Re: Egypt in the pre-Gebelin tarot: Moon

#11
mikeh wrote:
17 Dec 2017, 01:39
In the story of Isis as related by Diodorus, she is led to the various burying places of the parts of Osiris by dogs. Presumably that would be at night, since Seth's men would be on the lookout for her by day.

Isis in the Roman period was herself identified with the moon, and Osiris with the sun. In this regard dogs also had a guiding function, in keeping both the sun and the moon from straying too far north or south at the solstices. Clement of Alexandria, who by living in Alexandria would be "of Egypt", Greco-Egyptian, says: (http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/02105.htm, find "dogs"):
And some will have it that by the dogs are meant the tropics, which guard and watch the sun’s passage to the south and north.
We owe this reference to de Gebelin, who said:
Clement, himself was Egyptian, since he was of Alexandria and who consequently knew what he was talking about, assures us in his Tapestries that the Egyptians represented the Tropics under the figure of two dogs, which, similar to gatekeepers or faithful guards, kept the Sun and the Moon from going to the Poles.
But a familiarity with Clement may be presumed long before de Gebelin.
Dummet said of the supposed pseudo-Egyptian symbolism of the Moon Dogs:

"The crayfish on the Moon card is found in the Milanese prototype, but the dogs are not; to my mind, the idea of dogs baying the moon is so commonplace that no resort to arcane pseudo-Egyptian symbolism, such as Dame Frances suggests, is needed to explain their presence."

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/1981/05 ... -of-tarot/
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: Egypt in the pre-Gebelin tarot: Star

#12
[note: from some previous old AT forum posts]
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The annual rise of the Nile was celebrated throughout Egypt with festivals in which "statues of Hapi were carried about through the towns and villages that men might honor him and pray to him." The Greeks identified the androgynous Hapi with Ganymede (identified with Aquarius) who as cup-bearer to the gods personified the fountain of the Nile and caused it to flood each year.

The stars of Hapi / Ganymede / Aquarius setting at sunset synchronised with the overflow of the banks of the Nile.*

An association with Hapi/Ganymede may lead from a feminine/androgynous figure to a female one ? An association with Ganymede could link bird of later decks with a stylized eagle - but I think it more likely is a generic bird about to take flight to symbolize morning, re: morning star/venus

SteveM

* The flooding was connected with Sirius, whose heliacal rising c.3000 BC in the predawn sky around June marked the beginning of the annual Nile River flood, opposite the heliacal rising of Sirius Aquarius would be setting ~ its 'falling' with the rising of sirius connected with the 'pouring' of the flood; so Aquarius was connected with the Nile by the Egyptians possibly because it was in the night sky during the period of the flood. According to Pindar Aquarius (personified as Ganymede) symbolized "the genius of the fountains of the Nile, the life-giving waters of the earth."
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: Egypt in the pre-Gebelin tarot

#13
SteveM wrote,
Dummet said of the supposed pseudo-Egyptian symbolism of the Moon Dogs:

"The crayfish on the Moon card is found in the Milanese prototype, but the dogs are not; to my mind, the idea of dogs baying the moon is so commonplace that no resort to arcane pseudo-Egyptian symbolism, such as Dame Frances suggests, is needed to explain their presence."

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/1981/05 ... -of-tarot/
Thanks for your comment, Steve. I will try to explain better what I am trying to do, now that I have some examples to refer to.

What Dummett is saying does not seem to me apply to what I am doing. I know perfectly well that one does not "need" to know the Greek and Roman authors about Egypt to put dogs on a card of the Moon. As I wrote,
Dogs in relation to the moon are susceptible of a variety of interpretations, even their darker and lighter colors, i.e. "between the wolf and the dog", a particularly dangerous time of night. Both of course are known for barking or howling at the moon. And Artemis had her hunting dogs. Etc.
There are all kinds of reasons for putting dogs on the card. That they bark at the moon is just the lowest common denominator, something anyone, even the least educated player, could understand. And that is a consideration. But there are also other, more influential members of society to consider, those with more power over one's source of livelihood. For them, a certain erudition has its appeal; I am thinking of Pierre Gregoire, writing in 1597; the quote about tarot that Andrea and Ross cited was part of a jurist's opinion on what games should and should not be allowed (Andrea sent me a translation into Italian of the whole two pages.) How much of a consideration such details as dogs would be I do not know. I do not rule it out, even if I have no way of verifying or falsifying it. With full knowledge of the thinking by which designs were selected and purchased, I could verify or falsify it. But that is not possible, nor is it what I have been concerned with.

I have been concerned with changes in imagery as suggesting a desire (desire, different from need) to reference particular sources, or a class of sources. In some cases, I do suggest that a change in imagery may be prompted by a desire to put Egypt in the cards, e.g. the sphinx on the Wheel of Fortune card, for the clearest example, which is not an occultist invention. I also suggest that the reason for switching the straps from the Pope to the Popess might have had something to do with a desire on the part of the designer to reference the statues of Isis and her priestesses, and pictures in books inspired by those statues. The addition of dogs is of a different order, because there are many reasons they could be there. In that case, I am only concerned with how, if Egypt is a consideration for other cards, and for other details on this card, dogs would fit symbolically.

The moon is related to Isis in numerous Greek and Roman sources avidly read by educated people in the 17th century. Andrea cited some of them in the long quote from him I gave. It is also related to many other things, such as Artemis. But in so far as the Moon symbolizes Isis, as it clearly did, for example in The Golden Ass, what would the dogs that look up at it (perhaps barking, perhaps not) be?

The quote from de Gebelin is slightly different, in that it is not part of the Isis myth. If Clement of Alexandria is any guide, the Egyptians liked to mythologize their astronomy. The tropics are like guard-dogs, Clement reported, i.e. demarcations of boundaries. Guard-dogs fit with guard-towers. Other cultures might have other mythological ways of remembering or visualizing their astronomy, in particular what the tropics are. But as long as we are thinking of Egypt and its imagery, that's what dogs barking at the moon were attested by a father of the Church to have symbolized, in relation to the moon as an object in the sky seen in imagination as an animate being.

Clement of Alexandria, I believe, was not available to humanists at the time of the Cary Sheet. That might even be a reason there are no dogs on the Cary Sheet card (if there was a concern to make the details appeal to the those steeped in universal wisdom, which is the level that "hieroglyphs"--whether in Rome, China, Egypt, or Florence--were thought to operate on). I don't know. Plutarch and Diodorus were available, but fitting Diodorus's comment in is an exercise in abstraction for which I expect it would have taken the emblem books for people to get used to. They came later, as did the Noblet.

Re: Egypt in the pre-Gebelin tarot

#14
Steve: What are the dates and places of your images of Aquarius that you started your second post with? All I could find were those of the 15th-16th century, so if yours are earlier, that is of relevance. I am particularly interested in ancient sources with two jugs. Perhaps you could link to the AT post, too.

When you quote "statues of Hapi were carried about through the towns and villages that men might honor him and pray to him," is that a Greek source, such as Herodotus? If so, what and where? I didn't even know they knew about Hapi, so my ignorance is showing.

And thanks for mentioning the setting of Aquarius. I forgot about that. It doesn't actually set at the time of the solstice, but rather the month after, in July or August. But it's on the way to setting.

Re: Egypt in the pre-Gebelin tarot: Moon II

#15
Since there is some dialogue going about the Moon , I think I should post my thoughts on the Cary Sheet version, which is where many of the details on the Tarot de Marseille originate.

The card needs a bit of study. I want to focus primarily on the center background and what is on the shore of the lake.
I have enlarged that portion on the lower right below.
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What I see in the background is a Greco-Roman style temple--but still of the sort built in Egypt along the Nile--flanked by a pair of obelisks which do double duty as plants, if seen from a different perspective. Obelisks generally came in pairs, situated strategically next to temples. Then there is a winding path down to the lake. Egyptian temples frequently had artificial lakes attached to them. Then along the lake, from the center to the right, are what I take to be two crudely drawn crocodiles, the two long things next to the lake, just above it on the card. They might be the equivalents of the dogs in the Tarot de Marseille. Crocodiles of course are associated with Egypt, almost unavoidably. At least one of them is holding something in its mouth. In the Tarot de Marseille II of Conver, rather uniquely, there is a corresponding something in the two big claws of the lobster/crayfish sitting in the lake.

I think the allegory is that of snatching the treasure from the clutches of the dragon. In the story of Isis and Osiris, Isis is continually in search of Osiris's body. First it floats all the way to Lebanon, where she tracks it down and brings it back to Egypt. Then it is hacked into pieces by Typhon and buried in various spots. One piece, the phallus, Isis never recovers because it is eaten by a member of a particular type of fish. Perhaps what the lobster has in its claws, and the crocodiles in their jaws, is the phallus, the generative organ. In any case it is a piece of the body of Osiris, as holy as the body of Christ, or the divine substance of the alchemists. It is also the nutritive minerals that make for abundant crops when spread upon the farmland of the Nile Valley.

Now something else about the Star. Star cards in other decks of this time emphasized the theme of hope, either in this world or the world to come.
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The Bolognese early card has three men in Eastern garb, below a star. The Ferrarese card has two men, one pointing up and the other pointing to the left, i.e. west (if the conventions of maps of that time are to be followed).
The minchiate card has a king on a horse following a star.
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All these just mentioned (I don't include the Cary-Yale cards above) are all variations on the Three Wisemen or Magi from the East, and the star is the star over Bethlehem, where the hope of humankind is born. In that way they are all different formulations of the theological virtue of Hope, as expressed in not dissimilar imagery in the minchiate version of that minchiate, paralleling similar restructuring from the Cary-Yale to the PMB. The Cary Sheet Star card, interpreted as herald of the Nile flood, represents a different, more specific type of hope, a hope in the regeneration of the land by the flood, but also a hope for the reuniting of the soul, envisioned as Isis, with its twin in the divine world, Osiris, also its King in the world to come.

Then when the flood actually comes, it is a time of potentially destructive torrents followed by stagnant lakes and ponds, breeding grounds for mosquitoes and disease. It is a time of faith that all will be for the best, that the Nile will make it possible for there to be abundant crops, a kind of charity, a freely offered gift of nature. It may well be that Star, Moon, and Sun in this way replace Hope, Faith, and Charity (in that order) of the Cary-Yale on a cosmic level, and raise them to a cosmic level in minchiate (which has both sets).

Re: Egypt in the pre-Gebelin tarot

#16
mikeh wrote:
17 Dec 2017, 13:09
Steve: What are the dates and places of your images of Aquarius that you started your second post with?
I'll have to fish them out - but I don't think they are earlier than 15th century - here is another from the 15th century, from The Bedford Hours c1410-1430:
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Another from Book of Hours, France, Paris, ca. 1420-1425 MS M.1004 fol. 1r:
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Book of Hours France, ca. 1465 MS M.1003 fol. 1r:
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MS M.126 fol. 157v - Images from Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts - Morgan Library:
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Book of Hours, MS M.1003 fol. 1r - Images from Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts - The Morgan Library & Museum:
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Book of Hours
France, Paris, ca. 1425-1430
MS M.453 fol. 1r
Month, Occupation: January -- Three-faced Janus, wearing hat, behind draped table on which are plate, covered container, bread (?) and pitcher, raises, with right hand, cup to face on right side of his head, and with left hand, raises object to face on left side. Next to arched doorway, man stands at left side of table, holding drapery over right shoulder.
Zodiac Sign: Aquarius -- In landscape with two trees, nude man, kneeling on one knee, pours from pitcher held in each hand.
http://ica.themorgan.org/manuscript/page/1/76920

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SteveM

ps: perhaps it is outside your particular focus on the Tarot de Marseille - but there is also the sphinx and pyramid on the Tarot de Paris
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: Egypt in the pre-Gebelin tarot

#17
Manuscripts with illustrations of Aquarius with two jugs at the Morgan (about 27 out of 155 illustrations of Aquarius) :

http://ica.themorgan.org/manuscript/112428

http://ica.themorgan.org/manuscript/page/4/77045

http://ica.themorgan.org/manuscript/77135

http://ica.themorgan.org/manuscript/76915

http://ica.themorgan.org/manuscript/76853

http://ica.themorgan.org/manuscript/76920

http://ica.themorgan.org/manuscript/76786

http://ica.themorgan.org/manuscript/145101

Zodiac Sign: Aquarius -- Nude woman stands in stream and pours water from jugs held in each hand:
Book of Hours France, Paris, ca. 1480 MS M.253 fol. 1v:
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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: Egypt in the pre-Gebelin tarot

#18
http://ica.themorgan.org/manuscript/page/2/77004
http://ica.themorgan.org/manuscript/page/2/76849

Book of Hours France, probably Cambrai, 1490-1500 MS M.1053 fol. 1v
Zodiac Sign: Aquarius -- Woman stands and pours water from jars held in each hand.
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http://ica.themorgan.org/manuscript/page/2/76852
http://ica.themorgan.org/manuscript/page/3/76859
Book of Hours France, probably Rouen, ca. 1420-1430 MS M.27 fol. 3r:
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http://ica.themorgan.org/manuscript/page/1/76853
http://ica.themorgan.org/manuscript/page/1/77135
http://ica.themorgan.org/manuscript/page/1/77136
Book of Hours France, Rouen, ca. 1500-1510 MS M.170 fol. 1:

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http://ica.themorgan.org/manuscript/page/1/76915
http://ica.themorgan.org/manuscript/page/2/76909
http://ica.themorgan.org/manuscript/page/2/76916
http://ica.themorgan.org/manuscript/page/2/77128
http://ica.themorgan.org/manuscript/page/2/112393
http://ica.themorgan.org/manuscript/page/3/112362
http://ica.themorgan.org/manuscript/page/1/76786
http://ica.themorgan.org/manuscript/page/1/76920
http://ica.themorgan.org/manuscript/page/1/76924

Not two jugs, but have included because another rare instance of a female figure:
http://ica.themorgan.org/manuscript/page/1/145133

http://ica.themorgan.org/manuscript/page/1/145101
http://ica.themorgan.org/manuscript/page/58/77039
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: Egypt in the pre-Gebelin tarot: Star

#20
SteveM wrote:
17 Dec 2017, 12:52
An association with Ganymede could link bird of later decks with a stylized eagle -
The eagle relating to his abduction by Jupiter - Ganymedes own emblematic bird was the rooster, as in the later Piedmontese (but probably related to concept of morning bird, morning star, rather than Ganymede")
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Ganymede with rooster:
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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

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