"Among the sacred records of the Christians there are two texts which the infallible Church makes no claim to understand and has never attempted to expound: these are the Prophecy of Ezekiel and the Apocalypse, two Kabalistic Keys, [...] books sealed as with seven seals for faithful believers, yet perfectly plain to an initiated infidel of the occult sciences.
There is also another work, but, although it is popular in a sense and may be found everywhere, this is of all most occult and unknown, because it is the key of the rest. It is in public evidence without being known to the public; no one suspects its existence and no one dreams of seeking it where it actually is. This book, which may be older than that of Enoch, actually has never been translated, but is still preserved unmutilated in primeval characters, on detached leaves, like the tablets of the ancients. [...] It is, in truth, a monumental and extraordinary work, strong and simple as the architecture of the pyramids, and consequently enduring like those - a book which is the summary of all sciences, which can resolve all problems by its infinite combinations, which speaks by evoking thought, is the inspirer and moderator of all possible conceptions, and the masterpiece perhaps of the human mind. It is to be counted unquestionably among the very great gifts bequeathed to us by antiquity.
All religions have preserved the remembrance of a primitive book, written in hieroglyphs by the sages of the earliest epoch of the world. Simplified and vulgarized in later days, its symbols furnished letters to the art of writing, characters to the Word, and to occult philosophy its mysterious signs and pantacles. This book, attributed by the Hebrews to Enoch, seventh master of the world after Adam; by the Egyptians to Hermes Trismegistus; by the Greeks to Cadmus, the mysterious builder of the Holy City: this book was the symbolical summary of primitive tradition, called subsequently Kabalah or Cabala, meaning reception.
The Tarot, that miraculous work which inspired all the sacred books of antiquity, is the most perfect instrument of divination, by reason of the analogical precision of its figures and numbers. It can be employed with complete confidence. Its oracles are always rigorously true, at least in a certain sense, and even when it predicts nothing it reveals secret things and gives the most wise counsel to its querents.
Eliphas Levi - "Rituel de la Haute Magie", Translated by A.E. Waite
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