By Helen Farley
The enigmatic and richly illustrative tarot deck unearths a bunch of wierd and iconic mages, comparable to The Tower, The Wheel of Fortune, The Hanged guy and The idiot: over which loom the terrifying figures of loss of life and The satan. The 21 numbered cards of tarot have regularly exerted robust fascination, means past their unique function, and the a number of resonances of the deck are ubiquitous. From T. S. Eliot and his "wicked pack of playing cards" in "The Waste Land" to the psychic divination of Solitaire in Ian Fleming's "Live and allow Die"; and from the satanic novels of Dennis Wheatley to the deck's adoption by way of New Age practitioners, the playing cards have nowa days develop into inseparably hooked up to the occult. they're now considered as arguably the major medium of prophesying and foretelling. but, because the writer exhibits, initially the tarot have been used as leisure cards by means of the Italian the Aristocracy within the Renaissance. It was once basically a lot later, within the 18th and nineteenth centuries, that the deck turned linked to esotericism earlier than evolving eventually right into a diagnostic software for brain, physique and spirit. this can be the 1st ebook to discover the remarkably various ways that tarot has prompted tradition. Tracing the altering styles of the deck's use, from video game to mysterious oracular gadget, Helen Farley examines tarot's emergence in fifteenth century Milan and discusses its later institutions with astrology, kabbalah and the Age of Aquarius.
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Extra info for A Cultural History of Tarot: From Entertainment to Esotericism
134 It is difficult to see how this could be consistent with the idea that the Egyptian priests encoded their wisdom in a card game. Second, if tarot cards were in fact created in Egypt, then we would expect that at least some remnants would have been discovered. In addition it seems likely that the deck would have been adopted by neighbouring countries and some record of them or extant decks would be preserved there. Further, if they did contain Hermetic information, this too would have survived among Muslim esotericists, common in the cities of the Middle East at that time.
35 The relevant passage read as follows: Filippo Maria from youth was in the habit of playing games of various kinds. 37 The deck was described as having ‘sixteen celestial princes and barons’ (sexdecim coeli principes ac barones) and four kings. 38 The structure was as follows: Virtues 1. Jupiter 5. Apollo 9. Mercurius 13. Hercules Ricches 2. Juno 6. Neptunus 10. Mars 14. Eolus Virginities 3. Pallas 7. Diana 11. Vesta 15. Daphnes Pleasures 4. Venus 8. Bacchus 12. Ceres 16. Cupido Table 2: The alignment of the ‘celestial princes and barons’ with the four orders.
An identification of the correct theory of tarot provenance will definitively pinpoint where and when tarot was invented, making it possible to ascertain the significance of the symbolism displayed on the cards. 105 In the seventeenth century, Père Menestrier found an intriguing reference while searching through the records of Charles VI of France, authored by his treasurer, Charles Poupart. 107 By 1842, M. C. Leber in his book, Études historiques sur les cartes, managed to link this entry with some seventeen extant cards in the Bibliothèque Nationale; claiming these cards had been painted by Gringonneur.
A Cultural History of Tarot: From Entertainment to Esotericism by Helen Farley