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The Meanings of the Minors: Who First Created Them?

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The divinatory one-word meanings discovered by Patresi, and first published in a paper titled 'Italian Cards: New Discoveries. no 9' in The Playing Card vol XVII, 1989, pp136-45 (according to Dummett & al's note on p 269 of their A Wicked Pack of Cards) are the following (it should be noted that the authors of the book state (p50) that the 'nomenclature dates the document to before 1750'):
  • Angel [ie, Judgement] - wedding and settlement
  • World - long journey
  • Sun - day
  • Moon - night
  • Star - gift
  • Devil - anger
  • Death - death
  • Traitor (Hanged Man) - betrayal
  • Old Man (hermit) - an old man
  • Force - violence
  • Temperance - time
  • Chariot - journey
  • Love - love
  • Bagattino - married man
  • Matto - madness
...then also follows meanings for some court cards and the Ace and/or ten of each suit (Cf p 49).
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Thanks, Ross and jmd, for the historical information.

jmd ... Could you please give us the mentioned Patresi-discovered divinatory meanings for those particular courts, Aces and Tens? It would be interesting to compare them for any similarities to Etteilla School DMs.
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The other listed cards are:
  • King of Swords - evil tongue
  • 10 Swords - tears
  • Ace of Swords - letter
  • King of Batons - an unmarried gentleman
  • Queen of Batons - harlot [note this 'couple' compared to the next set of King/Queen]
  • Knight of Batons - door-knocker
  • Fante of Batons - thought of the lady
  • Ace of Batons - annoyances
  • King of Cups - an old man [same stated meaning as the Hermit card]
  • Queen of Cups - married lady
  • Knight of Cups - settlement
  • Fantesca of Cups - the lady
  • 10 Cups - roof tiles
  • Ace of Cups - the house
  • King of Coins - the man
  • Queen of Coins - truth
  • Knight of Coins - thought of the man
  • Fantesca of Coins - young lady
  • 10 Coins - money
  • Ace of Coins - table
...I trust this helps further reflections and research
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Very much appreciated. Thanks, jmd.
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Fortune telling cards 1690


Page of Simon Wintle:

http://wopc.co.uk/uk/margary/lenthall.html

Fortune telling cards from 1690. Simon Wintle thinks, they are the oldest fortune telling cards.

----

John Meador in post 558 in the Yahoo-group LTarot (27th September 2003) reported about a German production of Book with Playing cards between 1506 - 1520, which fulfills somehow (in a low quality system) the definition of "divination with cards"). The base is the German playing card deck of the time with 48 cards.

Message 558 of 1252

From: "drdee00726" <drdee007@hotmail.com>
Date: Sat Sep 27, 2003 1:53 am
Subject: losbuch

"In einer vermutlich zu Nurnberg verfassten bearbeitung, die uns in einem Strassburger abdrucke Matthias Schurers (zwischen 1506 und 1520) vorliegt, ist das tierlosbuch 0 in ein kartenlosbuch) umgewandelt, indem die achtzeiligen spruche mit den notigen veranderungen den 48 karten eines deutschen kartenspieles in den Mund gelegt werden. " etc..

In the same message from John a second losbuch 8also related to a playing card deck) is noted as from 1543 and from an author with the name Cammerlander in cooperation with a second author named Jacob Vielfeld.

"Der aus Mainz geburtige Strassburger drucker Jacob Cammerlander veroffentlichte 1543 ein eigenartiges Kartenlosbuch), als dessen
verfasser wohl sein genosse Jacob Vielfeld anzusehen ist). Wie in M.
Schurers kartenlosbuch finden wir auf bl. iiij a eine scheibe mit den
vier farben (hertz, laub, eychel, schel) und deren zwolf karten
(kunig, fraw, oberbub, underbub, neun his zwei), die einen zeiger in
gestalt eines einhorns (wie bei Wickram) enthielt; und das vorwort
mahnt (bl. iij b):" etc.

The style of the described deck seems to have been rather similar to the Boiardo Tarocchi deck, that is, there had been a picture with poem for each card.
compare:
http://trionfi.com/0/h/
http://trionfi.com/0/j/d/boiardo/

Similar is also the deck of Johann Bussemecher (Cologne):

http://trionfi.com/0/j/d/bussemacher/index.html

, probably also others. The combination of text and picture (on playing cards) was in the course of time common, not unusual. Combinations of text and grafique are frequent in art history. Using them for a divinatory system is not very far. Using as media playing cards - why not.

Michael Hurst has composed an overview about early cartomancy:

http://www.geocities.com/cartedatrio...artomancy.html
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Quote:
Originally posted by jmd
The other listed cards are:
  • King of Swords - evil tongue
  • 10 Swords - tears
  • Ace of Swords - letter
...I trust this helps further reflections and research
Thanks Jean-Michel. I've been looking for those for a while. My first impression is that they are meanings for a specific query, rather than generic meanings of the cards.

Ross
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This is fascinating. I realize this is a Historical Research thread, but ... I started reading playing cards as a child (sometime before the age of 9). I used the Aces and court cards and repeating patterns in a layout somewhat like major arcana, and used my own system of numerology for the pips and single references. Suits were work, light emotions, money, dark emotions... I must have seen SOMETHING because I used a 8 or 10 card cross layout similar to Celtic Cross, but as I recall I was pretty sheltered/culturally isolated and did not see any Tarot images or anything on the occult until I was a teenager; I recall 78 cards and archetype images as being a pleasant surprise, it made everything easier. I did read a LOT of mythology and fairy tales (Greek, Roman, European, Chinese, Native American). Learning Tarot was easy; "my" numerology fit.

Now I am thinking about what I absorbed from where... and whether some universal unconsciousness or the subtle perceptional influences of culture was more an influence. Just interesting.

My apologies if this was too personal for this thread.
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Personally speaking, I do not think your post is too personal for this thread.

Indeed, the way things often become uncovered is through a progressive discovery and 'invention' by individuals.

There is something that to me seems more like intrinsic qualities in the various numbers. For example, unity and one. Of duality, opposition and two.

Some of the higher numbers do not at first appear as clearly as these, but again it seems to me that often there comes to be some agreement precisely because of some of the basic intrinsic discoveries that may be made as numbers are investigated as numbers and as patterns.

Investigating, for example, five, inevitably leads, at some stage, to quite active reflections, to the pentagramme, and to, therefore, also Phi and golden proportions.

Six leads inevitably to a sense for harmony as one draws a hexagramme.

Some numbers also seem to lead to reflections as we connect them to common accurances in worldly bodies - whether it be four and stability (whether reflecting on human constructs such as tables or cars, or the animal realm), or the incredible unfoldment that occurs in five-petalled roses or the asymmetry exemplified in the lotus.

It is to these reflections that, ultimately, it seems that pip meaning derives - and of course, the early reflections arise very much from the playfulness of using numbers as depicted, for example, on cards.
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Quote:
Originally posted by jmd

Also remember that, despite claims to the contrary by its author should he be living now, the Etteilla deck is not truly a Tarot, but rather a similar deck which arose from seeking to understand the Tarot. Many cards have been changed, and the whole deck is sequentially numbered from one to 78 (interestingly, this last card has two numbers upon it: 0 and 78, and is illustrated with a very similar representation to the Fool - possibly the first instance of having zero upon this card).
It has 40 'pips', 16 court cards, 22 emblematic figures. Why isn't it a tarot? An idiocentric, occultists redaction admittedly, but why is it less a tarot than say Waite/Smith or Crowley/Harris? How do we define what is and what isn't a tarot?

I believe the Fool is also numbered zero in the equally idiosyncratic Sola Busca. The earliest reference to the Fool being numbered Zero that I am aware of is in the late fifteenth century Steele sermon.

Kwaw
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Quote:
Originally posted by kwaw
The earliest reference to the Fool being numbered Zero that I am aware of is in the late fifteenth century Steele sermon.
Kwaw
In the sermon as well as being referenced as '0' it is called 'nulla'.

In arithmetic there are two 'nulla', one and zero. Zero is a 'nulla' in operations of addition and subtraction, one is a 'nulla' in operations of multiplication and division.

The combination of 'zero' and 'nulla' may imply the operation of addition, and the sum of the numbers 1-21+0=231 [as in the 231 gates of the SY].

Kwaw
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