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Marseilles' World : Orthodox or Heterodox?

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Marseilles' World : Orthodox or Heterodox?


I've been admiring the inexpensive Conver (I believe it is) Tarot, especially the final six arcana, from "La Maison Dieu" through "Monde". Several respectable scholars in recent years inform me that the symbolism is Christian apocalyptic, orthodox without any need to ponder further. I look at "Monde" and I see the Neoplatonic World Soul within the fixed zodiacal signs. It is similar to Hildegard von Bingen's last vision of the " Human Form Divine" (13th century) and a Bavarian drawing ( 12th century) of man as microcosm within the four main and eight secondary winds ( see Roob, Alchemy and Mysticism, pp 545 and 643). But it is Biblical and Dantean . Any thoughts about this ?
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It is indeed similar to Hildegard's vision in many respects, and one is also reminded of the transfixed World Soul occuring in not only neo-platonic, but directly Platonic, works.

The four fixed signs outside the aureole are also traditionally used to represent not only those signs, but recall, more specifically, the four living creatures of Ezekiel and the again found in the Apocalypse.

Further, they have long alluded to the four evangelists.

As you are also undoubtedly already aware, but bears repeating for the sake of discussion and Forum content, the image is also iconographically similar to many 12th and 13th century Cathedral depictions of Christ in Ascension - including the Aureole (or 'Almond'/Vesica-Piscis) and the evangelists.
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Marseilles' World


Thank you for your thoughtful response. I know of and appreciate your research in Cathedral art and Tarot art, particularly the Chartres Force image. Chartres was,of course, a center of Christian and Platonic art/metaphysics-- Rene Querido's brief book about this, The Golden Age of Chartres, makes this clear. What strikes me about the Marseilles' World is the nude Female instead of Christ glorified. The mandorla appears to me more like nature's abundance than a glory-aureole. Robert Place's new book on his Buddha Tarot spotlights this enigmatic shift in iconography. Could othodox and heterodox converge here? Certainly, this is more than a card game!
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Re: Marseilles' World


Quote:
Originally posted by Frank Hall
What strikes me about the Marseilles' World is the nude Female instead of Christ glorified.
Frank, this has also always struck me. Some people also say it is an androgynous creature, but I see no androgony there at all. I see a woman. It is curious....

Quote:
Certainly, this is more than a card game!
Indeed. The French tarologist, Georges Colleuil, says that the Tarot is not a "jeu de cartes" (game of cards), but "des cartes du je" (cards of the "I", the "self"). It is impossible to translate this wordplay properly into English, but if you have some basic knowledge of French, I think you will understand.
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Re: Re: Marseilles' World


Quote:
Originally posted by Diana
Indeed. The French tarologist, Georges Colleuil, says that the Tarot is not a "jeu de cartes" (game of cards), but "des cartes du je" (cards of the "I", the "self"). It is impossible to translate this wordplay properly into English, but if you have some basic knowledge of French, I think you will understand.
Colleuil's wordplay in French is quite deep. "Jeu" in French can also translate into English as "deck", hence "jeu de cartes" could mean "game of cards" or "deck of cards".
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I personally do consider that the ambiguity of the ways in which the image of XXI has developed in various decks is wonderful.

I have in another thread attached a copy of the World card from Dodal (1701), to show that it is indeed possible for the figure to be seen as any of three possibilities: as masculine Christ-like image, as feminine, or as hermaphrodic.

I also attach an image here from the Cathedral of Angouleme - there are so many similar images around the French countryside that it would have been difficult, I suggest, to have been able to have seen the card as anything other than a Christ representation. I am not suggesting that it may not have also been used to depict either heretical notions of either Christ as Hermaphrodite or as World Sophia - it quite rightly may also have been so used. Rather, it seems likely that with time, what may have been long-haired and beardless masculine representations become slowly transformed to feminine figures. Here what comes to mind are especially two cards (there are also others, such as the Papess, which may also have been a young priest, and the 'proper' place for the youngest son to take), that of Samson and the Lion (Strength) and of Christ (XXI). Personally, I consider, let it also be clear, that the feminine depiction of Strength is more than appropriate and accurate. For myself, I personally prefer to consider the XXI figure as hermaphrodic - but not as upper vs lower, but as right/left cuniunctio (of united Sun & Moon as Mercury).

Of course, this does not directly address the principal question which Frank asks in opening this thread.

To address this a little, I personally do consider that the variety and sequence of images utilised, in its formative stages, quite clear Christian ones, but that it is very likely that these were developed (from my personal perspective) by crypto-Jews who remained in Southern French lands after their, and the Huguenots', expulsion at the time.

I therefore personally also consider that the alphabetic correlations, as presented by Mark Filipas, to actually be correct, and suggest that this was actually the deck's overall organising pattern on what was otherwise a wonderful and allegorically rich set without over-arching organising sequence.

As such, it certainly also, and undoubtedly to my mind, included what would have been considered heretical to the Roman Catholic Church, but quite consistent with various other Christian movements - especially Christian Jews with Huguenot tendencies.
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Re: Marseilles' World


Quote:
Originally posted by Frank Hall
What strikes me about the Marseilles' World is the nude Female instead of Christ glorified. The mandorla appears to me more like nature's abundance than a glory-aureole.
It might relate to the image of the New Jerusalem and the Bride of Christ, as found in Rev. 21:9 et. seq:

9 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lambís wife.
10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,
11 Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;
12 And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:
13 On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.
14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

We don't have quite the quota of gates, but we do have a female figure seeming to float down, contained in a boundary, and four Apostles.
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Marseille's World


Hello, all.
In my eyes the TdM's World seems to represent the Assumption of Mary Magdalen, as I once wrote in the article below:

http://www7.ocn.ne.jp/~elfindog/EGSTMGD.HTM

I believe the old woodcutters used anything available to represent Le Monde, and what they utilised includes the images of Goddess Fortune, Mary Magdalen, Christ Triumphant, etc.
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I found the Crivelli image beautiful


A little more history why her conversion story and depictions might become more popular closer to Renaissance times:

http://witcombe.sbc.edu/davincicode/...stitution.html

Regards,

Cerulean
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more than either/or


Heterodox, or for simplicity, un-Orthodox, soley versus
Orthodox, meaning conforming to established doctrine,
presents a most peculiar question regarding XXI Le Monde,
and perhaps more importantly, le Tarot de Marseille itself.
In my opinion, Tarot is Anti Church and State violence.
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