Re: The Tower

#11
Towers and high buildings (such as churches) were of course more commonly prone to lightning strikes.

Personally I do not think that St Catherine was in any manner intended in the Tarot de Marseille depictions: there are too many differences and not sufficient correlations to the main elements.

That the card follows the Devil does connect it well with various depictions of the Gates of Hell with devils coming out thereof (as also in the Minchiate) - but I suspect that this aspect is more a connection that played in the minds of those seeing (or drawing) the basic design than the design itself.

Given the clarity of depiction with the pseudo-infancy gospels, and also given the Vieville (and Belgian decks) shows another scene from what is part of the same story, it seems more likely that the image reflects this aspect, with, of course, those buildings considered and linked to 'devil-worship'.

In other words, as I have written in various places (and as partially re-quoted above), we have, with the Tower as it has come to be standardised, a depiction of what can be considered to be anachronistic minarets falling with the arrival of the infant Jesus in Egypt.
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association.tarotstudies.org

Re: The Tower

#12
robert wrote: I was personally playing with the idea that maybe tarot evolved out of some sort of souvenir system, where images were traded like modern trading cards, only instead of baseball heroes or anime characters, these would have been saints, and people would have traded and collected them, possibly obtaining them from shrines they had visited.
And with tarot, we ended up with a sub-selection of them. Of course, there isn't one shred of evidence to support this wild idea, and one would think that there would have been lots of collections left of these so-called trading cards, so it's just a fantasy that I entertained at the time.
Thanks for your response with the additional information and wonderful images!

I was also playing with the same "trading card" theory, while ackonwledging it as a fantasy without any supporting evidence. Anyway, there are lots of examples where more or less similar iconic images have been used by different people at different times to represent different things. So I try not to read too much into it, even though it is interesting.
"Music is nothing but knowing the order of all things" - Hermes Trismegistus

House of God

#13
Your church, your synagogue, your mosque
stone by stone by righteous passion rent,
dismembered to the cornerstone:
the blessed oil of its anointment
washed away with blood and curses.

Behold proud citizens of authenti-
City, our house of gods, our vain
idols of hateful self validity:
this ruin of thrown stones and corpses,
each stone a stone from our '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

Ash

#14
bridged by lightning flash
internal fire and sky light:
hell and heaven touch
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: The Tower

#15
jmd wrote:Towers and high buildings (such as churches) were of course more commonly prone to lightning strikes.
Yes!

This was one of the fears of Filippo Maria Visconti. (Now I dont remember where read this, maybe in Decembrio).
When a man has a theory // Can’t keep his mind on nothing else (By Ross)

Re: The Tower

#16
Et voilá... I find it ^^:
Ma non temette nulla quanto lo scoppiare dei fulmini. Una volta che il castello di Milano ne era stato colpito, sull'imperversare delle fiamme, le contrastò ricorrendo all'aiuto della gente di casa senza tuttavia assistere all'operazione perchè provava repugnanza per gli incendi suscitati dai fulmini.
Decembrio. LXVII
When a man has a theory // Can’t keep his mind on nothing else (By Ross)

Re: The Tower

#17
The Marseille card is called "Maison-Dieu," as opposed to "Maison de Dieu" or "Maison du Diable" etc. A Maison Dieu, in Norman French, was a hospice, a place run by the Church where people went to die (http://www.dover.gov.uk/museum/dover_hi ... _dieu.aspx) or less probably get better. In France, examples are at http://trun.free.fr/Hospice.htm and http://www.ch-simoneveil.fr/hopital/his ... orency.php, among others. The last page cited says that in the 15th century the term "Hotel Dieu" became more common. See http://www.bargaintraveleurope.com/Fran ... rgundy.htm, for a Hotel-Dieu to which Rogier van der Weyden, an artist with numerous Northern Italian connections, contributed a Last Judgment. I think that the term captures what many versions of the card are about: not hospices in particular, but life-threatening situations in preparation for which one should repent and do good works before it is too late.

In the Rosenwald, Charles VI, and BAR it looks like an earthquake has hit the building, as well as lightning from above.
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That connects it with Giotto's image of the vice of Inconstancy, which shows a woman losing her balance on a tilting floor.

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The message there was addressed to those of inconstant faith, inconstant as the very ground they might walk, and who must therefore mend their ways.

In the Schoen horoscope of 1515 (reproduced in Kaplan vol 2 p. 157), all of the Houses except a few obviously connect with a tarot image: there are an artisan, a woman with a book, an emperor, a pope, a couple with a priest, a wheel, a man in the stocks, a skeleton with a scythe, and two children playing. One less obvious one is the First House, that of beginnings, of a woman giving birth. I would assign that to the Fool, as we are all born ignorant and largely stay that way for much of our lives. Another is the Fourth House, that of family, which shows an old man with a cane watching a younger man plow. I associate that one with the Old Man, or possibly the Chariot, as the plow has two large chariot-like wheels. The only one of the 12 that remains is the Sixth House, that of Sickness and Health; it shows a man in bed with two visitors and a very sad dog. He is in a hospice or hospital. It seems to me that this scene relates to the Tower card. The issue is repentance. A similar death-bed scene is shown in a Bosch painting, "The Miser," c. 1490, which shows a devil and an angel vying for the soul of a man on his death bed.

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In the Cary Sheet and the Vieville, the scene looks like something from the Apocalypse, the first signs of the end of the world. Again, we know what that means to those viewing the card: Repent now! On the Cary Sheet, I take the object on the left center, cut off in the cutting of the sheet, to be a tree, as on the Vieville, with a field animal at bottom right, as also in the Vieville. So the full Cary Sheet image probably looked like the Vieville. A tower with trees also appears in a 16th century Italian card, although there are no balls of fire coming down.

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The card was called House of the Devil in some early listings, and also "Arrow," "Fire," or "Lightning." In these cases, the lightning-struck tower sometimes had a person or persons fleeing from the tower, due to the calamity befalling it. Here is the Florentine Minchiate version. (A later version has an obvious devil behind the woman):

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In other words, it was about escaping the Devil's House by repenting, changing one's ways, and hoping for God's grace.

In one early version, I think there is a devil standing inside the doorway to the tower. Below right, I have an enlargement of the doorway, compared to a "Tower of Babel" doorway that I took out of a 15th or 16th century illuminated manuscript of Boccaccio (second below).

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The smoke or flame in the Noblet and Dodal is worth examining. It goes both ways, and particularly toward the sun-figure in the top right corner.

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I take the Sun as a symbol of God, either the Father or the Son. The lower smoke/flame would thus seem to be a reaching up toward God, the renewal of connection between human and God. Jodorowsky (Way of Tarot, p. 223) tells us of a French homonym for "La Maison-Dieu": "L'ame et son Dieu," the soul and its god.

In the Noblet, the falling figure may not be falling to his death, because there is water beneath him, as Flornoy has reconstructed the card. The other figure lies on the steps; but it is not clear that he has fallen, because towers typically have doors at the bottom; perhaps we just can't see it. He may have simply crawled out the door, as Camion and Jodorowsky have it in their "restoration." There is of course no such door pictured in the "Marseille" designs. But such a door might have been assumed. He may have gone down the usual way, by the stairs, and now is temporarily overcome by smoke.

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Only in the "Marseille II" decks do we see one-way fire and smoke, from above down. There it is an "act of God," one of many described in the Bible, also a premonition or depiction of the Last Days, and at least one of the two figures is about to die. Again: Repent now!

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Some tarot historians relate the "Marseille" imagery to an image at Amiens Cathedral, 12th century, showing two people falling from a tower. Leaving aside how well-known such imagery was in the 15th-16th centuries, I agree that such imagery might have affected the "Marseille" innovation of the falling figure; but the interpretation is still "Repent now," in the face of disasters that can occur at any moment. Efforts to relate this image, and hence the "Marseille" imagery as well, to the pseudo-Matthew Infancy Gospel or the Golden Legend seem to me stretching the image: these are not idols falling down from the niches and altars of Egyptian temples. Here are the references, first in the Golden Legend (in the chapter on the "Holy Innocents"):
And after the prophecy of Isaiah, at the entering of our Lord into Egypt, the idols fell down, for like as at departing of the children out of Egypt, in every house the oldest son of the Egyptians lay one dead, in like wise at the coming of our Lord lay down the idols in the temples.(http://www.catholic-forum.com/saints/golden143.htm.[
The Golden Legend's source is the Infancy Gospel of pseudo-Matthew, of uncertain date:
And it came to pass, when the most blessed Mary went into the temple with the little child, that all the idols prostrated themselves on the ground, so that all of them were lying on their faces shattered and broken to pieces; and thus they plainly showed that they were nothing. Then was fulfilled that which was said by the prophet Isaiah: Behold, the Lord will come upon a swift cloud, and will enter Egypt, and all the handiwork of the Egyptians shall be moved at His presence. (http://www.gnosis.org/library/psudomat.htm.)
Whether the falling figures at Amiens are idolators or Christians is not clear; but they are people, not idols falling from their niches. They may or may not have repented in time.

Re: The Tower

#18
mikeh wrote:The Marseille card is called "Maison-Dieu," as opposed to "Maison de Dieu" or "Maison du Diable" etc. A Maison Dieu, in Norman French, was a hospice, a place run by the Church where people went to die (http://www.dover.gov.uk/museum/dover_hi ... _dieu.aspx) or less probably get better. In France, examples are at http://trun.free.fr/Hospice.htm and http://www.ch-
More links to british maison dieu (archaic norman french for house of god) :

http://www.british-history.ac.uk/search ... son%20dieu
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: The Tower

#19
mikeh wrote:The Marseille card is called "Maison-Dieu," as opposed to "Maison de Dieu" or "Maison du Diable" etc. A Maison Dieu, in Norman French, was a hospice, a place run by the Church where people went to die (http://www.dover.gov.uk/museum/dover_hi ... _dieu.aspx) or less probably get better. In France, examples are at http://trun.free.fr/Hospice.htm and http://www.ch-
Not always for the sick, often to house the poor, and/or provide hospitality to pilgrims. Frequently set up by patrons on condition the inhabitants prayed for the soul's of the patrons or other designated persons in purgatory. More links to british maison dieu (archaic norman french for house of god, also called in latin domus dei) :

http://www.british-history.ac.uk/search ... son%20dieu
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: The Tower

#20
Good Job Mikeh and Steve!!!!
mikeh wrote:
He is in a hospice or hospital. It seems to me that this scene relates to the Tower card. The issue is repentance. A similar death-bed scene is shown in a Bosch painting, "The Miser," c. 1490, which shows a devil and an angel vying for the soul of a man on his death bed.

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Hi friends!

This pictures are from ars moriendi, self-help died books.
When a man has a theory // Can’t keep his mind on nothing else (By Ross)

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