Showing posts with label Tarot Origins. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tarot Origins. Show all posts

Tarot Origin Theories

It is said that THE EARLIEST Type OF CARDS originated in China. Playing card documents date back as far as the Tang Dynasty, from 618 AD to 907 AD. These early versions, though they were meant for play, not divination, were rich with cultural and mythical references important to their time and location. These early models from China were even more similar than playing cards to modern-day dominoes or mahjong. But many assume that the ancestors of tarot were these. Legends claim that through divining fortunes from these playing cards, the emperor's concubines amused themselves.

Korean shamans fired divinatory arrows made of bamboo and cock feathers at about the same time on the Korean peninsula, under the Silla empire. The future and other secret wisdom that the shamans could translate for soldiers and warlords were believed to reveal certain bows. Those divinatory arrows were reinterpreted into silk card strips engraved with insignia in the sixth century. The pieces of silk were divided into eight suits: males, fish, crows, pheasants, antelopes, stars, rabbits, and horses, and numbered from one to nine. If it was from the Tang Dynasty or the Silla, the original source of playing cards, most historians admit that they originated from the East.

Ultimately, commerce took the cards to Islamic communities. Many scholars claim that in what is now modern-day Cairo, the Mamlûk Sultanate conceived a series of playing cards produced in Egypt during the Mamlûk Empire and consisting of four suits: Polo Sticks, Cups, Swords, and Coins, reflecting the desires and pastimes of the Mamlûk aristocracy. By the 1370s, Central Asian traders had taken these Mamlûk cards to Europe. The cultural and legendary references on the Asian cards were changed by Europeans to represent their own time and place. The tarot was not yet produced at that time, but it was popular to play cards with detailed drawings. Card games would have been very common at that time in Italy and Spain, as several laws were written to ban the use of playing cards.

Tarot cards in the shape common to us today, the seventy-eight cards separated into the Major Arcana and Minor Arcana, originated around 1440, during the Italian Renaissance, or at least those are the oldest accounts known to modern historians of them. One of the most popular decks from that period is one hand-painted in the 1400s for the Visconti dynasty, one of Italy's richest families. To the common fifty-six ordinary playing cards (pips, which are the aces by tens, and faces, the court cards), twenty-two allegorical trump cards, or trionfi, were added to form the tarot, or tarocchi, a card game not unlike modern-day bridge. The early version incorporated Christianity's deeply inspired symbolism and imagery. There was a remarkable resemblance between these Italian cards and the early Mamlûk cards from the East. The church normally outlawed playing cards at the time, but an exception was made for tarot, due in no small part to its success among the powerful. Tarot was described as a moral, polished, aristocratic, and intelligent endeavor, in contrast to the playing cards used by the lower classes.

Although the idea of tarot originated as a game, others theorize that gypsies used tarot-like cards for fortune-telling well before the fourteenth century in the Mediterranean. These scholars argue that the absence of early documents showing the tarot used for divination is due to prohibitions and popular rejection of it at the time of fortune-telling. However, the truth remains that there is actually no record. Pure hypotheses remain these.

But another common legend holds that the tarot, the Big Arcane or the Deck's first twenty-two trump cards, includes the Knights Templar's religious intelligence. It is said that the Knights Templar found, among other sacred mysteries, the Holy Grail while in Jerusalem, and took back their divine knowledge from the East. When the Templars were persecuted in the 1300s, in the imagery of the Main Arcana for future centuries, they memorialized their learned secrets. However, historical evidence of the legend is almost non-existent, especially because the breakup of the Templars does not coincide chronologically with the tarot idea.

Verifiable accounts of tarot and mysticism did not exist until the 1700s, revealing the use of tarot as a divinatory instrument by French and English occultists. In the eighteenth century, with the use of the deck for divine and supernatural reasons, the Freemasons renewed an interest in tarot. The idea that tarot cards descended from Egyptian mysticism and that Gypsies introduced the tarot from Egypt to Europe in the thirteenth century AD was popularised by occultists of the day, such as Antoine Court de Gébelin, a French Protestant priest. No documented verifiable documents, however, confirm Gébelin's theories.

Jean-Baptiste Alliette, an occultist who went under the alias Etteilla, wrote on cartomancy widely, subscribing to each card's meanings and explaining how to lay a deck of playing cards in a divination spread. In later divinatory tarot rituals, these techniques became greatly incorporated. Etteilla's books, however, used the deck of playing cards we know now, not the tarot, of clubs, hearts, spades, and diamonds. Yet he wrote of the Egyptian Book of Thoth before Etteilla's death in 1791, much of which was later extended to contemporary versions of the Major and Minor Arcana of the tarot. It was suspected that both Gébelin and Etteilla were affiliated with a secret society, the Order of Elect Cohens, an occult organization later established by Papus that followed the Martinist Order.

In the 1850s, using the Hermetic Qabalah system, Alphonse Louis Constant, also known by his nickname Eliphas Levi, translated the Marseille tarot (to be distinguished from the Jewish Kabbalah). By 1888, the Golden Dawn's Hermetic Order took a particular interest in and popularized the tarot. The tarot was also embraced by other schools of thought, such as Martinism, a branch of esoteric Christianity created by a French occultist born in Spanish called Gerard Encausse. Encausse is considered one of the best tarot practitioners in literature, and in the 1890s, under the alias Papus, he wrote the seminal work The Tarot of the Bohemians.

The revived interest in tarot as an occult study coincided with Madame H. P. Blavatsky's creation of the Theosophical Society. The organisation of Blavatksy and its discovery of esoteric doctrine inspired many of her day's notable artists, from writers Franz Kafka, T. S. Eliot, and W. B. Yeats to Jean Sibelius, a musical composer, and Wassily Kandinsky, a painter. In fact, the works of Kafka, Eliot, and Yeats were considered to be impacted by tarot semiotics. Tarot became a common premise during that period as a book of divine wisdom.

Thus, the 1900s brought a number of major entrants to the study of tarot. Most of the tarot's present interpretation is focused on this new heritage. Occultist A. In 1909, His reading of the tarot, a deck now known as the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, was written by E. Waite. Modern occultists speculate that A. created the Rider-Waite-Smith deck. E. Waite to conceal in plain sight the mysteries of the Golden Dawn, and to allow the theosophy of the Golden Dawn to be freely visible, at least to those who are willing to decipher the cards. Most of the meaning and imagery of the deck has its origins in Neo-Platonism, a metaphysical paradigm from Alexandria in the third century. In comparison, the tarot has profoundly rooted mysticism, Western astrology, Greek, Roman, and Egyptian folklore, and both Hermetic Qabalah and Jewish Kabbalah. In the 1940s, influenced by the Egyptian Book of Thoth, Aleister Crowley created a deck known as the Thoth tarot.

Subsequently, various tarot practitioners and occultists added additional decks to their versions of the tarot. Like the deck's forebears from Asia, both of these tarot deck variants have in common the richness of cultural and mythical parallels related to the time and place of their creation.

Tarot is also popularly identified with pagan, Wiccan, neo-pagan, and other alternative religion traditions of today. That may be why alternate faiths, magic or magic, and tarot, have common associations. The tarot, though, is not special to these sects. Through certain walks of life and among persons of all religious subscriptions, it is used regardless of religion.

Over the ages, Tarot has progressed from a card game to a divination instrument and is now gaining attention in psychological science for its meaning. I liken tarot to yoga: it is a non-denominational ritual that can be concomitant with the practices present in many religions, but may be used differently in contemporary applications. Yoga, regardless of one's religion, helps with personal health, and tarot helps with decision-making, regardless of one's spirituality.

Psychologists and researchers began to take on a keener interest in tarot as a subject in the late twentieth century. One of the leading tarot authors of our days, Robert Wang, and Dr. Arthur Rosengarten, a licensed psychologist based in Jungia, pioneered the therapeutic application of tarot, and spearheaded a new effort to legitimize the practice of tarot as a psychological science.

Tarot is currently used for mental healing by many alternative medicine practitioners. Tarot has been introduced to psychotherapy by psychologists, clinicians and life coaching. Tarot is also accepted today as a practice of secular faith. While the majority can still view tarot as a method of divination or fortune-telling, the cards have been used by a growing group of practitioners for more rational-based purposes. For gypsies and occultists, Tarot is no longer regarded as a pursuit. It is an analytical thesis aimed at raising general awareness about the use of tarot for personal empowerment.

Tarot through History

Our immediate consideration here is to talk about the cards in their history so that, as intimated elsewhere, the speculations and reveries that have been perpetuated and compounded in the schools of occult science can be disposed of once and for all.

At the beginning of this step, let it be known that there are many sets or sequences of ancient cards that are only part of our interest. Papus' Tarot Of The Bohemians, revising the incomplete rendering, has some valuable details in this regard, and it will serve the general reader's intent, except for omitting dates and other evidence of the archaeological context.

I do not propose to extend it in any way that can be considered considerable in the present position, but such additions are ideal and so is a separate style of presentation as well.

There are, first of all, those of Baldini among the ancient cards mentioned in connection with the Tarot, which are the celebrated collection credited by tradition to Andrea Mantegna, although this view is now widely denied. Their origin is estimated to be around 1470, and it is assumed that in Europe there are no more than four sets. Probably similarly unusual is a duplication or duplication alluded to in 1485. Fifty numbers, divided into five denaries or sequences of ten cards each, form a full set. There appears to be no record that they were used, whether by chance or talent, for the purposes of a game; they could scarcely have lent themselves to divination or some sort of fortune-telling; although it would be more than idle to impute to their apparent emblematic designs a profound symbolic significance.

The first denary embodies Conditions of Life, as follows: 

(1) TheBeggar, (2) the Knave, (3) the Artisan, (4) the Merchant, (5) the Noble, (6) the Knight, (7) the Doge, (8) the King, (9) the Emperor, (10) the Pope. 

The second contains the Muses and their Divine Leader: 

(11) Calliope, (12) Urania, (13) Terpsichore, (14) Erato, (15) Polyhymnia, (16) Thalia, (17) Melpomene, (18) Euterpe, (19) Clio, (20) Apollo. 

The third combines part of the Liberal Arts and Sciences with other departments of human learning, as follows: 

(21) Grammar, (22) Logic, (23) Rhetoric, (24) Geometry, (25) Arithmetic, (26) Music, (27) Poetry, (28) Philosophy, (29) Astrology, (30) Theology. 

The fourth denary completes the Liberal Arts and enumerates the Virtues: 

(31) Astronomy, (32) Chronology, (S3) Cosmology, (34) Temperance, (35) Prudence, (36) Strength, (37) Justice, (38) Charity, (39) Hope, (40) Faith.

The fifth and last denary presents the System of the Heavens: 

(41) Moon, (42) Mercury, (43) Venus, (44) Sun, (45) Mars, (46) Jupiter, (47) Saturn, (48) Eighth Sphere, (49) Primtim Mobile, (50) First Cause.

We must refrain from suggesting, for instance, that the Conditions of Life refer to the Trumps Major, the Muses to Pentacles, the Arts and Sciences to Cups, the Virtues, etc., to Scepters, and the Conditions of Life to Swords. The fantastic attempts to derive full Tarot sequences from these denaries. A method of mental contortion may do this sort of thing, but it has no place in reality. Around the same time, it is not probable that such, and even striking, analogies should not be displayed on individual cards. The respective court cards of the Minor Arcana are indicated by the Baldini King, Knight and Knave. For the Mantegna and Trumps Major of every Tarot pack, the Ruler, Pope, Temperance, Power, Fairness, Moon and Sun are popular.

The Beggar and the Fool, Venus and the Star, Mars and the Chariot, Saturn and the Hermit, even Jupiter, or, alternatively, the First Cause, were all bound to the world's Tarot card through Predisposition. The beggar is essentially nude, and the analogy is that two dogs are present, one of which seems to be flying on his legs. In a canopied chariot, the Mars card shows a sword-bearing knight, to whom, however, no horses are tied. Of note, there is little doubt as to whether the Baldini cards belong to the end of the fifteenth century, as the Tarot was recognized much before that time in Europe.

But in the Mantegna set, the most important characteristics of the Trumps Major are absent, and I do not agree that the ordered sequence in the latter case gave birth to the others, as indicated. Romain Merlin retained this opinion and, at the end of the fourteenth century, positively assigned the Baldini cards.

If it is accepted that, with the exception of unintentionally and sporadically, the emblematic or allegorical pictures of Baldini have only a shadowy and irregular link with Tarot cards, and, whatever their most possible date, that no originating purpose can be given, it follows that we are still searching not only for an origin in location and time for the objects we are dealing with, but for a specific event.

It is now well known that in 1393, when Charles VI of France was in mental ill-health, the painter Charles Gringonneur, who for no cause I can trace was named an occultist and kabalist by one indifferent English scholar, designed and illuminated some kind of cards for the diversion of Charles VI of France, and the question arises whether anything can be ascertained of their existence. The only explanation available is that there are seventeen cards drawn and illuminated on paper in Paris, in the Bibliotheque du Roi. They are very beautiful, antique and priceless; the figures have a background of gold, and are framed in a silver border; but they are accompanied by no inscription and no number.

However, it is clear that they have Tarot Trumps Major, whose list is as follows '. Wheel of Fortune, Temperance, Fortitude, Justice, Moon, Light, Chariot, Hermit, Hanged Man, Burial, Tower and Final Judgment, Idiot, Tyrant, Pope, Lovers, Four Tarot Cards are also sold at Musee Carrer, Venice, and five more elsewhere, making nine in total. They contain two pages, three Kings and two Queens, or Knaves, thereby demonstrating the Arcane Minor. Both these sets were associated with the set created by Gringonneur, but the ascription was contested as far back as 1848, and even those who are eager to make the antiquity of the Tarot plain are not evidently put forward at the present time. They are all known to be of Italian descent and others, at least certainly, of Venetian origin.

In this way, we at least have our necessary point of departure in terms of location. It has already been stated with authority that the old and true type, which is the parent of all others, is the Venetian Tarots; but I conclude that the Major and Minor Arcana's full sets belong to far later times. It is assumed that the pack was comprised of seventy-eight cards.

Notwithstanding, however, the preference shown for the Venetian Tarot, it is understood that the time between 1413 and 1418 must be assigned to certain portions of a Minchiate or Florentine collection. They were once in Countess Gonzaga's custody, in Milan. There were ninety-seven cards in a full Minchiate pack and it is considered, widely speaking, as a later invention in terms of these vestiges. Forty-one Trumps Major were present, the additional numbers either borrowed or mirrored from the emblematic Baldini set. The Knights were creatures of the Centaur type in the court cards of the Minor Arcana, while the Knaves were often warriors and sometimes slaves. The dominance of Christian medieval beliefs and the complete lack of any Oriental suggestion is another difference. However, the question persists whether any Tarot cards contain Eastern traces.

We come, all right, to the Bolognese Tarot, often referred to as Venice and complete with the Trumps Major, but numbers 20 and 21 have been transposed. The 2, 3, 4, and 5 small cards in the Minor Arcana are omitted, resulting in sixty-two cards in total. In the representation of the Last Judgment, the termination of the Trumps Major is curious, and a little arresting as a point of symbolism; but this is all that it seems necessary to note about the Bologna pack, except that it is said to have been invented or, more correctly, modified as a Tarot, by an exiled Prince of Pisa resident in the city around the beginning of the fifteenth century.

The reason for which they were used is shown tolerably by the fact that St. Bernardin of Sienna preached against playing cards and other means of gambling in 1423. The importation of cards into England was banned forty years later, the time being that of King Edward IV. This is our country's first certain record of the issue.

It is difficult to consult perfect illustrations of the above-mentioned collections, but it is not difficult to comply with detailed and outlined explanations. If the writer is not always an occultist, I may add that accounts originating from that source are typically incomplete, ambiguous and concerned with factors that cloud the vital problems. Some opinions that have been shared on the Mantegna codex give an example in point, whether I can continue to dignify card sequences with such a word. In occult reverie, as we have seen, it has been ruled that Apollo and the Nine Muses equate with Pentacles, but the comparison is not obtained in a working state of research; and reverie must verge on nightmare until we can associate the suit of Cups with Astronomy, Chronology and Cosmology. The Baldini characters depicting these themes are, like the Tarot, emblems of their time and not symbols.

To finish, I note that there has been a willingness among experts to suggest that the Trumps Major was not initially related to the numbered suits. I do not wish to give a personal view; I am not a specialist in the history of games of chance, and I dislike the profanum vulgus of divinatory devices; but I venture to intimate, under all reserves, that if subsequent study can explain such a leaning, it would be so much the better for the Greater Arcana, save for the good old art of fortune-telling and its tamperings with so-called fate.

As far as what is appropriate for the historical aspects of the Tarot cards is concerned, I will now take up the speculative side of the topic and create the merit test. I noted in my preface to The Tarot Of The Bohemians that the first writer to make the truth of the cards known was the archaeologist Court de Gebelin, who, just before the French Revolution, spent many years writing his Monde Primitif, which stretched to nine-quarter volumes. Before the science of the subject existed, he was a learned man of his age, a high-grade Mason, a member of the historical Lodge of the Philalethes, and a virtuoso with a strong and lifelong curiosity in the debate on universal antiques. His memorials and dissertations, compiled under the title I have cited, are worth possessing even on this day. By an accident of things, when it was very uncommon in Paris, he became acquainted with the Tarot, and at once conceived that it was the remains of an Egyptian text. He made inquiries about it and confirmed that Spain, Italy, Germany and the South of France were in circulation over a large portion of Europe. It was used, after the usual manner of playing cards, as a game of chance or skill; and he further determined how the game was played. But it was also in use for the greater reason of divination or fortune-telling, and he found the meaning assigned to the cards with the aid of a learned acquaintance, along with the method of organization introduced for this purpose. In a word, he made a distinct contribution to our interpretation, and he is indeed a reference point, but it is just on the issue of truth and not on the cherished theory that pure Egyptian theology is found in the Tarot. He established, however, the view that is prevalent to this day throughout the occult schools that the origin of the cards was lost in the mystery and wonder, the strange night of the gods, the unknown tongue and the undeciphered hieroglyphics that symbolized Egypt at the end of the eighteenth century.

So one of France's distinctive literati dreamed, and one can almost understand and sympathize, for the nation of the Delta and the Nile was beginning to loom largely in the concern of educated thought, and omne ignotum pro Mgyptiaco was the way many minds appeared to delude. It was excusable enough then, but the hysteria persisted and now spreads from mouth to mouth inside the charmed circle of the occult sciences. There is no reason for this. Let us see, then, the proof generated by M. In favor of his study, Court de Gebelin, and, if I can deal equally, it shall be outlined in his own terms as far as possible.

I The characters and arrangement of the game are explicitly allegorical; (2) the allegories are in line with the civil, metaphysical and religious doctrine of ancient Egypt; (3) no High Priestess would be included among the Greater Arcana if the cards were modern; (4) the character in question bears the horns of Isis; (5) the card known as the Emperor has a scepter ending in a trip (7) the seventeenth card, or Star, is the dog-star, Sirius, consecrated to Isis and symbolizing the year's opening; (8) the game played with the Tarot is based on the sacred number seven, which in Egypt was of great importance; (9) the word Tarot is pure Egyptian, in which the language Tar = path or path, and Ro = king or royal, thus signifying the Royal Road of Life; (10) Alternatively, it is taken from A = doctrine; Rosh = Mercury — Thoth, and Article T; in short, Tarosh; and so the Tarot is the Book of Thoth, or the Mercury Doctrine Deck.

Such is the evidence, it is understood that I have set aside some casual remarks for which there is no form of excuse. These, thus, are ten pillars supporting the thesis building, and they are pillars of sand the same. Of definition, the Tarot is allegorical, that is to say, meaning, but all countries, nations and times are Catholic allegory and symbol; they are not more Egyptian than Mexican; they are from Europe and Cathay, from Tibet beyond the Himalayas and from the London gutters.

The cards correspond to many kinds of ideas and things as an allegory and symbol; they are universal and not specific; and the fact that they do not respond specifically and peculiarly to Egyptian doctrine, religious, philosophical or civil, is clear from the failure of the Court de Gebelin to go further than the statement.

Among the Trumps Major, the appearance of a High Priestess is more conveniently explained as the memorial of any common superstition, such as the worship of Diana, whose persistence has been traced by Leland with such striking results in modern Italy. We must also note in any cult the universality of the horns, not to mention that of Tibet. As an example of Egyptian symbolism, the triple cross is preposterous; it is the cross of the patriarchal see, both Greek and Latin, of Venice, of Jerusalem, for instance, and it is the method of signing used by the Orthodox Rite priests and laity to this day.

As other occult authors have told us that they are Hebrew Jods, I pass over the idle allusion to the tears of Isis; as far as the seventeenth card is concerned, it is the star Sirius or another, as predisposition pleases; the number seven was definitely important in Egypt and any treatise on numerical mysticism would prove that the same assertion applies everywhere, even though we chose to disregard the seven Christian sacraments.

Lastly, as far as the etymology of the term Tarot is concerned, it is sufficient to remember that it was given before the discovery of the Rosetta Stone and when the Egyptian language was not recognized.

Court de Gebelin's work was not permitted to sit undisturbed in the mind of the century, appealing solely by means of a quarto volume to the learned. In Paris, as the core of France and all things French in the world, the Tarot cards created an opening. The suggestion that divination by cards had the unforeseen warrants of ancient secret science behind it, and that the origin of the entire topic was in the wonder and mystery of Egypt, represented almost a religious honor thereon; cartomancy came from the purlieus of mystic rituals into fashion and assumed almost pontifical vestures for the moment.

The illiterate yet zealous explorer, Alliette, was the first to take on the role of bateleur, magician and juggler; the second, as a kind of High Priestess, full of knowledge and discoveries, was Mile. Lenormand, but she belongs to a later period; while Julia Orsini, who is more referring to a queen of cups in the tatters of clairvoyance, finally came. When fate itself was shuffling and cutting cards for the game of global revolution, or for such courts and courtiers as those of Louis XVIII, Charles IX and Louis Philippe, I am not concerned with these persons as tellers of fortune. The transliteration of his name, Alliette, however, under the occult classification of Etteilla, the perruquier took himself with great seriousness and posed more as a priest of occult sciences than as an ordinary specialist in l'art de tirer les cartes. There are people still now, including Dr. Papus, who have managed to rescue some component of his bizarre scheme from oblivion.

In 1782, Le Monde Primitif's lengthy and heterogeneous tale had come to the end of its plot, and in 1783 Etteilla's tracts had started to flood from the newspapers, testifying that he had already spent thirty, nay, almost forty years researching Egyptian sorcery, and that he had discovered the final keys. In fact, they were the Keys of the Tarot, which was the Book of Philosophy and the Book of Thoth, but at the same time it was originally written in the Temple of Fire by the seventeen Magi, on the borders of the Levant, about three leagues from Memphis. It included the theory of the cosmos, and it was extended to astrology, alchemy, and fortune-telling by the Cartomancist, without the least pause or reserve as to the fact that he was performing a trade.

There is really no doubt in my mind that he found it legitimate as a metier, and that he was the first one to persuade himself of his scheme. But the thing we have to note is that the antiquity of the Tarot was usually trumpeted out in this way. Etteilla's little books are positive indications that he did not even know his own language; that even those who think of him tenderly confess that he spoiled his symbolism when he created a reformed Tarot in the course of time; and that he had only the Court de Gebelin as his universal authority with regard to ancient times.

The Carthomancists succeeded one another in the manner I have alluded to, and there were, of course, competing followers of these less than the least mysteries; but the scholarship of the subject, if it can be said to have came into being, rested for more than sixty years at all in the quarto of the Court de Gebelin. There is very little doubt under his authority that anyone who became acquainted with the issue of Tarot cards, by theory or experience, by casual or special interest, acknowledged their Egyptian character. It is said that persons are usually taken for their own worth, and the unsolicited general mind definitely accepts archaeological arguments in the sense of their own bravery and of those who bring them out, pursuing as it does the line of least resistance. The French writer Duchesne was the first who seemed to rethink the topic of some presumptive titles at a trial, but I am obliged to move it on with a mere guide, as well as some fascinating study by Singer in England on the general subject of playing-cards. The latter thought that the oldest European form of card-playing was the old Venetian game called Trappola, that it was of Arab origin, and that the fifty-two cards used for the purpose originated from that area. I do not realize why any meaning was ever added to this vision.

Another English writer, W, followed Duchesne and Singer. A. Chatto, who checked the information available and the storm of uncertainty that had already emerged on the subject. This was in 1848, and his work still has a kind of normal force, but it remains an indifferent and even a bad result despite any allowance for a certain righteousness due to the individual mind. However, it was typical of the coming middle night of the nineteenth century in its manner. Chatto dismissed the Egyptian theory, but as he was in so little distress over it, if the latter had any solid ground under his hypothesis, he would hardly be held to displace Court de Gebelin.

The general issue was taken up in 1854 by another French scholar, Boiteau, who maintained the oriental roots of Tarot cards, but without trying to prove it. I'm not sure, but I think he's the first writer who certainly associated them with the Gipsies; the original Gipsy home for him, though, was in India, and thus Egypt did not join his estimation.

Eliphas Levi emerged in 1860, a brilliant and sublime awakening for whom it is difficult to embrace and with whom it is much more impossible to dispense. Of all the western voices which have declared or represented the science called supernatural and the doctrine called mystical, there was never a mouth proclaiming such great things. I believe that, fundamentally speaking, he cared about the phenomenal aspect as much and as little as I do, but he clarified the phenomenon with the confidence of one who, if used in a correct purpose, openly treated charlatanry as a fantastic means to an end. As a man of considerable wisdom, he never was, and as a revealer to all secrets without having been received into some, he came to his own and his own received him, even at his proper valuation. I do not believe that there has ever been an example of a writer with greater talents, after their peculiar type, who has put them to such indifferent uses. After all, for the second time in the flesh, he was just Etteilla, endowed in his transmutation with a mouth of gold and a larger understanding of chance. Despite this, he has written in every language the most detailed, brilliant, enchanting History Of Magic that has ever been drawn into prose.

He took into his heart of hearts the Tarot and de Gebelin hypothesis, and all occult France and all esoteric Britain, Martinists, half-instructed Kabalists, schools of soi disant theosophy, there, here and everywhere, accepted his judgment on it with the same confidence as his interpretations of those great Kabalist classics he had skimmed rather than read. For him, the Tarot was not only the most perfect instrument of divination and the keystone of mystic study, but it was the primitive book, the ancient Magi's single book, the miraculous volume that influenced all the ancient holy writings. However, Levi was satisfied with approving the creation of the Court de Gebelin in his first job and reproducing the seventh Trump Major with a few Egyptian elements. He was not occupied by the issue of Tarot transmission via the Gipsies, until J. It was proposed in his dissertation on certain wandering tribes by A. Vaillant, a bizarre writer with considerable knowledge of the Romani people. The two writers nearly correlated and thereafter mirrored one another. It remained for Romain Merlin, in 1869, to find out what should have been clear, namely that before the arrival of the Gipsies in or around 1417, cards of some sort were recognized in Europe. However, since this was their arrival at Luneburg, and since their presence can be traced previously, the correction loses a significant part of its strength; it is safer, therefore, to say that the evidence for the use of the Tarot by Romani tribes was not suggested until after the year 1840; the fact that some Gipsies were found using cards before this period is quite clear on the hypothesis not that they brought the tarot to the West but that they discovered the tarot in Europe and added them to their trade.

Now we have shown that there is no confirmation of the Egyptian roots of the Tarot cards. Reaching in other ways, cards of some kind were invented in China around the year A once progressed on native authority. D. A. 1120. In his zeal, Court de Gebelin claimed that he had traced them to a Chinese inscription of great antiquity that was said to refer to the subsidence of the Deluge waters. Seventy-seven compartments contained the characters of the inscription, and this forms the comparison. India also had tablets, either cards or otherwise, and similar slender parallels were indicated by these. But the presence, for instance, of ten suits or types, each of twelve numbers, and the portrayal of Vishnu's avatars, as a fish, a tortoise, a boar, a lion, a monkey, a hatchet, an umbrella, or a bow, as a pig, a boodh, and as a horse in good, will not allow us to render our own Trumps Major, nor do crowns and harps—nor even the presence of possible coins as a synonym of deniers and perhaps as an equivalent of pentacles—do much to elucidate the Lesser Arcana.

If every language and person and environment and time had their cards, if they also philosophized, divined and gambled with them, the truth would be sufficiently fascinating, but if they were Tarot cards, they would only demonstrate the common propensity of man to do the same things in more or less the same way.

I end, thus, the history of this topic by repeating that before the fourteenth century, when the first stories about cards were heard, it had no history. They may have existed for centuries, but this period would be early enough if only people were meant to try their luck at gambling or their luck at seeing the future; on the other hand, if they contain the deep insights of the Secret Doctrine, then the fourteenth century is early enough again, or at least as much as we can get in this respect.

The Study of Tarot

The primary objective is to explain how to use the Tarot cards in order to ignite one's imagination and provoke reflection, thus bringing to the surface of the consciousness of the tarot student those wonderful, universal concepts of nature, human life and occult science that lie concealed within every human heart.

All these ideals are based on a single, fundamental and primordial reality and the belief that in every human being, knowledge of that truth is innate; but it is not available to us until it has been rediscovered and resurfaced in the light of consciousness. The ancient temple entrances often bore the sayings, "Know Thyself", as  Jesus said, "Seek first the kingdom of God, which is within you;" and as Eckhartshausen stated: "As infinity in numbers loses itself in the unit which is their basis, and as the innumerable rays of a circle, are united in a single center, so it is also with the Mysteries; their hieroglyphics and infinitude of emblems have the object of exemplifying but one single truth. He who knows this has found the key to understand everything, and all at once."

The rich symbolism and ingenious construction make the Tarot the greatest choice for genuine occult education among all tools, i.e, to "draw out" the intelligence concealed in man's heart. Proper understanding of these symbols, however, includes solid knowledge and a detailed analysis of the elements of the Qabalah. The ten Sephiroth are rings. Their numbers are printed above their names, and from the Sorcerer to the Wheel of Fortune, they are also the numbers of the Tarot trumps. The numbers of the major trumps that also correspond to such Sephiroths are below the Sephirotic names.

I would indicate to those who are critical that some of the interpretations for the Tarots are different from most of those shared before, that a majority of the Tarot's explanations that have found their way into books have been primarily derived on the false attribution of the Tarot to Hebrew alphabets used by Eliphas Levi. Levi certainly understood the accurate attribution, but deliberately withheld it for a justification that seemed enough to him.

Let it be clear that it is offered openly and on time for the benefit of those who should doubt the wisdom of publishing this attribution. This scheme is dedicated, following Court de Gebelin, who makes the zero card head the set of major trumps, and Levi, who says the cards illustrate the occult sense of the Hebrew alphabet; and its effects in the analysis of symbolism are ample evidence of its accuracy.

The Tarot's divinatory applications are various, and a considerable number appear to deprecate its contribution to the practice of divination. Nobody who is not completely grounded in the theory of cares, wherein lies the very creation of our potential life from a complex collection of possibilities rooted both within us and predisposed in the contours of our natural world, will achieve the greatest results in forecasting or foretelling the probabilistic future events using the Tarot spreads as a divinatory tool. For detailed divination, acquaintance with the astrological meanings is basically indispensable. Highly suggested is a study of the astrological and divinatory applications of this remarkable symbol alphabet.