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Huck 
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A lot book of 1450 - with 22 elements


Lot books were clearly made for divination interests
.... early Trionfi cards not

Lot books are difficult to study ... they didn't found too much attention as literary works. So one is rather lucky, if one finds a library description about a work. If one is very lucky, one finds an online edition.

Lot books are often "very confusing", and it often is impossible to understand their system ... which not in each case is a deep loss, as some of these systems are obviously accidental corrupt or have just "stupid ideas" and often are just made with misunderstandings by the producers.

Lot books mostly are productions "in one version", so one cannot hope to suggest, that this were far spread versions and of some importance for the researched period.

*************

In this case we were very lucky to find 4 "related versions" of one lot book, 3 of them more or less similar to each other, one to 3/4 similar. More lucky we are, that one version is really online, a second a little bit online and two other versions have library descriptions.

Very lucky we are, that just this lot book has a 22-22-22-22-scheme with 22 questions, 22 Kings, 22 Prophets and 22 symbolic animals (from these 12 well known zodiac signs).

*************

The well known (I hope so) problem exists, that one cannot prove, that the early Tarot cards had really 22 trumps. Indeed there is reason to assume, that the earliest versions had only 14 or 16 trumps ... I've talked about this very often.
So it is especially of worth to know about a lot book, which definitely used the number 22 as a system-number, and which can be dated around the time, when the first Trionfi cards were produced. And if it can be stated, that it was relatively far spread, one actually could work with the idea, that it possibly influenced the process, which did lead to the condition, that Tarot cards got finally 22 trumps.

**************

Unluckily for the most readers here, the evidence for all these versions exits only in German language. Well, it's a German Losbuch. But you might have fun with the pictures.

1. Fränkisches Losbuch (dated 2nd quarter of 15th century, so between 1426-1450; a second researcher estimated third quarter); the manuscript is fragmented and in a rather bad state.

Pictures are at:

http://www.bildindex.de/dokumente/html/obj00022941#|home
Note: Not all pictures belong to the lot book. The lot book starts in the 5th row with the right picture and contains totally 13 pictures (last picture is the pope, the first is the lion)
The lot book is collected inside a MS with other texts.
Berlin, Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Inventar-Nr. Ms. germ. fol. 642

Example picture: the Pope, which is the highest element of 22 (or last in a row from 1-22).
The Pope has as animal a donkey and as prophet Jacob




2. Inside the Bollstatter collection of lot books in cgm 312 (the first of c. 12-15 lot books inside the codex). The collection was produced between 1450-1473 and this edition definitely in the year 1450.
The library description is here:
http://www.manuscripta-mediaevalia.d...3_a295_JPG.htm
second page:
http://www.manuscripta-mediaevalia.d...3_a296_JPG.htm
From:
SCHNEIDER, Karin: Die deutschen Handschriften der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek München: Cgm 201-350. - Editio altera. - Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 1970


3. A printed version from c. 1520, printed in c. 1520 in Landshut by Johann Weissburger. This version is luckily online and you can see the full text (perhaps the impressum and some start text is missing) and the full pictures.

http://daten.digitale-sammlungen.de/...no=106&seite=1

An example picture: Pope with donkey and prophet Jacob



From that, what could be controlled by the momentary available information, all these 3 different versions use the same mathematical scheme, the same symbols (kings, prophets, questions, animals) and have the same or rather identical text ... the danger is given, that the row of symbols has slight variants (mistakes), but this is not sure.

4. The following 4th text variates the (international) Kings row and uses instead a local German hierarchy (also from 1-22) probably indicating, that this text was made around Mainz-Trier. The text is nowadays in Trier.
"Losbuch Moselfranken", begin 16th century

1st figure: wild man (similar to Fool)
2nd figure: noble man
3rd figure: knight
4-11: German lower nobility
12-18: 7 Kurfürsten (Electors), the highest (18) is the archbishop of Mainz
19: "Konnig" (= king)
20: Cardinal
21: Keyser (= emperor; same figure as in the other 3 texts)
22: Babest (= pope; same figure as in the other 3 texts)

A library description is here:
http://books.google.com/books?id=-it...page&q&f=false

The "wild man" (first figure in this system) is a topic for some p15th century playing cards, for intance this one ...



**************

Additionally to this 4 lot books a fifth text exists, much more famous than these others, not often mentioned works: the "Splendor Solis", made c. 1530 in Augsburg (that's more or less the same region, where the four other books had their production). Adam McLean describes the content, which shows - as the 4 lot books - 22 pictures in 22 chapters:

http://www.levity.com/alchemy/splensol.html
Quote:
1. The Arms of the art
2. Philosopher with flask
3. The Knight on the double fountain
4. Solar King and Lunar Queen meet

The Seven Parables:
5. Miners excavating hill
6. Philosophers beside tree
7. Drowning King
8. Resurrection out of the swamp
9. Hermaphrodite with egg
10. Severing the head of the King
11. Boiling the body in the vessel

The Seven Flasks:
[color="red"]12. Saturn - Dragon and child
13. Jupiter - Three birds
14. Mars - Triple-headed bird
15. Sun - Triple-headed dragon
16. Venus - Peacock's Tail
17. Mercury - The White Queen
18. Moon - The Red King[/color="red"]

19. The dark sun
20. Children at play
21. Women washing clothes
22. Sun rising over the city
One detects, that the "Splendor Solis" uses a similar scheme as the "Losbuch Moselfranken", which used "7 Kurfürsten" for the positions 12-18. The "Splendor Solis" uses "7 Planets" at the same positions.

Picture example: Mercury



***************

The content of the earlier lot book (before Splendor Solis and the lot book variant "Losbuch Moselfranken"):

22 elements, each with a number, each with a prophet, each with a king, each with an "animal" (which are occasionally zodiac signs) and each with a theme (which is given by the question). I give the original question, and I translate it, then I give the prophet, then the king and then the animal:

1. Ob ains an Wirdigkeit mag komen (question)
If one gets honors (translation of question)
Prophet David (Prophet)
King Franckreich (France) (King)
Animal: Wag - Zodiac: Libra (Animal ... in this case a zodiac sign)

2. Ob ains gedancken vollend mugen werden
If one's ideas reach their goal
Prophet Daniel
King Engelland (England)
Animal: Wider - Zodiac: Aries

3. Ob es gut sey wider feynd kriegen
If it is good to fight against an enemy
Prophet Zacharias
King Schottenland (Scotland)
Animal: Ochs - Zodiac: Taurus

4. Von frawen haymlichkeit
About "Hamlichkeit" of the woman
Prophet Isaias
King Ungern (Hungary)
Animal: Krebs - Zodiac: Cancer

5. Von gottes huld und gnaden
About god's grace
Prophet Abacuck
King Marroch (Marocco)
Animal: Leb - Zodiac: Leo

6. Von manne haymlickeit
About "Haymlichkeit" of the man
Prophet Jonas
King Cecilien (Sicilia ?)
Animal: Rab - Crow

7. Von gtrewn Lewten
About loyal persons
Prophet Malachias
King Römischer König (Rome)
Animal Jungfraw - Zodiac: Virgo

8. Von vil frawen
About many women
Prophet Jeremias
King Morenland (land of the Moors)
Animal Fisch - Zodiac: Pisces

9. Von reichtum
about richness
Prophet Gedeon
King Armenien (Armenia)
Animal Wassertrager - Zodiac: Aquarius

10. Von langem leben
About long life
Prophet Nabuchodonnsor
King Schweden (Sweden)
Animal Zwyling - Zodiac: Gemini

11. Von deinem frewnde
About a male friend
Prophet Ismahelite
King Turcken (Turkey)
Animal Schutz - Zodiac: Sagitarius

12. Von deiner Frewndin
About a female friend
Prophet Theodosius
King Spangen (Spain)
Animal: Scorpion Zodiac: Scorpio

13. Ob es gut sej wallen
If it good to "wallen" (? to wander or to make a pilgrim's journey ?)
Prophet Putifar
King Indian (India)
Animal Einhorn - Zodiac: unicorn/capricorn

14. Ob es gut sey zu Ee greffen
If it good to marry
Prophet Olibrius
King Capodocia (central Turkey, Anatolia)
Animal: Kranch (crane)

15. Ob eins sein schuld vergelten mag
If something is paid back
Prophet Moyses
King Tartern (land of the Tartars ? Mongolia ?)
Animal: Arr (eagle)

16. Von weisheit und thorheit
About wisdom and stupidity
Prophet Isaac
King Lilio (?)
Animal: Nachtigall (nightingale)

17. Von herren lone
About salary of a master
Prophet Abraham
King Nobie (Nubia)
Animal: Kamelthyer (camel)

18. Von sorgen
About sorrows
Prophet Joseph
King Cypern (Cyprus)
Animal Syttich (parrot)

19. Ob eins verloren ding wider finde
If a lost object is found again
Prophet Samuel
King Arragon (Aragon)
Animal: Hyrs (stag)

20. Von hoffnung
About hope
Prophet Israhel
King Babylonien (Babylon)
Animal: Hundt (dog)

21. Ob ein gefangener erlöst mug werden
If a prisoner will be released
Prophet Nathan
King - Emperor
Animal: Has (hare)

22. Von der libe
About love
Prophet Jacob
King - Pope
Animal: Esel (donkey)

****************************

The system was meanwhile analyzed and partly deciphered. It seems probable, that at least in parts the elements are much older than "1450" ...

... it seems obvious, that (as far the group of the animals are observed) that it (at least partly) goes back to an old astrology, which was already used before Christ and which considered a 13th sign of the zodiac, which was used for an additional month (in a lunisolar system).
A report to a Babylonian lot book system made in 177/178 BCE was discovered (written at a cuneiform table), which uses 17 (of the 22) elements.

*****************************

So we have here a Tarot-similar object, which - naturally - wasn't printed a as a card deck ... at least there is no evidence.

... .-) ... nonetheless it fulfills a lot of dreams about Tarot. Very old, an important system based on 22, with astrological content.



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Old 01-03-2011     Top   #1
Laura Borealis 
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Thank you for this, it is very intriguing.

Eta: For others who, like me, weren't sure what a lot book is, here is a brief description:
http://richardbyrn.co.uk/RFMB/htm/Losbuch.htm



Quote:
Originally Posted by Huck
Lot books are often "very confusing", and it often is impossible to understand their system ... which not in each case is a deep loss, as some of these systems are obviously accidental corrupt or have just "stupid ideas" and often are just made with misunderstandings by the producers.
The angel oracles of their time?



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Old 01-03-2011     Top   #2
Lady Iron Side 
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Thank you so much for this thread, this just in many ways added more info to my theory about the Cary Yale deck that I've been studying, It originally has 11 majors (Arcana) this can help me with linking the cards etc. I have know about the lots books (German) for 6 years, however I never really paid mind to it till this year while studying the Cary Yale. I have made some posts about this in my thread (pre - golden dawn decks) http://www.tarotforum.net/showthread.php?t=152834 Page 2

Quote:
So we have here a Tarot-similar object, which - naturally - wasn't printed a as a card deck ... at least there is no evidence.
Well just maybe the Cary Yale is the first to be done as a Card Deck.

Edit: I am here to support your theory, for I believe this to be as well.

Last edited by Lady Iron Side; 01-03-2011 at 19:56. Reason: typos
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Old 01-03-2011     Top   #3
Huck 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laura_borealis
The angel oracles of their time?
... :-) ... Yes, may be. They had a lot of angels then, and also a lot of lot books, which are considered having been numerous by experts, though not loved by librarians, as they often were rather cheap productions, and additionally became victim to censors with religious feelings.

Thanks for your interest.



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Old 01-03-2011     Top   #4
Bernice 
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Fascinating find Huck.

For me, it serves to convey the mind-set of 'diviners' at that time & place. A mixture of christian, occult (zodiac?), and social/worldly understandings (Kings - soverign power).

Many thanks....


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Old 01-03-2011     Top   #5
Huck 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady Iron Side
Thank you so much for this thread, this just in many ways added more info to my theory about the Cary Yale deck that I've been studying, It originally has 11 majors (Arcana) this can help me with linking the cards etc. I have know about the lots books (German) for 6 years, however I never really paid mind to it till this year while studying the Cary Yale. I have made some posts about this in my thread (pre - golden dawn decks) http://www.tarotforum.net/showthread.php?t=152834 Page 2
You seem to have very detailed ideas to the Cary-Yale ...
A longer time ago this article was written ...
http://trionfi.com/0/c/35/

Then the Cary Yale was reconstructed with the trumps as an analogy to the chess game and the whole game as a deck with 5x16 - structure (just a deck with 5 suits, and the 5th suit intended as predefined trumps.

This earlier version variates according better known details with our idea of today:
Nowadays we don't care for the figures at the bishop's position (just too many possibilities) ...

Additionally we point to the following other productions:

1. The Chess iconography according the text of Cessolis, which developed during 14th century (chess figure representations as paintings, the pawns are individualized and get professions)

For instance a knight:



For instance a pawn (smith):



Some more:
http://www.danielmitsui.com/hieronym...art=1253250059


2. The Michelino deck
16 gods as trumps in a version with totally 60 cards
made for Filippo Maria Visconti, painted by Michelino da Besozzo, described by Martiano da Tortona (before 1425)
http://trionfi.com0/b/
http://trionfi.com/0/b/11

Here clearly a Tarot-similar-playing-card-deck has 16 trumps - made for Filippo Maria Visconti

3. The Charles VI Tarocchi (17 Trionfi cards in the Bibliotheque nationale in Paris, including 16 trumps)
http://expositions.bnf.fr/renais/arret/3/index.htm
We believe, that the trumps are complete, general Tarot history (Kaplan, Dummett etc.) assumes, that "trumps are lost". We've a detailed opinion, which card meant which chess figure, and when this deck was produced: c. 1463 in Florence.
This 16 trumps have some similarity to the reconstructed Cary-Yale (with some replacements: the three theological virtues were exchanged through Sun-Moon-Star; Fame-World (Cary-Yale) lost its position as Tower and became cardinal virtue Prudentia, the "Tower in destruction" was invented, the Empress was replaced by the Pope).

4. The parallel of a 5x16-deck to a 5x14 deck development .. which can be seen by two documents.

a. The 5x14-deck is received, when one parts the Pierpont-Morgan-Bergamo deck (surviving with 20 trumps and 54 small arcana) according the two painters, who produced it:

The first painter made:
14 trumps (inclusive Fool) + 54 surviving small arcana
... that's the 5x14-deck

The second painter made:
6 (additional) trumps ... which are in the general Tarot history research interpreted as "replacement cards"

b. A Ferrarese document in the year 1457, which refers to a Trionfi-card-production of 2 decks with "70 cards" (NOT 78) ... (5x14 = 70)

http://trionfi.com/0/e/16/

c. A second Ferrarese document, which refers to the date 1.1.1441 (New-Years-day .. this day was especially used for gambling and card-playing) and the production of 14 "figure" painted as a gift for Bianca Maria Visconti (daughter of Filippo Maria Visconti), who at this date was a guest at the court of Ferrara.
The painter was Jacopo Sagramoro, who variously appeared as playing card (also Trionfi cards) producer, "figure" is an expression used in other Trionfi card documents.

There are many other arguments ... but this might be the most important.

Quote:
This, works in the Cary Yale perfectly it goes by 13 Zodiac Signs, this was a surprise to me. also one of the knights turned out to be what we Call the Fool, that was a shocker, again I'll take pictures tommorrow
Well, we haven't a zodiac in "usual Tarot" (in Minchiate we have it), but we have it in the lot book (as shown). The 13th additional sign is a crow or a raven, which survived as a real star picture "Corvus":
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corvus_%28constellation%29

Corvus has its position near Virgo, which is related to the time of September (which is the time, when the 13 month was added (in 7 of 19 years) in the lunisolar calendar, cause in Greece they started the year in autumn. So this astrology has internal logic, it's not a "wild phantasy", and it was placed in history "as important" at specific times and at specific places.
It always stayed after its invention in use for the Hebrew people. It was used in Babylon since c. 500 BCE and in Greece (Athen) since 432. It lost its function in 75 AD. (so say my collected data)
As the Jews were the living connection, it seems plausible to assume, that the knowledge about this system was transferred by Jews (as far the astrological parts of the lot books are considered).

If you could point to a crow or raven in the Tarot together with something, which would look like a zodiac, then the consideration of the lunisolar calendar in context of the Trionfi cards would make sense. I think, you can't.

The relationship between this 22-elements-lot-book-system and later Tarot is just that both have 22 elements and both have Emperor + Pope and both use a hierarchical order (0-21 .. 1-22). In the time, when Trionfi cards had only 14 or 16 trumps, these decks naturally didn't have a connection to the lot book ...
(we don't have any evidence for an "early 22", the oldest evidence for the use of "22" is the Boiardo poem - likely 1487 - and the Sola-Busca Tarocchi - likely 1491)
... they just had a totally different intention. The similarity developed later, when the Trionfi cards increased the number of their trumps.

Quote:
Well just maybe the Cary Yale is the first to be done as a Card Deck. Maybe you can help me out with this, I don't speak German
The oldest deck (from which we know of "similarities" to Tarot) is the Michelino deck. The Michelino deck (60 cards, 16 trumps, as courts only kings) has itself similarity to a deck, which was described by Johannes of Rheinfelden in 1377 (60 cards, 10 numbers and 5 court cards for each suit; the number cards are filled with professions). This deck of Johannes has similarities to the chess iconography (pawns are professions) developed from the Cessolis text (c. 1300).
So there's a line of development till the Cary-Yale-version (possibly 1441) is reached. "16" is an accepted number - already with the Michelino deck. The six court cards of Cary-Yale (3 men, 3 women) aren't so unusual, when we know, that already the Johannes of Rheinfelden deck had 5 courts (3 men: King, upper marshall, lower marshall ... and 2 women: Queen and her maid).
Just a "female knight" had to be invented ... as 1441 knew Jeanne d'Arc (died 1431), one might identify this detail as "modern art".

I understand, that the German texts create difficulties (anyway, the library texts are difficult to understand ... even for a German). If you've questions, please ask. Thanks for your interests.



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Old 01-03-2011     Top   #6
Huck 
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In view of the recent interest in a poll, which asks ...

"Do you believe Tarot was originally based on the Hebrew alphabet?"
http://tarotforum.net/showthread.php?t=110337&page=18

... there's perhaps this other object, a lot book system with 22 elements, which existed in 15th century, though not in Italy, but in Germany.

The 22 elements show a relation to astrological symbols, similar to that, as it also appeared in the Tarot systems of 19th and 20th century, either based on the correspondence list of Levi or Golden Dawn (both connecting to kaballistic sources).

Though the system is different. It knows 13 zodiac signs, cause it was based on a moon calender, which mostly had 12 moons in a year, but occasionally knew 13 moons.

1-13 ... 13 zodiac signs
14-18 .... 5 planets
19 Moon
20 Sun
21 Emperor with Hare
22 Pope with Donkey

How one would describe a relationship of this system to the Kabbala system?

The astrology of the system used by Levi and Golden Dawn used 12 zodiac signs and 7 planets and 3 elements, Air-Fire-Water.
The other system exchanged the 3 elements with a 13th zodiac-sign (a crow), Emperor and a Pope.

The form of this astrology (or calender with 19-years cycle) had been in use in Babylonia and Greece from c. 5th century BC till c. 1st century AD. Later it was still used by Jews, mostly as an additional calender.



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Old 13-01-2014     Top   #7
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Interesting when you first posted it Huck- and still interesting now.
I see combined things, repeated in Tarot.
The wild man and his Turkey- the crop is upon the man in the PMB as are the feathers on his head= A Fool
Old Italian alphabet books A is Assino = Donkey also Asso or Ace.
Mainly what I wanted to say that Tarot was influenced by earlier card games in the symbols. The images were not revolutionary. I guess some would ask why a Donkey and a Pope.....maybe Palm Sunday comes to mind.
~Rosanne



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Old 13-01-2014     Top   #8
Huck 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosanne View Post
Interesting when you first posted it Huck- and still interesting now.
I see combined things, repeated in Tarot.
The wild man and his Turkey- the crop is upon the man in the PMB as are the feathers on his head= A Fool
Old Italian alphabet books A is Assino = Donkey also Asso or Ace.
Mainly what I wanted to say that Tarot was influenced by earlier card games in the symbols. The images were not revolutionary. I guess some would ask why a Donkey and a Pope.....maybe Palm Sunday comes to mind.
~Rosanne
"pope donkey huck" in Google search engine will lead to the original research. There was a lot of research about the Donkey and his pope inclusive this result ...









... and this ...



In late 15th century a mockery, earlier more a serious connection.

An Emperor-Hare connection was found in old Constantinople, so the suspicion is, that an older lot book model wandered from Byzanz first to Spain and Alfonso the Wise of Castile in 13th century (who ordered a lot of foreign books to be translated) and came then to Swabia, a region, which belonged to the Hohenstaufen (emperor Fredrick II.), but Alfonso tried to get it, when he engaged to become German emperor. He didn't get Swabia, and didn't become a real German emperor.

Old Swabia was then the region, where the lot book mainly appeared ... in different Southern German dialects.

But that's only suspicion. It's clear for us, that it appeared in Germany around the time, when the Trionfi cards developed in Italy. If it (or something similar) existed much earlier, is not known.

A sort of lot book fragment was found on an old Babylonian table with comparable internal astrological structure, dated to the 2nd century BC.

The lot book knows 22 prophets and the last of them on the time table is Olibrius, which should be ...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olybrius
... an Emperor of the Western Roman Empire for 3 months in the year 472 AD.

It's not clear, what made him a prophet. One can count him as a "last" ( last Emperor of the House of Theodosius; or "last legal emperor from Byzantine perspective") or "nearly the last" Emperor of the Western Roman Empire.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Roman_Empire



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Old 13-01-2014     Top   #9
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Kronos or Kairos?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Huck View Post
In view of the recent interest in a poll, which asks ...

"Do you believe Tarot was originally based on the Hebrew alphabet?"
http://tarotforum.net/showthread.php?t=110337&page=18

... there's perhaps this other object, a lot book system with 22 elements, which existed in 15th century, though not in Italy, but in Germany.

The 22 elements show a relation to astrological symbols, similar to that, as it also appeared in the Tarot systems of 19th and 20th century, either based on the correspondence list of Levi or Golden Dawn (both connecting to kaballistic sources).

Though the system is different. It knows 13 zodiac signs, cause it was based on a moon calender, which mostly had 12 moons in a year, but occasionally knew 13 moons.

1-13 ... 13 zodiac signs
14-18 .... 5 planets
19 Moon
20 Sun
21 Emperor with Hare
22 Pope with Donkey

How one would describe a relationship of this system to the Kabbala system?

The astrology of the system used by Levi and Golden Dawn used 12 zodiac signs and 7 planets and 3 elements, Air-Fire-Water.
The other system exchanged the 3 elements with a 13th zodiac-sign (a crow), Emperor and a Pope.

The form of this astrology (or calender with 19-years cycle) had been in use in Babylonia and Greece from c. 5th century BC till c. 1st century AD. Later it was still used by Jews, mostly as an additional calender.
The Hare may allude to the constellation Lepus at the feet of Orion. The "Eos(tre) Bunny", if you like. Not having seen this "21", perhaps it is really Pookah. With respect to the luni-solar calendar, Orion is poised roughly 180 degrees from Ophiucus (Serpentarius) - the "13th" House of the Zodiac - where the healer grasps hold of the Serpent. I've gotten the impression that the symbolism is related to the astrological glyphs for Scorpio & Virgo - between whom Ophiucus was poised before Scorpio's pincers were shortened to make way for Libra. The trick is seeing in seeing a Spiral from it's side, silhouetted upon a plane.

Among the luni-solar calendars of antiquity, calibrating the cycles of Sun & Moon was, in a sense, like joining two serpents coiling about the Earth. The formula usually had something to do with the golden mean, much like the 'solution' to the Tarot - but only if you can 'see' how the origins of alphabets & calendars are intertwined. Though, if you can multiply 0.618 with 365, you might appreciate how the Menses Intercalaris, as needed, tended to begin on 2.25

?
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