Re: Spanish cartomancy, help with translation

#21
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote: Naturally it does! It seems to me that cards as impetrated omens or narrative machines should be something that is susceptible of being made into a historical narrative (and not just a fantasy one), and that's what I'm trying to do.

Ross
And I would love to know more about that! Here or anywhere else.



EE
What’s honeymoon salad? Lettuce alone
Don’t look now, mayonnaise is dressing!

Re: Spanish cartomancy, help with translation

#22
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote: The difference might be important though - the cards didn't have to be labelled, like the beans were. They were already labelled, and gendered - and suited, with good and bad senses attributed to them (as if some beans were already black and some white). This suggests to me that the impetus for using a deck of cards was a response to the images themselves, which already possessed latent narrative.
Yes, it seem natural to think that, if someone understood divination with any other object, the cards presented extraordinary advantages for divining with them. I also are in that such ‘advantages’ are rooted in the visual character of the cards. Still, the cards seem to have been used, at that very early state, as -graphically-‘marked’ objects and not necessarily as images, but perhaps his is an useless distinction.
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote: A further distinction is that the card readings were always in an attitude of order - Margarita de Borja used 5 rows of four cards, Maria Gonzalez her 13 card circle - they were not "cast" out randomly and their position relative in terms of closeness or nearness read (although I can imagine that being done - I know that I used to regard it as significant if a card or several cards fell out while I was shuffling).
Although I have no way to ‘prove’ this, I would think that every tool brings some ideas with itself, in order words, the relationship form-function includes clues in terms of how do we relate to an object. Perhaps for this reason creating rows or organized patterns was a natural think to do with cards -after all, they ‘behave’ in rows and patterns when we play with them- while the natural thing to do with a die is to roll it, for example. But again, I am just speculating.


Best,


EE
What’s honeymoon salad? Lettuce alone
Don’t look now, mayonnaise is dressing!

Re: Spanish cartomancy, help with translation

#23
EnriqueEnriquez wrote: Yes, I agree. I wasn’t taking into consideration the narratives of the whole process, the divinatory relationship, between reader and client, but speaking from a technical point of view about how much information was extracted from the oracle itself.
There is an early account of "clairvoyant" divination with cards - at least I think that is the best interpretation of it. I think the storyteller's reaction - calling it "sorcery" - indicates he was thinking in ways we might now call suggestion or hypnosis.
In 1620 John Melton recorded the following story in Astrologaster, or, The Figure Caster. It was repeated by William Rowland, in Judiciall astrologie, judicially condemned (London, 1652) and tells of Henry Cuffe, (1563-1601), secretary to the Earl of Essex, whose death was foretold by cards twenty years before it happened. Cuffe was executed in 1601, so the incident allegedly dates from 1581 when he would have been 18 years old:

“There was another Wizard (as it was reported to me by a learned and rare Scholler, as we were discoursing about Astrologie) that some twentie yeeres before his death told Cuffe our Countreyman, and a most excellent Graecian, that hee should come to an untimely end: at which, Cuffe laughed, and in a scoffing manner entreated the Astrologer to shew him in what manner he should come to his end: who condiscended to him, and calling for Cards, entreated Cuffe to draw out of the Packe three, which pleased him; who did so, and drew three Knaves: who (by the Wizards direction) layd them on the Table againe with their faces downewards, and then told him, if hee desired to see the summe of his bad fortunes reckoned up, to take up those Cards one after another, and looke on the inside of them, and he shluld be trouly resolved of his future fortunes. Cuffe did as he was prescribed, and first took up the first Card, and looking on it, he saw the true portraiture of himselfe Cape a Pe [hat on head], having men compassing him about with Bills and Halberds: then he tooke up the second Card, and there saw the Judge that sat upon him: at last, he tooke up the last Card, & saw Tyborne, the place of his Execution, & the Hangman, at which he then laughed heartily; but many yeres after, being condemned for Treason, he remembred the fatall Prediction of the Wizard, & before his death revealed it to some of his friends. If this be true, it was more then Astrology, and no better then flat Sorcery or Conjuring, which is divellish.” [John Melton, "Astrologaster, or, The Figure Caster" (1620), p.42. (thanks to Michael Hurst)]
Whether "true" or not, it is clear to me that Melton was repeating a story he believed, and as he describes it, what happened is that the Wizard turned three Knaves into the cards that Cuffe saw, and Cuffe - according to Melton - created a narrative out of them at least at the time leading up to his execution.

I tend to see veracity in the story. Melton obviously doesn't know about cartomancy, which is why he is shocked at it, and this corresponds to what we might expect of cartomancy to have looked like in those first few centuries - ad hoc, local, opportunistic - but the point in response to your statement here is that it was explicitly deriving narrative information from the images.

This suggests to me that a creative use of cards for creating hypothetical narratives relevant to the immediate and credulous interests of a questioner (using credulous not as a negative term here but only as the best I can think of for "the questioner believes such a method can help them" - no different, in other words, from going to a priest, counselor or psychotherapist - i.e. referring to an authority, without judgment as to whether the basis of belief in the authority is "superstitious" or not) is an innate reaction to randomizable images (and texts, like bibliomancy, or drawing phrases from a hat), and a probable use of cards as "cartomancy" - as we would recognize it - from very early times.

Ross
Image

Re: Spanish cartomancy, help with translation

#24
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:There is an early account of "clairvoyant" divination with cards - at least I think that is the best interpretation of it. I think the storyteller's reaction - calling it "sorcery" - indicates he was thinking in ways we might now call suggestion or hypnosis.
Whether "true" or not, it is clear to me that Melton was repeating a story he believed, and as he describes it, what happened is that the Wizard turned three Knaves into the cards that Cuffe saw, and Cuffe - according to Melton - created a narrative out of them at least at the time leading up to his execution.

I tend to see veracity in the story. Melton obviously doesn't know about cartomancy, which is why he is shocked at it, and this corresponds to what we might expect of cartomancy to have looked like in those first few centuries - ad hoc, local, opportunistic - but the point in response to your statement here is that it was explicitly deriving narrative information from the images.

Ross,

That’s an excellent quote! Thanks for posting it. (There is a novel: Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, by Susanna Clarke in which a similar reading is described. If I recall correctly, in that reading the magician ends up transforming the whole 22 cards into The Emperor, as a way of signifying an unavoidable fate).

I don’t doubt of the veracity of the story and I agree with you in that the description of the ‘effect’ makes one think of suggestion, although pure sleight of hand could be at play. What immediately came to mind was this video:



Shawn Farquhar is an extremely well accomplished magician, and that routine is one of the best I have seen about crafting a narrative by just controlling cards. Now, just imagine what a person with this ability could do in a reading!
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:This suggests to me that a creative use of cards for creating hypothetical narratives relevant to the immediate and credulous interests of a questioner (using credulous not as a negative term here but only as the best I can think of for "the questioner believes such a method can help them" - no different, in other words, from going to a priest, counselor or psychotherapist - i.e. referring to an authority, without judgment as to whether the basis of belief in the authority is "superstitious" or not) is an innate reaction to randomizable images (and texts, like bibliomancy, or drawing phrases from a hat), and a probable use of cards as "cartomancy" - as we would recognize it - from very early times.

Ross
Yes, absolutely. I tend to think that what a cynic would call ‘gullibility’ is indeed a survival mechanism made possible by the emergence of the frontal cortex, the part of the brain that makes cognition possible. The point being that all of us, human beings, at some point or another of our lives will need to ‘fool’ ourselves into see a ‘carrot on a stick’ in front of us to keep us going. Within the context of a culture/time in which people saw omens everywhere -or anything as an omen- using cards for divination just made sense.


Best,

EE
What’s honeymoon salad? Lettuce alone
Don’t look now, mayonnaise is dressing!

Re: Spanish cartomancy, help with translation

#25
That is a great story! Thank you Ross, for sharing it here, and thanks to Michael Hurst for supplying you with it... (also for finding it, if that's the case!)

So, I am just trying to get clear what is being described here. This is how I am reading this; the "astrologist" shows Cuffe 3 cards that were all knaves. He puts them face down (and in a row?) and tells Cuffe to turn them over, Cuffe does this but now the cards have been switched to not just 3 new cards but 3 cards that are an actual reading? Pretty confident guy, to employ a magic trick while still giving a genuine reading, very bateleur-ish. (If we are to believe that this reading came true as it had been told)
"...he wanted to illustrate with his figures many Moral teachings, and under some difficulty, to bite into bad and dangerous customs, & show how today many Actions are done without goodness and honesty, and are accomplished in ways that are contrary to duty and rightfulness."

Re: Spanish cartomancy, help with translation

#26
Thankyou for those translations and the whole discussion thus far.

It's ever so 'evident' that items such as cards would inevitably have been used from the earliest of days as tools for divination given the nature of gaming (which is already connected to Chance) and the nature of people and our need for story-telling and meaningful predictive or explanatory narrative.

To say such is 'evident', however, is quite different to finding evidence for the same. And such is ever so important - so again, thanks.
Image
&
Image
association.tarotstudies.org

Re: Spanish cartomancy, help with translation

#27
prudence wrote: So, I am just trying to get clear what is being described here. This is how I am reading this; the "astrologist" shows Cuffe 3 cards that were all knaves. He puts them face down (and in a row?) and tells Cuffe to turn them over, Cuffe does this but now the cards have been switched to not just 3 new cards but 3 cards that are an actual reading? Pretty confident guy, to employ a magic trick while still giving a genuine reading, very bateleur-ish. (If we are to believe that this reading came true as it had been told)
Here is something you may try B-) :

HOW TO DELIVER OUT FOURE ACES, AND TO CONVERT THEM INTO FOURE KNAVES.

Take the four aces and four jacks and alternate them, finishing with an ace on the face of the stack, then place the stack at the bottom of the deck. Shuffle the cards two or more times, retaining the bottom stack in its order and position. Hold the deck with both hands and, while keeping the audience's attention on your face as you speak, bring the deck to the edge of the table to cover the motion as you slide the second card from the bottom, one of the jacks, a little out of the deck in readiness to do a bottom second deal. Sill holding the deck with both hands display the ace on the bottom of the pack to the audience, covering the edge of the jack with your four fingers. Deal the jack as though it were the ace face down onto the table.

Shuffle again, retaining the bottom stock. You now have two aces on the face of the deck. Take the top card of the deck, which is an indifferent card, and bury it in the middle of the deck, then do the same with the ace on the face of the deck, without revealing the identity of either card. You will now again have an ace and a jack first and second from the bottom of the deck. Repeat the moves to second deal the jack onto the table, false shuffle again, bury the top and bottom cards in the middle of the deck, and continue on until all four jacks have been dealt onto the table. The audience thinks you have dealt out the four aces, and you can now reveal the cards to have changed into jacks.

You must be well practiced in the shuffling of the bunch, lest you overshoot your self.


From: The Discoverie Of Witchcraft by Reginald Scot.


Best,


EE
What’s honeymoon salad? Lettuce alone
Don’t look now, mayonnaise is dressing!

Re: Spanish cartomancy, help with translation

#28
EnriqueEnriquez wrote: That’s an excellent quote! Thanks for posting it. (There is a novel: Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, by Susanna Clarke in which a similar reading is described. If I recall correctly, in that reading the magician ends up transforming the whole 22 cards into The Emperor, as a way of signifying an unavoidable fate).
Cool, I hand't heard of it. My collection of modern "classics" of cartomantic subjects in fiction is pretty thin - only Calvino. I know it's impossible to collect everything in such a genre, but I'd like more pointers like this Clarke novel to develop it.
I don’t doubt of the veracity of the story and I agree with you in that the description of the ‘effect’ makes one think of suggestion, although pure sleight of hand could be at play. What immediately came to mind was this video:



Shawn Farquhar is an extremely well accomplished magician, and that routine is one of the best I have seen about crafting a narrative by just controlling cards. Now, just imagine what a person with this ability could do in a reading!
Wow, thanks! That was delicious - and one of my favorite songs too ("10 Summoner's Tales" is one of the "albums of my heart"). Farquhar is dangerous man.

I can't decide between sleight of hand and suggestion in this story, since what Cuffe claims he saw doesn't resemble any Jacks I've ever seen. An early commentator (Taylor in the 19th century?) on this story thought they were tarot cards - if so, the conjurer made Cuffe choose the Knaves and part of the story is missing - the conjurer had to get his hands back on the cards somehow to change them into other cards, maybe Tarot cards. But just having a Valet, Justice, and the Hanged Man still wouldn't guarantee the Cuffe interpreted them "right". I guess some degree of suggestion had to have been at work. I'm no magician though, so pure sleight of hand may really account for the changed cards, although what kind of cards they were is still unresolved.
Yes, absolutely. I tend to think that what a cynic would call ‘gullibility’ is indeed a survival mechanism made possible by the emergence of the frontal cortex, the part of the brain that makes cognition possible. The point being that all of us, human beings, at some point or another of our lives will need to ‘fool’ ourselves into see a ‘carrot on a stick’ in front of us to keep us going. Within the context of a culture/time in which people saw omens everywhere -or anything as an omen- using cards for divination just made sense.
I'm not sure it need be that advanced a faculty - the ability and the will to trust and hope are surely faculties in many species. But then I'm not one who believes that human beings are the only animals that can "think". My theory is that every species thinks just fine for how it has evolved, and our distinctive way of thinking (and our oversized brain) is due to evolving with a diet heavy in pure elements like carbon and some metals, and crystalline molecules, because of the effect of cooking our food over fire. In other words, the "monkeys" who mastered fire started this particular ball rolling, about a million years ago.

Ross
Image

Re: Spanish cartomancy, help with translation

#29
Enrique, I think this post got lost in the shuffle yesterday, so I'm bumping it up to ask what you think of Fernando de la Torre's words here and whether Marino's suggestion of it being "cartomancy" is correct (Eugim also, independently, read it that way).

Thanks,

Ross
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:Nancy Marino, in her article Fernando de la Torre's "Juego de naipes", a Game of Love (La Corónica, 35.1 (Fall 2006) 209-47) says about this passage from the text given in the title -
E pueden iugar con ellos perseguera ó tríntin assy como en otros naypes, y de más pueden se conosçer quáles son meiores amores sin haber respecto á lo que puede contesçer. Porque á las veces es meior el carnero que la gallina, et pueden conosçer su calidat, y puédense echar suertes en ellos á quién más ama cada uno, e á quién quiere más, et por otras muchas et diversas maneras.
"But here there is also an unmistakable allusion to the use of playing cards for fortune-telling, perhaps the earliest such reference in Spain” (p. 240). She does not provide a translation, so here is my most diplomatic attempt: “and otherwise, so that the best kinds of loves can be known, without concern for the consequences (proverb about carnero and gallina), then they can cast sorts in them for whom anyone most loves, and for whom they most desire…”

I speculate on my blog
http://ludustriumphorum.blogspot.com/20 ... pdate.html

"If this is accurate, then it appears to counsel drawing a card and reading the inscription to know about the suitability or potential ("without regard for the consequences") of a love interest."

Is this a correct reading of Fernando de la Torre's text?
Image

Re: Spanish cartomancy, help with translation

#30
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:Enrique, I think this post got lost in the shuffle yesterday, so I'm bumping it up to ask what you think of Fernando de la Torre's words here and whether Marino's suggestion of it being "cartomancy" is correct (Eugim also, independently, read it that way).

Thanks,

Ross
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:Nancy Marino, in her article Fernando de la Torre's "Juego de naipes", a Game of Love (La Corónica, 35.1 (Fall 2006) 209-47) says about this passage from the text given in the title -
E pueden iugar con ellos perseguera ó tríntin assy como en otros naypes, y de más pueden se conosçer quáles son meiores amores sin haber respecto á lo que puede contesçer. Porque á las veces es meior el carnero que la gallina, et pueden conosçer su calidat, y puédense echar suertes en ellos á quién más ama cada uno, e á quién quiere más, et por otras muchas et diversas maneras.
"But here there is also an unmistakable allusion to the use of playing cards for fortune-telling, perhaps the earliest such reference in Spain” (p. 240). She does not provide a translation, so here is my most diplomatic attempt: “and otherwise, so that the best kinds of loves can be known, without concern for the consequences (proverb about carnero and gallina), then they can cast sorts in them for whom anyone most loves, and for whom they most desire…”

I speculate on my blog
http://ludustriumphorum.blogspot.com/20 ... pdate.html

"If this is accurate, then it appears to counsel drawing a card and reading the inscription to know about the suitability or potential ("without regard for the consequences") of a love interest."

Is this a correct reading of Fernando de la Torre's text?

Yes, sorry. The discussion went along so fast that I forgot about this post.

Here is my take on it:

“And you can play with them either perseguera or trintín, just as with any other set of cards, and it can also be known who are the best lovers without regard for the consequences. Because sometimes the ram is better than the hen, and you can know its quality, and you can tell fortunes about who else each one loves, and about who is the most loved, and by several and different ways.”


Perseguera or trintín had to have been two kinds of card games. I know nothing of them although ‘perseguera’ may signify ‘pursuing’ or ‘to pursuit’ and, given that in the context of card playing such word suggests chasing one card with another one, I wonder if this could be a trump-taking game. But this is a loooong stretch and the word may mean something different.

But the paragraph is describing cartomancy. No doubt about that. It is also describing a deck that is different from the usual one. Curioulsy, it does so as if one of this deck’s properties was to tell fortunes.


Best,


EE
What’s honeymoon salad? Lettuce alone
Don’t look now, mayonnaise is dressing!

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 11 guests

cron