Re: Exploring The Magician

#2
Eugim,

The link doesn't seem to be working.

I'm not at all convinced it is a book, (and I thought JMD only suggested that it might be? It could also be a hat (which would have been common), or a purse (which I think is most likely). Some have even suggested a cake on some cards, or supposed that maybe even a monkey was emerging from a bag.

Jean Noblet Tarot:
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The Tarot will lose all its vitality for one who allows himself to be side-tracked by its pedantry. - Aleister Crowley

Re: Exploring The Magician

#3
Robert:Thank you very much for you kindly advice amigo.
There it is and I remark just for me is the bag where the man keep his things.

Conver:
Copia de CONVER-LE BATELEUR.jpg
Copia de CONVER-LE BATELEUR.jpg (74.68 KiB) Viewed 4943 times
The Universe is like a Mamushka.

Re: Exploring The Magician

#4
EUGIM wrote:Robert:Thank you very much for you kindly advice amigo.
There it is and I remark just for me is the bag where the man keep his things.

Conver:
Copia de CONVER-LE BATELEUR.jpg
Don't faint Eugim.... I agree with you! :D
The Tarot will lose all its vitality for one who allows himself to be side-tracked by its pedantry. - Aleister Crowley

Re: Exploring The Magician

#5
robert wrote:
Some have even suggested a cake on some cards...
It has been suggested the unidentifiable mass on the VS ‘bagatto’ is a cake, I can’t recall who by, an Italian author on tarot I think, the long thread on the subject over at AT was lost in a hack attack.
I see a figure holding a pointed reed in the manner of a pen, with a knife to keep it sharp and a container for ink, and some indeterminate objects, making a figure possible a scribe, or a banker, or a tutor. The identification of profession may then lead to speculations as to the identity of the indeterminate objects.

If a tutor we might for example speculate, that the white mass is cake, the ink honey, the tutor inscribing the letters of the alphabet on little cakes of bread, a common custom for the initiation of little ones into education at the time, that they may find letters sweet on their tongue and open their hearts to the word; the consumption of learning being spurred on by the reward of sweets in childhood, is rewarded by the spur of esteem for eloquence in adulthood.

Alternatively, considering that he is, in his red and green and ermine trimmed hat, dressed up perhaps for a festival, why not indeed a festival cake. It is of course traditional for festive cakes to be inscribed; a tradition that has its roots in magic, in consuming the cake, one also ingested the word, the spell, and internalised the wishes upon it.

quote:
"While the Twelfth Night customs that spread throughout Europe were subject to numerous variations, one element transcended virtually every culture that observed the holiday: the choice of a mock king for the occasion. "The way he was chosen might vary," Henisch explains, "but it was always a matter of chance and good fortune: lots could be drawn or, in the most widespread convention, a cake would be divided. The person who found a bean, or a coin, in his piece was the lucky king for the night. Sometimes he picked his own queen, sometimes chance chose her for him, and a pea secreted in the cake conferred the honor on its finder. The temporary change in status was sustained with ceremony; the king was given a crown, the authority to call the toasts and lead the drinking and, sometimes, the more dubious privilege of paying the bill on the morning after.

"Cake and King were thus linked together as good-luck charms for the coming year. The cake, the bean and the pea were emblems of fertility and harvest, health and prosperity.... His [the King's] brief reign spanned the turn from one year to the next, and in his topsy-turvy kingdom conventions were triumphantly defied. Inhibitions were forgotten, characters changed, everyday restraints relaxed. The harsh certainties of life were softened in a haze of alcohol and high spirits."

http://www.mardigrasunmasked.com/mardig ... g_cake.htm

For Moakley this figure represented the Carnival King; however, as the one dividing the 'cake' perhaps we may see him as more, like the magician Merlin, king-maker.

(The tutors of the courts children, as well as pedagogues and translators, were also employed as games masters and entertainments secretary, poet, playwright and producer of processional events and festivals. As a tutor to princes, we may also think of our poet - pedagogue as a king maker, and as one who prepares the the children of the nobility for a role of civic duty.)

quote:
"The lowest of the trumps...is the Carnival King, Bagatino (Quarterpenny). The procession of triumphs which he leads is taking him to his own execution. The card shows Bagatino on the last day of the Carnival, when he is having his last meal. He is still dressed in holiday rad and green, and has in his left hand the simple rod which is the sign of royal office. His right hand hovers uncertainly over a covered dish, which is the white with touches of gray. We see by this how he became the Little Juggler of the later commedia dell'arte. That dish-cover offers many opportunities for cleverly "nervous" comic juggling. In the modern tarocchi Bagatino is often a juggler or conjuror, and his kingly rod becomes a magician's wand.

"Before the Carnival King is executed, he is first given a trial, and accused of keeping people up late and making them drunk. Often a personfication of Lent accompanies the procession to be sure that King Carnival gets his just deserts."

end quote from Moakley The Tarot Cards Painted by Bembo p.62

Michael Hurst on his site discusses Moakley concept of carnival / lent:

quote
“She notes that the “delights of the joust and the tourney were kept for the festival times, when religion was forgotten or at least temporarily in the background”. Writing about courtly love, ostentatious pageants, chivalrous knights, and the like, she observes that “the writers of chivalrous literature knew well enough that their work was basically un-Christian.” This is precisely the context in which she places the trumps as well.

“As much as people loved their romances, their cards, and their tourneys, they realized inwardly that these pleasures were not quite in keeping with the devout life. After a gay and exhausting Carnival, the exuberant Italians really welcomed Lent as a chance to rest from the festive season and to prove to themselves that they really were Christians at heart. They brought their vanities (including their playing-cards) to be burned in the bonfires at the beginning of Lent with an honest spirit of aspiring to sanctity. (Page 37.)

“This ambivalence and mixing of vanities and sanctity is the essence of the Carnival/Lent cycle, and the cultural sensibilities that cycle epitomized. Moakley opens her study with an “Undocumented Prelude”. This presents an imagined Milanese procession on the last day of Carnival, taking place before Duke Francesco Sforza and Duchess Bianca Maria, as well as assembled crowds. In that introduction to her study, she provides a feeling for the kind of sensibilities implied by her theory, while introducing many of her specific interpretations.

“One of the most compelling identifications Moakley provides in support of her theory deals directly to this Carnival/Lent cycle. The Mountebank, lowest of the trumps, is identified as the Carnival King himself, and the singular Fool is interpreted as the personification Lent. She discusses the unique iconography of these cards in the Visconti-Sforza deck, explaining the anomalies in terms of these meanings. And she describes their role in the pageant.

“If we imagine the Fool, the representative of Lent, running alongside the procession and calling his warnings to the riders in the cards, we can assume that they talked back to him. Happy bits of repartee would please the crowd and encourage the actors to do even better. Finally the representative of Lent might invite King Carnival to leave the safety of his car and fight like a man. Then we would have a scene such as Breughel shows us in his painting “The Battle between Carnival and Lent”.... (Page 58.)

end quote from:
http://www.geocities.com/cartedatrionfi ... akley.html

Folly is more a deification of carnival than lent, but possible in the figure of folly overcome, sans meat, can be seen as Moakley suggests, a figure of Lent.

In the Schifanoia image of the first decan of Aries is a bedraggled figure holding the torn end of a rope wrapped round his waist - possibly meant to represent lent.

See first image here:
http://www.tarot.org.il/Decans/

It is under a larger representation of a palio related to the season of Lent; palio races were held as part of the festivals – including as part of the carnival prior to Lent. The loser of the major horse race 'won' a side of pork. A great win to celebrate the end of Lent you may think for who was after all the 'loser'. However the ham was tied round the losers waist and he had to run through the streets home to keep it, and everyone would make a grab for the ham; not only would he end up losing the ham but most if not all of clothes (and dignity) too! The 'taking away of his meat' at the end of carnival (meaning - to take away meat) instituted the start of Lent.

I have difficulty however in seeing the figure of the VS Bagatto as a carnival king at his last supper; more as the master of the lottery upon which the election of the carnival king is decided. However, in the later comedia dell'arte the carnival king, bagatto, is named after the bagatto, the coin in the cake, whose finder becomes the king; here indeed the election, elector and electee has merged into one.

The name Bagatto we could take in the instance of this reading as referring to the bagati, a coin of small value, the finder of which hidden in the cake fortune shall make king. Our figure we can then relate to the later figure of the bateleur as a sort of games master or lord of chance.

Perhaps we may see traces of the carnival / lent cycle persisting in the Tarot de Marseille too, especially in the Noblet:

Carnival = "time of merrymaking before Lent," from It. carnevale "Shrove Tuesday," from older It. forms like Milanese *carnelevale, O.Pisan carnelevare "to remove meat," lit. "raising flesh," from L. caro "flesh" + levare "lighten, raise;"

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"Raising Flesh"

Folk etymology is from M.L. carne vale " 'flesh, farewell.'

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"Flesh, farewell"

While the rod in the hand of the VS 'Bagatto' looks pen like, comparison with the rod in the hand of the Empress shows that it could indeed be a 'rod of royal office' as Moakley suggests.

Whatever the truth of the matter, I like the idea of a cake. What better way to begin, than with sweet bread and cup; a piece of cake and a drink being traditional accompaniments in many cultures through many times of those special occassions that mark the passages of our lives from birth to death. Whether magician, cobbler, banker, merchant, scribe or tutor; we have a person at table laid out with the wares of his profession, the skills and goods by which he earns a living, makes his pennies, his bagatto. An everyman, as descendant of Adam, who toils for his living after the fall.

SteveM
Genesis 3:19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, until thou return unto the earth whence thou wast take: for earth thou art, and unto earth shalt thou return.
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: Exploring The Magician - a tale of two loves

#6
SteveM wrote: An everyman, as descendant of Adam, who toils for his living after the fall.
Or 'old adam' (unregenerate Man) himself: and as for orbs and crowns and mitres, they are but the vanities of Old Adam in new apparel in the town of deceit, the tools of a cup and ball game for our Ephesian juggler playing the crowd of vanities fair:

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As he passes through this town of deceit on his way to the celestial city, he must beware of being seduced by these vanities: choosing the love of the eternal over the love of the mutable, the little Man, this bagatelle, old Adam, becomes the new Man, the purvus mundum, microcosmic Man, worthy prince, groom and citizen of the bride and celestial city, the macrocosm, the world; whose sacred marriage is symbolised the winged angel that intermediates between them, in reference to Christs first miracle at the marriage of Cana.

As lover of Worldy Vanities, old Adam (unregenerate Man) remains a citizen of the city of Rome; as a lover in the communion of Christ, he becomes a new Man and citizen of the New Jerusalem that will ultimately triumph.
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: Exploring The Magician

#7
EUGIM wrote:There it is and I remark just for me is the bag where the man keep his things.

Conver:
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I too agree, Eugim, that on the Tarot de Marseille type-II it is a bag that is intended - and also very likely on the Tarot de Marseille type-I and (in case it is considered a bit of a proto-type-I) similarly on the Noblet.

What I have suggested in the past is that, given the un-clarity of the object in early decks, it may be viewed as a book which, in the context, may also make sense. To be blunt, however, I doubt that the object is intended as a book - even if it can be viewed that way in such as deck as the Noblet.
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&
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association.tarotstudies.org

Re: Exploring The Magician - a tale of two loves

#10
robert wrote:
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That's a great image Steve. Where is it from??

I love how the bateleur is using the hats as the cups! Kings and Bishops and Emperors perhaps?
It is from an edition of Bunyan's Pilgrims Progress published in 1860 with illusrations by Charles Bennet.
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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