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Question


Quote:
Originally posted by Macavity
Given these presupposed matches (and all history aside) how indeed would one judge such qualities? Similarity of (static) meaning between the cards and Hebrew letter associations? Macavity
One of the purposes of my Shin post, which letter I chose because it is related in various systems to three different cards [fool, judgement and world] was to show that maybe this method of determining merit may not actually get you very far. Each letter has such a rich depth of associations that it is possible to pick associations that favour your preferred attribution. I managed to collate together a variety of traditional associations [not derived from the Tarot] among which could be found associations with any one of the three it is attributed to. [Of course it should be noted that Mark Filipas does not propose any such esoteric association, but is purely lexiconical and so free of all this somewhat messy and paradoxical symbolic interpretation]. If we were to use this method then how would we judge the merits. List the associations and tick the one with the greater number?

Kwaw
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Quote:
Originally posted by kwaw
One of the purposes of my Shin post, which letter I chose because...

Kwaw
Hey, I knew that! And a good choice for precisely the reasons cited. I am always looking for a "qabalistic deck" and was re-examinging my copy of Tavaglione's "Strairs of Gold" which uses Levi's Trump/Hebrew attributions. (Fool as Shin!) I then see he contrives to use Crowley Tree of Life - including Tzaddi swap. I think you're right... looking for any absolutes in correspondances is rather doomed to frustration...

Macavity
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I think it is interesting to see how each person (here in this discussion) would make the associations because, in so doing, we gain new perspectives of the letters..... which I find incredibly intriguing!! Yes, it is valuable to see what others have written about possible associations.... but their opinions are not set in lead! What may be see by individuals here may actually prove to be more effective, more revealing.... even, more interesting.....

The most outstanding feature, of course, is the fact that the Hebrew letters are so much older than Tarot images....

For me, the student witness here, this discussion exposes me to a depth of wisdom I was ignorant of before..... thanks for showing me something so valuable!
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Quote:
jmd wrote:
If one is going to make Hebrew letter correlations to the Major Arcana, I suppose that, at the least, a number of disparate views need to be entertained, thought through, discussed
Quote:
musclegirl wrote:
I was wondering why it is important to theorize on Hebrew letter correlations to Tarot cards. I don't think that the Hebrew people invented the Tarot.
I think there are different reasons why looking at such correlations
might be important to people. Those that use the Tarot as a tool for contemplation may find that kabbalistic considerations add wonderful new layers of meaning to the trumps. Those who find themselves partial to the writings of certain authors (such as Levi, Mathers, Crowley) might at some point question how and why that author arrived at a particular letter system. Those looking at how "occult Tarot" has evolved over the years may find the history and variety of alphabetic correspondences to be interesting. Some (like myself) are interested in more particular alphabetic issues because of the possible connections which these may have to early Tarot.

Quote:
Huck wrote:
... the master of the alphabet . . . lived in a time, when caballistic books didn't exist. He simply didn't knew them.
Actually, while many Tarot historians like to argue that kabbalistic works were scarce at the time of the earliest decks, this is not the case. The existence (and even the proliferation) of kabbalistic treatises during this period and region is important to appreciate.

At the same time, I see virtually no evidence that kabbala played a part in the early Tarot. But this historical misconception still needs to be pointed out and corrected, so I have created a page which begins to date and to describe such sources:

http://www.spiritone.com/~filipas/Ma...ssays/eta.html

Thanks,
- Mark
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Just a thought


Robert Wang's has summarized perhaps a more generalist view, looking backward, into how perhaps Christian theologians might have began learning about kabbalah topics in a misguided effort of doing conversions:

http://marcusaureliuspress.com/

Given the rather extremist views of some mystics--Savonarola in Ferarra, for example, during Ercole D'Este's time---there might be seeds, buds, branches that would have born later fruit. But tarot history, doesn't the focus actually move to other countries for further developments, following printing? So perhaps the locations of the writing sources being gathered might be interesting, as well as dates. If there are stable Jewish/European centers of prosperity, did the development of card games and printing follow?

However Ercole's reigns had various horrific events and the later 1500s in Italy are known as the century of the Italian wars at least in certain class discussions. The periodic French ruler invasions that began in 1494 subsequently weakened Italian city state stability. Would more stable and prosperous French and German areas be more likely in the development of those who want to follow historical Kabbalistic writings?

Best wishes, hope the ideas apply.

Mari H.
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Quote:
Originally posted by filipas


At the same time, I see virtually no evidence that kabbala played a part in the early Tarot. But this historical misconception still needs to be pointed out and corrected, so I have created a page which begins to date and to describe such sources:

http://www.spiritone.com/~filipas/Ma...ssays/eta.html

Thanks,
- Mark
Hi Mark,

your list presents - beside some "real" full accepted kabbalists - some people, which wouldn't be called kabbalists by Jewish dictionaries.
Actually they prefer to perceive Maimonides as philosoph, Gabirol as poet and Rabbi Akiba as a general historical person of deep understanding, as far I got it.

Hebrew Letter interpretation alone wouldn't make a kabbalist.

The Sepher Yetzirah is not seen as kabbalistic book.

Kabbala as a "historical religious movement" started in 1170 AD - at least in the opinion of GershomScholem.
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The Sefer Yetzirah is, I would strongly claim, definitely viewed as a Kabalistic text.

The term 'Kabalah' may postdate the Sefer Yetzirah by several centuries, if, for example, the term arises in the 13th century, whereas the S.Y. dates from around the 2nd. Even in the 12th century, however, one of the important Kabalist of the times, and his son, another important Kabalist, considered the text as a key book - here I refer to both the RABD and to Isaac the Blind.

Maimonides, Gabirol & R. Akiba are also each, in their own way, agents which have weaved their way into the development of Kabalah. They certainly seem to have both drawn from, and added to, the received oral tradition: ie, Kabalah.
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Quote:
Originally posted by jmd
The Sefer Yetzirah is, I would strongly claim, definitely viewed as a Kabalistic text.

The term 'Kabalah' may postdate the Sefer Yetzirah by several centuries, if, for example, the term arises in the 13th century, whereas the S.Y. dates from around the 2nd. Even in the 12th century, however, one of the important Kabalist of the times, and his son, another important Kabalist, considered the text as a key book - here I refer to both the RABD and to Isaac the Blind.

Maimonides, Gabirol & R. Akiba are also each, in their own way, agents which have weaved their way into the development of Kabalah. They certainly seem to have both drawn from, and added to, the received oral tradition: ie, Kabalah.
When Kabbalists of later time claimed the SY to be "their" book, then this doesn't change the essential and historical character of the SY.

When occultists of 18th/19th century claimed Tarot as "their" object, it didn't change the reality, that 100.000's and millions of players already played the game. And it couldn't change the intentions and ideas of the persons in 15th century, who really invented the Tarot.

The SY was not only claimed by Kabbalists and it was not only commented by Kabbalists. There were also other Jews. The normal Jew of 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th century was not a kabbalist, these were specific persons, and they suffered occasionally attacks from orthodox Jews, especially in the beginning. From 1500 on the Kabbala became a more farspread and broad, but it was only a specific form of religious living inside of the Hebrew world. The "caballistic catastrophe" of 1666 (Shabetai Zevi) probably is the height of development.

All the 3 above mentioned persons couldn't draw from the historical kabbalistic movement, either cause they lived not in Spain or cause they lived before that movement.

Of course you could take the opinion, that "Kabbala" means "tradition" and refer to that definition.

But then - what is not tradition and who was then not a cabbalist? Somehow then suddenly even the North American Indians are Kabbalists.

And the SY is prekabbalistic.
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What if you just called the Sefer Yetzirah a text of "Jewish mysticism"? Then we could get around the polemic surrounding the term "kabbalism."

Ross
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Quote:
Mark wrote:
At the same time, I see virtually no evidence that kabbala played a part in the early Tarot. But this historical misconception still needs to be pointed out and corrected, so I have created a page which begins to date and to describe such sources:
Quote:
Huck wrote:

your list presents - beside some "real" full accepted kabbalists - some people, which wouldn't be called kabbalists by Jewish dictionaries.
Hi Huck,
First, let me reassure that these works are indeed referred to as kabbalistic precisely by the Hebrew and Italian bibliographers which I consulted to create this list. It is not me but the bibliographers and sources listed here:

http://www.spiritone.com/~filipas/Ma...says/zeta.html

who have identified any particular work listed as "kabbalistic" -- so I must take your objection here with a grain of salt.

Secondly, the larger point is not what term one might apply to these various mystical writings but rather that these writings existed in the region well before Tarot researchers have previously claimed. Therefore, if one wishes to argue that Jewish mysticism could not have influenced the Tarot, one cannot defend that argument by claiming that this influence was unknown to that time and place.

Thanks,
- Mark
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