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The Divine Arcana of the Aurum Solis: Using Tarot Talismans for Ritual & Initiation

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A true symbolic synthesis of the Western Initiatic Tradition, the Tarot is a remarkable tool for connecting to the divine powers of the Hermetic and Ogdoadic Tradition of the Ordo Aurum Solis. Grandmaster Jean-Louis de Biasi offers this innovative system of high magic to help you attain higher states of consciousness and an evolved inner self. Pairing the symbolic component A true symbolic synthesis of the Western Initiatic Tradition, the Tarot is a remarkable tool for connecting to the divine powers of the Hermetic and Ogdoadic Tradition of the Ordo Aurum Solis. Grandmaster Jean-Louis de Biasi offers this innovative system of high magic to help you attain higher states of consciousness and an evolved inner self. Pairing the symbolic components of the Hermetic macrocosm--including the five elements, the seven ancient planets, and the twelve zodiac signs--with corresponding deities of the Greek pantheon, de Biasi shows you step-by-step how to channel cosmic energies. This is the ultimate system, reconciling magicians, Tarot deck readers, and astrologers. Using original Hermetic Tarot images as talismans, you will invoke and internalize the unique energies of each card through powerful practices and rituals. Work with the Hermetic Tree of Life Discover astral practice Perform meditations and visualizations Explore Tarot's earliest Greek Qabalistic symbols and other associations As you progress further on this initiatic path, you will deepen your inner experience of the divine Arcana, and ultimately bring about a profound transformation in all levels and aspects of your being.


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A true symbolic synthesis of the Western Initiatic Tradition, the Tarot is a remarkable tool for connecting to the divine powers of the Hermetic and Ogdoadic Tradition of the Ordo Aurum Solis. Grandmaster Jean-Louis de Biasi offers this innovative system of high magic to help you attain higher states of consciousness and an evolved inner self. Pairing the symbolic component A true symbolic synthesis of the Western Initiatic Tradition, the Tarot is a remarkable tool for connecting to the divine powers of the Hermetic and Ogdoadic Tradition of the Ordo Aurum Solis. Grandmaster Jean-Louis de Biasi offers this innovative system of high magic to help you attain higher states of consciousness and an evolved inner self. Pairing the symbolic components of the Hermetic macrocosm--including the five elements, the seven ancient planets, and the twelve zodiac signs--with corresponding deities of the Greek pantheon, de Biasi shows you step-by-step how to channel cosmic energies. This is the ultimate system, reconciling magicians, Tarot deck readers, and astrologers. Using original Hermetic Tarot images as talismans, you will invoke and internalize the unique energies of each card through powerful practices and rituals. Work with the Hermetic Tree of Life Discover astral practice Perform meditations and visualizations Explore Tarot's earliest Greek Qabalistic symbols and other associations As you progress further on this initiatic path, you will deepen your inner experience of the divine Arcana, and ultimately bring about a profound transformation in all levels and aspects of your being.

38 review for The Divine Arcana of the Aurum Solis: Using Tarot Talismans for Ritual & Initiation

  1. 4 out of 5

    Frater Theta

    Jean-Louis de Biasi’s Divine Arcana of the Aurum Solis is an utter disappointment, fraught with severe gaps in understanding of the Ogdoadic Tradition as outlined by Melita Denning and Osborne Phillips. Nor does a shoddy editing job by Llewellyn do this book any favors. De Biasi dabbles with correspondences in order to fix some perceived error in the Tarot, which he then presents as the true and original version of the cards. Llewellyn would have done much better to reprint Denning & Phillips’ T Jean-Louis de Biasi’s Divine Arcana of the Aurum Solis is an utter disappointment, fraught with severe gaps in understanding of the Ogdoadic Tradition as outlined by Melita Denning and Osborne Phillips. Nor does a shoddy editing job by Llewellyn do this book any favors. De Biasi dabbles with correspondences in order to fix some perceived error in the Tarot, which he then presents as the true and original version of the cards. Llewellyn would have done much better to reprint Denning & Phillips’ The Magick of the Tarot than to release this book. That the book reads like a bad high school essay would perhaps be understandable as a consequence of English not being de Biasi’s primary language, but the complete lack of copyediting by Llewellyn is inexcusable. The reader must endure a barrage of bizarre, bold-faced factual errors such as “The Greeks used consonants exclusively” (p. 40), “…the Tree of Life that is traditionally used doesn’t have paths thirty-one and thirty-two” (p. 44), “The Greek alphabet is composed of 27 letters” (p. 312), a step of the planetary gesture Korax that should be called “Taurus” is instead inexplicably given as “Faicrus” (p. 126), etc. Another oddity in the planetary gestures is on p. 148, where the reader is told simply “Make the Orante gesture” without any instruction on how to do so. A more patient person than me will have to tackle de Biasi’s claims that this secret Tarot system of his descends from the Italian Hermeticists. That task would require sorting through his incomprehensible mishmash of idealistic history, his tenuous attempts at Dan Brown-esque architectural analysis, and his strangely pronounced anti-Catholic bias (e.g., pp. 9, 12, 16, 18, 20). But there is one item that deserves our attention, for as long as we can bear it: Jean-Louis’ inexplicable obsession with Gemisthus Pletho. While influential, the role played by Pletho in directly inspiring and influencing the Ogdoadic Tradition was minimal when compared to, e.g., Ficino. The “History Lecture” from the Second Hall Rite of Integration is quite clear that the chain of transmission proceeded from the Fedeli d’Amore via the Cavalcanti connection to the Careggi Circle. Pletho inspired the revival of the Platonic Academy, but the Careggi Circle was a subset of that Academy – and, we are told by Denning and Phillips, far more than just a group of “siblings” philosophizing. We turn now to the key assertion of Jean-Louis’ book: the Tarot and the Tree of Life as previously employed by the major Western Esoteric Tradition (and indeed, as lucidly described by his own Order Aurum Solis prior to his taking the reins) is wrong. As I have alluded to, de Biasi’s great secret which he unveils is that there should be 24 paths on the Tree of Life: two extra Paths associated with Earth and Spirit. Additionally, the traditional ordering of the Paths on the Tree is incorrect. What would lead the Grand Master of the Aurum Solis to “pull an Achad”? His primary reason is to retrofit the Greek alphabet onto the Tree of Life in an attempt to reconcile the use of both the Greek language and the Hebrew-based Tree – but the rationale that Jean-Louis provides is ludicrous and, frankly, offensive: “It is surprising to note that the Hebrew Qabalah is disconnected from the traditional systems, omitting the two principles of Spirit and Earth. Perhaps the explanation for this omission lies in the fact that the Hebrew alphabet is limited to twenty-two letters. Of course, this limitation is reflected in more than the omission of the Spirit and Earth principles. Still, it is obvious that the principles of nature and the body were generally rejected (or were treated as obstacles) in Judaism and Catholicism.” (p. 42) I’ll let that sink in. Jean-Louis posits that the forces of Spirit and Earth did not receive their own separate paths on the Tree of Life because Judaism and Catholicism rejected them. Judaism acknowledges the bodily manifestation of Man (Earth) as a true temple and the spiritual concept of the Shekinah (Spirit) as the very presence of God. Catholic worshippers daily celebrate the transubstantiation of physical matter into the Blood (Spirit) and Body (Earth) of their deity. These statements, coupled with his aversion to Catholicism, are quite troubling; the writings of Denning and Phillips contain a great deal of respect for esoteric Christianity and Judaism. De Biasi tries to lay the groundwork for his proposed additions to the Tree by erroneously referencing the “31 bis” and “32 bis” lines from well-known tables of Qabalistic correspondences: “There have only been a few modern magicians who recognized that omission and attempted to solve the problem by adding the two missing principles. You see evidence of an attempted solution in the book 777 by Aleister Crowley, as well as in the charts of the magical tradition at the time of the Golden Dawn. The Ordo Aurum Solis has also made this correction. There is a path numbered thirty-two, corresponding to Earth, and another path numbered thirty-one, corresponding to Spirit (Ether). As you know, the Tree of Life pattern that is traditionally used doesn't have paths thirty-one and thirty-two. In other words, the correspondences of the Major Arcana of the Tarot in relation to the twenty-two Hebrew letters did not include these two principles. It is surprising that modern occultists have not advanced any further than this one correction, especially regarding a question of this importance. However, it often seems that there is a certain inertia once a structure becomes formalized, and that intuition may be too weak to overcome it.” (p. 44) Even ignoring the bizarrely incorrect statement about the traditional Tree not including Paths 31 or 32, Jean-Louis really doesn’t seem to understand the dual-function of those paths. Unfortunately he doesn’t appear to be familiar with Denning and Phillips’ writings on this very topic, as they explain it as clearly as possible: “The lines 32-bis and 31-bis which appear on our Table are merely useful conventions, not representing further actual Paths, but giving space for other aspects of the 32nd and 31st Paths.” (The Sword & the Serpent, p. 116). Again, his predecessors most lucidly explained the function of Earth in relation to the Paths: “Malkuth is represented entirely as receiving influences, not as emanating force, and therefore there is no Path reflecting any influence of the Earth-sphere.” (ibid.) De Biasi argues that not only are Spirit and Earth omitted, but all of the traditional correspondences are invalid and arbitrarily assigned: “The position of the paths on the Qabalistic Tree was just as arbitrary as Kircher’s attributions. You see the same pattern in the attributions of the other letters, the elements, the planets, and the signs. When you look at the Tree of Life diagram with this in mind, it is clear that its use as a representation of the order of the universe is completely lost.” (p. 50). Jean-Louis primarily relies on the attributions of the Paths from the Sepher Yetzirah to support his statements, but he conveniently neglects to mention that among the several versions of that text (Saadia, Gra, etc.) those correspondences also differ. Also absent from this book are any acknowledgments to Kieren Barry’s excellent work, The Greek Qabalah, upon which Jean-Louis clearly relied. Conversely, Denning and Phillips write: “The planetary influence, zodiacal sign or Element attributed to a Path is often the principal factor experienced by the participant [in Pathworkings]. These attributions can be at first sight surprising, but they are never irrational or arbitrary.” (Magical States of Consciousness, p. 11). Furthermore, “The attributions of the Paths can also be usefully compared with one another in relation to the pattern of the Tree. Their positions in relation to each other are not random, but they form the balanced pattern of a living organism rather than any mechanical symmetry of human devising. The makers of the Tree have explored what is, not set forth a simplistic scheme of what by human standards should be.” (Ibid., p. 13). But lest we be accused of getting caught up in theory, let’s examine the practical side of de Biasi’s revisionism. Essentially, de Biasi presents a framework for using the Tarot cards which consists of little more than meditation, recitation (mostly of material composed by Denning and Phillips with no acknowledgment of their authorship), and color visualization. This by itself would be fine, but the problems creep in once de Biasi starts to impose his bizarre definitions on the well-established terminology of Art Magick. Complicating things, he attempts to employ valued and potent material from the Ogdoadic system with little regard for their source, intention, or effect. The end result is a soupy mess of techniques, which – coupled with the shaky attributions that form his unstable foundational premise – are at best ineffectual, and at worst dangerous for the novice. For example, Jean-Louis writes, “It is important to clearly distinguish what is meant by the terms ‘evocation’ and ‘invocation.’ ‘Invocation’ is making contact with a dimension that is normally not a part of your consciousness or reality. ‘Evocation’ is a mental process arising from your imagination, and evocation has no direct link with manifest reality.” (p. 84) And again, “Evocation, by itself, is limited to the mental plane. Invocation is not limited in this way.” (p. 87) Perhaps the Grand Master of the Aurum Solis has not heard of “evocation to visible appearance,” for which operation his own Order has very specific material/Assiatic considerations set forth in The Magical Philosophy. But this confusion de Biasi exhibits over the Four Worlds of the Qabalah runs rampant through the book – particularly when it comes to practical application of magical theory. Witness his (mis-)use of the color scales so meticulously developed by the Aurum Solis in the 1970s. In several of his Tarot rituals, de Biasi would have the beginning practitioner utilize the “Iconic” (or Assiah) color scales. Denning and Phillips write, “The Scale of Assiah is used in very advanced operations concerned with manipulation of the forces which directly act upon the physical level.” (The Sword & the Serpent, pp. 194-195) Indeed, not even in the wide range of practical magical rituals in Denning and Phillips’ Planetary Magick does the Iconic color scale appear, though it is listed in the book’s tabulation of correspondences. In all of The Magical Philosophy series this color scale appears only in the Ritual Formula for Evocation to Visible Appearance and at the conclusion of the Rousing of the Citadels where its use as corresponding to the composite Tree’s Malkuth of Assiah is discussed. Not only does de Biasi’s use of this powerful tool not make sense, but coupled with the invocations of his confused conception of the egregores, who knows what would manifest. Jean-Louis also exhibits this confusion of the proper use of the Four Worlds in ritual with his “Setting of the Wards” on p. 260 and elsewhere, which is completely unrelated to the foundational Ogdoadic rite of the same name. Here, the “Wards” in question are actually nothing of the sort – basically he simply gives a modified form of the Aurum Solis Invocation of the Elementals. These Elementals of course are Yetziratic spirits, and gone from this formula are the vitally necessary invocations of first Atziluthic and then Briatic forces of the elements. As any magician worth his salt can tell you, it is foolish to conjure the capricious elementals without first calling forth the Powers to which those spirits answer and by which they are directed aright. De Biasi’s “Setting of the Wards” is also the first place we even hear about the Minor Arcana in the entire book – the practitioner is instructed to use these cards to represent the elements without so much as a basic explanation of how they fit into this Frankenstinian system. The primary invocations (banishing his definitions for a moment if you please) that Jean-Louis uses are from the Song of Praises – a series of 22 stanzas used in the Aurum Solis in connection with the Paths of the Tree of Life. Of course, the irony here is how deeply rooted the Song of Praises is in the symbol system that Jean-Louis is trying to revise. Denning and Phillips make it quite clear: “These verses on the letters of the Hebrew Alphabet are given in reverse order so as to follow the ascent of the Paths.” (The Sword & the Serpent, p. 123) Denning and Phillips then proceed to enumerate countless and brilliant examples of Gematric allusions present in the Song of Praises, ultimately describing in detail the relationship between these verses, the traditional associations of forces on the Tree of Life, the Way of Return, the Tarot Trumps, etc . The fact that these verses are in fact constructed to begin with the transliterated letter or sound of the particular path’s associated Hebrew letter appears to have been lost on de Biasi, who unhesitatingly claims to use them next to his own spurious Greek attributions and Hebrew reassignments. In addition to this, Jean-Louis has blessed us with the two “missing” stanzas corresponding to Spirit and Earth. I will spare you from them here but the intrepid will find them on pages 193 and 205. Lastly, all technical and practical issues aside, the sad truth of the matter is that Jean-Louis de Biasi exhibits a complete misunderstanding of the function of the Tarot and Paths in the system of Ogdoadic Magick expounded by Melita Denning and Osborne Phillips. De Biasi’s position throughout this book is that the Tarot is representative of the archetypes of the World of Atziluth: “The Tarot was created to invoke specific invisible forces, to generate energies present both within you (the microcosm) and at universal levels (the macrocosm).” (p. 2). But Denning and Phillips’ take great care in their extensive writings to repeatedly emphasize that this is not so: “The Paths, although they are shown on the same diagram as the Sephiroth, do not exist upon the same level of reality. The Sephiroth represent objective realities, and the sequence in which they have been described represents the descent of energy in the formation of the existent universe; the Paths have a completely different significance, representing those states of consciousness, individual subjective experiences, by which the magician may pass from step to step, from gate to gate, upon the mysterious Way of Return.” (Foundations of High Magick, p. 259). Again, de Biasi exhibits a confusion of levels to an extreme degree. The Major Arcana of the Tarot do not represent forces to be invoked and praised – they represent true and potent keys to accessing those forces on which High Magick depends. To worship the Arcana as deities – as ends when they are only the means – is a grave error. Denning and Phillips eloquently articulate this relationship by comparing the experience of the Paths and the Spheres to dreaming and waking: “If we would leave Malkuth and experience the world of Yesod in its objective reality, and learn its true lessons, there is no possible way accessible to us by which we may enter upon that Sephirah, but through the experience which is called the Thirty-second Path. And so with the rest. When we have attained the Sephirah, the experience of the Path shall be as a dream to us; but, when we leave that Sephirah for the next, the experience of the appointed Path shall envelop us and the Sephiroth become the dream of our aspirations.” (Ibid., p. 260). As Jean-Louis has managed to perceive, the great significance of the Tarot is their ability to function as vital initiatic keys. Yet, this delusory warning of his would best be directed at his own tortuous conclusions: “As I have repeatedly stated, traditional initiatic principles are always logical, clear, and not contradictory. To introduce unpredictable and contradictory correspondences would not really be an issue if the cards are used solely for divination; however, such contradictions pose a serious disability for any magical use of the Arcana. Obviously, the problem is magnified when contradictory forces (such as numerical and astrological attributions that are in opposition, numbers that are different than their actual Hebrew letter value, etc.) are written on the same Arcana. The result of these systemic contradictions is that any magical use of these Arcana would be hazardous and unpredictable.” (p. 53). From an initiatic perspective, Jean-Louis has left a number of loose ends: the importance of the Saturnian experience of the 32nd Path as touched on above and described in depth in Denning and Phillips’ other work is completely absent. Additionally, the “Secret Arcanum of the 25th Path” plays a tremendous role in the Rite of Elevation, the initiation ritual of the Third Hall as published in Aurum Solis: Initiation Ceremonies and Inner Magical Techniques by Osborne Phillips. This Arcanum pertains to the threefold approach to Tiphareth: the paths of King, God, and Child, which relate to the traditional correspondences of the Paths Ayin, Nun, and Samekh and are discussed in profound depth in The Triumph of Light, part 2 of the Sword and Serpent in the 3-volume edition of The Magical Philosophy. I make no apologies for the tone of this review – as de Biaisi himself says above, to play with these correspondences is hazardous. I hope that this review serves as a warning to beginners and adepts alike: this book is not worth the paper it’s printed on. Most relevant here are the thoughts of Aleister Crowley on the similar “improvements” once made to the Tree of Life by his student, Frater Achad: “One who ought to have known better tried to improve the Tree of Life by turning the Serpent of Wisdom upside down! Yet he could not even make his scheme symmetrical: his little remaining good sense revolted at the supreme atrocities. Yet he succeeded in reducing the whole Magical Alphabet to nonsense, and shewing that he had never understood its real meaning.” (Magick in Theory and Practice, p. 7). To be clear, the issue here is not with exploring alternative configurations of the Tree: that spirit of innovation which builds upon tradition was core to the brilliance of The Magical Philosophy when the teachings of Aurum Solis were first unveiled. But de Biasi did not describe this book as his own innovations; instead, he chose to parade this system of contrivances as a hidden secret of the Ogdoadic Tradition and indeed, that this is in fact the “true” form of the Tarot as designed by ancient initiates. Whatever the author's intent in creating this book, The Divine Arcana of the Aurum Solis is shamefully embarrassing and completely disrespectful of the masterful work of Melita Denning and Osborne Phillips.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Todd R

    Not much good happening in this book. Much of the book relies upon the authors opinion of Cabbala. First off I am so tired of Tarotists crippling themselves with Cabbala, but that's not why this gets a 1 star. The one star is because the author presents the work not as his practice or the Aurum Solis' practice toward truth, but presents his material as absolute. If you have a practice that works for you, or you are a part of a working group that finds a practice beneficial it doesn't mean that i Not much good happening in this book. Much of the book relies upon the authors opinion of Cabbala. First off I am so tired of Tarotists crippling themselves with Cabbala, but that's not why this gets a 1 star. The one star is because the author presents the work not as his practice or the Aurum Solis' practice toward truth, but presents his material as absolute. If you have a practice that works for you, or you are a part of a working group that finds a practice beneficial it doesn't mean that it is the best or the only explanation. What this book does well is forcing Cabbala, Hermetic principles, and historic facts into a forced paradigm that originates with the Aurum Solis group - and by well I mean foolish and corrupting. The Tarot is a mystery. We know very little about it. Presenting any work on Tarot as 'how it is' is always disappointing.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kentie1964

  4. 4 out of 5

    Amdruy Thohthill

  5. 5 out of 5

    Scott Rassbach

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jean-Pierre

  7. 4 out of 5

    Terri

  8. 4 out of 5

    Avrohom

  9. 5 out of 5

    Mita

  10. 4 out of 5

    Melitta

  11. 4 out of 5

    Dantenumara Rosenberg

  12. 4 out of 5

    Christopher DeGraffenreid

  13. 4 out of 5

    Rhonda Kirschmann

  14. 4 out of 5

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  15. 5 out of 5

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  16. 4 out of 5

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  17. 5 out of 5

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  18. 5 out of 5

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  19. 5 out of 5

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  20. 5 out of 5

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  21. 5 out of 5

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  22. 5 out of 5

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  23. 5 out of 5

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  24. 4 out of 5

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  25. 5 out of 5

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  26. 5 out of 5

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  27. 5 out of 5

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  28. 4 out of 5

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  29. 5 out of 5

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  30. 4 out of 5

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  31. 5 out of 5

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  32. 5 out of 5

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  33. 4 out of 5

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  34. 4 out of 5

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  35. 5 out of 5

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  36. 4 out of 5

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  37. 5 out of 5

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  38. 5 out of 5

    Charlotte

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