We seem to need rather badly a means of keeping contact and so, if we are to have a Newsletter or Bulletin, it seems to me that we might as well make plans for it and see if we cannot make each one stand as a step forward in works of study and of research in which we can all take part according to our various accumulations of information and experience.
With this issue we have a new name for our publication, NEW HORIZONS. And, for convenience sake, we start again with Number 1. I believe that, with more and better material, there will be more donation support for Cigbo and his box, and that issues can be sent out more often, more books purchased for editorial needs, and some illustrative material printed for us by the offset process as it is needed.
As this will be the beginning of a series of research and presentation units which amount to a step by step INITIATION into the symbol meanings of the TAROT CARDS, I urge all of you who are interested in having a part in the work to write to me at once to say so. This first number of “N.H.” is being sent to all who have been on the old Bulletin list for several years back. That will serve to give a sampling of the material and invite participation. The next issue will be sent only to those who have written in or who have recently donated to the Cigbo work fund.
The single copies of the publication go in lots of over forty for 3¢ postage, but when sent alone, they must go as first class mail at 8¢. So if you request an additional copy, please send the postage to match. As offset printing is used for illustrations, back copies of NEW HORIZONS may not be in hand long.
HRA membership cards are still to be had on request for those who do not have them. Please make your letters brief and please send a stamped and self addressed envelope if you wish to have a reply. This applies also to the continuing TMHG work, the hours for which soon will change back to regular time.
This is YOUR little magazine project if you will have it so and what we may or may not accomplish together with this fresh start depends on our team work.
Aloha, Max Freedom Long
TAROT CARD SYMBOLOGY – Introductory Unit I
The TAROT CARDS were the parents of modern playing cards. In the Tarot pack, however, there were included four face cards (one missing from the modern playing cards. Also missing are the “Major Tarots, 21 in number.) The “Joker” of the common deck belongs to the original Tarot majors, but is given the number ZERO.
THE INITIATORY FIRST DEGREE of the several orders whose secret work has been based on the Tarot, sometimes is based on the Zero card named “THE FOOL,” and this will be our starting point. We will initiate ourselves because we lack initiate ourselves because we lack those already initiated to induct us. For the time being, lacking an order or a name around which to build one, we can be “The Ancient Order of HRA Tarot.” The pass word will be “Cigbo,” and the grip an extended right paw, claws covered. As we have no initiatory work or ritual, we will do research and supply, through studies, the materials needed. The First Degree initiates into the A.O. HRA will be called “The seekers.” You can all select a chair to your liking in the imaginary lodge room for the present. Our Lodge shall be named, “Mother Father Lodge of the A.O. HRA T.” Our motto is, “Let us have fun while we learn.” If there are no objections, the Lodge now is in session. All of us, as candidates for the First Degree, will now assemble our degree materials, or at least make a beginning at the task. How is that?
ON THE CENTRAL ALTAR OF OUR LODGE we now place a pack of the Tarot Cards. Exposed on the top is the card of the Zero, titled “The FOOL.” Our success in passing the First Degree will depend on whether or not we are able, as studies progress, to make a faintly satisfactory answer to the question “WHAT DOES THE SYMBOLOGY OF THIS CARD HOLD AS ITS HIDDEN MEANING?” In the two sheets of illustrations included in this issue of N.H. will be seen a reproduction of the Zero Card as specified by Waite and drawn by Pamela Smith, published originally by Rider & Co. in England. The design follows fairly closely the older cards, all of which show a fool or beggar with a dog who either goes along or who bites the man. The man is about to step blindly over a precipice, taking the dog with him. In some designs the man carries a small bundle on a stick slung over one shoulder. In our design, he is carrying a flower in one hand. He is young.
(THE OTHER CARDS SHOWN IN THE ILLUSTRATION SHEETS are arranged in the secret order which will be discussed later on in our work. For the present, look them over, but do nothing with them. However, KEEP THEM, as one or more of them will need to be studied and compared as each succeeding degree is approached. Later we will have illustrated the lesser section of the deck which is used mainly as an adjunct in prognosticating PAST, PRESENT, and FUTURE with the full pack.) CLICK HERE for a printable .pdf of these sheets.
THE LODGE SWEEPER NOW ARISES and amidst sighs and groans from all sides, uses his imaginary broom to sweep from the Lodge Room all former TEACHINGS concerning the Tarot. A CLEAN SWEEP is made because hundreds of books clutter the room, and not one of them, so far as has been discovered, has told of the secret order in which the cards of the major part of the pack should be laid out to reveal the hidden meanings of the symbols. More poppycock has been written about the meaning of the Tarot than about any other “occult” subject.
The scant material which we will find of value can be selected from the mass and brought back into the Lodge Room for discussion when needed.
WITH YOUR PERMISSION, I will hold, for the present, the chair of THE EXALTED HIGH CARD, and act as keeper of the source materials as well as suspicious judge of their values. As such, I will present the materials and invite additions and corrections of my evaluations. I have at hand the following items:
(or a speaking acquaintance with them.) (All of you who have elected to sit in the chairs of the EAGER BEAVERS for the sessions to come, as well as this sesson of the Lodge, will please quote page and cite authority, name book or teaching, etc., when calling attention to material which may be of value.) Now the list.
THE TAROT CARDS of the Pamela Smith design (Rider’s). We will use this pack. (Rider & Co. no longer supply this pack, but a fair reproduction of it is published over here by de Laurence Co. in Chicago at about $2.50 plus postage. They also can supply the book about the Tarot by Waite, The Key to the Tarot, a copy of which used to be included free with the Rider pack. Later you will want to own this Tarot pack.
THE BROTHERHOOD OF LIGHT pack, propounding a teaching based on the astrological values assigned to the cards, also their supposed connection with the letters of the Hebrew alphabet.
THE PAUL FOSTER CASE pack, based on the Smith. Hebrew letters of Kabalism, with personal teachings in a course.
A MODERN ITALIAN pack in colors and with all wording in Italian. Mixture of designs from various packs with original items.
ILLUSTRATIONS OF THE PACK WITH EGYPTIAN SYMBOLS are on hand in various books, also illustrations of old French packs.
SEMI MODERN FRENCH pack once owned by A. Crowley (on loan) with Crowley’s notes written over the faces of the cards. Notes were transcribed recently by a good friend for me.
BOOKS dealing with the Tarot Cards
Key to the Tarot by Arthur E. Waite.
Tarot of the Bohemians by Papus. (Rider, 1919.)
Practical Astrology by Comte. C. de Saint Germain. (Out of print.) Horoscope based on numerology and Tarot Cards as symbols of signs and planets. He invented and used the Tarots known to the Egyptians (and only to him).
The Key to the Universe and its companion book, The Key of Destiny. both by Harriette Augusta and F. Homer Curtiss. These authors founded “The Order of the Fifteen” on the meanings they assembled and assigned to the Tarot Cards. Books may still be available. They illustrate four packs and cover most of the things generally believed in Tarot Card circles. (Mrs. Curtiss may still be teaching in Hollywood, Calif.)
How to Use and Understand the Tarot, by Frank Lind. Small book to introduce a course. Modern, and critical of much which has been written of the Cards, but the teachings should not be accepted without question. (English Pubs.)
VALUABLE BOOKS NOT DEALING WITH THE TAROT CARDS, but which will be relied upon for much philosophical, historical and general in formation,are on my shelf:
Books by Gerald Massey, dealing largely with Egyptian beliefs. Ancient Egypt Light of the World, 2 vols., Book of the Beginnings, 2 Vols., Natural Genesis, 2 Vols. (All very massive and important.)
Books by Dr. Alvin Boyd Kuhn, some based on Massey’s ponderous books and scholarly studies and conjectures. The Lost Light, Who is the King of Glory? and The Shadow of the Third Century, all in print and valuable.
Books by G.R.S. Mead, Theosophist and great scholar. Most of his books are out of print except the three listed first. Thrice Greatest Hermes, three Vols., John Watkins & Co. Pistis Sophia, also in print and available from Watkins. The Subtle Body. (All following out of print.) Quests old and New, Did Jesus Live 100 B.C.? Some Mystical Adventures, Fragments of a Faith Forgotten, Orpheus, The Gospel and the Gospels, A Mithraic Ritual, and The Chaldean Oracles. All excellent. Gnosis or research historical.
Books by Helena P. Blavatsky, co founder of the Theosophical Society and amazing gatherer of information from various sources. Isis Unveiled and The Secret Doctrine. Late edition, printed two volumes under one cover. Valuable.
Assorted books on ancient beliefs and customs around the world and through many centuries, with books dealing with Egypt, India and Polynesia. Important.
Assorted books dictated by spirits through living mediums. Often present significant ideas, but material is not often historic. Statements usually contradict other spirit revelations.
The Bible, the Koran, Bhagavad Gita, Buddhist Scriptures and commentaries, Yoga literatures, some Chinese literature. Works on the religion of the Aboriginals in Australia and on the beliefs and magical practices of Africa and Central America. Books on Zen.
Many miscellaneous books on related materials.
(Check with me before you take it for granted that you have knowledge of material unknown to me, and save your time copying out passages or sending me the books.)
A scientist’s approach, Soul of the Universe, by Gustaf Stromberg (in print) is very helpful in many ways.
Assorted articles accumulated over a period of several years.
William James has not been equaled as yet as a writer on psychology. Fodor’s Encyclopedia of Psychic Science (if you can find one)is the best source book for things psychic.
Huna remains the standard measuring stick for use in an approach to all psycho-religious material.
Tibetan Yoga and related material, while not too important to our project, may best be represented on our book shelves by the fine and scholarly works of W.Y. Evans Wentz. They are all in print or can be had as used books.
Other source books may be mentioned later if we need to refer to them, as may several small books by Mead, and others on the Gnostic literature and such things as the Dead Sea Scrolls. All materials will furnish grist for our mill.
The books by Eliphas Levi, such as his Trancendental Magic, were accompanied by other books signed “Papus” and when Levi is mentioned by Waite, (or by the book based on his book on the Tarot, by de Laurence, here in USA) he also has in mind what was said in the “Papus” books.
YOU MAY ALREADY HAVE NOTICED that I have been using “Tarot” in quoting the titles of books, but that I use “Taro” in the Lodge. There is a very definite initiatory reason for this. If you will look at your illustration sheets and find Trump Major “X,” “The Wheel of Fortune,” you will observe that around the wheel have been placed the letters forming the word “TARO.” To get “Tarot” one has to start reading around the wheel a second time. Some suggest that the letters be transposed to get the word for “wheel,” given as “ROTA,” and others that transposing the letters otherwise will give the “Divine Name.”
It has become customary, owing to the lack of definite information concerning the history and symbol meanings of the Tarot, to invent meanings and proclaim them as solemn facts similar to other “revealed” teachings. In view of this custom, we shall feel fully justified in having a few “revelations” of our own as we compound our ritual and dogmas. Our Lodge can be known outwardly as one based on the TAROT, but for us initiates into the first degree, we will use the proper name, “Taro.”
As no one knows the origin of the information hidden in the symbols on the Taro Cards, our revelation in the Lodge is that in the ages farthest back, it came from Huna. Later, it was more or less covered, twisted or lost, but as the cards come down to us, the name “Taro” survives.
“Taro,” in the Hawaiian dialect favored by na kahuna of old, is kalo. One of the meanings of the word is given in the old Andrews dictionary as, “One of the class of gods called akua noho; opua ame KALO kekahi akua makau ia.”
This class of gods was distinguished by the fact that the “gods” in it lived (noho) with men. They were none other than na Aumakua. They were given various names and titles in keeping with the several ways in which they functioned in “living” with men. The Hawaiian phrase quoted from the dictionary (above) was, undoubtedly, take from something explained in that way by a kahuna who helped make the early dictionary of word meanings. The word “lame” seems to be a typographical error, but the rest of the phrase translated (reading ame as a me) gives “The cluster of (united?) gods of the KALO class who prepare or make things ready (as for an event).”
From this we may conclude that the Taro symbolizes the work of na Aumakua (united as Father Mother pairs, or these in turn united to make the “Great Company” of na Aumakua). This work is that of planning and making things ready on the high level so that the three selves may be able to work and grow properly. The implication is that in the cards we have guidance offered by na Aumakua for the man, considered as a combined Aunihipili and Auhane unit over which hovers the Parental Aumakua Pair who, through the cards, offer enlightenment. (The opu is the “belly” which, in Hawaiian, stood for the seat of the Aunihipili, and all enlightenment was said to be of the “belly.” In other words, the Aunihipili had to be brought along and enlightened or trained to be more like the Auhane as part of the process.)
So, if we speak of the “Tarot,” we may be speaking to either the initiated or the uninitiated. But when we say “TARO” we are holding in mind na Aumakua and their GUIDANCE embodied in the symbols of the cards.
(In the Lodge, when this great secret is divulged to the candidates, the bell will be rung three times, the drum tapped three times, and a lustration [sic] of water, symbol of the high mana, sprinkled around the base of the central altar. Na kahuna had no bells so, if the Lodge has a conch shell, it may be blown thrice. Later we can adjust this part of the ritual to indicate the three selves, three aka bodies and three grades of mana, or we can toss it into the discard. However, all lodges should have rituals. If they mean anything, so much the better.)
NOW FOR THE FIRST DEGREE
We become “SEEKERS” and apply ourselves to the task of determining the meaning of the symbols of the Zero Card, “The Fool.” It is generally agreed that the card symbolizes the “fall” of mankind into the world of material life. The spirit of man is said to have been perfect and “with God” but for some mysterious reason had to fall or leave the high estate to enter material or physical life.
The question is always asked, “Why was this necessary?”
The answer entails a hundred other questions. We ask, “What is God?” “Why did a perfect and all wise and all powerful God wish to create a universe and set units of intelligence evolving from lower to higher and higher forms of life?”
We have learned in modem times to trace the steps by which the one celled forms of life evolve to the many celled forms which culminate in man, who exhibits human intelligence. This is very simple and satisfactory except for the fact that we cannot have a machine without someone to run it. We cannot have a blind and unguided evolutionary growth. A master plan and a guiding intelligence simply MUST be behind the whole process. We see evidence of a plan and a general LAW dictating the manner of growth upward from bottom to top.
Again we are confronted with the old question of “Who came first, the hen or the egg?” Ancient Egyptian sages seem to have answered “both and neither.” The sages of India got around the difficulty by saying the gods presented first one facet of creation and then another, showing first the hen, then the egg and then the chick, none of them, necessarily being related to the others at first showing, but becoming an evolutionary sequence as Creation entered any one of its appearances. Maya, the great god of illusion and false seeming was blamed for making things appear, as anyone would know, what they simply COULD NOT be, logically considered. It was a double talk of ideas.
THE PROCESS OF EVOLUTION was reversed in the teachings of the ancient sages. The Unknowable First Cause, for some unknowable reason, divided himself into male and female parts. As a rule, the female appears first and is pictured as giving birth to a male. In any case, when there is a first pair, such as Sky and Earth, they produce children, and these in turn reproduce, always multiplying and always dropping down a level until, at the end of the out- or down “pouring,” the devolution is complete and the earliest and smallest units of living entities fill a Space and Time created to hold them.
This DEVOLUTION then becomes EVOLUTION, with the tiny units growing back to re form the First Cause in its original state. The sages of India postulated a continual going out and coming in, with a period of rest between. A few explained that God just liked to play, and that was his form of amusement.
EVOLUTION, however, demanded higher guidance, so Creation was divided into two parts, one part went to the bottom and began to evolve upward while the other part simply remained at various stations and levels of the downward path to act as guides and superintend the half in the upward growth. To keep all in proper order, a LAW was postulated. This guided the guides, so to speak.
In some versions of the story, the spirit intelligences who stopped to act as guides were said to have rebelled against God and the Law, trying to do things to suit themselves. From this story of the rebellious or “fallen” angelic beings, came some very handy explanations of WHY man broke the LAW and SINNED. But the stories always had a happy ending in which the sinners of all levels eventually were either destroyed utterly and completely, or were brought back into the fold to enjoy a complete SALVATION and be made ready to enter Heaven that is, to become a part of the First Cause from which they had emanated. Usually there was provided a SAVIOR who was both man and god to enable the sinners to reform and survive. It was rather poor logic to say that at each round of Creation a large part of the First Cause was lost by becoming completely bad and having to be destroyed utterly. To avoid this mistake, the bad were sometimes punished in everlasting fire which, of course, could not really be everlasting, and in the end brought back in one way or another to be once more a part of the First Cause. It was all just a little bit complicated, no matter in which land the sages worked to give an answer to the basic question of how we got here and why …. and where do we go and how?
When, in modern times, EVOLUTION was polished up and given a scientific respectability, our later day sages tried to give a new and better answer to the questions. But, always, they had to have some of “intelligence” left out of the grand plan of hitting bottom in a single mass and starting to bounce upward. There had to be the Guides of evolution; there was no doing without them.
BUT, if the Guides escaped the evolutionary process, as the great Herbert Spencer sternly pointed out, the whole scheme of evolution had to be thrown out. He insisted on “ALL OR NOTHING” and the question remained as far from an answer as ever.
THE VERY MODERN concept is that perhaps God, as inclusive of all intelligence, matter and energy, does not remain apart from Creation, but permeates it, each tiniest unit having its own bit of the intelligence and knowing what to do to evolve. As cells combine, intelligence combines and still knows what to do. This presents the First Cause in the form of a revolving circle in which, like the “Wheel” of the tenth Taro Card, shows a descent into dense matter on the descending side of the Wheel, and an evolving upward movement on the opposite side. This rather neatly gets rid of the starting and stopping points, as they are mixed together and made into a form of perpetual motion. Some argue that “intelligence” separates from denser matter on the up¬ward path just above man and continues to unite with other units of intelligence and evolve with only the invisible (aka?) body.
For simplifications of these increasingly complicated guesses, Dr. Raynor C. Johnson’s book, “Nurslings of Immortality” will be found easy and pleasant reading, although at the end of it, perhaps a little hopeless of answering the basic questions which engage us in this time honored field of speculation. He goes over to giving the belief systems presented by the spirit of F.W.H. Myers, supposedly through automatic writing received through the medium, Geraldine Cumains. It is a system of “planes,” “levels” and “intermediate states,” and while well worth consideration, does not agree with other systems aimed at explaining the same set of old and new problems. One cannot accept the statements of one spirit, no matter how learned, while discarding as certainly false all other spirit systems which have been recorded in book after book.
Perhaps one of us of the revived HRA can offer a better solution of the basic problem. If one is offered, it will be reported in the next N.H. issue if it will hold water well and bear critical examination.
Failing the discovery of a complete and satisfactory answer, we may do worse than to follow the example of na kahuna. They invented creation myths with gods and godlings stationed all along the evolutionary path. That was, however, not too important to them. They were a practical lot. They seem to have realized that the human mind could not reach beyond the idea of the vague gods rising in position above na Aumakua. For their purposes, it was good enough to let the beginnings and endings take care of themselves while they settled down to make the most of the very excellent, logical and inclusive piece of knowledge which they called “The Secret.” This had three selves, three shadowy bodies for the selves to live in, and three grades of mana or vital force to use. In life, there was also the body. Besides this, there was sex and the final union of male and female on the next higher level to form the Aumakua.
The symbols of the Taro Cards, once we pass the First Degree Zero Card problems, are concerned with the general picture of the conditions of life which confront us as we evolve, and of the laws under which growth must be made. To know the conditions and to be well aware of the laws or rules under which Guidance is given, is a first step of great importance. The second step is to make use of what we learn.
The Lodge now adjourns. The cards go back into their box until next session. MFL