Re: The Tarot View of Life

#11
R.A. Hendley wrote:The creator of this little moral tale was also nice enough to show us the means in which to do so, Justice, Fortitude, and Temperance - be fair, be brave, and easy on the dessert wine and cream puffs! ;)
Brilliant Summary! :D

Re: The Tarot View of Life

#12
rah wrote :That would be completely opposite of the general meaning the allegory of Fortune had historically. The whole point of the image was fatalistic - that men are at the whim of Fate and Death,

1-Where ? / When ? / Who ?
2-JMD: Space ?
My friend if the designer would want to put a figure there sure where there ...
The Universe is like a Mamushka.

Re: The Tarot View of Life

#13
RAH:
Are you saying that because no 'turner of the wheel' is shown on the card, that it means the figures themselves are turning the wheel? That would be completely opposite of the general meaning the allegory of Fortune had historically.
Because there is no person depicted turning the handle, I think this image can be viewed in two ways.

1) The figures can be considered as responsible for 'turning' the wheel themselves because we, of our own volition, choose to persue (or not) a course of action/inaction. Purely by existing, we are engaged in the dynamics of Cause and Effect. What goes up, must come down.....

2) An 'invisible' Fate turns the wheel, and we are at its' mercy. I would think that many (not all!) Fateful occurances could be due to a lack of fore-thought, or a proper examination of ones motives and the effect they might cause.

All done...

Bee

Re: The Tarot View of Life

#14
Bernice wrote:RAH:
Are you saying that because no 'turner of the wheel' is shown on the card, that it means the figures themselves are turning the wheel? That would be completely opposite of the general meaning the allegory of Fortune had historically.
Because there is no person depicted turning the handle, I think this image can be viewed in two ways.

1) The figures can be considered as responsible for 'turning' the wheel themselves because we, of our own volition, choose to persue (or not) a course of action/inaction. Purely by existing, we are engaged in the dynamics of Cause and Effect. What goes up, must come down.....

2) An 'invisible' Fate turns the wheel, and we are at its' mercy. I would think that many (not all!) Fateful occurances could be due to a lack of fore-thought, or a proper examination of ones motives and the effect they might cause.

All done...

Bee
Good points Bee.

Historically, I think a great question to ask is "Why does the Tarot de Marseille have only three figures on the Wheel instead of the much more standard four figures?"

There are exceptions, I remember Jean-Michel sharing some in the past. But, don't we also need to explain whey the fourth figure is missing? I'm very comfortable with with the four traditional "positions"... "I will reign, I reign, and I have reigned, and I have no reign."
Image
The Tarot will lose all its vitality for one who allows himself to be side-tracked by its pedantry. - Aleister Crowley

Re: The Tarot View of Life

#15
Roubret:
Historically, I think a great question to ask is "Why does the Tarot de Marseille have only three figures on the Wheel instead of the much more standard four figures?"
I would also prefer the Wheel to have four figures :)

I have seen an explanation of the 3-figures on the Wheel, probably at ATF. Something to do with a Fox and Hare 'story' around the times that the cards were created. I'm sorry I cannot be more explicit. If I find the post again, I'll copy & post it here.

I did wonder at the time (of reading the post) whether the card maker had decided that his version would have more 'punch' than the 4-figured Wheel. But to me, the sphinx-like creature at the top seems incongrueous.

Off to look for the Fox/Hare story....

Bee

Re: The Tarot View of Life

#16
The earliest surviving Tarot Wheels of Fortune *do* have four figures - Brambilla, Visconti-Sforza. They also show "Fortuna" herself in the middle. Having her outside turing it would be hard to do in the long and thin format of a card.

All of the earliest surviving printed cards also show four figures - the Met. Museum/Budapest sheets (Ferrara or eastern Italian), the Beaux-Arts-Rothschild sheets (Bolognese), and the Rosenwald (it seems (Florentine) - see e.g. Kaplan I, 125-131. The Roman "Colonna" sheet also shows four figures around the Wheel (Kaplan, 134), as does the 17th century "Anonymous Parisian" (Kaplan, 135).

I guess the best explanation for the loss of the figure in some decks/traditions must be economy of space.

Here is a webpage showing some Wheels of Fortune in other contexts associated with the Visconti family -
http://www.geocities.com/anytarot/fortuna.html

Ross
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Re: The Tarot View of Life

#17
Tom Tadfor Little wrote this on the Hermitage site about the Wheel.
The variations in symbolism are mostly the result of the need for simplification in presenting an intelligible scene on a small woodblock-printed card face. Fortuna is often omitted, or else made to stand at the side of the Wheel, so that only three of the four riders are shown. In the Tarot de Marseille, Fortuna and the bottom figure are both omitted, and the others become so simplified and distorted that they resemble animals, joining the ass-eared king as part of a sad menagerie. In this version, the Wheel rotates counterclockwise, so the figure to the left is descending. This resulted in an odd substitution. In some of these decks, the descending creature wears a pleated, conical tunic and his tail sprouts upward from under it. The 18th-century makers of the Lombardy tarot saw this as a flaming censer, a design reproduced with artistic sophistication by Carlo Dellarocca in the Soprafino Tarot of c.1835. The Soprafino card also shows the king at the top of the Wheel spilling coins from a sack, a motif apparently borrowed from Mitelli's Tarocchino Bolognese of nearly two centuries before.
I agree with Ross and Mr Little and possibly to make room for titles on the card.
~Lorredan~
The Universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.
Eden Phillpotts

More on Love and Death

#18
I find the 'middle section' of the trumps to be the most intriguing, as it deals with the practical matters of human life. The 'social hierarchy' of the first section doesn't apply so much to our current social paradigm, and the eschatological nature of the last section, if one believes in the afterlife at all, is a direct result of how we handle the business of life itself (Trumps VI through XIII).

Recapping from before, with the virtues temporarily set aside, we are shown a simple and clear allegory:


LOVE/FAME.........TIME/FORTUNE...........DEFAMATION/DEATH



The series is 'bookended' by Love and Death. I proposed that the allegory of Love may have been seen as a more general allegory of the pleasures of Youth itself.

Of course the pairing of Love and Death is not unusual. Even Woody Allen understood the inherent polarity of these two forces.

Andrea Alciato wrote the first and most widely disseminated emblem book, the Emblemata, published by Heinrich Steyner in 1531 in Augsburg. Though the emblem book tradition is a little late to be considered a source of the Tarot allegories, this earliest of the books may be useful in deducing some generalities of the pre-modern world view, which seems to be the biggest obstacle for modern people in understand the tarot.

Alciato, in emblems CLV and CLVI, presents Love and Death together as a pair:


Emblema CLV

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De Morte et Amore

Errabat socio Mors iniuncta Cupidine: secum
  Mors pharetras, parvus tela gerebat Amor.
Divertere simul, simul una et nocte cubarunt:
  Caecus Amor, Mors hoc tempore caeca fuit.
Alter enim alterius male provida spicula sumpsit,
  Mors aurata, tenet ossea tela puer
Debuit inde senex qui nunc Acheronticus esse,
  Ecce amat, et capiti florea serta parat.
At ego mutato quia Amor me perculit arcu,
  Deficio, iniiciunt et mihi fata manum.
Parce puer, Mors signa tenens victricia parce:
  Fac ego amem, subeat fac Acheronta senex.

(Translation -
On Death and Love
Death was wandering, his arm in that of his companion Cupid: Death was carrying the quiver, little Love his arrows. They stopped at the same time, and at the same time lay down for the night. Love was blind, and Death became blind at this time. Each picked up the other's uncaring arrows, Death the golden ones, and the youth the weapons made of bone. Thus, an old man who should now be in Acheron lo and behold falls in love and prepares floral garlands for his head. And, because Love has struck me with the wrong arrow, I am dying and the fates lay their hand upon me. Spare me, o youth; and Death, holding the standards of victory, spare me: make sure that I am the one who loves, and that the old man goes down to Acheron.)


Emblema CLVI

Image


In formosam fato praereptam

Cur puerum Mors ausa dolis es carpere Amorem,
  Tela tua ut iaceret, dum propria esse putat?



(Translation -
On a beautiful maiden snatched away by fate

Why did you dare, o Death, to mislead the boy Love by guile, so that he would shoot your weapons thinking they were his?)



This tale of Death mischievously switching arrows with blind Cupid, was a popular one in various emblem books, and several versions exist.

Notice that Cupid is referred to as 'the youth', and 'youth'. One version of the emblem shows Cupid shooting not a young man, but a small child.

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As an interesting side note - The earliest Tarot shows Cupid with only arrows, and no bow, and Death is shown with a bow, but no arrows.

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

Re: More on Love and Death

#19
R.A. Hendley wrote: The 'social hierarchy' of the first section doesn't apply so much to our current social paradigm,
Could you explain better what you mean here? My first reaction to this statement was one of great puzzlement, as I find this social hierarchy to apply very precisely to our current social paradigm.

My second reaction is to ask you whether you could explain what you mean, as perhaps my surprise and puzzlement are due to some kind of misunderstanding of what you are trying to say.

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