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kapoore  kapoore is offline
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Hi..
Thanks for your entry--the two articles. I disagree with you about the Waite deck and the Golden Dawn. I believe Waite based his deck on the writings of Pseudo-Dionysius, a 5th Century Christian Platonist. I haven't as yet found the quadrivium in Waite. I agree, though, that the quadrivium is there, and for this I use the writings of Nicholas of Cusa who as a 15th Century polymath and Platonist qualifies as a possible Tarot inventor. Sorry that I don't know Crowley. I own several of his books and have read through the Book of Thoth. There is so much to know that I have narrowed my Tarot origin search to the Latin Middle Ages. I know about the occult revivals and I have read the cypher without comprehension, but that was several years ago. I do, though, appreciate your depth of understanding about numbers. I think Jung is definitely a part of the same tradition as Tarot and so his comments are right on. In terms of measurements in the Talmud, etc. I can't say anything. I'll have to read the full article, and then I know very little about the Talmud. But apparently your research and mine have found some common denominators. All the best...
Top   #381
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Golden Bough


Quote:
Originally Posted by Angela Voss
___“Let us now go back in history, to the earliest astrologers of Mesopotamia long before astrology was 'rationalised' by the Greeks. These astrologers were omen-readers, looking to the heavens for indications of the gods' will, in the same spirit as they looked at entrails and made sacrifices. Divinatory techniques in these early societies were not primarily concerned with foretelling the future, but with invoking the guidance of the unseen powers in human actions. The human initiative, linked to ritual observance, was defined by the Greeks as the katarche (which passed into Latin as auspice and augury), and its success depended on the right relationship of man and god. In their continual interaction, there were choices available; destiny was negotiable. There could be no fixed decree from on high; the omen appeared, either bidden or unbidden, and its significance depended on the ability of the individual to interpret, along with the import of his current concerns. In other words, it was only significant if it was recognised as such, not through a theory or technique, but through the intuitive perception of a sign.

___ “As man grew more distant from his gods, so divination lost its sacred dimension and became the domain of earthly prediction of events. In astrology it survived into the early centuries AD, particularly in horary and inceptional techniques, but was losing hold to the influence of Stoic and Aristotelian philosophy, which demanded a reformulation of what had been a participatory experience into a theoretical structure. The great science of astrology was born. But did what we might call the 'divinatory attitude' survive, and if so, how? It can of course be found in the whole domain of magic and so-called 'occult' practices which proliferated in the Hellenistic era, but with the Church's condemnation of any experience of the sacred outside its own portals it could hardly flourish overtly. We have to look elsewhere, to a tradition which would both hold and protect its vulnerable core in an overmantle of philosophical enquiry. Here it was not only preserved; it was reflected upon and articulated in the language of myth, poetry, revelation and metaphysics, for those who could hear it, and this was the tradition revered by Ficino as the Ancient Theology.”

- The Astrology of Marsilio Ficino: Divination or Science?
http://cura.free.fr/decem/10voss.html#Ref19
http://www.tarotforum.net/showpost.p...98&postcount=9
http://www.tarotforum.net/showpost.p...9&postcount=10

.. . . . . . . . . . . . . XIX
.. . . . . . . . . . . . . .☉
10 ☉♊---10 ♄♐----- X ---10♂♓---10☿♍
swords----wands--( ♃ )---cups-----disks.
.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . I
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .☿
. . . . . . . . . . . . . .Ace
. . . . . . . . . . . . . .AIR
. . . . . . . . . . . . . .Ace
. . . . . . . . . . . . WATER
. . . . . . . . . . . . . .Ace
. . . . . . . . . . . . . FIRE
. . . . . . . . . . . . . .Ace
.. . . . . . . . . . . . EARTH


74=(10+10+10+10)+(1+1+1+1)+(1+10+19)
---------------[x♍ = 666 = ∑ (Roulette Wheel)]
74th day = π

74+
16 {{{{Court (elements of elements)
= 90
Cartouche: YHVH = Osiris

Elements, Book I.47: Pythagoras’ Theorem
a²+b²=c²

ab / (a+b+c) = radius, inscribed circle
(11, 60, __) 6th Triplet
(12, 35, 37) 7th Triplet
r=5
d=10
25π = 1100 / 14 = area of circle inscribed in right triangle formed by 6th or 7th Pythagorean Triplet

(10+10+10+10)
4a=100π =440 / 7:5
Note A, above middle C (Key Pitch) = 440 Hz
7 : 5 = 1.4 = Heat Capacity Ratio: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speed_of_sound 343 = 7x7x7

90+
ש
=1,1,0
Cartouche: YHShVH = Horus


कुण्डलिनी
Top   #382
kapoore's Avatar
kapoore  kapoore is offline
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kapoore 

Hi,
I think that you are a true Kabbalist in the broad sense of the word as one who manipulates numbers. So, your work does fit into the thread and I will try to follow where you are coming from with this.

First, though, divination was probably not a part of the original Tarot game. My thesis is that it was created in the Curia where both divination and magic would have been taboo. But games of chance have an intimate relationship to divination, and cards probably came from dice (sheet dice) which was used for divination in the Greek temples. The European card deck (the 52 set) supposedly came from the Mamluks who were white military slaves collected from around the Black Sea area. Since they served the King (the sultans) as a private army, they were kept in separate cities away from the native Arabic population, so as to maintain absolute power and prevent coups (articles on the Mamluk military structure). It is possible that the cards reflect the Black Sea culture folklore, which resembles the knight tales of King Arthurs court (C. Scott Littleton & Linda A. Malcor). In the burial mounds of that area dice are common artifacts (National Geographic and other articles) Perhaps the slaves brought trinkets with them from home, and kept in tact their native folklore, especially since the slaves were only permitted to marry within their own culture. What I am saying here is that perhaps the heraldry on the European cards comes out of a magical setting similar to knight tales, and divination would have been a part of that world.

I have no answer to how all this relates to modern divination techniques--such as that developed by the Golden Dawn. Personally I look at modern Tarot divination as a brilliant compilation of multiple readings, and note taking. The sheer number of readings and responses to the symbols creates a sort of scientific data base that might not have a strong resemblance to meanings of the original symbols. For example, the origin Tower card might signify an angelic hierarchy associated with fire. The three windows in the early Tower cards might represent the Trinity. Yet the responses to the Tower card by the millions who have drawn this card are very different.

What you seem to be doing with your Kabbalistic interpretations is combining a type of number divination with ancient numbers that I would call "artifacts." For example, you frequently use 231, which is a Kabbalistic number but also the total sum of 21. You also use 153, which is the so called number of the Fish because it is formed from the ratio of the fish of 265/153, and also is found in St. John's Gospel, chapter 21:11. Then you use the number 216, which was a very special number in the ancient world as it is the cube of 6--6x6x6=216. All these numbers can be derived from occult arrangements of the Tarot cards. I don't quite get your symbol system, though; and so I have a very hard time interpreting what you mean by all this. I would very much appreciate your referencing your Crowley work. I have Israel Regardie's Golden Dawn. I also have the cypher manuscript. Citations would be fabulous...

In terms of astrology, I'm afraid again that it might have not been a part of origin deck. At least I have not been able to connect it with astrology. Remember that the genius scholars of the early Renaissance were more interested in astronomy. For example, the oblong rotation of planets, and the movement of the earth. Maybe an elemental astrology can be connected to the four elements, which is definitely a part of origin deck.

Maybe break down the Crowley part with some references. Warm regards, Kapoore
Top   #383
MikeH  MikeH is offline
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I haven’t been participating in this thread lately, partly because I couldn’t relate to recent posts and partly because I realized that I had made a serious omission in my study of Kabbalah as it relates to the tarot in the 15th-17th centuries. Namely, I hadn’t read the "Gates of Light," ca. 1293, by Joseph Gikatilla, a Castillian associate of Moses de Leon. It was published in the original Hebrew in 1561, but Paul Ricci’s condensation/Latin translation (Portae Lucis, 1516) would have been more influential. Reuchlin cites it in his presentation of the sefirot in 1518. And according to Kaplan in "Meditation and Kabbalah" (in Google Books), it “exerted a powerful influence on many occult groups in Europe.” Since it is exclusively on the ten sefirot, ascending in order from Malkhut up to Kether, anybody interested in interpreting the tarot trumps in terms of the sefirot would have wanted to read it. It offers far more detail than the brief mentions in Pico, Reuchlin, and Agrippa—even the Latin condensed version has 110 pages.

So I have been familiarizing myself with it. First I read the 1994 English translation of the Hebrew (372 pages), writing down key words and phrases describing the sefirot, the Hebrew as transliterated into Latin characters as well as the English translations. Then I turned to Ricci’s Latin. Obviously he omitted some things from the original, but what? All I could find in English translation was his introduction, which just gives short descriptions. But I did find the Latin original; there is a link to it on Wikipedia’s “Paolo Riccio” page. I don’t know Latin, but I could identify phrases in the Latin that corresponded to the English; in addition, Ricci gives transliterations of key Hebrew words and phrases. And Bible references were in the margin, another way I could link passages in the Latin to the English translation. I could not find any important omissions, but much remains opaque to me. I could use some help, seeing if key sentences in the English are translated the same way in the Latin. (Yes, there are Latin to English translation engines on the Web; but they can’t handle the numerous abbreviated words that are in the 1516 fascimile.)

I have created a blog on which I have posted all my data-- ncluding what Pico, Reuchlin, and Agrippa say about the sefirot--and how I would link it up with specific tarot trumps. It is http://latinsefiroth.blogspot.com. I was going to post it here, but it is too long. Ricci has so many different descriptors of the sefirot that there are more ways of linking sefirot with trumps than I had thought. One very natural way, it turns out, is for the trumps to go exactly in the order of the sefirot, down and then up. (Here Kether pretty much equals other people’s En-Sof. Da’at, knowledge in the English translation, is for Gikatilla a name of Tiferet, the “Middle Line,” but in the upper triad. Exactly what Ricci’s Latin says (p. 87) is unclear to me):

Kether, corona: Fool on the descent, World on the ascent.
Da'at (or Chochmah, sapientia): Magician and Judgment.
Chochmah, sapientia (or Da’at): Popess and Sun.
Binah, prudentia: Empress and Moon.
Chesed, miseracordia: Emperor and Star.
Gevurah, severitas: Pope and Maison-Dieu.
Tiferet, pulchritude: Lover and Devil.
Netzach, victoria: Chariot and Temperance.
Hod, confessio: Strength (or Justice) and Death.
Yesod, fundamentum: Hermit and Hanged Man.
Malkhut, regnum: Wheel of Fortune and Justice (or Strength).

The Latin descriptors here are just typical ones out of many. This arrangement puts a negative slant on the Pope, as the embodiment of “severitas,” harsh judgment. It seems to me that anyone interested in Kabbalah in the 16th-17th centuries would have had such a negative opinion, as Jews and Kabbalists were both persecuted by the Church. But for those who thought the Pope was a good guy, the sequence could simply start at the bottom (as Kwaw and JMD do), in which case he is Tiferet—although in relation to Gikatilla that arrangement is less natural than the other way around. In the previous case (the “most natural” one), Tiferet is the Lover—the young, beautiful YHVH of the Song of Songs united with Malkhut on the right and their mother Binah on the left (and on the ascent his counterpart enslaving two of them)!

Gikatilla can also accommodate both the Marseille and the Golden Dawn placements of Justice and Strength. The energies of the upper sefirot are passed down to the lower ones; so both Strength and Justice become, in specific circumstances, attributes of both Hod and Malkhut—but ones are ameliorated by other energies, so that Malkhut (and also Hod, although less so) is gentle strength or lenient justice. And that is what we have on the cards: the gentle maiden on the Strength card and Justice’s elbow tipping one side of the scales. “Tipping the scales” in favor of mercy is a frequent image in Gikatilla.

So that is what I have been up to. If people have any questions about any of the correspondences, go to my blog or let me know here. And I would appreciate any feedback.
Top   #384
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Hi Mike,
I am interested to see how this all comes out, especially how Reuchlin and Agrippa used the "Gates of Light" for their synthesis. I believe the drawing on the cover of "Gates of Light" from the early 1500s with the Tree of Life is still one of the most fascinating depictions of the Tree of Life. Of course, there is a big question if any Jews or Kabbalists had any influence on the creation of a Tarot deck before the Golden Dawn, even though I have read about confraternities and Jews and Free Masonry and Jews, etc. And these orgranizations can be associated with some of the same thought streams as in Tarot. I read a book (from the library) about Jewish confraternities once--too late for Tarot origins, but maybe not divination. Another place to look is on the history of converts who were the ones who brought Kabbala into the mainstream. I think the man who translated the "Gates of Light" was a convert. My brief excursion into this same material left me with a lot of gaps. My general impression was that as now people are too busy just living--working, community involvement, family to take on these massive projects. The Christian clergy on the other hand was more an intellectual class. Another problem I found, too, was that Jews were not only up against a religious taboo with "graven images" but that they were barred from art schools (guilds). (I'm not sure when the bar lifted)
So, the "Gates of Light" drawing might be one of the first because artists needed to be Christians in order to receive training, etc. But there might have been Jewish art schools or trainings--possible link. I wonder if Jews were permitted into the printing business in the 15th, 16th, and 17th Centuries. I know that everything changed during the 18th Century with the Enlightenment, but I'm not sure what happened before then. I'll be following the development of your thesis. Good luck, Kapoore
Top   #385
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Hi Mike,
I just looked up early printing and Jews and discovered that there were early Jewish presses (15th Century)--mostly publishing religious books. But there was also political and ecclesiastical pressure to prevent Jews from entering the new field. The Jewish presses mentioned in the article were in Africa, Constantinople, and Palestine. Still, it looks like a well researched area and my guess is that you could find out exactly where the Jewish printing presses were, who owned them, and what they published. I found all this easily on a standard search engine. Good luck...
Top   #386
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Thanks for the input, Kapoore. Yes, Ricci was a converso. His bio is interesting--a professor, later physician to the Emperor. Jewish publishers in Mantua, two brothers, did have time to publish the Zohar, in three Aramaic volumes, late in the 16th century. I will check to see where the other well-known Hebrew Kabbalist books were published, but I am pretty sure most were in Italy.

I am now trying to trace references to Kabbalah in 16th century non-Kabbalist Christian works, to see what they were reading. De Mornay (1580's) for example has five chapters on how Judaism parallels Christianity, with references to Ricci and Pico but so far nobody else I recognize.

On my blog I have put Ricci's Latin words and phrases behind the English, and the same with Reuchlin. (The 1983 translation of Reuchlin has mistakes that even I notice.) You can see just where he used Ricci and where he either misunderstands him or has used someone else contradicting Ricci. Reuchlin's misunderstandings would be one reason why people would use Ricci over Reuchlin: he's closer to the source. Next I will do the same with Agrippa.
Top   #387
MikeH  MikeH is offline
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I looked in the bibliographies of some books on Kabbala--Tishby, Scholem, Idel, etc. For books published in the 16th century in Hebrew related to Kabbalah, the most frequent place of publication was Venice. But both the Zohar and the Gates of Light were published in Mantua. Other places were Cremona, Basel, Cracow, Lublin, and Salonika. (Salonika under the Ottoman Empire was the largest Jewish city in the world for two centuries, according to Wikipedia, absorbing large numbers after their expulsion from Spain.) And for a brief period (1596-1611) under Rudolf II, Prague was significant.

I also noticed that Ricci, including the Gates of Light, and Reuchlin were reprinted by the Protestant Pistorius, 1761 Basel. That did a lot to popularize both of them. And Pico was reprinted often. According to the book "Our ancient brethren the originators of freemasonry" (p. 47, in Google Books), one of Pico's Kabbalist conclusions turns up in the Third Degree interrogatory of "our order": "Every good soul is a new soul coming from the East" (Pico, 28.41). Pico didn't say what he meant by "east." Thomas Vaughan, 17th century, said that "east" meant Chochmah, according to "ancient brethren." But Farmer's footnote in his 1998 translation says that Pico meant Tiferet. In Gikatilla, however, "east" is Kether. And in Reuchlin, "east" is Chesed.

Kapoore, you have been making some historical comments. A couple of things: first, I think it was Yates who says somewhere that It was not until the end of the 15th century that Cusa's work was known in Italy. Pico, for example, never mentions him. So he is unlikely to have had any influence on the origin of the tarot. Also, the Mamluks were the rulers of Egypt in the 14th century, when cards seems to have been introduced into Europe. Many tarot historians point out the similarity between the Mamluk designs and the Chinese characters that were on Chinese playing cards in the 11th-12th centuries. The Chinese were the ones who invented stiff rag paper, 10th century or so. It is likely that playing cards originated in China. But I for one do not conclude that cards did not get to Europe before the mid-14th century. How could such a useful invention not have been exported to Europe for 2 centuries? Pollet's website mentions European children's games with cards before then. It seems to me that all we can say for sure is that the use of numbered, suited cards for gambling and trick-taking games did not come to Europe til the mid-14th century. More later.
Top   #388
MikeH  MikeH is offline
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I also wanted to clarify that I realize that Gikatilla et al were published too late to be involved in tarot origins. Ways he and others could have influenced tarot, besides in divination, are with regard to meditation and also subtle details in the design, details which could be explained away in other ways. In meditation, the cards would be like the letters in Abulafia-style permutations. As for as design details, it is true that Jews weren't representational artists, but the Kabbalists had plenty of imagery, some of which may have seeped into the cards. "Tipping the scales," for example, is an image of Gikatilla's, corresponding to Justice's elbow on the scales. There is also the hanged man's phallus. And the Old Man's metamorphsis into a Hermit, especially one spelled "Hermite" in French (meaning "Hermetic"; a hermit is "ermite" without the H), or a Diogenes, corresponds to Yesod's Tzaddik, or Holy Man. And the second woman on the Lover card, corresponding to Tifereth's uniting with both the upper and lower Shekinah.

While I still have a mnute, let me tell you my own pet theory of how the trumps could have a Jewish origin. In ancient Egypt there was a board game called Senet, a kind of anticipatory enactment of the passage past gods and demons after death. There were two rows of 10 spaces. But you also had to move onto and off of the board, making 22 positions in all. Jews in Alexandria could have had their own version of the game, with sefira, or other attributes of God--or angels--mixed in with the Kelipot, the demons. It is like the virtues and vices of Boiardo's poem, with Nothingness at the beginning and end (Fool and World, in Boiardo's opening stanza on the trumps). When Christiantiy came, Senet boards were destroyed and the game forbidden. But Jews weren't pagans and were left to their religion. Moreover, the game doesn't really need a board. It could be scratched onto a pavement or drawn on a floor. It could have migrated from Alexandria to Marseille and points inland, and then to Italy after the Jews were expelled from France. And then when cards came in, there would be this other structure to overlay onto them, in suitably Christian form. Of course I have no evidence whatever for this theory. But has anyone looked for any?
Top   #389
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeH
On my blog I have put Ricci's Latin words and phrases behind the English, and the same with Reuchlin.
Where is your blog (it is not listed in your profile).

Re: Jews and representational art. There is loads of representational art found in the marginilia of jewish manuscripts such halaka, books of festivals and others, much of which comparable to tarot image - not a serious objection, more serious is the obvious christian nature of the tarot, but maybe a relationship with conversos???
Top   #390




 


 


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