# In his introduction to TBOT Crowley states that the Emperor and Star
# must be counterchanged, but he neglects explaining exactly what he
# means by the statement.
he precedes this by mentioning the STRENGTH/JUSTICE exchange
(in which only the pictures and names change, not attributions).
# There are two possibilities. The positions of
# the two cards can be switched on the tree of life, or the two cards
# can be counterchanged within the ordering of the Roman numerals used
# to number the cards.
maybe if you're considering the most reasonable possibilities.
otherwise there are several based on the available directions.
# The only viable option that allows the
# traditional qabalistic correspondences to remain intact
this seems to be Crowley¹s aim, despite the completeness of the
exchange in "The Book of Thoth" or in the deck to which it¹s keyed.
# is switching
# the positions of the cards within the numerical order,
"the cards" seems, in your lexicon, to mean names/images but not
the attributions. it is confusing later when you speak of trees,
however and I'm not entirely sure I follow you. sorry for any
unclarity or mistaken impressions.
# a choice that
# creates a rather clumsy balance against the switched positions of
# Lust (XI) and Adjustment (VIII) within the order.
I think so too. Crowley attempted to give the impression that this
"double-loop" constitutes some kind of symmetrical improvement or
symbolic indicator of the properness of the 'correction' as included
in his scripture ("Tzaddi is not the Star" etc.).
# It appears that two different persons created the tree of life
# diagrams found on page 267-268, and the table of correspondences
# found on page 278.
3 or more contributors? it would be interesting to see a list of
all the contributors to that publication (e.g. the text from the
(dead!) soror in the intro., creator(s) of tables/diagrams, etc.).
# I would be quite suprised if Crowley had anything
# to do with the creation of either. If the two diagrams of the tree
# are superimposed, the cards are simply switched on the paths.
it does get weirder in a comparison with all the tables, the text,
and the cards. the issue thence becomes establishing priorities
amongst the dissonant instructions (because they represent almost
all the differing rational possibilities.
# Switching the positions of the cards on the tree requires altering
# the symbolism of the cards to reflect the same ideas as the other
# symbols allotted to the paths;
one would think so, yes. Crowley's descriptions for the cards and
the cards as painted by Frieda Harris don't represent this, so it
gives the appearance based strictly on the images on the cards
that the deck does not truly include the AC-SWITCH aside from what
attributions are provided on the card borders (which you mention).
# based on his approved design of the cards,
accessible in the Crowley-Harris correspondence? elsewhere?
# this was not Crowley's intention.
what was the intention? there is a dissonance in the data
which I think is soluble, but it isn't conclusive from what
I can tell. your pointers outside the cards and Thothbook
would be helpful.
# Switching the cards on the paths without modifying the
# symbolism of the cards renders the cards meaningless.
I don't understand this because of the ambiguity of the
intended meaning in the word(s?) "cards" here. elaborate?
# The only possible evidence I see of Crowley directing changes in
# symbolism of the cards is in the Hebrew letters found printed on the
# borders, which show the letters Heh and Tzaddi counterchanged.
where does "Crowley directing" begin and end? did he have plans
for the content of "The Book of Thoth"? if so, did they include
his revision of the descriptions of the cards "Emperor" and "Star"?
did he have plans for the contents of the borders of the cards?
how much did they vary over time? in the pamphlet that was a
descriptor of the paintings the attributions are munged yet one
*more* way (attribution Daleth twice), so I begin to get the
distinct impression that the confusion is intentionally-created.
am I just inferring to much intent here? perhaps the lateness of
the project had it in disarray prior to Crowley's death and its
integrity suffered from lack of a final review and subsequent
# Does anyone know if the border of the cards with the Hebrew
# letters are part of the orginal paintings?
you can see that in the plates within "The Book of Thoth",
and it confirms that what is generally published on the cards
was what was painted by Harris, though the border *has been
revised in design, not content* (it assumes a somewhat
Aquarian/Butterfly webwork design).
# If not, then the letters were added by the editor/publisher
# of the cards.
when I looked this over recently I could see no variation
between the artist's and the publisher's attributions.
# In that case, Crowley may have intended for the counterchange
# to be limited solely to the double-loop he proposed and the
# numerical order of the cards, thereby rendering the concept
# abstract as opposed to a physical change in symbolism.
I conclude that the deck is 'broken' and in need of 'fixing'
before it will have obtained the condition pointed out by
Crowley otherwise in the text (aside from his general card
descripts, which appear to have been done earlier than any
of his Tzaddi/Star reconciliation in other fashions).
one might chalk this up to a mammoth 'blind' if one desires,
and I'm inclined to think that *someone* either wasn't paying
very much attention to these correspondences and attributions
over time or that they were intentionally skewed so as to
represent a puzzle left for the student to resolve (requiring
that the magician make the proper changes oneself in order to
'activate' the deck).