Veracity of the Kabbalistic Visions Tarot

EmpyreanKnight

I'm very much into this deck, and if it's only the art we're talking about, I'll grab this if I think it's better than the Medieval Scapini. But I also want to know the veracity of the ideas in its companion book before I dive in.

From what I've read, the author of the deck, Marco Marini, is quite renowned as an expert of the Kabbalah, among other disciplines. However, I think it's more prudent if I ask the personal opinions of the knowledgeable people here who happen to own the Kabbalistic Visions Tarot, especially with regards to its teachings. If I do use this resource once I embark on a study of the Kabbalah, I wish to at least assure myself that its scholarly foundations are robust and sturdy.

So what do you think about the theoretical underpinnings of this deck?
 

Zephyros

I think the issue is less about veracity and more about support from other sources. Now, granted, I don't have the deck, but from what I can see from pictures it does not seem to have the standard Golden Dawn attributions. Now, there's nothing wrong with that, anyone can project their own vision of which Tarot cards fit on the Tree of Life and where they fit, but if you're just starting out this may pose issues when you branch out into other decks.

In Kabbalah there are different schools of thought as to which Tree is used and with different purposes. Most decks today are derived from the Golden Dawn system, which include the Thoth and the RWS and whatever trickles down to their respective clones and derivatives. Other decks, like the Tarot of the Holy Light, are derived from a different scheme connecting Tarot and Kabbalah. While the underlying principles are the same, the base of ideas for each card is different, and so you end up with different meanings and associations.

I myself don't know enough about the second system to say whether the Visions uses it, but I can say it doesn't use the Golden Dawn standard.

Ultimately it's up to you but for a beginner, the Golden Dawn system has the advantage of being more widely supported in books, sites, etc. In the end, though, Kabbalah is like a language. Once you pick up the basics, which really is easy, you'll be able to understand different systems and the justifications made for them.
 

Barleywine

Not to confuse things (but I'm afraid it will), there are even published variations on the Golden Dawn system of ToL attributions: William Gray did one, I believe Gareth Knight and Frater Achad did too, and I imagine more modern writers took a stab at it as well. Tarot writer Eden Gray even chimed in (unconvincingly) in one of her less basic books. The waters can get deep!
 

Zephyros

Not to confuse things (but I'm afraid it will), there are even published variations on the Golden Dawn system of ToL attributions: William Gray did one, I believe Gareth Knight and Frater Achad did too, and I imagine more modern writers took a stab at it as well. Tarot writer Eden Gray even chimed in (unconvincingly) in one of her less basic books. The waters can get deep!

That's true. I guess I was thinking more of the books I learned from which present a pretty basic explanation without going too far into speculation, the ones by Robert Wang and Dion Fortune. I was recommended both these authors when I started out, and I found them very informative and useful.

You're right though. Crowley made changes as did Waite. But most people who deal with the GD's Kabbalah still express themselves in much the same symbolic language despite their variations. It isn't necessarily a matter of definitions but of a general outlook which is similar across writers. There are, of course, exceptions to that, too, but that's the general picture I see.
 

Aeon418

Not to confuse things (but I'm afraid it will), there are even published variations on the Golden Dawn system of ToL attributions
How different does a variant have to be before it ceases to be 'Golden Dawn' anymore?

Crowley's little IV-XVII tweak does no violence to the Tree and the distribution of the Hebrew letters. It's all standard GD stuff. The swapping of the two cards isn't arbitrary either. It still follows the rules of the Golden Dawn 'game' and can be easily identified as a minor variant.

On the other hand Frater Achad's system is completely independent. While his system retains of the Golden Dawn letter-card attributions, their placement on the Tree is totally different. This last point breaks any connection there may have been with the Golden Dawn and necessitates a reinterpretation.

For example in both the Golden Dawn and Achad's system the Fool is attributed to the letter Aleph. In the Golden Dawn the interpretation is expressed within the context of the dynamics between Kether and Chokmah. But in Achad's system the same card-letter pair has to represent the relationship between Yesod and Malkuth. That's quite a difference! A difference that a lot of 'new system builders' seem to overlook.
 

kwaw

Now, granted, I don't have the deck, but from what I can see from pictures it does not seem to have the standard Golden Dawn attributions.

I've read elsewhere the trump to letter attributions are Golden Dawn - and a couple of images I've seen - Popesse shows a camel at the top, Hermit with intestines (= virgo/yod) - and a couple of others seem to confirm that, while some others are less obvious ---- and the world is numbered xxii (so is the fool 0 also xxi?) which would seem contrary to GD ??

Re: GD variations - there was a variation within the GD itself of course -- the commonly known one being at variance with the cipher manuscript one the Lurianic ToL with Daath (and no horizontal paths) ---
 

Barleywine

The writers I'm thinking of moved letters and therefore cards around on the paths, with seemingly less justification than Crowley gave for Tzaddi and Heh (which I never found especially convincing and don't use to this day). Besides Crowley, I too started with Dion Fortune and the Kircher Tree, then Regardie, Gray, Knight, Achad, Bardon, Case (including the B.O.T.A curriculum), a bit of Westcott and Mathers, and a few years later Wang. It was the later works of some of these writers that lost me.
 

Aeon418

The sample images hosted on Aeclectic are a little strange.

http://www.aeclectic.net/tarot/cards/kabbalistic-visions/

The Hermit is clearly Yod and the Popess does have a camel above her. But is that meant to be a letter inscribed on it? If it is it ain't Gimel.

The Moon card has a letter Ayin on it. And the Magician appears to correspond to Shin.

But which Tree is being used? And how are the letters distributed on it? Attributing letters to cards in isolation is meaningless. Their position on the Tree provides important context and influences interpretation.
 

Zephyros

But which Tree is being used? And how are the letters distributed on it? Attributing letters to cards in isolation is meaningless. Their position on the Tree provides important context and influences interpretation.

Yeah, it was the Ain and Shin that got me wondering. The attributions aren't standard, but I'm having trouble making sense of them.

Also, that Two of Wands has a creepy vibe I'm not comfortable with. It might be intentional but a white leg stomping a black figure is quite a charged image.
 

kwaw

The sample images hosted on Aeclectic are a little strange.

http://www.aeclectic.net/tarot/cards/kabbalistic-visions/

The Hermit is clearly Yod and the Popess does have a camel above her. But is that meant to be a letter inscribed on it? If it is it ain't Gimel.

But which Tree is being used? And how are the letters distributed on it? Attributing letters to cards in isolation is meaningless. Their position on the Tree provides important context and influences interpretation.

I've seen a very busy ToL map that comes with the deck online, but at too low resolution/quality for me to make sense of --

Re: GD variations - there was a variation within the GD itself of course -- the commonly known one being at variance with the cipher manuscript one the Lurianic ToL with Daath (and no horizontal paths) ---

The GD 'perfected' Tree of Life with Daath from the GD cipher manuscript, which was given out at the same time as the Tarot lecture at most lodges, albeit without explanation -
 

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