Re: Images from a Ferrarese prophetic manuscript (1450 ca)

#41
debra wrote:And between the announcement and the second coming, we get a romantic moonlit seafood dinner with canine serenade!
The Star does not represent Jesus but the four theophanies of Christs divinity, the Star announcing primarily his advent, by association the four magi; the Sign of Aquarius his baptism by St. John (who like the Star announces his coming, Behold, the Lamb of G-d ) and his first miracle, the turning of Water in Wine at the marriage of Cana.

So if we interpret the Star and the sign Aquarius in terms of a Christain paradigm, the question for me is how do we interpret the two folloing bodies in the same light?

Below the figures of the celestial bodies star, moon and sun are three tableaus associated with the zodiacal signs Aquarius, Cancer and Gemini.

Cancer is the sign of the soul's descent;* and we may associate it with Christs descent into the underworld upon his death, when the world became darkened. It is the sign of Job covered in sores, of faiths testing by Satan. It is also again associated with St. John the Baptist (precursor of Jesus who paved the way) in terms of the solar year in which St. John is associated with the Summer Solstice, when the Sun enters Cancer, from which point it decreases; as Christ is associated with the Winter Solstice, from which point it increases:

"He must increase, but I must decrease." said John.

And this phrase also associates John and Jesus with the iconography with the twins of the sign of Gemini, in which one ascends as the other descends. According to the Golden Legends John and Jesus were cousins, in Islamic tradition they are called the two of the two aunts; in art and literature they are represented as playing together as children. The two figures of the twins, the Increaser and Decreaser, thus represent also the Soltices of the Sun. As the sign of Gemini in pagan tradition represented the twins castor and pollus, one mortal and one immortal, so interpreted in the light of the Christain paradigm the sign was taken to represent the two sides of Christ, as human and divine.

Christ is represented by both the Star of the Morning and the Sun at Noon, the light of the morning triumphing over darkness, the beginning or birth of day also the birth of Christ in particular; and his birth in the flesh, the mortality of his humanity is trumphed over by death, when the world is darkended and he descends into hell; but death is triumphed over by his resurrection, his second birth into full glory, the full light as represented by the full light of the Sun at Noon as symbolic of the light of Christ.

"He must increase..." said John.

There was a fall (XV) and there will be a restoratation (XXI) between the first Judgement, which brought death into the world (XVI**) and the final Judgement in which resurrection triumphs over death (XX) there is that which brings an end to all things, time - represented by the signifies of time, the markers of the day and the night and of the seasons, the star, the moon and the sun. The providential hand of G-d works through history, motivated by divine love Caritas (of which in Augustinian theology the final Judgement is the exemplar), towards salvation and the restoration. In Christian paradigm on could say that history does not a beginning or end, but rather a centre from which history radiates in circles like the ripples on a pond, from the viewpoint of the infinite the past and present in an eternal now. Thus one finds reflections or refractions or holographs or prefigurements of that moment both before and after in every direction from the centre. And that centre is the birth, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

SteveM

*Cancer and Capricorn are called the two portals of the universe; through the gate of Capricorn the soul ascends and through the gate of Cancer the soul descends.
**Judgment begins with the house of God.
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: Images from a Ferrarese prophetic manuscript (1450 ca)

#42
Hi Steve,

So let me see if I understand you correctly, is this your basic schema? --

XV - Devil, the Fall
XVI - Tower, first judgment = death in the world
XVII - Star, advent, ministry, divinity of Jesus
XVIII - Moon, death of Jesus, descent into hell
XIX - Sun, resurrection of Jesus
XX - Angel, last judgment = resurrection triumphs over death
XXI - World, restoration

along those lines, I would interpret
the Devil as the serpent in Eden;
the Tower as the beginning of mortality - a literal 'fall' by two people, Adam and Eve
the Star announcing the coming Messiah in a variety of ways (Mary, J the B, miracles, etc.)
the Moon where Jesus dies and descends to hell, (possibly including crucifixion imagery of two thieves?)
the Sun as Jesus resurrected on Sunday, also showing he and John the Baptist
the Angel clearly announcing the last judgment & 'rapture', bodies resurrected from the grave
the World, Christ triumphant, New Jerusalem, etc. (Second coming?)

Is this more or less your view?


If one wanted to put this into a triadic scheme, with a 2+1 pattern, we might say roughly:

XV & XVI = the Old Testament
XVII = triumph of the New Testament

XVIII & XIX = death and resurrection of one man/god
XX = resurrection from the dead of all the faithful

XXI = completion of the whole, beyond the scheme of all the seven triads.

Re: Images from a Ferrarese prophetic manuscript (1450 ca)

#43
RLG wrote: If one wanted to put this into a triadic scheme, with a 2+1 pattern, we might say roughly:

XV & XVI = the Old Testament
XVII = triumph of the New Testament

XVIII & XIX = death and resurrection of one man/god
XX = resurrection from the dead of all the faithful

XXI = completion of the whole, beyond the scheme of all the seven triads.
It seems to me for the final seven (15_21) to fall more naturally into a 2_3_2 pattern with the fall/first judgment (triumph of death) in symmetry to the final judgment (triumph over death)/restoration and the triune of time cards inbetween.

Fall..........................................................................Restoration
.....Judgment begins....................................Last Judgment..............
.............................Star.......Moon......Sun...................................

I simply don't see that Michael't triune pattern of 2+1 starting from the fool holds throughout the whole series without too much stretching to make fit; also I find his justification for a pattern, that every third card is a religious card or virtue, to be nonsense when such could be said to apply to 50% of the 22 allegorical figures and that not only every third card may be interpreted as a religious figure.
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: Images from a Ferrarese prophetic manuscript (1450 ca)

#44
SteveM wrote: To me it seems to me for the final seven (15_21) to fall more naturally into a 2_3_2 pattern with the fall/first judgment in symmetry to the final judgment/restoration and the triune of time cards inbetween. I simply don't see that Michael't triune pattern of 2+1 holds throughout the whole series without too much stretching to make fit.
I like the Devil and the Tower on one side with the World and the Angel on the other so that the Devil and the Angel make a pair on opposing ends and then a step inside we have the pair of the Tower representing Hell and the World representing Heaven as New Jerusalem. Inside of this set is the Star, Moon, Sun. So:

DEVIL --------------------------------------------------------------ANGEL
******* HELL-----------------------------------------------HEAVEN*******
************** STAR-------------MOON-------------SUN ******************


Not that I think there anything in it, but I like it.
The Tarot will lose all its vitality for one who allows himself to be side-tracked by its pedantry. - Aleister Crowley

Re: Images from a Ferrarese prophetic manuscript (1450 ca)

#45
SteveM wrote: It seems to me for the final seven (15_21) to fall more naturally into a 2_3_2 pattern with the fall/first judgment (triumph of death) in symmetry to the final judgment (triumph over death)/restoration and the triune of time cards inbetween.

Fall..........................................................................Restoration
.....Judgment begins....................................Last Judgment..............
.............................Star.......Moon......Sun...................................

I simply don't see that Michael's triune pattern of 2+1 starting from the fool holds throughout the whole series without too much stretching to make fit; also I find his justification for a pattern, that every third card is a religious card or virtue, to be nonsense when such could be said to apply to 50% of the 22 allegorical figures and that not only every third card may be interpreted as a religious figure.
Yes, I think there are some stretches to make a triadic pattern fit all the way through. But to be fair to Michael, I think when he refers to 'religious figures' he's merely pointing out the Popess and Pope, in contrast to the pairs that precede them. Obviously the whole last seven-card series is religious and/or eschatological in nature.

But even if we could make a good case for triads lower in the series, that doesn't rule out that the final seven cards had a different structure to their sequence. Since there are undoubtedly seven cards in this group, one of them is left out of any triad pattern.

Taking that last set of seven as you have them here, it makes a nice symmetrical pattern of its own. It might then be fair to say, as a very simplified characterization, that the middle three cards, in relation to Christian thought, would be the Birth, Death and Resurrection of Jesus.

That being said, I don't think this heptad you have laid out necessarily contradicts my idea about Old vs. New Testaments, and Death/Resurrection triads, since they fundamentally rest on similar interpretations of the card imagery. A 'fall' and a 'first judgment' are obviously Old Testament ideas, while the advent and divinity of Christ is the core of the New Testament. And if you're correct that the Moon and Sun symbolize the Death and Resurrection of Jesus, this is certainly echoed in the next card, where the Angel is calling the dead to rise from their graves, which is made possible by what Christ achieved in the two previous cards, i.e., the defeat of death.

So it ends up being a matter of emphasis, unless I'm missing something in your argument, which is why I tried to lay it out and make sure I understand it correctly. I'm not saying I know the intent of the arranger of the Tarot de Marseille series, but it looks to me like these two approaches mutually reinforce one another.

Thanks for the informative posts, they make great food for thought.

Re: Images from a Ferrarese prophetic manuscript (1450 ca)

#46
robert wrote:
SteveM wrote: To me it seems to me for the final seven (15_21) to fall more naturally into a 2_3_2 pattern with the fall/first judgment in symmetry to the final judgment/restoration and the triune of time cards inbetween. I simply don't see that Michael't triune pattern of 2+1 holds throughout the whole series without too much stretching to make fit.
I like the Devil and the Tower on one side with the World and the Angel on the other so that the Devil and the Angel make a pair on opposing ends and then a step inside we have the pair of the Tower representing Hell and the World representing Heaven as New Jerusalem. Inside of this set is the Star, Moon, Sun. So:

DEVIL --------------------------------------------------------------ANGEL
******* HELL-----------------------------------------------HEAVEN*******
************** STAR-------------MOON-------------SUN ******************


Not that I think there anything in it, but I like it.
At least that would be a good reason to name the card the Angel, as opposed to the Last Judgment, thus emphasizing the comparison to the Devil.
The Devil was cast out of heaven; the Angel is calling the bodies and souls to return to heaven.
(Its funny how the arguments subtly change depending on whether you have the Angel or the World as the final card.)

And I know the Tower card had many names, including Hell, but I just don't see how a blasted tower represents Hell? Was there any iconographical precedent for that? Also, one has to deal with the falling bodies, as well as the crown, and the fact that fire or lightning is coming from above. I'm a novice here, but I can't help feeling the card was called Hell because there was fire in it, and it was next to the Devil card. And the card was called Fire early on, which would obviously link it to the Devil, (or purgatory), but then what's up with all the other iconography?

Re: Images from a Ferrarese prophetic manuscript (1450 ca)

#47
RLG wrote:At least that would be a good reason to name the card the Angel, as opposed to the Last Judgment, thus emphasizing the comparison to the Devil.
The Devil was cast out of heaven; the Angel is calling the bodies and souls to return to heaven.
(Its funny how the arguments subtly change depending on whether you have the Angel or the World as the final card.)

And I know the Tower card had many names, including Hell, but I just don't see how a blasted tower represents Hell? Was there any iconographical precedent for that? Also, one has to deal with the falling bodies, as well as the crown, and the fact that fire or lightning is coming from above. I'm a novice here, but I can't help feeling the card was called Hell because there was fire in it, and it was next to the Devil card. And the card was called Fire early on, which would obviously link it to the Devil, (or purgatory), but then what's up with all the other iconography?
Hi RLG
I like the old Bolognese images where the Angel is, to me, quite clearly the subject and the incident below (the Last Judgement) seems more supportive. Angel is subject, judgement is ancillary rather than the other way around.
Look at the Angel on the "The Rosenwald sheet":
http://www.tarothistory.com/images/encyclopedia1.jpg

and the Devil on "The Rothschild sheet":
http://www.tarothistory.com/images/encyclopedia2.jpg

As for the "Tower", the subject generally seems to be "Fire" or "Thunderbolt", and when the French titled the card, perhaps not really recognizing the subject, it became the Tower of God, although, since it was also called in at least one case the Tower of the Devil, I think that there were some that saw it as at least related to Hell. It's a hard call, but I personally don't think that the tower is the important thing, I think it is the fire, lightening and destruction.

At any rate, you could think of it as the Evil Place That God Pulls Down and the Good Place That God Builds Up, paired with the guardians of the two places... Devil and Angel.

I just like seeing Devil and Angel as a pair, and I prefer the Bologna order, so this sequence with balances on each side suits me.... although I wouldn't press for it to be accepted as "correct".
The Tarot will lose all its vitality for one who allows himself to be side-tracked by its pedantry. - Aleister Crowley

Re: Images from a Ferrarese prophetic manuscript (1450 ca)

#48
RLG wrote: And I know the Tower card had many names, including Hell, but I just don't see how a blasted tower represents Hell? Was there any iconographical precedent for that? Also, one has to deal with the falling bodies, as well as the crown, and the fact that fire or lightning is coming from above. I'm a novice here, but I can't help feeling the card was called Hell because there was fire in it, and it was next to the Devil card. And the card was called Fire early on, which would obviously link it to the Devil, (or purgatory), but then what's up with all the other iconography?
For me this was the benefit of Marco's first post on this thread with the images from a c. 1450 copy of Telesforo of Cosenza's prophecies. It showed that an image of a burning tower could be used both to illustrate Satan's 1000 year prison (folio 43r), as well as, in combination with Satan, a synecdoche for Gog and Magog, while the angel with a sword (and perhaps a flash of red if we had a color version) takes the place of "fire from heaven" otherwise (as far as I can tell) not shown in the picture (folio 58v).

So a good question might be, if a burning/lightning struck tower is an appropriate image for one or both of these events, how does that fit into a narrative interpretation of the final seven cards?

Ross
Image

Re: Images from a Ferrarese prophetic manuscript (1450 ca)

#49
R.A. Hendley wrote:If we take the Tower as purgatory, the 'pouring out' can also take on yet a second meaning, the purified waters (souls) being released back into their source.
The concept of Purgatory was most frequently the fundamental motivation behing the foundation of a Mesondieu, the inhabitants of which were obliged to pray for the souls of the founder(s) in Purgatory.

SteveM
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: Images from a Ferrarese prophetic manuscript (1450 ca)

#50
SteveM wrote:
R.A. Hendley wrote:If we take the Tower as purgatory, the 'pouring out' can also take on yet a second meaning, the purified waters (souls) being released back into their source.
The concept of Purgatory was most frequently the fundamental motivation behing the foundation of a Mesondieu, the inhabitants of which were obliged to pray for the souls of the founder(s) in Purgatory.

SteveM
I didn't know that! Thanks Steve.
The Tarot will lose all its vitality for one who allows himself to be side-tracked by its pedantry. - Aleister Crowley

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