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Was the TdM created for the purposes of divination?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Padma View Post
Good answer, Richard. I always thought the design of the trumps was somehow a political and religious commentary of the times...figures that meant something to their world views, and used as game pieces but only in the sense that Kings or Bishops (e.g.) are used in chess - in fact, the whole deck rather reminds me of an amped up chess game, with the minors being pawns.

It may even be the world's first attempt at the game "Civilization" or Panzerblitz...
I never looked at it that way before but it does make sense

The minors/pawns were viewed as cannon fodder and therefore not worth any elaborate design
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aunty Anthea View Post
I never looked at it that way before but it does make sense

The minors/pawns were viewed as cannon fodder and therefore not worth any elaborate design
The minors are essentially the same as a standard 52 card game deck, except that the knights have been dropped. A. E. Waite thought that the majors and minors originally belong to entirely different traditions, and I am inclined to agree.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard View Post
The minors are essentially the same as a standard 52 card game deck, except that the knights have been dropped. A. E. Waite thought that the majors and minors originally belong to entirely different traditions, and I am inclined to agree.
That's part of what makes me wonder. The jeu de tarot deck IS just a game playing deck, and it's much closer than the common 52 card deck.

It has the large 78 cards, 4 court cards in each suit, 21 trumps and the unnumbered Excuse/Fool/Joker. It even has that tartan plaid card back(which I love even if no one else does )

The big difference is those 21 trumps. They are just a collection of numbered scenes - lovely but essentially meaningless as far as I can tell. The TdM trumps have more depth and purpose than it seems would be necessary for "just a game."

I do still assume the TdM was just a game playing deck, but I still wonder too

---- And, no! That's not supposed to be anyone's granny!
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In The Esoteric Tarot, Ronald Decker speculates the original trumps were "hieroglyphics" representing gods and virtues based on Hermetic principals. Of course that would be the early 15th Century concept of hieroglyphics, which is based on serious misunderstandings of the Egyptian concept.
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I fall in with those who suspect that the trumps and the courts/pips came from two separate traditions and were melded at some point. I can't see that the pips have any obvious philosophical underpinnings apart from number and suit symbolism, although we moderns seem hell-bent on injecting some in order to "normalize" them to current standards. The trumps are another matter entirely, and appear to have a more involved lineage; whether or not it's an esoteric one is debatable. I read a while back that the trumps were likely part of some kind of educational catechism before they were diverted for game-playing, and the moralizing (or at least cautionary) nature discernible in many of them makes this seem plausible. But I'm no tarot historian, so will defer to the more informed here.
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Were coffee grinds or tea leafs created for divination, or clouds or animal entrails, or dice, straws or dominoes, or water or wax or bones? Cards were designed as a game, adapted for fortune telling, then since designed with fortune-telling in mind. Were the TdM designed with fortune-telling in mind? No, I don't think so. Adapted to and even designed as such since? Certainly!
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This is a "chicken or egg" sort of dilemma. On one hand, the whole esoteric/Egyptian/hieroglyphic theory has been completely or almost completely debunked. On the other, there is evidence of Tarot being used for divination pretty much since its inception in the 1400s and 1500s (as discussed in another thread). So, you know, toss a coin, pick your poison, whatever floats your boat.

Of course
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwaw View Post
Were coffee grinds or tea leafs created for divination, or clouds or animal entrails, or dice, straws or dominoes, or water or wax or bones?
But....
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