This little book has been written in the spirit of Suggestive Inquiry, and the writing of it has led to many illuminating ideas in regard to the Universal Tradition as disclosed by the Tarot Trumps.
Some months ago, I prepared a treatise entitled “Q. B. L. or The Bride’s Reception,” purporting to be a simple exposition of the Qabalistic Process and an explanation of “The Tree of Life” with its Correspondences according to the system I had studied and practiced for a number of years.
While writing it I obtained some “New” ideas which seemed to indicate the possibility of the Restoration of the Order of the “Paths” to their Original form. These ideas I put down as they came to me, and included them as an Appendix to the main body of the book.
Briefly, the nature of the suggested change was as follows: The Qabalistic Tradition of the last few centuries is that the “Ten Sephiroth”, or “Numerical Emanations”, were formed by the “Lightning Flash” of Creation, while the “Twenty-two Paths” were produced by the Ascent of the “Serpent of Wisdom” from Malkuth to Kether.
The recognized Numeration of these Paths was from Number Eleven, transmitting the Influence from Kether to Chokmah, to Number Thirty-two, transmitting it from Yesod to Malkuth the Tenth and last Sephira.
I questioned this, since the Serpent is said to have Ascended, and suggested that the Eleventh Path should be from Malkuth to Yesod, and so on up the Tree in exactly the reverse Order.
Upon experimenting with this arrangement I discovered that although there seemed to be a decided improvement as regards the Paths below the Abyss, above it, all the symbolism became reversed and confused. Even so, there were some interesting combinations.
The main point was, however, that the new arrangement of the lower Paths suggested the possibility of a wonderful Astrological Harmony, since many of them were now united with their Planetary Rulers, etc., in the Sephiroth.
The next step was the discovery of the Symbolism of the Middle Pillar, when the Three Mother Letters of the Elements were attributed to the Three Paths which unite the Four Sephiroth which are in equilibrium. These, when placed in position, showed the Symbolism of the Universal Mercury under the form of a Caduceus and Winged Globe.
I decided, therefore, to adopt this arrangement of the Three Elements, and to try to place the Planetary and Zodiacal Signs in such positions on the Tree that the Astrological Symbolism would be perfect.
I discovered that this was possible. There was one variation, which, if adopted, disclosed some other valuable Qabalistic Symbolism in regard to “The Beginning”. I explained this fully in the Appendix to Q.B.L. With my original notes left in their rough form, I published the complete book in a limited edition for Students of the Qabalah. This has met with a very good reception in all parts of the globe. I have received many encouraging letters, all of which express interest in the revised arrangement. The press reports have been favorable, and a conservative Magazine “The Occult Review” admits the importance of the discovery.
One great Authority, however, while admitting that many of the ideas are brilliant, says that he cannot accept this Reformed Order in the face of several hundred years of the old tradition, and maintains that the previous arrangement is the correct one.
While I realize that great changes in the recognized Systems of Initiation in certain Orders might be necessary if the Reformed Order of the Paths were adopted, and while recognizing the importance of the opinion of the Authority mentioned above, I still maintain that this New Arrangement is worthy of the most careful consideration and study. One would expect to find some reason for the arrangement of the Paths, and this present plan seems to me the most reasonable; in fact it suggests that there was an Absolute Reason in the Primitive Universal Tradition, though this became lost to view as time went on.
My aim is to discover the Truth insofar as that is possible to man, and to uphold what seems to me most true, until I am convinced of error; but, to change my viewpoint, if necessary, as soon as more Light is given me. If this “New” arrangement is correct, it will prove itself to be so in the minds of those who study it in an unbiased manner. In any case it is of interest as one aspect of truth, and its right place may be found in due course. It may lead the Student to other important discoveries as it has in my own case. I am convinced that the inquiry is by no means exhausted.
The Tarot Trumps, being a sort of Universal Alphabet, may of course be interpreted in a variety of ways, but I shall discuss their Symbolism when arranged upon the Paths of the Tree of Life according to the Reformed Astrological Order given in the Appendix to Q. B. L.
If by this means we obtain “More Light on the Tarot Trumps” and the Universal Tradition, which transcends what we call Light and Darkness, becomes plainer to my readers, the book will not have been written in vain.
Before discussing the matter in detail, I am giving a brief summary dealing with the earliest traditions of Mankind and their effect upon the present day, or the New Aeon, the Cycle of Aquarius, in which we are not living.
I trust that this book will lead to further Light on the very vital issues of this present Age, and perhaps to a solution of some of the most perplexing problems. At least, I hope so. Fr.Achad