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Qaballah and Tarot: A Basic Course on the relationship between Tarot and Qaballah in Nine Lessons. An introduction. Keywords: Qaballah, Tarot, divination, mathematics, anthropology, mytholgy

Qaballah and Tarot: A Basic Course on the relationship between Tarot and Qaballah in Nine Lessons. An introduction. Keywords: Qaballah, Tarot, divination, mathematics, anthropology, mytholgy

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Yael R. DragwylaFirst North American rightsEmail: Polaris93@aol.com 2,526 wordshttp://polaris93.livejournal.com/

Qaballah and Tarot: A Basic Course in Nine Lessons

Lesson I

by Yael Dragwyla© 1984, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1994, 1997 by Yael R. DragwylaA.

What is the Qaballah?

Qaballah is the quantum mechanics of the Inner Planes, the realms of mind, emotion, memory, andWill, that is, of intellect, soul, and spirit, and of the physical body insofar as it mediates and mirrorsthese. It is the spiritual expression and reflection of physics, the science of physical reality at its most basic and essential levels. As will be seen, it even entails its own version of the Periodic Table of theChemical Elements, Mendeleev’s lovely brain-child, which gives essential mathematical descriptions notonly of the known chemical elements, but also of all that ever might be, and, in addition, something of the sub-atomic particles of which atoms are composed.In particular, Qaballah is a system of bijective associations

1

between an alphabet of some kind and aset of distinct numerical values. An alphabet, in this case, is any ordered set

2

of distinct symbols,

3

whichmay include any of the following: the digits (counting numbers 1-9); astrological entities, such asPlanets, Signs, or Stars; Gods; Tarot cards; a scale of musical notes; a discontinuous spectrum of electromagnetic wavelengths (i.e., colors, visible or otherwise); perfumes and incenses’ drugs; plants;animals; gemstones; Magickal tools or Powers; or just about any other set of distinct entities of a givenkind one could possibly think of. The set of numbers with which the elements of that alphabet areassociated may be any numbers that can be operated upon mathematically, including integers, fractions,irrational numbers, complex numbers, and so on. In every case, for each character of the given alphabet,whatever it may be, one and

only

one member of any of the sets of numbers associated with it (of whichthere may be more than one, none exactly identical with any other) is associated with it.

4

For this course, the original (lexical or indexing) alphabet we shall use in the beginning will be theset of distinct counting numbers 1 through 32. These are called

Key Numbers

, partly because they provide keys to the Greater Mysteries, and partly because they can be used as a mnemonic keying systemto index data more efficiently and quickly, like key-memory accessing modes in cybernetic systems.This Key Number indexing system is traditional in the Western Tradition of esoteric Arts and Sciences.Later on, for philosophical reasons we will add Zero,

ℵ

0

(

Aleph

-sub-Null, the first Cantorian transfinitenumber, the Number of All Numbers, the order of the Real Line

ℜ

),

ℵ

1

(

Aleph

-sub-One, the secondCantorian transfinite number, the Number of All Mathematical Curves),

ℵ

2

(

Aleph

-sub-Two, the thirdCantorian transfinite number, the Number of All Mathematical Structures),

5

i

=

√

-1,* and the Null or Empty Set to this indexing system, as well as a number of other mathematical entities. For now,however, we will stick to the traditional 32-two symbol lexical system.

6

*The square root of minus one, the basis of the system of imaginary numbers. This entity is distinct fromall real numbers, of any value; for the result of squaring any real number (i.e., multiplying it byitself) always produces a

positive

number, one greater than zero. Obviously, then, -1 (minus one)

cannot be the resultant of squaring any real number. Its square root is thus other than real -- hence itis called “imaginary,” and symbolized as

i

, the initial letter of “imaginary.”We will also discuss, very briefly, the general way in which a Qaballah is used in its associatednumerology, and how the Hebrew alphabet, in particular, is used in

Gematria

, the numerology of theHebrew Qaballah.Finally, there will be a brief discussion of the concept of the

Qlippoth

. These are the distortedreflections of the

Sephiroth

. Each of the ten

Sephiroth

of the Tree of Life are realms of Divine Guidance,ruled by a God or Archangel Who directs the affairs of that aspect of Creation according to the Will of the Great Spirit, and populated by benign or at least spiritually neutral spirits who all are part of thenatural and divine order as it is expressed in that

Sephirah

. The

Qlippoth

are poor, distorted copies of the

Sephiroth

, each ruled by its Arch-Demon, and populated by malefic spirits whose natures are accordingto that of the

Qlippoth

in which they dwell. The

Sephiroth

can be thought of as psychospiritual states,states of spirit, soul, and intellect, as well as aspects of physical reality; the

Qlippoth

, then, arecomparable to illness of spirit, soul, and body, or disharmonies in the physical and social universes. Inthis section, we will discuss the

Qlippoth

, their denizens, and their impact upon both the spiritual and thematerial life of humanity and other beings.

B. What is the relationship of Qaballah to Tarot?

By comparing Tarot packs differing in design but all sharing the same traditional infrastructure of 40Minor Arcana, 16 Court Cards, and 22 Greater Trumps, described above, we see certain other basicsimilarities among them. These in turn all refer to the Qaballah. The Qaballah has grown out of a Jewishmetaphysical system which has existed in a coherent, written form for many centuries; the originalelements out of which its current form has evolved go back much father still.

7

In turn, all of thetraditional Hebrew Qaballah refers to the

Tree of Life

, a diagrammatic pictorial scheme that looks a littlelike a tree bearing ten fruits interconnected by twenty-two branches. The “fruits” are the

Sephiroth

* andthe “branches” are the

Atua

.** In the Tarot, the

Sephiroth

are represented by means of the fortynumbered “small” cards, the Lower Arcana, while the

Atua

are represented by the twenty-two Greater Trumps, numbered by 0 and the Roman numerals I-XXI.*A Hebrew word meaning “sapphires” or “brilliants” (i.e., brilliant-appearing things, such as gemstones).The singular form is

Sephirah

.**An Egyptian word meaning “Paths.” The singular form is

Atu

.All true Tarot packs, then, are based upon Qaballah, and specifically refer to the Tree of Life. We willcover the relationship between Tarot and the Hebrew Qaballah in lessons to come in small detail, becauseunderstanding this relationship not only will help increase your skill in reading Tarot, but is alsoabsolutely necessary to creating a new Tarot pack of any real psychological and Magickal potency, if youever desire to do so.

Endnotes

1

Bijectivity

: A

bijective map

or

bijective relation

is a mathematical relation between two sets of things such that each set contains exactly the same number of elements as the other; for a given elementin either set, there is exactly one -- i.e., one and only one -- element associated with it under this relation.Furthermore, the first element in this pair is related to the second, and

only

to the second member of the pair, through the

inverse

of the original map, which, like the original map, is also bijective. Thus thismapping is a

one-to-one/onto

relationship. That it is

one-to-one

means that each element of the first set,the

domain

, is matched

uniquely

with (i.e., with exactly one of) one element of the second set, the

range

.That it is

onto

means that every element in the second set or range is matched with at least one elementof the first set, the domain.

A one-to-one mapping is sometimes called an

into

mapping, or

injection

; an

onto

mapping issometimes called a

surjection

. Thus a bijection is a mapping that is both an injection and a surjection.As an example of a bijective relation, suppose we have two bags, one containing ten black marbles,the other ten green marbles. Therefore every black marble in the first bag can be paired with exactly one,distinct green marble from the second, and vice-versa, such that there are no green and no black marblesleft over after all the marbles in either bag have been paired up with marbles from the other bag. Therelationship between the marbles in the two bags is thus a bijective one.For more on mappings in general, and injective and surjective functions in particular, the followingare especially useful: Donald R. Barr and Floyd E. Willmore,

College and University Mathematics: A Functional Approach

(Boston: Allyn and Bacon, Inc., 1968), pp. 7-102 (Chapter 1); Howard Eves andCarroll V. Newsom,

An Introduction to the Foundations and Fundamental Concepts of Mathematics

(New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1958), pp. 226-259 (Chapter 8); and John G. Kemeny,Hazleton Mirkil, J. Laurie Snell, and Gerald L. Thompson, Finite Mathematical Structures (EnglewoodCliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1959), pp. 70-90.

2

Ordered set

: More rigorous definitions of such a set may be found in various works on set theory.For now, we will call any ordered set any set

S

= {

s

1

,

s

2

,. . .,

s

i

,. . .,

s

n

}, where

n

is some positive integer (i.e., a counting-number greater than zero), such that

s

comprises an array of the

n

elements

s

1

,

s

2

, . . . ,

s

i

,. . . ,

s

n

fixed in order, such that for any element

s

i of

s

, where

i

is a positive integer that may have avalue from 1 through

n

, then

s

i is the

i

th

component of the array. For example, suppose

s

is the set of pos-itive integers {1,2,3,4}. Given that in addition, these four elements of

s

are fixed in order such that 1 is

always

the first in order of the listing of the elements of

s

, 2 is

always

the second, 3 is

always

the third,and 4 is

always

the fourth, then

s

is an ordered set.From another point of view, if

s

= {

s

1

,. . .,

s

i

,. . .,

s

n

} is an ordered set, then it is also the vector (

s

1

,. . .,

s

i

,. . .,

s

n

), whose

i

th

component is

s

i

.The English/Roman written-language alphabet is a perfect example of an ordered set. A, its firstletter, is the first element or component of that set; B is its second component; and so on, down to Z.Another example of an ordered set is the subset of eight dominant notes of the 12-tone musical scalewe use in the West, in order,

do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti, do

.For more on ordered sets and vectors, see Barr and Willmore,

op. cit.

, pp. 118-119 and 542; GeorgCantor,

Contributions to the Founding of the Theory of Transfinite Numbers

(Philip E. B. Jourdain,translator. New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1955), pp. 32, 38 ff., 47, 50 ff., 52, 62, 75, 79 ff., 81,110 ff., 113, 122 ff., 151 ff., 158, 159, 202, 208; Eves and Newsom,

op. cit.

, p. 118-153 (Chapter Five);Ellis Horowitz and Sartaj Sahni,

Fundamentals of Data Structures

(Potomac, MD: Computer SciencePress, Inc., 1977), pp. 40-201; and Kemeny, Mirkil, Snell, and Thompson,

op. cit.

, pp. 205-330 (Chapter Four).

3

Not only do the alphabets of the world’s written human languages qualify as alphabets under thisdefinition of the term, but so also does the set of digits 0-9, when used as symbols; a set comprising anynumber of distinct numbers or other mathematical entities, when used as symbols; a set of distinct punctuation symbols; a set of distinct computer reserved words, when represented in the form of ide-ographs or as holistic representations in other sensory modes; and so on.

4

And vice-versa. That is, we can have

p

alphabets and

q

sets of numbers, where none of thealphabets exactly resembles any other, and no two sets of numbers are identical, such that every set of numbers and each alphabet has the same number of elements in it.* Then each alphabet or set of numberscan be bijectively associated with

all

the others, which can make for a very interesting set of cross-associations among these sets. This could be of particular interest in comparing two or more cultures,each of which has a written language and an alphabet to go with it, using Qaballistic analysis.*Thus all the alphabets and sets of numbers can be put into bijective correspondence with the set of consecutive positive integers 1-

n

, where

n

is the number of elements in each of these alphabets andsets of numbers, i.e., the

order

of each such set.

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