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Ross G Caldwell  Ross G Caldwell is offline
Join Date: 07 Jul 2003
Location: Béziers, France
Posts: 2,649
Ross G Caldwell 

Originally Posted by kwaw
Unless I am remembering or have read it wrong, in Decker, Dummet, et als presentation of Monde Primitif and the Gebelin, Mellet essays in A Wicked Pack of Cards they seem to conclude, or least suggest the possibility, that it is otherwise; that these considerations of the Tarot were already existent within a milieu that they [or at least Gebelin] were familiar with. The most likely milieu is that of the Freemasons or similar body.
Yes, they mention it on p. 67 of that book. It seems to be the most plausible argument.

But, *how* developed was the doctrine of the Egyptian origin of tarot in the Illuminist circles in the decades before Court de Gébelin and the Comte de Mellet wrote about it?

I don't think Court de Gébelin was forgetting or lying when he wrote that he was the first to discover the ancient Egyptian book in the tarot pack. I think that he must have discussed with others the traces of the ancient doctrine everywhere. His entire work "Le Monde Primitif" is dedicated to discovering the "Perennial Philosophy" in all times and places, in all languages and cultures. Perhaps he and fellow initiates challenged one another to find it in antique and medieval remains, in architecture and art, in words and images. Deciphering it, like an alchemical book.

The belief that ordinary playing cards propagated this doctrine, that that court cards were pagan gods in disguise, was well-known and had been around for a long time. It was only a matter of time before the images of the tarot trumps would be interpreted this way.
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