Saturday, October 31, 2015

Tea and biscuits with Mouni Sadhu

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Hi and welcome to the October 31st Tarot Blog Hop. This time around, our fearless wrangler, Arwen Lynch Poe, wanted us to talk about someone dead that we admired or disliked that ties into cartomancy.

My choice of such a figure is Mouni Sadhu, a student of the French Tarot system that was based on the work of Levi. One of the first advanced books on magic and the Tarot that I brought was written by him. I actually learned a lot from his book on Tarot.

Of course, when I say that, often I have someone ask if I have gone out of my mind.

Now, I do understand why people say that. For one thing, Sadhu (Mieczyslaw Demetriusz Sudowski) used the Levi system of ordering the Tarot. Most of my friends use the English system of Tarot that was created inside of the Hermetic Golden Dawn. The difference between the two systems is in how the Major Arcana are ordered. Levi placed the Magician at the beginning of the Major Arcana while Golden Dawn places the Fool at the beginning. When this ordering is combined with the Hebrew alphabet, you end up with completely different cards being associated with the elements, planets and zodiac signs.

(Please note that I think that it is useful to compare the two systems. Also note that it is not until the 18th century that the Hebrew and the Tarot had anything to do with one another.)

For another thing, Sadhu has some odd little equations of magic scattered throughout his book. Here is one:

"Equation No. 214: Knowledge (2) [High Priestess {Luna}] together with a clear perception of the principle of regeneration (20) [Last Judgment {Saturn}] undoubtedly makes an adept, who has the wisdom of the Major Arcana, a true Rosicrucian, like those original brothers hundreds of years ago. But how hard it is to conquer in full the FIRST element (2), and how difficult it is to believe, with a pure heart, as does a child (a necessary condition), in the SECOND (20), and apparently how torturing and strenuous is the task of neutralizing BOTH in one's true life."

Some people who read that will pull more from it than others. It makes odd sort of sense to me, but I can see where others would consider it complete nonsense.

When our wrangler first mentioned this subject, I found myself wondering what his natal chart (astrology) looked like. At first I thought that I was going to have to haul out my "no information available, but damn'it I have Tarot cards" spread to generate a chart for him.

(Basically, I lay out cards and use their GD astrological associations as a key to fill out the chart. I use an equal house system; and if I draw a planet card, I use the sign of its rulership as the position of the astrological data point that I am drawing for. Not the world's best way to do it, but when you have a headful of astrology--you use it.)

But when I did the Google, I discovered a noon natal chart for him.

Mouni Sadhu---polish mystic and magician,
I am not sure that I completely agree with the resulting rising sign, so I might later pull a card anyways to get a different possibility for it.

(And yes, occasionally when I have all the other data, I will pull a card to represent the rising sign. What do you expect from someone who writes Sun Sign astrology? Actual science?! Actual astrological technique?!)

Of course, there is also the debate of "if the rising is actually Scorpio, do I use Death (English) or Temperance (French) card to represent it?"

Well, at least this type of stuff keeps me off of the streets and out of trouble.
For those times that you simply do not know the data to plug in.
Thank you for reading my ramblings. As always during a Tarot Blog Hop, I encourage you to continue along to the next blogger in the chain (or the last one if you like to go in the opposite direction), and if you have any difficulties doing so (breaks in the chain), hop over to the Master List.

Happy Samhain.

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Alison said...

Thought-provoking as ever!

Marseille said...

So very interesting you are. It is a joy to read your blog!

Anonymous said...

I think I need to look more into this "other" numbering system... you have piqued my interest!

SeekInfinity-ICTX said...

The equations remind me somewhat of Bardons Key to the True Qabalah Not precisely the same, but the combining of two "letters" in such a way is reminiscent.

Unknown said...

Ok I'm John Snow in astrology so my comment will have little relevance... But did you notice the pentagram in his chart? (It must be interesting only to muggles like me...)

thecrazyangmoandhisangrywife said...

Morgan, thank you for always opening my eye to something new whenever I read your blogposts. XxJo

Olivia Peters said...

This is great. I read once that the Fool is really outside the Majors, able to enter into them at any place along the journey. I really like that and it's how I've come to think about the Fool/Majors in general. So I appreciate the Levi approach!

Anonymous said...

'Actual science?!' I found that hilarious as Scientist's default answers to most questions is... mmm... it's inconclusive...

Unknown said...

Aaaaaaand now I get to look up this Levi stuff. Thank you for a funny and thought-provoking post!

Ania said...

Food for thought - I shall have to look up more about Sudowski :)

Joy Vernon said...

Thanks for an interesting post about this historic figure--I am glad to know of him because I hadn't come across him before. I learned the Levi correspondences first as well, and studied them for a long time and worked to incorporate them into my understanding of the cards, and when I first learned the Golden Dawn system I just about threw the book (Paul Foster Case's The Tarot) across the room. Now I am familiar with both, and use the GD system, but I will always have respect for the other system (which I originally learned through Oswald Wirth).

Anonymous said...

Great idea making the connection with the astrological chart. As always, I learn new angles with your posts, Morgan. And the magic is ever here. :)

Tarot By Arwen said...

No monkeys but still an excellent post. I really gathered some interesting insight into some ways to use Tarot and astrology. Thanks!