Re: The Star

#71
Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:I'm pretty sure they would have known better than to interpret the Sun's going dark at the crucifixion as an eclipse. A solar eclipse occurs precisely at New Moon, not Full Moon, its exact opposite.

Also, since Jesus was crucified during the day, and Passover occurs on the Full Moon (14-15 Nisan; Jewish months begin at the New Moon), the Moon would not have been visible. The Full Moon rises at Sunset.

These facts would have been well-known to the Evangelists, as much as anybody down through the ages who knows anything about the calendar and basic astronomy. The celestial signs are just stock apocalyptic imagery.

Also, during a Lunar eclipse, the Moon never goes completely dark, but turns deep red.
It was only a suggestion from another thread Ross, and seemed to fit with the other suggestions being discusssed.
The Tarot will lose all its vitality for one who allows himself to be side-tracked by its pedantry. - Aleister Crowley

Re: The Star

#72
Catholic wrote: The other part is to acknowledge that it is hard to consistently link a Water Nymph with a Star. My old hypothesis is an attempt to provide a reasonable link. But I am less and less interested on it. It already served it's purpose.

My current work hypothesis is that it is a Water Nymph and this was a mistake. It means nothing that make sense.


SteveM wrote:
The star card advents two births, that of Christ, and of those re-born in Christ through Baptism - of which Aquarius is a symbol).

I've never heard of this. This would be just perfect! I could not care less for water nymphs at this moment. The problem is that I force myself to find at least one image made around or before the XVI century to back up any link. And I just can't find any "Two births of Jesus". And I've only found one picture connection, on a very weak way, of John the Baptist with Aquarius. One that I can't even date. The traditional Aquarius Constellation picture appear on Jesus foot.

Image


Can you help me?
Nice Find! It is a Slavic Icon of the Baptism - the inscription is Slavic (referring to John's recognition of the Lord Jesus as God) - but the Aquarian like fellow is an element typical of Greek orthodox icons, and fits with your own concept, it is a type of water spirit or god of water - if you look at the previous posted nymph with two jugs, you will see further up there is a bearded fellow pouring water too, they can be male or female - here it is the spirit/symbol of the River Jordan. Thus it could be that the star is the advent star of the lord, and/or the Morning Star, that is John the Baptist, precursor of the Lord as the Morning Star is precursor of the Sun, and the water-pourer is the spirit/symbol of the river Jordan.

Christ naked (but not showing genitals, or with a cloth), with three angels on right and John Baptist on left - is standard eastern orthodox iconography - there may be decorative fishes in the water - greek influenced models may include the water spirit (symbol of the river Jordan) and thallasos (symbol of the sea, in relation to the liturgy) as here - and sometimes with a tree (usually with an axe in it).

Here is a google search on orthodox icons theophany:
https://www.google.com/search?hl=en&saf ... 66&bih=643

I am not sure how old it is, the trouble is icon painting to this day is prescribed in content, materials and technique - the modern ones look just like the old ones! If it isn't old itself, it belongs and is true to an old tradition. Here is another (which somewhat breaks with the standard in having four angels instead of three):

Image
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 Star

#73
Thank you all for the new excellent images and comments! The conflation of the astrological Aquarius and Christian baptism is amazing!
All this seems to fit well with Michael Hurst's hypothesis:
The large bushes and the bird are an iconographic set reflecting primarily the second, Allegorical layer of meaning. In that layer, the Star represents the first of the three Theological Virtues, Faith. The bushes and bird come from Matthew, (and the corresponding sections in Luke.) “The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds, but when it is grown it is the greatest among the herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.” (Mt. 13:31-32.) “And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him…. If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed… nothing shall be impossible unto you.” (Mt.17:18-20.) Note the analogy between this exorcism and the Star’s triumph over the Devil, shown in the Tower.
The naked figure pouring from two vessels is also primarily a reflection of the Allegorical layer of meaning. It derives from the first epistle of John, Chapter 5, which also concerns faith, and specifically the testimony that witnesses Jesus as the Christ. “This is the one who came by water and blood — Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that testify: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and the three are in agreement.” (1-Jn. 5:6-8.)
I would also add Luke 22, 10 (a few lines below the passage quoted by Pen, Luke: 21.25 - 28):
“And he said unto them, Behold, when ye are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he entereth in”.

Re: The Star

#74
Here is another baptism with water-bearer/pourer:

Image


From The Arian Baptistery at Ravenna:

The boyish Christ is flanked by two bearded figures: John the Baptist on the right and a personification of the River Jordan on the left. In the tradition of Roman depictions of river gods, he is shown as a bearded old man holding a rush (a hardy river plant), with horns made of lobster claws. He sits next to a vase, the symbolic source of the river.

Around this central circle is a procession of the Twelve Apostles, led by St. Peter and Paul, towards an enthroned cross at the top. The apostles carry jeweled crowns in their veiled hands, except for Peter who carries his keys and Paul who holds a scroll.

Image


The problem remains that, as with the figure of Aquarius, the depiction of the River Jordan is usually personified as a man. . .
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 Star

#75
SteveM wrote:
Nice Find! It is a Slavic Icon of the Baptism - the inscription is Slavic (referring to John's recognition of the Lord Jesus as God) - but the Aquarian like fellow is an element typical of Greek orthodox icons, and fits with your own concept, it is a type of water spirit or god of water
...
I am not sure how old it is, the trouble is icon painting to this day is prescribed in content, materials and technique - the modern ones look just like the old ones! If it isn't old itself, it belongs and is true to an old tradition. Here is another
My method is not to figure out possible Catholic meanings from, for example, the Holy Scripture, but to find Catholic Art that shows similar iconography. What puzzles me is that I often find more examples from early Romanic art (when we are still one Church) or Orthodox Church art. It is truth that on the fall of Constantinople, on 1453, many artist and intellectuals of the Byzantine Empire moved to Europe, mostly to Italy. But it is still odd that later events could have influence on French and Italian tarot.

For example, there were some disputes about the Holy Triad iconography on the East. Finally, at the Great Synod of Moscow in 1667, The Russian Orthodox Church forbade depictions of the Father in human form. This is why the Ikon you have found display the Father as something like a Star. It would be a very nice match for the hidden origin of the Tarot de Marseille Star card. The Father as a Star, connecting to the Holy Spirit dove (the bird on the bushes???) and Jesus, while John, the Christian Aquarius, pours water on a naked Jesus.

The male/female thing does not matter for me on this kind of analysis, because it already have the assumption that the Tarot de Marseille is distorted form of something older. The naked water nymph does not need to mean anything, being only a bad copy of a copy.

But, for me to accept it, I would need to find some Italian (or any west European) piece of art that shows the connection. Or to have some kind of evidence of a Byzantine tarot artist on France/north Italy.

Thanks Steve,
What the heck was on the Tarot de Marseille original creator mind ?

Re: The Star

#76
Catholic wrote:
My method is not to figure out possible Catholic meanings from, for example, the Holy Scripture, but to find Catholic Art that shows similar iconography. What puzzles me is that I often find more examples from early Romanic art (when we are still one Church) or Orthodox Church art.
I reckon for these later decks (16th/17th century), that the hugely popular emblem books and the allegorical works of Mannerist painters like Paolo Veronese (1528 – 1588) were the primary source for many of the 'obscure' images (Love, Star, Moon, Sun). The style of these cards certainly resemble these popular didactic works of the period, compared to the earlier 'straight forward' depictions of the same allegories we see on the Dick Sheet and elsewhere.
When a clock is hungry, it goes back four seconds.

Re: The Star

#77
Wow Hendley,

You gave me a whole new golden mine to dig. I've never heard of those emblem books before. I did a quick search and there are a lot of them on line. I will need some time to research, but it seems very interesting. Thanks a lot.

I had already found one Paolo Veronese picture, the Choice of Hercules, that links with the Lovers, among other paintings of other artists. I actually prefer the Hercules at Crossroads of Girolamo Di Benvenuto as a Lovers' reference. If you don't know it, it deserves a look. It even has a Angel on a cloud prepared to strike Hercules with a bolt (not an arrow).

But I've never had heard of a particular tarot connection with Veronese before. Do you know what of his paintings link with the Moon, the Sun and particularly with our Star?

Again, thanks a lot.
What the heck was on the Tarot de Marseille original creator mind ?

Re: The Star

#79
Huck wrote: That's the "Northern line of development", I'd assume. For the Southern line I would assume, that Swiss, possibly also Piedmont decks went to France - and formed the Marseille Tarot style there.
Early Italian style decks prefer 1-star-pictures, French pictures seem to see "more than 1 star". Perhaps this has something to do with language? Is "L'Etoile" less common than "Les Etoiles"?
The only single French star appears just in the Tarot de Paris, and from this it seems, that it was mainly influenced in 1559 by two Italians - Louis Gonzaga and Pilippe Strozzi.

The Cary Yale sheet and the Leber Tarocchi a little bit show also other cards. But generally there seems to be an Italian preference for "single stars"
I think Huck's point about language is relevant. Aquarius could be a good illustration for The Stars, much less so for The Star.

I checked the earliest documents about the Western ordering of the trumps. Piscina uses the plural. Susio definitely has the singular form (but, since he is playing “tarocchi appropriati”, that could also be suggested by the use he is making of the trump names).
The Alciato/Alciati passage also is problematic.
The BNF book pointed originally pointed out by Ross (p.73) is unclear about “stella / stelle” (Star/Stars). But this later edition on google books clearly has “stellae” (Stars).
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