Re: Le Tarot arithmologique - 22 Atouts and 220 emblems

BOUGEAREL Alain wrote: But, it is un-necessary, from my point of view, to caracterize the pips as astrological or qabbalistics numbers.
I understand these interpretations but they may be many other such as their game value for example....
Yes of course. It was fairly typical to place 'numerical groupings' together (four elements, seasons, directions, evangelists, holy animals etc., for example). Those are just two numerical groupings of ten taken from Agrippa (not that he included pip cards of course). They are merely meant as interpretive suggestions, not as an historical example or claim.
Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.
T. S. Eliot

Re: Le Tarot arithmologique - la séquence 1+4+7+10 = 22

Reply to this post by Alain:


My dear friend Alain:

sad (but still amazed) I see that you do feel comfortable with posing as the rider of your dead and stuffed horse after you did receive detailed and structured criticism of your stillborn theories (which you call „un - achieved“ yourself) that you did not reply to in any orderly or even customary fashion – but only with a sloppy link to Aeclectic - without any quotes and with a lot of participants who do not take part here.

And as much as I looked: I couldn't find any of that by you annouced „priviledge“ there.
For the critics about the layout I gave the priviledge, see the discussion with Jean Michel DAVID on Aeclectic History Forum :
I will not hold that against you because wanting manners are always a result of a lack in education.
So your mentors should be accused with some lack of „leadership“ and so: knowledge I suppose.

It is my take now that you take ALL of your Aeclectic counterparts as witnesses to your „findings“ - which they are of course NOT.

jmd for instance had some doubts – but from a mathematical POV – which can not be applied here of course because only geometrics govern the rectangles - which in their original form …

(only found with the Visconti and later: the Sforza – AND on the Goldschmidt „cards“ with the SAME indicators - but you will find that when you really do READ >> all the posts of this thread <<

viewtopic.php?f=12&t=1044&start=30#p16007 )

… were NOT even CARDS.

But you may not know that.

Published here ...


… and here ...


… based on this e-mail from Mr. William M. Voelkle - Senior Research Curator at the Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts department of The Morgan Library & Museum where 35 survivors of the PMB are in his care:
Re: Visconti-Sforza Tarot Cards


Dear [name withheld by request],

First, I should say that our deck originally contained 78 cards, of which 74 are preserved, divided among the Morgan Library (35 cards), the Accademia Carrara in Bergamo (26 cards) and the Colleoni family (13 cards).

I was intrigued by your request to learn the thickness and weight of the cards, but for another reasons, to see if there were differences between the original cards and the replacement cards - as proved to be the case. as I was eager to see if there was a difference The cards were all 173 x 87 mm, and the weight and thickness of the original cards, be they picture cards or number cards, was fairly consistent. The thickness of the Hanged Man and the Queen of Swords, on laminated stock, was about 1.5 mm and the weight, in grams of the former was 14.78, and the latter, 14.84.

The replacement cards were on solid stock, and Temperance and Fortitude, for example, were less than 1 mm thick, and weighed weighed 11.94 grams and 12.53 grams respectively.

Sincerely yours,

William Voelkle

William M. Voelkle
Senior Research Curator
Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts
The Morgan Library & Museum
225 Madison Avenue
New York, NY  10016„3403

TEL: 212 590-0364
FAX: 212 768-5665
So all the game theory (a/de)l(l)usions you and some others obviously pamper so dearly simply go „p-o-o-f“ in an instant and now you should probably get a bit more out of that ivory tower you have yourself confined in with some collaborators – surrounded by claqueurs (who by the way are never good advisers when it comes to timeless wisdom).

The ORIGINAL Tarot was a totally different animal – meant as an unbound book of education that needed a reliable structure that could shelter the wisdom of ages like an antique library.
Therefore the Kilim-Pattern on the Family heirloom (Visconti and Sforza – and Goldschmidt too) reminds on the surface of the shelves for the parchment scrolls of historic times.


But a level deeper it was the BINDING STRUCTURE for the pages of this book that I present in my own linked material here in my first critical replies to your ideas.

When you look down from your balcony you will see that this very same structure arranged in a very clean regular TESSELLATION is staring you right in the face from the backs of many historical Tarot de Marseille decks …

So why would you ignore this REAL link to the Tetraktys and classical Tessellation to make up a faulty fantasy of your own?

Your supplied earliest orders for Tarot cards from 1500 and 1521 bear no meaning for The SECRET the Tarot de Marseille holds in store because only the practical nature of Le MAT between XX & XXI leads the way as presented by „C“ here:

But please do not get frightened by the „layout“ like Huck did.
He has not dared to read it still I suppose!

A whole new and real WORLD is waiting to be discovered.


Aparte : cardinal and ordinal numbers

Cardinals and ordinals numbers ...

Definition du Nombre CARDINAL
"Le cardinal dépend de la quantité d'objets pris n'importe où sur la droite et dans n'importe quel ordre.
Le cardinal d'une collection d'objets, c'est la quantité totale d'objets dans cette collection, comptés dans n'importe quel ordre."

Collection : 22 allegorical subjects

Definition du Nombre ORDINAL

"L'ordinal est associé à un classement, à une place parmi les autres. Les objets sont mis en ordre.
C'est aussi la quantité d'objets avant lui, lui compris. S'il est troisième, c'est qu'il y en a deux avant lui.
L'ordinal d'un objet dans une collection ordonnée, c'est là où s'arrête le comptage pour cet objet."

Classement : pentagonal generation of the Number 22

Also : the specific listing of the 3 groups A B or C.

By convention, it may be useful to make the distinction ... fors eample with arabic numbers for one and roman numbers for the other.
Web page :

Re: Le Tarot arithmologique - la séquence 1+4+7+10 = 22

Alain wrote
I already had excluded one of the three groups.
Your analysis shows that the second group should also be excluded.

So, the sequence with the Math at omega and Bagat at Alpha stands for one group.

Final agreement on this point?
I would say that if the sequence with the Math at omega and Bagat at Alpha ever applied to type C, by the time of the Cary Sheet (still not securely dated), Susio (c. 1525-1570), and Alciati (1544), that fact had been forgotten. I do find indications of possession by divinity in the PMB Fool, in the 7 feathers in his hair, both suggesting a halo and the 7 weeks of Lent as in Giotto's figure, and in his facial expression, which conforms to how Bembo painted the saints in his, or his workshop's, painting now in the Brera.

However possession by divinity is consistent with placement either at the beginning or the end of the sequence, or being outside it altogether.

Also, it is not clear to me that type A does not conform to your four groups, because the division can be made at the Hanged Man as well as atDeath, given that the number 12 was associated with Judas, and so with the crucifixion. In Type A decks, Judas was cardinal number 12 but in ordinal numbers the 13th in the sequence. In that case unless the final group would be defined as the path of salvation.

Alain wrote,
By convention, it may be useful to make the distinction ... fors eample with arabic numbers for one and roman numbers for the other.
In English, the distinction (between cardinal an ordinal numbers) is indicated as follows:

1, 2, 3, etc., or I, II, III, etc. are cardinal numbers.

1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc., or Ist, IInd, IIIrd, are ordinal numbers. Using Roman numerals to indicate ordinal numbers is not usually done in English; it is more common in other European languages (e.g. in French, Ier or Iere, etc).

Google puts it well:
car·di·nal num·ber
plural noun: cardinal numbers

a number denoting quantity (one, two, three, etc.), as opposed to an ordinal number (first, second, third, etc.).
There is no "zeroth" ordinal number. The absence of number is before one of something. In Roman Numerals, of course, there is also no zero. With cardinal numbers, 0 is usually put before 1, as would seem to be the case in the Sola-Busca tarot.

Most type A decks start with the Love card as number 5, even though it may be the 6th in the sequence. Here is Dummett's presentation of type A (he omits the Fool as not being part of the order):

The principle is particularly clear in the Bolognese order. The five before Love are unnumbered, even though the Bagat is the lowest (the other four, simply called "papi", are of equal rank). Examples in actual decks are rare, because Bolognese decks are usually still without numbers. A 19th century example is in Vitali and Zanetti''s Il Tarocchini di Bologna, pp. 89-92.

The Minchiate order (and also that of a Strombotto not known by Dummett) has only four cards below Love, but that is because there are only three of those "papi". These are two ways the Hanged Man, in typa A, is the 13th card, even though numbered 12. The ordinal and cardinal numbers differ. After the Star at 16, the cards stop being numbered, at least in Bologna. But they still followed the usual order, ending with the Angel.

I exclude the Sicilian order from consideration, because it is not 16th century (and earlier), having been created when a govenor came who had previously been in Rome and Milan. It shows obvious dependence on the Minchiate, with its "ship" (water, in Minchiate) and "Jupiter". Other non-standard cards are "Poverty" and "Constancy". There is also a Fool.

In Rosenwald sheet 3 (very recently securely dated to within a few years after 1501), by exception (although the Colonna may be similar), the cardinal numbers start at I, assigned to the Bagat, and so on (at least in the Washington exemplar). What gets XII is the Old Man ( The Hanged Man card has no number on it. This might have been a way to make a division into groups: the last group is the one with no numbers. In that case, the Rosenwald would appear to have only 9 in the last group, if all the trumps are on that third sheet. But since other type A decks did have a Fool, maybe there is a Rosenwald Fool on another sheet, also unnumbered (as it usually is). If so, or if not then in other decks with a Fool but numbered in the Rosenwald's fashion, the Fool could be classed with the unnumbered group, making 10 in all, thus conforming to Alain's divisions.

Re: Le Tarot arithmologique - la séquence 1+4+7+10 = 22

Reminder :

"This game refers to Petrarca’s Triumphi (hence “triumphs” from Italian “trionfi”), in
which the fourteenth century poet described six principal forces which govern men and
assigned a hierarchical value to each. Romanesque numerology saw in the number Six
"the superhuman one, the power", as the number related to the days of biblical creation.
First comes Love (Instinctual), which corresponds to a juvenile phase, vanquished by
Shame [Pudicizia] (Chastity, Reason), a subsequent phase of mature calmness, after
which follows Death, signifying the transitoriness of terrestrial things. It is in turn,
vanquished nevertheless by Fame, victorious over death in posterity’s memory, but over
it Time triumphs, which is overcome finally by the Triumph of Eternity, which frees
humans from the flow of the becoming. and sets them in the kingdom of eternity.
The number of the Triumphal cards at the beginning was perhaps composed of 8
allegories, later by 14 and 16, then was finally stabilized at 22, the number that in its
Christian mystical meaning represents the introduction to the wisdom and the divine
teachings engraved in humanity
. Such a path, that conveys a progressive adaptation of
these "playing cards" to a numeology of a religious character, was probably adopted to
avoid the condemnation of the Church that was continually hurled against card games
that were considered gambling.
About the number 22 of the Triumphs, here is how Origen considers this number: “In
the order of numbers, each single number contains a certain force and power over
things. Of this power and force the Creator of universe made use, in some instances for
the constitution of the universe itself, in others to express the nature of each thing as it
appears to us. It follows, then, based on the Scriptures, that one must observe and derive
those aspects that belong to the numbers themselves. And in truth it ought not to be
ignored that the books of the Bible itself, as the Jews transmitted them, are twenty-two,
also equal to the number of Hebrew letters, and this not without reason. As in fact,
twenty-two letters seem to be the introduction to the wisdom and doctrine engraved
iwith these figures in human beings, so these twenty two books of Scripture also
constitute the foundation and the introduction to the wisdom of God and the knowledge
of the world” (Select in Ps I - PG 12, 1084). In other words, Origen, referring to these 22
inspired books of the Bible, perceives in the twenty-two letters that comprise the
Hebrew alphabet an introduction to the wisdom and divine teachings imprinted in
humanity (A. Quacquarelli, s.v. Numeri, in DPAC, pages 2447-2448).

Medieval theology assigns to the universe a precise order, formed by a symbolic
staircase rising from the earth to the sky: from the top of the stairs God, the First Cause,
governs the world, without getting directly involved, but operating “ex gradibus” i.e.
through an uninterrupted series of intermediaries. In this way his divine power is
transmitted down to the lower creatures, even to the humblest mendicant. Read from
below upwards, the staircase teaches that humans can gradually rise in the spiritual
order, climbing slowly toward the summits of the bonum, verum and nobile, and by
science and virtue advance nearer to God.
From the first known list of Triumphs of the beginning of the 16th century, it is evident
that it was a game. with an ethical background The Magician shows a sinful man who
has been provided with both temporal guides, the Emperor and Empress, and spiritual
guides, the Pope and Popess (i.e. Faith). Human instincts themselves must be mitigated
by the virtues: Love by Temperance, and the desire for power, or rather the Chariot, by
Strength (the Christian virtue Fortitude). The Wheel of Fortune teaches us that success
is ephemeral and that even powerful persons are destined to become dust. The Hermit
who follows the Wheel represents Time, to which all beings are subject, and the
necessity for each person to meditate on the real value of existence, while the Hanged
Man (The Traitor) depicts the danger of falling into temptation and sin before the arrival
of physical Death.
Even the afterlife is represented according to the typical medieval idea: Hell, and thus
the Devil, stands at the centre of the earth, while the celestial spheres are above the
earth. According to the Aristotelian vision of the cosmos, the terrestrial sphere is
surrounded by celestial fires which in the tarots are represented as lightning striking a
Tower. The planetary spheres are synthesized in three main planets: Venus (the preeminent
Star), the Moon, and the Sun. The highest sphere is the Empyrean, the seat of
the angels who will be summoned to awaken the dead from their tombs at the Last
Judgement - when divine Justice will triumph in weighing the souls and dividing the
good from the evil. Highest of all is the World, or "the Holy Father", as an anonymous
Dominican commentator on the tarots wrote at the end of the 15th century.The same
author places the Fool after the World, as if to illustrate his complete alienation from all
rules and teachings, since,because lacking reason, he was not able to understand the
revealed truths." ... arovan.pdf[/quote]

"In the tarot the presence of the Fool has therefore a further and deeper sense: the Fool, in
its meaning of unbeliever in God but possessing reason, had to become, through the
teachings expressed by the Mystical Staircase, the "Fool of God", as the most popular
saint became, that is, St. Francis, who was called “The Saint Minstrel of God” or “the
Saint Fool of God" (None was more beautiful, / More joyful, or greater, / Than he who,
by zeal and love, / Became the fool of Jesus: dance song by Girolamo Benivieni, 1453-
Web page :

Re: Le Tarot arithmologique - la séquence 1+4+7+10 = 22

There is one more problem that I see with Alain's essay. He gives Aretino's Pasquinade of 1521 as his second example in which, in the type B order, the Fool is added at the end. However in fact Aretino does not list the triumphs in order, as can be seen on p. 46 at ... XII109.pdf

Here is Aretino's order (the text helpfully puts in italics the relevant titles): stella, traditore, 'mperadore, sol, bagattella, imperatrice, papessa, amore, mondo, angelo, matto, luna, Iustizia, diavol, ruota da fortuna, vecchio, carro, casa, tempranzia, morte, fortezza, papa.

Nonetheless, Aretino does seem to put the triumphs more or less in groups, except at the beginning and end. "Bagattella" is mentioned in a group that, except for "sol", the sun, includes all the cards up to "amore", whereas "matto" is included along with "mondo", "angelo", "luna". "iustizia", and "diavol". The placement of "sol" in one group and "luna" in the other might be to associate the emperor with the sun and the Madman with the moon. We can perhaps infer that "matto" goes at the end and "bagattella" at the beginning, but there are enough exceptions to his groupings (stella, traditore, sol, casa, papa) that it is not as clear as one would like.

There is also one more example which suggests the Fool's position at the end, also from the Ferrara area and again not clearly, namely Boiardo's poem, where we see, near the end of the section on the "Triumph of the Vain World" ( ... Vano_Mondo)
Oblivion di termine e confine
Del tutto sei, Elice e Dido a Lethe
Menasti, e famma e tempo hai in toe ruine.

(Oblivion, you are the end and boundary
Of all, you took to Lethe Elice and Dido,
And among your ruins you have fame and time.)
Fame and Time were the triumphs just before the last one in Petrarch's Il Trionfi. Petrarch's "Eternity" is his last. Boiardo's "Oblivion" corresponds to the "Nulla" of the Sermones.

Also, at the beginning of that section of Boiardo's poem, the Fool is associated with the World, which in Ferrara was the last triumph:
Mondo, da pazzi vanamente amato,
Portarti un fol su l'asino presume,
Ché i stolti sol confidano in tuo stato.

(World, you are vainly loved by the mad,
And a fool thinks he can bring you on his donkey,
Because only the stupid trust in your state.)
On other hand, Boiardo's triumphs in general do not fit the tarot subjects, so that he might simply be using his poetic license, bringing two ends together. And needless to say, there is nothing divine about either oblivion or stupidity. Nonetheless he is associating the Fool card with the back end of the sequence in these passages. Since Boiardo died in 1494, this poem is earlier than all the explicit placements except possibly the Sermones, which similarly places the Fool next to the World and calls it "nulla", similar to Boiardo's "oblivion".

Re: Le Tarot arithmologique - la séquence 1+4+7+10 = 22

Adrian Goldwetter wrote:Hi to you 3 – Alain – mikeh & SteveM.

It's really fun to see you both trying to beat a dead horse (Alain's diagram) over the finishing line of your fantasies
Well, if nothing else, this thread has led to a new historical discovery, that of the earliest and most complete Venetian order of the tarots (which, in order from highest to lowest, puts the Matto last, below the bagatelle).

No one seems to be interested in this new discovery. I find it quite exciting, thus started a new thread on it, which no one seems to be interested in either! Oh, well,... researchers study has become unicorn, I suppose.
Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.
T. S. Eliot

Re: Le Tarot arithmologique - la séquence 1+4+7+10 = 22

Steve wrote :

"Well, if nothing else, this thread has led to a new historical discovery, that of the earliest and most complete Venetian order of the tarots (which, in order from highest to lowest, puts the Matto last, below the bagatelle).

No one seems to be interested in this new discovery. I find it quite exciting, thus started a new thread on it, which no one seems to be interested in either! Oh, well,... researchers study has become unicorn, I suppose."

Hi Steeve

I m not an expert in Venetian order of the tarot deck
But it's true that "unicorn research" someimes has collateral consequences such a Licone's finding - your's?


Thank s also for posting Marcos and Mikeh discussion with contribution of Huck and others about the Trump's orders :
Web page :

Re: Le Tarot arithmologique - la séquence 1+4+7+10 = 22

hi Alain,

nice to meet you again. The number 22 was used in German lot book, which had an answer finding system, which worked with 22-22-22-22 elements. 22 animals, 22 prophets, 22 kings with countries and 22 questions or themes.


The animals are the most interesting:

1-13: 13 (!) zodiac-animals (the 13th animal was a bird, a raven, the sign Corvus (somehow located in Virgo, likely according an old calendar, which started the year around Libra, and had a 13th month, which was counted only all 2-3 years (7x in 19 years, Meton-cycle calendar) in the time of Virgo.

14-18: 5 planet birds
19: moon-stag
20: sun-dog
21: emperor with hare
22: Pope with donkey

The system had a proven existence in c. 1425-1450 and was then repeated in variants. Also a printed version was done.

Perhaps you're interested.


Pope with donkey


The Boiardo Trionfi poem is the oldest, for which we have a clear "22" as number of the trumps (rather different to the usual trumps). There are good reasons to date this poem to January 1487, wenn Lucretia d'Este, illegitimate daughter of Ercole d'Este married ... the highest trump in the Boiardo poem addressed the Roman Lucrezia.

Pico de Mirandola, a clear lover of the number 22, published his Kabbala-work one month before January 1487, in December 1486. He invited all interested scholars to discuss his theses ... at the begin of this enterprise it wasn't clear, that a negative papal reaction would follow soon (about February/March 1487).

Pico and Boiardo were cousins, although Boiardo was much older. Both had an interest in Hebrew.

Pico, btw, wrote also a Tarocchi poem, once found by Ross. I remember, that this was given to 1481.

Perhaps the 22-fashion, which finally reached the Tarot game, was born in this period.

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