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The building blocks of Tarot History

Posted: 27 May 2009, 15:40
by robert
Inspired by the recent discussion on How do we advance? in the Unicorn Terrace, I wonder how far we can get describing "the building blocks of Tarot History"?

With this, I am suggesting that, even though many of us come to this with different experiences and expectations, we agree on some basics? How many points can we, as a group, go in general agreement? and when we do break off from the group, can we support our reason why? I'm placing this in the research area, because I would hope that we can approach this from a historical rather than exploratory point of view.

The "game" really is to try to get the list as long as possible, rather than to post things that we can't agree on.

So I will keep the list in this first post of the items that we seem to be okay with, and let's see how many of them we can add in. Shall we try just adding one "building block" per post, and see how far we can get?

Tarot History Building Blocks that are generally agreed upon my forum members:
  1. Tarot was invented in the 15th century for game-playing.
  2. Tarot's invention arose 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
  3. The set of trumps originally reflected imagery that was common and meaningful that was:
    1. informed by orthodox religious motifs of the Roman Catholic church; and
    2. influenced by Trionfi traditions
  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
  5. The original set of trumps did not reflect a sequence of esoteric, alchemical, kabbalistic, numerological, geomantic, astrological, heretical nor magical narrative
  6. 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.
  7. ...next?

Re: The building blocks of Tarot History

Posted: 27 May 2009, 15:41
by robert
Tarot was played as a game in the 15th century.

Re: The building blocks of Tarot History

Posted: 27 May 2009, 15:42
by Ross G. R. Caldwell
robert wrote:Tarot was played as a game in the 15th century.
Agreed.

But what about -
2. Tarot was invented to play a game.

Re: The building blocks of Tarot History

Posted: 27 May 2009, 15:45
by robert
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:
robert wrote:Tarot was played as a game in the 15th century.
Agreed.

But what about -
2. Tarot was invented to play a game.
I'll add it and it stays until someone disagrees.

Re: The building blocks of Tarot History

Posted: 27 May 2009, 16:28
by Ross G. R. Caldwell
robert wrote:
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:
robert wrote:Tarot was played as a game in the 15th century.
Agreed.

But what about -
2. Tarot was invented to play a game.
I'll add it and it stays until someone disagrees.
Okay, I get it!

3. The trump series originally had a coherent meaning.
4. There are three families of orders for the trump series.
5. Every one of the original orders has a coherent symbolic meaning.
6. Not every tarot trump series has a coherent meaning.

Re: The building blocks of Tarot History

Posted: 27 May 2009, 16:29
by marco
I am sure the formulation can be improved, but I hope we agree on this:
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.

Marco

Re: The building blocks of Tarot History

Posted: 27 May 2009, 16:34
by marco
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote: 3. The trump series originally had a coherent meaning.
Does this leave Dummett out of our group?
Not sure...

Marco

PS: I do agree, anyway :)

Re: The building blocks of Tarot History

Posted: 27 May 2009, 16:36
by Ross G. R. Caldwell
marco wrote:
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote: 3. The trump series originally had a coherent meaning.
Does this leave Dummett out of our group?
Not sure...

Marco
I don't know (I don't think so, though), but I am sure all of US agree on this.

Ross

Re: The building blocks of Tarot History

Posted: 27 May 2009, 16:37
by robert
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote: 5. Every one of the original orders has a coherent symbolic meaning.
6. Not every tarot trump series has a coherent meaning.
Can you clarify that for me (just slightly confused).

Re: The building blocks of Tarot History

Posted: 27 May 2009, 16:39
by robert
The game of Tarot was invented in the 1400s.