Re: Use of Tarot de Marseille as a divinatory tool ???

#31
Ah. I see.

I wonder if by "moral sense" you mean "sense of self as a responsible agent whose actions shape one's own character." A sense of integrity, in other words. I think that's more what Sacks was talking about in that case, and it is rather different than a "morality tale" that proceeds through a series of steps and ends up, where, dancing in the world maybe.

Re: Use of Tarot de Marseille as a divinatory tool ???

#32
This conversation reminds me so much of Oscar Wilde's Preface to Dorian Gray, that I would like to bring it into the conversation as a slight diversion and entertainment; but with the hopes of not taking this thread off topic. Just something to enjoy as a brief aside:
The Preface to The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde wrote:The artist is the creator of beautiful things.

To reveal art and conceal the artist is art's aim.

The critic is he who can translate into another manner or a new material his impression of beautiful things.

The highest as the lowest form of criticism is a mode of autobiography. Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming.

This is a fault.

Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope.

They are the elect to whom beautiful things mean only beauty.

There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written.

That is all.

The nineteenth century dislike of realism is the rage of Caliban seeing his own face in a glass.

The nineteenth century dislike of romanticism is the rage of Caliban not seeing his own face in a glass.

The moral life of man forms part of the subject-matter of the artist, but the morality of art consists in the perfect use of an imperfect medium. No artist desires to prove anything. Even things that are true can be proved.

No artist has ethical sympathies.

An ethical sympathy in an artist is an unpardonable mannerism of style. No artist is ever morbid. The artist can express everything.

Thought and language are to the artist instruments of an art.

Vice and virtue are to the artist materials for an art.

From the point of view of form, the type of all the arts is the art of the musician.

From the point of view of feeling, the actor's craft is the type.

All art is at once surface and symbol.

Those who go beneath the surface do so at their peril.

Those who read the symbol do so at their peril.

It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors.

Diversity of opinion about a work of art shows that the work is new, complex, and vital.

When critics disagree, the artist is in accord with himself.

We can forgive a man for making a useful thing as long as he does not admire it. The only excuse for making a useless thing is that one admires it intensely.

All art is quite useless.
The Tarot will lose all its vitality for one who allows himself to be side-tracked by its pedantry. - Aleister Crowley

Re: Use of Tarot de Marseille as a divinatory tool ???

#33
Hi Enrique,

Yes, that is the book. I know that the cover does not reflect the Marseilles Tarot, in fact this bugged me so much that I glued a reproduction of the Marseilles-style Juggler/Batelevr over the fantasy illustration. The card descriptions are definitely of Marseilles-style cards, but the color distribution he describes is not that of the older version but probably close to the later Marteau or Grimaud colors in which green is quite scarce, the sun has multi-colored rays, etc. I glued Marseilles-style reproductions throughout the book for reference since the book is not illustrated. It is also very cheaply bound and the pages will fall apart in time. I had mine drilled with holes so I could use three rings to hold it together. Even so,it is, well worth adding to your library.

Clearly Maxwell was part of a European Tarot tradition of his day, and he does, indeed, address the card meanings from a highly moral perspective.

I think that all people of good will do try to live their lives from a moral perspective. You have stated that you sense a contemporary dislike of the word ‘moral.’ The problem, I think, is that today, the people speaking the most loudly about morality are those who define it the most narrowly and only within their own dogmatic terms, having little respect for other points of view. Furthermore, they seem to feel free to ignore even their own stated values when it suits their purposes. Hypocrasy is hard to ignore in those purporting to instruct others.

It is interesting that you speak of The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat. For several years that book was on my list to read, unfortunately I have never gotten around to doing so.

The beauty of the Tarot is another door into its rich multi-dimensional, many layered meanings—the “other moments” you speak of. Enrique, your sensitivity to the beauty of simplicity, proportion, and balance is rare outside of the fine arts world, and I think your thirst for this kind of beauty is uniquely answered by the Jean Noblet Tarot accented by Jean-Claude's clean intense color fills. It is easy to see why you choose this deck above all others to read by; and from my point of view, the same beauty of simplicity, proportion and balance can be applied to the moral dimension of a reading. The Tarot can help people to see an issue from different angles and think it through free of the prejudices of religious dogma and group think. It has always seemed to me that people behave best when they are empowered to act according to their own highest principles and take responsibility for their actions. In the end it all comes down to the classic, “Do unto others . . .” Ah, the economy of simplicity!

Re: Use of Tarot de Marseille as a divinatory tool ???

#34
Hi Debra,
debra wrote:Ah. I see.

I wonder if by "moral sense" you mean "sense of self as a responsible agent whose actions shape one's own character." A sense of integrity, in other words. I think that's more what Sacks was talking about in that case, and it is rather different than a "morality tale" that proceeds through a series of steps and ends up, where, dancing in the world maybe.

I was talking about the mix of both: to remind someone of his/her "sense of self as a responsible agent whose actions shape one's own character" by providing specific tools as they appear described in the trumps: fairness in relationships, moderation in our appetites, fortitude to pull ourselves through, a sense of prudence that matches our interlocutor, etc. What I find extremely useful is the way in which, in the Tarot de Marseille, the moral virtues provide us with a structure to give advice. The virtues affect the two cards that precede them. If we work with three cards alone, any card that falls at the end of a three-cards row can take the attributes of a virtue and point out a way of proceeding in regard of the situation defined by the first two cards.

Just as the three virtues have very distinctive attributes, each one of the characters in the cards have attributes that could be worth imitating. I am working here under the assumption that the tarot preaches by example, in a sort of visual sermon. The Emperor, for example, isn’t a virtue, but it is possible that at a certain point in our life we feel the need of projecting authority, just as he does by holding is scepter, while practicing self-control, just as he does by holding his belt. In other words, at some point in our lives the Emperor’s attributes may be worth imitating. The Fool isn’t a virtue but he also possess attributes that could be useful at a certain point: to hit the road, to travel light, to keep sight of your goals, to ignore what distract us from our path... All these images are examples of ways in which we can behave. This way each image becomes a very direct and practical piece of advice that is expressed through the attributes of its characters. Even La Lune, by showing no human being, advises to become absent and wait until things become more clear. So, when I am talking about ‘moral advise’ I am talking about providing the client with tools to modeling/moderate her behavior in ways that may make easier for her to go about wit her life. In a way, what I am suggesting is to turn the ‘tarot as a mirror’ metaphor backwards, so we don’t look at the cards to detect how much like us The Emperor is, but how can we be more like The Emperor.

When I am working with the tarot my main goal is to burn an image, just one image, in the person’s mind so she can recall that image at the precise moment, eliciting a series of emotional and physical responses. Psychiatrist Milton Erickson was very good at ‘re-routing’ people into a normal baseline behavior that had to do with becoming functional again. He didn’t subscribed to any psychological school or theory, and he rarely cared about the patient’s childhood, past traumas, etc. More often than not he felt that there was no point on dwelling in the client’s past. So, by small direct and indirect adjustments he was able to bring the patient back to his/her normal functioning. We tend to frown upon the idea of ‘normal’, just as we don’t like to talk morals, as if both ideas imply surrendering our individuality or uniqueness, but by normal he meant being able to function in society, something that is very much in tune with returning to a “sense of self” but also includes a sense of the other. I bring all this up because I wonder if, instead of exploring these images in a “how does that makes you feel” kind of way, as some people does, it may be a lot more precise, and useful for the client, to simply acknowledge the moral layer that the whole tarot tale brings about. And then again I wonder if such moral layer, corresponding with the quadriga exegesis, is something that can be seen as exclusive of the Tarot de Marseille, or all pre-Gébelin tarots, and it has been somehow overlooked since.


Best,



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

Re: Use of Tarot de Marseille as a divinatory tool ???

#36
Marcei,
Marcei wrote:from my point of view, the same beauty of simplicity, proportion and balance can be applied to the moral dimension of a reading.
Thanks for such a beautiful post!

I consider a tarot reading to be the one of the most irresponsible things a person who is haunted by a problem can do. It is counter-intuitive and utterly insane to say to someone: “Well, since you have that problem come and sit with me, lets look at these images because they are beautiful” and even more insane for that person to oblige. But I do so on a daily basis because I believe that beauty has a restorative/redemptive power. Beauty can be very inspiring, or at least, can inspire us to act in ways that are consistent with that sense of beauty. No one can tell us what is going to happen, no one can tell us what to do, But as you, Marcei, said in your post, we can always be reminded of that sense of transcendence we are all capable to feel and aspire and which links beauty to morals.


Best,

EE

P.S: Oliver Sack’s book reads more like poetry than science. It is certainly a book worth reading.
What’s honeymoon salad? Lettuce alone
Don’t look now, mayonnaise is dressing!

Re: Use of Tarot de Marseille as a divinatory tool ???

#38
EnriqueEnriquez wrote:I bring all this up because I wonder if, instead of exploring these images in a “how does that makes you feel” kind of way, as some people do, it may be a lot more precise, and useful for the client, to simply acknowledge the moral layer that the whole tarot tale brings about.
Just this one thought brings up so many issues. The first is 'who is defines what's moral?' I've had/seen a few readings in which the reader got very preachy about what was the 'right' thing to do, based on that reader's own extremely narrow sense of the morality implied within a card. Because I work interactively with clients I often ask them what the figures in various cards advise, or what one figure's opinion is of another card's perspective. For instance, a card in the past can point to old advice that may no longer be appropriate in the current (or future) situation. Death may say to let go of things, but, if it's in the past, it could be the voice of habit rather than an opportunity to set a new direction. I, too, find that the final card often contains a perspective worth considering deeply—although the most significant advice may lie elsewhere in the spread.

As to emotion—well, I spent several years reading everything I could in the field of emotion. I also ran an experiment with over 80 respondents—asking them to choose an emotion (from a list of around 90) to go with each card of the 78 cards of the RWS deck. The amount of agreement (either the exact word or an emotional synonym) was astonishing, pointing to the fact that people perceive highly predictable emotional states for each card—in that deck. How can one not react emotionally to the Tower or Death, or, if you desperately want (or don't want) to get pregnant—to the Empress? Emotion is a fact of life. But, it is far more. One factor is that when your emotions have been deeply touched you are far more likely to remember what was said. Perhaps, because this is used quite manipulatively by scam artists, those with high moral standards try to not ever go there (like Joe Friday's, "Just the facts, ma'm"). In evolutionary terms, emotion is a far bigger determiner of our actions than are moral perspectives. Just think of 'moral outrage'—is it the morals or the outrage that usually determines the next action? I find that recognizing the emotions at play often unlocks what's really going on in a situation.

But, perhaps that's why I read with a RWS deck ?!?

Enrique, I love what you have to say, so this isn't meant as criticism but, rather, to expand on the excellent ideas presented. It does bring up what may be a difference between the two decks and the preferences of those who read with them.

Mary

Re: Use of Tarot de Marseille as a divinatory tool ???

#39
Hello Mary,

I take no offense in your post. In fact, as soon as I started to write about the morality issue I started feeling as a bigot! :)) So strong is our indoctrination against talking about moral. But perhaps that’s why I find it so fascinating. It is totally out of your zeitgeist’s comfort-zone.

You raise several interesting points and I will reply longer later. In the meantime I have a little question for you, and for everybody else:

Lets say you are that young man standing between two women in Lamoreux. You don’t know which one to choose, so you ask Cupid for advice and Cupid whispers in your ear: “do the beautiful thing”. Who would you choose? Virtue or Vice?

Best,


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

Re: Use of Tarot de Marseille as a divinatory tool ???

#40
Mary Greer wrote: Just this one thought brings up so many issues. The first is 'who is defines what's moral?' I've had/seen a few readings in which the reader got very preachy about what was the 'right' thing to do, based on that reader's own extremely narrow sense of the morality implied within a card.


Well, if we accept the idea of the trump cycle as a 'moral allegory', then the authority and basis of this moral 'dogma' is simply the trumps themselves. We see three clear 'teachings' here - courage, fairness, and moderation. Fairly strait forward. If we use our speculative powers to connect the 'system' to what's already there, as many have done to connect the trumps to various occult systems. like the tree of life, we can easily come up with methods that use this 'semi-historical' approach to divining. Say for example connecting the trumps to Plato's three souls and his ideas on which soul rules which virtue.



Image





The dexter column is GOOD. The sinister column is BAD. The center column is NEUTRAL - it basically represents the fluctuating realm caught in a 'tug-o-war' between GOOD and EVIL - the constantly moving celestial orbs (Star, Moon, Sun) which travel through the zodiac affecting the fate of all - Time and Fortune the fickle forces governing our worldly life - the Church and State as symbolic of the Holy Roman Empire, and empires too do rise and fall.

Each pillar holds one virtue, and can represent one of Plato's Souls. The attributes are of course Plato's.

  • The Pillar of Appetites - Is it not lust and cravings that we need to 'temper'? It is sin and temptation that gives rise to the virtue of Temperance.
  • The Pillar of Will - Is it not the constant change, impermanence, and fluctuation of the world that requires us to be strong and have courage. In the ideal world of the Garden of Eden, a state of innocents beyond good or evil, Fortitude would have not been necessary.
  • THe Pillar of Reason - Is it not goodness that give us the means to be fair? Justice is born from the desire to do good.


Speculating on the vertical relationships -

Following the sinister column, from top to bottom - The Devil gives rise for Temperance, then Temperance rules over the lesser creations of the Devil; folly, deception, dishonor, and death.

On the center column - The movements of the planets give rise for Fortitude, then Fortitude rules over the lesser creations of these astrological forces; time, fate, fortune, etc.

On the dexter column - Heaven gives rise to Justice, and being just brings us love, honors, and high position.
When a clock is hungry, it goes back four seconds.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

cron