“I would really like you to create a Golem Tharot (we spell Tarot as Tharot in deference to Thoth), which would seem to fulfil a need in many groups and schools of initiatic consciousness.” – Michael P. Bertiaux
(private correspondance with the author, 2013)
The realisation of this request took over four years, time spent unearthing the place of the Gholem in the Leng Mythos and studies guided solely by the text of Der Prozess: Heidegger-Golemkultus together with visits to Prague, Berlin, London and Mexico. Whilst many may be familiar with the tale of the Golem from Jewish folklore, the place of the Gholem in the Voudon Gnostic continuum is more complicated. The alternate spellings of Golim and later Gholem and Gholemhe also show the addition of the letter ‘h’ to demonstrate this wider attribution and the connection to Ghuedhe. This relationship has been further hinted at when Michael says “I have always felt – I have always, always, always felt, that somehow Hebrew magic and Voodoo have many cognates, as many books have sought to show, e.g. Milo Rigaud, etc.”
Much research was initially undertaken along radionic lines. In an early version of the deck, the cards would have symbols and connectors on their edges to enable a Symbolic Hieronymus machine to be created from them. This was later discarded as it would have necessitated many additional cards dedicated to specific radionic functions. The use of photo-montage to create this deck was in keeping with the artistic method described by in Ontological Graffiti, “in our tradition we create the Gholemhe by a special method of art-magique, as this is handed down from the archaic oracles of deep meditation from Atlantis and from even more ancient places of temples”.
Golems have been the subject of a number of paintings by Michael including triptych of Transplutonian, Hoodoo Witch and Solar Deity Golems in a private collection and that of a Gholemhe head in the collection of the author. The former also included a brief Gholemhe Grimoire which detailed the way of using the three painting in various magical operations, depending which was arranged as the central panel.
This artistic focus inspired me to create designs that were created from my photographic collection, with individual faces painstakingly constructed from different sources. Unlike previous decks, I strove to create designs for the minor arcana that were based on the divinatory meanings derived from the Rider-Waite/Pamela Coleman tarot deck. In this respect the Swords were assigned to the Ghuedhe, Disks to Witches, Gholems to Wands and the Hoodoo to Cups. It is therefore possible to use this deck for standard divination whilst its iconic forms can be utilised for deep mediation and contact work with the Gholem Cultus.
Increasingly the number 8 became important in relation to this Cultus, synthesized in the names of 8 Gholems which each (in English Qaballa) enumerate as 80. For this reason, an additional two Magus cards were added to the deck to bring the total number of cards to 80. Four Gholem cards are also included in my Carrefour Tarot: Editon Noire as additional cards to reinforce the importance of the Gholem Cultus to the inner work of the OTOA-LCN.
There were other avenues explored. Michael had suggested The Last Pagans of Iraq text to me that also led to the Snorra Edda, in which the clay giant Mokkurkalfi is magically animated. In other texts such as The Mysteries of the Moon by Adam-Asrar al-Qmar and the Book of Tawlidat there are suggestions that humans were created from palm trees or their dates. These strong connections to the natural world informed much of the research for the suit of Cups. This is reflected in the tales of creatures animated from wood, such as Solomon ibr Gabirol, or in the Icelandic work of Porleifr Jarslsskald. This connection to the natural world is echoed by Michael:
“There is a big tie-up between Gholem images and those of the ancient Keltic Druids – + the energies are ectoplasmically the same basic earth magic.”
It was this that prompted my journey to Annwn and The Glastonbury Working detailed in my book, Keys to the Hoodoo Kingdom.
The long tradition of magic based on the Gholem Cultus is explained by Tau Leo, Secretary of the OTOA-LCN, “the whole of the Golem Work as it is today with us was originated by Walter Jantshik who was briefly Grandmaster of the Fraternitas Saturni in 1969 and gave Michael a charter to start Zarathustra Lodge.”
This tarot therfore is a continiuation of the research work of Zarathustra Lodge and serves to communicate a vision of the Gholem Cultus in the wider context of the Afro-Atlantean and Trans-Yuggothian Vuduverse, to create a portal into that Cultus and fulfil those needs of initiatic consciousness first ientified by Michael.
The Gholem Tharot can be ordered in the Store.