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mythologically speaking...what does gnosticism have to do with tarot?

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I read it, too, and I agree with Umbrae about Dan Brown. I've read three of his books now, and he really does great research. He really got me interested in this subject, so much so that I scoured my local used bookstores until I found a translation of the Nag Hammedi Library, and a couple other 'alternative gospel' books. So far I'm finding them interesting in terms of the viewpoints they express from people at that time.

Peace,

Melvis
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Moderator note:
  • please note that the peripheral discussion which took place in this thread is now located in its own thread.
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Good, so now I would like to address the original question again, in this way. I would would like to know how we might see the twenty two trumps as reflecting the Mary Magdalene Heresy as has been delineated in the Da Vinci Code and other books like the Starbird books.

Again... I am not interested in whether the heresy represents actual events, only that it is an actual heresy --a historically verifiable cultural artefact and that as such, it had the *potential* to be reflected within the images of the tarot.

Some have claimed also that the trumps could potentially have served as a teaching board for the heresy...

I am interested in trying to reconstruct the possibilities for this here, to see, if such a thing could possibly make sense. If indeed the tarot was a teaching board, what would/could the cards teach? which cards taught what?

Which card might represent MM?
Which card might represent Sarah? Which card might show the brother of Christ?
Which card the boat ride to France?
Do we include the court cards and the Aces as participating in the story board?
Is the non-death, and the physical survival of Christ after crucifixion thought to be represented here?

etc. any thoughts?
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Quote:
Originally posted by pan
http://magdalene.wise1.com/gnostictarot.html
Thank you, pan, for referencing and quoting Christine Payne Towler, who has been gracious enough to join us and is participating in this thread as Christine.

The essay which you partially reproduced above, is from Christine's essay "Gnostic Tarot" which is to be found on her website, and book, the Underground Stream, referred to earlier in the thread.
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wow!
kewl...
so i guess everybody should guess by now i don't
do weekends.

i am happy to see this conversation sprinting off
and away, and just had to add my two cents.

I think that its very clear to me that the
christian and perhaps gnostic recreation of
tarot cards was very much about them finding
these cards and relating them to issues which
were important to them at that time.

without the pagan understanding of the meanings
of the cards, discerning a meaning would have been
much like it is today for some people; simply
tuning into those things which seem to be
the core spiritual issues of our culture.

In this, the cards were remade with some very
clear clues as to what they thought about them
and how they related to them.

I think it is very clear that the feminine aspect
of god was very central as a mystery and that one thing that has gone on is that tarot has been invested with some of the burden of holding onto
feminine archetypes.

The mary magdelen "heresy"?

First off, i think its important to consider some
of the known realities. "jesus" is a slightly
decayed "ysius" as in "Dion-ysius" and the actual
historical figure which we seem to be able to locate in history was named Yeshua. Which is peculiar since Yeshua is a feminized name form.
The implication that some have chosen to draw from
this and many other sources is that the person who
the christ- myth was based upon was in fact possibly female.

What may then have been encoded in tarot was the
pictograph knowledge of this truth; since it couldn't be written down or openly expressed in
any way.
In this, Tarot gets more or less hijinked for the
purpose of passing on some information which was
clearly understood at the time but which was also
not the official party line they wanted.

There are some other interesting factiods; the
presence of the female apostles of Yeshua who are
quite clearly written out of the bible. (this can now be proven by refering to more original versions of the books in question.)
They are still refered to in various biblical passages, and specifically are they who find the tomb of Yeshua empty. They are there refered to as
"women who followed Jesus who had been cured of demons."
A gross diabolization of the later sexist fascist
catholic church.

I think that these kinds of facts are very interesting, but its hard as far as i can tell to
draw any factual conclusions from them; we have to face the reality that in the end, we are only to some degree speculating.

I am very comfortable with speculation, but sometimes it seems other people aren't.

To what degree was mary magdelens story actually
cut and spliced and interspresed with Yeshuas?
If Yeshua ben christos was the "anointed one"
(christos means anointed one) then who annointed him?(her?) and what did it really mean and why was it so significant? It is also stated that mary was a prostitute. What is covered up is that at the time
by far most "prostitutes" were temple workers in the temples of dianna and astarte, and this begins
to unfold a very interesting level of what was really going on and how Yeshua ended up with such a large burden and so much authority. Because if
it is true that mm was a preistess, then her now
downplayed annointing of Yeshuas feet was equal to
a double heresy; she was in a sense thus inducting
yeshua into the preisthood.
(of a rival religious order.)
What would have been the motivations and implications of this?
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Cool


Quote:
Originally posted by firemaiden
Some have claimed also that the trumps could potentially have served as a teaching board for the heresy...
I have not found a direct link between teaching boards and tarots (especially the Major Arcana). The implied connection is from watching and listening to Masonic Degree lectures, and looking at teaching boards in use today, some of which are quite old. Observing the imagery, the layout of the imagery, how the lecture is constructed, and used with the teaching board. Freemasons of today still use teaching boards and oral histories for each of the degree 'lectures' (lasting about 45 min each, memorized verbatim for hundreds of years)...

I don’t have a current bibliography handy, but I remember reading that Osiris sects, the Essenes and the Ebionim used teaching boards.

Teaching boards were in common usage in all initiatory sects, and as such went hand in hand with oral traditions.

I believe it was Michael Costen in “The Cathars and the Albigensian Crusade” who posited that the Cathar teachings were handed down from St. John the Evangelist. We know that the Cathars were an initiatory sect which revered the secret Gospel of St. John (Simon de Vries, Cathars, Customs and Castles); which preached JC was a teacher and not a redeemer. It was their message that they had knowledge handed down from Egypt to the Therapeutae, the Essenes, John the Baptist, James the Just, and finally to the Cathars.

We know that teaching boards are a commonality between successful initiatory sects; the teaching boards help retain continuity.

Ties between the Cathars and the Bogomil in Bulgaria are suspected.

The Albigensian Crusade aftermath would have destroyed any firm evidence of historical worth.

And what if...just what if...the images on the Tarot began, as teaching board illustrations - for a doctrine that had to be hidden from the church under pain of heresy...?

Unless (wild assed theory here) we physically cut the remaining teaching board up into (24 +1) pieces and hid them…in a deck of playing cards…and perhaps…invented a game…

Now I understand there are conclusions drawn by many who paint history with a broad brush. And I doubt that there will be any firm proof (for that is the beauty of a teaching board…they were the glue that held together an oral tradition).

Why does the Major Arcana resonate so much? Because it should - it is a lesson - it carries the underground stream of wisdom and knowledge that has flowed throughout our early history..
But there are so many threads leading to a tapestry woven with this picture…

Sorry to ramble on…

To address some of your questions

Quote:
Originally posted by firemaiden
If indeed the tarot was a teaching board, what would/could the cards teach? which cards taught what?

Which card might represent MM?
Which card might represent Sarah? Which card might show the brother of Christ?
Which card the boat ride to France?
Do we include the court cards and the Aces as participating in the story board?
Is the non-death, and the physical survival of Christ after crucifixion thought to be represented here?
Teaching boards and their accompanying lectures (Oral Tradition) are divided in groups. Usually three parts. The section that you concerned with would be the beginning of the lecture. The Parts Two and Three would be the teachings.


0 Le Mat J.C. The Dead/yet Un-Dead (Resuscitated versus Resurrected).
1 Le Bateleur Son
2 Le Papesse Daughter (The Black Madonna – Sara the Egyptian or Sara Kali)
3 Empress Mary Magdalene (who accompanied Sara)
4 Emperor Joseph of Arimathea (who accompanied JC jr.)
5 La Pope The False Pope (on the Throne of Peter)
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THANK YOU Umbrae!!!! This is really fun. (I hope I don't have to be snuffed out now that I have seen this information)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Umbrae
Ties between the Cathars and the Bogomil in Bulgaria are suspected.

(..................)


0 Le Mat J.C. The Dead/yet Un-Dead (Resuscitated versus Resurrected).
1 Le Bateleur Son
I thought the ties between the Cathars and the Bogomil were pretty much established.

Le Mat and card XIII are linked - they look the same, and the Death card DOESN'T HAVE A NAME (as he didn't die on the cross, why would they have called it Death?) And the Mat is not card 0. It is considered, to most French occultists anyway, as card 22, although it doesn't have a number.)
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Forgot to add: pan, I find your theories extremely interesting and worthy of looking into.
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Talking


thanks!
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