IHVH vs. YANG (The Order of the Four Elements)

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IHVH vs. YANG (The Order of the Four Elements)

Postby Wizardiaoan » Fri Nov 07, 2008 3:03 pm

93,

Has anyone found these two orders a stumbling block, and to be incongruent? I used to be for the IHVH order, but when I found it didn't progress from Yang to Yin I abandoned it for "the Greek order". After some initiation I figured I must have been over reasoning it and switched back to IHVH, but now I find myself once again accepting the Greek order. The two orders are for clarity:

IHVH = Fire-Water-Air-Earth = Father-Mother-Son-Daughter.
"Greek" = Fire-Air-Water-Earth = Father-Son-Mother-Daughter.

As I see it the virtue of IHVH as Fire-Water-Air-Earth is that it transcends reason and linearity in a kind of enlightened conjunction, but the down side is it is not linearly Yang to Yin based, and is not based on density of matter.

THE CASE FOR THE GREEK ORDER

In "Understanding the Tarot Court," Mary K. Greer et. al. provide a history of Tarot in which the old Chinese playing cards are brought up:
“Western playing cards probably descended from Chinese cards that migrated with the Mongol conquerors through Persia to eventually reach western Europe in the fourteenth century. One possible source is the “domino cards,” like those the Emperor Mu-tsung and his wife are recorded using in 969c.e. Chinese dominos correspond to the fall of two dice of which there are twenty-one possibilities (the fall of three dice yields fifty-six possible throws). The Chinese also develped “money cards” in four suits: coins, strings of coins, myriads of strings of coins, and tens of myriads of strings of coins. These decks sometimes included three special cards called “Old Thousand,” “Red Flower,” and “White Flower,” some of which depicted famous people. Red Flower cards often showed a male with the Chinese character wang that, in addition to being a family name, means “king.”

These perhaps have a correlation to the three alchemy stages:

Red Flower = Rubedo = Sulphur = Fire
White Flower =Albedo = Mercury = Water
Old Thousand = Nigredo = Salt = Earth

Like alchemy leaving out the citrinitas stage, the three principles leave out the Air Element. It seems the Tree of Life was based on the Tetractys, how much I am not certain, and it also seems they threw out the Greek elemental order for the IHVH order, which has caused the incongruency. The Greek elemental order upon the Tetractys is Fire-Air-Water-Earth, which is from least to most dense, and from most to least yang:

1 Fire-King (Yang of Yang) Kether
11 Air-Knight (Yin of Yang) Chokmah-Binah
111 Water-Queen (Yang of Yin) Chesed-Geburah-Tiphareth
1111 Earth-Princess (Yin of Yin) Netzach-Hod-Yesod-Malkuth

This Air element got knocked out of the playing card order and of alchemy as a stage and principle (air was either seen as part of sulphur or mercury), which let the King be next to the Queen, I think the Jack or Page signifies Earth (the Princess).

I am thus wanting to make the conclusion that the order is King-Knight-Queen-Princess (Father-Son-Mother-Daughter), and that the suits are Wands-Swords-Cups-Disks, to be in order of least to highest density and most to least yang. Again I had thought this before but figured I was over reasoning things, now I tend to like its correlative elegance. This essentially does away with the IHVH order, the Four Worlds can be seen as Fire-Air-Water-Earth, with Briah as the Creative Air, and Yetzirah the Formative waters.

I know it may be a controversial subject, but I was wondering if others have been conflicted by the two diverse orders, and the way they are correlated to other symbolism? I would also be interested in any virtues for the Fire-Water-Air-Earth order, besides it being correlated to the "Divine Name".

I have thought about what are really opposites:

The King as old man is opposite The Princess as young woman. Fire must be opposite Earth as least dense to most dense, fire must be regarded as nearly a vacuum or emptiness.
The Queen as old woman is opposite The Prince as young man. Water must be opposite Air as both are close to the liquid vs. gas state (which interestingly can be seen as the center).
This is how these attributions are situated on the elemental circle as well, Red being opposite Green, and Blue opposite Orange (if air is taken as Orange). :shock:
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Postby Chris Hanlon » Fri Nov 07, 2008 8:11 pm

That was great. Please continue with your information. That is fascinating.
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Postby sethur » Sat Nov 08, 2008 4:05 am

I am afraid that while Mary Greer may ultimately be correct, the Tarot as a system of divination is just as likely to have been influenced by Desavatara cards brought to Europe by the Gypsies. These consist of circular cards of ten suits, with twelve in each suit, 10 pip cards and two others, one showing an incarnation of Vishnu and another showing the same incarnation within a shrine. I have to rely on a book I read almost 40 years ago, and cannot remember the exact title or author of, for the existence within an English gypsy camp of a very ancient pack of circular cards that did not resemble the Tarot or modern playing cards (from the author's point of view) presumably because they were circular and had different suits. They were reserved for very special fortune-telling, and the author, who visited gypsy camps regularly in his search for rare decks, had his fortune told with such cards in the 1950s, some 10 years before the book was written.
The connection between gypsies and the Tarot is that it does seem as if they were the first to use cards for fortune telling. The pip cards and major arcana may have developed seperately - there are a few surviving pip cards in museums that are older than any known tarot and look less ornate, and more modern, than the pip cards of - say - the Marseille deck. The Tarot may have originated as a teaching system for children that became more esoterically interpreted later.
What this means is that the attribution of elements to the various aspects of these cards is a decision, not a discovery. It is up to us how we interpret the cards in general, though of course I would always bow to Crowley regarding the Thoth deck.
As a matter of interest, there are still a few families in India that produce Desavatara (Ten Avatars) cards, on dried palm leaves cut to make them circular, and the painted wooden boxes they come in. I have one, and I have heard that they can be found in markets in the UK with a large Indian population. I believe mine, which was a gift, came from a stall at the Elephant and Castle market.
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Postby h2h » Sat Nov 08, 2008 5:31 am

93

Great topic Wizardiaoan.

In my opinion the different order of elements indicated by the Tetragrammaton vs. Greek order refer to two incongruent and competing views of reality. I do not agree with your description that IHVH “transcends reason and linearity in a kind of enlightened conjunction”, but this disagreement may be only a question of clarifying “linearity”.

For me, the IHVH order of elements is sexual, linear, and ultimately degenerative - that is, the creative impulse reaches an end. One may see the jourmey from youth to old age in the hot volatility of fire to the cold stasis of earth. The Greek schema of elements, on the other hand, is circular, pagan-based, self-renewing and, by definition, NOT linear - there is no teleological impulse to the order of transformation.

AC writes:

The Hebrew system is straightforward and irreversible; it postulates Father and Mother from whose union issue Son and Daughter. There an end. It is only later philosophical speculation to derive the Father-Mother Dyad from a Unity manifest, and later still to seek the source of that Unity in Nothing. This is a concrete and limited scheme, crude, with its causeless Beginning and its sterile End.

The Pagan system is circular, self-generated, self-nourished, self-renewed. It is a wheel on whose rim are Father-Mother-Son-Daughter; they move about the motionless axis of Zero; they unite at will; they transform one into another; there is neither Beginning nor End to the Orbit; none is higher or lower than another. The Equation “Naught=Many=Two=One=All=Naught” is implicit in every mode of the being of the System.


(The Tarot and the Elements, Book of Thoth, p. 19)

AC’s prejudice against the Hebrew system is obvious from this passage and we need to ask why. The Hebrew worldview sees the universe as created by a divine fiat, ordered and rational and one that will ultimately reach an End. When cosmologists speculate the expansion of the universe will one day reach a limit and then contract on itself, reversing time and causality, thus returning to the Big Bang, this view is perfectly in keeping with the logic and causality of the Hebrew system. The Greek system, on the other hand, is based on the Eternal Circle that has neither Beginning nor End.

Finally, we need to question whether AC’s preference for the Greek system was due to the fact that he saw it corresponding more closely to reality “above the Abyss” or whether these grand metaphysical assertions were, in fact, pretexts for all-too human truths and prejudices. Namely, the Hebrew system is clearly based on heterosexuality (father>mother>son>daughter) whereas the Greek system is based on homosexuality (father>son>mother>daughter) in which women are seen as subservient to men. Further the Hebrews clearly needed to rationalize their enjoyment (in the name of their God, heterosexuality, nature, history etc) whereas the Greeks did not.

93 93/93
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Postby Wizardiaoan » Sat Nov 08, 2008 6:20 am

I probably shouldn't have included the three Chinese cards info as it is not pertinent to the case for the Greek elemental order specifically, I just thought it was an interesting alchemical parallel and it is what first made me see how the Knight could be pinched out of the picture (by using the three principles Sulphur, Mercury, Salt). But since I did here is the other half of the long quote from Greer et. al. in "Understanding the Tarot Court":

“In the eleventh century, a nomad tribe called the Seljuks, from the present day Kazakhstan, conquered Persia and part of both Asia Minor and northern Africa. By the thirteenth century, the great Mongol leaders Genghis Khan and his grandnephew Kublai Khan extended his empire to China. It was through this linking of China and Persia that playing cards probably first came to Persia, appearing between the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, and may have likewise spread to India. The link is apparent in a card game that was played in India as Ganjifa, in Persia as Ganjifeh, and in Arabic countries and Egypt as Kanifah.
Mongol rulers, fearful of uprisings, developed a clan of warrior slaves who were taken as children primarily from Christian Turks. They were converted to Islam and sent to the North African coast. They were called Mamluks, meaning “subdued people.” By 1250, the Mamluks had overthrown Saladin’s Mongol/Ayyubid dynasty in Egypt and ruled until 1517.
By 1400, the Mamluks had a card deck consisting of fifty-two cards with suits of swords, polo-sticks, cups, and coins, numbered one through ten, plus three court cards: malik (“king”), na’ib (“Viceroy or deputy”), and thani na’ib (“second deputy” or “under-deputy,” which was not an actual office in the Islamic dominions of the time). It is this term na’ib that apparently came to refer to playing cards in general, for this was the earliest term used for cards in Spain (naipes) and Italy (naibee or naibi). We may surmise that playing cards were thought of as a “Game of Deputies.” The Mamluks probably brought these cards with them from Persia. They likely entered Christian Europe by way of Spain through the rich culture of the Moors who ruled much of the peninsula until 1492. It is from Catalonia that we have the earliest European records of playing cards and cardmakers. The word naip (“playing card”) appears in a Catalan rhyming dictionary in 1371. During the years 1377 to 1379, references to playing cards suddenly appear in the records of many cities in western Europe, where they are often described as “newly arrived” or a “new game.”
Europeans soon adapted the designs of the Mamluk cards to reflect their own culture. The Persian suit of jawkan or polo sticks was unfamiliar to Europeans as they did not play polo, the game Persians knew as the “sport of kings.” In Italy, the shape and aristocratic intent was retained but they were now called bastoni (probably meaning a ceremonial baton of office). In Spain they were demoted to bastos or cudgels, possibly an adaptation that was a further step removed from the original idea."

It was the Mamluk deck that was the principal source for the later European decks. They had four suits of 10 cards with three court cards which is in essence the common 52 card deck we still play with, but the deck is proven not original to them by the fact that the “second deputy” was not a standard office in their culture. The suits were Polo-sticks, Swords, Cups, and Coins or Circles. Europeans, never having seen polo-sticks, turned them into sceptres or batons.

Polo-sticks/Batons/Clubs--hitting the ball is the same action as thrusting the wand, an authoritive hand gesture that Wills direction and puts things in motioin. Polo is "the sport of kings". Likewise batons signified kingly rule. Isn't there also a tradition of putting letters in sticks and giving them to a messenger to deliver the news? Clubs are kind of a baton with the 3-circled energy symbol at the top.

Swords/Spades as the Military do the king's will, carry out his orders. Spades could be the upward pointing arrow and the sword top.

Cups/Hearts are the clergy/priesthood.

Coins/Diamonds are the merchant class, which trade in earthly goods.

You can read more about suit correlations here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Card_suit
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Re: IHVH vs. YANG (The Order of the Four Elements)

Postby Sphynx » Sat Nov 08, 2008 6:35 am

Re: The Order of the Four Elements
Wizardiaoan wrote:Has anyone found these two orders a stumbling block, and to be incongruent?
"The Number Four (4) represents solidity, practicality and matter. In mundane numerology, it is the number of the mechanic.
Four can be expressed as a square or a cross. This embodies expressions of the quaternary, including four directions, dimensions, walls, elements, and so forth. Atoms of Gold present themselves in a square (cuboidal) shape.
The four elements are relegated to the four directions. The "usual" western correspondences are:
earth-green-east / fire-red-south / air-yellow-west / water-blue-north
The number four is supposed to be solid, practical, and fixed. However, each culture seems to have its own version of these directions and correspondences. For example, see [a completely different attribution] The Mayan arrangement.

In fact, the four element system is actually quite slippery, malleable and unstable due its ability to be manipulated. One may conveniently utilize the four directions as long as one agrees with one's self about the correspondences and doesn't get stuck in the illusion that there is a cosmic significance inherent in any particular arrangement.

Beware of the tendency to pick one set of correspondences, saying, This is the true four-element configuration, and all others are in error."
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Postby Wizardiaoan » Sat Nov 08, 2008 11:29 am

Those aren't even the "usual" correlations Sphynx. They are:

Fire-Red-South-Summer-Father-Yang of Yang
*Air-Orange-East-Spring-Son-Yin of Yang
Water-Blue-West--Fall-Mother-Yang of Yin
Earth-Green-North-Winter-Daughter-Yin of Yin

*I use orange instead of yellow to preserve the opposition of color. This allows the top of the Cube of Space to be yellow and the bottom purple.

One virtue of the IHVH order I didn't mention is that it breaks up and intermingles the male and female, as well as the warm and cool colors, as Red-Blue-Orange-Green. But used in systems it creates problems.

Anyway, I agree keeping an open mind is a good idea, but in practice one has to often pick an order which causes the stumbling block. For instance, the issue surfaced for me again when I began writing a book and commentary upon the Tarot, with even the choice of the order of the writing. [I am postulating a system of 37 Keys of the Soul as 36+1 (36 being the Wheel of Initiation) based upon the Sanskrit and other alphabets, which with the addition of the 56 minor arcana, creates a 93-fold Tarot with Ace of Disks as the 93rd card].

The Greek order is good systematically. It is more creationary, being from least to most dense, Fire to Earth, and in this way is in sync with the Tree of Life's doctrine and its four progressive worlds. It is also more alchemical, symbolizing what occurs in the flask: the solid matter is melted into a liquid which is disspated into a steam which eventually disappears into space. Further, the Greek order is in line from Yang to Yin, active to passive.

I have been able to correlate all of the minor arcana to the binary system the Yijing and Geomancy are based on. The basis for being able to do so is to correlate the 8 trigrams serially from Binah to Malkuth, Saturn to the 8th planet Earth. Imagine the whole of the wands suit in the directional south, but that it creates its own little wheel (thus the four suits can be seen as four wheels around a middle circle or square). Imagine a Fu Hsi circle and see the 2W as in the center, it is Dao of Fire. The two's are the only cards of the minor arcana that are tricky to attribute in a traditional binary way, but calling them Dao of " " works, and to see them placed in the center as the yin/yang of the suit. 3W is in the South as Saturn of Fire, 4W is SE as Jupiter of Fire, 5W is East as Mars of Fire, 6W is NE as Sun of Fire, 7W is SW as Venus of Fire, 8W is West as Mercury of Fire, 9W is NW as Moon of Fire, 10W is North as Planetary Earth of Fire.

The Court cards are just the four directions of Fire, and the Ace is seen as Fire itself, the unity of all those cards. To elucidate the binary system:

2x2 = 4 = The four aces, the pure elements.
2x2x2 = 8 = cards 3-10, the 8 trigrams correlated serially to spheres 3-10 of the Tree of Life.
2x2x2x2 = 16 = the 16 court cards, the 16 elemental counterchanges, Fire of Fire, Air of Fire, etc. These may be correlated exactly to the 16 Geomantic figures by seeing that the point is yang and the 2 points are yin. I call these the 16 tetragrams of the Yijing (of 4 lines).
2x2x2x2x2 = 32 = the 32 cards of 3-10 in each of the 4 suits. These are the 32 planetary-elemental counterchanges. I call these the 32 pentagrams of the Yijing (of 5 lines).
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Postby Sphynx » Sat Nov 08, 2008 3:09 pm

Wizardiaoan wrote:Those aren't even the "usual" correlations Sphynx. They are: ...

The quote from The Principles of White Magic obviously had quotation marks around the word "usual" because there is no usual arrangement. The rest of the excerpt goes on to describe how every system apparently has its own attributions ... very few of which seem to agree.

However, there does appear to be a correlation between the "usual" attributions that were listed and certain well-known practices, such as Liber Resh vel Helios and the silks in Liber A vel Armorum.

But that's not the point. It appears as though the point is that the number 4 is supposedly stable ... but in fact is slippery (as your original posting indicated - and you were/are only weighing two versions).

All the best to your re-invention (or re-design) of the Tarot.
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Tetragrammaton and 156

Postby threefold31 » Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:19 am

Dwtw

The circularity of the YHVH order creates an interesting situation, derived from the numerical values of the letters.

There are two Heh's in the Tetragrammaton, meaning one is 'extra' in a certain sense. Let us presume that the extra Heh is the Daughter, the final letter. If she is raised to the throne of her Mother, and connects with the Father, then she is placed above the other three letters to continue the cycle anew.

Consider that Heh = 5 and the other three non-repeated letters = 21.

In the Trigrammaton system, which is ternary, placing the Trigram of 5 over the trigram of 21 gives you this hexagram: 012210

This is the base three equivalent of the decimal number 156.

In short, we might say that renewing the cycle, by placing the Princess on the throne of her Queen, (placing the extra Heh at the beginning of the Tetragrammaton), is equivalent to creating the number 156, which is the value of the name of BABALON.

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Postby Wizardiaoan » Wed Nov 12, 2008 4:12 pm

I have noticed as well there is a circularity of the IHVH order in the common zodiac progression, Fire-Earth-Air-Water. Earth-Air-Water follows the IHVH order up to restart it at Fire, etc. This is another example how deep the IHVH order is embedded in our systems.

http://www.cs.utk.edu/~Mclennan/BA/PT/D-tet.html

I wanted to link to this site where the attributions for the Tetractys are given. I think the matrice is amazing (its left side is yin and the right yang). I had known of Malkuth = Earth, Yesod = Water, Hod = Air, and Netzach = Fire attributions previously, but this proves how the three alchemical principles should be correlated to the spheres: Salt = Tiphareth, Mercury = Geburah, and Sulphur = Chesed. I myself wanted to allocate Sulphur to Geburah, but there is a pattern that the Spheres always go from the lower to the higher principle. This is seen in the elemental progression of Spheres 7-10 as Earth, Water, Air, Fire, and also in Spheres 2-3 as Yin, Yang. The 3 principles can be seen as embedded in the YANG order by their order of density:

Earth-(Salt)-Water-(Mercury)-Air-(Sulphur)-Fire

From this model one can correlate the zodiac to the 16 court cards/ figures of geomancy and the 32 pentagrams of the Yi Jing, as well as the 64 hexagrams, which differs from the traditional. Here are how the 16 court cards may be correlated:

Leo Fixed/Fire Sagittarius Mutable/Fire Aries Volatile/Fire
Aquarius Fixed/Air Gemini Mutable/Air Libra Volatile/Air
Scorpio Fixed/Water Pisces Mutable/Water Cancer Volatile/Water
Taurus Fixed/Earth Virgo Mutable/Earth Capricorn Volatile/Earth

1. KW Fire of Fire Aries Sulphur of Fire
2. KnW Air of Fire Aries-Sagittarius Sulphur/Mercury of Fire
3. QW Water of Fire Sagittarius-Leo Mercury/Salt of Fire
4. PW Earth of Fire Leo Salt of Fire
5. KS Fire of Air Libra Sulphur of Air
6. KnS Air of Air Libra-Gemini Sulphur/Mercury of Air
7. QS Water of Air Gemini-Aquarius Mercury/Salt of Air
8. PS Earth of Air Aquarius Salt of Air
9. KC Fire of Water Cancer Sulphur of Water
10. KnC Air of Water Cancer-Pisces Sulphur/Mercury of Water
11. QC Water of Water Pisces-Scorpio Mercury/Salt of Water
12. PC Earth of Water Scorpio Salt of Water
13. KD Fire of Earth Capricorn Sulphur of Earth
14. KnD Air of Earth Capricorn-Virgo Sulphur/Mercury of Earth
15. QD Water of Earth Virgo-Taurus Mercury/Salt of Earth
16. PD Earth of Earth Taurus Salt of Earth
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Postby Wizardiaoan » Sun Feb 08, 2009 6:01 pm

I now accept the Golden Dawn pentagram attributions. It contains the IHShVH order of elements going counterclockwise from Fire, and the "Yang" "Greek," "alchemical," order based upon density is implicit when one traces the pentagram from Spirit to Fire to Air to Water to Earth. This harmony cannot be beaten in any other model. I have a few questions on the origins of the elemental attributions of the pentagram though. I understand the attributions are assigned to Mathers, who based it upon the Enochian watchtowers.

The Enochian watchtowers themselves seem to based upon kerubic symbolism, my question is do you think Dee or Kelly's knowledge of the kerubic signs influenced their order? The Kerubic signs go back to Ezekials vision, which to simplify describes a kerub as having four heads: "a human face in front, but an eagles face behind; a lion's face to the left and an ox's face to the right." If it is implied the Kerub is looking eastward, the symbolism fits the western directional attributions.

My second question which I've been unable to find info upon is "When did the attribution of the 4 kerubic signs to the four directions of SW, NW, SE, and NE occur?" Was this ancient preceeding Dee and Kelly who seem to use it, or was this recent?
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Postby Jim Eshelman » Sun Feb 08, 2009 6:10 pm

Wizardiaoan wrote:The Enochian watchtowers themselves seem to based upon kerubic symbolism, my question is do you think Dee or Kelly's knowledge of the kerubic signs influenced their order?

If it did, then we might as well toss the entire system.

That is, the record shows that they were provided this information by the angels. If that's not true, it means that the falsified the record, in which case we have to suspect that it's all a fraud.
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Postby JNV33 » Mon Feb 09, 2009 2:45 am

Jim Eshelman wrote:That is, the record shows that they were provided this information by the angels. If that's not true, it means that the falsified the record, in which case we have to suspect that it's all a fraud.

I think it's healthy to suspect that it's all a fraud. If its origins are like any other traditions supposed origins...

But does that invalidate its utility?
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Postby Wizardiaoan » Mon Feb 09, 2009 8:53 am

There is a good timeline in David Hulse's Enochian chapter. He mentions that when Kelley tried to receive corrections to the watchtowers in 1587, he was unable to do so. "He reverted to breaking off the session and hiding from Dee in order to recopy his original in secret. His revised edition contained many more errors than the original." From this, I do not doubt it was beyond Kelley's character to falsify some information to keep getting paid by Dee. I do think there is something to the Enochian system, due to him receiving the 91 governor names before the watchtowers. It would take a great feat of memory to recite the letters of all four watchtowers, and that the 91 governors are contained in the schema makes it unlikely. Honestly I quit using the Enochian system in my magick quite a while ago. I accept David Hulse's corrected watchtowers based upon the 91 governor names, but do not like the philosophy of the calls. I may take it up again at some point, I do like some of the god names; I am just cautious about using a system that is not very tightly worked out. I didn't really imply the communication was falsified in my last post, only that the angels could have taken the extant kerubic symbolism in Kelley or Dee's subconscious and reiterated it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zodiac

This wiki article on the zodiac actually gives good information per the kerubs. Apparently the fixed zodiac sign reference is implicit in Ezekiel's vision itself (that is the symbolism would have been known to him), which I didn't want to conclude without evidence. Apparently the symbolism is implicit as well in the composition of the Revelation.

This still doesn't answer my question when the kerubic signs were correlated to the intermediate directions and the elements. I remember reading that the zodiac itself was not given its elemental correspondences until the 1700's, but cannot source this. If this is true, the four kerubic signs would obviously not be associated to the elements until then--as to when they symbolized the four corners of the world as the intermediate directions I am not sure.

Lastly per the zodiac wiki, note "Biblical writers were familiar with the same system of constellations as that which we know today, except that the name of the Eagle seems to have been usually substituted for the Scorpion." This lends support to the traditional association of Scorpio with the eagle, and goes against Crowley's switching of it to Aquarius.
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