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Quote:
Originally Posted by frelkins View Post

Since we're on the subject, and all the right peeps are here now, Ronald Decker has just released his new history of the deck, called Esoteric Tarot. So go forth & order.

As Place argued for Neo-Platonism & alchemy in his The Tarot, Decker argues for Renaissance astrology + some qabala.

Hey Frelkins,

Is Decker's argument based on something new, a found document or illustration? I hope he isn't basing his theory totally on that old Erhand Schoen woodcut of the Twelve Astrological Houses, the one Paul Huson has on the cover of his second book. That wouldn't be much of an argument for anything "esoteric", more like exoteric sharing of common 16th century imagery.
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Originally Posted by Melanchollic View Post
Hey Frelkins,

Is Decker's argument based on something new, a found document or illustration? I hope he isn't basing his theory totally on that old Erhand Schoen woodcut of the Twelve Astrological Houses, the one Paul Huson has on the cover of his second book. That wouldn't be much of an argument for anything "esoteric", more like exoteric sharing of common 16th century imagery.
Howdy Mel,

Obviously I'm not all the way into it since it just arrived last night. It's many pages of deep-fried woo deliciousness. For those who love woo. The answer for those without time to play the whole round of Clue appears to be "Colonel Etteilla in the Library with a copy of the Cabala."

The key statement Decker makes is this:

"Tarot divination, as we know it today did not emerge until the 1700s. It was first mentioned by a Parisian fortuneteller Etteilla. . . But how had the cards acquired their key meanings? I will eventually discuss the exiguous evidence for a lost system extracted from the Jewish cabala." p.3, Decker, Esoteric Tarot, 2013, Quest.

So he goes through the whole usual (to us) rigamarole with Iamblichus, Neo-Platonism/Neo-Pythagoreanism, Ficino, Malinus, the Picatrix, Agrippa, (he seems to skip ibn Ezra), yadda-yadda-yadda, Pratesi 1750, the mad Etteilla, and so on. He talks about the TdM.

He's been hanging out with Robert Place for about the last decade apparently - the book has a strong The Tarot feel. I'd say more Place than Huson.

It's just stunning to consider his journey from DDD (Wicked Pack) to the Zohar. That's a lot of bridges for a scholar to cross. He does it mostly as an art historian, relying on images, motifs and common symbols of the time to try to build attributions & a provenance.

The question is: what is the re-discovery?!?!? So far I'm not finding anything we haven't been talking about off and on right here since in the History Forum, what? 2005????? It's like he came over here and was HYP-no-tiiiized by the blueberry. (rofl)

My issue with this I guess is the cards themselves as manufactured material objects. So, ok, Ficino & his merry band of scholars were into this stuff, but so what? How does that get to the cards in common use?

Are you really going to tell me that the brutal condottiero, whose fave past time was declaring folks traitors & chopping them into bits before running off to assassinate the family-member-of-the-week, suddenly decided his tween-age bride had to have a golden pack of hand-painted cards that communicated to her the magical depths of angelic sigils and the Macropropus? Because that's every girl's dream on her wedding day!

Or the drunken apprentice cardmakers of France, slap-stencilling cheap packs as fast as they could to beat the Germans out of card manufacturing, often stopped to reflect on the sacred geometry of Pythagoras and its relation to the Picatrix?

I'm jes' saying. . . I think it's a controversial book. Will search the index for more Baked Goods.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frelkins View Post
Howdy Mel,

Obviously I'm not all the way into it since it just arrived last night. It's many pages of deep-fried woo deliciousness. For those who love woo. The answer for those without time to play the whole round of Clue appears to be "Colonel Etteilla in the Library with a copy of the Cabala."

The key statement Decker makes is this:

"Tarot divination, as we know it today did not emerge until the 1700s. It was first mentioned by a Parisian fortuneteller Etteilla. . . But how had the cards acquired their key meanings? I will eventually discuss the exiguous evidence for a lost system extracted from the Jewish cabala." p.3, Decker, Esoteric Tarot, 2013, Quest.

So he goes through the whole usual (to us) rigamarole with Iamblichus, Neo-Platonism/Neo-Pythagoreanism, Ficino, Malinus, the Picatrix, Agrippa, (he seems to skip ibn Ezra), yadda-yadda-yadda, Pratesi 1750, the mad Etteilla, and so on. He talks about the TdM.

He's been hanging out with Robert Place for about the last decade apparently - the book has a strong The Tarot feel. I'd say more Place than Huson.

It's just stunning to consider his journey from DDD (Wicked Pack) to the Zohar. That's a lot of bridges for a scholar to cross. He does it mostly as an art historian, relying on images, motifs and common symbols of the time to try to build attributions & a provenance.

The question is: what is the re-discovery?!?!? So far I'm not finding anything we haven't been talking about off and on right here since in the History Forum, what? 2005????? It's like he came over here and was HYP-no-tiiiized by the blueberry. (rofl)

My issue with this I guess is the cards themselves as manufactured material objects. So, ok, Ficino & his merry band of scholars were into this stuff, but so what? How does that get to the cards in common use?

Are you really going to tell me that the brutal condottiero, whose fave past time was declaring folks traitors & chopping them into bits before running off to assassinate the family-member-of-the-week, suddenly decided his tween-age bride had to have a golden pack of hand-painted cards that communicated to her the magical depths of angelic sigils and the Macropropus? Because that's every girl's dream on her wedding day!

Or the drunken apprentice cardmakers of France, slap-stencilling cheap packs as fast as they could to beat the Germans out of card manufacturing, often stopped to reflect on the sacred geometry of Pythagoras and its relation to the Picatrix?

I'm jes' saying. . . I think it's a controversial book. Will search the index for more Baked Goods.

LOL. I DID have to read this post both forward, and backwards.

I guess I was hoping for some "new" documentation on pre-European cards. The standard decks division into 4 sets of 13 suggest the original designer may have had a "seasonal" theme in mind, which of course may have just been a novelty, or perhaps there was some other intent.

While I'm highly skeptical of any "esoteric" intent in the 22 trumps, I'm still open to a possible astrological influence, if there was some documentation supporting the claim, which I don't believe has ever been found. Of Qabala in the Tarot, I'm even more skeptical.

This of course doesn't mean we can't "commandeer" the deck and use it anyway we wish. (Hence, this very long thread on ways to imbue the pips and courts with meaning.) I once receive a particular hideous & daft "novelty" tarot deck as a gift, and I used it exclusively as a drinks coaster. This "esoteric" gem had the Qabalic ability to be a single drinks coaster, if I was home alone, or it could mystically become the exact number of drinks coasters to accommodate the appropriate number of guests.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melanchollic View Post
LOL. I DID have to read this post both forward, and backwards.
ouch. sorry. Thought i was just giving a review. i'll stop.

Quote:
I guess I was hoping for some "new" documentation on pre-European cards. The standard decks division into 4 sets of 13 suggest the original designer may have had a "seasonal" theme in mind, which of course may have just been a novelty, or perhaps there was some other intent.
No, sorry. it appears the Decker we thought we knew has been moving towards cabalism for a while now. the book mentions the chinese origin of cards in a timeline, and then begins with a discussion of. . .Thoth. Decker does carefully say that the cards were not created in Egypt by Gypsies, which is good, because I really was on the verge for a few pages of calling up the publisher & demanding "Where is Ronald Decker's sanity & what have you done with it?" However, he does appear to cave later by saying that the trumps do reflect the Renaissance's obsession with Egyptian hermeticism. So yay! Egypt after all. Somehow. Just later than you think. (weeping)

Quote:
While I'm highly skeptical of any "esoteric" intent in the 22 trumps, I'm still open to a possible astrological influence, if there was some documentation supporting the claim, which I don't believe has ever been found. Of Qabala in the Tarot, I'm even more skeptical.
Considering that astrology was just "normal life" in the 15th cent. Italian thought-space, there is probably some there, but without much "meaning." What's interesting about the book - well, of many interesting things - is that Decker uses the term "tarotists" as if it refers to other people than himself. Plumping for juicy take-out qabala however seems to belie his distinction. Here's another intriguing quote:

"The distinction between Hermeticism and cabalism is rarely stated by Tarotists. When they do discuss these subjects, the trumps are freighted with cabalistic meanings, and the suits with Hermetic meanings. Originally the deck was Hermetic throughout; the numerical cards apparently become cabalistic only in the 1700s. That cabalism nevertheless has a venerable heritage and is worth our study." - Decker, Esoteric Tarot, p. 20, 2013, Quest

This prompted me to immediately faint, frankly. The first sentence is plainly false. (Give the Tarotists credit where credit is due! "They" are intelligent.) The second sentence is a mess: the first clause is a shocking statement from a scholar, while the latter clause is true. And given its truth, the third sentence is astonishing.

Paragraphs like this is why I have been using the term "hot mess" to describe this unusual work.


Quote:
This of course doesn't mean we can't "commandeer" the deck and use it anyway we wish. (Hence, this very long thread on ways to imbue the pips and courts with meaning.) I once receive a particular hideous & daft "novelty" tarot deck as a gift, and I used it exclusively as a drinks coaster. This "esoteric" gem had the Qabalic ability to be a single drinks coaster, if I was home alone, or it could mystically become the exact number of drinks coasters to accommodate the appropriate number of guests.
Absolutely! Narratology, semiotics, image semiotics, ludics, rule-following a la Wittgenstein, psychology, linguistics, poetry, art - all these can be found by playing various games with the cards. And that's interesting. But the crawl for the processed woo into qabala. . .wow.

I guess so far I have more respect for Place's work still because he focuses more on the art history and separates out his speculation about Neo-Platonism & alchemy etc.

I will continue to read. And I recommend the book to folks here, no matter how you feel about the topic.
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I don't know if it's against the forum rules (I mean, post in a so old tread) if so I'm sorry.

Someone could reupload the PDF with Mel's method please? The actual link is now broked
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No, it's OK, Philosopher.

Here you go.
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Thanks!
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Smile Marseille


[QUOTE=Melanchollic;What about the Major Meanings my dear?
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Marseille


Melanchollic;I didnt understand only the 8 of cups...
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grim View Post
Melanchollic;I didnt understand only the 8 of cups...
Hi Grim,

Melanchollic hasn't posted to the forum in a while, so he may or may not see your posts. However, you may get more feedback from members generally if you would like to elaborate more specifically on what your questions or concerns are.
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