“The so-called 'Left-Hand Path' - that of Kaulas, Siddhas and Viras - combines the... Tantric worldview with a doctrine of the Übermensch which would put Nietzsche to shame... The Vira - which is to say: the 'heroic' man of Tantrism - seeks to sever all bonds, to overcome all duality between good and evil, honor and shame, virtue and guilt. Tantrism is the supreme path of the absolute absence of law - of shvecchacarī, a word meaning 'he whose law is his own will'." ― Julius Evola, The Path of Cinnabar.

“It is necessary to have “watchers” at hand who will bear witness to the values of Tradition in ever more uncompromising and firm ways, as the anti-traditional forces grow in strength. Even though these values cannot be achieved, it does not mean that they amount to mere “ideas.” These are measures…. Let people of our time talk about these things with condescension as if they were anachronistic and anti-historical; we know that this is an alibi for their defeat. Let us leave modern men to their “truths” and let us only be concerned about one thing: to keep standing amid a world of ruins.” ― Julius Evola, Revolt Against the Modern World: Politics, Religion, and Social Order in the Kali Yuga.

“We are born into this time and must bravely follow the path to the destined end. There is no other way. Our duty is to hold on to the lost position, without hope, without rescue, like that Roman soldier whose bones were found in front of a door in Pompeii, who died at his post during the eruption of Vesuvius because someone forgot to relieve him. That is greatness. That is what it means to be a thoroughbred. The honorable end is the one that can not be taken from a man.” ― Oswald Spengler, Man and Technics: A Contribution to a Philosophy of Life.

Monday, June 4, 2012

My Aleister Crowley Thoth Tarot Deck Revisited

I have a lot of stuff around my house that I’ve been carrying around for many years. A case in point – this morning I came across my old set of Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot cards that I’ve had for nearly 35 years now. I don’t think I’ve opened the box and handled them for about 10 years, but this is a deck that I used the hell out of for many years. I acquired these at a stage magic shop when my family first moved to Florida in 1979. This was not my first Tarot deck. I still have the trumps from a 1JJ “Swiss” 19th Century Marseille style deck that I’ve had since I was around 8 or 9 years old, that was my first deck. My second deck was the University Books printing of the Rider-Waite Tarot that came from an estate liquidation/sale that my mother took me to when I was probably 11 or 12. I still have that deck also. I would have been 14 years old when I acquired this Crowley deck, and it accompanied me throughout my ferociously out-of-control teenage years – into my early 20s – that was a blur of “altered states,” frenetic activity, obsessive study of magic, astrology, the cabala and occultism in general, and intersections with innumerable strange, deranged, and dangerous people. This was my study-deck during my wall-to-wall obsession with Crowleyan material at this time, it was also at hand during many very weird scenes, and served in Tarot readings for a number of people with “bad karma” including one subsequent murder victim.
Although I don’t believe the Golden Dawn or Crowley systems are the “end all be all” of Tarot interpretation, or that they are the “definitive” Tarots by any stretch of the imagination (The Tarot of Marseilles is far more deserving of serious study), they still have their place. In any event, I was surprised how battered this deck actually is, and am glad that I excavated it, I have a fetish for wear and age that cannot be simulated, so I’ll probably start playing with this deck again and maybe post some material regarding Crowley’s interpretation of the Tarot and his special use of the symbolism. I’m not entirely dismissive of Crowley – there is much of interest there (in spite of the retarded and contaminated post-Crowley backwash of the American hippy/occult scene, Robert Anton Wilson and ilk that deserves to be flushed into oblivion).

Here is my old battered Thoth Deck:

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