Of course. Alberti is also not using them metaphorically, unlike Dionysius. My point in using him is just to show how natural it is to place lights in such a hierarchy, with fire at the bottom, whatever the source of the "fire".mikeh wrote:It seems to me that the tarot card is referring to fire in the heavens, lightning or from the sphere of fire, or sent by angels, as in the case of Job's son's house. That's what ps-Dionysius's image is, too, something from Divine Revelations. Alberti is only referring to fires that one can use to paint by, in lamps or fireplaces: http://books.google.com/books?id=K3bCI- ... es&f=false
But in Tarot, this hierarchy of lights isn't illustrating any particular text, or any particular doctrine. It's just a commonsense way to arrange those lights.
"But lightning is brighter than a star!" you might exclaim. But really it isn't, in the relative scheme of things. Sure, if lightning happens to strike a few feet from you, it's brighter than a star, even brighter than the Sun. But that's not normal. When you see a lightning storm in the distance, lightning isn't so bright. It's also brief, a flash, whereas a star shines steady and bright (it is also much further away, so it was clear to them that any star is intrinsically brighter than lightning). The commonsense hierarchy of lights in the trump sequence can even be seen, in certain conditions, where a storm in the distance is rumbling and flashing, while in the clear sky far above stars are glimmering, and the Moon sits even brighter among them. I've seen it personally, so there must be photographs of it out there.
So if you are going to put lightning in such a hierarchy of lights, the lowest place is the only place for it. A more pertinent question might be "Why did he need that subject at all? Why not just celestial objects?"
My answer is twofold: first, that space needed filling. Second, coherence and simplicity. "Sun, Moon and Stars" is a commonplace, proverbial, an expression in an order that requires no thought at all. So there is no room for another celestial object there, without becoming dragged into what might be called "erudition" or doctrine, like by portraying two "stars" (planets), which would necessitate distinguishing them, which requires learning, etc.. No, the game is simple, elegant, and coherent; that space needed filling, and the only lesser light in the sky that could go there, that is easily distinguished from the others, is lightning.
I think the expression "Sun Moon and Stars" is too commonplace to require explicit textual borrowing, and the explanation for the lightning is that the designer wanted another light in the sky that wasn't a star. Since the Sun is the brightest, and the Star is the dimmest, in the expression "Sun, Moon and Stars", there is no room to cram a fourth among them, so it has to be lower. That is, a meteorological phenomenon, that is, fire in the clouds, that is, lightning.Also, Alberti is someone who might well have been involved in the early tarot or proto-tarot. 1434 is not too early, and his interests certainly fit its influences, as I see them. Perhaps you have somebody else, like a Dominican preacher, Bernardino, etc. Your point is not unreasonable. I just need examples, with fires from the heavens linked with star, moon, and sun, and also not otherwise suggesting borrowing from ps.-Dionysius.
I know you'll want to know why I think the author needed to have that "space" to fill at all, but I don't feel like explaining it here. If we're not on the same page with the game being designed in its standard form with 22 trumps at the beginning, then there is no point in writing up an explanation that assumes it.