Why did Eliphas Lévi link Le Mat with Shin?


> Aeclectic Tarot Forum > Tarot Special Interest > Tarot History & Development



 
kwaw's Avatar
kwaw  kwaw is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 29 Dec 2003
Location: Nr. Ephesus, Turkey
Posts: 5,400
kwaw 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kwaw View Post

Pour les sages le ciel c'est la suprême raison et l'enfer c'est la folie.
(To the wise heaven is supreme reason and hell is madness.)

On comprend que nous employons ici le mot ciel dans le sens mystique qu on lui donne en l'opposant au mot enfer.
(One understands that we employ here the word heaven in the mystical sense that gives the opposing the word hell.)

La science des esprit E. Levi



"The wise man builds on the fear of the true God, the fool is overwhelmed by fear of a false god in his own image" Levi says is the exoteric meaning of the emblem, but that it also contains the unspeakable formula of the Grand Arcanum.

The reflected image the fool froms that of the devil - shin, according to Levi, is the torch between the devil's horns.
Again, from his Livre Des Sages:

I. The paradise of the soul, this is reason satisfied; its hell is irritated madness.
II. The God of reason is himself the luminous reason of things. The God of madness is the dark irrationality of dreams. . .*

Quote:
Originally Posted by kwaw View Post
Levi did not believe in eternal damnation but in universal salvation - one could even infer from certain extracts of his works that he thought the concepts of hell and purgatory (and 'The Devil'?) were part and parcel of the hallucinations of madness.
VI. The devil, this is folly attributed to God. It is God who appears to affirm evil by a plenipotentiary issuing from the nightmares of human folly.*

XVII. Two trees bear fruit in Eden; the Tree of Knowledge and the Tree of Life; the tree of knowledge is reason, and the tree of life is love that produces faith. Faith without reason is madness, creatrix of hell; it is the annihilation of the mind.

XXI. To argue against the insane, this is crazy; to upset them or make fun of them, this is inhuman; we must only prevent them from harming.

Kwaw
* corrections or amendments to translation welcomed:
I. Le paradis de l'âme, c'est la raison satisfaite; son enfer, c'est la folie irritée.
II. Le Dieu de raison est lui-même raison lumineuse des choses. Le Dieu de la folie est la déraison obscure des rêves. . .
VI. Le diable, c'est la folie attribuée à Dieu. C'est Dieu qui semble s'affirmer méchant par un plénipotentiaire issu des cauchemars de la folie humaine.
XVIII. Dans Eden fructifient deux arbres; l'arbre de science et l'arbre de vie;l'arbre de science, c'est la raison et l'arbre de vie, c'est l'amour qui produit la foi. La foi sans raison, c'est la folie créatrice de l'enfer, c'est l'anéantissement de l'esprit.
XXI. Discuter contre les fous, c'est insensé; les contrarier ou se moquer d'eux, c'est inhumain; il faut seulement les empêcher de nuire.
Top   #101
KariRoad's Avatar
KariRoad  KariRoad is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 23 Sep 2010
Location: Apollo 11
Posts: 418
KariRoad 

More to the point is the Levi attribution of TAV with XXI Le Monde. TAV as a double letter allows the attribution of a planet with "The World" which as we know he chose to be the Sun, effectively The Son. Jesus.

Levi blew off SHIN on Le Mat (The Fool) without appreciating the significance of the Mother Letters, so he could satisfy his desire for an illogical "Christian" closure to what he imagined to be a Linear rather than a Circular design underlying The Tarot.

ie; BS = $$$
Top   #102
Huck  Huck is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 02 Jul 2003
Location: Germany
Posts: 2,682
Huck 



This is indeed an interesting card. I wasn't aware of it.

Kaplan II p.336-337 speaks of 21 cards, but shows only 20. The Tower is missing in his show. Kaplan notes, that Devil and Fool might have been merged to 1 card, ad speaks not of any small arcana. This sounds like a single deck finding without reference to any card producer.
Hargrave dated it to early 18th century, Kaplan estimates "post-gebelin" at the end of 18th century. Copperplate engraving.

Where is this deck? Was it in the British library collection? Are other cards of this deck meanwhile found?

DDD shows as Nr. 8 between its pictures 9 cards of this deck and comments "Anonymous hand-drawn Tarot cards showing the influence of Court de Gebelin, c. 1840 (United States Playing Card Collection, Cinncinnatti)"

This collection seems to have been Deckers work? He speaks of "hand-drawn" and not from "copperplate engraving".
Top   #103
Ross G Caldwell's Avatar
Ross G Caldwell  Ross G Caldwell is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 07 Jul 2003
Location: Béziers, France
Posts: 2,649
Ross G Caldwell 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Huck View Post
Where is this deck? Was it in the British library collection? Are other cards of this deck meanwhile found?
Kaplan's caption notes "United States Playing Card Company Museum, Cinncinnati, Ohio".

Wicked Pack of Cards, plate 8, says the same thing. This is no doubt how Hargrave knew of it.

The Museum, once under the direction of Ronald Decker, is now closed. I don't know where all of their holdings are housed at the moment, or if there are any plans to reopen it. It would seem like a worthy purpose to get it back up and running again, available to the public and scholars.
Top   #104
kwaw's Avatar
kwaw  kwaw is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 29 Dec 2003
Location: Nr. Ephesus, Turkey
Posts: 5,400
kwaw 



Be ye sober, and wake ye, for your adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion goeth about, seeking whom he shall devour. 1 Peter 5:8

(I am not sure how Levi would have felt about the elevation of state above religion in this deck - but I think he would have appreciated its elevation of the woman - high priestess above high priest and the queen above the king!)
Top   #105
Luminosa  Luminosa is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 27 Mar 2010
Location: Owl Land
Posts: 212
Luminosa 

QUOTE TEHEUTI: And Lévi calls the Hermit both Prudence and the Initiate, so I doubt if the Hermit is wanting to associate with the rich and famous.

You are right about the Lion being reminiscent of Strength in the Fool/Devil card of the Grandpretre Tarot.

Mary, thanks for your comment and for the inspiring pictures of the Grandpretre tarot; I had never seen them. Although you’re looking for historical evidence, and a bit off topic if I may, I would like to explain better my reasoning for the Hermit-Devil link.

I see arcana as counterparts, which are mutually opposed and complementary at the same time like the elements - water needs earth as fire needs air. So the Hermit would possess qualities which are opposed and complementary to the Devil’s, and therefore these cards would pair forming sort of axis. In very simple terms, one is prudent, the other is daring, one lives in seclusion and the other embraces the world. Following this idea, it may be that the merge of the GP Devil with the figure of the Fool may have occurred from the designer’s knowing that the Fool is another level of the Devil.

I think arcana may merge with each other because they reflect one another in several ways, and those relating to the astral light (which includes the Hanged Man as a reflection of the Hermit/Prudence/Devil) wouldn’t be exceptions. This is my little “philosophy”.

I do not know how Eliphas Lévy sees the astral light vis-à-vis the arcana and how he would have expressed it. From Kwaw’s quote, it seems the lion is connected to the Devil in some manner too. Anyway, when I have some free time, I’ll start searching his books holding the Hermit’s lamp for help. Thanks again.
Top   #106
Huck  Huck is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 02 Jul 2003
Location: Germany
Posts: 2,682
Huck 

If the deck was, as DDD mentioned, a hand drawn deck, it likely was a single deck production, naturally a nice curiosity, but hardly something, which could influence much of the general development.
For myself it looks Belgique (or Besancon or Switzerland) ... Vievil for instance already had this upright prudence, and we have also the exchanges for Pope and Popess in Besancon (Juno, Jupiter) and Belgium (the captain and Bacchus).

We've an exchange of the Devil card to a ship in the Sicilian Tarocco dated to around 1750, the first Juno and Jupiter decks in Besancon style perhaps with Francois Heri c. 1720 (Kaplan II, p. 316) and the first Captain/Bacchus possibly with Hautot 1723/1748 (Kaplan II, p. 323). It was somehow logical from Hargrave to assume, that Grandprêtre and Grandeprêtresse also appeared around this time. What makes this deck post-Gebelin?

Btw it's interesting, that the other Pope-Popess changes seems to have appeared at a similar time as the change in Bologna from Imperatori-family with Pope and Popess to Moors. Is there any connection known between the events?
Top   #107
Teheuti's Avatar
Teheuti  Teheuti is offline
Resident
 
Join Date: 24 Aug 2003
Location: Northern California
Posts: 5,539
Teheuti 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Huck View Post
Vievil for instance already had this upright prudence
I assume you are talking about the F.I. Vandenborre deck of 1780 - published one year before de Gébelin. [My Jacques Vieville reprint shows a standard Hanged Man.] While the Vandenbore figure is shown upright, the image still has all the elements of the standard Hanged Man. The Grandprêtre Prudence is without gallows and ropes.

Quote:
It was somehow logical from Hargrave to assume, that Grandprêtre and Grandeprêtresse also appeared around this time. What makes this deck post-Gebelin?
The first mention of Grandpêtre and Grandepêtresse is, I believe, in de Gébelin.

Quote:
Le No. V. représente le Chef des Hiérophantes ou le Grand-Prêtres, le No. II, la Grande-Prêtresse ou sa femme: on fait que chez les Egyptiens, les Chefs du Sacerdoce étoient mariés.
"The No. V. represents the Head of the Hierophants or the High Priest, the No. II, the High Priestess or his wife: in fact, among the Egyptians, the heads of the priesthood were married."

About Prudence, de Gébelin says:
"Prudence cannot be represented in a manner sensible to the eyes as an upright man, who having placed one foot before the other, holds himself suspended examining the place where he could surely set/place himself.* [*essentially: He watches where he is going.]
The title of this card was therefore “the man suspended by his foot”, pede suspenso: the card-maker did not know what it means, to be a man hung by his feet.
So one asks why a hanged man in this deck? One does not lack an answer, it is the just punishment of the inventor of the deck, for having represented the Papess."

So it seems that either this deck influenced de Gébelin in his thinking (if there was a steel engraving going the rounds of the French Masons, for instance), or it was an attempt to illustrate de Gébelin. However, that still leaves the question of why put the Fool in place of the Devil leaving only 21 instead of 22 cards?
Top   #108
Teheuti's Avatar
Teheuti  Teheuti is offline
Resident
 
Join Date: 24 Aug 2003
Location: Northern California
Posts: 5,539
Teheuti 

I can't help but see a slight resemblance to Lévi.
Top   #109
Huck  Huck is offline
Citizen
 
Join Date: 02 Jul 2003
Location: Germany
Posts: 2,682
Huck 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teheuti View Post
I assume you are talking about the F.I. Vandenborre deck of 1780 - published one year before de Gébelin. [My Jacques Vieville reprint shows a standard Hanged Man.]
... :-) ... Kaplan II, Page 308, shows the Hanged Man "hanging as usual", but the number is in the lower right instead of the upper left as it is with all the other cards. Which says, that the photograph had an error about the correct position. So turn the book and look from the other side and you see the correct Vievil Hanging Man and he is upright, and not hanging - nd then the number is correct positioned.
...
Quote:
So it seems that either this deck influenced de Gébelin in his thinking (if there was a steel engraving going the rounds of the French Masons, for instance), or it was an attempt to illustrate de Gébelin. However, that still leaves the question of why put the Fool in place of the Devil leaving only 21 instead of 22 cards?
Well, if it's really under the conditions "hand drawn" and a single deck made by a lonesome painter, there might be a lot of curiosities in such a deck without too much "historical meaning".

How do you love Agrippina at the card Nr. 21 in the Cologne Tarock from c. 1847? Agrippina "founded" the city, when Emperor Claudius married her. Or Father Rhine at card 6.





One has to accept some card producers have had occasionally just funny ideas.

******

Grandprêtre had more hairs than Eliphas Levi.
Top   #110
Elsewhere on the Tarot Forum
Popular Tarot Boards
· Using Tarot Cards
· Talking Tarot
· Tarot Spreads
· Tarot Decks
· Rider-Waite-Smith

Special Interest Boards
· Astrology
· Crystals & Herbs
· Divination
· Lenormand
· Spirituality

Popular Tarot Threads
· Pet Peeves
· Timing of cards
· Interesting tarot pairs
· The Moon as how someone feels
· The World as feelings

More Tarot Threads
· Cards for certain events
· Tarot meanings for health
· List of Tarot Questions
· Can Tarot be Dangerous?
· List of Tarot Myths



Elsewhere on Aeclectic Tarot
· Tarot Cards & Reviews
· Free Tarot Readings
· Tarot eBooks
· Tarot Card Meanings

Copyright © 1996 - 2021 Aeclectic Tarot. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy. Contact us. About us.