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

#51
Marcei wrote:For me, this card represents the stage of life when one chooses one's mate—a very important decision that marks the end of childhood.
I too think this is important in the tarot journey, but it is a very modern conception and one that would make little sense to Renaissance nobility and to most people before the 19th century. Marriages were arranged; there was no free will about it. You did your duty and didn't complain. This might refer to a young man who is making his choice for the night but the choices of the individual had little to do with marriage.

Marriage, from an historical perspective, had more to do with solidifying social balance and affirming that the values and morés of society would be upheld and carried on.

mkg

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

#53
Hi Mary,

I have the same problem and lost a long carefully written message yesterday. Here are two things you can do:

1. Select the entire message before submitting the post and copy it, then open a document on your desktop and save the message to that document. Lines won't break to fit on the page, but that won't matter. Just save it in big long lines.

2. Now, on the posting page, just for safety sake, select the whole message and command copy it again. Then “submit” the message as a post. If you have been on the site a while, you may have fallen off the Login and will have to log in again. Do that and you will be returned to the post page, but it will be empty. Now command paste and the message will flow back onto the page. If it does not, go to the saved document on your desktop, copy that and then past it onto the posting page. It will flow correctly. That's your real back-up.

Love that you're posting here. Cheers!

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

#54
Marcei wrote: I considered avoiding answering this question because my take on this card is so different in that I don't see it as a choice between Virtue or Vice...

For me, this card represents the stage of life when one chooses one's mate—a very important decision that marks the end of childhood.

Actually this interpretation is not so far from the actual intent of the allegory of Love in the Tarot. As I have argued here -

viewtopic.php?f=12&t=87&p=1084#p1084


The various tarot images of love would have been associated to Spring, and many of them are the same sort of images we see on medieval calendars for April or May. There was a common connection between Love, Spring, and the Spring of Life (Early Adulthood). So the card can also be representative for 'Youth', and its position in the cycle is placed so it contrasts Death.
When a clock is hungry, it goes back four seconds.

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

#55
Just to recap a little:

- There doesn’t seem to be a Tarot de Marseille divinatory tradition that differs in content from the occult divinatory tradition set by De Gebelín.

- The proposition of the Tarot de Marseille as divinatory tool -I would say as an alternative to other decks- or the idea of ‘restoring’ tarot divination to the Tarot de Marseille tradition seem to have had its Genesis in the 20th Century.

- If anything is peculiar to Tarot de Marseille divination this seems to be a higher awareness about the language of shape among those who work with the Tarot de Marseille, but such awareness also seems to be a product of 20th Century’s authors.

- Perhaps -I wondered- IF we were to push a for conceptual difference between Tarot de Marseille divination and other kinds of tarot divination, we could explore the trump cycle‘s morality tale as a tool to inform the content of our readings.

- This idea found resistance under the argument that “no one is entitled to define moral standards”, to what I contested that such moral ‘standard’ may no be a foreign structure imposed on individuals but an organic set of rules that are common universals. A reading won’t be so much about impossing a world-view but about restoring operative balance within the individual as a ‘moral being’ by instilling in that individual a sense of beauty.

So far, I think that is what I have tried to say.


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 ???

#56
Hi Mary,

Thanks for your response, I always like hearing what you have to say, but I dunno—I think that arranged marriages for social stability were more a part of high society than the common folk. I guess I am less heavily into the rarified strata of the Renaissance than perhaps I could be. Guess I'm just a little too earthy for that.

Also, if one is merely making arrangements for the night, would he/she bring “Mom” or a matriarch into the picture? Unless, of course, she is a personification of Mother Nature in which case she would certainly be there!

Of course, I suppose this just could be that choice between Virtue and Vice that is so foreign to my way of thinking!

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

#57
Irrespective as to whether marriages were generally arranged (or perhaps more often than not had to be agreed upon by the family patriachs), the image on the Tarot de Marseille stands, to my eyes, far closer to that of marriage than to the 'choice' between Vice and Virtue that (admittedly) also has its cognates outside of tarot (see also some images I add to my site here).

But my main reason for replying here is twofold: in the first place, a brief comment in response to Enrique's mention of trans-cultural commonly shared dispositions: to my reflections, these may or may not show moral traits, but perhaps only common tendencies. We may still, I would have thought, be able to ask the question: but are these dispositions or traits moral? And if the question can be legitimately asked (which, being neither a deontologist nor a relativist, consider it can), then for each action an insight as to its moral dimension may be sought. This is of course different to the bigot whose blinkered thinking force him or her to apply codified pre-determined rules as though they are themselves the basis of moral insight.

As to the second point, if divination is first and foremost an opening to the divine in order to speak insights that assist the other in ways even unforeseen, then whether the Tarot de Marseille or any other deck is used, and any methodology (whether recently developed or developed by our forebears) is applied to it, becomes in so many ways far less important than its ability to assist in the steps towards the divinatory state. From those of us who have witnessed various styles of reading, there appears to be distinct differences between the person who uses the imagery to allow it to reflect the 'common' or 'expected' psycho-emotive response and those that are able to sense beyond such to something insightful yet perhaps apparently unrelated to the image-as-given.
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Re: Use of Tarot de Marseille as a divinatory tool ???

#58
EnriqueEnriquez wrote: In general terms I am personally interested on an understanding of the tarot that is based on a understanding of the brain. Any methodology would only useful in that it helps to craft narratives the reader uses to ‘feed’ the client’s brain. Understanding this goes down to a redefinition of the whole process of the reading and not so much on the specific meanings for specific images. I am not talking about a dramatic change in how a reading is conducted but about a more informed view of what is happening in a reading at a cognitive level, so we can guide the process in a more precise and useful way.

In the past couple of years I have been very interested on the tarot as a neuroplastic tool, this is, I am interested on how the tarot can help re-shape the mind -if not the brain- by expanding the semantic field of these concepts that may given us trouble at any given time. When we think on something we follow the same thought-patterns over and over, but impacting that field with a random-generated image could serve as a bridge to new words and new thoughts that could re-route these thought-patterns, generating insight. I have also been very interested in the connection between hypnosis, as a technique to engage people’s imagination to elicit physical reactions, and a tarot reading. I have come to realize is that the hypnotic relationship isn’t something you add to the readings at the beginning, middle or end, but it is embedded in the whole reading experience.

When you describe an image in a card you are pacing them so they can accept, by extension, what you say the card signifies: “and these six scimitars have a sword trusted among them, so the image suggest you to be careful at poking on the hornet’s nest”. See? Nothing in the image represents a hornet’s nest, but by describing what is in the card I can lead them to expand the description to include certain metaphorical or analogical qualities. When you seamlessly extend what is seen in the card to something that you are projecting in it you are using a hypnotic patter. In the same way, you can say: “and since you got The Tower and The Moon before The Sun, we can see how, no matter how much anxiety you may feel at times, not how little you can see ahead, sooner or later you will reach out and make yourself understood, in a very nice, very warm sense of communion with the world”. Any fact you can describe about the cards: the presence of an element, a color, a attitude of a character, sets the pace for you to throw several positive suggestions in there. These suggestions are never direct advice, yet they are telling the person how to feel and many times are recalled as predictions: “everything went as you said because as son as I lost my job I felt confused, but then I remembered what you said and calmed down and looked at my options.”

All these hypnotic techniques configure the reading. More precisely, these patterns are the reading. Add to that a warm and direct gaze, soft tone of voice, and some rhythmic cadence in the nodding of your head, and you are creating a trance estate. You only break visual contact to show them something in the cards, then back at locking your eyes with them. It is all part of the hypnotic process. This has lead me to my third area of interest: the tarot’s dialogue with our mirror neurons. The current understanding suggest that the same areas in the brain get active when we enact an action or when we see someone else enacting that action. In the tarot we have several characters behaving in very precise ways, ways that -as I pointed out above- can be described to a person as a form of phenomenological advise. My interest right now centers on understanding to what extent a person who is seeing Temperance -for example- pouring water from one jar to the other could embody that movement, enacting these physical sensations and therefore feeling as the image suggest. My readings may not necessarily seem different from the ones given by other readers (they shouldn’t), but in them I am working with these notions to compose an emotional state in my client that may leave her in a better disposition to keep going with her life and enact certain behavior when needed.

In all this, I find that the Tarot de Marseille is a more useful tool because it images are simpler, more iconic, and more likely to be understood and reminded by the client. So, while I cannot say that divination with the Tarot de Marseille is a superior branch of tarot divination, I can say that the Tarot de Marseille has attributes that make it better suited for the kind of work I do. At the same time, all these ideas emerge from something that I saw first explored by Paul Marteau. I would dare to say that Marteau’s book is not very original in its content. The structure of the book follows previous volumes in which each card is analyzed at several different levels: analogical, symbolic, abstract... but there is one level I found ‘original’ and somehow relevant on differencing divination with the Tarot de Marseille from divination with the rest of the tarot decks: this level alludes to the “figure’s orientation.” Marteau includes a visual/optical explanation for each card base don the character’s ‘behavior’ and on the way such behavior links one card to the other in some sort of visual ‘dialogue’. The metaphor of the ‘tarot as a mirror’ is usually used in a projective sense: we see ourselves in the cards at a psychological level. I am interested on a literal approach to that metaphor: the tarot as something we physically mirror so our brain can enact certain emotional attributes linked to a certain physical action.

As far as I know, the ‘following of gazes’ and of the figure’s orientation is something particular of the Tarot de Marseille tradition. I insist on seeing it as a 20th Century idea. This idea is hinted in Marteau and fully developed by Tchalai Unger, Jodorosky, Camoin, etc. Still, their focus was on the symbolic value of the character’s posture while I am interested on the psycho-physiological value of these postures as ways to model behavior. The ‘optical language’ notion is taken to be an ancient idea but I only have been able to trace it back to Marteau. By that I don’t even mean that Marteau invented it, but that all the authors who use these ideas have Marteau as a common reference. The ‘optical’ idea is often linked to the language of the birds but no one has developed a comprehensive understanding of that connection, perhaps because we would need to craft a comprehensive understanding of the language of the birds in the first place and most of what I have personally read on the topic lacks historical validity. On broader terms, the connection between the Tarot de Marseille and the language of the birds is articulated by the ‘language of the cathedrals’ as a bible for the illiterate, which makes mandatory for us to have a clear understanding to the tarot’s connection to Medieval Christian Europe if we want to explore this path in the right direction.

In other words, while it may be tempting to say that the ‘tarot’s optical language’ idea has an ancient origin, I see no reason to think so. The visual/semiotic/psychological/cognitive approach to the tarot probably emerged on the second half of the 20Century. How could it be different if all these disciplines developed in that precise Century? But a point I would like to make is: the esoteric market believes in a myth that follows a very precise narrative in which something ancient that was hidden gets revealed. We will find that pattern in all esoteric manuals, from De Gebelín to the 2012 craze. Even so, and as appealing as this narrative may be, antiquity doesn’t necessarily lends validity to a system. (What can be argued is that the impression of antiquity lends credibility to a system. At least that idea seems to inform the creative endeavours of most esoteric authors).


I hope all that is not too confusing.

Best,

EE


P.S: (On a related note, if something is clear about the tarot’s history is the effect that one single person may have on shaping its direction. If this is obvious for the occult tarot I see no reason to believe it different for the Tarot de Marseille. Talking about the influence of single individuals, I am very interested in the role that Jean Assens may have played in the development of what is understood as the ‘Tarot de Marseille’s optical language’. Assens, a person who had an interest in theater and psychology -and worked in both fields- influencing Unger, Jodorowsky-Camoin and Flornoy. Perhaps Yves could be of help here, since he knew all these people. The French tarot ‘scene’ was very small in both De Gebelin’s and Marteau’s times. It is still very small today.)
I hope I am not side-tracking the discussion by pulling up this post, I just wanted to comment on it.

I find what you've said here, Enriquez, to be absolutely fascinating and I swear that somehow, it has a hypnotic vibe to it, I felt very calmed after reading this post! @-) (I know I am pretty open to suggestion, but still.....) I would love to be able to give the kind of reading described here, it sounds ideal. And what you've said about the Tarot de Marseille specifically, how because it is iconic it lends itself better to this type of reading, gives me hope that trying to use these older decks for readings is not a futile effort. It gives me reason to want to trudge on with it, even though lately I have been getting more and more discouraged.


As for the discussion about morality or morals...it is hard for us here in this country at least (US) to hear that word and not have a knee-jerk reaction to it..... I wish it were not the case, but it is. Too many unpleasant people have taken those words and used them to further agendas that had little to do with what is "moral". That said, I do think I understand what you are getting at, as far as helping a client to see the "right or wrong" of a choice or path or....I hope I am not simplifying it too much, or mangling it. :-s

In another post, a comment was made about trying to put a positive spin on cards that are clearly "unhappy" cards....and that doing so leaves the client in a state of "WTF??" because he knows what he is seeing and you are trying to say it's not as bad as it looks etc... I do that, and have had people say things like "but isn't the devil a bad card?" or "there are no cups here at all..." in a love reading....where my response for whatever reason was to try to talk them out of it, like oh, but that's okay, no cups does not mean no love for you from this guy...or that devil may mean breaking free of whatever.... I wish that was not my first response to seeing negative images in a reading, if I really want to try to read the cards for people other than me, I need to get over this ingrained tendency to "nice-up" a reading. :^o
"...he wanted to illustrate with his figures many Moral teachings, and under some difficulty, to bite into bad and dangerous customs, & show how today many Actions are done without goodness and honesty, and are accomplished in ways that are contrary to duty and rightfulness."

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

#59
jmd wrote:This is of course different to the bigot whose blinkered thinking force him or her to apply codified pre-determined rules as though they are themselves the basis of moral insight.
I understand that morality has been hijacked by idiots that have reduce it to a problem of gender, sexual preference, diet, beliefs systems of life-style. Still, I was a alluding to morality as a sense of proportion and balance -transcendence, beauty- that may be common to all human beings. Therefore, as Jean-Michel pointed out, I am not talking about using readings to force a set of foreign rules into anybody.

I agree in that a moral discussion exceeds the scope of this forum, and I would like to re-route the discussion into reading with the Tarot de Marseille. The point I was trying to make, in regards of the tarot’s morality tale, is that there are a few basic ideas there that -I wondered/questioned- may be of use when reading with the Tarot de Marseille. For the sake of the discussion I will paraphrase some of them. You may have better words for them in which case, any addition/precision is welcome:


- Death is your destination, no matter who you are.

- There is no fall without redemption.

- No matter what you have done/achieved, fortune can always change.

- Be fair both public and private.

- Face adversity with courage.

- Moderation can help you keep pain at bay.

You get the idea. I also pointed out that, besides the specific virtues depicted in the trump cycle, each one of these images possess attributes that could be worth imitating at some point i our lives. So, what I was wondering if is someone finds that useful, or if we can see the acknowledgment of these ideas as distinctive of reading with the Tarot de Marseille (or for that matters, any pre-Gébelin deck). I also wonder if we feel uncomfortable about this because the ideas in themselves or because they have a Christian origin/orientation. What makes the ideas useless: their content or our bias?
jmd wrote: From those of us who have witnessed various styles of reading, there appears to be distinct differences between the person who uses the imagery to allow it to reflect the 'common' or 'expected' psycho-emotive response and those that are able to sense beyond such to something insightful yet perhaps apparently unrelated to the image-as-given.
Jean-Michel also pointed something very important. There are many styles of readings. In fact I wonder if we could even say that there are as many styles of readings as readers. So, going back to the original topic, is there a distinguishable Tarot de Marseille divinatory tradition? I mentioned that a higher awareness of the visual dialogue between cards seem to be a common trait among those of us who read with the Tarot de Marseille. Can anybody point out more common traits?

Thanks,


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

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

#60
prudence wrote:I find what you've said here, Enriquez, to be absolutely fascinating and I swear that somehow, it has a hypnotic vibe to it, I felt very calmed after reading this post! @-) (I know I am pretty open to suggestion, but still.....) I would love to be able to give the kind of reading described here, it sounds ideal. And what you've said about the Tarot de Marseille specifically, how because it is iconic it lends itself better to this type of reading, gives me hope that trying to use these older decks for readings is not a futile effort. It gives me reason to want to trudge on with it, even though lately I have been getting more and more discouraged.
Hi Prudence,

Thanks for you kind comments.

Just bear in mind that I am not saying that this is the way in which one reads with the Tarot de Marseille nor tat there is any tradition in what I am saying. I am just describing the kind of work I am interested on doing, and how I find the Tarot de Marseille to be more suited for such work. I find the Tarot de Marseille to be simple enough to be easily recalled by memory while possessing what philosopher Richard Wollheim signals as the three qualities of good iconical representation: subjectivity, intentionality, dramatization.

Quoting Oliver Sacks again:

“Experience s not possible until it is organized iconically; action is not possible unless it is organized iconically. The brain’s record’ of everything-everything alive- must be iconic. This is the final form of the brain’s record, even thought the preliminary form may be computational or programmatic. The final form of cerebral representation must be, or allow, ‘art’-the artful scenery and melody of experience and action.”

Readings are about talking to the client brain, and I think the Tarot de Marseille is aptly suited to speak such language.

On a side note, hypnosis -a technique as widely misunderstood as the tarot, and mainly for the very same reasons- is one of the most useful, sobering pieces of knowledge one can explore.

(NOTE: I have posted some more info on these ideas in a new thread: viewtopic.php?f=19&t=207&start=0)

prudence wrote: In another post, a comment was made about trying to put a positive spin on cards that are clearly "unhappy" cards....and that doing so leaves the client in a state of "WTF??" because he knows what he is seeing and you are trying to say it's not as bad as it looks etc... I do that, and have had people say things like "but isn't the devil a bad card?" or "there are no cups here at all..." in a love reading....where my response for whatever reason was to try to talk them out of it, like oh, but that's okay, no cups does not mean no love for you from this guy...or that devil may mean breaking free of whatever.... I wish that was not my first response to seeing negative images in a reading, if I really want to try to read the cards for people other than me, I need to get over this ingrained tendency to "nice-up" a reading. :^o
I know that this may feel off-topic, but I think it still is relevant since it pertains to the question about if any historically-conscious look at the trump cycle has to include the notion of some cards depicting positive events and some of them depicting negative events, instead of asuming that any card can mean anything.

I recently did a reading for a woman who told me the following:

She goes to a meditation class once a week. Usually, the teacher -who call herself Raven- complements all the students after meditation, commenting on how the beauty of the experience was due to them, or to the mental state they all contributed to create. But in the last session, right before mother’s day, everybody was invaded by very dark feelings which lead to a rather unpleasant meditation. Afterwards, our friend Raven was upset. “This isn’t supposed to happen”. She was taken by surprise by all these negative feelings and she didn’t know how to react to them nor what to do about it other than blaming the students for not having ‘happy thoughts’ that day.

I told my client that the name of the teacher gave her away. ‘Raven’ is a New Age name. Forgive me for over-simplifying but it seems to me that one of the main dictum of the New Age movement is a militant positivism. Everything has to be ‘light’ and ‘rainbows’. We see that in the tendency many readers have to reject any negative implications that can be found in the cards. As I pointed out before -and it seems that you, Prudence, have had similar experiences- each client has very stereotyped reactions to cards we could define as ‘negative’ and contradicting these reactions creates a cognitive dissonance.

We can’t panic because someone didn’t get cups as response to her love-question and we can’t freak out because people meditating got dark feelings. Panicking, or saying that all these swords look lovely and Le Pendu means ‘main falling from trees for you’ equals to say ‘this is not happening’. What we need to know is how to acknowledge these feelings, or the negativity in these images, and re-route it. When a kid falls and bleeds telling him that it is ‘nothing’ only accomplishes one thing: convincing the kid of the fact that we don’t know what we are talking about. This is the same thing that happens when we tell a client ‘Death doesn’t means Death’. It would be more effective to tell the kid: “yes, it hurts, and it will hurt a little bit more before it gets better” (this is Erickson 101, BTW). By acknowledging the kid’s pain we are eliciting a yes response: “Yes, it hurts”. The kid can agree with us in that. “Yes, it will hurt a little more”. The kid can agree with us in that, and therefore, he will be more open to accept our third statement: “after some more pain, it all will feel better”.

In very simplistic terms we could say that the trump cycle is designed so, although there are good and bad cards, the positive cards trump the negative ones. Understanding the design, and flowing its guidelines, provides clues about how to turn, not a bad card into a good one, but the acknowledgement of a negative process into a set of tools to overcome adversity. In that regard readings are some sort of cognitive judo in which we must turn the clients pain into a will to succeed. But that can’t be accomplished if we don’t start by validating that client’s pain, or the fact that life, both as it is represented by the cards as how we experience it, is full of hardship.

Best,


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

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