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Philosophy AnthroposophyFreemasonryTarot



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Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic Hare

 
   

Regular 2014

ChoreoCosmos: Monday afternoons
   Sophia Australis

Tarot: First Saturday each month
   Med'tions on the Tarot

Freemasonry: current Lodges
   > page with dates

Saturdays as listed: mesg
   mesg

 

Noblet Tarot Chariot
zain Hebrew letter



Reading the Marseille Tarot (book cover)
  • Welcome
  • Bibliography
  • Philosophy & Kabalah
  • Anthroposophy & Education
  • Ritual & Freemasonry
  • Tarot
  • about jmd
  • miscellaneous

Welcome

I began fourhares for content across four broad fields:




 

Similar impulses are typically reflected in different ways in others, yet humanity shares a common general fourfold impetus: reflective insight or theoria (philosophy); individual vivifying praxis (anthroposophy); social vivifying praxis (freemasonry); and creative praxis (tarot). These could as easily be listed (amongst other possibilities) as semiotics; hermeticism or kabalah; religious festivals; and art & crafts.

It should be apparent that people who may share an involvement or interest in any one of the specific areas mentioned above may have no interest in the others. Fourhares remains my personal syncretic weaving of my eclectic interests.

 


Petroglyph from Lyon Notre Dame Cathedral, France

 

Free Website Translator

Mediæval triple-hares, and why “fourhares”…

I've been fascinated by the geometry, riddle, claimed symbolic meaning, and optical illusion of mediæval representations from various parts the world that show three hares (or deer) arranged in such a way that their ears are drawn in common — resulting in three ears for three hares. In 2005, when in Lyon (France), I saw upon its Notre Dame Cathedral a petroglyph of the same concept, save that here were four hares, as photographed above.

So why 'fourhares'? when selecting a domain name that initially focussed on four areas of more esoteric and, for myself at any rate, interconnected and personal interests, the option ‘fourhares’ simply rose to the fore. So here we are!

The left-hand panel showing a repeated pattern is from a Roman era mosaïc, edited a little to feign vertical tessellation as well as to remove the menacing jaws of a wolf (L. Lupus) from near the hare (L. Lepus). In Egyptian hieroglyph (top left-hand image), the hare stands for the sound 'wn' ('un'), meaning both 'to be' as well as 'to open' – and Wepuat was an epithet for the (hare-headed) god who opened the way into the afterlife (thus closely connected – and at times even incorrectly claimed to be identical – with Anubis, or even with Osiris).

The Lupus-Lepus, ie, 'wolf-hare' (or hound-rabbit) relationship is also found in later representations, such as Basil Valentinus's alchemical works – to the right is his three-hare Venus image.

Hidden and password protected pages

Some pages are password protected and others semi-hidden: please contact me if you cannot locate the required page. Various other pages on this site are incomplete: chances are, they were created either as early drafts or (very likely) to answer specific questions that, serving the purpose, have remained 'as is' for the present.

   basil valentine 1717 Venus as three hares and three wolves

Publications

Tarot

 > articles and reviews

 > Reading the Marseille Tarot

Reading the Marseille Tarot (book cover)

 

  

Freemasonry

 > articles and lectures

  

others

 > none uploaded yet

 


Recommended books, tarot, and software

For a list of recommended books, tarot decks, and software, see my recommendation page

 

philosophy pages:

  > philosophy main page

  > philosophy tutoring

  > text: Plato's Republic

  > video: Semiotics (John Deely)

  > text: Plato's 'Seventh Letter'

  > text: Iamblichus's Theurgy On the Mysteries

  > text: Boethius's Consolation of Philosophy

  

kabalah pages:

  > kabalah main page

  > Alef-Beit

  > Sefer Yetzirah

  > Tree of Life

  > Tree of Life: various glyphs

  > Interactive Tree of Life

N.B.: This section originally started out as solely on Kabalah. I am slowly altering it to reflect my more general interest in Philosophy.

Philosophical considerations - Φιλο-ΣοΦια

Perhaps this area should be considered as the core around which the other four areas (anthroposophy, kabalah, tarot and freemasonry) emerge. Philosophy not only in its more academically inclined sense, but also and essentially as ever so central to epistemological, ethical, and metaphysical foundations out of which outpours various expressions.

Epistemology

When considering epistemological considerations, I find myself in general agreement with two dominant views: the first is what is an Aristotelean-Steiner reflection that each area has its own (near unique yet multidimentional) ways of being known. Consequentially, and as an example, methods that are appropriate to knowing the plant world will likely, when applied to either physics or ethics, simply lead us to misguided judgements or oversights.

The second is the Lockean-Deely (via a Peircean detour) contributions to epistemology from semiotic considerations. In fact, I consider that these semiotic considerations also have much to play in more deeply understanding both Steiner's concept of Vorstellung and Lonergan's concept of Insight and their role in the conscious epistemological process.

Ethics

With regards to ethics, I stand squarely in agreement with Steiner's development of ethical individualism as developed in his seminal work Philosophy of Freedom, mirrored in some ways in the works of Charles Taylor (for example, in his Sources of the Self).

Its key characteristic reflects virtue ethics, which stands in contradistinction to both Kantian deontological and various consequentialist views of ethics - these last two inadequately reflecting what makes a specific act ethical (which is always an act by a specific person in the context of a specific event).

Not only the individual's motive, but also his or her characterological disposition, and her or his insight into the situation at hand all play into the moral dimension.

  

Kabalah's development and appropriation

Over time, 'Kabalah' has acquired various spellings, including 'Kabbalah', 'Cabala', and 'Qabalah' (amongst others!).

Though it arises out of a Jewish mystical tradition, it is fair to claim that various of its important contributions transcend the soil out of which the seed has germinated and continues to also blossom. In order, however, to be better grounded in the discipline and its nuances, it is perhaps fair to state that a grounding in the Jewish spiritual traditions is desirable.

Hebrew alphabet and the Tree of Life

Some of Kabalah's important elements have for some centuries become syncretised within the occidental esoteric traditions and movements. Of especial note are the Hebrew alphabet (or 'Alefbeit') and the Tree of Life. There are some, it seems, that see in Kabalah first and foremost a particular version of the glyph of the Tree of Life as its ultimate expression.

Relationship of Kabalah to other disciplines

In the Kabalah I personally see an acute development of the spiritual faculty of Inspiration, of careful listening to, as described in other context, that still and small voice that speaks within the confines of that sacred repository: one's heart.

^ home > philosophy > anthroposophy > freemasonry > tarot

  anthroposophical pages:

  > spiritual science main page

  > 'Anthroposophia' - pre-Steiner uses

  > path of development

  > Foundation Stone meditation

  > Calendar of the Soul

  > Steiner and tarot

  > Steiner and Eliphas Levi

  > Steiner and freemasonry

  > Seven Seals of the Apocalypse

  > the twelve basic senses

  > On the incarnation of Ahriman

  > Lucifer – Christ – Ahriman

  > Christ's passion

  > images of the trinity

  

education pages:

  > Steiner (Waldorf) education

  > adult education: quadrivium

  > liberal arts education & epochs

  > school structure

  > course for secondary school teachers

 


 

With regards to Anthroposophy (also referred to as Spiritual Science), I refer to two especial things. On the one hand, an understanding of the world as essentially spiritual, from and for which knowledge (science) may be obtained. On the other hand, without contradiction to the first, that body of insights provided by Rudolf Steiner in his various anthroposophical works.

Rudolf Steiner and Anthroposophy (Spiritual Science)

Rudolf Steiner, who lived between the years 1861 and 1925, established the Anthroposophical Society and was influential in providing some of the key impulses behind Waldorf education, Bio-dynamic farming, the Christian Community, some important architectural innovations, and Eurythmy - amongst other things.

This site is not about Rudolf Steiner nor anthroposophy, but will nonetheless provide some important considerations arising out of his work on the anthroposophical (or spiritual science) pages. In my personal view, he encapsulates the whole impulse in his seminal work Philosophy of Freedom (Cf chapter nine):

To live in love of action and to let live in understanding of the other's volition, this is the fundamental maxim of the free man.

Spiritual Science in general

In order to view and understand the world from such a perspective, a number of considerations are taken as given.

Firstly, that the physical world fundamentally arises out of a manifestation of the spiritual, in which can be said to 'inhabit' various spiritual beings. In itself, then, even the physical world is, in essence, weavings of spiritual substance.

Secondly, we are ourselves spiritual beings in temporary incarnation, having before, and will again further incarnate after some time following our next death. Our time between death and rebirth is as important as our time on earth between birth and death – during which, as Steiner was said to have inadvertently stated without awareness of its English ambiguity, 'we have the time of our life'.

Thirdly, knowledge of the spiritual realms is possible and, as for any body of knowledge, requires careful study, observations, reflections, ... and reverence.

Steiner talks of the importance of actively engaging the will turned to within oneself leading to a heightened awareness – or as may be in other places termed, leading to the semiosis of semiosis: semiotics proper. In Awakening to Community (GA257, lecture 4, 13th Feb., 1923) the following is mentioned:

The term 'Anthroposophy' should really be understood as synonymous with 'Sophia', meaning the content of consciousness, the soul attitude and experience that make a man a full-fledged human being. The right interpretation of 'Anthroposophy' is not 'the wisdom of man', but rather 'the consciousness of one's humanity'. In other words, the reversing of the will [from an outwardness to an inwardness], the experiencing of [supersensible] knowledge, and one's participation in the time's destiny [as one's own destiny], should all aim at giving the soul a certain direction of consciousness, a 'Sophia'.


^ home > philosophy > anthroposophy > freemasonry > tarot

  ritual & festival pages

  > festivals in the cycle of the year

  

freemasonry pages

  > freemasonry main page

  > lodge floor plans

  > differences in world freemasonry

  > principles of recognition by UGLE

  > List of Grand Lodges around the world

  > memphis-misraïm

  > Lodge Pathros

  > Steiner and Freemasonry

  > resources and links

  > becoming a Freemason

  > bibliography (aka some of my writings)


 

Square & Compasses and lamp

What is Freemasonry

Freemasonry described as a 'system of morality veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols' seems to have become no more than verbal caricature, yet remains accurate. Nonetheless, I here attempt to also provide what I consider essential characteristics as to the nature of Freemasonry.

Freemasonry provides an initiatic tradition that slowly and fundamentally improves one's character, one's participation in the world, and one's relations and acceptance of fellow human beings.

Part of its own character, having a solid framework which it imparts to those who participate, also means that it has a conservative streak, its own change taken in very slow and sure steps. Societal fluctuations and mores tend to have, therefore, a slow impact on its own structure, and only when there has been a clear and unequivocal shift does Freemasonry tend to also take the step.

This combination of sure steps and solid foundations has at times resulted in the foremost social reformers arising out of its pillars, despite the fact that the order itself may not have adopted corresponding changes. A case in point is the exclusion of women in some (but not all) Freemasonic constitutions.

Fundamentals of Freemasonry

Freemasonry, based as it is on an initiatic and progressive model, is structured according to grades or degrees. Depending on the constitution and form, it may recognise 3 (Blue or Craft degrees), 33 (Ancient and Accepted or Scottish rite), or 90+ degrees (Primitive and Memphis-Misraim rite). Various constitutions have also incorporated or annexed chivalric (such as Knight Templar) and mystical grades.

Relationship of Freemasonry to other disciplines

In Freemasonry, one is called upon to act in the world. One's Will, one's moral development, and one's faculty of Intuition, are all called to be engaged.


^ home > philosophy > anthroposophy > freemasonry > tarot

  tarot pages:

  > tarot main page

  > Marseille-type decks

  > Jean Noblet tarot

  > Paul Marteau 'Marseille' tarot

  > Noblet on the Tree of Life

  > Hebrew letters and trumps

  > dynamic hexagramme spread

  > suits and the four elements

  > Steiner and tarot

  > Enrique Enriquez's interview with myself

  > The Tetragrammaton, the court cards & Levi

  > bibliography (aka some of my writings)

  

tarot studies:

  > University dissertations

  > www.tarotstudies.com

  > www.tarotpedia.com

  > forum.tarothistory.com

  > 2014 Meditations on the Tarot

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(cost: by donations)

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From whence Tarot?

Tarot has been around since at least the 15th century C.E. in one form or another. Many of its images, however, harken back to times much earlier, including masonic carvings on romanesque and lumiere (or gothic) cathedrals, churches and other religious buildings.

Some images are also reminiscent of ancient Greek, Egyptian and Babylonian depictions in paintings, carvings, bas-reliefs and writings. These latter are not, of course, specifically tarot - but neither does tarot arise in a cultural and spiritual vacuum.

Fundamentals of Tarot

Basically, a Tarot deck reflects what a Marseille-style deck has, including twenty-two Atouts, and four 'minor' suits of ten pips and four courts each. In that sense, the Marseille-style decks provide a trunk out of which has emerged various branches to other related decks, and whose roots have drawn together yet other decks and images embedded in rich European soil - a soil that is part of the whole being of the Earth, and thus itself connected intrinsically to expressions transcending national or local cultural beings.

Relationship of Tarot to other disciplines

Tarot, as for Kabalah and Freemasonry, has its peculiar focus. In this case, its expression is one of imagery which serves to acutely develop the faculty of Imagination - or, to be precise, that which Goethe calls precise imagination, which has both a moving and flexible quality as well being a spiritual sense organ.


^ home > philosophy > anthroposophy > freemasonry > tarot

...in my own words

If you're really curious about what makes me tick, you're more likely to find some insight on other pages within this site than here. Still, I've prepared below a short personal description.

 

my work

I've been teaching in adult education since 1987 (including University), and in secondary (ie, high school) education since 1989. Since 1995, my main employment has been teaching and (educational) administration in Steiner (Waldorf) schools and in teacher training. Some of my responsibilities over this time has also involved the national association of Steiner schools ('Rudolf Steiner Schools of Australia' or 'RSSA', now unfortunately renamed 'Steiner Education Australia' or 'SEA', giving the false impression that member schools operate as an education 'system'), as well as acting on a consultancy basis for interstate schools and the development of (secondary) Steiner streams within State schools.

other active engagements

I have been involved in various offices in masonic lodges and other esoteric societies, given papers on various aspects of freemasonry, rosicrucianism and related esoteric impulses, and been actively involved in the development and implementation of masonic education.

In terms of anthroposophically oriented involvement (apart from teaching in both a secondary school and in teacher education), I have presented and run workshops at conferences both in Australia and overseas on Steiner's understanding of the human senses, on his Philosophy of Freedom, and on the anonymously written Meditations on the Tarot (the latest edition includes an afterword by the Catholic theologian von Balthasar). I have also presented in various anthroposophical settings on freemasonry and Rudolf Steiner; Christ and Ahriman; and the stages of transformation after death (amongst other topics).

My spiritual orientation is Judeo-Christian (influenced and syncretised with some neo-pagan, secular-Humanist and Hindo-Buddhist elements). I am also an ordained catholic priest (SPLXIII) (one of the few catholic societies allowing married priests), as well as actively involved with Sophia Australis – the Sophia Community in Australia.

With regards to tarot, apart from running various courses since 1990 and my book Reading the Marseille Tarot, I was one of the principal organiser for the 2005 International Tarot Conference, the annual 2009 – 2012 ATS Conventions, and a co-founder of the Association for Tarot Studies that existed for ten years, and of course continue to give various presentations.

about me per se...

Not much to say other than to suggest perusing this site.

A healthy society flourishes when individuals implicitly trust other individuals, rather than place their over-riding trust in amorphous organisations (and I mention this quite contra Ray Kroc, of McDonalds infamy) or bureaucracies (or documentation arising or imposed from these). Furthermore, organisations need to place implicit trust in the individual. The individual in turn needs to be authentic and true to themselves, even if, as a consequence, is a non-conformist.

I quite like the description someone else once gave of themselves, so, to very closely paraphrase his words (hopefully without thereby sounding like the crowd in Monty Python's Life of Brian):

I generally prefer to do things in my own manner, and have never been a 'team player': I can work with a 'team' and for a 'team' and still not be of a 'team'. I do not wish to bask in any 'team glory' nor take credit from collective achievement. Nor, for that matter, take the blame for others’ shortcomings (unless of course they were acting under my instruction or direction or I had trained them and fallen short in that task).

I of course do come together with others for a variety of common purposes, but in the end reserve my rights, as far as is legally and contractually possible, to follow my own judgement.

This above concept of a 'team' is quite distinct to the fructifying influence at work in a community. In the latter case, the individuality of each of its members is not subsumed to the collective 'vision statement' nor the anti-individualistic 'herd' instinct, but instead respected and celebrated. This is well expressed in one of Rudolf Steiner's verse on the social realm:

Heilsamist nur, wenn
Im Spiegel der Menschenseele
Sich bildet die ganze Gemeinschaft,
Und in der Gemeinschaft
Lebet der Einzelseele Kraft.

  

Wellness only becomes when
In the mirror of each human soul
The whole community forms,
And in the community
Lives the power of each individual soul.

My dominant personal and professional interests are reflected in the areas covered within this website, viz., Philosophy (including Kabalah), Anthroposophy and Christian Sophianic work, Freemasonry (including various 'higher' or 'side' Orders), and Tarot (especially in the canon of the classical 'Marseille'/TdM-I deck).

For those who take delight in noting characterological dispositions, here follows some commonly used differentiations using four typological models (with of course their respective attendant limitations):

- using the MBTI, I'm pretty much an INTP;
- using the more traditional temperaments, I am primarily choleric with melancholic secondary qualities;
- using the enneagramme, a 5 with a 6 'wing'; and
- astrologically (ie., natal chart both tropically as well as sidereally): Sun in Aquarius, Moon in Capricorn.

My ethical views are well reflected in R. Steiner's description of ethical individualism as articulated in his Philosophy of Freedom.

I may add to this page in due time — but it will continue to remain a very basic one. This site remains, after all, about areas of personal interest rather than about myself, though much about me can be gleaned from its content and tone.

 

  

Contact

email me or use the contact form


Memberships

 


 


 


 


 


 

 


‘A government big enough to give you everything you need is a government strong enough to take everything you have’

Thomas Jefferson  

 

Astrology

The very beginning of a future page:

> beautiful signs of the zodiac

Time Cycles Io Edition software for Apple Mac:

> recommendation page


Emblems

I have periodically used an emblemetical design for a forthcoming year. Here are the ones for 2012 and 2013, with 2014 in process:

> 2012 & 2013 'emblems'


Contact form and donation

To contact me or to send me a donation, please use the following page:

> thankyou

 

  

software

HyperCard's ultimate replacement... refer to the tab 'software' on my recommendations page:

LiveCode


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