.

Other than that, learn Hebrew if you really want to pursue this. It is a very different language than English or any of the Romance or Germanic languages, and only by studying it can you begin to get a handle on the poetic possiblities of the language.

Judaism, like Native American traditions(did I mention I am Native), does not exist in a vacuum, nor is it a religion based on individual development/salvation. The community is always important, so much so that there are many prayers and ceremonies that cannot be done without at least 10 adult Jews present. So what is your relationship to the Jewish people?

I write this with all respect. I know people's intentions are good, and these correspondences have been here for a while. But be sure to study the Jewish people's history in Europe while you are at it.

Shalom (that is, peace in wholeness)

RedMaple
Top   #63
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Certainly you bring important points to any discussion on the syncretic 'appropriation' of Hebrew letter correlations, RedMaple.

Even though my paternal great-grandfather was an important Rabbi, I do not personally consider that my genetic heritage any the more important than the spiritual heritage from which I may draw.

Further, if there is any intrinsic correlation between Tarot's Atouts and Hebrew letters, then they may come from either Jewish or, indeed, non-Jewish sources.

Hebrew letter correlations, reflections on various renditions of the Tree of Life, and letter-numeral values, all have syncretic components. Even the Jewish forms of Kabalah draw upon (or have in the past drawn upon), in like manner, syncretically from non-Jewish sources.

Of course, the general thrust of the comment I agree with - and the difficulty is that some seek to view and elevate kabbalah to some equivalent realm to the Victorian ideas of the 'noble savage'. Yet far be it for many who have worked within the western syncretic esoteric tradition for this to be the case generally. Mathers (of Golden Dawn fame), for example, was married to Moina Bergson (the sister of one of the better known 20th century Jewish French philosopher).

The occidental esoteric path/s are, by their very nature, syncretic - and it is this syncretism which maintains both the liveliness and its living essence from the ossification and petrifying processes which are also at work within religious 'Tradition' (and I use a capital 'T' explicitly).

For myself, the twin impulses of the syncretic and the ęclectic - the blending (or merging) and the selecting - combined with an important acceptance of the intrinsic spiritual qualities of the highest in the individual human being, makes for ever deeper spiritual work.
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Some scholars believe that the Kabbalah is not actually of Jewish origin, although it became part of the Jewish tradition.

It could be of a Hellenistic origin according to what I read. But personally, I cannot give an opinion and even if I could, it would not be worth much so there would be no point.

I am just repeating what I have read.
Top   #65
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Hi RedMaple,

You might be interested in the following thread (if you haven't already read it) which touched on some of the issues which you brought up in your post.

http://www.tarotforum.net/showthread...threadid=22755

My personal opinion (and speaking as a Jewish person) is that your points are good ones to keep in mind. However, I think there's a danger of romanticizing some traditions and beliefs, and accepting them as monolithic and never-changing. All spiritual beliefs and traditions undergo evolution and development, and absorb influences from other traditions.

I think the ideal would be to aim for a middle ground between respecting people's traditions and conducting one's own tarot explorations creatively.

-- Lee
Top   #66
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lee
Hi RedMaple,

You might be interested in the following thread (if you haven't already read it) which touched on some of the issues which you brought up in your post.

http://www.tarotforum.net/showthread...threadid=22755

My personal opinion (and speaking as a Jewish person) is that your points are good ones to keep in mind. However, I think there's a danger of romanticizing some traditions and beliefs, and accepting them as monolithic and never-changing. All spiritual beliefs and traditions undergo evolution and development, and absorb influences from other traditions.

I think the ideal would be to aim for a middle ground between respecting people's traditions and conducting one's own tarot explorations creatively.

-- Lee
Hi Lee,

I think there is great room for respecting people's traditions and conducting one's tarot explorations creatively. It does require intellectual and spiritual integrity, as any real spiritual path would.

In regards to the earlier thread, thank you. I agree with most of what Lelandra says, ( Thank you, Joan) and think she was courageous to post the page and spend so much time explaining cultural appropriation to at least some people who simply want to hear that if their intentions are "good", then they can not be criticized. Interestingly, even in the western tradition it tells you what the streets of hell are paved with.....

It is important to the discussion of cultural appropriation to understand historical context -- as Lelandra points out in her posts. For example, here in the USA, it was illegal for Native people to practice their religions from the late 1800's through the mid-twentieth century. That's right. Here in the land of religious freedom, the only people who could be, and were, jailed for practicing their own religions, were Native peoples.

Now, the same traditions have been stereotyped, exoticized, misrepresented, and appropriated by non-Native people who feel they have a "right" to them because their "intentions" are good. This idea of being somehow entitled to any and all traditions is very foreign to tribal peoples. As an Abenaki, I would not feel it appropriate to do ritual from another Nation, nor even some from my own Nation, as I have not been properly trained. Also, some songs, ceremonies, etc. are passed down in families.

In Judaism, similarly there are certain prayers that are only done by members of certain tribes, and not the more general Israelite population. This has survived for 4000 years.

I am not romanticizing, nor do I think the Jewish tradition is monolithic -- far less so than the Christian tradition, in my experience, mostly because it is not about orthodoxy, or institutionalized belief. And of course, cultural exchange happens whenever cultures are brought together. Anything that isn't changing is dead.

My original post was just to say that a lot of nonsense gets talked about regarding Kaballah and the language, and that any attempt at syncretism is doomed to foolishness if it isn't grounded in real knowledge, not only of Kabbalah, but of Jewish history and customs to contextualize it, and with respect not only for the esoteric tradition, but for the Jewish community out of which it came.

One last note on the NA thread and cultural appropriation. I have always believed in the innate goodness of people, that if people have the knowledge, they will choose what is good. But it seems to me from reading the posts, that there is a kind of spiritual greed at work -- that if it "feels right for me" then it must be ok. Not all that glitters is gold, western tradition says.

Judaism is a religion of right action more than right belief, if I may generalize. I would say that it is important to consider what is right action in regards to peoples who have been/are oppressed and whose religious/intellectual/spiritual traditions seem attractive to us. We delude ourselves if we think that ignoring these things can further our own spiritual development, no matter how "good" it feels.



RedMaple
Top   #67
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Hebrew and the Tarot


I'm not Jewish, but I studied Hebrew and Torah at a Conservative synagogue for three years, and they said I was good at it, and I began to see all kinds of things in the letters, and i was encouraged to see these things. I'm also old enough.

So I took it very seriously and feel that some of this teaching was given to me to use and some other things were not given to me, but just to see.

I see Kabbalah tossed around in the popular market now and being casually studied. My hunch is that this is a good thing, despite some abuse.
Top   #68
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Oh dear


It seems that I have dropped into this thread and rendered everyone into silence -- there must be a better explanation -- but no posts in four days, just when it was getting so interesting.
Top   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedMaple
I have been reading this thread with interest, and what strikes me most is that trying to mine a tradition not your own leads to a whole lot of nonsense.
What nonsense are you talking about? And in whose opinion? Of which tradition of Judaism {there are many, the variety of which go to several opposite extremes, the magical and mystical of the Baal Shem and the Hasidism, to the rational, legalistic, intellectual, philosophic and talmudic of the Rabbis}? Judaism ranges from one extreme of a non-personall, ana-iconagraphic, intellectual, abstract and alien, almost non-existent god to a pantheistic, personal, iconagraphic and in all but name pagan and immanent god/goddess and all in between. No doubt what has been written is nonsense according to the view of one such extreme, or even accrording to the middle ground of popular Judaism, would you care to elaborate as to what and which, who where and why?

But of course you are right, it is all nonsense, from all sides.
Kwaw
Top   #70




 


 


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