Re: The building blocks of Tarot History

#132
robert wrote: I am in awe of the level of knowledge and the many different types of contributions made by members here, and I am very glad to have you be a part of it.
Thank you, Robert. I'll try hard to behave better in the future. (I'm looking for a Smilie Face with a sheepish expression, but alas, none is offered! :ymsigh: )

Re: The building blocks of Tarot History

#133
Hi Marcei,

Thanks for your comments.
Marcei wrote: 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.
I wish you understand how biased that comment is. It presupposes beforehand what has to be found in the tarot. That’s exactly the opposite of sound research. What your comment implies leaves out any objective observation of the facts and settles the results of any historical inquiry before even starting.

The other day I heard a great phrase in a movie: “The difference between fiction and reality is that fiction has to make sense.”
Marcei wrote: Enrique, you said,
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.
I never said that it was, nor do I personally believe that that was the original intent. 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. . .”
The point I am trying to make is: we cannot use historical research to validate the tarot as a divination tool -nor to validate any hypothesis. We must have an open mind and accept what the evidence shows, otherwise history won’t be a tool for learning but for pleasing us. Neither is that a sound start for any kind of inquiry nor do we need the validation.
Marcei wrote: 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.
Medieval texts can indeed have several levels of meaning. That is what is called the quadriga exegesis. These three orderings your mention all shared the same, Western, worldview. The anachronism comes from assuming that the same work can include several different religious/religious worldviews, as if the tarot was created by Deepak Chopra’s grand parents. We can’t simply translate our ‘your feathers and mi chakras... we are all the same!’ notions into the Middle Ages. In that regard, the medieval classroom for comparative religions was the stake. What I find anachronistic is the notion of the tarot being originally intended a recipe for rising the kundalini, reaching individuation, etc.
Marcei wrote: 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 :D ) So maybe I don't understand what is intended by “building blocks.”
Until about 30 years ago, the building blocks of neurology included a view of the brain as having all its centers fixed. That was the common understanding of how the brain was wired. Another building block stated that once the brain of a child has been formed, that was it. These building blocks stood strong for centuries, and it has been replaced -not without struggle- for a more plastic understanding of the way the brain is wired, through new data that is product of new evidence. The only way for knowledge to move forward is to arrive at some consensus. Then, if new evidence is found we can modify that consensus by a ‘better’ one. But personal feelings, individual opinions good intentions or honest desires aren’t evidence, nor can replace any consensual view of reality by wishful thinking alone.

There is a saying in my country: “desire alone won’t get you pregnant”.


Best,


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

Re: The building blocks of Tarot History

#134
Marcei wrote: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. [...] 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 [...]
What is also known is that the people of the times and place were people of the times and place, and that the esoteric teachings of any tradition is in accord with its exoteric manifestation.

If what IS known of the sequences of various branches enumerated is not in accord with the sequences in tarot, then in what sense can we claim that the sequence(s) in tarot may reflect sequences in either (or/and) astrology, alchemy, Kabbalah, ... or indeed 'heretical' views, especially given that tarot sequences appear to be quite in line with reflections of exoteric Christian values?

Like Robert (and undoubtedly many others), I too would dearly like to find a document that accounted for the specific set (in whatever order) of tarot's early imagery. I personally think this is still possible (the question may of course then be raised as to whether such a document accounts for the sequence, or whether it is an after-the-fact weaving of a narrative given an 'inexplicable' image sequence). As things currently stand, I am personally leaning ever-more to what I wrote in the thread 'Crackpot Theories' (in the Unicorn Terrace):
The deck arose as an expanded deck with trumps added to the set; these trumps were painted at the whim of the designer, without coherent overall meaning, but 'naturally' guided by a sense that arose as one painted one image after another (so stations in life gave rise to other considerations and imagery of the period, including virtues, love, the Wheel of Fortune, and eschatological and metaphysical considerations such as the heavenly spheres, the Last Judgement and Christ).

These were over time variously standardised and acquired specific ordering(s), which later still may have been influenced by an over-arching organising principle (such as Filipas's Alphabetic Masquerade). These became the canon that we know as and now call the "Tarot de Marseille".

Later still, changes took place that sought to find hidden overarching meanings at play in the earliest decks, hence the coming of 'rectifications' and such-like.
Image
&
Image
association.tarotstudies.org

Re: Juggler as everyman ~ 'Old Adam'

#135
SteveM wrote:
Ephesian, Ephesus
Boon companion and roisterer but used less generously by Shakespeare, whom the apostle Paul warned to beware the ‘sleight [1596, jugglery] of men’, not to fall back into ‘lasciviousness’ and ‘lusts’ but to ‘put on the new man’ (Eph 4).
Ephesians 4:14 That we be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

In Greek:
Ephesians 4:14 ινα μηκετι ωμεν νηπιοι κλυδωνιζομενοι και περιφερομενοι παντι ανεμω της διδασκαλιας εν τη κυβεια των ανθρωπων εν πανουργια προς την μεθοδειαν της πλανης

The Greek word translated as ‘sleight’ in KJ is κυβεια ~ kubeia from kubos, a cube, ie a die for playing; gambling, used figuratively for artifice, fraud, to sleight (juggle).
The relationship between biblical greek kubeia and sleight, jugglery, as played upon by Shakespeare, we may note the possible play in Spanish too in Cubilet - dice box, and cubiletero - juggler.
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: The building blocks of Tarot History

#136
SteveM wrote:
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:
SteveM wrote: The association I think is with the traitor at 12 (associated with betrayal through Judas, the 12th disciple), with which death is always paired?
Also, is he always the "12th" disciple, in every list?
St. Ireanius Against Heresies II.20:
For that Judas the traitor is the twelfth in order, is agreed upon by all, there being twelve apostles mentioned by name in the Gospel.



In France, to degrade a Knight two Scaffolds were erected, the one for the Judges the other for the condemn'd Knight, and the Kings Heralds, and Pursuivants of Arms. On this Scaffold stood the Knight, arm'd at all Points, one of the Heralds with a loud Voice read the Crime, and Sentence pronounc'd upon it, and that done, twelve Priests, plac'd there for that purpose, sung the Vespers for the Dead, then the Heralds strip'd the Knight of his Armour, beginning with his Helmet, holding up the Piece so taken on, and crying, This is the Helmet, &c. of such a Knight, convicted and condemn'd for such a Crime. After which a Pursuivant took the Shield and revers'd it, saying, "this is the Shield of this Traitor, &c. and then a Herald broke it in Pieces with a Hammer. All this being perform'd, the Priests encompassing the Criminal laid their Hands on his Head, singing Psalm 119*, in which are contain'd the Curses' and Execrations againft the Traitor Judas, and there apply'd to the Offender."


"A New Dictionary of Heraldry" by James Coats, 1747, p.288.

SteveM

Psalm 119 is a hebrew acrostic poem of 22 stanzas, one for each of the 22 letters of the hebrew alphabet. However, I think the text may be in error here, and the psalm should be 109, not 119:

"The imprecations, contained in the thirty verses of this psalm, are opposed to the thirty pieces of silver for which Judas betrayed our Lord; and are to be taken as prophetic denunciations of the evils that should befall the traitor and his accomplices the Jews; and not properly as curses."


http://www.newadvent.org/bible/psa108.htm#verse1

Augustine's exposition on Psalm 109:
http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1801109.htm
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

raison d'être

#137
11 <---> 8
The ranking of Fool & Trumps in the Tarot de Marseilles conceals the alchemical allegory pertaining to the star regulus of antimony by using numerology (thru partitioning the deck by digit root), Hermetic qabalah (as applied to the Tree of Life published by Anthanasius Kircher), and astrology (with zodiacal glyphs corresponding to the simple letters of the Hebrew alphabet).
Tempore patet occulta veritas...

The building blocks of Tarot History

#138
Yngwë Yngweron wrote:11 <---> 8
The ranking of Fool & Trumps in the Tarot de Marseilles conceals the alchemical allegory pertaining to the star regulus of antimony by using numerology (thru partitioning the deck by digit root), Hermetic qabalah (as applied to the Tree of Life published by Anthanasius Kircher), and astrology (with zodiacal glyphs corresponding to the simple letters of the Hebrew alphabet).
To be added to the list of building blocks, I think you'll need to prove that it existed beforehand... as a prerequisite to it later being concealed. None of the known early sequences match up with the GD sequence you suggest. It's difficult to imagine the Tarot de Marseille, a (probably) 16th century deck, concealing something that didn't exist until the early 20th century. I think the general opinion, if I may (possibly incorrectly) venture to summarise, is that there would have been some degree of Astrological and Numerological influences, as expected at the time. No one has so far shown a clear alchemical, hermetic or qabbalistic connection to historical tarot, although many have explored that path with great enthusiasm. I usually create a new thread to discuss ideas before adding them to the list, as a thread to discuss your theory already exists, perhaps it is best to explore your proposition further in that thread.
The Tarot will lose all its vitality for one who allows himself to be side-tracked by its pedantry. - Aleister Crowley

Re: The building blocks of Tarot History

#139
I've been away from serious forums for far too long (though through lack of time rather than interest). This was an interesting thread to rekindle my enthusiasm, though I don't know how much I shall be able to contribute.

I do however, have a suggestion.

I wonder if some of the disagreements and misunderstandings do not result from differences in how people are using language. By this I mean that words such as "proof", "theory", and "fact" are used in different ways in academia than they are in everyday language. My background is in philosophy (and a looooong time ago, some science) and this is certainly true of those fields - History, as an empirical study is no different.

I would suggest that it may be of great benefit to all if there was a more fundamental discussion of epistemology to make these things clear - if not here, then in a dedicated thread.

Re: The building blocks of Tarot History

#140
Hi Philibus,

It's great to see you visit the forum, I'm sorry it has taken me so long to reply, my apologies.

I'd be willing to explore this further if you think that indeed it is a problem with the understanding of the terms. I've felt that, rather, it has generally been a disagreement of belief rather than language, but I'd be delighted to see everyone move to a more cohesive understanding, and perhaps even view.

Do you have a suggestion on how this might be best approached. Are there standards that you would suggest that we might consider? May I ask you for your suggestion?
The Tarot will lose all its vitality for one who allows himself to be side-tracked by its pedantry. - Aleister Crowley

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