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Need help untangling inner conflict between Tarot & TdM

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It's probably fair to say that I started in a kind of "middle ground, at least as far as the pip cards are concerned, with the Thoth deck and its "glorified pips." Not long ago I did a side-by-side comparison between the Thoth pips and those of a "standard" TdM deck and discovered that, except in the few cases where Crowley substituted his esoteric vision in toto, there is an almost one-for-one match in the layout of the suit emblems. His original intention of executing "a pack after the tradition of the Mediaeval Editors, corrected" wasn't fully realized, but his version of the pips, stripped of their titles and correspondences, didn't fall that far from the TdM tree. You might look at that as a possible precedent.

The trump cards, of course, are another matter entirely.
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St.Kilda.Witch  St.Kilda.Witch is offline
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The power of Tarot is it's ability to influence your mind. The TdM does just that because it doesn't contain the exclusive influence of solid meanings the RW and it's clones command.

I've been reading TdM decks my whole life and still today it can present new meanings in a single card during readings from time to time. That's not only exciting, but certainly creatively and intuitively refreshing.

Just over a year ago I discovered the Tarot de Marsella Robledo and it has beome my exclusive deck. It's quite organic.
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What "ihcoyc" says about the TdM as a "folk artifact" seems right to me. Perhaps no one person was responsible for creating the imagery, which seems rather to have floated up from the culture itself. Or at least if one original set of images was created somewhere it seemed to "sit right" with its first audiences and subsequent generations, so that successors found it unnecessary to make wholesale alterations. It seems miraculous that the pattern for the TdM has remained essentially unchanged for 400 years. Miniscule nuances exist between different versions of the TdM, perhaps in the same way that various pianists interpret Bach's Goldberg Variations in slightly different ways. We like to think that many of these differences came about as a result of deliberate artistic decisions by the cardmakers, but perhaps some of the changes happened accidentally as a result of technical shortcomings or a failure of sensitivity.

Less value seems to have been placed on individual expression in those days. The sculptures on cathedrals might be another example. Removing one's personal identity from the creative process seems to have been regarded as more valuable than advertising one's own prejudices and tendencies. But maybe no creative artist can resist working in tiny jokes and observations for his/her own amusement. But individual artists come and go while the TdM remains. We venerate "originality" now, but in the world of spirit perhaps that is what actually obscures deeper truths about the soul. Maybe that's what the the poet Robert Graves means when he says that to create a lasting work of art requires "a rare act of spiritual regression". We almost need to dig down to some sort of biological core in our being. That's where the archetypes live, right?

I think perhaps that is why Enrique Enriquez calls the TdM a "gestural language". The meanings we have given the cards, and which are memorised from other people's books, are merely debatable intellectual concepts. Enrique, an artist himself, perhaps wants us to experience the cards as visual artifacts rather than as receptacles for ideas, presumably because the intelligence of the eye and of the body is more profound than that of our rational mind, our ego. That's why the TdM can't be improved: the arrangement of colours and lines on the cards conveys more to us at a deep subconscious level than anything we can say about the images as symbols. However, EVERYBODY should make their own tarot deck. It helps us to connect with archetypal energies through the medium of our own life experiences. Looking at the images expands us.

Enrique's grand project seems to be larger than the tarot itself. First and foremost he is an artist who's mission is to expand our consciousness, to take us outside our established "conscious set". But just as the medium of a painter is paint, and the medium of a poet is words, Enrique's chosen medium is the TdM. Just as, say, a novelist takes bits and pieces of the world and recombines them in unique ways to make a novel, Enrique pretends the TdM, specifically Jean-Claude Flornoy's TdM, is the whole world and recombines features of the images into coherent narratives. The way he reads cards is less about predicting the future than about making us realise how at every moment much more is before our eyes than we had realised. The future has never happened yet, but an expanded awareness can help us respond more fruitfully to anything the universe has to throw at us.

Having said all that, I love the RWS and many of the modern decks that build on the beautiful ideas of the Order of the Golden Dawn. But all of those decks are dealing in concepts. Only the TdM uses a language of relatively simple shared visual motifs - pairs, standing/sitting, holding things, looking to the left or right, etc. - which enables the cards to "talk to one another." For example, since we read sentences from left to right, we tend to assume a past/present/future relationship as we move across three cards, so that a motif in card 1 that reappears in a slightly different form in cards 2 or 3 is felt to have gone through changes. That is the sort of thing that can be crafted during a reading into a mini-narrative that the clients will superimpose onto the incredibly complex detail of their own lives. The clients essentially take your observations and reach their own conclusions. It's a different way of fortunetelling using the cards.
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In your last email you mentioned that you were inspired by a desire to know what the images of the TdM meant to the audience that first saw them. Without the benefit of a time-machine we might not ever find out. But lots of information is to be found on the wonderful website put together by Michael J. Hurst:

http://pre-gebelin.blogspot.ca/

And a book called, I think, Explaining the Tarot by Ross Caldwell, Thierry Depaulis, and Marcus Ponzi, which translates and comments on two very early texts written in Latin speculating on the symbolic possibilities of the tarot deck.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnemoneRosie View Post
Hm. To me, because French is as much my first language as English, I like the Tarot Noir partly for the book that came with it (even though it sheds its pages quite easily). That might be less helpful for you.

It's a great deck though. I'd encourage it even if you find the cards too big - I've got small hands (I'm 5' tall and my hands are proportionate) and I can still shuffle that deck. It's do-able.

I'm glad that you're feeling inspired right now. Please feel free to share your direction of inspiration
OH thank you so much for sharing that Tarot Noir is worth owning. I've been working on building my Tarot world, studying different types of deck! One of the projects I'm taking on right now that's helping me flesh out my Tarot journey is a deck of spirit/totem animal cards I hope to crowd-source this summer.

I'd like for my Tarot to eventually share the animal symbols and painted style in this deck So that's a start, even though I'm not sure if I'll be doing a Marseilles-style, Thoth style or RWS! (or a hybrid)!

www.myjourneytotemdeck

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tedglart View Post
Enrique, an artist himself, perhaps wants us to experience the cards as visual artifacts rather than as receptacles for ideas, presumably because the intelligence of the eye and of the body is more profound than that of our rational mind, our ego.

Enrique's grand project seems to be larger than the tarot itself. First and foremost he is an artist who's mission is to expand our consciousness, to take us outside our established "conscious set".

The way he reads cards is less about predicting the future than about making us realise how at every moment much more is before our eyes than we had realised. The future has never happened yet, but an expanded awareness can help us respond more fruitfully to anything the universe has to throw at us.
Tedglart, I wanted to QUOTE your entire reply! It resonates SOO MUCH with me. And so to avoid confusion, I highlighted my favorite parts that you said above. "because the intelligence of the eye and of the body is more profound than that of our rational mind, our ego. " YES YES YES. This is one of the things I love THE MOST about TDM and why I've chosen to study it as a gateway to Tarot. I've been studying Jung and it led me to the TDM and back to Jungian works and so it's been fueling my endless fascination with the expansion of consciousness and yes, just like you said it, Enrique's approach to Tarot.

What you said here "But all of those decks are dealing in concepts. Only the TdM uses a language of relatively simple shared visual motifs - pairs, standing/sitting, holding things, looking to the left or right, etc. - which enables the cards to "talk to one another." THANK YOU FOR THIS. Yes, that's so illuminating! Most other Tarot decks are conceptual, but TDM is symbolic on the most basic level. You articulated exactly what I feel about TDM and why I was intuitively drawn to it as foundational Tarot study. And I think that's what Enrique meant when he talks about the purity of the TDM's visual symbology.

This is a profound realization for me: how do I want my Tarot to be read? Do I want to share my archetypes with others with the emphasis on concepts, or do I want it purely to be a mirror. I already know the answer, and your reply is definitely helping me understand why the TDM is perfection and that it's okay to want my own iteration...!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tedglart View Post
In your last email you mentioned that you were inspired by a desire to know what the images of the TdM meant to the audience that first saw them. Without the benefit of a time-machine we might not ever find out. But lots of information is to be found on the wonderful website put together by Michael J. Hurst:

http://pre-gebelin.blogspot.ca/

And a book called, I think, Explaining the Tarot by Ross Caldwell, Thierry Depaulis, and Marcus Ponzi, which translates and comments on two very early texts written in Latin speculating on the symbolic possibilities of the tarot deck.
Oh this is super! Thanks for this, I've been doing some digging but never came across this resource before!
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