Re: Dummett's "Il Mondo e L'Angelo" & More

mikeh wrote:.
Reuchlin insists on having it both ways. On the one hand (On the Kabbalah, p. 285):
Above the Crown is placed En Sof--infinity, and the abyss.
In other words, infinity and zero. I think this is related to Gikatilla's language that EHYE "ascends to the top of Kether" (p. 349). And (Reuchlin p. 286):
They assert that En Sof is Alpha and Omega, for he said "I am the first and the last."
But there is also, like Pico--and also Gikatilla (p. 360f) in his description of the first sefiroth--Reuchlin at the bottom of p. 286:
Infinity is the most absolute Essence, drawn back in the depths of shadows, and, lying or, as they say, reliant upon nothing, is hence called "Nothing" or "Not being" and "Not-end" (En Sof) because we are so damned by our feeble understanding of divine matters that we judge things that are not apparent in the same way as we judge things that do not exist.

But when it shows itself and becomes something and actually subsists, the dark Aleph is changed into the bright [i[Aleph[/i]. For it is written, "As is its darkness so is its light." It is then called the great Aleph, because it desires to come out and be seen as the cause of all things, through Beth, the letter that follows next.Menehem Recanat writes this: "So you will find this letter Beth doing all things."
Well ...

The Jews (likely) didn't invent the alphabet, it were Phoenicians.

The bible has two names, Elohim and Jahwe. Elohim is a plural form from El. So I've read.

In the region, where one might expect to have been Phoenicians, were found some rather old texts about a god El and about a god Baal. Baal was a bull god, possibly with some context to the Egyptian bull god in the delta region of the Nile, and some connection to bull cult in Creta (in a successful period of the Egyptians after the Hyksos-crisis Egypt controlled this Phoenician region; in this period a lot of 'Pharaos had the part "-mosis" in their name, for instance Kamosis ad Tutmosis).

It seems plausible, that EL also was connected to the bull cult. It's not clear to me (I've just read the story somewhere), how El and Baal were written, possibly aleph-lamed for El and beth-lamed (or beth-aleph-lamed ?) for Baal. If so, than AL would have made the number 31 and BL 32 (or BAL = 33), anyway all numbers around 32.

The alphabet started with aleph, which meant Ox ... or Bull, or whatever.

One has to remember, that the biblical Moses had trouble with a golden calf, when he got his 10 commandments.

The Egypt had a rather active myth about 42 death gods, which somehow stood in some relation to the 42 political districts of their original country, 20 for the delta region, and 22 for the small river region in the desert.

Moses in his myth arranged, that the Egytians got 10 plagues, and that the Jews got 10 commandments, written probably in an alphabet with 22 letters. 22 + 10 + 10 = 42. The Sepher Yetzirah presented the 22 letters together with 10 Sephiroth. 22 + 10 = 32 (ways of wisdom). Othe Jewish sources imported the story of "10 (dangerous and negative) kellipot (or Qliphoth), negative Sephiroth. 10 + 10 + 22 = 42.

Generally the Egyptians had also their meeting-points with the number 64, for instance in the use of the Horus-eye and in their calendar myth. It's rather plausible (with Moses myth or without Moses myth), that they used the same mathematical backround as I-Ching and SY and embedded it in their culture, similar to the Jews and to th Chinese and the people with Zoroaster-favour. And, btw., also the Greeks. And the Indians. And even in North Europeans myths.

The binary cody was internationally used and often preferred, especially in the time, when myths were rather important.

German bible researchers found to the idea, that the first five books of the bible were composed of two major different sources, one addressing God with Elohim and the other source addressing him with Jahwe. Likely in the King David or King Salomo time.

The name Joshua (important at the finish of the Moses story) was written rather similat to JHWH. It wouldn't be the only example, when the name of a successful political leader was used in some other ways. Alexander founded Aklexandia, Zar Peter St. Peterburg, for instance. Buddha founded the Buddhism, Zoroaster Zoroastrism.

Re: Dummett's "Il Mondo e L'Angelo" & More

Reuchlin calling Kether en sof is new to me, thanks. Generally, If I recall properly, in most texts Ain and En Sof were and are differentiated, Kether can be found referenced as Ain in many kabbalistic texts, but en sof was generally described as being beyond the crown, and as Pico mentions: 'should not be counted with the other enumerations...'
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: Dummett's "Il Mondo e L'Angelo" & More

mikeh wrote:
But I find it very difficult to believe that the system with only one path from Malkuth was "modern"
I wasn't saying it was, only that it is generally considered that of the two trees described by Cordovero, the Safed/Luria tree is generally considered later than the Cordovero alternative, which is generally considered as being pre-Lurianic/Safed and thus related to an older school of Kabbalah. That there were trees prior to that with one path to Malkuth there is no argument, they were different however, as far as I am aware, to the Safed/Luria one described (and illustrated in the printed text) in the Garden of Pomegranates. Kircher's is clearly related to the pattern of the Cordovero tree, the difference between that and the one we are accustomed to is in the order of the lettering. Cordovero doesn't give it, but it seems most likely to have been based in Judaic practice/theory upon the 3/7/12 division of the letters/paths. There are variations in the lettering of the paths in Judaic kabbalah, even between Luria and the Gra (a couple of variations in double letter attributions to the diagonals if I recall correctly, can't remember the exact details), but in all cases they follow the 3/7/12 division of letters and paths (in those at least which have 22 paths, as you know not all of the examples we have do).
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: Dummett's "Il Mondo e L'Angelo" & More

I only have a minute to respond to this fascinating discussion. I haven't yet read every word, but I will eventually. Regarding the Golden Dawn Kabbalistic correspondences, if you are searching for the origin of their system you really need to look at Kenneth Mackenzie as he is the most likely source of the cipher manuscript that contains these correspondences. I haven't tried to track down all his writings. There was a letter from Mackenzie to Wynn Westcott saying that his book on the Tarot would be too dangerous to publish. I can only assume he was referring to the Kabbalistic correspondences as key to their magical powers.

Pantacle is, according to Blavatsky's journal, Lucifer (1888), "any magical figure intended to produce results" - especially for keeping at bay evil spirits or elementals. The substitution of A for E supposedly refers to the alpha and Pythagoras' pentagram that reproduces the letter A on five sides (the pent-alpha). Oswald Wirth used the term Pantacle in his 1928 book.

I believe it may have begun with Louis-Claude de Saint-Martin (1743-1803) who drew the "Pantacle Universel" to synthesize his comprehension of the Universe (although I also see it written as "Pentacle Universel"???).

Re: Dummett's "Il Mondo e L'Angelo" & More

Mary Greer wrote:I only have a minute to respond to this fascinating discussion. I haven't yet read every word, but I will eventually. Regarding the Golden Dawn Kabbalistic correspondences, if you are searching for the origin of their system you really need to look at Kenneth Mackenzie as he is the most likely source of the cipher manuscript that contains these correspondences. I haven't tried to track down all his writings.
hi Mary, welcome ...

One of the many works of Mackenzie ...
... had been a translation of the German Tyll Ulenspiegel.

"The marvellous adventures and rare conceits of master Tyll Owlglass, newly collected, chronicled and set forth, in our Engl. tongue, by K.R.H. Mackenzie", decorated with some pictures, somehow "early Tarot cards" ....



And there the cock had laid an egg, and wondered ... ... &q&f=false

... In other words, he had detected the spirit of Thomas Murner, author of a didactical card game ...


... and the anonymous redactor of the Ulenspiel story.

The story goes, that Tyll Eugenspiegel had been Mackenzie's preferred book as a child, and when he moved in the young age of 17 from Vienna to English (he was multilangual), he naturally imported also Tyll Ulenspiegel. So he had to translate it ...
Interestingly also Thomas Murner had attempted to become an Englishman. Some hostile Protestants had arranged by false letters, that Murner, a foe of the protestants, who fought them with all his not small satiric talents, believed, that the English king (Henry VIII. desired to see him. When Murner appeared, all were rather surprized. Well, Murner got some money and was send back, but Henry VIII was so impressed, true or untrue, that he ordered, that all England should become protestant.
So Mackenzie, once having been set on the big broad of Foolishness, later also developed a plan, how England should become foolish about the Fool of the Tarot cards, true or untrue. What shall one say ... the plan worked.

He started (1861) with a visit to Eliphas Levi ... publication of the book about Tyll Ulenspiegel on own costs happened in 1859.

The Cipher manuscript, page 2
1. Philosophi East
2. Practici South
3. Theorici Sit In West
4. Zelatores North East
5. Neophytes North West
6. Adepts sit on a raised placet
7. with the Hierophant
8. Incense should be burning
9. in the temple at all ceremonies
10. Three chiefs each 5=6 should
11. hold a templet
12. one of whom must be present all ceremonies
14. Change officers every 6
15. months
16. Avoid Roman Catholics
17. but with pity

Murner evokes the spirit of a Fool. The Fool returns and swallows Murner.


... from a funny Protestant anti-Murner poem.


... :-) ... well, this wasn't all "history". But it's difficult to write about Tyll Ulenspiegel without playing the Ulenspiel oneself.

Doctor Murners Narren-Beschwörung (1512)

Re: Dummett's "Il Mondo e L'Angelo" & More

Studying the German Wikipedia to the theme of Till Ulenspiegel, I see, that the 1515 edition (that's the one, which is suspected to have been from Murner, there were other editions before, but not complete) had 96 stories in the counting, but story No. 42 is missing, so actually there are only 95 in this version.
The numbers look interesting, cause Minchiate/Germini (also a game with a Fool) has 97 cards and there are 41 "special cards" inclusive Fool, perhaps a reason to make a joke with No. 42 and just leave it aside. Or it' just an error of the printer.

Recently we had the enjoyment to detect the earliest Germini notes (1517 and 1519, before it had been a note from 1529) ...
... and these notes were connected to the person of Lorenzo di Medici, duke of Urbino, which is not identical to Lorenzo de Medici il Magnifico, but his grandson. The first ruler in Florence, after Florence was retaken by the Medici in September 1512, became Lorenzo's uncle Giuliano (3rd son of the Magnifico), but he lived only till 1516, and the younger Lorenzo took his role.
There's some suspicion (at least mine), that the terminus "Germini" as a corruption of "Gemini" (= astrological sign Gemini = twins) developed with the successful return of the Medici and that "Gemini" aimed then mainly on Giovanni (later pope Leo X) and his cousin Giulio di Giuliano de' Medici (later pope Clemens VII), who was seen as the indirect return of Lorenzo Magnifico and his brother Giuliano (who was murdered 1478 in the Pazzi rebellion). There are some indications for this in the year 1513, so that one may assume, that the name Germini was then born.
Germini had then (likely) already the zodiac-sign Gemini as the highest numbered trump (no. 35), which one possibly may doubt for the earlier Minchiate versions.
In the Savonarola period (1494-98) Florentine card production and playing had been under attack (playing cards burnt together with other items), in the following period (1498-1512) Savonarolism was still strong and Florence stayed opposed to the Medici (one may assume, that Minchiate wasn't a factor in this period). Making a new (triumphal) card game, now with the name Germini, just in 1513 would make logic.

Murner or (if Murner hadn't been the guiding hand in the Strassburg production) the anonymous in Strassburg, who sorted the Ulenspiegel material and gave it a form with 96 stories, might have known this. At least Murner made also 2 card decks, so he was an expert for cards.

Franco Pratesi in reflection of the Rosenwald Tarocchi ...
... had developed a hypothesis, that this deck might present a part of an earlier Minchiate game with 96 cards, in which the Fool and the Magician appeared as having been merged as one figure.


Recently Franco published ...
3/29. Arzigogoli sui naibi doppi a Firenze attorno al 1450. (11.08.2014)
... in which Franco considers the termini "scempi" and "doppi", which had appeared variously in the many early Florentine documents, which Franco studied (in later times these words had disappeared). Franco speculates, that "Doppi" might mean decks with 96 cards, composed from 2 number card decks with 40 cards (4x10-structure) each and one set of 16 court cards.

Under this condition the development of a Minchiate deck form with 40 trumps + 40 number cards + 16 court cards would be only a small change from an earlier (hypothetical) Doppi-deck.


I checked the structure of the Ship of Fools: This seems to have had an Introduction and then 112 poems with pictures in the original version. Somehow a similar number as 96.
2 * 56, another card deck number.

Edition of 1494 ... ... /11823/48/

Re: Dummett's "Il Mondo e L'Angelo" & More

Huck wrote:
There's some suspicion (at least mine), that the terminus "Germini" as a corruption of "Gemini" (= astrological sign Gemini = twins)
But "germini" can be derived from a real word - germinate/germination.

Italian Verb - germinate
1.second-person plural present of germinare
2.{{conjugation of|germinare
Ultimately derived from Latin: Germinatus
Perfect passive participle of germinō (“sprout, bud, put forth”)

germinātus m (feminine germināta, neuter germinātum); first/second declension

1.budded, sprouted, having been sprouted.
2.put forth, having been put forth.
My 2 cents:
Minchiate looks more encyclopaedic in scope than tarot proper, but even so the larger universe of images represented could be still seen as the "archetypes"/ideas (Platonic sense) from which the real world germinated. Or to beat certain posters here to the punch - maybe its just referring to the constant generation/germination of games with that deck...and one does "put forth" cards.


Re: Dummett's "Il Mondo e L'Angelo" & More

Gemini = Germini

Well, it wasn't my idea ...
also not that of Singer ... ... te&f=false
... but Singer referred to the opinion of Lorenzo Lippi (mid 17th century)



Perhaps also of some others. More text at the link.

Having researched "Germini" in old books, I met the same word in botanical context (much more science texts than normal texts). I wouldn't think, that such a word mutates easily to an expression of a card deck.