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Flornoy's Elements

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Here an image that spontaneously came to me reading this very interesting thread:

A cup allows air to be filled.
Top   #11
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Roxanne Flornoy's post brings that important common colloquial expression that so often instructs correlations made in popular imagination.

Even more so than "l'argent liquide" ('liquid money', or, even more literally, 'liquid silver', with the further connections this brings to thought), there is the even more contracted sense that having "du liquide" (having liquid) means 'having cash'.

The ongoing 'problem' I see in any correlation is that these are not intrinsic to the suit, but rather suggestive by other consideration, in part also dependent on the manner in which the elements are themselves understood and related to yet other considerations (such as the humours).

This thread actually reminds me of some comments I wrote on a page I started (but is yet to be completed) on the suits and the four elements.
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Thanks for the link to your "Four Hares" site JMD.

The TABLE OF ELEMENTS AND SUITS is a great idea. I'd love to see it grow. The idea of Cups as Fire is interesting.

I'd also like to be the first person to "pre-order" your Dodal restoration deck when complete. Your Le Pape is fantastic.

I agree with JMD's statement that the elements, "are not intrinsic to the suit, but rather suggestive by other considerations..." However, of the various "esoteric" overlays we put on Tarot today (Kabbala, Astrology, etc.) the four elements would have been something the philosophically minded card player would have surely pondered in the 15th and 16th centuries, most likely in the guise of the humours/temperaments. The frequent mention of the temperaments in Shakespeare gives us a good indication that the idea was commonly known to both aristocrat and commoner.

Whatever the meanings the original creators of the Tarot did or didn't hide in the cards, if we choose to use the cards for divination, philosophical contemplation, meditation, or magic I think the best results would come from having our "overlay" have an internal logic and congruence that matches the structure and, as much as possible, the original symbolism of the images.

And to address Venicebard's concerns,

"And if Cups are air, they must remain forever empty, n'est ce pas?"

In all the different Marseille type cards, including the Vieville, the cups are all full of red wine ("The Sanguine game-some is, and nothing nice,
Love, Wine Women, and all recreation"), or by extention, the blood of Christ. Blood is of course being the Sanguine bodily fluid, the transporter of air. The blood of Christ and the chalice bring us back to Mr. Flornoy's idea of the cups representing the Pope, and he being the model for those who teach and cure: priests and healers.

Many folks associate Cups with the cardinal virtue of Temperance. In THREE BOOKS OF OCCULT PHILOSOPHY, Agrippa makes the following connections:

Justice................FIRE
Temperance.........AIR
Prudence.............WATER
Fortitude.............EARTH

If you consider Garth Knight's and Robert Place's theory that XXI Le Monde represents Prudence, you can have some interesting Numerological fun;

Flornoy's
Suit........Virtue...........................Perso nifications........Element

Baton.....Fortitude 11......(1+1=2)......2 La Papess..........EARTH
Coin.......Prudence 21.....(2+1=3)......3 L'Imperatrice......WATER
Cup........Temperance 14 (1+4=5)......5 Le Pape..............AIR
Sword.... XIII (Switched to accomodate 13's popular image as
Death, and 8's Pythagorean meaning of Justice. Death is
associated with 8 by way of the 8th house of the zodiac
being Death.)
(1+3=4).....4 L'Empereur........FIRE

Okay. The last one is a stretch, but three out of four ain't bad!

Poor Justice! Everyone keeps shuffling her around.



Sources:

Agrippa, Henry Cornelius. THREE BOOKS OF OCCULT PHILOSOPHY. Antwerp, 1531; Hastings, England: Chthonios Books, 1986; St. Paul: Llewellyn Publications, 1993.

Knight, Gareth. THE MAGICAL WORLD OF THE TAROT. York Beach, Maine: Samuel Weiser, 1991.

Place, Robert M.. THE TAROT: HISTORY, SYMBOLISM, AND DIVINATION. New York: Tarcher/Penguin, 2005.


Ayumi
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Question Picture Time


Hello all,

This is my first post, so be gentle!

How are natures of the four elements and the natures of the four temperaments different?

Isn't melancholic sad?

Thank you
C.S.
Top   #14
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Hi Cinammon Sue.


The Four Temperaments, by the time of Tarot cards, had developed beyond a strictly "medical" context into four fundamental character types. A person was believed to conform to one of the four types, determined by the planets of ones natal horoscope. I guess we could say the temperaments are how the four elements reveal themselves in the psyche and interaction of human beings.

In a nutshell, the choleric (Fire) is a leader, takes action immediately and decisively, and gets angry easily. The sanguine (Air) is a "people person," warm, enthusiastic, cheerful, but can be an "air-head", and superficial. The melancholic (Earth) is philosophical, analytical, hard working, a perfectionist, idealistic, yet highly critical and prone to depression. The phlegmatic (Water) is amicable, frugal, calm, cooperative, reserved, but can be lazy and timid.

I've attached an old engraving that might illustrate some possible connections between the temperaments and the Tarot suits (from the Shepher's Calendar, published by Nicholas Le Rouge, Troyes, c1495).

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT; Choleric, Sanguine, Phlegmatic, Melancholic.

The Choleric man, on the far left, stands on a bed of Fire, accompanied
by a lion and holds a SWORD, (an aggressive nature and an angry scowl).

The Sanguine man on the middle left is standing on a puff of Air and is accompanied by a monkey, which represents the flighty changable nature of the Sanguine. He holds a bird (falcon?) which could be connected to the Air element or to the leisurely pleasure of falconry.

The Phlegmatic man stands on Water accompanied by a sheep, representing his timid nature. He holds a COIN purse, illustrating the
Phlegmatic's tendences to be frugal.

The Melancholic man stands on the Earth accompanied by a boar,
representing his tendency to work hard. He holds a wooden staff (BATON), perhaps, like the Tarot's hermit, showing his Saturine tendency for seclusion.

I hope this was helpful Cinammon Sue.

Ayumi
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Great Thread!

A special welcome to Ayumi and Cinammon Sue! Great to have you contributing to the History forum.
Top   #16
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(Just a quick note regarding 'my' Dodal-like Pape on my FourHares.com site: I am willing to take all credit for its brilliant design... but that would not be truthful. It is a deck le pendu and I started, comparing the designs of various early decks including especially, but not exclusively, TdM-1 variants, with myself having very little input other than saying 'geez - that looks good!' - soooo... all credit goes to Le pendu!)
Top   #17
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Hello Kenji!


Thanks for the link to your Japanese blog Kenji. A lot of great stuff! You are the Japanese Stuart Kaplan.

There are lots of great pics, so even people who don't read Japanese might enjoy a peek.


http://blog.goo.ne.jp/valet_de_coupe/
Top   #18
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Hey JMD and Le Pendu!


Quote:
Originally Posted by jmd
(Just a quick note regarding 'my' Dodal-like Pape on my FourHares.com site: I am willing to take all credit for its brilliant design... but that would not be truthful. It is a deck le pendu and I started, comparing the designs of various early decks including especially, but not exclusively, TdM-1 variants, with myself having very little input other than saying 'geez - that looks good!' - soooo... all credit goes to Le pendu!)
Ah. Yes. A second look, and I can see the Noblet influence. Great work guys! Please continue your collaboration.

What was the inspriration for the attendents robe colour?


Ayumi
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Coins etc


Quote:
Originally Posted by Roxanne Flornoy
For me, money does seem to flow. It does seem difficult to store. In fact, it mostly seem to run through one's fingers - it comes in, and out it goes again.
Hello Roxanne Flornoy!

Coins as AIR too perhaps if considered as...

What is fire? a rapid, self-sustaining oxidation
What is Water? H2O
What is Earth? 47% Oxygen
What is Air? 20.99% Oxygen
Top   #20




 


 


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