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

I agree with you that De Gebelin mistook, and thus misrepresented, tarot history, Eugim.

My post above was more as a general contribution to the topic, and not a criticism of previous contributions. However far De Gebelin was mistaken and inadvertently mislead others as a consequence, his volume containing the two essays on Tarot allowed it to henceforth gain an important foothold it may not otherwise have gained.

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

My dear JMD ...
Of course this is only mi opinion but Gebelin began the worst tsunami of error that survive till now by extension in the example of tarot named of the witches,of the Angels,of the Ascended Masters.
He distorted at least 135 years of traditional iconography of the Tarot de Marseille.
And Eteilla began the reversed divinatory concept.
The Universe is like a Mamushka.

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

For example JMD,just for show few examples,the legacy of Eteilla can be find here :

Dark Grimoire Tarot

Tarot of Druids

Tarot of the Old Path

Golden Tarot

Leonardo Da Vinci Tarot

Golden Botticelli Tarot

Harmonious Tarot

Tarot of Durer

Bosch Tarot

Bruegel Tarot

Dante Tarot

Modern Medieval Tarot

Andean Tarot - Andean Revealed Kabbalah

DruidCraft Tarot

Necronomicon Tarot

Roni Tarot

Shadowscapes Tarot

Traumzeit Tarot

Haindl Tarot

Röhrig Tarot

Celtic Dragon Tarot

Tarot of the 78 Doors

Mona Lisa Tarot

Angel Tarot (AGMuller)
The Universe is like a Mamushka.

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

In medicine, it is said that when there are several treatments for a symptom that means no one is totally effective. I think the same thing can be said about tarot readings and methods of interpreting the cards. Methods are aesthetic preferences. We like ones more than others just as we like some decks more than others. (Or perhaps they are erotic preferences: “whatever turns you on, baby!”) There is some research concluding that the success of any alternative therapy depends of the belief the practitioner has in his methods. (The reasons for this aren’t quite clear but they may have to do with what actors and magicians call a “silent script”: a coherent frame of mind translates into a coherence between what we say and all the non-verbal clues we also send while we say it). I also thing this applies to our work with the tarot. Those of us who are convinced about our methodologies (or about our ‘gifts’) tend to be more assertive that those who are trying out a method and aren’t still convinced if it will work for them. But by focusing in methods we take our attention away from the real mechanics of the process of a reading, which is a cognitive one. As Ross pointed out, when it comes to a reading it is all about the person who seeks insight. I would add that it is the person that seeks insight the one doing most of the work.

There are three things I have researched in order to inform my work with the tarot: cold reading, hypnosis and African magic. I don’t practice any of those, and I think many people misunderstand what they are, but they have been very useful for me to understand both the limits and possibilities of working with metaphors. I researched cold reading because I believe no one can understand perception without understanding deception. I was told that readings could be faked. From cold reading I learned that “faking it” is the same thing, if not more difficult, as doing it for real. I studied African magic after looking into the Western Esoteric tradition and concluding that it was purely theoretical, and lacking of tangible results. African magic, in the other hand, possess no theoretical frame (“somo o no somo” say the practitioners of Congo Based Palo Mayombe: “we are or we aren’t”) but they seem to get results. From African magic I arrived at my current working definition of magic as “the purposeful use of symbols to induce in the mind a process of transformation”. I am still far from being convinced that magic ritual can affect anything but our perception of the external world. But in the right context, and divination is 90% context, 10% content, our perception of reality can be affected so we change the way we relate to the world. Finally I studied hypnosis after I noticed the cards are convincers, elements we use to pace and lead a person into a certain conclusion. From hypnosis I learned that -as so it happens with the tarot- its public image has been shaped by conmen; but also that trance-states vary in deep and nature, and that the mechanics of a tarot reading match the mechanics of a hypnotic session, so, what psychics and fortunetellers call “predictions” may very well be post-hypnotic suggestions.

I am way off topic here, just responding at some things that popped up in the discussion. Let me just round this up saying that my current understanding of readings is based in three postulates:

- It is not what you say but how it is perceived by your interlocutor.

- The process of analogy is more important that the symbol itself.

- Context is more important than content.

(To what I could add a forth postulate: rapport is more important than knowledge)

All this to say that these days we know enough about perception, psychology, cognition, brain chemistry, etc... to find more elegant and sober ways to explain what a reading is, along with more responsible expectations about what a reading can accomplish. We should know better than confuse symbols with concepts.

I kind of share Eugim’s frustration in that the idea of the tarot being some sort of back bone for a Western Esoteric tradition seems to be at odds with any solid finding related to the tarot’s historical origin, but in truth, a reader using the Serendipity Puky-Puky tarot in a reading will get the same results as another one using the Conver.

Back on topic, does anybody have any evidence pointing to anybody but Paul Marteau as the one who -in the XX Century- re-introduced the Marseille into the tarot market and proposed it as a valid divination tool?


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

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

Reagarding to change a given status quo as Tarot de Marseille,I always remember this paragraoh of Arthur Conan Doyle book "Scandal in Bohemia":

Watson :"This is indeed a mystery," I remarked. "What do you imagine that it means?"

Sherlock Holmes :"I have no data yet. It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.
The Universe is like a Mamushka.

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

EnriqueEnriquez wrote:does anybody have any evidence pointing to anybody but Paul Marteau as the one who -in the XX Century- re-introduced the Marseille into the tarot market and proposed it as a valid divination tool?
Someone back on Aeclectic mentioned Joseph Maxwell's 1933 Le Tarot (Paris). This book featured the Marseille tarot explained according to color symbolism, numerology and the geometric associations (of the Minors).

Edmond Billaudot (c. 1865) attempted a synthesis of the Tarot de Marseille and the Egyptianized cards of Etteilla and Paul Christian. I don't think his work was published until 1966 (Grand Tarot Belline) but I believe he was a teacher and may have had an influence on others.

Eudes Picard used the Marseille Majors but created his own idiosyncratic Minors. J.-G. Bourgeat referred to the "Tarot Italien" Majors, which were similar to the Marseille (and created some Egyptianized designs of his own). Papus compared several decks, including the Marseille (1889), though he eventually created his own deck (1909).

So, except for Maxwell (which I understand is terribly mangled in the English version so I can't judge it), Marteau's 1949 work does seem to be the first presentation of the Marseille deck as a divinatory tool in which the specific Marseille symbolism of all 78 cards is to be used in interpreting the meaning of the cards.

I think this is a very significant point. It seems to undercut the idea of the Marseille deck as being an older and therefore "more correct" divinatory tradition than the Egyptianized or Golden Dawn traditions.

Enrique, what do you get from all this? I think it throws everything up for grabs.


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