A nice thing about the Petrarchan framework is that it doesn't break down when you get to the PMB or any later deck--although the Hermit is a problem, which I will try to address at the end of this post.
As SteveM says, associations between virtues and celestials are in the prior literature, but with several ways of doing it. I solve this problem by going to the same source I have been going to all along, Petrarch, and in particular, the De remediis
. the same source as I used for the beginning of the tarot sequence. I will go through the references, both in illuminations and in the text, one by one.
Trapp, in figure 5 of chapter II of Studies of Petrarch and his Influence
(2003), shows us an illustration in a manuscript of that work with all three of our luminaries.
This comes from Bib. Apost.Vat. MS. Pal. lat 1596, f. 71; North Italy, c. 1400, the caption says. Here is the whole page. http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-X1X3vg2UYi0/U ... Fig5AllJPG
Trapp says of it the following:
In the initial for the Prologue to Book II, 'Petrarch' is seated writing in a landscape, the actual opening words of the prologue visible on the parchment before him: 'Exomnibus que vel mihi lecta' (Fig. 5). Behind and above are sun and moon. Adverse fortune, the subject of this Book, is represented by a wind blowing a ship to wreck at the right. These are marginal reader's notes and a few strange, sketched figures, perhaps the work of Gionnozzo (d. 1459) or Angelo di Giannozzo (d. 1497).
So the manuscript is"North Italy"--a phrase that typically excludes Florence--"perhaps Ferrarese"; but it resided in Florence at some point before 1459.
Before going on, I wish to repeat, from earlier posts, that the Remediis
, although virtually unknown these days, was the most popular of his Latin works, in terms of manuscripts and printed editions. It was translated into French in 1377 (Trapp p. 120), and into Italian in about 1426 (p. 119). That last date may be of significance for the tarot.
So what do the stars, sun, and moon in the illumination mean? Here is the accompanying text (Rawsky translation, vol. 3, p. 1).
Of all I have read or heard that has pleased me, hardly anything is more important, more deeply imprinted in my mind or more often remembered, than the saying of Heraclitus, everything exists by strife.
For it is so; and nearly everything attests to it. The stars oppose the swift-moving firmament. Contrary elements conflict with each other; the earth trembles, the seas boil, the air swirls, the flames crackle. The winds fight never-ending battles with each other. One time of day vies with another, each thing against another thing, and all things against us. Spring is moist, summer is dry, autumn gentle, winter harsh--and what we call change is, in fact, conflict. The things that surround us by which we live and thrive, which allure us with so many enticements, are terrifying once they begin to be angry. Earthquakes and vicious windstorms demonstrate this, shipwrecks demonstrate this, and fires raging on earth or in the sky...
The general point is that adverse fortune comes out of favorable fortune, for which one should be prepared at least mentally, so as to avoid sorrow. We see the point of the shipwreck in the illustration: what we thought was to our advantage, the movement of goods or persons, becomes the opposite. The stars, as fixed entities, contend with the firmament, spinning the whole sphere around. due to forces from the 9th circle (I get this from the translator's notes, quoting from Isadore). The, sun and the moon are the "times of day" that contend, one winning out part of the time and the other another part, every 24 hours.
It is overkill, to be sure. "Everything changes" is truer than "all is strife." From a promising illustration we get not much not much clarity in the text. Well, I look further.
The translator added pictures of his own choosing to the book, mostly from the same time period as Petrarch or the few centuries before, to illustrate his translation. Two of them have to do with the heavens. One relates to Dialogue 1 of Book I. It shows the moon and the sun together, held by the "craftsman," meaning God as creator, perhaps identical with the Logos of John 1:1. The stars are represented by the zodiacal figures around the central image. Around the zodiac are the months, and in the corners representations of the seasons.
Clearly what we have here is a representation of the passage of time, as the translator (or traditional title?) names the piece, "the course of time."
The text of Dialogue I, concerning the good fortune of being in the prime of life, supports this idea (p. 15):
JOY AND HOPE: my years are undiminished.
REASON. How can stay undiminished what is being diminished every day since its inception and once bestowed, steadily ebbs away in minute portions? For the heavens turn in perpetual motion, minutes consume hours, and hours the day. That day begets another, and that another yet, ceaselessly. So months pass by, so years, so moves and coursesa lifetime and, as Cicero says, flies away, yet stirs not her swift pinions, as Virgil said. so, likewise, those who make their way by sea in a ship do not feel they are moving. And, often, they also do not know hat their end is near.
We measure the hours (with a sundial), days and years by the sun, the weeks by the quarters of the moon, and also the months themselves. The stars, too, process in monthly order through the zodiac. The seasons are measured by the length of the sun's light and the place of its rising and setting.
It is beginning to look as though the Celestials signify the Triumph of Time, which in turn will be triumphed over by Eternity. Petrarch seems to be thinking of this transition at the end of the Dialogue
REASON. ...Awake from your slumber, it is time; and open your bleary eyes, get used to thinking of eternal things, to love them, to desire them, and, at the same time, to disdain what is transitory. Learn to leave willingly what cannot be yours for long, and dismiss temporal things from your mind before they do leave you.
Petrarch states the same theme with reference to one of the Celestials, the sun, at the beginning of the Triumph of Eternity (http://petrarch.petersadlon.com/read_tr ... ge=VI-I.en
; I cite this for confirmation, although I don't think this text received nearly the circulation of De Remediis
in the time period in question):
-----------------------------------If all things
That are beneath the heavens are to fail,
How, after many circlings, will they end?
So ran my thought; and as I pondered it
More and more deeply, I at last beheld
A world made new and changeless and eternal
I saw the sun, the heavens, and the stars
And land and sea unmade, and made again
More beauteous and more joyous than before.
Greatly I marveled, seeing time itself
Come to an end, that ne' er before had ceased,
But had been wont in its course to change all things.
Past, present, future: these I saw combined
In a single term, and that unchangeable:
No swiftness now, as there had been before.
As on an empty plain, I now could see
No "shall be" or "has been," "ne.er" or .before.
Or .after,. filling life with doubtfulness.
Thought passes as a ray of the sun through glass?
More swiftly still, for there is nought to impede.
What grace, if I am worthy, shall be mine,
If I may there behold the Highest Good,
And none of the harm that is poured out by Time,
And comes with Time, and disappears with Time!
The sun no more will pause in the Bull or the Fish,
Through whose diversities the work of man
Is born or dies, increases, or grows less...
When he speaks of the stars, the heavens, the sun, etc., as "unmade, and made again," he means in an eternal, unchanging sense, in which stars, sun, and moon no longer move. In fact, it may be wondered if they exist at all, except in a new, unimaginable form.
There is one more passage in the De Remediis
, and one more contemporary art work, about the sun, moon, and stars, that the translator puts in juxtaposition to it. Here is the artwork (Rawsky vol. 1, p. 126):
The Dialogue here is Number 40, Book I, "On Painting." Petrarch says:
Forgetting the great craftsman, you just gaze voraciously at those poor pictures of the sun and the moon--ignoring their connection to the highest things. And that is where your understanding ends.
What are "their connection to the highest things"? It is not just God, because of the plural. Rawsky cites Ps. 35, 10 ("For with thee [the Lord] is the fountain of life; and in thy light we shall see light', Rev. 12:1 ("a woman clothed with the sun, and with the moon under her feet"), and Job 31:26-28: which is bit obscure:
 If I beheld the sun when it shined, and the moon going in brightness:  And my heart in secret hath rejoiced, and I have kissed my hand with my mouth:  Which is a very great iniquity, and a denial against the most high God.  If I have been glad at the downfall of him that hated me, and have rejoiced that evil had found him.  For I have not given my mouth to sin, by wishing a curse to his soul.
 If I beheld the sun: If I behold the sun and moon with admiration, knowing them to be created and governed by the power of God, I call on my adversaries to produce any thing against me, whereby I could be charged with worshiping the sun or moon.
Rawsky also cites an illumination of sun and moon as "the cosmos and its sorrow": the idea of sorrow fits the PMB Moon card, but the sun card is not the cosmos. I would think the ascended Virgin as imaged by the Moon and the ascended Christ by the Sun might be a possibility. Christ as the Sun would fit the Charles VI and BAR Sun (if we see the lady with the distaff as Clotho, the Fate that cuts the thread of life), but not these decks' Moon. The BAR's Star card also fits, as it seems to depict the three wise men looking at the Star of Bethlehem.
The PMB's Moon card only partly fits this interpretation. Her sorrowful look is that, sometimes depicted in Renaissance Madonnas, of Mary unconsciously knowing her child's fate. Yet the bridle, the symbol of restrained lust, does not fit the Virgin's innate purity, and is certainly not something the Virgin was ever depicted being sorrowful about.. And the child with the Sun does not look much like the Christ child. I suspect that other infuences are at work. The PMB Sun and Moon, like the other 4 second-artist cards, are in my opinion very late. Ross (http://www.trionfi.com/0/i/r/11.html
) has shown how the PMB Fortitude card derives from a manuscript by Petrus Bonus. That manuscript was the basis for the decan images at the Schifanoia (as Ross observes), working on which, 1469-1470, is where I think Benedetto Bembo would have picked up his frequently cited Ferrarese influences. You will note Ross's dating of the card, c. 1475. In the late 1460s or early 1470s (or even the late 1460s) there might have been input from Filelfo's studies of Proclus (the relevant text verified from the inventory of his books) and the Chaldean Oracles, or, in Florence, Ficino's studies of the same texts. I have developed this point elsewhere, in the Plethon thread on Aeclectic.
In addition, I think the passage in Revelation about "the bright and morning star" could be cited, in a general way, and also the brightness of the New Jerusalem, greater than the sun. In that general way, the celestials are firstly representatives of the Triumph of Time. And second, as preparing the way for the Triumph of Eternity, through representing the Star of Bethlehem, the Virgin Mary, and the Christ, also anticipating the events of the Apocalypse. This interpretation fits the BAR best (2 cards) but also the PMB (in a general way, with some changes between first artist and second). The Moon card, while clearly representing Time, is harder to place in this "anticipation of Eternity" framework than the Star card, except by postulating an earlier "Virgin Mary" themed card now lost. The same is true for the Sun card, as Christ.
If the celestials represent Time, what does that do to my hypothesis that the Hermit represented Time in the CY-type? I am not sure. One possibility is that in expanding the deck, three cards were seen as better than one, and with more potential for a Christian message. So the Hermit was simply moved to an earlier place in the deck, losing his association to Time and, little by little, even his hourglass. Another possibility is that there never was a Hermit in the CY-type (I mean, c. 1440), or that there were both a Hermit and at least one of the Celestials. The Sun has the most associations to Time of the three. I visualize a card with just a big sun on it, as we do see in an odd Sun card that appears separate from any deck, or perhaps something like the BAR and Charles VI, which shows the triumph over fate and hence anticipates the triumph of eternity.