Aeclectic Tarot
Tarot Cards & Reviews Live Tarot Readings Tarot Card Meanings Forum Archive

Jodorowsky's Court

  > Aeclectic Tarot Forum > Tarot Special Interest > Marseilles & Other Early Decks


 
6655321  6655321 is offline
Resident
 
Join Date: 23 Jan 2017
Location: PA, USA
Posts: 16
6655321 
Resident
Jodorowsky's Court


I've been working with Jodorowsky's Way of the Tarot for months now and while I think I'll be working with the book for some time more (it's a really good book!) it occurred to me, as soon as I read his thoughts on the court cards that while I generally like the systems and meanings presented in the book I didn't quite agree with his assessment of their value / interaction. While I wouldn't say I'm close to being “done” with the book I've been working with it regularly for a few months and I only feel more strongly this way. Anyhow, here's the outline of why I think he's got the court cards at least partially wrong presented with total humility (I realize I could be missing some key fact and be totally wrong).

They posses no numbers of their own so we should not assign them numerical value; Pages = Pages, Pages ≠ II.V (2.5). Doing so would be akin to putting a number on the Fool or a name on XIII.
Furthermore, feudal courts did not represent a process. Pages may become knights but knights wouldn't generally become queens, queens don't turn into kings and kings may sometimes have also been knights or even pages at some point but they (unless you count conquest) become kings. In the case of conquest where a knight “trumps” a king, that emissary would be generally be conquering from the outside (except in the case of a civil war, usurpation, or something along those lines which could be described in a reading by something like; Knight of Sticks, XIII, King of Sticks), in line with the knight's role as an emissary / conqueror. So, while the King of Swords would still “trump” the Knight of Swords (Kings (or Emperors, or Popes, sometimes Queens or Empresses and potentially Popesses) tell knights what to do), the Knight of Swords could still potentially “trump” (if the conquest is successful) the entirety of the court of Cups, etc… in regards to each suit transitioning into the next.

This doesn't really change the meanings of the cards significantly for me at this point but I feel that the relations of the these cards are more nuanced than a simple linear / cyclical progression and any attempt to present them as such (as tempting as it is, given repeated themes of cycles and transformations in the tarot) only serves to constrain a deeper understanding of the courts.

Anyhow, it's an idea I'm still developing that I just wanted to throw out there to see if anyone else familiar with the book had any opinion on the topic and my approach to it.
Top   #1
Barleywine's Avatar
Barleywine  Barleywine is offline
Elder Jabberwock
 
Join Date: 10 Jun 2011
Location: Where the wild things are
Posts: 9,055
Barleywine 
Elder Jabberwock

Barleywine's Avatar

I haven't worked with the book yet, so I can't speak to the specifics, but I agree with you about nuance rather than a mechanical hierarchy of authority. I had a case in point with one of my clients not long ago. The woman came up as the Queen of Pentacles and was immediately followed by the Knight of Pentacles. I told her that the Knight is sometimes the "consort" to the Queen and "takes care of her" when the King is otherwise occupied. The secretive look she gave me told me that was exactly what she had on her mind.
Top   #2
rakusribut  rakusribut is offline
Resident
 
Join Date: 07 Mar 2017
Location: Leiden, the Netherlands
Posts: 35
rakusribut 
Resident

wow, 6655321, thanks for your thoughts on this. i have jodorowsky's book as well and find it fascinating but also very constrictive/prescriptive, can't find the right word but studying it tends to get me confused, like all linear/hierarchical 'systems' of interpretation tend to do if i try to 'follow' them long enough....
decided to join the #marchofthepips instagram challenge with a complete deck and got the king of swords on the second day. spent ages trying to figure him out with jodorowsky and other numerological 'systems' and ended up with a headache. decided that for me the court cards have no number, be it II, V, or 14 (and what if you have a thoth-style deck, does the king become a 14?) anyway, after reading your post i felt a sigh of relief coming up....lol! you are so right. the court is not about hierarchy, linear movement towards enlightenment (just think of all the different names they have gotten over the centuries), for me they are about (different aspects of) personality/ behavior, maybe also about moral values/ creative talents and the way you express them.
Top   #3
Barleywine's Avatar
Barleywine  Barleywine is offline
Elder Jabberwock
 
Join Date: 10 Jun 2011
Location: Where the wild things are
Posts: 9,055
Barleywine 
Elder Jabberwock

Barleywine's Avatar

Quote:
Originally Posted by rakusribut View Post
wow, thanks for your thoughts on this. i have jodorowsky's book as well and find it fascinating but also very constrictive/prescriptive, can't find the right word but studying it tends to get me confused, like all linear/hierarchical 'systems' of interpretation tend to do if i try to 'follow' them long enough....
decided to join the #marchofthepips instagram challenge with a complete deck and got the king of swords on the second day. spent ages trying to figure him out with jodorowsky and other numerological 'systems' and ended up with a headache. decided that for me the court cards have no number, be it II, V, or 14 (and what if you have a thoth-style deck, does the king become a 14?) anyway, after reading your post i felt a sigh of relief coming up....lol! you are so right. the court is not about hierarchy, linear movement towards enlightenment (just think of all the different names they have gotten over the centuries), for me they are about (different aspects of) personality/ behavior, maybe also about moral values/ creative talents and the way you express them.
I've come across a few ways to "number" the court cards:

11-through-14, Page through King, as an extension of the suit's pip series

1-through-4, Page through King, as their own discrete sub-group

2, 3, 6 and 10, King through Page, according to their places on the Tree of Life

When I use them in calculating a quintessence, I go with 11-through-14.
Top   #4
rakusribut  rakusribut is offline
Resident
 
Join Date: 07 Mar 2017
Location: Leiden, the Netherlands
Posts: 35
rakusribut 
Resident

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barleywine View Post
I've come across a few ways to "number" the court cards:

11-through-14, Page through King, as an extension of the suit's pip series

1-through-4, Page through King, as their own discrete sub-group

2, 3, 6 and 10, King through Page, according to their places on the Tree of Life

When I use them in calculating a quintessence, I go with 11-through-14.
that's just the point i was trying to make, numbering the court cards doesn't seem to work for me, much to my regret. that's why i am so relieved by 6655321's thoughts about this issue. i admire people who manage to make sense out of those numbers though.... very interesting that you have created different systems for numbering the court. how do you decide whether to see a king as 14, 4 or 2? and does it really add to your basic reading of the card? (as opposed to me getting confused by it)
Top   #5
headincloud's Avatar
headincloud  headincloud is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 12 Feb 2014
Location: Feet on the ground
Posts: 2,147
headincloud 
Citizen

headincloud's Avatar

Quote:
Originally Posted by rakusribut View Post
that's just the point i was trying to make, numbering the court cards doesn't seem to work for me, much to my regret. that's why i am so relieved by 6655321's thoughts about this issue. i admire people who manage to make sense out of those numbers though.... very interesting that you have created different systems for numbering the court. how do you decide whether to see a king as 14, 4 or 2? and does it really add to your basic reading of the card? (as opposed to me getting confused by it)
I echo this and wonder too.
Top   #6
Barleywine's Avatar
Barleywine  Barleywine is offline
Elder Jabberwock
 
Join Date: 10 Jun 2011
Location: Where the wild things are
Posts: 9,055
Barleywine 
Elder Jabberwock

Barleywine's Avatar

Quote:
Originally Posted by rakusribut View Post
that's just the point i was trying to make, numbering the court cards doesn't seem to work for me, much to my regret. that's why i am so relieved by 6655321's thoughts about this issue. i admire people who manage to make sense out of those numbers though.... very interesting that you have created different systems for numbering the court. how do you decide whether to see a king as 14, 4 or 2? and does it really add to your basic reading of the card? (as opposed to me getting confused by it)
I didn't create them, I found them in various published sources. I don't use them for anything except quint calculation, since, for purposes of interpretation, they don't have much useful connection to esoteric number theory as I use it, even by reducing them numerologically. I tried to see if Pythagoras was any help, but according to Agrippa all of the numbers above 10 have biblical associations that are of no use to me. He did say that these numbers must be understood "by their original, and parts, as they are made of a various gathering together of simple numbers, or manner of multiplication." Joseph Maxwell tried to shed light on this with his rather arcane discussion of the combination of the unitary, binary, ternary and quaternary qualities to produce the higher numbers. None of this has much utility in trying to interpret card meanings, however interesting it might be.

ETA: I suppose, though, that considering the Knight as 12 and thus the multiplication of 3 (The Empress) by 4 (the Emperor) does seem to be in keeping with the esoteric idea that the Knight is the son of the King and Queen. It doesn't work quite so cleanly with the rest, although maybe the Page as 11 represents 1+1=2, and sprang from the forehead of the High Priestess like Athena from Zeus, or it stands for 1/1 as the cloned offspring of two Magicians? (Sorry, I get carried away . . . )
Top   #7
rakusribut  rakusribut is offline
Resident
 
Join Date: 07 Mar 2017
Location: Leiden, the Netherlands
Posts: 35
rakusribut 
Resident
Smile


Quote:
Originally Posted by Barleywine View Post

ETA: I suppose, though, that considering the Knight as 12 and thus the multiplication of 3 (The Empress) by 4 (the Emperor) does seem to be in keeping with the esoteric idea that the Knight is the son of the King and Queen. It doesn't work quite so cleanly with the rest, although maybe the Page as 11 represents 1+1=2, and sprang from the forehead of the High Priestess like Athena from Zeus, or it stands for 1/1 as the cloned offspring of two Magicians? (Sorry, I get carried away . . . )
hihi barleywine, do get carried away, i like the result..... i now recognize the source of my confusion, trying to use numerological concepts to improve my intuitive/meditative reading of the cards. not very effective, indeed lol! the idea of esotheric numerology appeals to me greatly though, guess i'll have to learn how to use a different side of my brain to figure that one out
Top   #8
6655321  6655321 is offline
Resident
 
Join Date: 23 Jan 2017
Location: PA, USA
Posts: 16
6655321 
Resident

Thanks for the positive comments! They're encouraging.
Top   #9


 


 


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

The Aeclectic Tarot Forum closed permanently on July 14th, 2017. The public threads remain online as a read-only archive and resource. More information on our decision can be found here. Thank you for being a part of our active community over the past seventeen years.

Copyright © 1996 - 2017 Aeclectic Tarot. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy. Contact us.