Join Date: 05 Aug 2001
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Studying the Marseille deck as essential to studying Tarot!
Those of you who know me (either on or off line) know both that, on the one hand, I will recommend to a learner that they choose any Tarot deck which they feel particularly drawn to, and that, on the other, I favour the Marseilles (in its own peculiar varieties).
Reflecting on the Marseille's importance was what partly led me to begin the The Time-Capsuled Tarot Deck thread. The Marseilles, however, is important more than for its historical value.
In a very early thread discussing the Marseilles (now in the History section, titled the Magician), I speak of the Marseilles as the Ür-Tarot - this I still think is an apt term, and, if correct, makes this deck all the more important to work with for all except, just maybe, new beginners in their first one hour .
The 'how' is not too important here - I'm more concerned with the 'why', so let me address this quickly and essentially.
Here, I am being more forthcoming, and am controversially (without much doubt) stating that, irrespective of any other decks also studied and worked with, the Marseilles needs to also be included...
... this wasn't too strongly put, was it?!?
|03-03-2003||Ask a Professional Tarot Reader Top #1|
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Join Date: 28 Oct 2001
lol, no it wasnt :-)
anyway, you "converted" me to marseille decks and i am still grateful for that for many reasons .
(even though my #1 reading deck prolly will always be the thoth)
Aude Sapere - Samuel Hahnemann
|04-03-2003||Ask a Professional Tarot Reader Top #2|
CLARIFIER OF LIGHT
Join Date: 31 May 2002
i know what you are saying :O)
1. i just can't believe no one redoes the deck with updated artwork,, especally the pips ewww
2. i envied diana last year when she took a marsieles tarot course, and came back with lots of knowledge that made me want to at least know about more about the marsieles 22 arcana.
3. there is no good english books to explain the marsiles,
actually with jmd number three, that is true of mastering any one deck as it becomes your basis for understanding other decks.
yet i understand what he is saying as the marsieles came first therefore it is truer to the essence of what they were trying to teach in the tarot.
i offer this point of view,
it can be likened to biblical terms,,
the genesis can be likened to the marsieles,
the new testment to to the golden dawn and rider waite.
and a differnt version of the new testment to the toth,
and new gospels based on these systems in today tarot (wow almost a hundred years ago since the rider was first released)
there has yet to be a whole new tarot which redefines the genere is it because it has all been done since the rider system ?
there will never again be a new king of rock and roll yet there will always be that new hot star who has something to contribute.
i guess you can say wrestling in the 70s and sometimes 80s were the purer closer to the essence of pro wrestling.
these day the old purists say that isn't wrestling, yet sometimes we look back at the old wrestling with matches between real wrestlers such as chris benoit and kurt angle.
it is essential, yet for us north americians i feel the rider is more essential as it has more influence on us, then the marsieles at this stage.
in order to broaden the horizons.
1. the marsieles need to be redone keeping to the old symbolism, yet updated so the new people can hear it. (this has been done in old music, ((elvis presley version of aura lee becoming love me tender, and simon and garfunkel doing scarbrough fair))
2. a new indepth book to be written so we will know all the symbolism and systems of the marsielles.
3. although in its updation, it must remain true to the original thus no illustrated pip cards, however the pips cards can be done beutifully ?
to use the bible analogie again.
the rider itself can be called the bible, for us north americans,
and the marsielles can be called the lost gospel, which has to reinterprated for today knowledge enthusiates, much like the lost scrolls and stuff taken out of the bible, due to the interests of the church.
an example of that is shown in stigmata the movie.
"For if a man can become a monster, then a monster can become a man. "
|04-03-2003||Ask a Professional Tarot Reader Top #3|
Join Date: 08 Jun 2002
Something gently provocative?
Your post is fascinating and wonderfully polemic.
I came to Tarot via the Witches Tarot but very quickly obtained a Rider Waite. It was completely new and I've reached a point now where I think I have enough experience and knowledge to read with something like the Marseilles. I have just started reading with the Old English which could be said to be one of the modern decks closest in principle to the Marseilles. Great Majors, virtually no illustralions on the pips. I know that the next deck I buy will be a Marseilles. I tried to buy one in Melbourne last week and couldn't, by the way. Not even at the TS Bookshop.
I appreciate that it is really important for people to understand the history of Tarot. I'm just beginning to look at these threads on Aeclectic now, after eight months although I have read various articles on Tarot history.
The original Marseilles illustrations, or variations thereof, were popular art were they not? They were relevant for the times. The images just may not be immediately relevant in very different cultures a few hundred years later.
I think I might have just said what Holmes has already said, and my apologies for covering the same ground.
JMD, I'd like to throw you a gentle challenge/request. You are obviously a witty, delightful, knowledgeable and rigorous Tarot scholar. You are an authority on Aeclectic. I also see you to be a friendly, sensitive, aware man.
I've never seen you do a reading and I would love to! I'm sure the immense knowledge you have of Tarot would enrich a reading.
Now, I totally respect your right to decline for a whole range of reasons. I have no desire to be presumptuous and recognise that you might do lots of readings elsewhere. I know there are many other people on Aeclectic who have a scholarly interest in the Tarot and also don't do readings in public.
JMD you'd be aware of the use of hypotheticals, role plays et cetera as learning tools. I'd love to see something similar - perhaps a series of demonstration readings between people like you, Umbrae, Meewah, Marion, Diana, Holmes. Or I would love to see you do something like Umbrae is doing now.
Please accept my suggestion as being gentle and genuine. I would unreservedly respect your absolute right to decline.
What do you say?
Last edited by Moongold; 04-03-2003 at 05:27.
|04-03-2003||Ask a Professional Tarot Reader Top #4|
Join Date: 19 Sep 2002
Location: United Kingdom
All of the above? And...
I still believe "they" could produce a LWB that includes simple meanings for minors. (Some might, but Camoin doesn't) They do so for the majors, after all! I know the opinion of some on such things... but it can be frustrating I believe Papus produced something like that for one of the (Italian) Marseille-a-likes? (That assumption based on memory of Revak's comparative tarot site)
And... A popos that (pretentious moi?) look at:
But I notice some OTHER decks are also distributed with (broadly) the above "method of divination" e.g. the LWB with my Grimaud (CDF) "Grand Etteilla". (The latter is CONSIDERABLY extended compared to the picture!) Is this due to Alliette? Is this some uhm... "Traditional French" style? The concept of "nearby cards" etc. seems to be a common denominator here. Such methods look rather fascinating and indeed rather... comprehensive - If nothing else?
On the internet noone knows you're a cat...
Last edited by Macavity; 04-03-2003 at 03:40.
|04-03-2003||Ask a Professional Tarot Reader Top #5|
Join Date: 01 Jan 2002
Why is the Marseilles so important to me? Perhaps that's where I should start here.
In one of my posts a long long time ago, when we were discussing one of the older historical decks (Qolus was still with us then), I remember saying something like "we can't understand where we are today if we don't know where we come from". That is why history is so important to understand and to learn. That is why people are so fascinated with their family history, or those who believe in reincarnation are so interested in their past lives. It provides us with an unbreakable thread to our origins.
This is what the Marseilles Tarot is to me. It contains what I believe to be an inkling of the original essence of Tarot. It holds the golden key. Of course, all the modern Tarot decks have led us on new paths and some of these paths are exciting and wondrous. (Some are sad illusions though.) But one can get lost on the way and even land up on paths that have no longer anything to do with Tarot. With the Marseilles Tarot by our side, we will always have a guide to get us back on the right road, the road that will lead to enlightenment. It is the original reference.
How can I not stand in awe and in humility to the message that has come down to us over centuries, hardly unchanged. There is an old library in a castle in Switzerland where all the precious books are behind glass doors, and you need special permission to read them. This is how I feel when I hold a Marseilles deck in my hands - it is a precious and sacred book of pictures, but this one is available to all and sundry.
You think I'm exaggerating? No way. Studying the Marseilles Tarot is an honour and sometimes I wonder what I have done to deserve this honour.
Of course, I also own some modern decks, and they provide me with great enjoyment and insight. But they are still just off-shoots, however great they are.
|04-03-2003||Ask a Professional Tarot Reader Top #6|
Repose in a Eve of Gold...
Join Date: 26 Apr 2002
Location: Calif., USA
Ohhhhhh dearrrr......here's a whisper from the boot end...actually more a wondering, wandering curiousity.
In European history classes, the perfection of how France came to be in geography, learning and history---why yes, in learning and many many things, how the French threads of art and learning gleam very bright in modern times even after the Italian lights had dimmed...have others found that the Marseilles French patterns to be more truly distinguished and preferred by popular culture? Perhaps more lasting?
I wonder if the development and popularity of French Marseilles patterns and variations can be traced also to their empire building at their heights of almost ruling the world during Napoleonic times or perhaps the more brillant later periods in history. Perhaps the Marseilles were more the product of the popular gameplayers rather than the courtly life.
In terms of courtly tarot, Napoleon's assignment was passed to di Gumppenberg, but these odd variations in design were never the standard that JMD and others have talked about. Have others well-travelled in Europe found the designs of the French Marseilles patterns to be popular to this day?
I like LeTarot.com's site in English to peek at modern and classic Marseilles information.
Still, cerulean surges...
where, as sunset lingers
Eve with golden fingers...
Hector A. Stuart
South Sea Dreamer, 1886
|04-03-2003||Ask a Professional Tarot Reader Top #7|
Join Date: 23 Jun 2002
The crude artwork overall, and the lack of imagination evident on the pip cards of Marseilles decks, make them most undesirable for collecting or studying *for me.* It's fascinating that some find it compelling, and the recent interest in courses and seminars to find depth in the pips was like opening an interesting book with a new theory; the human mind excels at creating associations out of its own imagination.
I like the diversity of tarot and the history of Marseilles decks is an interesting component of the whole, but I think it nonsensical to believe that there is a "need" to study any deck to master tarot or become a fully realized initiate. Why limit yourself to such a belief? Why box people in, why create such a constrained label?
<<mastery of this deck allows for greater looseness of the imaginative, inspirational and intuitional faculties>>
The real "freeing capacity" is within your own brain, what deck you use or study with is irrelevant.
|04-03-2003||Ask a Professional Tarot Reader Top #8|
Join Date: 15 May 2002
Location: gone somewhere I can be myself
Re: Something gently provocative?
He, he, Moongold,
that thought crossed my mind this AM when I was waiting for my bus in a below freezing temperature. You know, all kinds of wild thoughts that cross people's minds under stress. I was saying to myself, "this jmd guy is really smart and educated in Tarot, I wish I could see a reading by him".
I don't know why this thought crossed my mind this AM but it did.
So you see, similar thoughts cross people's minds in opposite sides of the globe.
Now JMD, I really appreciate your discourse.
I wish people who have trouble communicating would just shut up.
|04-03-2003||Ask a Professional Tarot Reader Top #9|
Join Date: 20 Mar 2002
Location: Upper Left-Coast, USA
Artwork, by its nature provides a perspective of the world through the eyes of the artist (http://www.tidalpool.org/about_me/ph...nd_grenade.jpg ).
When an artist works with archetypal images, you have little choice but to see that image from their viewpoint. Imagine the High Priestess (http://www.temple.edu/photo/photogra...s/arbusp15.htm ) or the Empress (http://www.temple.edu/photo/photogra...s/arbusp12.htm )
A Marseilles deck allows for flexibility in the learning process.
|04-03-2003||Ask a Professional Tarot Reader Top #10|