Let’s take the Tarot. The Tarot is a deck of cards. It contains the formal deck of cards and then there are 26 other cards. These other cards are picture cards of one sort or another. They have very interesting signs and symbols on them. You look at the Tarot and you are suddenly impressed with the fact that it is a philosophic machine to produce answers in some fashion.
Men have been trying to unravel the mystery of the Tarot for some thousands of years. It is probably around four or five thousand years old. It has, for instance, the symbol of the triangle, the circle and a dot. It’s the problem of the microcosm and the macrocosm. It’s the principle of the internal and external universes, objective and subjective knowledge and so forth.
One day I was fooling around with some of these old principles and I suddenly took a look at that triangle. I had two things that were related. I knew that communication was somehow related to affinity. All of a sudden a third point fell into view: reality. A piece of knowledge!1
Communication, affinity, reality—a very useful little triangle. The triangle has been kicking around in the Tarot for a long time. I have had some strange and obtuse definitions connected to it, but it is a piece of knowledge.
The whole Tarot was probably in the library at Alexandria. But this deck of cards comes to us solely because it was used by gypsies in fortune telling, and in Egypt by fortune tellers. That is a strange route to get knowledge from.
And yet man has come forward along his track, and he has brought his knowledge forward with him. We are a great civilization today because we can communicate knowledge readily and rapidly via the printed word and other means. A civilization progresses somewhat in ratio to its ability to communicate.2, 3, 4
- The primary components of Theta in Scientology are Affinity, Reality and Communication which culminate in Understanding. The point in the circle is, in hermetic magic, a symbol of theta. See, e.g., this discussion. ↩
- The angel in Key 14 is Michael. Case, P. F. (1974). The Tarot (1990 ed., p. 156.). Los Angeles: Builders of the Adytum. Cf. Parson’s letter to Crowley re: Hubbard and the Archangel Michael. ↩
- The angel Michael evidently also appeared to Kelly “on the 14th.” See The Key of the Abyss, p. 31. Michael is the angel depicted on Key 14 in the Tarot. ↩
- Hubbard, L. R. (1950, 11 November). Axioms and Fundamentals About Data Lecture. Professional Course, (5011C11B). Lecture conducted from Elizabeth, New Jersey. ↩