Aeclectic Tarot
Tarot Cards & Reviews Free Tarot Readings Tarot Books Tarot Card Meanings Tarot Forum

CHESS and Tarot?

  > Aeclectic Tarot Forum > Tarot Special Interest > Tarot History & Development


 
pan  pan is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 31 Mar 2002
Posts: 113
pan 

the nice thing about the chinese system is that
its completely mathematical and the math is still
directly in front of us. The binary code that we
see and the yin and yang symbology are a-b-c simple.

When one further understands that the trigrams
represent elemental matter phase states, the crossover from tarot to I-ching becomes undeniable; its the same pie with wo different cultures cutting it in similar but different ways.

It was in studying the I-ching that i really began
to see balancing harmonics of polarizations as
the genuine underlying archetypical theme; and
how different archetypes are derivated from the
simplest possible binary system.

The problem with the I-ching for me is that it,
like tarot has gone through several modes of dissemination, some of which were not at all motivated by integrity or informational purity.

Retracing and reconnecting past the "fortune telling" movements oversimplifications and simple
errors is much easier than doing that same feat with tarot because as i said; the trigrams are still absolute simplicity and wholly intact as binary code.
Top   #31
Huck  Huck is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 02 Jul 2003
Location: Germany
Posts: 2,682
Huck 
Well, Pan, your wheels ...


Quote:
Originally posted by pan
the nice thing about the chinese system is that
its completely mathematical and the math is still
directly in front of us. The binary code that we
see and the yin and yang symbology are a-b-c simple.

When one further understands that the trigrams
represent elemental matter phase states, the crossover from tarot to I-ching becomes undeniable; its the same pie with wo different cultures cutting it in similar but different ways.

It was in studying the I-ching that i really began
to see balancing harmonics of polarizations as
the genuine underlying archetypical theme; and
how different archetypes are derivated from the
simplest possible binary system.

The problem with the I-ching for me is that it,
like tarot has gone through several modes of dissemination, some of which were not at all motivated by integrity or informational purity.

Retracing and reconnecting past the "fortune telling" movements oversimplifications and simple
errors is much easier than doing that same feat with tarot because as i said; the trigrams are still absolute simplicity and wholly intact as binary code.
The I-Ching is written in Chinese and partly bad and unsensible translated, often additionally privately overinterpretated. And, of course, a little transformed by history.
But it's worth is: It openly shows: "I'm only mathematic" :-)
Many other systems are also in their center only mathematical systems, but they disguise it with many words and complications.
For instance: Kronos and Rhea have 6 children, 3 male and 3 female. Or: Noah had 3 sons (and all had wifes).
The Chinese tell a similar story (father, mother, 3 sons, 3 daughters), but it is clear: This are mathematical symbols, not gods.

Zeus lives on a mountain, youngest son = chinese mountain
Hades lives deep in earth = chinese abyss
Poseidon can cause earthquakes = chinese thunder

Hera, partner of Zeus, bathes in the sea = Chinese Lake
Hestia, fire, cooking etc. = Chinese Fire
Demeter, indirect partner of Poseidon, vegetation
= Chinese Wind, Wood

The Greek gods are a little modified and specialised, but essentially, they are formed after trigrams, based on a special Greek model of the cosmos: earth swims above the water and above is heaven (Thales said so). So their trigram reads like this:

3rd line: mountain, heaven, above
2nd line: in the middle of earth, earth, middle
1st line: water below earth, below

Although there are differences between Chinese trigrams and Greek trigrams or gods, there are STRONG similarities.

Well, there is a very special trick and one should know it, otherwise one doesn't understand the symmetry:

Western thinking:

Fire is high, Water is low, Air is the communication between Fire and Water, so air is middle. Trigram:

3rd line: Fire
2nd line: Air
1st line: Water

Chinese thinking:

3rd line: Mountain (belongs to air) and Lake (belongs to water)
2nd line: Water, Abyss (belongs to Water) and Fire (fire)
3rd line: Thunder (part of Fire and lightning) and Wind (air)

so you have in composition:

Western Chinese
3rd line: Fire Air + Water
2nd line: Air Water + Fire
1st line: Water Fire + Air

So at each line you've all 3 elements. Which means: Western element-thinking is Chinese I-Ching-thinking, .... however, I-Ching uses the alternative sight (the base element is broken in the two alternative elements) and Western thinking uses the unified form. The basic idea is identical, but the presentation differs.

Well, it's not easy to get it and in the historical process many confusing alternative ideas appeared, which didn't realise the original concept.
Western "Earth" is the mixing of all 3 elements forms, rather similar to Chinese Kun= earth
Western "Aither" is more or less Chinese-Kien= Heaven. In the Chinese 5-elements-system some confusion appeared, and metal (aither) and earth were treated as being on the same level as the other 3 elements, but this .... is just another school of thinking and the appearance of alternative forms is the history of modification, it doesn't hinder, that the original basic idea was more or less identical ... and simple.

Welcome in a new world .... the identity was found by autorbis perhaps 15 years ago or so, it didn't spread far, most people have to much knots in their heads to understand it.
At other places it's rather unknown. But its rather interesting to think in this way about it, give it a try.

It's the key to Sepher Yetzirah or the begin of the key (just to understand some sentences about the "mothers").

Shin is Fire and head = "above"
Aleph is Air and breast = "middle"
Mem is water and belly = "below"

Sepher Yetzirah (Saadia version, translation Aryeh Kaplan"): "AMSh (= aleph, mem, schin)" is sealed with 6 rings and cocooned in male and female in male and female. Know, think and depict, that fire upholds water."

Explain the 6 rings - there are only 3 elements involved.

In the end of it the SY is just another I-Ching, and the 32 ways of wisdom just another view at the 64 hexagrams. And Greek mythology becomes a wonderful playing ground for Chinese mathematical structures, which are not very Chinese, but rather international.

The Tarot plays here only a minor role, more the part of "having not really understood, what this is all about".

It's a historical card-game. The collective unconsciousness played a trick there.
Top   #32
pan  pan is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 31 Mar 2002
Posts: 113
pan 
Cool


wow!!
I hadn't personally put together the greek
mythical archetype connection... in fact i had discarded the whole thing... this really turns
me on to it and i would be fascinated to learn
more. Of course it makes sense since after all the archetypes are universal not cultural and exist
inside of the genetic coding of the entire species.

I suddenly find myself wondering how many other
systems might fit similarly.
Just when i thought i had found all of the correspondences...up crops a whole new direction...

thanks so much!
I'll have to read and ponder that and research it some!
Top   #33
Huck  Huck is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 02 Jul 2003
Location: Germany
Posts: 2,682
Huck 

Quote:
Originally posted by pan
wow!!
I hadn't personally put together the greek
mythical archetype connection... in fact i had discarded the whole thing... this really turns
me on to it and i would be fascinated to learn
more. Of course it makes sense since after all the archetypes are universal not cultural and exist
inside of the genetic coding of the entire species.
Genetic code only uses the same logic ... It's just more trivial. It's just logic. It's (1), 2, 3, 4 ... there are no easier numbers. The genetic also did like an easy way.
Quote:

I suddenly find myself wondering how many other
systems might fit similarly.
Just when i thought i had found all of the correspondences...up crops a whole new direction...
There is a whole bunch of it ... the trouble is to find correct historical data ...
Quote:
thanks so much!
I'll have to read and ponder that and research it some!
Well, do so. It's fun ... :-)

If you follow this question:

If 3 of 32 are identified correctly, what is about the other 29, which are 7 (= 6+1)double and 12 simple letters, and 10 Sephiroth with a structure, which looks 3-6-1 or 1-3-6 (as the SY prefers)?

..., your logic should find something similar as mine ... well, there are smaller difficulties, but ... :-)
Top   #34
Huck  Huck is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 02 Jul 2003
Location: Germany
Posts: 2,682
Huck 
I-Ching and Chess (and Geomantia and the backgrounds nvention of Tarot)


Recently from autorbis in the group LTarot, see

http://trionfi.com/01/m/


"This is not more or less not about Tarot, but I-Ching and Chess.

Chess, probably younger than I-Ching, mirrors the structure of I-Ching, as shown below.
If this is accidently so, or cause an inner logical relation between I-Ching and Chess or cause an historical relation of the kind, that Chess was constructed by somebody, who knew the I-Ching, can't be said.

It just is a fact. Chess mirrors I-Ching.

Chess uses a board with 64 fields, 8x8.

The I-Ching manifests itself with its 64 possibilities by the multiplication of 8 socalled trigrams with the same 8 trigrams, calling the first group "outer trigram" and the second "inner trigram".

Chess is played with 16 figures at each side. There are under these 6 different types: 1 King, 1 Queen, 2 Bishops, 2 Knights, 2 Rooks, 8 Pawns.

The I-Ching is constructed by 16 elements: 8 different trigrams on the "outer" or "upper position", and the same 8 different trigrams on the "inner" or "lower" position.

If we assume, that there is a relation between these 16 figures of Chess and these 16 trigrams of I-Ching, then there is a solution for this humble mathematical riddle:

1. One has to assume, that the "inner" or "lower" trigram presents the 8 pawns. This is also logical regarding the philosophic contents of both systems. The "pawns" are regarded in Chess as the "folk" and in I-Ching the inner trigram presents the "lower people".

2. Now one has to consider the 8 trigrams as equation to the 8 main figures. Chess has 5 types of figures and 8 figures, I-Ching has 8 trigrams, which are sortable in 5 groups.

Group 1: the youngest children
Group 2: The middle children
Group 3: the oldest children
Group 4: the mother
Group 5: the father

For information the mathematical sign of each trigrams, the Chinese name with translation and position in the family:

001 = Gen, mountain - youngest son
110 = Tui, lake - youngest daughter

010 = Kan, water - middle son
101 = Li, fire - middle daughter

100 = Dschen, thunder - oldest son
011 = Sun, wind - oldest daughter

000 = Kun, earth - mother

111 = Kien, heaven - father

3. And who is who in the Chess-system?

111: King, of course

000: Queen, of course

001, 110 = Bishops or Rooks, one can't decide it

010, 101 = Knights, can't be different

100, 011 = Rooks or Bishops, one can't decide it


Both systems follow their own way, Chess is a game and I-Ching is used for divination.

Chess, as one can observe it, follows in its rules simple principles, one could say archetypical principles (you cannot really find other sort of possible movements of the same "easy" rank):

King: can move in each direction one step
Queen: can move in each direction endless steps (as far as possible)
Bishops: Endless diagonals
Rooks: Endless in vertical and horizonatal direction
Knight: Can reach just that near field, that all other figures can't reach.

Quite interesting, one can observe by these rules, that Bishop's and Rooks are considered "somehow" complementary, and that Knights are special. The same could be said from the trigrams 010, 101 = water + fire (special) and also from 100, 011 and 001, 110 ("somehow" complementary).

What does it tell us about the observed situation of 14th/15th century, when Chess was a "loved" game, before Tarot was invented?

It tells us, that somebody who played Chess in this time could detect by meditating about the rules and features of Chess the mathematical basic of I-Ching.

Have we evidence, that somebody detected it? Unluckily not.

Are there ways, that somebody could have known the I-Ching by communication? Of course. For instance: The mongols were very near to us. Also: Marco Polo should have known the I-Ching. He might have told about it.

Have we evidence of any kind of communication, in which just this information was transported? Unluckily not.

Assuming, that they didn't know about it, we've a smaller relative of I-Ching and that's Geomantia. And Geomantia was known.

Our Western Geomantia knew 16 figures. Is there a mathematical way, that these 16 figures also are equatable to the 16 figures of Chess? Yes. It's this equation:

1111 King
0000 Queen

1000 Pawn
0100 Pawn
0010 Pawn
0001 Pawn

0111 Pawn
1011 Pawn
1101 Pawn
1110 Pawn

0011 Rook ?
1100 Rook ?

1001 Knight ?
0110 Knight ?

1010 Bishop ?
0101 Bishop ?

What does this tell us, when studying the situation of early Tarot, Trionfi and possible pre-Trionfi decks? It tells, that the possibility is there, that somebody with a little clever mind did know about just that, what I've shown above. It's really not that difficult to detect.

What do we know about Filippo Visconti?

1. He had a clever mind.
2. He had various books about Geomancy.
3. He had a love for chess.
4. Probably he invented Tarot-similar decks
5. Generally he was called an "inventor", although we don't really know, why.
6. He showed at least at one of his deck inventions a love for the 16 (16 gods in the Michelino deck), but probably in 2 (also in the Cary-Yale) of his decks.

Do we know, that the Chinese knew about the Geomantia-system? Yes, they used it as subsystem to interprete their hexagrams. It's called "nuclear trigrams" usually. Mathematically is is coded identicallý.

Western Geomantia is strongly connected to Western astrology, do we meet the same feature in this Chinese subsystem?

Not, as far I know. Western astrology strongly observed planets and the Chaldean row. This, as far my knowledge reaches, is not very dominant in the various different Chinese astrologies, that I know. Chinese astrologies have a love for simple counting, which in Western astrology also appears, but mostly in connection to the Chaldean row, which doesn't seem to have been a favoured system in China.

For the considerations to Filippo Viscontis first "16":

http://trionfi.com/01/b

For the considerations to Cary-Yale, Filippo's second 16:

http://trionfi.com/01/c point Cary-Yale

For general considerations to the theme Imperatori, which have a "suspicion-relation" to chess, also:

http://trionfi.com/01/c
generally, "some of the articles"

with permission of the author
Top   #35
jmd's Avatar
jmd  jmd is offline
fourhares
 
Join Date: 05 Aug 2001
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 8,502
jmd 

Thankyou again, Huck and autorbis...

It shows again, apart from the wonderful reflections made of the various ways in which disparate system may be related, that there are many possibilities at play in the ways that decks or games may come to be.

You have again shown why to dismiss out of hand particular plausible connections, simply because of the apparent excesses of some later authors, or the unfortunate lack of historical document, diminishes potential wonderful research - research which needs to complement the also very important digs for historical documentation.
Top   #36
Huck  Huck is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 02 Jul 2003
Location: Germany
Posts: 2,682
Huck 

Very much systems are relatable to the I-Ching.

The reason for this is its very simple basic structure, which, however, can explode easily to very great and complicated systems with much details, but, if necessary or tired, can drop back to a handsome "in reality I did say nothing".
On its more complicated ways it develops en masse interesting schemes, and, as the curiosity of mankind had caused in the past they had been applied to philosophic systems, astronomies, poetic orders, gods genealogies, mandalas, games, as we have seen in the example of chess and even complete religions.

In this wordless universal I-Ching even the "real" I-Ching itself is only an application.

One could even apply it to Tarot in the Golden-Dawn interpretation ... in some aspects at least. But one could apply it also to the 5x14 deck ... :-)
Top   #37
filipas's Avatar
filipas  filipas is offline
Resident
 
Join Date: 04 Jan 2004
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 75
filipas 

Quote:
augursWell wrote:
Mark Filipas, in his eBook Alphabetic Masquerade (available at tarot.com), suggests that chess is symbolized in the Major Arcana
I think there are persuasive clues that the trumps contain allusions to the game of Chess. Given Chess' popularity at the time, and the trump's depiction of the more popular themes of the day, a connection between the two should not be surprising. We also find that illustrators of the time were portraying Chess pieces as allegorical figures. The various pawns, for instance, were sometimes pictured in manuscripts and early books as each having different occupations.

It is interesting that by the 1400s more than one version of the game existed, including Courier Chess which was played with three additional pieces known as Jester, Sage, and Courier. Another variation at that time was Dice Chess, which used the roll of a die to determine the piece a player was allowed to move per turn (a roll of one might mean a pawn must be moved, a roll of two a knight, a roll of three a bishop, and so on). In some versions of the game, two or three dice were used per turn. The dice shown on the magician’s table in decks such as the Grimaud Marseilles may have been an allusion to these early variations of chess.

Trumps III and IV probably allude in part to the chesspieces of Queen and King respectively. This could explain the chessboard pattern shown behind the throne in Trump III (recognizable in the Conver editions). The cross atop each figure's scepter also echoes the device atop the King's chesspiece. The Hebrew words for Queen (GBYRH) and Duke (DVKVS), by the way, begin with gimel and daleth, the third and fourth letters of the alphabet.

More persuasive is the fact that each of the paired chesspieces can be found as pairs within the trumps: the two Bishops in Trump V, the two Horses in Trump VII, the two Rooks in Trump XVIII. Further, the particular movement of each piece seems represented by each figure:

• The two small figures on Trump V seem allusions to the Bishops; the movements allowed by Bishops are indicated by the arms of each figure being extended diagonally. It also happens that the Hebrew word for bishop (HGMVN) begins with the fifth Hebrew letter he.

• The horses on Trump VII seem allusions to the Knights; each horse's upraised foreleg suggests the Knight's ability to leap over other pieces in the game. Their unique pattern of movement seems hinted at by the horse which turns his head away from his headed direction. The suggestion that they are game pieces is strengthened by the fact that these Tarot creatures were traditionally shown without rear-ends. And again we find that the Hebrew word for war horses (ZRZYR) begins with the seventh Hebrew letter zayin.

• The two castles on Trump XVIII seem allusions to the Castles/Rooks; their placement in the Marseilles design recalls their placement at the far ends of the gameboard. Yet again, the Hebrew word for castles; rooks (TzRYChYM) begins with the eighteenth Hebrew letter tzaddi. The odds make it virtually impossible that two bishops, two horses, and two castles would appear on the trumps in alphabetical sequence by chance.

• That there are four other figural pairs in the Marseilles pattern suggests that all eight pawns are represented as well. These are the two lovers on Trump VI, the two captives on Trump XV, the falling figures on Trump XVI, and the two children on Trump XIX. The Hebrew word for pawn (ORBVN) begins with the sixteenth Hebrew letter ayin and seems an alphabetical correspondence to Trump XVI and its two figures.

• The two adult figures in Trump XX may allude in part to the player’s captured chess pieces, standing to the side of the gameboard; the smaller figure may be a pawn which has successfully reached the opponent’s side. This achievement of the pawn allowed the player to "resurrect" one piece previously captured. The very early Rosenwald Tarot even depicts these figures upon a checkered or chessboard pattern.

Thanks,
- Mark
Top   #38
firemaiden's Avatar
firemaiden  firemaiden is offline
keeper of the toaster
 
Join Date: 07 Jun 2002
Location: Poitiers, France
Posts: 10,828
firemaiden 

Wow! that post was like a nourishing gourmet meal. I'm completely amazed.

Thank you, Mark!
Top   #39
jmd's Avatar
jmd  jmd is offline
fourhares
 
Join Date: 05 Aug 2001
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 8,502
jmd 

This is one of those fascinating threads which I find is so worth revisiting from time to time, yet is a difficult one to make responses in.

Earlier, Huck writes that:
  • 'Chess as real influence is not that important. It incorpated in early forms of Tarot just by accident or by "normal logic", as Chess was a common game to people of Renaissance and when constructing early card decks, they used chess. A very normal development, not very surprizing, but naturally it was not a "deep mystery", it was just playing a bit with symbols'
A statement mirrored in Mark's
  • 'Given Chess' popularity at the time, and the trump's depiction of the more popular themes of the day, a connection between the two should not be surprising[...]'
These comments encourage and permit us to relook through the Major Arcana not to see how they may themselves be a derivative of chess, but how possibly this, amongst many other factors, may have formed part of the myriad imagery at the disposal of those who were influential in Tarot's early designs.

When I consider the deck in light of possible Chess imagery, it does become astounding how many areas of similitude there are...

For me, one of the most fascinating is also a linguistic one with the walking off, at the end of the game, of the possibly deposed Mat... a deposed Schah, or King, is as dead, or 'mat'.

Apart from the possibilities inherent in Major Arcana images, and some inevitable similarities arising out of common heritage, mathematical limits and constructs using small figures, and possible influences between the far east, the near east, ancient cultures and the west, one way in which Chess and Tarot also seem related is the possible ways in which the minor arcana may have been used as such a 'Chess' game.

Here, with the Mamluk cards, we already have some equivalent to the King and his advisors, but also not just ten cards at his disposal, but each with various 'strengths' (from 1 to 10). One can easily imagine how the cards may have been used by up to four players with battle rules.

That no document survives to legitimise this possibility may only be a reflection of the ambiguities in the gameS called chess. I insinuated such comment also in an earlier thread called Some interesting information pertaining to Tarot.

To get back to Mark's post, however, it is fascinating not only that the Empress and Emperor can, in that order for the whites - interesting also having fair and darker sides considering the crusades - be seen as the Queen and King, but that each is flanked by its respective 'bishop' (and that one of these has two smaller figures).

I wonder how each may have been seen as related to chess - and it would certainly be interesting to have access to some of the literature which arose closer that time which took an allegorical view of the game of Chess. For example, what it may say of the Rook may give some clue as to why it may be depicted with precisely two figures falling - aside from the wonderful possibility given by Mark's reflections.

Glad to have not only Mark's contributions, but the wonderful dialogue between especially Huck and pan...

Top   #40




 


 


Tarot Cards & Reviews Free Tarot Readings Tarot Books Tarot Card Meanings Tarot Forum
Aeclectic Tarot Forum Links
· Tarot
· Tarot Special Interest
· Beyond Tarot
· Forum Library

Aeclectic Tarot Categories
· Angel Decks
· Dark & Gothic Decks
· Goddess Decks
· Fairy Decks
· Doreen Virtue Decks
· Beginner Decks
· Cat Decks
· Pagan & Wiccan Decks
· Ancient Egyptian Decks
· Celtic Decks
· Lenormand Decks
· Rider-Waite Decks
· Marseilles Decks
· Thoth Decks
· Oracle Decks
· List All Decks
· Popular Tarot Decks
· Available Decks
· Tarot Books
· What's New

Copyright © 1996 - 2019 Aeclectic Tarot. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy. Contact us.