Re: Cartofeminism

Lorredan wrote:The article on Cartofeminism seems to have a personal agenda and lacks actual statistics- which for all you nit picking historians out there seems to be lacking in substance of actual facts or proof.
The personal agenda was to explain to people what has actually happened to occult Tarot, and to entertain people in the process.
Lorredan wrote:Basing ones argument on the largest web forum as an example is flawed, as is the largest card producers etc.
Why is that?

And flawed with respect to what argument?


Re: Cartofeminism

Lorredan wrote:I thought this thread was about Cartofeminism which indicated that women do not participate in thinking sports- just drivel and they were taking over the world of Tarot, had no concepts of History of cards.
I do not know what the consensus will be on the nature of this thread, but my article on Cartofeminism is not about those things.


Re: Cartofeminism

debra wrote:Here are the main elements of the definition.
(a) women
But not all women.

And I trust not even most women, not even most Western, "white", post-menopausal women.

But, generally, that has been an accurate demographic for most of the people who are fairly labeled "Cartofeminist".
debra wrote:Question: Isn't this just plain misogynist?
Answer: Yes.
Or, maybe it is plain sarcasm. But that wouldn't be true either, since it isn't plainly or only that.

I am not surprised to be accused of misogyny by people advocating misandry, which Cartofeminists certainly advocate and practice


Re: Cartofeminism

Tarotica wrote:
robert wrote:I just throw Waite and Crowley in with the rest of the modern decks and happily leave it to others to explore the worthiness of their contributions.
Well, if someone told you they just chuck the whole pile of Tarot decks, from all times, into the big bucket of nonsense that they are, and will leave it to others to explore whatever details of worthiness they might claim for them, wouldn't you think that person, at the least, an unlikely candidate to express an informed opinion about Tarot?

So, how much of the timeline do you have to be interested in to be knowledgeable about Tarot's history?

You are already tearing off the last century and throwing it away, with the "rest of the modern decks". But you are doing more than this, because the deep connections occult decks like Waite and Thoth have to the entire occult movement in Tarot design, is unquestionable.

And that would mean cutting off an informed understanding of Tarot designs and events since 1781 as well. More than another century tossed aside as irrelevant. And there are many aspects of occult Tarot design and dogma that go right back to the first Trionfi cards.

When you find yourself throwing centuries of Tarot history into the "let the silly modernists figure it out" junk heap, your might question your commitment to understanding what has happened and what difference that makes.

Not at all. Surely it's more unusual to be interested in a broad portion of time? My primary tutor specialises in Early Medieval History, and more specifically, the economics of the Early Medieval period. I had a lecturer last night who is interested in the Late Anglo-Saxon period up until Domesday. We had another lecturer the week before to discuss the Early Anglo-Saxon period and the foundation of Minsters. Historians, in my experience, tend to focus on a particular period of time and subject which appeals to them.
The Tarot will lose all its vitality for one who allows himself to be side-tracked by its pedantry. - Aleister Crowley

Gender aspects of tarot history

For the last year or so, fans of tarot history, including several members here, have been discussing gender aspects of tarot history in forums from which tarotica/jk is already banned, which as far as I can tell is all of them excepting this one.

Among the questions people have examined are the relative contributions of Waite and Smith to the Rider deck, the relative contributions of Crowley and Harris to the Thoth deck, the evidence of male vs. female cartomancers and tarot card readers (Mary Greer has been researching this and reports on it in her blog). Looking at Etteilla and at Lenormand would fit in, too.

It might be interesting to bring these topics to this forum, although I think new threads would be the way to go.

Re: Cartofeminism

hi, Jess
Tarotica wrote:
Huck wrote:Already in 15th century there was Cartofeminism of high degree
My understanding of the word "Cartofeminism" is that it refers to a modern, really postmodern phenomenon. What you are talking about is an effort by male authorities in 15th-century Italy to control the behavior of their population, which is a different motive than a handful of Tarot professionals hitting on an innovation they realized would be especially attractive to many women in a time of increasing acceptance of entitlements, vengeance, and misandry.

So, I do not think there was any Cartofeminism of any degree in the 15th century.
We have a sort of feministic movement in France (at least it is called today "feministic") around 1400, political probably based on the structure "weak men (Charles VI. is mentally sick) and therefore strong women (queen Isabella and Valentina Visconti)" in a kingdom, which is determined by rather young persons (the king and his brother). The whole escalates into a sort of Zicken-war in 1397, when Valentina is accused of sorcery and banned from the court to her own possessions. Nonetheless Valentina had enough of freedom to establish a poetical court, at whose center Christine de Pizan develops her opinions, which resulted in the realization of some feministic literature, which became quite successful. The sexual orientation of the participants is insecure, rumours tell of relations between Valentina and the king and also between Isabella and Louis, Valentina's husband, but one cannot easy decide, what is forged or just bad talking. The whole ends in the murder of Louis and the following death of grieve by Valentina in 1408. But the phase of weakness of the "French man" endures at least till ca. 1430 - there is a following dominance of Yolande of Aragon for some time (mother of king Renee) first and than the revolutionary act of Jeanne d'Arc in 1429. The French king Charles VII gained his later successful reignment by the help of women, which gave him the name the "well served".

French literature was then dominated by female themes, especially notable are the writings of Alain Chartier, who formed the figures "dame France" and "La Belle Dame sans merci".

Generally it seems, that already before the female role was respected more in Northern than in Southern European countries - something, which probably was true all the time, at least this evaluation still existed in 20th century.
For Italy it was possible in 1418 that Filippo Maria could accuse his wife cause of adultery (and had her killed) and Niccolo d'Este could follow this example in 1425. In the journey of Pero Tafur (a Spaniard) around 1435 Pero praised the Genovian rules, which interpreted reality similar, as it short before had happened in Milan and Ferrara. Nonetheless Pero was enjoyed about a little more sexual freedom on his journey to Germany and the Netherlands.
There are other examples of women-killings in 14th century Italy before, but after 1425 we miss the great cases till an event in the Malatesta/Gonzaga family 1482 ... after this event we see a strong female movement in Ferrara and in the near Bologna (it was possible, that a Bentivoglio-daughter could assassinate her husband and was released unharmed in 1488) and in early 16th century Isabella d'Este could establish a dominant female power - at least it is praised in this way.

So I assume, that Italy developed during 15th century in a floating process, women gained more freedom.

"Cards" existed in 15th century, "Feminism" existed in 15th century. "Cards" as a social media seems to have had a gender specific orientation, at least in the higher classes, but probably also in the lower. As cards often were prohibited, they naturally were connected to not controlled underground locations as for instance brothels.



These engravings are probably from early 16th century, but they should be significant also for earlier social behaviour.
Huck wrote:... at least at the high courts. Occasionally (documented Savoy 1430) it was prohibited to men to play with cards, only allowed, when they played with women.
Well, I think the point of the statute was to regulate gambling, not card playing. Men and women were prohibited from gambling with cards. But there was an acknowledgment that some social benefit might be obtained from allowing non-gambling card play to continue between men and women. Also, I suspect they well understood a complete prohibition against any card playing would be derisively ignored.
No, I guess, that women were allowed to play ... somehow they played for needles. At least this somehow strange connection appears in a later repeatment of the statute of 1470 (don't ask me for a quote this moment) . It seemed, women were allowed to play, but not for money.
Chess playing was counted as one of 7 virtues or necessary abilities of knights (at least by Rothe, ca. 1410), other "virtues" were riding, swimming etc., things which aimed at fighting fitness. Rothe has a German background, but a similar model might have existed for the Savoyan region, such ideas might have wandered with the knight orders.

Rothe ... ... no better link than this

From this possible background the statute wins internal logic. Knights shall not waste their time with women games ... Chess was regarded as useful for militaric logic.
The behaviour at the Milanese court in Galeazzo Maria's time was not different. Galeazzo Maria's male companions enjoyed a considerable number of expensive tournaments (as reported by Lubkin), they had hunting, tennis and they gave bets on the victories on the chess board. Galeazzo Maria in his early years lived in knight ideals, he even dreamt of a personal duel with the Venetian general Colleoni. In reality there were then not successful assasination attempts on Colleoni, which ended with the death of the traitors.
The possibility that Tarot, in the beginning, was a game made for and mainly played by women, is a point I raise in the article, and reference the research done a number of years ago by Christina Olsen.
I hadn't opportunity to read it.
But the fact women were allowed to play Tarot, or encouraged to do so, doesn't mean they had any influence on the design or the interpretation of the cards they were given to use, or that they sought to appropriate the designs for feminist ends. One exception to this is the presence of the Popess card, which has made and continues to make a feminist statement, regardless of the original intent for its design.
... .-) ... it would have been absurd, if they hadn't any influence on the design (as far the early phase of the Trionfi card phase is considered). Parisina ordered 3x cards, not her husband Niccolo d'Este. The contemporary Gonzaga wife had a financial good background and independancy. It was her man who had to ask for money, when he did need it for extravagances. The Savoyan court had from from ca. 1435 a dominant female regency and this made her husband look weak.
Huck wrote:The simple reason: chess was too difficult for women.
That is a consensus reached by your colleagues at
What is your factual basis for that conclusion?
The factual base is, that you need a lot of time to become good in a game of some complexity - and additionally you need the company of similar good players as yourself. This free time was probably missing for women, in the case of men it was an aim of education (compare: Rothe).
A talented female player would have had difficulties to find good company ... as there were limitations, when the different genders were allowed to meet. Nonetheless occasionally there are reports about good female chess players in the relevant time, though I can't name them in the moment.

Generally chess was taken as allegory of the good marriage ... and in these allegories the female does win (in the Echecs amoureux, Edvart da Conty). But that's courting ritual - in the "real game" probably the female players were (often) hopeless.
Francesco Sforza was 40, Bianca Maria was 16. This difference in age was common. If they spend some time at the chess board, the elder man probably tried to educate his wife to understand the game. The (male) marriage ideal was probably (often), that the elder husband formed "his" wife.
Huck wrote:If you doubt, visit a chess club and you'll find many men.
If I visit, I'll find many more women than men. Is that because Tarot is too difficult for men?
Huck wrote:As an alternative research: visit a bridge club and you'll probably find more women.
And that is because bridge is too difficult for men?
Bridge and Chess both could be played at a high level ... indeed many good Chess or Go Players also learn Bridge. So you find also men in Bridge clubs - and often successful. Although the intellectual level of both games might be regarded as similar, you'll find more women in Bridge Clubs.

It's not very difficult to exchange a few lines of text inside a Tarot Forum, when many contributions have a 3-lines standard. The category "too difficult" doesn't fit well.
Huck wrote:The 14th century was dominated by chess and still the 15th century. But ... as it is frustrating between partners in marriage and life, that in games always one side is winning, the less serious playing card games with a higher factor of luck could balance the injustice, that constantly men had more time to play games (and therefore are trained to play them better) in comparition to women, which had to spend their time to give birth to children, for cooking etc., just for the more serious things.
So, allow me to rephrase this, so I can see if I understand your argument:

1. Harmony between the sexes being a worthy goal...
2. And nobody liking to lose a game...
3. And women more likely to lose a game of skill with a man...
4. Card games rose in popularity as mixed-gender activities, because they are more dependent on luck, which decreases the man's advantage over the woman.

Is that correct?
Yes, this was the argument.
Huck wrote:As a clear sign, we have it, that in Pierpont-Morgan-Bergamo and Cary-Yale the triumphant chariot was driven by a female, which was changed later - then the figure was usually a man.
I don't see the clarity of this "sign". What do you claim it means or points to?

The answer to this question might be rather complex. This is one part, for the current moment of research.

We have the female Charioteer twice, once in the Cary-Yale Tarocchi (probably 1441) and second in the PBM (probably 1452). In both cases it should indicate Bianca Maria Visconti, who as a "single daughter" descended by marriage to the lower born Francesco Sforza.
The deck of 1452 probably refered to the triumphal march in March 1450, after Sforza had conquered the city. At this occasion Sforza was offered to take the triumphal chariot, but he refused for himself. Actually he tried to interprete the situation in the way, that Bianca as the legal heir got the city in her own right, not himself as a rightless usurpator. Nonetheless - the emperor refused an acceptance 2 years later and the legal situation of Milan stayed undecided.
Generally we assume, that early Trionfi cards accompanied triumphal events, often marriages. The marriages were usually accompanied by a triumphal entry (or a complex triumphal journey) in the destination city.

We have 2 coincidences of deck production date and important marriages:

1. in 1452 in Siena, the emperor welcomes his bride. It's the only Trionfi card production note in 15th century for Siena, and it meets just the right time.

2. In the years 1473-74 are two production in Naples (the first of Naples) and Naples is then in preparation of two important marriages of Aragon daughters (marriages in 1473, 1475 and 1476)

We have a complex report for a (Milanese) card deck brought to the wedding night 1493/94 by Bianca Maria Sforza, who married emperor Maximilian. The card deck offered something to talk about during the evening.

We have a German copperplate deck production for the year 1495/96 for the Spanish marriage of Margareta of Burgund/Austria, daughter of Maximilian.

We have further a plausible suggestion, that the Boiardo Tarocchi was produced for the wedding of Lucrezia d'Este in January 1487.

Possibly we have with the 16 remaining d'Este cards the deck, which was produced for the wedding of Eleanor Aragon and Ercole d'Este.


recognizable as the"female Trionfi".

... :-) ... for the other part I've no energy left.

I've read your article. No doubt, it's a great work, as far I can judge English texts, what might be not so much, as I wish, I could.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests