Allow me a small opportunity to comment on some of the points in the opening post and also on a couple of entries.
Regarding point 3, I must admit that I agree with Dummett (and possibly got it from there in the first place and forgotten about it - thanks for the reference, Ross!):
- Tarot was played as a game in the 15th century.
- Tarot was invented to play a game.
- The trump series originally had a coherent meaning.
- There are three families of orders for the trump series.
- Every one of the original orders has a coherent symbolic meaning.
- Not every tarot trump series has a coherent meaning.
- Tarot was created by adding a new set of cards (the Trumps) to a previously existing type of playing cards deck, made of pips and figures divided in four different suits.
- The game of Tarot was invented in the 1400s
- There is no esoteric, alchemical, kabbalistic, numerological, geomantic, astrological, heretical or magical narrative intended in the original set of trumps.
- A "standard Tarot Deck" includes 1 Fool, 21 Trumps, 16 Court cards, and 40 Pips equalling 78 cards in total.
- The trumps and the pips don’t share a common historical origin.
- The narrative of the early tarot is informed by orthodox religious motifs of the Roman Catholic church.
- The imagery and sequence of the trumps were influenced by Trionfi traditions.
If I think about a game to which is to be added a number of images that will act as trumps, the sequence does not need to have a coherent meaning. This does not preclude that there will be a more-or-less general ordering, but these are as likely to arise out of the creative impulse and its sequencing of thought rather than reflect a 'series with coherence'. So points 5 and 6 ('Every one of the original orders has a coherent symbolic meaning' and 'Not every tarot trump series has a coherent meaning') I may prefer somehow left out.Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:[...] Dummett on pages 387-388 of Game of Tarot concerning interpretations of the meaning of the sequence, or whether it has one:
I do not even want to take a stand about the theories that have been advanced. The question is whether a theory is needed at all. I do no mean to deny that some of the subjects , or some of the details of their conventional representations, may have had a symbolic significance obvious to fifteenth-century Italians, or, at least, to educated ones, that escapes us and may be revealed by patient research; that is very likely to be the case. But the question is whether the sequence as a sequence has any special symbolic meaning. I am inclined to think that it did not [...]. They wanted to design a new kind of pack with an additional set [...] so they selected for those cards a number of subjects, most of them entirely familiar, that would naturally come to the mind of someone at a fifteenth-century Italian court.
In summary, I may want to alter point 3 somewhat closer to something like:
This, in fact, is closely linked to the final two points, and so those may be subsets of that point, to something like the following:3 - The set of trumps originally reflected imagery that was common and meaningful
Regarding 4, viz., that:3 - The set of trumps originally reflected imagery that was common and meaningful that was:
- informed by orthodox religious motifs of the Roman Catholic church; and
- influenced by Trionfi traditions
I would prefer that it be stated in a more historical context... not sure how to best do that, but something like:4 - There are three families of orders for the trump series.
With regards to points 7 & 8, they again seem to be closely connected, and could perhaps be combined in a form that does not need to duplicate an aspect of point 1 - something like:4 - Three families of orders arose by the 16th [? 17th?] century for the trump series, referred to as the A ('southern' - Bologna & Florence), B ('eastern' - Ferrara & Venice), and C ('northern' - Milan, also commonly named 'Marseille') patterns
Point 11 now becomes redundant, by the way.Tarot was invented in the 1400s by adding a new set of cards (the Trumps) to a previously existing type of playing cards deck derived from the 13th century Mamluk deck, consisting of pips and figures divided in four different suits
With regards to point 9, viz.:
I personally share some of the misgivings mentioned in various other posts, and yet also agree with the sentiment of the point raised. What I mean by this is that any of those 'esoteric' aspects may have had an influence on imagery without thereby assuming that a 'narrative' was intended. So I'm unsure as to how word this in a way that neither neglects various common influences from the period on imagery, whilst at the same time agreeing that 'no esoteric, alchemical, kabbalistic, numerological, geomantic, astrological, heretical or magical narrative' instructs the set or sequence.... how about something like:There is no esoteric, alchemical, kabbalistic, numerological, geomantic, astrological, heretical or magical narrative intended in the original set of trumps.
With point 10, I must admit that I still find the separation of the Fool from the 'trumps' a little strange. Though it's the case that once numeration occurs that card (generally) remains without number, its inclusion seems part and parcel of the trumps - in that they are pictorial images of a different order to the other four suits.The original set of trumps did not reflect a sequence of esoteric, alchemical, kabbalistic, numerological, geomantic, astrological, heretical nor magical narrative
I would thus prefer to have the description somehow reflecting this. Again, not sure how to best manage this...
A "standard tarot deck" has come to include 22 trumps (sometimes delineated as 1 Fool and 21 other trumps), with four other suits which include a total of 16 court cards and 40 pips, for a total equalling 78 cards.
I think that's it on my comments for now... I had intended on adding something to OP's post, but I've made this long enough as is.