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Bernice 
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Quote:
Teheuti: (post 12): 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.....
This says it all in a nutshell.

Any person who chooses to delve into tarot history beyond Golden Dawn & Rider-Waite will at some point come to De Gébelin and check into his claims. The 'false history' will then be exposed. This is the thrill of exploration for those who newly discover it, and it needs to be seen.

Here in the 21st century, De Gébelin, along with other (erronous) exponents of the origins and 'meanings' of tarot have become an integral part of its history. We do not deny the impact of past national figures when reseaching or teaching the history of countries or the human race, it is presented Warts & All. Should we not do the same with tarot?


Bee

ETA: I completly missed Rosannes post! My apologies.
It clarifies the objective approach to undertaking an historical assessment of 'past truths & lies'. It is indeed vital to examine historical 'lies' and misunderstandings in order to gain a 'true' record of events.

Last edited by Bernice; 13-05-2010 at 22:16.
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Old 13-05-2010 Limited time only: Chat live with a Tarot reader now and get 50% off!     Top   #21
Debra 
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I appreciate Mary's idea of reflecting on the "core myth" as a part of the experience and process of historical investigation.

Max Weber advocated that social sccientists use the method of "sympathetic understanding." This involves both knowledge of others' beliefs and practices, and imagination to gain understanding and insight through the reconstruction of the lives and beliefs of those they study. Eat the food, walk in the shoes, play the games they played.

Introspection on the core myth is not evidence for a historical truth about the tarot itself. Still, good history has heart and soul.

Last edited by Debra; 13-05-2010 at 19:47.
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Old 13-05-2010 Limited time only: Chat live with a Tarot reader now and get 50% off!     Top   #22
philebus 
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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.
I have to take issue with this. You seem to assume here that tarot was in danger of disappearing from popular use! It had certainly fallen out of favour in urban France - but urban France is not the continent and this happened at a time when tarot was arguably the most popular form of card game throughout Europe. And let's not be disingenuous, occultism is hardly the only source of creativity in tarot design, much of Europe had already begun to innovate with new designs, giving rise to huge variation that continues to this day.

You also seem to assume that tarot could not have spread beyond the continent without occultism. That requires some argument and I would speculate from experience that the occult myths have hindered the spread of the games. It was only after adopting the French suited packs that the game of tarot began to recover its popularity in France but in countries without a history of the games, people are simply not comfortable with the idea, so deeply has the myth been worked into culture that I have trouble getting people to play with even the French suited packs. As for those countries that still retain the Italian trumps, it is legitimate to wonder if they would be seeing the same decline in game play were it not the for the myths, which have supplanted the history in their culture.

Of course, spread and creativity are not goods in themselves and calling the spread of a myth and the practice of divination good requires some further argument. And as for interpreting the myths as allegory, let's not forget that they were not intended as allegory but are being re-described as such post Dummett & Co in order to preserve them long after they should have been put to rest. Their value as allegory rests first upon whatever we propose that it is about and how well it represents it. My first caution is that even if you start with a good idea (which again, requires further argument) you must then try to fit it to something not intended to contain it and end up with a poor fit or a corrupt idea. If you have an idea, first justify it as good and then create your own allegory and clearly call it such - if only to put and end to the misconceptions about tarot history that still endure.

Last edited by philebus; 14-05-2010 at 15:49.
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Old 14-05-2010 Limited time only: Chat live with a Tarot reader now and get 50% off!     Top   #23
Rosanne 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philebus
As for those countries that still retain the Italian trumps, it is legitimate to wonder if they would be seeing the same decline in game play were it not the for the myths, which have supplanted the history in their culture.
Hey this was just like deja vu. I was asking some elderly Italian Tarrochi players some questions and at first they were very suspicious of my intentions (until explained) and wanted to know if I was a "Sportellista di fortuna" and said with so much derision that I taken aback. They said moon children had taken their game I did laugh some - but I was a little embarassed. The only thing that saved me was the ability to show them I knew something of Tarot card playing and the early cards- which they also knew about. They were extremely caustic about the myths.

~Rosanne



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Debra 
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I daresay that fewer people love tarot because it is a card game compared to the number who love it because it seems to carry messages.

I wonder if tarot would have enduring interest as "only a game"? It's true, some people take a special interest in the history of games. So is tarot history only as interesting as the history of checkers or backgammon or any other game? (Snakes and Ladders, anyone?) Nothin' special to see here, move on to any other game and it's equally fascinating? Harumph.

Reading tarot cards is a form of game playing, anyway.
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Old 14-05-2010 Limited time only: Chat live with a Tarot reader now and get 50% off!     Top   #25
Teheuti 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philebus
You seem to assume here that tarot was in danger of disappearing from popular use!
I said "might have disappeared." Having lived in Germany in the 1950s I've seen quite a few traditions nearly disappear since then. My former mother-in-law from a small town in Poland commented on how many games she played were no longer familiar to today's youth. Just a couple of months ago a linguist who did her graduate work in the Languedoc regions said how she no longer sees the old men playing tarot in the cafes like she did forty years ago. It was these old men in the mountain villages who first told her that tarot was invented by a woman who was burned as a heretic and that they contained Cathar secrets.

Quote:
much of Europe had already begun to innovate with new designs, giving rise to huge variation that continues to this day.
What new designs emerged in the late 18th century specifically for playing the game? French-style pips had already been invented. Are you referring to the Gumppenberg decks from Milan? I would call them stylistically different rather than new designs. The Swiss decks with Juno and Jupiter could be considered new designs, I suppose.

However, the Tarot Nouveau (and Jeu de Tarot) which is the primary deck type used for playing tarot in France didn't emerge until the late 19th century in Germany.

Quote:
You also seem to assume that tarot could not have spread beyond the continent without occultism. That requires some argument and I would speculate from experience that the occult myths have hindered the spread of the games.
We can speculate all we want but we'll never know for sure.

Quote:
As for those countries that still retain the Italian trumps, it is legitimate to wonder if they would be seeing the same decline in game play were it not the for the myths, which have supplanted the history in their culture.
Considering that card games of all kinds are rampant on the net, and game nights are springing up in every community, and Germany has experienced a huge renaissance in card and board games (several friends of mine are very active involved in buying and playing them), I would think that if tarot were attractive to modern game-players they would have picked it up quickly. The decks used are different enough that I don't see why it would be a problem.

Quote:
Of course, spread and creativity are not goods in themselves and calling the spread of a myth and the practice of divination good requires some further argument.
There are no absolute values here. Some consider the use of tarot for fortune telling or occult purposes to be good and some don't. Big deal. But there is no denying that these 'new' uses have spread because a lot of people find them interesting.

Quote:
And as for interpreting the myths as allegory, let's not forget that they were not intended as allegory but are being re-described as such post Dummett & Co in order to preserve them long after they should have been put to rest. Their value as allegory rests first upon whatever we propose that it is about and how well it represents it. My first caution is that even if you start with a good idea (which again, requires further argument) you must then try to fit it to something not intended to contain it and end up with a poor fit or a corrupt idea. If you have an idea, first justify it as good and then create your own allegory and clearly call it such - if only to put and end to the misconceptions about tarot history that still endure.
I'm afraid I can't understand what you are saying here. Can anyone else explain? If you are saying that interpreting myths as allegory is something that never existed prior to Dummett, then you are wrong. Jung was doing it early in this century, and it's been a part of literary criticism for a very long time. Just because no one has published such an allegorical analysis of the de Gébelin myth doesn't mean that people have looked at it in that way. In fact, I started discussing the allegory in the myths in my tarot classes when I was teaching tarot in colleges in the 1970s.



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Last edited by Teheuti; 14-05-2010 at 18:09.
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Old 14-05-2010 Limited time only: Chat live with a Tarot reader now and get 50% off!     Top   #26
Rosanne 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Debra
I daresay that fewer people love tarot because it is a card game compared to the number who love it because it seems to carry messages.
Well a Tarot forum is somewhat a goldfish bowl- the only thing swimming are Tarot fish.
I believe you are right- within this bubble.
Try it.. would you like to play Monpoly? Checkers? Backgammon? Tarot? Chess?
I bet you will find that Tarot is not chosen. It is not seen as a game.

Me..... I love all it's faces. I have a particular fascination with it's history and that also includes that cad Crowley; but truely I am enamoured with it's beginning. I am sure Bianca Visconti played at Fortune telling- even if just because she could and it was naughty. Omens and signs have been with us forever. I met someone who told me that they asked the Mona Lisa about the man she was with and Mona Frowned. Mona was right apparently. I absolutely believe the two faces of Tarot are entwined...but the history is more clearly defined as a game and that is the road we must take. I wonder if these Ladies kept scrapbook- Francesca Sforza did. In there is his dreams and I guess his "Fortune" How often did he draw Justice I wonder.

~Rosanne

~Rosanne



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Old 14-05-2010 Limited time only: Chat live with a Tarot reader now and get 50% off!     Top   #27
Yygdrasilian 
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Euthyphro Dilemma


Quote:
Originally Posted by Plotinus
"Since all men from their birth employ sense prior to intellect, and are necessarily first conversant with sensible things: Some, proceeding no farther, pass through life considering these as first and last; and apprehending what is painful to be evil, what is pleasant to be good, they deem it sufficient to shun the one and pursue the other. Some pretending to greater reason than the rest, esteem this wisdom; like earth-bound birds, though they have wings are unable to fly. The secret souls of others would recall them from pleasure to worthier pursuits; but they cannot soar: they choose the lower way and strive in vain. Thirdly, there are those divine men whose eyes pierce through clouds and darkness to supernal vision, where they abide as in their own lawful country."
Soundly based in the mathematics of acoustic geometry, the application of Tarot to the Hebrew alphabet (aleph=0) reveals “a work of the former Egyptians, one of their books that escaped the flames that devoured their superb libraries, and which contains their purest doctrines on interesting subjects.” The assertion has nothing to do with the literal translation of ‘egyptian’ hieroglyphs as, having been derived from them, the symbols attributed the Hebrew letters were once depicted by those hieroglyphs. Considered with their attribution to elements (mothers), planets (doubles) and zodiac (singles), partitioning the deck by digital root fits them together to form the components of a Caduceus. With respect to how the symbols of Tarot map onto the Qabalah Tree in order to represent this process, One could say the 10 sephiroth and 22 pathways of the Tree of Life are a kind of game board, and the numerology of the Tarot deck is used to gather the game pieces.

One versed in the alchemical allegories attending the Great Work will then see the iconography of the deck fall right into place - especially as concerns the purification of Gold ore through the use of antimony.

Technically, neither de Gebèlin, nor Crowley ever broke their oaths of secrecy concerning the proper application of the cypher. The Fool ushers in what ultimately leads to a prank. of sorts; but is himself a pun on the use of Zero (from the arabic word: sifr), placed at both beginning and end in this cycle of major ‘secrets’ (arcana).

Although it is true there are dozens of systems presented with Tarot, the evolution of the Milan pattern: from Viscounti-Sforza to Tarot de Marseilles to Book of Thoth - bears the imprint of an aenigma that has been the philosopher’s riddle for ages. It evokes an eerie silence because those who know of what I speak do not wish to spoil the riddle; nor the ‘punch-line.’ And, given the subject matter, until One actually ‘sees’ the hidden stone for themselves, the whole contraption just sounds... foolish. But, to a Freemason delving in studies of ancient symbolism, at a time when the doctrine of prisca sapientia was held by leading thinkers of mathematical & metrological inquiry, it is not too extreme to suppose that Court de Gébelin, the Comte de Mellet and their peers might have known about this connection between Tarot and the Great Pyramid’s location:proportions. A fraternal brotherhood deeply interested in the secrets of the master builders would have found it rather hard to miss.

777 = 231 : 343 : 127

Perhaps it is too much to expect art historians to solve such an exercise in cryptography...



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Old 15-05-2010 Limited time only: Chat live with a Tarot reader now and get 50% off!     Top   #28
Mabuse 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teheuti

What new designs emerged in the late 18th century specifically for playing the game? French-style pips had already been invented. Are you referring to the Gumppenberg decks from Milan? I would call them stylistically different rather than new designs. The Swiss decks with Juno and Jupiter could be considered new designs, I suppose.
The Germans did create the first Animal Tarots (Tiertarock) during the 18th century.

Also a note on the games. Here in the US, more people are becoming familiar with the game of Tarot. The game decks are now easily available to us from online specialty stores and I do see some small Tarot game groups forming. Tarot games could become more popular in the US or it could remain a niche hobby but I don't believe that card readers will enjoy the same virtual monopoly on the Tarot that they've had in the past though.



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The great irony of the Tarot
"Few are even aware of the exoteric Tarot, intended only for card play: they conceive 'the Tarot' only in some occultist form."
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Mabuse 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosanne
Well a Tarot forum is somewhat a goldfish bowl- the only thing swimming are Tarot fish.
I believe you are right- within this bubble.
Try it.. would you like to play Monpoly? Checkers? Backgammon? Tarot? Chess?
I bet you will find that Tarot is not chosen. It is not seen as a game.
If Tarot is not seen as a game, then it's a sad state of affairs which I think needs rectifying.
The Tarot game easily beats Monopoly. Monopoly is burnt out and is played mainly by Americans who know little of any other games. Checkers or Draughts is considered a solved game. Go to the BoardGameGeek.com website and compare all these games.

The problem for me with divinatory Tarot is that it has become too mainstream by American standards. It no longer has the exotic appeal it may have had in the 60's or 70's.

"Last night I stayed up late playing poker with Tarot cards. I got a full house and four people died." This often quoted joke by Steven Wright reflects the mainstream perception of Tarot by Americans that the Tarot is not supposed to be used for gaming. For game players of an iconoclastic temperment it's hard to resist trying to subvert such perceptions.



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The great irony of the Tarot
"Few are even aware of the exoteric Tarot, intended only for card play: they conceive 'the Tarot' only in some occultist form."
Michael Dummett, History of Occult Tarot
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