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Bertrand 
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Hello Kwaw,

To nuance a bit my previous post, it is true that rading with the trump only is a norm, although it is definitely a certain masonic norm. Starting with court de Gébelin, who overemphasize the trumps, then Guaita via Wirth, and then anything that have been strongly influenced by them (that makes a lot) just copy the importance of the trumps - they bear the responsability for the "Arcana" and "Lame" terms, and more importantly for the "Major arcana" and "minor arcana" distinction.

So indeed there is a norm and it clearly originated in France, although it is more from french masonry than from France.

Considering the relative important influence of this "trump only" masonic school, there is no surprise that some authors pretend to be over the top just because they present the whole deck - not knowing they had a lot of predecessors, Marteau being the most famous.

I definitely agree with you regarding the fact that the "correctness" of a reading doesn't depend on the subset (if any) of the deck used, sorry for being unclear with the "(bad?)" term above : it would be bad only if it was limitating the "correct" way of reading to trumps only, but then the other way round - reading only with the full deck as the "way to do" - would be just as "bad". Choosing to using the whole deck or only a subset depends on habits, on what one is looking for, etc... I read with whole deck or trumps only - more rarely with honours and numerals only, in that case I prefer a standard spanish (or any latin suited) deck.

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Old 13-10-2011     Top   #11
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.........

Last edited by poivre; 30-11-2011 at 09:29.
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Old 13-10-2011     Top   #12
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this is very interesting , and I was just about to get my first marseilles ( a hadar ;D )
so this will be helpfull as I was searching for the numerological value of it all , and this seesm like a good way to start , if at least to make a comparative study , Im gonna arrage all my cards from 1 to 10 mayors( and from xi to xx ) and each suit , and see what patterns I can see



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Old 13-10-2011     Top   #13
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Hello Lee,

FINALLY I have the time to catch up a little on the forum here and do all the reading that I wanted to do, but couldn't! Sorry for not reacting earlier to this thread which is extremely interesting to me! And when I very superficially read through it a few weeks ago, I did even miss this here:

Quote:
I wasn't planning on sharing this, or at least not for a long while, as I enjoy keeping a relatively low profile these days. But le_charior's TdM enthusiasm over the last several weeks has inspired me to stick my nose out of my lair and sniff the sunshine. So if you don't like this approach -- blame him!
As you can imagine, I am more than happy to take that kind of blame! *blush* Thanks for the nice words, I feel honored!

But back to the topic! When I started looking at the TdM cards and thinking about what they could mean, I tried several ways to relate the pips to the majors. I laid out the trumps in two groups of ten and tried to find parallels between the two corresponding trumps and the pip card of the same value. I tried three groups of seven as Robert Place proposes, and I laid out the pips including courts in two rows of seven underneath... But nothing really seemed to make sense, so I turned away from the idea and towards numerology which seemed easier and faster. Maybe that is because I didn't know and understand the trumps at the time (and I still wouldn't dare to say I do now, but I might get a glimpse of understanding now from time to time...). You seem to have gone the same way, from numerology to a trump-based system, so it is all the more fascinating.

I have a few questions. Four to be exact.

First: What do you do with the court cards, do you have any special system for them? Do you relate them to the trumps in any way, or do just you see them as four different manifestations of their suit meaning?

Second:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee View Post
Another benefit to using the trumps in this way is that, unlike numerology, we don't need to bring in anything from outside the deck. So our interpretive system becomes nicely self-contained.
As much as I like the idea of the whole system being self contained - isn't numerology already present as well, just by the pure fact that there are let's say fice cups pictured, or one sword, or ten? Even without the roman numerals which might have been added later? I am always a bit hesitant to use numerology for the trumps because who knows if the order etc is the right one, but for the pips I feel numerology is alread contained. Then of course the reference, which system of numerology we use for our interpretation, that is outside the cards. But isn't our whole reference system, how we see the images etc, coming from outside the cards? If we see the little bird on the tree behind L'Etoile - doesn't our way of interpreting that bird come from a place that is "other" than the place the creator of the card? I think there is no way of forgetting all we know now and get back into the head of a renaissance card player (or someone who used the cards for something else), so the whole idea of "self-contained" doesn't really work for me.

Third:
Order. Do you have any hesitations about the order of the trumps? Could you adapt the method to read, let's say, with the Vieville deck which has a different order in the trumps?

And, fourth and last (for now!):
Is it a problem for you that you only consider half of the trumps sequence? You made clear that you don't include the second half, but I feel as if it was unjust in a way to only use the principles symbolized by the first half for the pip meaning, if you do this kind of correlation. To me there seem to be important principles, especially negative ones missing - the first half of the trumps is all sunshine and roses and happiness - only with the Wheel the dark side is introduced: death, treason, night, destruction etc etc... I am usually all for happy-go-lucky readings and being positive, but I thought about this and I would like to know what you think.

Quote:
If anyone's interested, perhaps we could start a three-card reading thread here specifically for this method. I'm not suggesting that we all use these particular keywords and meanings, of course -- just the basic concept of using trump meanings for the pips, so we can all easily follow along with each other's interpretations.
I would be totally up for that. New thread is here.

Thanks again for sharing this, Lee, and happy to exchange and learn with and from you! I continue to be thrilled by the wonders and possiblities of the Marseille tarots, and it is beautiful to see different ways to give them meaning (or to get the meaning out of them pip cards! )



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Last edited by le_charior; 30-11-2011 at 09:25.
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Old 30-11-2011     Top   #14
Lee 
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How nice to come home and find some delicious posts waiting for me!

Quote:
Originally Posted by le_charior View Post
First: What do you do with the court cards, do you have any special system for them? Do you relate them to the trumps in any way, or do just you see them as four different manifestations of their suit meaning?
You may have missed some of the earlier posts in this thread. Freddie had some interesting ideas:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freddie
Valet = The Moon - a bit murky and obscure, but the intial 'go forth' feeling is there.

Valet of Swords - dangerous enemy, lack of emotional intelligence.

Knight = The Sun - The lights are on, but the person is still exploring their new found conciousness, so he/she is not a fast thinker and mover just yet. Gut reactions rule.

Knight of Coins - Good intentions, hardworker, but slow and plodding.

Queen = Judgement - Higher conciousness has taken place. The obscurity and murkiness are gone. The person is more able to act than the previous two cards.

Queen of Wands - Wonderful gift of gab, friendly person.

Queen of Swords - hateful, ability to cut heads to get what she/he wants and won't feel bad about it. Can use intellect to justify actions.

King = The World - Intellect has now entered the picture and the person has reached a level of being able to do the 'dance of life' has the ability to execute their own divine will.

King of Cups - Happy family man, likes to est, drink and be merry. Wants love and doesn't care as much about worldly satisfaction as others.
My ideas were as follows:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee
I was thinking in terms of simply continuing on from the X. So that would give us:

Page = XI Strength
Knight = XII Hanged Man
Queen = XIII Death
King = XIV Temperance

In this scheme, the Page might symbolize a gentle, nonaggressive approach; the Knights, identification with a cause to the extent of being willing to sacrifice the self; Queens take on a Kali-like sharpness, intelligence, and willingness to use unsympathetic or unsentimental means; and the Kings would show a wisdom sort of like that of the ideal ruler in the Tao Te Ching: "For governing a country well, there is nothing better than moderation." And each of these would have their corresponding negative sides as well (Pages, lack of ambition; Knights, fanaticism; Queens, cruelty ["Off with their heads!"]; and Kings, overly concerned with harmonious relations.
I'm intrigued by my own idea but I have to admit I haven't actually tried it out yet. So far I've been using very simple categories for the courts (Page=learning, Knights=focusing, Queens=encouraging, Kings=controlling), or I've simply been using their visual impact in the spread without considering fixed meanings. But I think I'm going to try the Strength/Hanged Man/Death/Temperance scheme and see how it goes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by le_charior
Second:

As much as I like the idea of the whole system being self contained - isn't numerology already present as well, just by the pure fact that there are let's say fice cups pictured, or one sword, or ten? Even without the roman numerals which might have been added later? I am always a bit hesitant to use numerology for the trumps because who knows if the order etc is the right one, but for the pips I feel numerology is alread contained. Then of course the reference, which system of numerology we use for our interpretation, that is outside the cards.
An excellent and interesting point. The way I see it, I'm not using numerology in my system. The reason I say that is because I'm using the number merely as a way of attaching the pip card to a trump card. I'm not considering any qualities that might be seen as inherent in the number itself. For example, a numerological approach might tell us that 2s are about interactions between two entities, 3s are about something being born from the 2, 4s are stable because stability is achieved on four legs, etc. In my system (I say "my system" but I've only stolen parts of other people's systems), 3s are about the Empress only because the Empress happens to be numbered III, and it has nothing to do with an inherent "three-ness" of the Empress. To put it another way, I care nothing about the number itself.

Quote:
But isn't our whole reference system, how we see the images etc, coming from outside the cards? If we see the little bird on the tree behind L'Etoile - doesn't our way of interpreting that bird come from a place that is "other" than the place the creator of the card? I think there is no way of forgetting all we know now and get back into the head of a renaissance card player (or someone who used the cards for something else), so the whole idea of "self-contained" doesn't really work for me.
Yes, quite right. The way we read the cards can never be completely self-contained, because if it were, the cards would simply sit on the table and we wouldn't be reading them at all. The whole definition of reading is that we let the cards suggest things to us, and for that we need to bring to the cards our consciousness, our subconscious, or cultural backgrounds, our experiences, etc.

But I'm making a distinction between what I call a "direct" reference (i.e. the Emperor represents earthly power or an authority figure because that is how most of us think of emperors) and an "indirect" reference (i.e. 5s are disruptive because they relate to the fifth sephirah (Geburah) on the Cabalistic Tree of Life). In other words, "indirect" references take us to a completely different esoteric system which is outside the tarot, and we must make two mental leaps (one from the card itself to the corresponding symbol in the other system, and the second one to figure out what the symbol in the other system means) instead of one.

Now, of course to interpret the pip cards in any way (other than Enrique's visual way, and the point of my system is to use the visual way combined with a system-based interpretation), we need to relate them to something. What shall we relate them to? Numerology-based meanings would be based on qualities seen in numbers. Astrology-based meanings would be based on qualities as seen in planets or signs or houses. Cabala-based meanings would be based on qualities as seen in the sephiroth on the Tree of Life. Each of these systems requires reliance on a non-tarot system.

In my system, I relate the pips to the correspondingly-numbered trumps, and it has nothing to do with those numbers themselves. The numbers are only place-markers used to connect them to the trumps. So, while we are using something other than the pip cards to interpret the pip cards, the "something other" is our interpretation of the trump cards, rather than our interpretation of a non-tarot something.
Quote:
Third:
Order. Do you have any hesitations about the order of the trumps? Could you adapt the method to read, let's say, with the Vieville deck which has a different order in the trumps?
Well, let's find out.

Vieville trumps:
1 - Magician
2 - Popess
3 - Empress
4 - Emperor
5 - Pope
6 - Lovers
7 - Justice
8 - Chariot
9 - Strength
10 - Wheel

This doesn't present much of a problem. Justice and Chariot have switched places, but since I don't care at all about the numbers themselves, this doesn't matter at all. The only significant change is that Strength and the Hermit have switched places, which means we have lost the Hermit ("Discrimination" in my system) and gained Strength. Interestingly, I was just this morning discussing by PM with someone about whether we can use Strength instead of Justice for card 8. It seems to me we can certainly put Strength to good use. As I wrote in my PM this morning:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee
For Strength, my approach would be to search around for a concept that would fit in well with and round out the other 1-10 trumps. Common concepts like inner strength or patience or whatnot don't excite me too much. Sometimes I see the Strength card as like a precursor to the Devil card, because in the Strength card we're embracing and using shadow energies rather than repressing them. So perhaps for Strength I would use a keyword (or keyphrase) "Embracing the Shadow" (i.e. acknowledging less pleasant aspects of ourselves so that we can use that energy to help us in our lives). Then I'd take the four suits and try to come up with some phrases specific to each suit.
So for the Vieville we would lose "Discriminate" as a keyword for the 9s and have "Embracing the Shadow" instead. Why not?

I know there are other TdMs with different numbering, but I think the Vieville is probably the only one of these that any of us is likely to be reading with, since the rest are only in museums.

Quote:
And, fourth and last (for now!):
Is it a problem for you that you only consider half of the trumps sequence? You made clear that you don't include the second half, but I feel as if it was unjust in a way to only use the principles symbolized by the first half for the pip meaning, if you do this kind of correlation.
Teomat had a really good post on this earlier in the thread:
Quote:
Originally Posted by teomat
I sometimes use the pip-trump method, but use trumps XI-XX for the reversed pips. And I think there CAN be a connection between the two (some of which can be very thought-provoking, almost as if they are meant to be connected):

I (Magician) and XI (Strength) - mental strength and physical strength, mind over matter/matter over mind etc
II and XII - knowledge and ignorance
III and XIII - life and death
IV and XIV - rigidity and fluidity
V and XV - speaks for itself!
VI and XVI - union and break-up
VII and XVII - war and peace
VIII and XVIII - clarity and confusion
IX and XIX - introvert and extrovert
X and XX - life's uncertainties and life choices
I really like teomat's keywords here. So (if I understand him correctly) you could use "mental strength" (Magician) for Aces upright, and "physical strength" (Strength) for Aces reversed; "knowledge" (Popess) for 2s upright, "ignorance" (Hanged Man) for 2s reversed, etc. Teomat's is the only scheme I've seen that provides a convincing correlation between the "lower 10s" and the "upper 10s".

If I were going to use reversals in reading, I would do something very much like this (or use it exactly). I tend not to use reversals, though. For one thing, it limits what TdM decks you can use, since only some TdMs have clearly discernible indicators on the pip cards for which direction is which (for example the Fournier Marseille) (unless one wants to mark the cards, ugh). For another thing, it would play havoc with the second half of my system, which is to use the visual impact of the cards a la Enrique. Teomat's is still an intriguing system, though, and one I may explore in the future.

Also, I like to keep things simple. 10 trumps, 10 pips -- that I can handle!
Quote:
To me there seem to be important principles, especially negative ones missing - the first half of the trumps is all sunshine and roses and happiness - only with the Wheel the dark side is introduced: death, treason, night, destruction etc etc... I am usually all for happy-go-lucky readings and being positive, but I thought about this and I would like to know what you think.
Well, the "further" trumps (XI through XX) are still available in the deck as trumps; we're not removing them from the deck, and they will still come up in readings.

But you make a good point about positive/negative. I neglected to make clear in my original post that I deliberately structured my keywords so that they could be negative as well as positive. For example, III (Empress) "Care for" could be to smother with too much attention. VIII (Justice) "Equalize" could be to be too willing to compromise. 4 of Wands "Taking charge of an endeavor" could be too bossy. 5 of Coins "Charity; spending altruistically" could be giving too much to others to the point where you endanger yourself. And so on.
Quote:
Originally Posted by le_charior
Thanks again for sharing this, Lee, and happy to exchange and learn with and from you! I continue to be thrilled by the wonders and possiblities of the Marseille tarots, and it is beautiful to see different ways to give them meaning (or to get the meaning out of them pip cards! )
Thank you for resurrecting this thread and asking such good questions! I'm having a great time with this system and this conversation. I too am delighted to learn with and from you, and everyone in this thread and on this forum.
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Old 30-11-2011     Top   #15
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My goodness, Lee! I'm getting so much out of this! Thank you so much! I'm going to add these key words to my note-sheets for the various cards in my tarot journal. I love it!
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Old 30-11-2011     Top   #16
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Glad you liked it!
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Old 30-11-2011     Top   #17
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This is very similar to the way I read. I've found that linking the Minors with the Majors gives me just enough structure but with enough flexibility. I don't like too much structure but I like to have something to work with and the Majors are such broad concepts that there is loads of 'wiggle room' with a system like this one.

Thanks for sharing Lee .



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Old 30-11-2011     Top   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee View Post
You may have missed some of the earlier posts in this thread. Freddie had some interesting ideas:
I am so sorry... Should have read it more carefully... But when I finally had time to read your first post in detail, I was too impatient and jumping aheas. Apologies to Freddie and teomat, too! I really like the list of key words from teomat a lot, the pairing is very thought-provoking!
Quote:
My ideas were as follows:
I'm intrigued by my own idea but I have to admit I haven't actually tried it out yet. So far I've been using very simple categories for the courts (Page=learning, Knights=focusing, Queens=encouraging, Kings=controlling), or I've simply been using their visual impact in the spread without considering fixed meanings. But I think I'm going to try the Strength/Hanged Man/Death/Temperance scheme and see how it goes.
Excited to hear how that works for you!
Quote:
But I'm making a distinction between what I call a "direct" reference (i.e. the Emperor represents earthly power or an authority figure because that is how most of us think of emperors) and an "indirect" reference (i.e. 5s are disruptive because they relate to the fifth sephirah (Geburah) on the Cabalistic Tree of Life). In other words, "indirect" references take us to a completely different esoteric system which is outside the tarot, and we must make two mental leaps (one from the card itself to the corresponding symbol in the other system, and the second one to figure out what the symbol in the other system means) instead of one.
Excellent point, the differenciation between exoteric and esoteric symbols. Just read a long thread on symbolism here, and I liked Scion's post about it. Of course what was exoteric in the Renaissance in Italy or in 18th century France has become esoteric by now, so the line is really blurry. That's why the rich historical and iconographical background here on the forum is such a treasure to me, I only wish I had more time exploring all this, and reading more books...

Me, personally, I am trying to avoid esoteric systems like Kabbalah (sorry if that is not the correct spelling, I am always confused which one is...) or astrology and stick to what is IN the cards - but for me basic numerology is part of the pips. (And it might have been part of the exoteric reference frame of the time, like a lot of mythological knowledge and symbols were common "pop" culture at the time? Not sure...) But I am really only talking about the kind of numerology you could deduct from everyday life, or common standard topics like the ones you mentioned. (4 for stability, family, order... because of the four walls of a house etc...)
Quote:
Now, of course to interpret the pip cards in any way (other than Enrique's visual way, and the point of my system is to use the visual way combined with a system-based interpretation), we need to relate them to something. What shall we relate them to? Numerology-based meanings would be based on qualities seen in numbers. Astrology-based meanings would be based on qualities as seen in planets or signs or houses. Cabala-based meanings would be based on qualities as seen in the sephiroth on the Tree of Life. Each of these systems requires reliance on a non-tarot system.
For me the numbers are present in the cards. Not in the trumps, but the pips. And qualities based on numbers are something that surrounds us in every day life and language. For me that is the difference to Astrology or Cabala (another spelling!) based reference systems. Even elements for the suits - why should swords be air? For me it is the sound of the sword being swung through the air - swooooosh. But that is of course coming from my point of view, so from outside the cards, and I have to be aware of that. If the people who created the TdM or the first users would have seen that totally differently, and how - hard to say.
Quote:
I know there are other TdMs with different numbering, but I think the Vieville is probably the only one of these that any of us is likely to be reading with, since the rest are only in museums.
That seems to work smoothly and easily adaptable to different decks, actually.

I must say, as much as I like the simpleness and coherence of the system, what impresses me most ist your keywords. They are a real inspiration to see the qualities of the trumps in a new light and I admire how complex they are while being simple. So it is obvious to me that this system lives of the experience and understanding of the reader, and got me thinking about keywords I would chose. But yours are so good! Chapeau, as the french would say!
Quote:
But you make a good point about positive/negative. I neglected to make clear in my original post that I deliberately structured my keywords so that they could be negative as well as positive. For example, III (Empress) "Care for" could be to smother with too much attention. VIII (Justice) "Equalize" could be to be too willing to compromise. 4 of Wands "Taking charge of an endeavor" could be too bossy. 5 of Coins "Charity; spending altruistically" could be giving too much to others to the point where you endanger yourself. And so on.
Great point, thanks for clarifying this!

Quote:
Thank you for resurrecting this thread and asking such good questions! I'm having a great time with this system and this conversation. I too am delighted to learn with and from you, and everyone in this thread and on this forum.
It's my pleasure! I totally agree, it's such a wonderful place with wonderful people, this forum!



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Old 30-11-2011     Top   #19
Lee 
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Now I finally have some time to come to Aeclectic and play.
Quote:
Originally Posted by le_charior View Post
But I am really only talking about the kind of numerology you could deduct from everyday life, or common standard topics like the ones you mentioned. (4 for stability, family, order... because of the four walls of a house etc...)
Personally I find easily deductible meanings for the numbers to become less easily deductible as the numbers go up. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 are doable, but I start to lose the thread at 7, 8, 9 and 10. For those numbers I'd need to rely on something more.
Quote:
Even elements for the suits - why should swords be air? For me it is the sound of the sword being swung through the air - swooooosh. But that is of course coming from my point of view, so from outside the cards, and I have to be aware of that. If the people who created the TdM or the first users would have seen that totally differently, and how - hard to say.
For myself, I don't worry about elements. I ignore them. I still arrive at standard meanings for the suits by looking at the suit objects. For Wands, I picture wooden planks used to build a house. For Cups, food and drink as a means of sharing. For Swords, conflict and strategies. For Coins, value systems. I may be wrong about this but I doubt very much that people in the 15th through 19th centuries thought in terms of elements for the suits. I think that's a modern innovation, when esotericists began to look at the cards.
Quote:
I must say, as much as I like the simpleness and coherence of the system, what impresses me most ist your keywords. They are a real inspiration to see the qualities of the trumps in a new light and I admire how complex they are while being simple. So it is obvious to me that this system lives of the experience and understanding of the reader, and got me thinking about keywords I would chose. But yours are so good! Chapeau, as the french would say!
Well, thanks! It gives me a lot of pleasure to know that someone's gotten some use out of them. And I only think of them as a jumping-off point, to be enhanced with one's own experiences and perceptions as they happen in readings.
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Old 02-12-2011     Top   #20
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I created Aeclectic in 1996 to share my passion for Tarot with the world, and started the forum in 2000 so others could share theirs too. Read more about me, contact me or connect in the forum.

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