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conversus 
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Thank you, Bee



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Old 29-04-2010 Need help fast? Chat with a live Tarot reader now!     Top   #11
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De Gébelin created a false history that itself fostered a significant branch of the continued historical development of tarot. It served to spread the use of the tarot around the globe and to generate huge amounts of creativity in the field when tarot might otherwise have disappeared entirely from popular use.

There are some who think that scorn and ridicule will keep serious historians from examining de Gébelin's work. Does such an attitude serve an objective historical analysis of the entire history of tarot or does it serve only a particular agenda?



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edited -- mjh



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Every field has misconceptions that get perpetuated. There are a lot of ignorant people out there and always will be, and not all tarot authors have researched tarot history or saw any need to do so, given the purpose of their works as they perceived it (i.e., their stated agenda).

However, the number of tarot authors (not counting self- and internet-publishers) who willingfully and knowingly "sell a fraudulent" history of tarot has dropped significantly in the past ten years. Furthermore, most modern reviewers quickly point out the historical failings in tarot books.

More significantly regarding this discussion:
I don't know of any "New Age hucksters" or "die-hard occultists" in the current publishing world who use scorn, ridicule and name-calling in place of fact when discussing de Gébelin specifically. This speaks directly to the point I was making.

OTOH, I do know of some supposedly rational historians and professional sceptics who do—including the authors of A Wicked Pack of Cards, as this has been noted as a weakness by nearly every in-depth reviewer of this book. It's also a technique used by those aggressively promoting tarot as primarily a card-game.

A "history of ideas" examines humanity's creative, cultural and social history including art, social movements and inventions that evolve from people's ideas and imaginings. It is part of what makes culture so rich.

I wonder how many great inventions and artistic works derived from mistakes and even lies? Can you imagine a world without them? Also, nearly all cultural artifacts that continue to be used continue to evolve in ways that were never originally intended. That is a fact.



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One method in the "history of ideas" is to examine a myth in light of its expressing an inner need experienced by humanity at large or by a particular group at a particular historical period. (By "myth" I'm including made-up stories that get perpetuated as true. Joseph Campbell has called myth a "public dream.")

Here is the core myth told by Antoine Court de Gébelin:

1) Thoth/Hermes/Mercury (god of hieroglyphs, magic, medicine, etc.)
2) wanted to save from destruction
3) the Knowledge of the Golden Age (also known as Ageless Wisdom/Perennial Philosophy, etc.).
4) He coded it in sacred markings (hieroglyphs) that tell, through pictures that transcend individual languages,
5) the story of humanity's journey along the "Royal Road of Life."
6) These cards express a cosmology (a study of humanity's place in the Universe),
7) disguised as an innocent game.

I've numbered each piece of the story because each segment can be looked at as an image in a collective dream that carries a meaning that speaks to all (or, at least to a great many).

Here we are looking for the “inner truth” concealed within an “outer lie” (which is another definition of myth).

In the past, in classes, I've used a tarot dream process first taught by Gail Fairfield to explore the meaning of this "public dream." The method is to randomly draw a card for each segment of the "dream" to help in coming to understand the deeper meaning or significance of the dream. You might want to try this.

Or you might want to go to Tyson's translation (given in the link in the first post) to read de Gébelin's myth for yourself and do your own "dream interpretation" of what its inner, mythic meaning is for tarot occultists and "new agers."

Added: Since "Everything including games was founded on allegory..." (see first post) - we should look at the myth as an allegory, too. As Cerulean noted, it is because of this myth that almost all of us are involved in tarot.



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There is a very clear logic to why Antoine Court de Gebelin & the Comte de Mellet refer to the Tarot de Marseilles as The Book of Thoth. In the interest of a ‘history of ideas’ anyone claiming to be a Tarot historian should at least be familiar with this System before presuming to know whether or not this incarnation of the Milan pattern was derived from ancient esoteric teachings.



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edited -- mjh



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The exercise suggestion is posted to Talking Tarots with links back


Mary's suggested exercise, I posted in talking tarots:

http://www.tarotforum.net/showthread.php?t=138991

Thanks,

Cerulean



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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjhurst
If by "here" you mean on a forum titled "Historical Research", where you and I are chatting,
No - I meant "here in this post and in the example I am now giving . . ."

Quote:
others who have no use for that boring stuff researched and published by Decker et al.
Where have I ever said I have no use for Decker et al??? To disallow any critical comment of a work is not rational. Nor is it correct to generalize that I have no use for the work or that I find it boring when I said nothing to indicate those things.

Quote:
That is because one work is filled with historical facts and the other is filled with dreck presented as fact.
You are missing the point that historical documents in general contain as much dreck as they contain fact. The historicity of de Gébelin rests not on its being a work of historical fact but that it influenced a particular development in history.

Dummett & Decker did not say all that there is to be said about de Gébelin. Historians regularly go back to primary documents rather than believing that secondary sources contain everything of significance that should be known about a work as you have stated here:
Quote:
In terms of understanding occult Tarot HISTORY, one may read the account in "A Wicked Pack of Cards" (while completely ignoring Tyson's much-appreciated translation) and miss nothing of significance.
Quote:
"As Cerulean [quoted Bob Place], it is because of this myth that almost all of us are involved in tarot." Except that he didn't say "almost", which would have been accurate, and which would not have prompted my correction. He said something false, and you intentionally misquoted him
I was not quoting from Place but rather extrapolating from Cerulean's use of a quote by Place in order to refer to the "us" here at Aeclectic. I was making my own statement as a play on Cerulean's reference. And, since I can't be absolutely sure that all of "us" reading the tarotforum came to it as a result of the occultization of tarot, I was, correctly, more careful in my wording than Place was.

Quote:
You are so accomplished at playing these dishonest games, even to the point of sliming the actual historians you claim to respect, that it makes attempts at discussion futile.
I was not sliming Dummett et al by pointing up a weakness in their books. It is something that a great many reviewers have noted and that even Decker has acknowledged.

Quote:
I thought that even you might someday grasp the difference between historical research and contemporary practice -- silly me.
I agree that my suggestion to look at de Géblin's myth as allegory and interpret it as a "public dream" especially through the use of tarot cards (horrors!) is more "practice" than historical analysis and should thus be moved to some other part of the forum (I just don't know where). Moderator: please move.

I feel attacked when you say that you "pity" me and "lament" my choices, when you make unwarranted claims about my intentions - like my "loathing" history and that I was "intentionally" misquoting when you cannot possibly know what I think or feel, and when you call me names - "charlatan" "dishonest,"and "tea-bagger," and accuse me in derogatory terms of things like "sliming" others, when I was actually making a valid criticism that has also been made by other reviewers and even one of the co-authors.

I simply ask that you, please, deal with the issue itself through facts and criticism of the ideas and statements rather than by personal attacks on me.



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Old 13-05-2010 Need help fast? Chat with a live Tarot reader now!     Top   #19
Rosanne 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teheuti
De Gébelin created a false history that itself fostered a significant branch of the continued historical development of tarot. It served to spread the use of the tarot around the globe and to generate huge amounts of creativity in the field when tarot might otherwise have disappeared entirely from popular use.

There are some who think that scorn and ridicule will keep serious historians from examining de Gébelin's work. Does such an attitude serve an objective historical analysis of the entire history of tarot or does it serve only a particular agenda?
There is a very good example of Lie that has fostered huge historical research and fostered the growth of a religion. That lie has some bearing on Tarot as Tarot was born within that religion. The lie was that the Jews crucified Jesus- but it was Equestrian procurator of the Roman province of Judaea from AD 26–36. Pontius Pilate. Now should we not consider the history that arose from that lie?

History is the continous record of events, the study of the past and the systematic or critical analysis or research into past events. Even if it was delivered and found to be a lie. Examing de Gebelins work falls into that category. I am personally not interested much in occult Tarot, but it has a history and I defend the right for it to be considered so.
~Rosanne



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