APPENDIX to Liber Tahuti
This is an examination of the Book of Thoth Trump attributions through time and permutation relating to conventional Trump images. It displays the clarified transformation of occult Tarot as it makes an appearance from gaming decks utilized for divinatory purpose (as from the Tarot de Marseille) and are set into form what had previously been arcane and are now natural arrangements. For more detail on these symbolic and natural resonances, see Tarosymbolismatrix Tetraktypiscesefiroticus.
ASTROLOGICAL / ELEMENTAL ASSOCIATIONS
The columns in the table below represent a series of shifts through time in Tarot Trumps and their attributions, or correspondences. These were a facet in early and later Tarotic occult tools, extended eventually out to the Minor cards (as with Decans). The notion of attribution or association appears to have been invented by Etteilla (ET in the table below) in rudiments for use of Tarot as an astrological implement, then later set into a lattice by those who sought to use the deck as a mapping system for their esoteric social and ceremonial mechanisms. At points the entire set of Trumps were shifted with respect to letter or astrological assignment, ET and Nicoulland (CN) representing popular exceptions to this trajectory mentioned here for historical comparison.
SY -- Sepher Yetsirah (700s?) (3-element system keyed to letters)
There are three main Planetary assignments in relation to this variable kabbalistic document. The second of these usual assignments is scientific, based on mean Planetary motion. The zodiacal attribution portion of it appears much more consistent and has been retained by most of those whose Tarotic lattices are here analyzed. This data is taken from Decker and Dummett's The History of Occult Tarot: 1870-1970, 2002, published by Duckworth.
ET -- Jean-Baptiste 'Etteilla' Alliette (late 1700s) (4-element system keyed to cards)
A French cartomancer and merchant who wrote several occult reference texts and created one of the first occult Tarot decks, the Egyptian Gypsies Tarot. Its associations are composited, have changed through printings, are based in part upon reflection on the publication of Monde primitif (Court de Gebelin and the Comte de Melet, in a reverse treatment of the Tarot de Marseille). Its four Elements are paired alongside (inverse) some of its Zodiacal signs, and its Planetary attributions are found outside the Trumps on Disks. The Plebeian Letter is matched with Etteilla's card # in the following list: A:78(0), B:15, C:1, D:8, E:6, F:7, G:13, H:21, I:11, J:18, K:20, L:9, M:12, N:17, O:10, P:14, Q:19, U:4, V:3, W:2, X:16, Y:5). This data is from Decker, Depaulis and Dummett's A Wicked Pack of Cards: The Origins of Occult Tarot, 1996, published by St. Martin's Press, and my examination of the Grand Etteilla Egyptian Gypsies Tarot, published by B. P. Grimaud (in the 1960s?).
CN -- Charles 'Fomalhaut' Nicoulland (1854-1925) (0-element system keyed to letters)
A French astrologer who wrote Manuel d'astrologie spherique et judiciaire (Manuel of Spherical and Judicial Astrology, Vignot, 1897), originated an association schema later adopted by Salvador Dali in his Universal Tarot. This inspired authors like Joseph Maxwell and many others. Not only does it make use of Neptune and Uranus, but it also features an attribution of Terra (Earth) (symbolized as a solid black circle). Its 10 Planets and 12 Zodiacal Signs fill out all the original 22 Trumps. This data is from Rachel Pollack's Salvador Dali's Tarot", 1985, published by Salem House.
GD -- Kenneth Mackenzie/Book T (late 1800s) (3-element system to keyed to images)
This continues a conventional assignment accepting the SY in its Zodiacal and Elemental valences while varying the Planetary, which seem to change both within kabbalistic, and throughout occult Tarot, history. This data is from Carroll 'Poke' Runyon's Secrets of the Golden Dawn Cypher Manuscript, 1997, published by C.H.S. Inc. and relates to Book T, coming to us from S. L. MacGregor Mathers and Wynn Westcott.
CZ -- (Elbert) Benjamin(e) P. Williams (early 1900s) (0-element system keyed to letters)
Writing during the early part of the 20th century under the pseudonym of 'C.C. Zain', this esotericist published what he described as transmissions from the transphysical Brotherhood of Light, including a black and white Tarot deck (1918) with Zodiacal and Planetary attributions. The Tarot was a vehicle for the esoteric teachings of the Brotherhood, which continues its publishing instruction to this day. Data for this column was obtained from Decker and Dummett, Duckworth, page 222.
AC -- Edward Alexander 'Aleister' Crowley (1900s) (4-element system keyed to letters)
Aleister Crowley largely duplicated the GD system of associations, though it is thought that he may have introduced corruptions to it in reflection of his scripture or as a consequence of his oaths, namely the reassignment of cards for the hebrew heh and tzaddi. For the purpose of this chart, his 'Correspondence Table' with implied transposition as explained in Liber Tahuti has been used for comparison. This data is interprted from The Book of Thoth: A Short Essay on the Tarot of the Egyptians being 'The Equinox', Vol. III No. V by Aleister Crowley, 1969, published by Samuel Weiser, Inc. Due to the many variations in Crowley's output both textual and graphic there are innumerable controversies surrounding his intended associations.
PLEBEIAN ATTRIBUTION -- nagasiva 'hara' yronwode (early 2000s) (5-element keyed to letters)
The rectifications made to the Book of Thoth for purpose of making it my own were based not on some romantic or faux connection to Hebrew by which they originated in pairing up a game with esotericism, but in naturalizing and adjusting the sequence such that what had been started with the Astrological and Elemental attributions might be completed rationally in association with my own alphabet. This data is new with this volume and derived from my own studies, forming a conceptual and symbolic, structural lattice whereby conventional and natural knowledge may become paramount.
PLEBEIAN NAME -- nagasiva yronwode
Having evaluated the various card names (for Trumps) through time, I selected the most simple terms which would retain the significance of the Mystery as I encountered it. In order to employ the entirety of my alphabet, a few cards were needed to fit betwixt the Tower (War) and the Star, then one posterior to the whole. I might say a word in praise of Ralph Blum, who inspired me to ignore the notion that Fool is the Excuse or an unnumbered Trump, and instead to construct one of my own.
The following is a table intending to make transparent what specific changes were made in the construction of the Plebeian Trumps such that they retain many traditional associations and establish new ones in pursuit of over-riding principles and objectives. It is sequenced by the Plebeian Letter and card name, and its inferred Hebrew attribute should NOT be taken as the transliterated equivalent, or the same pairing provided by previous deck designers, since the Plebeian deck was created without Hebrew in mind and the table below was constructed while focussed on the card images that were used by previous occultists.
A Aleph Air ---- Sol Air Earth/
Air SOL FOOL
Sol shifts here to become an astronomical primary. This disrupts a long-standing association based on Hebrew Mother Letters (of aleph with Air) but makes it possible to complete a natural astronomical sequence.
This may also be noticed where it intersects the letters Mem and Shin below. Air has been combined with Metal from the Chinese (since the Chinese have no 'Air' as an Element per se), and assigned to X, making the Fire/Sun and Water/Moon match possible.
The assignment of Sol to this card, it should be noted, is not without precedent (as from CN), and there are numerous instances wherein the figure and symbol of Sol are strongly featured in Fool card designs, inclusive of those such as the Smith-Waite, the Harris-Crowley, Burns-Parke-Case, and other similar designs influenced by GD.
B Beth Luna
---- Luna Mercury Mercury Mercury MERCURY MAGE
Prolonging the later, Hermetic association to the Magus.
C Gimel Mars
Aries Terra Luna Virgo Luna PISCES WITCH
The first significant shift in symbolic association for which there is no precedent in extant occult tradition, yet on a card whose attribution is one of the most variable (the other being K). Luna shifts to M to enter an accurate astronomical sequence, matching that with the Zodiac. In her place, the Zodiacal attributes are rotated so that Pisces now precedes Aries, bringing the discipline of astrology into line with the Piscean Age.
D Daleth Sun
Scorpio Jupiter Venus Libra Venus VENUS QUEEN
It was the sequence of Mercury and Venus in traditions of Trump associations which first gave me the idea of attempting to achieve an astronomical logic to both Zodiacal (based on precession) and Planetary attributions. Here, as with Mercury, the later association is retained for purpose of the plebeian motive.
E He Aries Virgo Mercury Aries Scorpio Aries ARIES KING
F Vau Taurus Libra Virgo Taurus Jupiter Taurus TAURUS GUIDE
G Zain Gemini ---- Sagittarius Gemini Venus Gemini GEMINI CHOICE
H Cheth Cancer ---- Libra Cancer Sagittarius Cancer CANCER CART
I Teth Leo Aquarius Neptune Leo Capricorn Leo LEO WILL
J Yod Virgo ---- Capricorn Virgo Aquarius Virgo VIRGO MONK
As has been made plain above in the description of sources, the SY set the standard for these Zodiacal assignments, and with their Aries Age modality still popular, only within the Plebeian Tarot has a proper Piscean sequence been erected (aligning to modern astronomy) while retaining this SY attribution. ET and CN disrupt the Zodiacal sequence, CZ initiates an accurate sequence with Virgo, the others understandably doing so with the astrological convention of Aries.
K Kaph Venus
---- Leo Jupiter Uranus Jupiter EARTH WHEEL
Terra Firma (Planet) and the Element of Earth are here combined so as to locate within the association schema the actual astronomicals in their natural series but also to account for all quaternal and quintessential elements. This incorporates a context wherein both Aristotlean and Chinese elements may be combined. Jupiter is shifted to R, associating to a novel Trump made necessary so as to fit both the Roman alphabet (26) and the modern solar system into the associative set (11).
L Lamed Libra Sagittarius Uranus Libra Neptune Libra LIBRA BALANCE
See SY and J regarding the consistency of zodiacal attribution and its origins in the usual versions of SY.
M Mem Water Pisces Saturn Water Pisces Water LUNA PASSION
Continuing the break with kabbalistic Mother letter notions, M is not here identified as a Mother Letter and is thus not the repository of watery plenitude. This new placement for Luna is intended to bring it in line with an astronomical series of Planets (rather than in a random placement or as part of conventional mean motive speed. Simultaneously, a new pairing is constructed out of two of the displaced Elements (Water/Fire) in association with MOON and SUN respectively (replicating these attributions from ET).
N Nun Scorpio ---- Aquarius Scorpio Aries Scorpio SCORPIO DEATH
O Samech Sagittarius Capricorn Mars Sagittarius Taurus Sagittarius SAGITTARIUS ART
P Ain Capricorn ---- Aries Capricorn Saturn Capricorn CAPRICORN FOE
These again perpetuate the original Zodiacal assignments from kabbalah.
Q Pe Mercury
---- Venus Mars Mars Mars MARS WAR
Adopting the later and obvious association between Mars and the Tower or War already assumed by the Golden Dawn.
R XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX JUPITER MOUNTAIN
S XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX SATURN TREE
T XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX URANUS CLOUD
This particular sequence of letters, cards, and Planetary associations merit the attention of those who struggle to establish a truly plebeian Book of Thoth, since they play into the motif of The Vista Beyond the Cave, establish in contrast to tradition an astronomical standard of series, and include modern Astrological attributes.
U Tzaddi Aquarius Cancer
Cancer Aquarius Gemini Aquarius AQUARIUS STAR
The final Zodiacal sign in the series left in its kabbalistic position. It is at this point in the Book of Thoth that tradition terminates most specifically and a new chapter, as it were, begins: one that embaces the current Age and a rationalist theme.
V Qoph Pisces Gemini
Gemini Pisces Cancer Pisces WATER MOON
W Resh Saturn
Pisces Sol Leo Sol FIRE SUN
X Shin Fire ---- Scorpio Fire Luna Fire AIR
Y Tau Jupiter
Taurus Saturn Sun Saturn
Z XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX PLUTO
Pluto is another Astrological body added to the series, along with the quintessential and its Chinese complement. The fact that this Planet is in fact a plutoid allows it to share the placement with other associations, inclusive of the fifth Chinese and encompassing Aristotlean elements. Its blank composition both serves as a reminder of the earlier gaming function of the card (once a role played by the Fool, but no longer as it is embraced by Trumps) and of the transcendental notions associated to Spirit.
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