Perhaps I have expressed myself poorly. Let me try to clarify my position.
Robert, it was not my intention to paint you as a “baddie,” and I do apologize if I seem to have done so.
It is clear that many of you have reached a conclusion that you honestly feel is strongly supported by historical evidence
, and it would be fine to say that. In the building block, however, this conclusion is being stated as established fact
; and I think that is misleading. There may at present be no incontrovertible evidence to prove that the trumps are anything other than 15th century images gathered together for the sole purpose of creating a game, but neither is there incontrovertible evidence that this is all
that they are.
Robert, you said,
Isn't it also arrogant to ignore the research and evidence that has been accumulated over the past years, decades and centuries. . .
It certainly would be arrogant to ignore research and evidence, but I don't believe that I am doing that. I simply don't find the evidence conclusive.
Regarding evidence, JMD wrote,
There now is a wealth of historical work that has been done on the history of astrology, Kabbalah and Alchemy (to take three of those initially). NONE of those three areas have sequences that reflect what is found in the sequence of trump imagery, even when those are variously ordered. This does not mean that later decks were not modified in order for one or another of those to more-or-less be reflected therein, for there is, of course, evidence that this has occured (especially over the past 150 years). Of the thousands of manuscripts in Alchemy, which displays sequences as important in the process; of thousands of manuscripts on astrology (and astronomy), in which sequences or coherent 'sets' are also important (spatially arranged, as opposed to temporally arranged for alchemy); and of the numerous (thousands also?) of Kallalistic tracts (many of which, admittedly, remain in the province of a few Rabbis), NONE even approximate trump 'sequence', but on the contrary each displays their own inherent sequence peculiar to their area (astrology, alchemy, etc.), and that those are generally consistent within each discipline!
The various writings and other illustrations of numerological, heretical, magical and other 'esoteric' documents that are extent and have been studied similarly displays consistency within its discipline, and that those do not mirror nor approximate tarot sequences.
The conclusion is therefore that what IS known of sequences in astrology, alchemy, Kabbalah, etc, does not reflect sequences in tarot.
I think the operative phrase here is in the last sentence, “what IS known,” and what is known is not conclusive because those doing the searching are not privy to information that was too heretical to state in an overt way. Furthermore, all
traditions have information that is exoteric, and they have information that is esoteric; the Church itself is no exception to this rule. In fact you can take that reality all the way back to clearly stated evidence in the “Naghammadi Library,” —extant manuscripts whose translations are now available to the layman.
It seems to me that if we make a premature conclusion into a building block we will have a false foundation.
I would also ask, Robert, why it is necessary to trivialize me by implying that I am a proponent of fantastic claims ”some secret book of magic from Egypt, or a lost Templar code book” for I am promoting none of these things. I have said that I personally
believe that the series of images called trumps had/have meanings beyond the standard Christian explainations already discussed, but I do not state that opinion as fact, nor do I think the theories of others should be stated as facts.
Enrique, you said,
I never said that it was, nor do I personally believe that that was the original intent.
There is some evidence about the tarot being used for divination from a very early point in time, but none such evidence support the idea of the tarot being created for divination at its purpose.
What I said was, “There is no evidence that the tarot was originally intended to be used for divination. It is likely, however, that its suitability for this purpose was recognized and that it was used in this way very early on.” After which I provided space for the earliest documented date which I didn't take time to look up. Again, my personal belief is that divination was not the original intent
but I did not state that as fact. I said, “There is no evidence. . .”
Enrique, you also said, The idea of several lectures being possible on the tarot’s narrative makes me uncomfortable because it is anachronistic.” I cannot understand why the trumps having more than one line of meaning (if I am correctly understanding what you mean by “lectures”) would make you uncomfortable. And I certainly don't understand why such would be anachronistic since we have already recognized 3 different regional sequences, each likely having had some rationalization.
Marco, you wrote,
I don't think that the Building Blocks should be an exahustive list of all that is possible.
I agree. I never said it should be. My proposed statement you referenced read: “Tarot's invention arose by adding a unique group of cards (to be used as a permanent trump suit) to a previously existing deck of playing cards that was itself derived from the 13th century Mamluk deck, consisting of pips and figures divided in four different suits.”
Then you wrote,
They should be a list of solid theories for which there is a lot of evidence.
Here you lost me. I understood the building blocks not to be theories, solid or otherwise, but to be facts supported by evidence. Enrique called them, “...the building blocks of the confirmed tarot history, the one that is supported by evidence.” (though he probably will not like me using his statement to support mine
) So maybe I don't understand what is intended by “building blocks.”