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

#31
Hi Michael,

I'm not sure who pissed in your cornflakes, but it wasn't me. So if we can set aside the completely unnecessary personal insults that you hurled at me, and the fact that you didn't address the point I made about not maligning you in the least bit, we can stick to talking about Tarot. I think that would be a good thing for a tarot forum, don't you?

I imagine that after a decade of rolling your tarot boulder up a hill, the sisyphean task has engendered a certain amount of raw nerves on your part. Forgive me for being the latest in a long line of people asking you the same questions that you've already answered. In the future, I will look back at your impressive list of discourses on this and other forums to get a better picture of your evolving understanding of the tarot, and in particular the trump sequence of the various decks.

It's unfortunate that you misunderstand my asking of challenging questions as some sort of game, rhetorical or otherwise. But my interest is not in deflating your balloon with the pinpricks of impertinence. On the contrary, I would prefer to inflate my own knowledge of tarot with what is, to me, the fresh air of your theories. That this air may be somewhat stale due to age is not something I would be aware of, since I am a relative newcomer.

I will not trouble you with a point-by-point response to all that you've said, since I think that would be tiresome for all involved. Suffice it to say that I am aware that you treat different decks with different approaches, that you are not speaking about the Ur-Tarot, and that there is no simple answer to the tarot trump sequence(s). On this last point there has been the most contention. Where you see me trying to 'catch you out' on some point or another, I see myself asking basic questions, such as: 'if the answer is not simple, then why presume it has to be complex - maybe there isn't an answer of the type you seek', or something of that nature. I realize that one could mistake that as some sort of 'affront' or challenge to you, when it is simply my way of asking a question. I suspect that you've been questioned quite a lot in the last decade, and that I am being lumped in with predecessors who probably were trying to outwit you or make you look bad. I assure you that is not the case with me. If a philosophical argument sounds illegitimate to me, then I will ask a challenging question. And if there is a sensible answer that I was not aware of, then no problem. It need not cause you to raise the drawbridge. I'm not trying to storm the castle. I'm asking you why you're in the castle in the first place.

From your reply, I can see that I misunderstood a couple of points you made, and I believe I have a better understanding now, so I thank you for taking the time and effort to enlighten me on them. And in fairness, I think you misunderstood some things that I said as well, such as the fact that you seem to think I don't believe there is a pattern in the Tarot de Marseille, which is simply not true. I think there are elements of a pattern; there is a skeleton there. But it's the explanation of that pattern by you that I do not completely agree with on all points, or should I say, there are obscure portions of the sequence which do not admit of being readily explained by the available historical and graphical evidence. And no, I don't think I have the answers to that, so there's no need to challenge me to 'put up or shut up' so to speak, when I never intimated that I had any such answer in the first place. As I said, I came here to learn from those with more knowledge of the subject than my own, and you are certainly one of those people. So hopefully the personal remarks can be left aside and we can continue to dialogue about the subject we're both interested in. I'm much more on your side than you make me out to be, so there no sense in rancor and alienation when there are more important things to discuss.

Sorry for the off-topic post. So to get back on-topic...

As far as the Star goes, the Sumerian goddess Inanna was connected to the planet Venus, and her iconography included an eight-pointed star, as well as her depiction riding the backs of two lionesses, (Aquarius is the sign opposite the Lion in the zodiac). I'm not suggesting that the tarot is Sumerian in origin, but it's interesting that three of Inanna's associations can be related to the Star card: Venus as morning (evening) star, the shape of the star itself, and the possible relation to Aquarius imagery. Inanna is also daughter of the Moon and sister of the Sun, the two cards which follow the Star in the trump sequence.


RLG

Re: Epihany ~ The Four Theophanies of Christ's Divinity:

#32
SteveM wrote:
SteveM wrote: In Christianised versions of the zodiac St. John the Baptist, who proclaims the advent of Christ, is identified with Aquarius.
The cup bearer also links in with Christs first miracle, the marriage at cana and the turning of water into wine; thus in the Star we may see a conflation the concepts of Christ's birth and the visitation by the Magi, and in the lower image of Aquarius Christ's baptism and the Miracle at the Marriage of Cana:
It's interesting to be able to connect all those theophanies in the same card. I might add a couple things, which are hopefully not too 'numerological'. The name IESOUS equals 888 by Greek gematria, and the number 8 is said to relate to the perfection of Jesus as the son of god. But more pertinent to this card is the tradition of the baptismal font having 8 sides in the Roman Catholic church. This may bear a relation to the eight-pointed star.

Depending on whom you believe, the reason the baptismal font has 8 sides relates to the supposed 'eighth day of creation', where the eternal kingdom of god dawned on the 8th day. Also, Jesus rose from the dead on the 'eighth day' of the week, (which ran from Sunday to Saturday, the Sabbath). This is why you will see the number 8 referred to as representing 'regeneration and resurrection'. In any event, the number 8 is closely connected to baptism in the early Christian church, and thus may have an ancillary role in the symbolism of the Star, if indeed the card is meant to depict, in part, the baptism of Jesus.

If a strong case is made that the Star represents Jesus (by way of these four theophanies), then it would also seem to bolster the triadic 2 +1 theory, by showing Christ triumphing over the two prior cards, the Devil and Fire, in the Tarot de Marseille sequence. But this requires that the 'triumph' of Christ is done through the agency of the 'fire from heaven' that we see on the Tower card, which makes it a two-part triumph, the only one of its kind so far depicted, and thus is not a triumph of one card over two others, but of one card, via the agency of another, over the third card, the Devil. In defense of the 2 + 1 theory, one might say that the Tower, since it was called Hell in some decks, represents that place, but it is certainly an odd depiction of Hell. In Dante, Hell is depicted as an inverted cone, while it is Purgatory, (also a place of fire), that is depicted as a mountain of seven levels, which is much closer to the image of a Tower. So it seems the more likely of those two possibilities is that the Tower card is showing 'fire from heaven', as Michael notes, rather than a depiction of hell. But if that is so, then the theory is compromised somewhat in this triad.

If, however, one considers Jesus in the Star card as also being resurrected, then the Tower might be a veiled reference to the crucifixion. Traditionally, when Jesus finally dies on Golgotha, the veil of the temple was rent open, (representing a new path between God and man). Perhaps the 'crown' that is struck by lightning is the crown of thorns (and the two falling figures might then be the two thieves that were crucified with him?) In this case, the triumph of Christ would be over both the Devil and Death combined, which would follow the rest of the triadic pattern, according to the 2 +1 theory.


Nice post, thanks for all the information.

RLG

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

#35
debra wrote:Would Jesus as Star be trumped by Moon and Sun?
If the star represents Christ's advent and the four theophonies of Christs Divinity - what would the Moon and Sun mean in relation to that?
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)

#36
debra wrote:Would Jesus as Star be trumped by Moon and Sun?
SteveM wrote: If the star represents Christ's advent and the four theophonies of Christs Divinity - what would the Moon and Sun mean in relation to that?
Michael provided those details here: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TarotL/message/18531

I think this passage answers Debra's question:
Michael J Hurst on TarotL wrote: The sequence and
relationships are part of the meaningful content of the Trumps,
and constitute an internal context that must be considered when
assessing a possible interpretation for a given card. There was
also a standard cosmographic sequence, dating back at least to
Classical times, and the Tarot sequence does not illustrate that.
The two sequences don’t match. In the sky, the planets move while
the stars are "fixed" -- background to the planets -- and this
was an essential element of the cosmic hierarchy. This is why the
"houses" of the Zodiac are abodes within the 8th sphere, while
the planets are visitors, each moving in its lower sphere. It
makes no apparent sense, astrologically or cosmographically, to
put the 8th sphere (the fixed stars) below the 1st and 4th
spheres, moon and sun. It requires, at the very least, some
additional explanation -- why use these subjects, this
iconography, in this sequence?

It may be worth noting that, although the Star, Moon, and Sun
are in the wrong order for a Classical cosmograph, they are in
the correct order to reflect the importance assigned to them in
Genesis. "God made two great lights -- the greater light to
govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also
made the stars." (Gen.1:16.) The celestial part of the Classical
cosmographs had eight spheres, with the stars being the highest.
However, the celestial "cosmograph" of Genesis has only three
levels, and the greatest is the sun. If Tarot was intended to
reflect a celestial cosmograph at all, it appears to have been a
biblical one rather than Neoplatonic.
Marco

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

#37
marco wrote:
debra wrote:Would Jesus as Star be trumped by Moon and Sun?
SteveM wrote: If the star represents Christ's advent and the four theophonies of Christs Divinity - what would the Moon and Sun mean in relation to that?
Michael provided those details here: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TarotL/message/18531
I wasn't aware Michael had made any association between the card and the four theophanies of Christ's divinity?
I think this passage answers Debra's question:
Oh?

My apologies then, totally different to the suggestion I was thinking of, Iagree it is biblical; I must have misunderstood her question, thanks.

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)

#38
Thank you.

My question isn't very sophisticated (to match my understanding). I just wondered, if there's one story line and it's Christian, why Jesus would appear as Star but with two other astronomical bodies "trumping" him in the sequence.

The idea that tarot is multiple stories all at the same time appeals greatly, especially since they are cards, and therefore can be moved around and used for multiple purposes.

(Nothing heavily esoteric implied about tarot origins here--I use mine for bookmarks, for example :)

eta: (Steve, my friend, I wouldn't know a theophany if it hit me like a bolt of lightening from the heavens, and I appreciate your "smartening up" my question for me :)

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

#39
debra wrote: My question isn't very sophisticated (to match my understanding). I just wondered, if there's one story line and it's Christian, why Jesus would appear as Star but with two other astronomical bodies "trumping" him in the sequence.

"Her anticipatory or demonstrative role (forerunner, announcer ...) with regard to Christ ["she is the dawn, Christ the Rising Sun"] and the Trinity"

http://campus.udayton.edu/mary//questions/yq/yq17.html


I think the above quote about Mary may give us some idea of how these celestial orbs could have been seen in the context of a Christian message. The placement of the orbs between the Devil and God (The World) suggest this may indeed have been what the tarot designer was intending. Christians would've (could've?) interpreted the Sun as Christ, so the Star would be the "forerunner, announcer" of His coming.. blah.. blah.. blah..

What ever happened to our good 'n wholesome European religions? Apollo? Woten? Come back!! :((
When a clock is hungry, it goes back four seconds.

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