Monday, May 19, 2014
Oswald Wirth and Hokusai
The Oswald Wirth tarot Popessa (in color) holds a book with the Japanese Yin-Yang symbol on the cover. Was he a student of Japanese metaphysical philosophy? I think he was a fan of Japanese printmaker Hokusai. "Katsushika Hokusai (葛飾北斎, Katsushika Hokusai - 1760–May 10, 1849) was a Japanese artist, ukiyo-e painter and printmaker of the Edo period. In his time he was Japan's leading expert on Chinese painting. Born in Edo (now Tokyo), Hokusai is best-known as author of the woodblock print series Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji (c. 1831) which includes the iconic and internationally recognized print, The Great Wave off Kanagawa, created during the 1820s." Here is the Yin-Yang standing for the Primary Material of the alchemists. In both Popessa drawings, the books are books of Alchemy. The chateau at Rennes-le-Chateau which is in the background of the Popessa card. "The Spanish-Arab historian Said of Toledo (died 1069) gives this tradition of Thoth, or Hermes: "Sages affirm that all antediluvian sciences originate with the first Hermes, who lived in Sa'id, in Upper Egypt. The Jews call him Enoch and the Moslems Idris. He was the first who spoke of the material of the superior world and of planetary movements. He built temples to worship God… medicine and poetry were his functions… (He) warned of a catastrophe of fire and water before the Flood… After the Flood the sciences, including alchemy and magic, were carried out at Memphis, under the more renowned Hermes the Second." The Thrice-Great Hermes, who quite possibly did represent three different teachers, is not only the reputed originator of alchemy...." "For Renne, who seems to like the alchemy angle: Idries Shah on alchemy - my own comments in square brackets . We ... in the West. Azoth is traced by Orientalists to one of two words el-dhat (or ez-zat), meaning essence or inner reality; or else to zibaq, mercury. The stone, according ..." - from Whoop of Arcadia.