Tarot Reading

3DStudent

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I'm bumping this thread because I've recently thought about the tarot. Last week or so I kind of felt like doing a reading because I felt lost and that I could benefit from it. I ended up instead just networking, which is always helpful. I have the traditional plain Rider Waite deck. But as I understand, the creator was in the Golden Dawn, so I don't know how much that adds to the accuracy of it.

And it was mentioned by Laura that the best deck would be Marseille, which makes sense because it is the oldest. I can't find a new copy of Belibaste's referred Grimaud deck, but I did find one by the Camoin guy here: http://www.aeclectic.net/cgi/buyframe.cgi?type=deck&id=4856. This one is quite appealing with nice colors and supposedly recovered symbols.

I had been interested in Tarot before I came to the forum and was into New Age material. I only ever did daily one card readings, so didn't really get into it. And after I came here I thought it was just gobbeldy-gook and not worth doing. But the chateau does channeling and I-Ching, and recently we've mentioned numerology from the decoz.com site.

So I'm wondering if I can get any use out of the Rider Waite deck. Maybe not as accurate as a Marseille one, but perhaps the answer is a "discover". Still, networking will always be a good resource with all of the varied input.

So I kind of thought it wouldn't be such a bad idea, and apparently others use tarot too. I at least think it can be used as a meditative tool, or something to get your brain thinking. And I was thinking about going about it in a scientific manner, not expecting anything, and noting any results and accuracies. This is something I don't do much, the scientific method, and being open to having an hypothesis change.
 

Buddy

The Living Force
Hi 3D Student.
Just curious, but do you know how to divine useful information from the Tarot? Have you read and thought about this post?
 

Avi

Jedi Council Member
Hi 3D student:

I think you can use any deck, but was taught the Marseille was the "original" (and therefore best) as well. This was before I found the RA Material and in one of those volumes there is an "Ancient Egypt" deck which would of course far outdate that of Marseille, at least in terms of "outward appearance" meaning that perhaps Marseille Tarot was used "behind the scenes" before becoming widely and popularly known.

However, even if Marseilles is the most accurate it is not explained point-blank why this is so ( I don't mean by Laura, but when you buy a deck) and requires a bit of research, testing, thought, analysis, etc. Even that may not give clear answers in terms of its origin and intended use.

Today I use either Liz Greene Myth deck or the Marseille. RA's take on Tarot was unlike anything I've seen before and was rewarding to read and study, but have not found that deck anywhere except in the books.

Belibaste said:
Laura said:
the idea that the Tarot may convey secret knowledge I also find fascinating.
On a microcosmic level, tarot decks and particularly the sequence of the 21+ major arcana might describe the initiatic path, the great work. The foul might be the hero of this beautiful journey made of 21 fundamental steps.
This is true, from what I have learnt. And those "21 fundamental steps" are really revealing with greater depth and insight the mysteries of our perception.

They are also like tools in that once understood in terms of symbolic significance they (the images and numbers associated with each) can help apply context and meaning in "exploring the unknown". But they are tools designed to aid, not the "ding an sich".

warm regards.
 

3DStudent

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Bud said:
Hi 3D Student.
Just curious, but do you know how to divine useful information from the Tarot? Have you read and thought about this post?
No, I don't know how to divine useful information from it. I barely remember the meanings of the cards that aren't straightforward. I've read this thread and that post seems to say that anything can be used to divine things. But I'm wondering if tools are useful until we no longer need them while linked to the magnetic center. Or maybe not and we should just try to work towards its development?

Herakles said:
This was before I found the RA Material and in one of those volumes there is an "Ancient Egypt" deck which would of course far outdate that of Marseille...
I think I'll have a look at those Ra Material excerpts, thanks for the mention.

Herakles said:
However, even if Marseilles is the most accurate it is not explained point-blank why this is so ( I don't mean by Laura, but when you buy a deck) and requires a bit of research, testing, thought, analysis, etc. Even that may not give clear answers in terms of its origin and intended use.
Yeah, as always research would be needed. And if it wasn't of any use in testing, then I guess it would not be worth pursuing.

Herakles said:
This is true, from what I have learnt. And those "21 fundamental steps" are really revealing with greater depth and insight the mysteries of our perception.

They are also like tools in that once understood in terms of symbolic significance they (the images and numbers associated with each) can help apply context and meaning in "exploring the unknown". But they are tools designed to aid, not the "ding an sich".
Yeah it is the path of the Fool, or ascending the staircase. I was looking at Ouspensky's Symbolism of the Tarot, but haven't actually read it.
 

Stones

Padawan Learner
Quick question about the Rider deck... If anything from the I Ching to a walk through the park can tell us so much, can't the Rider deck (despite changes, author, illustrator, etc) tell us just as much as anything else out there? :huh:
 

Merlin

Padawan Learner
The Egyptian Deck is marketed by the Church of Light (_www.light.org) aongwith an accompanying Book viz "The Sacred Tarot : The Art of Card Reading and the Underlying Spiritual Science" by C.C. Zain. The Church of Light is a mystery school that offers a 3-year on-line course in Hermetic Studies that includes 3 majors - Astrology, Magic and Alchemy.

The Ra Material refers to these cards as genuine but also adds that any connection with Astrological Signs must be removed from the Church of Light Deck.

The Book absolutely rocks !!! Here's the blurb:-
===============================www.light.org==========================
The Sacred Tarot
The Art of Card Reading and the Underlying Spiritual Science
by C.C. Zain

Hardbound Print Edition

Also available in the following formats:

Student Format Print | PDF eBook Download | iOS or Android version | Kindle version

This is the sixth book in the 21 Brotherhood of Light Course series by C. C. Zain on the Hermetic Sciences, Astrology, Alchemy, Tarot, Kabbalah and the Occult.

The Sacred Tarot is a favorite of metaphysics students everywhere and companion to The Brotherhood of Light Egyptian Tarot Cards. This timeless volume draws comparisons between the Tarot and Tarot, Kabbalah, Astrology, Alchemy, Magic, Numerology, Mystery School Initiation, Biblical references, and Freemasonry.

This profusely illustrated book is indexed and contains descriptions for twelve different tarot spreads. Also included is a table of correspondences which draws correlations between the tarot arcanum and herbs, gems, minerals, the Hebrew, Egyptian, and Roman alphabets, numbers, and astrological symbols. With this book, the student may readily determine the astrological correspondence of any number, name, color, gem or other object.

This book may be used with any tarot deck including the popular Rider-Waite deck. The concepts presented, however, demonstrate the advantages to the tarot reader, and student of the occult, of using the The Brotherhood of Light Egyptian Tarot Cards.
Course 6 of 21 in the Brotherhood of Light Study Program.
Serial Lesson No. Chapter/Serial Lesson Title
48 Doctrine of Kabalism
22 Foundation of the Science
23 Scope and Use of Tarot
24 Involution and Evolution of Numbers
25 Reading the Meaning of Numbers
26 Making an Astrological Chart
27 Influence of Changing the Name
28 Reading Names in Detail
29 The Color of a Name
30 Natural Talismans and Artificial Charms
31 Chronology of the Tarot
32 Solution of Ancient Cycles
33 How to Read the Tarot

448 pages, 5 1/2 x 7 3/4

ISBN 978-0-87887-255-8
$21.95
Author Bio:

C. C. Zain is the pen name used by Elbert Benjamine (1882-1951), the noted astrologer, naturalist and occultist, for those writings done under the auspices of The Brotherhood of Light during the years 1914 - 1934. This body of knowledge has become known as The Brotherhood of Light Lessons.

Elbert Benjamine was one of the most prolific astrological writers of the 20th century. In addition to the twenty-three volumes of the Brotherhood of Light series published under the penname C. C. Zain, Benjamine also wrote over fifty books and hundreds of magazine articles. A scholar who mastered every physical science of his time, Benjamine brought the same vigor to his exploration of the metaphysical sciences. Like the writings of Bailey, Blavatsky, Steiner, and Heindl, the works of C. C. Zain (Elbert Benjamine) have impacted the lives of thousands of students of Western Occultism.

Elbert Benjamine was born Benjamin P. Williams in the small town of Adel, Iowa, December 12, 1882. He was a natural psychic and seer. In his youth, his heightened awareness brought him into contact with those who had passed from this plane to the next. In the autumn of 1898, he began his esoteric studies. By 1900 he had contacted The Brotherhood of Light and began serious study of astrology. His father was a doctor and deacon in the Disciples of Christ church in Iowa, where the community strongly disapproved of any interest in astrology and the occult. For this reason, upon moving to Los Angeles, he changed his name to Elbert Benjamine in order to protect his family. In the spring of 1910 he gave his promise to write the Twenty-One Brotherhood of Light Courses covering astrology, alchemy and magic, under the penname of C. C. Zain. From that time until his death in 1951, he devoted his life’s energy and personal resources to writing the lessons, and to establishing The Church of Light as a vehicle for disseminating The Brotherhood of Light teachings.
 

Merlin

Padawan Learner
In response to Raintree's comments:-
--------------------------
PS. I just remembered reading on the Sign's Page yesterday, I think, that there was possibly a meteorite hiting somewhere in Burnaby BC at around 2:00 AM or something. Well, I actually posted something in that same time on the sign's forum and woke up the next morning and read the news about the meteorite...in fact, I also recall seeing a meteorite before going to France while driving back home From Nima's house around 2 or 3 AM in the morning...and this was I think three years ago. Wonder if this means anything...
--------------------------
What Raintree's described is exactly how an exercise works in the book "An Experiment with Time" by John William Dunne, written in 1927. Dunne was an Aeronautical Engineer who dabbled in Occult. The book describes precognitive dreams and a theory of time which he called Serialism.

In simple terms, he asserts what the C's always do - That Time is simultaneous, NOT Linear, and once 'tuned' it is possible to 'see' future events. This happens, however, only when the backseat driver shuts up i.e early minutes just before one wakes up. Dunne would keep a notebook to record his dreams and was surprised to see how events played themselves out exactly as they occurred in his dreams.

A pdf of the book is floating around the web. Its a terrific analytical tool especially when, and thats the best part, that it is written by a sceince-to-occult convert :)
 

Merlin

Padawan Learner
-----------------------------------
Robin Turner
I recently got this book by Richard Wilhelm on the book of changes, absolutely brilliant, found it in a second hand book store for 5 pounds, SCORE! Are there any books you know of that are particularly good?
-----------------------------------
Like the three Volumes of Burnham's Celestial Handbook for Astronomers, the 3 "must-have" I-Ching books are:-

'The Complete I-Ching' by Taosist Master Alfred Huang, 1998, Pub: Inner Traditions, Rochester, Vermont - This is a fantastic 540 page work which describes the setting.

'The I-Ching of The Goddess' by Barbara Walker, 1986, Pub : Harper & Row, San Francisco - A slim-112 page summary of 'corrections' and errors of the original I-Ching and its corruption over the millennia from the Divine Feminine to the Masculine principle. Once the corrections are applied, the Divination absolutely rocks !!!

'I-Ching Life : Becoming Your Authentic Self' by Wu Wei, 2006, Pub: Power Press - A 207-page series of meditation exercises to transform the Inner Self to that of a 'Superior Person' - Lots of similarities to the Inner Kabbalah or Alkemy for the soul . . . For the more practical person, an advice for daily use is given here:-

"At the beginning of a project, if many boastful claims are made, the successful attainment of the goal becomes far more difficult' - pg 176 . . .
i
 

Palinurus

The Living Force
Merlin said:
In response to Raintree's comments:-
--------------------------
PS. I just remembered reading on the Sign's Page yesterday, I think, that there was possibly a meteorite hiting somewhere in Burnaby BC at around 2:00 AM or something. Well, I actually posted something in that same time on the sign's forum and woke up the next morning and read the news about the meteorite...in fact, I also recall seeing a meteorite before going to France while driving back home From Nima's house around 2 or 3 AM in the morning...and this was I think three years ago. Wonder if this means anything...
--------------------------
What Raintree's described is exactly how an exercise works in the book "An Experiment with Time" by John William Dunne, written in 1927. Dunne was an Aeronautical Engineer who dabbled in Occult. The book describes precognitive dreams and a theory of time which he called Serialism.

In simple terms, he asserts what the C's always do - That Time is simultaneous, NOT Linear, and once 'tuned' it is possible to 'see' future events. This happens, however, only when the backseat driver shuts up i.e early minutes just before one wakes up. Dunne would keep a notebook to record his dreams and was surprised to see how events played themselves out exactly as they occurred in his dreams.

A pdf of the book is floating around the web. Its a terrific analytical tool especially when, and thats the best part, that it is written by a sceince-to-occult convert :)
Thought I would jump in with a reminder that we have a separate topic about Dunne here (one page only): J. W. Dunne and "An Experiment with Time"
 

thorbiorn

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
An update of a couple of points in this old thread about the Tarot de Marseille:
Laura wrote in Tarot Reading :
Notice in the above translation that Luminy is connected to Saint Victor's and also notice the interesting mentions of Sion, certain "holy orders" and even "lucerne". So, the discussion has a lot of curious connections. Here is what my friend - Axel - has found regarding the links between Tarot, Cassien and St Victor, the source is:
http://www.unicorne.com/divinatoire/tarot/historique.html and here is a partial translation:
[...]Translation: In addition, according to Philippe Camoin, the last inheritent of the Marseille Card Masters, new historical data could change the situation about the rise of Tarot in Western world. Thanks to the restoration work that he started in 1998 with Alexander Jodororowsky through whom he's restoring original symbols and colours of the Tarot of Marseille, they discovered a symbolic structure that had vanished with time; and dozens of new symbols generating new teachings. For example, the discovery of an egg located at the bottom of the eagle in the emperor arcane, two snakes enlaced at the feet of The Temperance also the four elements in the Ace of Cup.[...]
The above webpage is no longer working. Then I tried to find the above set of Tarot cards by Jodorowsky-Camoin, and looked for reviews. One issue appears to be that although they did restoration of old decks, they were not very transparent about how they went about it and why, at least not according to some reviews on: Disappointed by the Jodorowsky-Camoin TdM - Aeclectic Tarot Forum
That said many people seem to be happy with this deck, at least according to Amazon reviews: Tarot de Marseille by Jodorowsky: Camoin, Jodorowsky: 9780738750293: Amazon.com: Books The authors of this set also have a web page: Tarot de Marseille
Then there was
There's a lot of Tarot decks. I would personnaly recommend one of the oldest one :
Tarot de Marseille (editor : Cartes Grimaud)

The author of the Tarot deck you mention is made by Alistair Crowley. Do you know about this individual ?
I tried to look up Tarot de Marseille by Cartes Grimaud on amazon.com and at the time of posting it was not available. Then I tried to look it up on amazon.fr and "voila": Ancien Tarot de Marseille - 78 lames (PROMO): Amazon.fr: Jeux et Jouets
Since on Amazon.fr it did not say "Editor: Cartes Grimaud" but "Cartes Production", I had doubts about whether I had found the correct page, but then I found the website of Jeu Ancien Tarot de Marseille pour Cartomancie - Cartes Grimaud and when one wishes to buy it, one is led to Ancien tarot de Marseille - Jeu de 78 cartes or for the mini version: Mini Tarot de Marseille pour Cartomancie - Cartes Grimaud
In other words the cards are the same. Perhaps the company cartes-grimaud was bought up or changed name.

Now, while reading the reviews of the deck by Jodorowsky and Camoin, there was a recommendation of a set by
Jean-Claude Flornoy which one can read about on Tarot History: the French Marseille tradition, a centuries-old heritage of western knowledge but I could not find it on amazon. On the above website they have a shop too, and share several glimpses into what the different sets look like and their history. Jean-Claude Flornoy also wrote a book which is translated in English. My guess is that some of the points from the book are in the webpages, I read other sections especially the one about the history, where he writes:
"At the end of the 18th century, Court de Gébelin, in line with the views of a burgeoning Freemasonry, claimed that the Tarot expressed the hidden knowledge of the ancients, a wisdom originating in pharonic Egypt.

The 19th century would accept this version of the Tarot wholeheartedly, drawing it increasingly away from a pub game and conferring on it an ever more esoteric and divinatory character. New York tarot reader Enrique Enriquez sees this process as a virtual kidnapping of tarot source material, and expresses himself in no uncertain terms. "
That reads like an argument for selecting the old style, and avoid anything made or inspired by Alistair Crowley. At any rate, the impression I get is that the originals of the cards of Tarot de Marseille, even partial decks, are kept in museums, as national art and historical heritage. From images of these decks, modern authors and artists pick up their models, redo them for printing and production according to their own skill and knowledge, including making up for missing cards if any, and then sell these decks to the public, sometimes naming them after their source of inspiration. In a certain sense it is amazing that art and some history, gets distributed through cards, and the oldest decks of cards are from around 1650-1700.
 

duyunne

Jedi Master
I have a deck and also use I-Ching, but I find the best divination for me is in animal sightings and through researching their animal totem meaning using celtic and north american native definitions or meanings. I find the results to be more visceral as the sightings are from the natural goings on of the world around me, and not contrived from coin tosses or deck shuffling. They are random, and seemingly presented to me without my personal effort to have the presentation.

One time I was obsessed/far too focused on facebook and the 'suggested friend' section. One day I came across some very bizarre suggestions... Like people employed at australian research institutes and american military personelle, just these odd connections that don't make sense as I didn't have friends of friends with these types (at the time, i likely do now that I truly dont care about facebook and add people who aren't in my personal network in an effort to combat censorship, as i feel that's far more important these days than the social aspect of it).

I theorized that maybe these suggested friends are resulting from their activity browsing my feed. Maybe it was from my comments on articles, maybe it was from my activity here (at one time I had a social media link on my profile here that could be followed to find my facebook, which wasn't intentional and just a result of my own stupidity), but something is drawing these people to click my profile and scope out my dumb facebook feed and this 'suggested friends' algorithm is kinda exposing them.

That night, I saw an albino skunk for the first time in my life. I looked it up and found some great concepts here:



A Few Symbolic Meanings of the Skunk

  • Defense
  • Prudence
  • Protection
  • Confidence
  • Awareness
  • Pacification
  • Effectiveness
  • Good judgement
Other Animal Symbolism Keywords for the Skunk

  • Introspection
  • Innocence
  • Assurance
  • Patience
  • Silence
  • Peace

From there, I made sure to use filters, so that only people I care about can see my family pictures, etc. It helped me sleep better knowing that I had some sign that I was on the money. Obviously, as time went on I saw facebook for the scam it was and how I and all the users were duped, but still, the damage is done but the connections are there and its still a viable way to get some truth out there to your friends, which is a big deal today in the age of controlled narrative. Infact, this part of how I decided to use facebook, for my scant news rants, resulted in the sighting of a plucky wood pecker going to town on a telephone pole:

Symbolic Meanings of the Woodpecker (same site as above)

  • Balance
  • Progress
  • Signaling
  • Returning
  • Protection
  • Initiation
  • Attention
  • Prophesy
  • Listening
  • Opportunity
  • Discernment
  • Communication
  • Determination



Most animals I see I look up now, and I'm astounded by how their presence or emergence can help keep a better definition of my personal experience growing as a human.

* * *

Another animal story of note was an ongoing dispute between my wife and I that spanned several months. The dispute itself was stupid and we tied it into every negative transgression we could muster about one another, and we were both bashing each other in obnoxious and immature ways, which was damaging not only to one another obviously, but to our son, to our neighbors, and everything else. So one day, we met a point of mutual understanding and appreciation, of empathy/borrowing one anothers perspectives, of remembering who we really are and why we fell in love. It was quite emotional. That afternoon, during the height of my bliss in seeing a light at the end of the tunnel we had ourselves in, I saw two Bald Eagles circling over head, dodging Guls and Crows. I know I live in BC that that should be a common sight, but this was rare to me. I've never seen bald eagles in real life before.


"The lesson of the eagle is to take a look from where it sees. You must have the courage to relinquish stale and comfortable habits and beliefs to soar into unknown realms and new realities - continually expanding your view. Now is the time to take full responsibility for your life and be prepared for instant destiny. As your spiritual awareness increases, the positive and negative ramifications will become more immediate and have greater force. "

It felt like a wink from God. Seeing them brought tears of joy to my face.

There are also books on the subject, obviously. I owned one at one point but gifted it to a friend and forgot the name and author. I typically read any and all accounts and meanings from multiple websites to get the over all gist of the event.
 

3DStudent

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I have the Jodorowsky-Camoin Tarot. I find it kind of bland, but it's easy to read with the white background. The Visconti-Sforza is supposedly even older than the Marseille.

I used to use numerology for the numbered pips, but recently switched to the "Pips as Trumps" method. I like the coloring of the Fournier Marseille deck, so might get that one.

I've done some Lenormand card readings too, which tells a more direct answer of what happened as opposed to Tarot's why it happened or what lies beneath a situation. I try to read Tarot like Lenormand too, so I will put the cards' keywords together like they are a short sentence. Geeky fact: you can simulate a Lenormand draw with a 6 sided die. There are 36 cards, so roll once to see which grouping of 6 it's in, then roll again for which number in that group the card is.

There are apps you can get that will help you with daily draws if you're learning. You can just pull cards and use them as flash cards. I did that until I could fire off cards and say the meanings. You can just pull 1, 2, or 3 cards out of your deck, too. Of course it's a bit limiting if you do only that and not use your intuition for the reading. The apps I use are Tarot Sampler and Uni Tarot.

I recently got interested in runes. They seem even more verbal than Lenormand and there's even less room for visual interpretation. I don't have any rune stones or anything, and might just make some flash cards for them.
 

thorbiorn

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
In the Sessions there is this excerpt from 1999:
Q: Yes. Some of them do! Next question; a correspondent writes: I am wondering if you could ask the Cassiopaeans about the ORIGIN of the TAROT CARDS. Do they represent the esoteric knowledge that the god Thoth - an Atlantean High Priest - wanted saved at the time of the sinking of Atlantis?

A: No.

Q: What do Tarot cards represent?

A: A method for sensitives to tune in with.
Or for less psychically endowed persons to "play" with.

Q: Were they carved by the god Thoth on transparent crystal tablets according to principles of sacred geometry?

A: If so, why did Thoth not get a "copyright?"

Q: So, they were not carved on transparent crystal tablets?

A: No.

Q: Did the Atlantean high priests bring them to Egypt?

A: No.

Q: Did they come from the Druids?

A: No.

Q: Who invented them?

A: Greek origin, refined in Roman times in France.
The idea of Thoth probably comes from Court de Gébelin, that was mentioned in my last post. Here are more details in the Wiki Antoine Court de Gébelin - Wikipedia
De Gébelin wrote an essay included in his Le Monde primitif, analysé et comparé avec le monde moderne ("The Primeval World, Analyzed and Compared to the Modern World"), volume viii, 1781. The chapter on Tarot with which his name is indelibly associated is a single section in his vast compendium that he published in series from 1773, to a distinguished list of subscribers, headed by Louis XVI of France.[citation needed]

It was his immediate perception, the first time he saw the Tarot deck, that it held the secrets of the Egyptians. Writing without the benefit of Champollion's deciphering of the Egyptian language, Court de Gébelin developed a reconstruction of Tarot history, without producing any historical evidence, which was that Egyptian priests had distilled the ancient Book of Thoth into these images. These they brought to Rome, where they were secretly known to the popes, who brought them to Avignon in the 14th century, whence they were introduced into France. An essay by the Comte de Mellet included in Court de Gebelin's Monde primitif is responsible for the mystical connection of the Tarot's 21 trumps and the fool with the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. An essay appended to this gave suggestions for cartomancy; within two years the fortune-teller known as "Etteilla" published a technique for reading the tarot, and the practice of tarot readingwas born.
On the Wiki, there was a link to the essay by Court de Gébelin. The Game of Tarots it has pictures cards in the Major Arcana.
Below is more about the background of Court de Gébelin, who used to be a Protestant pastor:
Antoine Court
, who named himself Antoine Court de Gébelin (Nîmes, January 25, 1725[1]Paris, May 10, 1784), was a former Protestant pastor, born at Nîmes, who initiated the interpretation of the Tarot as an arcane repository of timeless esoteric wisdom in 1781.[2]

The New International Encyclopedia of 1914 reports that Court de Gébelin, who adopted the surname of his grandmother, was a literary man of recognized rank, and rendered excellent service, first as his father's amanuensis and assistant and afterward as a scholar at the capital. He is remembered in connection with the case of Jean Calas, by his work Les Toulousaines, ou lettres historiques et apologétiques en faveur de la religion réformée (Lausanne, 1763).[1]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antoine_Court_de_G%C3%A9belin#cite_note-NIE-1 The French Wiki is not sure if he was born in Geneve or in Nimes or if it was 1719 or 1725.

Interesting story, so I looked further and found Where Did Tarot Cards Come From?
Tarot as Divination
In both France and Italy, the original purpose of Tarot was as a parlor game, not as a divinatory tool. It appears that divination with playing cards started to become popular in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century, although at that time, it was far more simple than the way we use Tarot today.

By the eighteenth century, however, people were beginning to assign specific meanings to each card, and even offer suggestions as to how they could be laid out for divinatory purposes.

Tarot and the Kabbalah
In 1781, a French Freemason (and former Protestant minister) named Antoine Court de Gebelin published a complex analysis of the Tarot, in which he revealed that the symbolism in the Tarot was in fact derived from the esoteric secrets of Egyptian priests. De Gebelin went on to explain that this ancient occult knowledge had been carried to Rome and revealed to the Catholic Church and the popes, who desperately wanted to keep this arcane knowledge secret. In his essay, the chapter on Tarot meanings explains the detailed symbolism of Tarot artwork and connects it to the legends of Isis, Osiris and other Egyptian gods.

The biggest problem with de Gebelin’s work is that there was really no historical evidence to support it. However, that didn’t stop wealthy Europeans from jumping onto the esoteric knowledge bandwagon, and by the early nineteenth century, playing card decks like the Marseille Tarot were being produced with artwork specifically based on deGebelin’s analysis.

In 1791, Jean-Baptiste Alliette, a French occultist, released the first Tarot deck designed specifically for divinatory purposes, rather than as a parlor game or entertainment. A few years earlier, he had responded to de Gebelin’s work with a treatise of his own, a book explaining how one could use the Tarot for divination.

As occult interest in the Tarot expanded, it became more associated with the Kabbalah and the secrets of hermetic mysticism. By the end of the Victorian era, occultism and spiritualism had become popular pastimes for bored upper class families. It wasn’t uncommon to attend a house party and find a séance taking place, or someone reading palms or tea leaves in the corner.

The Origins of Rider-Waite
British occultist Arthur Waite was a member of the Order of the Golden Dawn – and apparently a longtime nemesis of Aleister Crowley, who was also involved in the group and its various offshoots. Waite got together with artist Pamela Colman Smith, also a Golden Dawn member, and created the Rider-Waite Tarot deck, which was first published in 1909.

At Waite's suggestion, Smith used the Sola Busca artwork for inspiration, and there are many similarities in the symbolism between Sola Busca and Smith's final result. Smith was the first artist to use characters as representative images in the lower cards. Instead of showing merely a cluster of cups, coins, wands or swords, Smith incorporated human figures into the artwork, and the result is the iconic deck that every reader knows today.

The imagery is heavy on Kabbalistic symbolism, and because of this, is typically used as the default deck in nearly all instructional books on Tarot. Today, many people refer to this deck as the Waite-Smith deck, in acknowledgement of Smith’s enduring artwork.

Now, over a hundred years since the release of the Rider-Waite deck, Tarot cards are available in a practically endless selection of designs. In general, many of these follow the format and style of Rider-Waite, although each adapts the cards to suit their own motif. No longer just the domain of the wealthy and upper class, Tarot is available for anyone who wishes to take the time to learn it.
The point about the druids not being the source of Tarot, as the C's claimed, is perhaps a little bit interesting with regard to the Tarot de Marseilles and what people say at: The Journey of the Soul, by JC Flornoy: reflections on the Bateleur in the Tarot of Marseilles writes:
In his right hand, the figure holds an acorn, the fruit of the Druids' sacred tree. Already in this first arcanum, the master makes his point : the Tarot is the fruit of ancient knowledge.
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The C's say that the Tarot did not originate with the Druids, but of course this does not prohibit someone later from putting that idea, perhaps preserved from somewhere else, into the Tarot, after all the C's did say it was refined in France.

There are subtle differences between the pictures in the set above. In the Noblet picture, the redone version at least, there are three dots connected into angle. Also the plant behind his legs is a different, and maybe even identifiable, at least more than on the two later cards.

About the difference between the old decks and those done later, say after the "Tarot reformation" of Antoine Gourt de Gébelin, those at Tarot History have this to say on their site Tarot History: the French Marseille tradition, a centuries-old heritage of western knowledge
These reflections are centered around the following traditional "Tarot
of Marseille" preserved in the French National Library :

Tarot of Jean Noblet and of Jacques Vieville c.1650,
Tarot of Jean Dodal c.1701, Tarot of Nicolas Conver 1760.​

There are only three (plus another of a slightly different tradition) Tarots of Marseille which have come down to us complete and unaltered. It is these which are the foundation and source of all modern tarots. They were produced at a time when traditions were still alive, and it is to them that this site is dedicated.
[...]

This tradition, seven centuries old, originates in the knowledge, science and art of the men who built the cathedrals.

All tarots which are not rooted in this tradition (effectively dead by 1730) can be called "fantasy", and just reflect their authors. Personal creations remain creations which are only personal, however erudite or beautiful.
I don't know enough about Tarot to say if the above is true. One could suspect that it is possible to fall into something similar to fundamentalism only with regard to Tarot. If the correctness of a reading depends on psychic talent, and almost anything can serve the purpose, then it should not really matter much what deck one uses, as long as the reader is comfortable with it and connect through his tool, just as someone who reads using tea leaves might be alright with both green tea and black tea, or someone who uses coffee grounds is happy no matter if it arabica or java. What the above writer has in mind is perhaps the Tarot or parts of the Tarot as carriers of knowledge without focusing on the divining aspect with which the cards have come to be associated with.
Geeky fact: you can simulate a Lenormand draw with a 6 sided die. There are 36 cards, so roll once to see which grouping of 6 it's in, then roll again for which number in that group the card is.
Agree. I have tried using a deck of very ordinary playing tarot, while keeping in mind that I will use the interpretation suitable for another deck. Shuffling is just for getting the specific card. I have also tried the random number generator on my TI 30X Pro, or picked a random page in a big book and divide by 78 to get the remainder, or used a ten face dice, throwing one for the tens, until I get a number between 0 and 7, then a throw for the digits until I get a number between 0 and 9, a bit depending on the value of the tens, as two zeroes won't do. In short there are many ways, but it depends also on what one is comfortable with. Maybe shuffling the deck one likes, feeling the cards in the hands and getting into the mood that way is important for some, or in some situations, but I tend to have a lot of faith in mathematics.

With regard to mathematics, I Ching is very beautiful and the tradition is older than Tarot. In I Ching there is also much wisdom. It would be wrong to say there is no wisdom in any of the books about Tarot, or as some think perhaps hidden in the old cards designed by people who were knowledgeable and wise, but in I Ching it has a more prominent place to do what is right; what is in harmony with life. The C's say the Universe is about balance and the concept of balance is very lively in I Ching. OSIT.
 

thorbiorn

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
In the previous post I mentioned
I looked up some interviews with the artist Jean-Claude Flornoy and found a few like: Review: Seeing the World – Tarot Signposts on the Path to Perception and Interview With Jean-Claude & Roxanne Flornoy at Aeclectic Tarot which reveals Flornoy had life experience from different fields:
Jean-Claude Flornoy was born in 1950 in Paris. He studied philosophy and worked 15 years as a potter-ceramist. Also during this period, he participated in the creation of several hydraulic power stations. He has devoted 20 years to the study of tarot. In 1996 he undertook the restoration of the tarot of Nicolas Conver (Marseille, 1760), painting each arcane on giant canvases (220 cm by 110 cm). His aim was to faithfully bring this traditional imagery back to (larger than) life in all its original freshness. He then progressed to large-sized versions of other historic tarots derived from originals preserved in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris: Jean Noblet (Paris, c. 1650), Jean Dodal (Lyon, 1701) and a number of trumps from Jacques Viéville (Paris, c. 1650).

It was in spending the necessary weeks on each outsized arcane that he was able to come to 'understand' the way the images are operative in themselves. He regularly transports these large canvases for exhibitions, and proposes conference-workshops in a variety of tarot-related contexts.
In one interview posted on Enrique Enriquez interviews JC Flornoy there are several questions that explains some of his understandings. I have quoted, but inserted Q and A to make it more easy to follow and also shifted the passages around to try and get the same topics linked more together. On the original interview, as long as it is up one can probably find more details. The selection of quotes is an attempt to present some of the features of the old reconstructed decks.
How the decks were re-constructed and how they were done in the old days
Q: How long did it take you to finish this re-construction?

A: More than two years.

Q: How long do you think it could have taken for the original engraver to create these plates?

A: I would imagine a maximum of two to three months, but I'm not sure.

Q: I often wonder how much care was really put in the manufacturing of these decks. What is your feeling about that?

The engraver as free and independent person always worked as cleanly and conscientiously as possible. *In the workshops, printing the black line was mostly carried out by highly qualified professionals. Colors, however, were often put on negligently, sometimes by children in deplorable conditions. I have read in the Sainte-Suzanne archives that in 1792 the local carterie started stencil work at midnight, employing children who applied the colors by candlelight.
Q: You have given us restored versions of the Noblet and the Dodal, first in limited, hand-stencilled editions and now in full, mass-printed versions. I know how important it is for you to preserve the correctness of the original decks, but how much of you do you think there is in these decks?

A: The minimum!

[It is not clear if the following is Q or A:]I see none in the Noblet. And few in the Dodal: the reversible back, still a debated question, and two errors in color placement: one accidental (on the Moon), the other deliberate (Soleil).
[... and much later in the same article ...}
A: When I began work on the Conver, after having painted over the Marteau images, I underwent the same temptation: make my own deck. For example, at first I painted the figures in Soleil naked, then put on vines with green leaves...then became annoyed with myself and dressed them back in their shorts! When Jodo liberated himself from the Marseille/Grimaud lore, he went into an egotistical creation frenzy. Considering his talents, this choice was regrettable.
Flornoy's thoughts on the differences between the different old decks Noblet and the Dodal
Q: I find a strong graphic resemblance between any of the Dodal images and the images in the Noblet. I am talking about the posture of the characters. This is especially clear in the court cards: Pages, Queens, Kings and Knights. The Dodal knights seem like loose versions of the Noblet's horsemen. Do you think that it is possible that the Dodal was made by copying from the Noblet?

A: No, the graphic style and significant details are too dissimilar. They draw the same thing, the same theme, but each has his own personal style. On the other hand, one can use the word copy for the later tarots made in Marseille from about 1720/30. As elsewhere, there is no more re-actualisation.
[...]
Q: In your view, why was that restoring the Dodal made sense? What are people going to get from it that they won't get from the Noblet?

A: The Dodal generates a flash, or energetic short-circuit of the unconscious, different from that of the Noblet. A tarot image opens a door, and the landscape behind it is different depending on the door. As I mentioned before, the image is a programming of a “place of consciousness”, the precise assemblage point of a particular inner regard. Depending on the arcane and the engraver, they resemble each other a bit, much, or not at all. It's like a chocolate Charlotte made by two chefs: one will be sweeter, the other juicier.
A: [...] the reasons why I enjoy working with the Dodal more than working with the Noblet is precisely because many of these footnotes can't be seen in the Noblet.

Noblet is a bit dry, and close-fisted with details, while Dodal's engraver is savory, his details are numerous and imaginative!
[...]
Q:Now, for the untrained eye, like mine, when it comes to certain details the Dodal is more similar to the Conver than to the Noblet. The Noblet seems to be the odd one.

A: That is exact, and I feel the same way. I think the answer has mostly been covered: it is the "Marseille lore". Noblet undoubtedly is part of it, but from afar and in a strange way. He gives the impression of being an ancestor from another planet! One sees that the basic teaching is the same, but the two seem not to have had the same professor.

Q: How do you manage to see such distinction between the Dodal and the following decks so clearly?

A: Dodal's engraver knows what he's talking about from experience, or transmission, or (as I believe) both. After him, one speaks of things because at best one has heard them spoken of. It is hearsay: my cousin told me that his brother had heard this or that... As long as the engraver has not lived the inner process of transformation to mastery, he doesn't know what he's talking about, and can only copy. With Noblet and Dodal, we are in the same world, but not with Conver and even less with those who follow him. We know their mental world by heart, and let me say we are very glad to be rid of them.
About the medieval guilds of ancient craftsmen
Q:Tell me a little bit about the term 'companion'. Is that a term you use to define all medieval guilds, or do you mean something else by it?

A:The “companions” entered into a “Compagnonnage” fraternity like one joins a religion or the Communist Party. Work was organised in the modern way, almost as a trade-union would, with sectors devoted to mutual aid, recruitment or intense in-house techno-spiritual training. As a craftsman you must have manual skill and a highly-developed feeling for materials, but also practice, all at the same time, the 6 other basic traditional qualities: courage, patience, generosity, humility, obedience and sense of responsibility. With time and application, these 6 qualities progress together with one's skill.

Q: But what was it that these fraternities were asked to build?
A: Athanors, alchemical crucibles: collective trance machines intended to transform a whole population and carry it to God! We are in the realm of technological shamanism! So the “companions” within “Compagnonnage” on their building sites, whatever their trade (mason, stone mason, carpenter, sculptor, glass-maker…) are part, whether they know it or not, of a permanent school of wizard/technicians worthy of Harry Potter. The companion becomes Master when it knows he is one. We are a far cry from the later guilds which only served to structure the privileges of professional castes.
 
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