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New Teitan Press book on the Thoth Tarot

By | September 24, 2010 | Print This Post | E-mail This Post | 2 Comments

In association with The College of Thelema of Northern California, Thoth Tarot, Astrology, and Other Writings, by Phyllis SecklerTeitan Press has released The Thoth Tarot, Astrology & Other Selected Writings, by Phyllis Seckler (Soror Meral).

The book is edited and introduced by Dr. David Shoemaker, Gregory Peters and Rorac Johnson.

From the book’s description on the publisher’s website:

The Thoth Tarot, Astrology & Other Selected Writings, is edited by three of Phyllis Seckler’s former students: Rorac Johnson, Gregory Peters, and David Shoemaker. It includes a biographical sketch of Phyllis Seckler drawn from her own autobiographical writings, and two of her most important essays: “The Tarot Trumps of Thoth and Psychology” – a detailed analysis of the psychological and magical symbolism of the Trumps of the Thoth deck – and “Thoth Tarot and Astrology,” a significant study of astrology and the natal chart, with special reference to the cards of the Thoth deck. Both of these essays were previously serialized in Seckler’s journal In the Continuum, but they are here presented for the first time in book form, accompanied by redrawn and corrected diagrams.

In addition to the essays the book also contains a selection of important correspondence between Seckler, Aleister Crowley, Karl Germer and Jane Wolfe. These are followed by a transcript of the last major interview conducted with Phyllis Seckler, in which she recounted the details of her introduction to Thelema and involvement with the old Agape Lodge, her subsequent participation in various Thelemic organizations, and her thoughts on developments within the Thelemic world.

It retails for 45$US and is available from Weiser Antiquarian. For the first week – until September 28th, 2010 – the book will be available with free shipping in the US and at a reduced rate for international sales. For more information see Weiser Antiquarian.

Sexism in tarot? Not how I read

By | September 3, 2010 | Print This Post | E-mail This Post | 8 Comments

Washroom Fe/MaleI have to call out Barbara Moore for a recent essay in the Llewellyn Journal titled “Gender and Age in Tarot Cards“.

Longtime readers can probably guess where this is heading, sexism in occulture is something we’ve looked at before, and in Moore’s essay it rears its ugly head once…more. (Sorry.)

Moore begins by acknowledging that, in her view, tarot is based on archetypes which are “not too many steps removed from stereotypes”, and further,  “our” (I’ll deal with this in a sec) “history and our culture [sic] have created stereotypes of masculine and feminine behavior, energy, and characteristics”.

We then get the typical (read: sexist) breakdown of these characteristics:

A female figure represents what we think of as feminine qualities, such as nurturing, passiveness, receptiveness, and integrated worldviews. A male figure represents what we think of as masculine qualities, such as leadership, assertiveness, activeness, and linear thinking. We know that actual men and women have a combination both feminine and masculine qualities.

If you acknowledge upfront that this has no basis in reality, why continue to perpetuate stereotypes? It quite simply doesn’t make any sense.

Further, “our” history and culture also includes things like feminism, gender equality and evolving gender studies. This has had a far greater impact on my life than outdated notions that I should be regarded as (mystically!) passive. To ignore that “our” society’s views on sex and gender have changing significantly over the past two hundred years is a disservice to all of us.

I reject this interpretation of “feminine” and “masculine” qualities in the tarot. If, for example, the Emperor is to represent some of the qualities identified above, such as leadership, assertiveness and linear thinking, I think we can do quite well with this as it stands without introducing some inaccuracy about this being (esoterically!) “male” behaviour.

What is really lost by reading this way? And how much more is gained?

Commitment, Skynet, tarot and old mysteries

By | August 28, 2010 | Print This Post | E-mail This Post | 1 Comment

Saturday Signal on Plutonica.netSaturday Signal: sifting the signal from the noise of the Internet’s occultural cacophony.

With all the news I post about space, how ’bout our home planet?  No, not Pluto this time: Earth. Apparently it’s missing two billion years. Kind of. Well, we are anyway, in that we have no idea what happened for that span of time. Theories abound.

Also, the solar system is about two million years older than we thought.

Science is cool.

  • In her blog Know Thyself, T. Thorn Coyle reminds us that commitment and consistency are important in any practice, whether mundane or spiritual, in “Let’s Get Engaged“. You really do earn points just for showing up.
  • Sannion (H. Jeremiah Lewis) writes in The House of Vines, “Speaking about the unspeakable“, that the old mysteries are dead, and that’s ok. We can’t reconstruct the past as it was, and that’s fine. Learning what was is great, but it’s not where we are now. Live life. Great stuff.

I had tons more links to share, but time intervened, so next week’s Signal will likely be double-sized. You’re welcome.

As always, if you come across anything nifty, please share it in the comments, or if you use delicious tag it “ahrfoundation” and we’ll take a look. Thanks!