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                                      Tarot Divination 
                 Not long agoan on-line friend told methat he saw no reasonto use
           the  Tarot in divination; in fact, he felt that no one should use them
           for divination as this was a profane use of the cards. He preferred to
           use the cards solely for contemplation.
                 At the time Idid not feel inclinedto respond to thisnarrow view,
           but after a night  of thinking about it, I  was prompted to write  the
           following in defense  of Tarot  Divination (and I  don't mean  fortune
               1) The art or  practice that seeks to  foresee or foretell  future
               events or  discover hidden  knowledge usually by  means of  augury
               (divination from omens) or by the aid of supernatural powers
                   2)Unusual insightor intuitiveperception (thesedefinitions from
                 According to theBrotherhood of Light there are fourmain uses for
           the Tarot:
               1) Science of Vibration
               2) Divination by cards
               3) Divination by number
                   4) Spiritual Science (themethod of putting the resttogether to
           develop a philosophy)
              Is it wrong to USE the cards?
               1) Playing cards is fun! Without such use perhaps Tarot would long
               ago have  died as other  games have faded  from use. Chess  may be
               considered to be a child's game or a highly developed intellectual
               discipline. The same is true of using the Tarot card's.
               2) Have you  ever played Taroc? It is a very interesting game like
               bridge  using the  Major Arcana as profane  decks the
               court cards and majors may have two heads (to be read either up or
               down.) Some versions of the game have certain mystical aspects.
               3) In  studying the  history of the  Tarot you  will see that  the
               decks (except those belonging  to aristocrats who had hand-painted
               decks made for  them by  great artists)  used long  ago were  very
               primitive and  made from wood  cuts. We have  come far  from those
               crude  representations...but  the  ideas expressed  in  the  Tarot
               remain the same - they are still there in those early decks.
               4) Where  did the Tarot come from? We have only theory and conjec-
               a) Ancient Egyptians
                     b) They always have existed buthave been revived from timeto
               c) Gift of Divine Origin
               d) etc.
              It's validity and usefulness are what count
               a) it works when used
               b) it contains Universal symbology and archetypes found elsewhere
               c) it is numerically correct and  corresponds with ancient systems
               of wisdom (especially to the Qabala)
                 10 = sephiroth (ace through 10 in the Minor Arcana)
                 22 = paths (22 Major Arcana cards)
                 4 = elements (four suits)
                   The Tarot is MUCH  MORE than mere pictures on  pasteboard. The
           pictures  on the Tarot cards  are physical symbols  for spiritual con-
           cepts. One definition I use for the Tarot is as follows:
                   Asymbolic representationof ArchetypalForces and/orBeings which
           have always  existed and have been  identified and passed on  to us by
           ancient initiates  and which provide  a focus for  us to use  in self-
           initiation,  spiritual  development,  and  the  perception  of  hidden
               A few notes regarding the above........
               1)  Jung says of Archetypes that they exist for us at birth...they
               emanate from the collective unconscious....they are NOT self-crea-
               ted or generated.
              2) Aleister Crowley says in his book the Book of Thoth:
            "Each card is, in a sense, a living being." "It is for the student to
              build these living stones into his living Temple."
              "...the cards of the Tarot are living individuals..."
                   "Howis he to blendtheir life with his? Theideal way is that of
           contemplation. But this  involves initiation of such  high degree that
           it  is impossible  to describe  the method  in this  place. Nor  is it
           attractive  or suitable  to most people.  The practical  everyday com-
           monplace way is divination."
             3) In Magick without Tears he says:
                   "...theTarot itself as a whole is an universal Pantacle...Each
           card,  especially this is true of the  Trumps, is a Talisman; ...It is
           evidently an Idea far too vast for any human mind to comprehend in its
           entirety. For it is 'the Wisdom whereby He (God) created the  worlds.'
               As regards these Lively Forces:
               1.  These  Forces  can  communicate  with  us...or  rather we  can
               interpret  their  currents  through  our   subconscious  intuitive
               minds....this is  one use of divination  (and contemplation). This
               is the level, as Jung says, at which we are all connected.
               2.  These Forces can  be directed  by us  Magickally if we  are so
               trained. First we must master divination; then direction.
               3.  The Tarot  is a  Magickal Weapon  In  the hands  of a  trained
               initiate the mere  placement of  one card between  two others  can
               alter  the  forces involved  and  affect  physical (and  ethereal)
               4. The  Tarot is  a philosophy  as well,  with an Ancient  Message
               about the Soul's journey.
               5. Yes, the Tarot is useful to study and contemplate....the colors
               and symbols  are specifically  designed and arranged  to stimulate
               things within us (forces, archetypes, subconscious).
               6.  The  Major Arcana  are especially  sacred  to us  because they
               represent the Paths, Steps,  Forces which are necessary for  us to
               rejoin the Godhead and attain enlightenment.
                   I maintain that the best wayto understand that the Tarot cards
           are  ALIVE and ACTIVE FORCES  is to USE/HANDLE/EXPERIENCE  them and so
           Divine (and perceive)  what they are all about. The  cards are a focus
           for our minds upon  forces which are ever-changing and  evolving (even
           as humankind is evolving).
                   We are fortunate that modern printing is  so good and that the
           Tarot decks and books which we have today are easily  available to us.
           This was  not always the  case for our  brothers and sisters  in times
           past. Today  one can afford  to smile  and say: "I  only need  to con-
           template  the cards to understand them." But  there is more to the use
           of  the cards in  Divination than many  have been taught;  for it is a
           mysterious process.
                   Just as one muststudy and practice upon amusical instrument to
           become a  virtuoso, so too  the Tarot  takes many years  of study  and
           practice to use  correctly. One  must be  well developed  spiritually,
           emotionally, and  intuitively, or (as  in music)  naturally gifted  to
           make full and accurate use of the cards in divination. In the hands of
           a gifted Diviner or Initiate the Tarot is a formidable  weapon. It can
           even talk and spell out sentences! Hence the Hebrew letters correspon-
           dence to the Major Arcana. However, since  we do not all learn in  the
           same ways....the Tarot may not be the DIVINATORY METHOD for everyone.-
           ..although everyone can learn from it and should study it.
               Other methods which may suit:
               a) Astrology
               b) Numerology
               c) I Ching
               d) Pendulum
               e) Runes
               f) etc.
                   Ashumankind evolves spiritually (and in other ways) so too the
           Tarot  evolves. Take  for  example the  reconstruction of  The Chariot
           (Arcanum VII) and The Devil (Arcanum XV) cards by Levi. He gave them a
           new  presentation based upon his advanced knowledge at the time. Also,
           note how  The Lovers (Arcanum VI)  has changed from earlier  decks. It
           still has the  same basic meaning,  but the  symbols have changed.  No
           longer  are there  two good  one  bad...with the  man  in
   it is two  people with an  Angel above them.  New Tarot
           decks continue to be made as our knowledge and understanding evolves.
                   A noteon The Book ofThoth, Aleister Crowley's Tarotdeck, is as
           seen by him from the Astral Plane. This is why it is so different from
           many  decks; why it is so striking;  and, why the energy felt has such
           strong effects upon many people.
                   Some cardscome and go....thereare morecards on theastral plane
           than we have on the physical....between the cards, above and below the
           cards are with the Quaballa.
                   When workingwith the Tarot ifone is in aMagickal State (Asana,
           etc.) and  reads the cards it is a  Magickal or Divine (hence the term
           divination)  operation. I take the  forces into myself  when using the
           cards thus they affect me and I them.
                   Because ofthis knowledge, I respect the Tarot as a Living Thi-
           ng/Force and I do  not bother it with profane questions. I treat it as
           a Magickal Weapon  and thus  with care and  respect. Fortune  telling,
           while not wrong, is the profane use of the cards.
                   Contemplationof thecards isuseful; withoutDivination, however,
           one could not experience the forces within them in the same way. Also,
           there are hidden uses for the Tarot. The Tarot is indeed a Teacher. It
           is also  a door, a  gateway, an  entryway into other  realms which  is
           partly how it was used  in Egyptian Initiation Rites. We may use it in
           some of the ways listed below:
               1) Scrying/meditation
               2) Ritual (invocation and evocation)
               3) Works/spells
               4) Talisman use/focus
               5) Divination
                   Some of the goals of initiates(after perfecting divination and
           the Tarot's philosophy) are 1) to read with a blank deck  and to use a
           spread with no set meanings, and 2) to develop one's own Astral Deck.
                   Magick (in Theory and  Practice), Crowley's famous book, calls
           Divination an important branch of Magick, and defines it thusly:
                1. "We postulatethe existence of intelligence's, either within or
               without the diviner, of which he is not immediately conscious. (It
               does not matter to the theory whether the communicating spirit so-
               called is an  objective entity or a concealed portion of the divi-
               ner's  mind.) We assume that such intelligence's are able to reply
               correctly - within limits- to  the questions asked."
                2. "We postulate that it is possible to construct a compendium of
               hieroglyphs sufficiently  elastic  in  meaning  to  include  every
               possible idea, and  that one or more of these  may always be taken
               to represent any  idea. We  assume that any  of these  hieroglyphs
               will  be understood  by the  intelligence's with  whom we  wish to
               communicate in  the same  sense  as it  is by  ourselves. We  have
               therefore a sort of language...."
                3. "We postulate that the intelligence's whom we wish to  consult
               are willing, or may be compelled, to answer us truthfully."
                   He goes on to discuss divinationas shown in some of the quotes
                   "In a system of  divination each symbol stands for  a definite
                 "As regards theHoly Quaballa, based as it ison pure number, (it)
           evidently  possesses  an infinite  number  of  symbols.  Its scope  is
           conterminous with existence itself; and it lacks nothing in precision,
           purity, or indeed  any other perfection. But it cannot be taught, each
           man must  select for himself the  materials for the main  structure of
           his system."
                 "It is always essentialfor the diviner to obtainabsolute magical
           control over the intelligence's of the system which he adopts."
                 "Experienceis the only teacher. One acquires what one may almost
           call a new sense. One feels in one's self whether one is right or not.
           The diviner must develop this sense."
                 "In order to divine without error,one ought to be a Master ofthe
           Temple. The  faintest breath of  personal preference will  deflect the
           needle from the pole of truth in the answer."
                 "One mustprepare oneself by generalpurification and consecration
           devised  with the object  of detaching oneself  from one's personality
           and increasing the sensitiveness of one's faculties."
                 "The muscles with which hemanipulates the apparatus ofdivination
           must be entirely independent of any volition of his. He must lend them
           for the moment to the intelligence whom he is consulting."
                 (note:one of the first steps indivination is the invoking of the
           Angel HRU)
                 "He must have succeeded in destroying the tendency of the ego to
           interfere with the object of thought. He must be able to conceive of a
           thing out of all relation with anything else."
                 "He  should allow the question entire freedom to make for itself
           its own proper links with the intelligence directing the answer."
                 "Hemust sink his personality in that of the intelligence hearing
           the question propounded  by a stranger to whom he  is indifferent, but
           whom it is his business to serve faithfully."
                 "He should exhaust the intellectual sources ofinformation at his
           disposal, and  form from them his  judgment. But having  done this, he
           should  detach his mind from what it  has just formulated, and proceed
           to concentrate  it on the figure as a whole,  almost as if it were the
           object of his meditation."
                 "The concluding operation istherefore to obtain a judgmentof the
           figure,  independent of all intellectual  or moral restraint. One must
           endeavor to apprehend it as a thing absolute in itself."
                 "Divination is in one sense an art entirely separatefrom that of
           Magick; yet it interpenetrates Magick at every point. The  fundamental
           laws of  both are identical. The  right use of  divination has already
           been explained: but it must be added that proficiency therein, tremen-
           dous as is its importance in furnishing the Magician with the informa-
           tion necessary to his strategic and tactical plans, in no wise enables
           him  to  accomplish the  impossible.  It is  not  within the  scope of
           divination to predict the  future with the certainty of  an astronomer
           in calculating the  return of a comet. There is  always much virtue in
              "One must not assume that the oracle is omniscient."
                 "The Magician ought therefore to make  himself master of several
           methods of  divination; using one or  the other as the  purpose of the
           moment dictates.  He should make a point of organizing a staff of such
           spirits to suit various occasions. These should be 'familiar' spirits,
           in the strict sense; members of his family."
                 "Divination ofany kind is improper inmatters directly concerning
           the Great Work  itself. In the Knowledge and Conversation  of his Holy
           Guardian Angel, the adept is possessed of all he can possibly need. To
           consult any other is to insult one's Angel."
                 "Although the adept is in daily communication with his Angel, he
           ought to be  careful to consult  Him only on  questions proper to  the
           dignity of  the relation. One  should not  consult one's Angel  on too
           many details, or indeed on any matters which come within the office of
           one's  familiar  spirits. One  does  not go  to  the King  about petty
           personal trifles. The romance and rapture of the ineffable union which
           constitutes  Adeptship must  not be  profaned by  the introduction  of
           commonplace cares."
                 Thus wemay use Divinationfor those worthy questionswhich we need
           answered but cannot find out in any other way...either through our own
           research or by the contacting of  one's Holy Guardian Angel. If we can
           attain  the necessary magickal states  discussed above and  if we com-
           plete the  necessary study and work  which he suggests, we  can become
           masters of Tarot Divination.

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