Questions on The Book of Thoth

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Questions on The Book of Thoth

Postby HA 86 » Fri Feb 18, 2011 11:46 pm

First I think I should make it clear that I don't know anything about tarot that isn't on thelemapedia, in The Book of Thoth, or in the booklet that comes with the Thoth deck. I have never even had or seen a tarot reading for that matter. While I own a Thoth tarot deck I am still studying the meanings of the cards and have never used them.

I have a few questions concerning The Behaviour of the Tarot section's method.

THE SIGNIFICATOR
3.Hand the cards to Querent, and bid him think of the question attentively, and cut.

If you are doing a reading for yourself would you think of the question and then cut it? Since you are about to cut it into to the I H V H stacks would that first cut be superfulous?

The First Operation
6.If right, spread out the pack containing the Significator, face upwards.

Count the cards from him, in the direction in which he faces.

The counting should include the card from which you count.

What is the importance of the number you end up with? Is the sum a Qabalistic key?


All subsequent operations
4.Examine this chosen stack. If the Significator is not there, try some cognate house. On a second failure, abandon the divination.

If during the, lets say second operation, you must abandon the divination, then are you to shuffle and start over from the first operation? Or do you shuffle and start over from the begining of the second?
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Re: Questions on The Book of Thoth

Postby Takamba » Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:12 am

The Old Guitarist wrote:I have a few questions concerning The Behaviour of the Tarot section's method.

THE SIGNIFICATOR
3.Hand the cards to Querent, and bid him think of the question attentively, and cut.

If you are doing a reading for yourself would you think of the question and then cut it? Since you are about to cut it into to the I H V H stacks would that first cut be superfulous?


Do it exactly as instructed no matter who you are reading for.

The First Operation
6.If right, spread out the pack containing the Significator, face upwards.

Count the cards from him, in the direction in which he faces.

The counting should include the card from which you count.

What is the importance of the number you end up with? Is the sum a Qabalistic key?


There's no fantastic significance to this number (if I understand your question correctly), what is significant is that it leads you to another card to inform your story with. Then from that point you pair up the cards from the significator card outward - adding more information to your story.

Or if I understand your question another way (such as "why these numbers and not some other?") or ("what is the pattern of the numbers assigned to the counting?"). This: Minor cards have their own numbers to count 1 - 10. Court cards belong to 4 because of the fourfold name they represent. Majors associated with the three elements of alchemy count 3. Majors associated with the planets count 9. The 12 signs/houses cards (such as Emperor), count 12. But that can't be your question because that was explained in the book.

All subsequent operations
4.Examine this chosen stack. If the Significator is not there, try some cognate house. On a second failure, abandon the divination.

If during the, lets say second operation, you must abandon the divination, then are you to shuffle and start over from the first operation? Or do you shuffle and start over from the begining of the second?


When you are instructed to "abandon the divination," that's exactly what you do. Abandon it. No more, no less.

This method of divination is called The Opening of the Key spread and comes from The Golden Dawn teachings - you will find a better set of instructions from Israel Regardie.
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Re: Questions on The Book of Thoth

Postby HA 86 » Sat Feb 19, 2011 10:16 am

Takamba wrote:There's no fantastic significance to this number (if I understand your question correctly), what is significant is that it leads you to another card to inform your story with. Then from that point you pair up the cards from the significator card outward - adding more information to your story.

Forgive me if I misunderstand, but I still do not see a point in counting them. I understand that you are to create a story leading from one card to the next, and I understand the signifigance of the numbers asigned to each card. However, it seems that whether or not you count would not affect the reading in the slightest since it yeilds no useful information. Wouldn't it suit one just as well to recognise "This card is an elemental, the next is planetary, and the next is a court card" instead of "This card is a 3, the next is a 9, and the next is a 4"? I just don't see how the numbers would be used as a tool in deciphering a result.

Takamba wrote:When you are instructed to "abandon the divination," that's exactly what you do. Abandon it. No more, no less.

So if you want to reattempt the abandoned divination are you to wait until a later date? It would appear that the odds of finding the significator in (edit) every operation during the duration of a single divination (edit) are stacked against you, and that more often than not one would have to abandon a divination.

Takamba wrote:This method of divination is called The Opening of the Key spread and comes from The Golden Dawn teachings - you will find a better set of instructions from Israel Regardie.

In which book does Regardie lay out the instructions?
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Re: Questions on The Book of Thoth

Postby Jim Eshelman » Sat Feb 19, 2011 1:48 pm

The Old Guitarist wrote:Forgive me if I misunderstand, but I still do not see a point in counting them.

In this method, you don't read all the cards, and you don't read them in the sequence they are spread out in front of you. The counting tells you which cards to read and the sequence in which to read them.

I understand that you are to create a story leading from one card to the next, and I understand the signifigance of the numbers asigned to each card. However, it seems that whether or not you count would not affect the reading in the slightest since it yeilds no useful information.

See above. I think you are still thinking that you read all the cards as spread out in front of you. Instead, you read one card... count to find the next card, and read it... count from there to find the third card, and read it... etc.

Wouldn't it suit one just as well to recognise "This card is an elemental, the next is planetary, and the next is a court card" instead of "This card is a 3, the next is a 9, and the next is a 4"? I just don't see how the numbers would be used as a tool in deciphering a result.

It's the method. There really isn't much use in arguing about how someone else made it up. Either use the method as taught, or find another method, or make up another method.

Takamba wrote:When you are instructed to "abandon the divination," that's exactly what you do. Abandon it. No more, no less.

So if you want to reattempt the abandoned divination are you to wait until a later date?

Yes. Or give up on the question altogether. Or discover it was the wrong question. Etc. There may even be a particular meaning you can find, on reflection, on your being denied access at that time.

There is one exception I'd make to this: If you are denied access, you may immediately see that you weren't really in the right space, etc. - that you hadn't prepared yourself enough. "I should know better than to get up off the toilet, walk out and have a fight with somebody, and then grab the cards and expect them to bother with me." (Usually it's simpler: "I guess I really should have relaxed a bit and cleared my mind before trying.") In that case, just properly prepare yourself - close out distractions, physically center yourself, clear your thoughts and reactive emotions - in general, prepare yourself for meditation! - and try again.

It would appear that the odds of finding the significator in (edit) every operation during the duration of a single divination (edit) are stacked against you, and that more often than not one would have to abandon a divination.

Yes. That's why it requires magick :D This method is only intended to work if you are actually doing magick. It's a magical ritual originally taught only to Second Order (Adeptus Minor) members of the Golden Dawn.
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Re: Questions on The Book of Thoth

Postby Jim Eshelman » Sat Feb 19, 2011 1:57 pm

You've been getting good advice, but I'm going to start more or less at the start and see if there is something else to answer here. Possibly this will all be duplication. Take what's useful.

The Old Guitarist wrote:First I think I should make it clear that I don't know anything about tarot that isn't on thelemapedia, in The Book of Thoth, or in the booklet that comes with the Thoth deck.

In the near future, I will be finished with a book on Tarot that College of Thelema will be giving away for free. It's a rewrite of one we released a decade or so ago, and it will only be circulated in electronic form. You may find it of interest. I'll announce it here when it's available, or you can keep checking on http://www.thelema.org/publications

Although it gives simple divinatory aphorisms (interpretations) for each card, the main virtue (besides kick-ass treatment of the Court Cards) is that it leads you through a series of meditations on the cards to assist you in internalizing their meanings. This should be valuable since you are pretty unfamiliar with Tarot. You have to build it inside of yourself first.

3.Hand the cards to Querent, and bid him think of the question attentively, and cut.

If you are doing a reading for yourself would you think of the question and then cut it? Since you are about to cut it into to the I H V H stacks would that first cut be superfulous?

Yes, cut it yourself. None of the steps are superfluous.

The First Operation
6.If right, spread out the pack containing the Significator, face upwards.

Count the cards from him, in the direction in which he faces.

The counting should include the card from which you count.

What is the importance of the number you end up with? Is the sum a Qabalistic key?

No. Nobody I know has ever kept track of this. - I think the counting issue has been handled above. It's a way to walk you around the spread.

Your other qusetions were addressed previously.
Love is the law, love under will.
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Jim Eshelman
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"Success is thy proof: argue not; convert not; talk not overmuch!" - CCXX 3:42
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Re: Questions on The Book of Thoth

Postby HA 86 » Sat Feb 19, 2011 4:17 pm

Oh wow, I didn't even realise how much my murky mind had muddled what I had read. The counting makes perfect sense now. This has been quite illuminating. My thanks to the both of you.

I look forward to reading the College of Thelema book on Tarot!
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Re: Questions on The Book of Thoth

Postby Takamba » Sat Feb 19, 2011 7:57 pm

The Old Guitarist,
I would highly recommend you read Isreael Regardie's "The Golden Dawn." The Opening of the Key is "coincidentally" at the end of the book, after you've encountered all the symbolic livelihood of the order.
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Re: Questions on The Book of Thoth

Postby HA 86 » Sat Feb 19, 2011 9:09 pm

I will check it out, I enjoy his style of writing. Although, first I have to finish The Tree of Life, The Sword of Song, and Raja Yoga...so many books, so little time.
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Re: Questions on The Book of Thoth

Postby magictortoise » Sat Sep 03, 2011 3:35 pm

Bumping an older thread for those of us studying LIBER Θ - some great advice by Jim on the Opening of the Key!
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