Paul Foster Case: Key 1: The Magician (Beth)

Case trying to rationalize putting the Magician in the place of Bayt. Typical self-justifying smoke-and-mirrors Tarot writing: circular free association as a substitute for logic. The initial premise is absurd and it goes downhill from there.   See The Problem of the 22 for more analysis of Case's metaphorical confusion in regard to the Magician.

Beth (B, value 2) means "house." The first thing about a house is its location, determined by survey, an application of geometry. In its building, architecture, geometry, adaptation of materials, and many other practical applications of science are involved. Time was when the whole art of building was called a "mystery," and was under the direction of the priests of Thoth-Nebo-Hermes-Mercury. House-building is part of Hermetic science, and survivals of this idea are preserved in the rituals of Freemasonary.

Mercury is the astrological attribution to Beth. It represents both the planet and the "god." Understand by "god" an aspect of universal consciousness, personified. The "gods" are the Elohim of the Hebrew scriptures, wherein it is written of man, "I said, Ye are gods."

To Mercury or Hermes (Hiram) the Egyptians attributed their forty-two books of scrience, embracing astronomy, astrology, arithmetic, geometry, medicine, grammar, logic, rhetoric, music magic, and so on. Mercury or Hermes was the great magician and transformer, bearing the caduceus, or wand of miracles, which survives to the day as a symbol of the healing art. He was, nevertheless, only the messenger of a divinity higher than himself -- merely the transmitter, not the originator, the channel rather than the source.

Astrologically, the Mercury vibration represents intellect. In the color-scale used throughout these lessons it is yellow, color assigned to Spirit and air, but a deeper tint than that assigned to Uranus. The musical tone is the same, E-natural.

Beth is one of the seven double letters, so called because they have in Hebrew both a hard and a soft pronounciation. To every double letter is assigned a pair of opposities. To Beth and Mercury, because the letter and planet designate an aspect of consciousness which destroys as easily as it creates, the pair assigned is Life and Death.

See Contrary Qualites for further perspective on the ideosyncratic Golden Dawn system of "attributes." In "an aspect of consciousness which destroys as easily as it creates." Case erects another magical defense and confuses life and death with creation and destruction, which he then projects outward in Mercury's presumed power. This allows him to deny Bayt's true formative planet, Saturn, where the body either lives or dies. Mercury, formed by Raysh, has the appropriate cognitive qualities of seed and selection, not life and death, which always belong to the body.

"In the study of the Qabalah there is no more important glyph than the Cube of Space with perhaps the exception of the Tree of Life."

Especially since the Tree is a 2D representation of the 3D Cube.

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