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Why they do and don't intersect

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Why they do and don't intersect


I am not sure if this is the right section to post this under, but as my query involves non-scenic pip cards...

I've often wondered why the swords and wands pips always have "intersecting" imagery (e.g. 4 wands forming a lattice) while the cups and coins don't - and don't even have cups or coins which overlap. Is there any occultic reason for this (like male-female dichotomy? Etc)? Or maybe even design considerations?

(Edited to add: Or maybe this should be in history and dev?)
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The interlacing Swords and Batons are a feature of the Italian type of Latin-suited cards.

The Spanish type don't have this feature for the suits.

Compare the two Latin-suit families here -
http://www.pagat.com/class/latin.html

The interlacing of these two suits also occurs in the Mamluk cards, but as there cards are dated to circa 1500, no historical inference can be made about whether these cards influenced European deisgns or vice versa.

"Italian" and "Spanish" are merely terms of convenience.

The origin may be merely aesthetic, or it may have a practical value in play, for easily seeing which number one has in a hand of fanned cards. But the Spanish non-interlaced type show that it is not strictly necessary.
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I completely forgot about the Spanish suits (whose bastos looks like cucumbers and chilli peppers)! I was just wondering, in regards to those traditions with intersecting swords and staves, if there is any occult-related literature which attributes this to something other than aesthetic/practical reasons. For example intersecting vs non-intersecting likened with, say the I Ching's concept of broken and unbroken lines. I'm not saying I'm looking for something specifically I Ching-related, I just figured that, given the occult's tendency/nature to attribute meanings and systems of meanings to things (like in the tarot, where each card was associated with certain attributes/meanings, based on a structured occult system), that maybe someone might have "explained" the occurence of "intersecting" and "non-intersecting" in "occult terms".
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I don't recall reading anything like that in occult writings. But I could have easily overlooked it. If searching, I would start with authors like Papus, who went deeply into the symbolism of the Tarot de Marseille, which has the Latin-suited pip pattern. Following upon him, Wirth.

Another feature that occultists unfortunately have not exploited - yet - is the playing rule in some Italian tarocchi games (like those of Bologna and Piemonte), and in the oldest French rules of 1637, where the suits of Cups and Coins value Ace high and 10 low, while in the Swords and Batons it is Ace low 10 high. This has little effect on the game, since if you can't follow suit you lose your card and the trick anyway (unless you play a trump), but it is an interesting twist with lots of symbolic potential.
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There was an extensive examination of this model shepherded by an interesting fellow under the moniker : Melancholic.

One of the threads can be found here :

http://www.tarotforum.net/showthread...ht=Melancholic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ross G Caldwell View Post
I don't recall reading anything like that in occult writings. But I could have easily overlooked it. If searching, I would start with authors like Papus, who went deeply into the symbolism of the Tarot de Marseille, which has the Latin-suited pip pattern. Following upon him, Wirth.

Another feature that occultists unfortunately have not exploited - yet - is the playing rule in some Italian tarocchi games (like those of Bologna and Piemonte), and in the oldest French rules of 1637, where the suits of Cups and Coins value Ace high and 10 low, while in the Swords and Batons it is Ace low 10 high. This has little effect on the game, since if you can't follow suit you lose your card and the trick anyway (unless you play a trump), but it is an interesting twist with lots of symbolic potential.
Thanks. Will try to research on this. It was really more of the result of idle speculation, but it's now piqued my interest a bit.

And yes, that "twist" does seem rather interesting! I'm already seeing potential interpretations as to why the rankings are reversed. haha

Quote:
Originally Posted by conversus View Post
There was an extensive examination of this model shepherded by an interesting fellow under the moniker : Melancholic.

One of the threads can be found here :

http://www.tarotforum.net/showthread...ht=Melancholic
Thanks! Wow, a rather longish thread! Skimmed through it a bit. Looks interesting.
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I read somewhere that in GD terminology, crossed Swords represent the positive aspects of Air, Swords not touching the negative, and Swords that just touch can be either. I wonder if this also plays out in the masculine Wands (and if it has any relevance at all, since It came later).

Perhaps heraldry, with its way of assigning meanings according to the division of a plane (shield or flag) offers some clue.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Babalon Jones View Post
I read somewhere that in GD terminology, crossed Swords represent the positive aspects of Air, Swords not touching the negative, and Swords that just touch can be either. I wonder if this also plays out in the masculine Wands (and if it has any relevance at all, since It came later).

Perhaps heraldry, with its way of assigning meanings according to the division of a plane (shield or flag) offers some clue.
Thag sounds interesting. Wonder what it would mean for the Wands.

My I Ching reference earlier was not entirely random. It would be interesting to compare male-female dichotomies between east and west. For example, broken (not touching?) wouldbe female (and all that that entails).

Ross G Caldwell's mention of the game rules variation is also interesting. When I first read it, I got the idea that the male side strives for complexity (thus 10s ranking higher), and females... in lack of a better term, wholeness or solidity (hence aces ranking higher). But that's just me trying to put my own twist to things. Haha
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