I think this one is clear. Dummett, M.J. Hurst and Mellancholic / RAH have proved that the trumps are divided in three sections:robert wrote:Why would the Chariot be above the Pope?
http://i180.photobucket.com/albums/x172 ... arotv2.jpg
Since the Chariot is in section II, it trumps all the Ranks of Man in section I. Trumps belonging to the different sections cannot be directly compared, since they have different natures.
Michael discusses some of Dummett's points here:
http://pre-gebelin.blogspot.com/2007/11 ... cards.html
I agree that the last section is the clearest, but I would say that also section one (from The Fool to The Pope) is clear. Of course, there is some ambiguity about the Empress and the Popesse, so their positions are different in different orderings. But in general it is clear that what is represented is a social hierarchy, at the bottom there are the Fool and the Bagat, and at the top there is the Pope.robert wrote:...the end of the sequence is the clearest, the cards before the Devil are harder to "naturally" order, IMHO.
What I find complex is the middle section. I think this is somehow necessary, because the first and last sections "rise" from low to high and/or from bad to good. So, in order to join these two rising sequences, a falling sequence is necessary: section one goes from low to high, section two goes from high to low, section three from low to high again. The middle section starts with Love and "goes down" to Death.
This change in direction is confusing, but it is necessary both to join the other two sequences and to express the idea of "contemptu mundi": life in this world is painful. Another source of complexity is that the sequence includes elements of different kinds:
1) states of human life: Love, Success (the Chariot), Treason, Death
2) the principles that cause changes in such states: Time and Fortune
3) the Virtues
Since Love and the Chariot both represent different forms of success in this world, I agree with RAH that they are somehow interchangeable.
I have tried to draw a rough diagram of how I read the middle section. I have excluded the virtues, since I think that at this stage things are complex enough for me
The point is that the designer(s) decided to put the principles causing change in the middle of the section. So the "descend" we see in the middle section can be seen as the descending curve of the Wheel of Fortune. I think this makes sense, but it is not so obvious to me.
PS: diagram updated hoping to clarify the meaning of High and Low as "Desirable" / "Undesirable"