Ethnicity/Direction of the Suits?

#1
In another thread, R.A. Hendley asked:
Something I've noticed about Trappola cards, which also seems to be hinted at in the Vieville, is distinct 'regional characteristic' to the face cards. The Trappola pack pictured on page 57 of Kaplan Vol. 1 (dated 1829 from 1782 woodcuts) shows the Sword faces looking very Arabian, and the page of Cups has a dark complexion, perhaps Indian. Does anyone know of a specific set of 'tradition' regional correlations with Trappola cards?
I replied that there seems to me to be some ethnicity displayed for instance in the Valet of Cups in the Jacques Vieville tarot:

Image


And I've mentioned elsewhere that I think the King of Cups' headgear looks "asian" to me:

Image


So I submit a few questions:

Do you think there is any intentional correlations between the suits and ethnicity?
Do you believe there is any intentional correlation between suits and direction?
Do you personally assign directions to suits, and if so, which and why?
The Tarot will lose all its vitality for one who allows himself to be side-tracked by its pedantry. - Aleister Crowley

Re: Ethnicity/Direction of the Suits?

#2
What strange synchronism, these questions from Le Pendu!
I have been puzzling thoughts on these ideas for several days because of RAH description of reading I have been trying to follow. I have been lining up my major correspondences with the Suits (and in a more difficult way the Atouts).

Do you think there is any intentional correlations between the suits and ethnicity?
Do you believe there is any intentional correlation between suits and direction?
Do you personally assign directions to suits, and if so, which and why?


Yes to all questions with qualifications.
Not the Visconti, nor my Minchiate Etruria.
Definitely in playing cards of 52.

I assign them to directions, taking into account symbolically the Coins is supposed to be Cold/Element Earth- but from where I live, that makes no sense in my head.
Masculine: North : Cold : Air : Winter : Swords
...........: South : Hot : Fire : Summer : Wands
Feminine : East : Moist : water : Spring : Cups
............: West : Dry : Earth : Autumn : Coins
I also associate the suits with the romantic notion of winds that blow into Italy; hot from Africa, cold from the Alps, dry from Spain, moist from Greece. It lines up with Metal from the North, Incense from the East, Jewels from Africa and Gold/coinage from the west. I expect the humours play a big part of ethnicity as well, and exotic personages like Arabian Kings and Queens, Eastern potentates etc.
Very interesting subject, but boo hoo hoo I do not have a Vieville- the clearest I think on this idea.
~Lorredan~
The Universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.
Eden Phillpotts

Re: Ethnicity/Direction of the Suits?

#3
Intuitively, I would agree with Lorredan regarding suits and elements:

Coins laying the ground as earth
Wands burning as fire
The sound of a sword cutting the air
Cups receiving water

But I wonder if I can say that I see that in the cards.

I had never considered ethnicity in the cards, so, I will look at them with that in mind and report back.

Best,

EE
What’s honeymoon salad? Lettuce alone
Don’t look now, mayonnaise is dressing!

Re: Ethnicity/Direction of the Suits?

#4
Lorredan wrote: Masculine: North : Cold : Air : Winter : Swords
...........: South : Hot : Fire : Summer : Wands
Feminine : East : Moist : water : Spring : Cups
............: West : Dry : Earth : Autumn : Coins
Interesting!

I've always just stuck with the traditional standard correlations. Lack of imagination I guess. :(


Fire.........Dry and Hot..........Choleric............Summer.....South

Aire........Hot and Moist......Sanguine .........Spring..........East

Water.....Moist and Cold....Phlegmatic......Winter........North

Earth......Cold and Dry........Melancholic.....Autumn......West



Image


Based on a diagram from Isidore of Seville, Liber de responsione mundi (Augsburg, 1472), from Shakespeare's Life and Times. Internet Shakespeare Editions, University of Victoria: Victoria, BC, 2001-2005. http://internetshakespeare.uvic.ca/index.html
When a clock is hungry, it goes back four seconds.

Re: Ethnicity/Direction of the Suits?

#5
EnriqueEnriquez wrote:Intuitively, I would agree with Lorredan regarding suits and elements:

Coins laying the ground as earth
Wands burning as fire
The sound of a sword cutting the air
Cups receiving water

But I wonder if I can say that I see that in the cards.

I think we're all in that boat, especially in understanding the intended symbolism of these cards, especially the 22 Trumps! Several centuries and at least two major paradigm shifts have left us with a mysterious, yet charming pack of cards! :)

Vincent Foster Hooper wrote:
"The symbolic nature of medieval thought and expression has been subjected to a number of thoughtful scrutinies with much consequent illumination of dark places. An important result of these studies has been to reveal in the medieval mind a weblike structure of abstract ideas and concrete realities so closely interwoven and interdependent that no serious gap was felt to exist between them. In consequence, what appears to the modern mind as a conscious and often artificial and strained divagation from simplicity and sincerity was more often than not an entirely natural mode of expression. To put it another way, what the modern mind denominates with some impatience as 'symbol' was often in the medieval mind the result of an inevitable association of ideas. Most of these symbols, moreover, being connected with Scripture, were believed to have been of God's own implanting. A reasonably extended acquaintance with medieval writing is all that is needed to put one in a frame of mind to accept this 'symbolism', much as one accepts metaphor or simile or any kind of imagery, whether ancient of modern." *


Cheers,

RAH


*Hopper, Vincent Foster. Medieval Number Symbolism, New York: Dover, 1938.
When a clock is hungry, it goes back four seconds.

Re: Ethnicity/Direction of the Suits?

#6
In my experience, the courts signify people according to their most salient feature within the context of the reading. So, if the Queen of Cups signifies a woman in your life with fabulous Anglo-Saxon blonde hair, then rock on. :lol: However, perhaps her most relevant feature is she is nurturing, or a mother.

However, I can appreciate that certain Tarots have differentiated people by an idealistically simple categorization of their ethnic features.

I just can't say, I see an Asian man in your future. :|

Re: Ethnicity/Direction of the Suits?

#7
R.A. Hendley wrote: This is a great quote, Rah:
Vincent Foster Hooper wrote:
"The symbolic nature of medieval thought and expression has been subjected to a number of thoughtful scrutinies with much consequent illumination of dark places. An important result of these studies has been to reveal in the medieval mind a weblike structure of abstract ideas and concrete realities so closely interwoven and interdependent that no serious gap was felt to exist between them. In consequence, what appears to the modern mind as a conscious and often artificial and strained divagation from simplicity and sincerity was more often than not an entirely natural mode of expression. To put it another way, what the modern mind denominates with some impatience as 'symbol' was often in the medieval mind the result of an inevitable association of ideas. Most of these symbols, moreover, being connected with Scripture, were believed to have been of God's own implanting. A reasonably extended acquaintance with medieval writing is all that is needed to put one in a frame of mind to accept this 'symbolism', much as one accepts metaphor or simile or any kind of imagery, whether ancient of modern." *
]
Thanks for it.

A few months back I came across an interview to one of my favorite painters, Francesco Clemente. He said something that resonated strongly on me, and my relationship with the tarot:
”The image tries to remember its heritage, but it can’t... ...It’s like the history of language. We use words whose original meaning has been lost. Images undergo a similar mutation over time. I think of my images like language. They are like ideograms... ...basically I make a language of images, but the language has no edges. It invents itself. It does not worry about the beginning or the end of the story. I would like the image to be in a state of constant and perfect mutation.”
What’s honeymoon salad? Lettuce alone
Don’t look now, mayonnaise is dressing!

Re: Ethnicity/Direction of the Suits?

#8
.

Interesting quote from Clemente. Thank you for sharing it with us.

Before the 'Quote Boat' reaches port, we have this utterance from René Guénon which seems to bridge the need for objective historic authority and the impulse of subjective relativism, while transcending them both like soft kisses from the Celestial ether...
"...the effect can always be taken as a symbol of the cause, at any level whatsoever, because it is nothing more than the expression of something inherent in the nature of that cause."

~ The Symbolism of the Cross (1931), pp. 5.



Cheers,

RAH
When a clock is hungry, it goes back four seconds.

Re: Ethnicity/Direction of the Suits?

#10
I have read RAH's post with the quote from René Guénon about 500 or 5000 times and have decided I am obtuse.
I can see how the writer views the symbol of Cross; it is a symbol because of the death of Christ- historic and subjective when I look at it. Well not quite, I think it looked like a T- but that is a subjective deduction lol. The crescent Moon also as symbol is an expression of the that cause......but in general what does that quote mean? Enrique asks about Temperance, I ask what about La Maison Dieu. What expression in the nature of what cause gives us the Tower? ~Lorredan~
The Universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.
Eden Phillpotts

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