Scary words

Crowley translates Hebrew עולה as “common holocaust”.  Yikes. Let’s look into it.

First off, he published Sepher Sephiroth years before the rise of Hitler to power.  Whew.

Second, he lifted the definition straight from von Rosenroth’s “comm. holocaustû” which dates back centuries.

The word actually refers to the Israelites’ burnt offerings, particularly while they were journeying to the promised land.

The original meaning of the Greek word is indeed “whole burnt offering”. See, the Greek holo- should be familiar in such words as “holistic”, which refers to treating the whole person; and the -caust is the same as in the English word “caustic”, which refers to things like acid which can burn you.

It is helpful to know what words mean.  Crowley certainly did not have one of the greatest crimes against humanity in mind, but a completely novice reader might well flinch at the word.  This is why I’ve undertaken this project.

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