Back in the mid ?90s, the teacher of a Morphology class I was attending introduced?me to Meditation on the Tarot, A Journey into Christian Hermeticism by Valentin Tomberg . I went to see him privately and, after some conversation, he gave me a copy of the first ?Letter? (or chapter), ?The Magician,? and said, ?read this and see if you like it.?
When I saw him next, I said I was drawn to the material and I asked if I could have the rest of the book.? The resulting response came as a surprise. He invited me to begin a two-year study with him. At this point in our exchange, I said I was interested in obtaining the rest of the book but not interested in signing up for a two-year study.
Needless to say, I did not obtain the rest of the material from him, and it was here I felt the inner teacher guide me to obtain the book elsewhere. I did so with the help of a friend who found it in the Trumbull library and who willingly kept renewing it for me for a period of six months. (Around this time, by some coincidence, the book was back in print and readily available for purchase).
In other posts, I have made reference to books that have engaged me for years and become sources of study and examination. This book is on the list of ?worthy of effort.? It is available in PDF and can be downloaded for free.
The following are a couple of extracts from ?Letter III: The Empress? and ?Letter IV: The Emperor.?
From “Letter IV: The Emperor,??Page 79:
The Emperor has established in himself the fourfold emptiness. This is why he is ?Emperor?; this is why he is authority. He has made in himself a place for the divine name YHVH [the tetragrammaton], which is the source of authority. He has renounced personal intellectual initiative?and the emptiness which results is by divine initiative or the YOD of the sacred name. He has renounced action and movement?and the void which results is filled by revelationary action and magical movement from above, i.e. by the HE and VAU of the divine name. Finally, he has renounced his personal mission, he has become anonymous?and the emptiness which results is filled with authority (or the second HE of the divine name), i.e. he becomes the source of law and order.
From ?Letter III: The Empress,??Page 69:
The Tree of Life is the unity or synthesis of consciousness, force and matter. Three is its number?because it reflects the unity of the Holy Trinity. It is at the same time the unity of mysticism, gnosis and magic. This is why one should not separate them.? The Empress as a symbol of sacred magic contains within itself gnosis and mysticism?or the High Priestess and the Magician. These Arcana are incomprehensible when one takes them separately. In general, all the Arcana of the Tarot are comprehensible only when considered as a whole.
I look forward to learning more about him.
What do you think about Tomberg, Thom?
Very interesting post, Melanie. As I’m unfamiliar with the work, I read Tomberg’s bio on Wikipedia and the reviews on Amazon (both are linked to) to provide some context.