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Originally posted by smleite
Like most people, I’ve read that the four suits could correspond to the classes of feudal society - the clergy (cups), the royalty (coins), the nobles, here presented as knights (spades), and the peasants (wands). This same social structure is found in the court cards, of course. Well, this sounds true, but remains a very limited and superficial analysis.
Indeed smleite, surfing around just now I found this introductory site:

in which a "contempt for class distinction" on the part of the troubadours themselves is suggested. If tarot does reflect a troubadour heritage, then such contempt (corroborated by further research) would naturally lead one who would understand tarot to search for a deeper meaning, as you appear to have done.

Near-total ignorance of the history of the region in question plagues me though at this point. For instance, just how Christian was this area, in the 12th century? How Christian (or, not?) were these troubadours themselves?
originally posted by smleite
I would prefer to say that the four-classed medieval society (latter shattered by the emergence of the “fifth” class of the merchants) represents a symbolic ideal, the vision of a perfect “squared” and stable society, a material image of the Heavenly City, and a creation destined to provide steady ground for the spiritual influences represented by the Church.
If one accepts Kris Hadar's assertion, even hypothetically, that tarot expresses troubadour "knowledge and spirituality", then the solidity of such a reading of its structure hangs on the balance of my question (re: troubadour Christianity).

Or, perhaps I am attempting to analyze & isolate what might more wisely be taken holistically . . . Perhaps it's not really a question of Christian or non-Christian, of Church or non-Church, but rather of various & diverse influences coming together in a certain place & at a certain time, & being taken up as a whole, & expressed as one . . .

I'm realizing now how very crucial it is to lay my hands on the poems themselves. For surely, if anywhere, therein must lie some answers?

Thank you for connecting the suit of Batons with the Green Man/Knight, it's such an obvious connection isn't it, apparent I'm sure to many people, & yet I hadn't yet seen it

Regarding the suit of Cups/Grail: I've lately been reading Jean Markale (on Cathars) and--while considering any postulated connection between Cathars themselves & the Grail to have been thoroughly debunked--am interested to find reference to a Celtic Grail, an "inexhaustible cauldron of abundance and inspiration" (Montsegur and the Mystery of the Cathars, 1986) . . . The concept of such a Grail may have lingered deeply within the Occitanal psyche even as late as the 12th century . . . I wish I had a bibliography of the Celtic texts themselves in which this Grail appears.

Markale characterizes the Roman de Jauffre (Occitain text, 1180) as "the first text to bring up the Grail Quest, though without actually naming the marvelous object" so, clearly, this too is something to pursue. I also want to read Wolfram von Eschenbach's Parzival & "Titurel", & reread Chretien de Troyes' version.

Add to this poems of the troubadours, & I appear to have quite a lot on my plate
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