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The Visconti - and the Marseilles

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Diana  Diana is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by felicityk
I would very much like to hear your answer to this question. Are you waiting for someone else to go first? I do not have an answer, as I do not fit the criteria.

Felicity
I have drafted about 10 different posts - and they are all so terribly inadequate to answer Darla's very important question. I hope sincerely to be able to write something soon that will make sense. Not that I fear looking foolish (I am not an intellectual, so I know my limits in speaking of the Ur-Phenomenon) - but because I am so very anxious to do this issue justice - for the sake of The Tarot.

It's in my eyes probably one of the most important questions I've seen on Aeclectic for a long time.
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Sophie  Sophie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharmingPixie
I can't describe it properly... I was literally shaking at the end of the reading. Not out of fear, (and not because it was cold outside or I had a fever either!) but out of, dare I say it, Awe.

In the few days after that first reading I realised for the first time that there is a big difference between the Tarot and tarot cards........

Tarot cards are, I think, a physical representation of what Tarot is. They are a tool we use to access the Tarot. They aren't Tarot itself. I think they are kind of like the key to Tarot. I cannot put into words what I beleive Tarot is. I'm not even sure I know exactly, to be honest.

But when I began using the Tarot of Marseilles, I felt like I made a switch from reading with tarot cards, to acctually reading and accessing Tarot. I beleive that this switch happened for me because I was finnally using the right "key".
Wow, this post makes my heart beat faster, Charming Pixie! What a beautiful experience, how well you tell it. I must feel like falling in love - reaching the essence, finally meeting the one...Please, don't get shot down by the arrows of those that would stop that graceful gallop through the forest of Tarot - keep that leaping stag of a heart a-bounding down those winding tracks!
Top   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana
I have drafted about 10 different posts - and they are all so terribly inadequate to answer Darla's very important question. I hope sincerely to be able to write something soon that will make sense. Not that I fear looking foolish (I am not an intellectual, so I know my limits in speaking of the Ur-Phenomenon) - but because I am so very anxious to do this issue justice - for the sake of The Tarot.

It's in my eyes probably one of the most important posts I've seen on Aeclectic for a long time.
Dear Diana,
Look at Charming Pixie's heartfelt post, and just do as she did - jette-toi à l'eau! (dive in). You've been standing on the board, mentally practicing that dive long enough
Top   #23
Moongold  Moongold is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharmingPixie
It is because of my direct experience of using the Tarot of Marseilles that I am starting to think of it as the Ur-Tarot.


But when I began using the Tarot of Marseilles, I felt like I made a switch from reading with tarot cards, to acctually reading and accessing Tarot. I beleive that this switch happened for me because I was finnally using the right "key".

I describe the Tarot of Marseilles as the Essence of Tarot because I feel it to be the most accurate relection I have found of what Tarot is. The two things are like mirrors of each other..... As above, so below.

This is not a good explanation. Its acctually really difficult to explain in written words!! But the question is an important one, so I wanted to at least attempt an answer.
This is an impressive account of a conversion in the best sense of the word. In many ways such an experience cannot really be disputed. One can't argue with Faith and personal experience. And it IS a very personal experience.

But I wonder whether someone from a non-European culture world have such an experience with the Marseilles? I think the Marseilles is beautiful but I have not had the kind of experience. I marvel at the Tarot constantly and various decks have given me startling experiences but not a conversion experience.

Forgive me if I sound a little sceptical but why do we have to have an Ur-Tarot? Perhaps it is just that I don't understand what people mean by it. Couldn't find a simple definition anywhere this morning. Why do we need to have something that is objectively and conclusively "superior " to every thing else in the Tarot? Especially if it is primarily white Caucasion?

I don't believe in "equality" in that all Tarot decks are of equal merit but I think it is relative. Maybe the Ur-Tarot, if it means what I suspect it means, is not in the earthly domain? Maybe it is a set of principles or even an expression of the Divine that is quite beyond our understanding? And not necessarily manifest only in one particular deck.
Top   #24
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Sophie  Sophie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moongold
Why do we need to have something that is objectively and conclusively "superior " to every thing else in the Tarot? Especially if it is primarily white Caucasion?
I don't think everyone does, just as everyone doesn't need a Christ or a Moses. But it's not a reflection on the person who does - need, or want one. And in Charming Pixie's description, it is love that shines. When we love, when we find "the one", we naturally follow it with all our hearts. I think, rather than contracting the heart, eventually it makes it expand. Certainly the dear Pixie's post was expansive and generous.

As for the white Causcasian element - I hear it said that people in Japan like the Marseille Tarot. White Caucasians buy Native American cards. I'm rather fond of Islamic art, as you know, but it's not "my" tradition at all (though I regard it as such because it is a heritage of humanity, and I am human). I think Islamic non-figurative art is superior to all other, simply because that's all it had to work on, so it reached excellence. Marseille had those simple woodblocks and some universal archetypes (with variations in name and dress, you'll find all those archetypes in most societies - with the possible exception of stone age cultures, but I wouldn't swear to that).

Ur or not Ur? Perhaps, simply, love? Love, after all, makes the Object Perfect.
Top   #25
Diana  Diana is offline
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Oh dear.

I think before we discuss what an Ur-something or other is, we'd better define what an Ur-Phenomenon is. Now, I'm no intellectual, and I'm sure jmd would explain much better than me, but I think it's important to define this term, before people start saying that "Ur" means "Superior".

Very briefly, (and this is what I have understood what the Ur-Phänomen to be), a definition could be: "the essential core of a thing that makes it what it is and what it becomes".

Nothing superior or inferior about that. It just is.... and it becomes.... but it is the essential core. And it is this essential core that we are talking about here.

(This post is obviously still highly inadequate for me, but it is a start.)

It's as if the Visconti or the Cary Sheets were just snippets of something - like ingredients perhaps that were taken from right and left, inspiration possibly and also probably.... but it was the MIXTURE of these ingredients that gave rise to The Tarot of Marseilles. Before then, The Tarot had no precise form nor definition. So we're not talking cards here, we're talking Tarot.

It is so hard to explain (for me).

(Moongold: as for other cultures. Ask Kenji about the Tarot of Marseilles in Japan.)
Top   #26
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Sophie  Sophie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana
It's as if the Visconti or the Cary Sheets were just snippets of something - like ingredients perhaps that were taken from right and left, inspiration possibly and also probably.... but it was the MIXTURE of these ingredients that gave rise to The Tarot of Marseilles. Before then, The Tarot had no precise form nor definition. So we're not talking cards here, we're talking Tarot.

It is so hard to explain (for me).
Diana, you sound like the bashful girl in front of her Dad, trying to answer his "what's so wonderful about that bloke of yours, anyway"?, and saying - "he's so - so - I never felt - all the others were just - I can't explain - he is...."

(father drumming fingers, mum looking worried)

"he's the One"

(father looks sceptical, but lets young Diana go - "make sure he brings you home, and don't let him talk you into anything" - too late of course. "He" already has )

To quote one of your other posts unrelated - it sounds like - love.

And no-one can really argue with that.
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Moongold  Moongold is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana
ery briefly, (and this is what I have understood what the Ur-Phänomen to be), a definition could be: "the essential core of a thing that makes it what it is and what it becomes".
Thanks Diana. That is the clearest definition I've seen and I'd like to know more. A few hours on the net this morning revealed some great material but not really what I was looking for.

And - not questioning Charning Pixie's experience with the Marseilles at all. That is clear in my post. In fact I've had the conversion experience with Tarot generally, not the Marseilles specifically. My language is not the elegant language of love in this instance but I understand it.

And, for myself, I would like to sift through the stuff around essence. That is a thrilling idea in its own right. It may be different for each of us or for groups of us.

If one looks at myths and legends, there are so many variations of the same. What were the originals? What was the essence? Will we ever know? Fascinating questions.

And I stress - these are questions only. And I assume that questions are always allowed.
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Diana  Diana is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moongold
And I stress - these are questions only. And I assume that questions are always allowed.
Moongold: My experience has been that questions are often more important than the answers themselves. Like I said in another thread somewhere, let us not forget that "question" and "quest" have the same etymological origin.
Top   #29
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Ross G Caldwell  Ross G Caldwell is offline
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Not necessarily Marseille...


I think falling in love is a good expression...

I don't think I can accurately describe my love for the tarot in analytic words, not just yet anyway. But it must be the old cards, older than we are anyway, and somehow beyond our understanding.

I wrote something when I first knew I had fallen in love, and it still expresses how I feel, despite my dry reputation.

Tarot as a woman

I had a dream, and in the dream the Tarot was a woman – a young woman, whom I found attractive, although I can’t describe her face or form, though I think it was slight, but really my attraction was intellectual – intellectual and spiritual. Nonetheless, my wife was jealous, as she has been complaining for days that I must have a girlfriend, and when I rose (in the dream) to visit the young woman on the couch, my wife got in between us with a ruler, so that we couldn’t sit together – I began to wake up . . . and it was then, in these warm feelings I had for the form I had seen, that I realized who this girl was – because all tonight I was awake with the cards of the early decks in my mind, and did rise and come to the couch to write everything down and meditate with the images beside me – and the feeling for the young woman in my dream and the meditating in the Tarot are the same feelings – I am in it now.

I have not studied Jungian psychology, but from what I gather this is my anima, and it is not unusual that an archetypal toy should bring her to me. But I have seen her before also, when I rebuilt, with love, patience, tender compassion and true interest, a very old machinist’s lathe. I knew and cleaned every screw and bolt, every gear ; I brushed off every speck of rust from the lovely smooth steel, got all the shiny handles turning, arranged all the accessories in a cabinet I built, shined the plate with the name and gear ratios, and finally levelled the bed, and oiled it to perfection. I knew and touched every part of this old tool – 1919, I phoned South Bend lathes in Indiana and found its history through the serial number – and one night I spent all night with a lovely young woman, and found myself tenderly rubbing oil over her back for an eternity, and when I awoke I knew it had been the spirit of the lathe, brought out by tender love and compassion, unconditional surrender to the thing itself, to only learn its ways, and not to impose on or hurry it, or rule over it, but to serve it. And isn’t this what « tender » means, to tend to with love and patience ?

And now I’ve understood again how it is with « men and their cars », although I have never had this in particular – that’s why the swimsuit model appears on the hoods of cars and beside chrome-sparkling Harleys, not because « sex sells », but because she IS the machine, the soul of the machine, the anima of every man who lovingly tends and toils over his machine, the humble servant maintaining her perfection.

And this must be why ships are « she », since the men who sail it look after it so well, tend her, so that the spirit of the ship comes out and guides them, and they make an image and put it on the very front to show everyone her soul.

And this must be why the early scientists called the World Soul a woman, because they were falling in love with nature, and finally not imposing rules on her but learning her ways through patient observation and unconditional love of it for itself, tender love, and it became to them a woman, the spirit of the world, and this dream made its way into the engravings and paintings of the scientific awakening.

And finally, (but it has been quick) I understand a little, although I am not a poet, of the beloved of the sufis, the troubadors, chivalry and the Fidèles d’Amour like Dante, who so rigorously studied and observed the rules of their art, that the art itself became a woman to them, their soul came out, through their patient absorption in the contemplation and performance of their craft. And I am not a musician, but it must be the same with an instrument – now I see !

And so last night the Tarot came to me as a Woman, after I had given up trying to impose upon or drag something out of the cards (these are just words, I don’t know if I was doing that), I just studied them in themselves, tenderly contemplated them and lovingly arranged them, and with rapt attention heard their story told through time, a new story (to me at least, one I have not shared with the list), but in a way which must resemble what humble men, all servants of love, have always done through the ages, which is to open up unconditionally to understanding, to become empty so the beloved can fill you up. Last night Tarot came to me, and She filled me up.

Ross
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