Re: New book - "Explaining the Tarot"

Mine arrived today - I had to read it as soon as I had an hour or so, but intend to re-read and follow up the notes in more depth. All the editors did a brilliant job with lots of back-up information - highly recommended. (*) (*) (*) (*)

He's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty boy...

Re: New book - "Explaining the Tarot"

Pen wrote:Mine arrived today - I had to read it as soon as I had an hour or so, but intend to re-read and follow up the notes in more depth. All the editors did a brilliant job with lots of back-up information - highly recommended. (*) (*) (*) (*)

Thanks Pen! We realize they are difficult texts; it takes both research/knowledge and imagination to begin to understand them. We could only begin to provide the basic knowledge to help put them in context - the imagination part will come from readers when they engage deeply with them.

I'm just glad the texts are finally made available to anyone, and we can move beyond the dismissive comments on them in Wicked Pack of Cards, p. 33:
Some Italians of the XVI century were concerned to discover the symbolic intentions of the inventor of the Tarot pack and to find meanings, not only for the individual trumps but for the sequence they composed. There exist two Discorsi (orations) - one published, one in manuscript - whose authors endeavoured to do this. Neither of the proposed interpretations is at all plausible; and neither of them attributes meanings to the cards that are in any sense esoteric.
Now readers will at least be able to judge the value of this statement.

Re: New book - "Explaining the Tarot"

I got my copy today, which was surprisingly quick.

The book has a very nice size and feeling. When you order it, you are sent a PDF with Marco’s comparative schema, which in itself is a great resource.

I knew Piscina’s discourse, but the ‘Anonymous’ essay has been a fascinating discovery. Besides, I like how both texts ‘speak’ to each other. Having had the privilege to correspond with both Ross and Marco, I am happy to see them sharing their passion and insights through this book.

Thanks for this,

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

Re: New book - "Explaining the Tarot"

Ross G. R. Caldwell wrote:I assume it will be a best-seller, so hurry while supplies last! ;)
It should be. If I were British, I'd exclaim, BRILLIANT! ^:)^

I've posted some of my opinions, and some context, here:

Renaissance Tarot: Two XVI Italian Essays ... alian.html

Congratulations Ross, Thierry, and Marco.

Best regards,
We are either dwarfs standing on the shoulders of giants, or we are just dwarfs.

Re: New book - "Explaining the Tarot"

I've not read the book yet... But I hope to order a copy soon. Michael, thanks for the excellent review! I'm frankly just really proud to "know" you all, and am very, very thankful for your contribtions to tarot history.

Really well done you guys!
The Tarot will lose all its vitality for one who allows himself to be side-tracked by its pedantry. - Aleister Crowley

Re: New book - "Explaining the Tarot"

debra wrote:I'm reading it now.

Is there an Innkeeper in the Deck?
Piscina describes him as an innkeeper, which appears counterintuitive to us, since we know him as a table-top conjurer. It seems self-evident. The French cardmakers who put titles on the cards saw it this way too, calling him a "Bateleur", a magician, juggler, etc.

So Piscina's cards either looked different from anything we know, or he interepreted it that way because that's how it was so interpreted by his contemporaries in Lombardy and Piedmont.

I forgot to mention - standard Italian tarots didn't bear titles, as far as we know, in the 16th century. So the image stood alone to be interpreted. But Andrea Alciato, also in Lombardy (Milan) in 1543, also interpreted it as an innkeeper (in Latin, "caupo").

About a third of the way through Michael's long review of the book ... alian.html
he presents two cards that kinda-sorta could be taken for an innkeeper serving drinks (innkeeper meaning a publican as well, not just a guy that gives you keys to a room - taverns and inns were synonymous in those days). These are the Este card and the Anonymous Parisian Tarot. It is hard to imagine the Tarot de Marseille Bateleur being mistaken for an innkeeper - especially since the name tells us what to think - but cards like these two could be understood as a bar counter with a guy serving customers (imagining that the Anonymous card didn't have a title).

The best way to understand how 16th century Italians (and probably 15th as well) viewed innkeepers, is probably the play Piscina alludes to, Gl'Ingannati (The Deceived)
(this quote was too long to be included in the book)

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