Monday, January 5, 2015

They Went Down to the Crossroads

 Minding the Minefield, Mining the Mindfield

 I had, a while back, an interaction with an ex-satanist who is very popular in the alternative movement right now, and whose work I mostly admired, except in one case. I came across a past radio interview that he'd done, in which he had given a glowing bio of Crowley as a person who'd contributed invaluable research to the field of metaphysics and should be appreciated for his pioneering ways in this area. At the beginning of the broadcast he directed people to "separate the man from his work," saying that to be able to do so  is a hallmark of mature, rational people.

Now I have already written about how tiresome I find the debate about whether or not Crowley was a trickster/jokester, media-toying huckster... also tired of the yammering about his being a chess master (yawn), mountaineer (double yawn), all around creative genius etc., etc., yawn, yawn, yawn. I do not believe that spin. I think that it is part of the double-cross, reverse psychology of evil to declare that evil is not evil, just something out of the ordinary. I believe that Crowley was not an evil master, but that he served evil, and like all good minions, he was double-crossed and thrown to the wolves (possibly literally in this case), Evil always consumes its own. Yet the clever occultist, besotted by his own false sense of power, will almost always, delusionally believe that they will circumnavigate this factor of how evil operates. Crowley deliberately mined the human unconscious, and he mined it in all senses of the word: He set landmines by embedding occult sigils, symbols and logos in his "work," and he also mined it by digging down into it to uncover things that he could use to enhance his own power and to open the doors for his peeps to get their foot into this world.

I emailed the radio guest expressing my distaste for his advocating for the Great Beast, and received a curt and mildly hostile reply to the effect that "he told [me, the listener] to separate the man from his work at the beginning of the broadcast."
I did not reply back, however I will say now: Just because someone tells me I should  separate a person 's individual life, history, personality and impact on society from their research does not mean that I have to. I disagree; I do not think that it is a mark of maturity to separate those things and I don't have to believe that a person is separate from those other elements that make up a lifetime. Says who? I also think that it is part of the moral relativism (that this particular radio personality dissects on a regular basis) to say that a person is not what they do, say, or how they act, but rather the quality of their research is what we need to really look at. Huh?

There has been open speculation as to whether Crowley and Carl Jung ever met, I wrote about the parallels between the two, with links to other people's research in another blog post: The Talented Mr. Crowley.

They may have never met in the flesh, but they met and their work was irrevocably intertwined in the work of cultural anthropologist Angeles Arrien, who died on April 24th, 2014, almost a year after I initially began the draft of this blog post.

Arrien, a internationally famous author, with a strong following among proponents of transpersonal (Jungian) psychology, wrote "The Tarot Handbook (TTH), Practical Applications of Ancient Visual Symbols."  This handbook focuses exclusively on the Thoth (Crowley) Tarot, and serves to whitewash the particularly demonic intent of this deck by reducing it to a study of Archetypal symbols and how they relate to self-help studies, human potential and personal growth. Arrien saw her work as bridging disciplines - the tarot is  presented as a psychology tool rather than occult practice.  In true new age form, Arrien's handbook reduces everything to an inner psychological process - the inner reflecting what is manifesting in the outer, based on the idea that the unconscious is driving all motivation and therefore perception, thereby creating reality. Except that, of cooouuurrrsse,  the most aware and enlightened, i.e. those that  work with this handbook all the time, can increase their inner awareness and thus decrease the deterministic aspect of a reading. All scary negative interpretations of cards, such as Crowley's designation for the 7 of Disks -"Failure" -  is changed in the Handbook to "fear of failure", 5 of Swords - Defeat - is changed to "fear of defeat",  Disappointment - "fear of disappointment", etc. All negatives are changed to a fear of the innate negative characteristics of a card, the implication being that by adjusting one's attitude one can alter one's fate, which is true in some sense, but does not really have a practical application in fortune telling and the like, because if people are interested in the hard work of changing they don't usually contact entities and consult psychics in the first place. Arrien's Handbook ignores the implicit evil in Crowley's work, rendering useless any critical analysis of his intricately woven subliminal traps by putting it all into the realm of self-help and introspection.
Did I mention entities? Because you can rest assured that the Crowley deck comes with its own crowd called up from the Astral that use the symbols as portals for entry into the human field. The individual tarot higher arcana are called Keys (for instance Key #2, The High Priestess), and they are literal keys in that they unlock a place in the mind for the symbols to be introduced. These particular cards were created in order to open up a space in the human body-mind complex for the lower astral and demonic realms to enter. That's my story and I am sticking to it. 

Co-opt the Symbols/Change the Meaning

TTH takes tarot out of the realm of fortunetelling and puts it into the pseudo-science of psychology, while totally ignoring the overtly occult aspect of the Thoth Tarot.This creates a diversion from the embedded content:
Crowley switched out cards 8 and 11, returning # 8 back to being Justice and assigning Key # 11, in the Strength spot, but calling it Lust. Crowley was an "11" numerologically, so he would want this type of perverse focus going into the occult aspect of his personal number. Coincidentally, Arrien died at age 74, which equals 11; her website states that she did not wish to have a memorial service, but rather that mourners should light a candle on the 24th of each month in the year that she died (2014) in her honor.
Crowley took out all of the kings and pages and changed the court cards to Prince and Princesses, so that the court stood as: Queens - mature women; Knights - mature men; and Princes and Princesses -  youths male or female. The psychology explanation for this is that it gives a more optimal approach to 'reading' male or female individuals populating one's life. If you consider that everything and everyone in your environment is mirroring your inner reality, then even if a Tarot card is referring to a person of the opposite sex in your reading, since that person is your consciousness being mirrored in your life circumstances, that still makes it, you, The Fool, who is seen in #0 as the person experiencing the "journey."

I wrote on the fool card back around 2003, when I was a complete (as opposed to a partial) IDIOT.I revisit this material in order to emphasize the pagan fertility cult, mystery school, sun worshiping base materialism implicit in the tarot, which many consider a spiritual path:

 Although the characters in the Tarot appear to change in each card, they are really all the same person—The Fool. The soul, taking the  sojourn called human life, changes form but remains at source, inviolable and without gender. The sun or manifestations of solar life - people, animals, plants, appear in every card. Without the life giving rays of the sun, without photosynthesis,  vegetative, biological life would not be, just as without the number zero, our system of mathematics would not exist. That is why the Tarot begins with card (also called “Key”) zero which faces left, or backwards, toward the last card, The World, which faces right at the end of the journey, thus closing the circle. The Fool's jacket is covered in green tendrils to show that s/he is the concentrated energy of the sun animated through the force of biology - the life force. The energy of the sun, worshiped as a god in almost every ancient culture, suffuses every aspect of  The Fool's tableau, from the bright white-light of the large solar disk, the mandala-like wheels which also appear on her jacket, and the bright yellow color.Although the Fool's path is life itself, the road does not end with death. Key #0 in the Thoth deck, designed with an egg-shaped ribbon looped around him - Shakespeare's "Mortal Coil"—spirals up into the next plane of existence. The journey of this life prepares us for the next one, as all successive travels will prepare us for the ones to come. 
That is the idea anyway, as put forth by the "intuitive arts". I believe that Crowley replaced Kings and Pages with Princes and Princesses for the following reason: Crowley was at heart, if not publicly, a Satanist and as such was into "Powers and Principalities" (Biblical) -as a ceremonial magician he worshiped the God of Forces. Lucifer is a "prince of the air"; the court card Prince of Swords, is literally a Prince of the Air, as the suite of swords in the tarot represents the element of air, or in psycho-babble, " the process of mentation." Crowley insisted the Lucifer of his deck had nothing to do with the Devil of Christianity (although all Satanists draw on Christianity for their own rites and rituals), instead seeing Lucifer as the Light Bringer - Bringing Illumination to all of mankind and liberating them from the forces of darkness and ignorance. This is the same philosophy underlying secret groups the likes of the Illuminati and where they derive their name and ethos. They consider themselves the holders of a superior light source, emanating from Lucifer. I've heard it said that all Illuminati are Luciferians, but not all satanists are Illuminati, or know that they are, in essence, Luciferians.

 Psychological Psychopomp or Satanist Psychopath?

Crowley changed the Devil card (Key 15) to 'Mirth'  and Arrien christened it  "The Principle of Mirth, Humour at what Bedevils us" ("The Tarot Handbook," California Institute of Integral Studies, 1987.)
Instead of the sinister looking Baphomet depicted in most subsequent cards succeeding the Marseilles deck, (the card featuring a man and woman chained to the devil), Thoth Tarot has a dopey cartoon looking goat - making the Devil a potentially benign concept and a mere internal process rather than a cosmic force of evil. When we drag things out into the light, the handbook states, they are not so scary and we see the humor in what appeared to initially be a dark situation, intimating that our ideas about good and evil are overblown and paranoid to begin with..

Crowley wrote of Key #15 in Liber 777:
The figure of Pan or Priapus
Golden Dawn description
This card should be studied in conjunction with No.l3. They are the two great controlling forces of the Universe, the centrifugal and the centripetal, destructive and reproductive, dynamic and static. The lower nature of man fears and hates the transmuting process; hence the chains binding the lesser
figures and the bestial forms of their lower limbs. Yet this very fear of change and disintegration is necessary to stabilise the life-force and preserve continuity. The colours are indigo, livid brown, golden brown and grey
from :

 Arrien's TTH encourages the use of these cards for meditation. Affirmations (mind control) are provided to reinforce the "positive" aspect of the card.
The tarot is a solar pathway in the occult. It references the marriage of the sun and the moon, as befits its affiliation with the ancient fertility cults. 
 As others have pointed out, there are 78 cards in a tarot deck and the 78 signifies the marriage of the sun and moon. Card 7, the Charioteer, is aligned with Cancer and ruled by the moon. Card 8, was traditionally Strength and depicted a woman with a lion (Leo, a sun symbol) on a golden yellow card. This was before Crowley made it card 11 and renamed it Lust; Arrien's interpretation is that it is "Lustre" - an inner radiance that is enhanced by rubbing against the sharp edges of life.  7 + 8 = the marriage of the Sun and Moon as illustrated by the tarot cycle.

Crowley's cards reinforce the Kabbalistic overlay (An overlay is a perceptual field, not a real spiritual truth.) of our false reality. The sun serves as a  Sephiritic sphere, providing a lens and filter to allow in the the limitless light of the outer world, then refracts into the prism of colors which is called the seven rays of occultism. All occult doctrines are filtered through the lens of Kabbalistic tree of life Sephira, spheres which are the oppressive overlay that is often referred to as "the matrix." The first "The Matrix" movie was immediately recognized by occultists everywhere as an artistic powerhouse of occult lore.

In short, Crowley had to change the tarot and get princes ensconced firmly into it for the reasons previously state, i.e.,  that Lucifer, his main squeeze, is a "prince of the air" - see, the Thoth tarot is just another way to get Lucifer, the prince of darkness and his cartel of dark lords into pop metaphysics, most of which does not believe in a real devil, Satan or Lucifer, all seen as Archetypes rather than real supernatural beings, become part of our unacknowledged "shadow material;" which we need to embrace (Give it a big hug) in order to integrate it into our psyches and become whole. No, I don't believe this, I'm just explaining the spiel as it relates to this topic. It is all about the "transmuting power." I believe that Angeles Arrien unknowingly aided him in preparing humanity for the reign of the dark lords by believing that she was bridging cross-cultural symbolism with psychology. Come to think of it, the name Angeles means angels and Arrien contains the word Air or Aire (Old English spelling). So although it is her real name, it appears to be an anagram, of sorts, of "Angels in Aire" - if you can get one anagram from several different languages.

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