Re: Why this number of trumps?

#21
The positions of the virtues seem to suggest, at least to me, that Love and Triumph are not merely intended to be Eros and War.

Love to be just must be good and would ideally include philia, and agape. The whims of lust wouldn't warrant inclusion on the good side of the wheel at all, and would be better placed as part of the reversal on the downturn of the wheel. The Devil would best represent lust among the trumps in my opinion.

The Love allegory in the Tarot de Marseille seems to be derived from one of Alciato's emblem's, Faithfulness.



Image



Image




The middle figure, which is sometime shown as cupid-like, or in the Tarot de Marseille version is cupid's target, is called Love. The figure with the laurel crown is Truth, and the third figure is Honor. I also find great delight in re-interpreting the figures as Eros, Agape, and Philia.

By extensions, as the opposite of Death, this card can be seen to represent the pleasures of youth rather generally - youth, health, beauty, all manner of enjoyments, etc.


The Chariot, as I see it, seems to be more about position, as in honors, rank, reputation, fama, etc., than the actual act of warring.

Maybe I'm just not in tune with the 15th century mindset, but conquest as the main idea with these two trumps seems odd.

It seems to me that Justice sits with Love and the Chariot, as they are good and right and beautiful. To be just and fair, one must first be good. Certainly Time and fickle Fortune can not be just, nor can Betrayal or Death. Only here can Justice find her place.
When a clock is hungry, it goes back four seconds.

Re: Why this number of trumps?

#22
R.A. Hendley wrote:The positions of the virtues seem to suggest, at least to me, that Love and Triumph are not merely intended to be Eros and War.
The series of tarot trumps for me is one influenced by Augustine and the nature of love in Augustinian theology. Card VI and VII in the Tarot de Marseille ordering I see as I stated as representing cupiditas and fama (secular ambition); there are two type of amor - cupiditas and caritas (caritas in Augustian theology is exemplified in the resurrection and judgement) - it is in Augustinian monasticism that one can find the justification I think, for Justice's placement as following either Judgement or cupidatas and fama in the B and C ordering:
’Amor’ is both our innate power to love and its expression in action. As power, love is part of God’s creation and good in itself. As action, it is good or evil according to the use we make of it (III.20). Used well, by a will that is assisted by grace or ‘ordered’ by justice, amor is caritas; otherwise, it will by cupiditas (I.27-47). Aelred analyses cupiditas under Augustine’s triple heading from 1 Jn 2.16: ‘the lust (concupiscentia if the flesh and the lust of the eyes, and the ambition of the secular world’.
The aim of the monastic life to re-order our love, replacing cupiditas with Christ’s yoke of caritas. Caritas is love free from all vice, and is to be shown to all (III.8). Perfect Caritas becomes possible in eternal life, after the death of the body, when the image is perfectly restored and the soul, admitted to the full vision of God, will at last love God with all its strength and its neighbour as itself (I.14, 95).

Friendship by Liz Carmichael p. 75.
SteveM
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: Why this number of trumps?

#23
SteveM wrote:
The series of tarot trumps for me is one influenced by Augustine and the nature of love in Augustinian theology. Card VI and VII in the Tarot de Marseille ordering I see as I stated as representing cupiditas and fama (secular ambition)

SteveM

From the Augustinian perspective then, both trumps would be somewhat negative in meaning?

I'm not sure I'm ready to pack up my cupiditas for the yoke of caritas. I've got a romantic (and very sexy) weekend outing for two planned! :x
When a clock is hungry, it goes back four seconds.

Re: Why this number of trumps?

#24
SteveM wrote:The series of tarot trumps for me is one influenced by Augustine and the nature of love in Augustinian theology. Card VI and VII in the Tarot de Marseille ordering I see as I stated as representing cupiditas and fama (secular ambition)...
But primarily as Amor (the power of love) and Will (that governs the expression of the power of love in action) that divines one either as a citizen of the city of god or as a citizen of the city of man.

The first seven cards (I-VII) then I see as one of citizenship, and the role of love and will in defining one as a citizen of one of the other. From love of God is engendered virtue (thus the Augustinian maxim 'love God and do what thou will'); the love of God (for Man) (caritas - as exemplified in the resurrection and judgement) governs the providential hand of God through history leading Man from his fall to his restoration in the world to come, the New Jerusalem.
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: Why this number of trumps?

#25
R.A. Hendley wrote: From the Augustinian perspective then, both trumps would be somewhat negative in meaning?
quote
"As power, love is part of God’s creation and good in itself. As action, it is good or evil according to the use we make of it."
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: Why this number of trumps?

#26
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:Hi RLG,

But since all the orders use, in various arrangements, the same 22 subjects, this implies that there was an original set in a particular order that would explain both the choice of subjects and their sequence. It may have been too localized for it to have been precisely understood outside of its original context, and contemporary players might have disagreed about the detailed meaning of the sequence (and changed it accordingly), but the synoptic story was clear.

Ross

(NB - the different arrangements of the Papal and Imperial figures I see simply as an issue of where to put a Popess. Only she actually moves, relative to the other figures. The order of precedence of Empress-Emperor-Pope is inviolable. The Popess can occupy every position below the Pope and above the Bagatto).

The A order versus the B and C with regards to the World or Angel being higher is also significant, although in my view it does not change the overall eschatological meaning of the last section in any family.)
Hi Ross,

I have to agree with all these points. Although we have many orders of the trumps, it does seem like everybody used the same set of images, which would indicate that they were all accepted by players, even if not understood as a sequence by people in every region. (this of course presumes that the earliest decks also had 22 non-suit cards, which is sort of hard to prove when the cards themselves, and accounts of them, don't exist).

As for the order of the Papi, it does seem obvious that it is all a question of where to put the Papess. But oddly enough, of the three possible positions for her, the one that makes the least sense is the Tarot de Marseille order, unless the designer was following a triptych, 2-1, scheme. Then the only sensible place for the Papess would be in position three. So in my novice opinion, the role of the Papess is the key to understanding the first section of the trumps. And her position after the Bagatto is evidence for a triptych.

I also agree that the position of World or Angel would not substantially change the meaning of the last section of the trumps. My guess is that it would depend on a person's interpretation of the Angel as Judgement. Is the 'Last' Judgement really the last thing to occur in the narrative? If one thinks of a Last Judgement being followed by a New Jerusalem, then probably the World card would be last, (in its early guise as a city). But if the World card is really Christ Pantocrator or Triumphant, then it would presumably be the final card, (although I guess you could argue that Christ appears and then dispenses the final Judgement). But either way, I think the difference is a subtle one that does not really disrupt the basic story of the last section of the trumps, although the radical change in the imagery of the World card is certainly worthy of debate.

On another note, you had posted a long segment on the relation of trumps to a gambling die, including a list of alphabetized vices. It would seem that the list of trumps following an alphabetic order would be the simplest possible explanation for there being 21 cards. Is there any evidence for this other than Filipas' abecedarium idea?

RLG

Re: Why this number of trumps?

#27
RLG wrote: I have to agree with all these points. Although we have many orders of the trumps, it does seem like everybody used the same set of images, which would indicate that they were all accepted by players, even if not understood as a sequence by people in every region. (this of course presumes that the earliest decks also had 22 non-suit cards, which is sort of hard to prove when the cards themselves, and accounts of them, don't exist).
It's true we don't have a precise description of the trumps before the Steele Sermon. The earliest evidence (Ferrara, February 10, 1442) describes cartexelle da trionffy as having "coins, cups, swords, batons and all the figures". Doesn't describe the "figures".

I infer from the extent of the game in the first decade, where the game is known by that name in Ferrara, Milan, Cremona, Florence, Siena, and likely Monselice, Pavia, and Bologna (at a minimum), that it was in a standard form which would preclude the addition of the identical subjects in the identical number in the decades afterward (as presumed by the 5x14 theory) by everybody equally. I think the different arrangements only strengthen that impression, since they are the same cards - again - but in different orders. Everybody got the same set of cards, unnumbered, around the same time, and ordered them a little differently (this insight of "different interpretations of the same image(s) by contemporaries" was the point of the quote from World Politics I gave above).

Also important are the existence, barely attested but still there, of cheaper and less elegant packs than those of the courts. To have a game known by a generic name, you have to have a standard which everyone recognizes.
As for the order of the Papi, it does seem obvious that it is all a question of where to put the Papess. But oddly enough, of the three possible positions for her, the one that makes the least sense is the Tarot de Marseille order, unless the designer was following a triptych, 2-1, scheme. Then the only sensible place for the Papess would be in position three. So in my novice opinion, the role of the Papess is the key to understanding the first section of the trumps. And her position after the Bagatto is evidence for a triptych.
My own preferred explanation for the Popess and Empress is that they are inventions in the court of Milan (or maybe Ferrara). The most extravagant example of adding females to the pack is the Cary-Yale (Visconti di Modrone), but it is also evident in more standard luxury packs in the Chariot card (Cary-Yale, Visconti-Sforza, Issy Chariot (Ferrara)) for example.

I believe that the original form was two popes and two emperors (Bologna, invented for the academic/professional class), but this didn't suit courtly tastes - they wanted more poetic/romantic subjects, and included many more female characters.

I think her original meaning would have been "(The) Faith" (and the Empress "Empire"), and even in the courts in the earliest phase that these would have been played like in Bologna, where, in a trick where Papi are the only trumps played, the last played to the trick wins. This rule quickly died out in most places, and the cards became ordered and numbered, which caused the problem of placing the Popess.
I also agree that the position of World or Angel would not substantially change the meaning of the last section of the trumps. My guess is that it would depend on a person's interpretation of the Angel as Judgement. Is the 'Last' Judgement really the last thing to occur in the narrative? If one thinks of a Last Judgement being followed by a New Jerusalem, then probably the World card would be last, (in its early guise as a city). But if the World card is really Christ Pantocrator or Triumphant, then it would presumably be the final card, (although I guess you could argue that Christ appears and then dispenses the final Judgement). But either way, I think the difference is a subtle one that does not really disrupt the basic story of the last section of the trumps, although the radical change in the imagery of the World card is certainly worthy of debate.
My current view is that the A-Southern family is the original (as you have probably noticed), and that in this design the World represents the triumphant soul (triumphant over the world). As such, the only higher or later thing can be the bodily resurrection, shown in the last card.

I do think that the placement of the World as the highest card is a reference to the New World, including the New Jerusalem. I also recently learned that Savonarola explicitly tried to remake Florence into a model of the "New Jerusalem" (I guess in a Calvin-Geneva type way), which may help explain why the Minchiate packs depict Florence in the Fame (formerly Angel-Resurrection-Judgment) card.

As for the Sforza Castle - Tarot de Marseille style figure, I think it was originally a male in the laurel-wreath mandorla (laurel explicitly recalling the theme of "triumph"), but it morphed into a female (always a more attractive subject for male card-players).
On another note, you had posted a long segment on the relation of trumps to a gambling die, including a list of alphabetized vices. It would seem that the list of trumps following an alphabetic order would be the simplest possible explanation for there being 21 cards. Is there any evidence for this other than Filipas' abecedarium idea?

RLG
I can't find any alphabetic scheme in any list of trumps. If there is a connection between the alphabet, the points of a die (or throws of two die) and the trumps, my best guess is that is only in the number itself, as a symbol of fortune (and hence the game itself). There is no systematic correlation of a particular number to a particular card - just the whole number "21".

Ross
Image

Re: Why this number of trumps?

#28
MJHurst wrote: LOL -- apologies to those who couldn't make it to the end of this one.
I'm still hanging in here, the waters have not gotten too muddy for me to navigate... :) And I am still very appreciative of all of you people here who are contributing so much information and knowledge to this discussion, I only wish I had more to offer than my enthusiasm..., I will be here quietly reading and hopefully taking at least half of it into my brain. Thank you. And please keep up the good work, even if we seem to be in way over our heads, just have some life preservers ready. :-bd
"...he wanted to illustrate with his figures many Moral teachings, and under some difficulty, to bite into bad and dangerous customs, & show how today many Actions are done without goodness and honesty, and are accomplished in ways that are contrary to duty and rightfulness."

Re: Why this number of trumps?

#29
Hi everyone.

I'm new to the forum. Michael's lengthy treatise is pretty amazing. I'm fascinated by the depth of his knowledge.

As an occultist and artist/designer of a tarot deck my knowledge of the trumps comes from a very different source than the authors of the other posts, since my specialty is the esoteric interpretation of the Tarot.

That being said, I did not join this forum to pontificate; I came here to learn and converse. This one post is pretty close to a Master's class in Tarot History. I am in awe. Good work.

~j*
http://www.rahorakhtytarot.com

Lamp

#30
The 21st triangular number does have some very interesting properties with respect to Tarot.

Here are a few:

∑ (0-21) = 231
21st trianglular (3) = triangle(6th) of triangle(3rd) of triangle(2nd)
11th hexagonal (6)
8th octahedron (8)
6th heptadecagonal (17)
5th centered icositrigonal (23)
3rd heptacontaoctagonal (78)


16 partitions 231 ways

231 - 78 = 153

1 U.S. gallon = 231 inches³

:ymparty:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Figurate_numbers
Tempore patet occulta veritas...

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 19 guests

cron