Differences

This shows you the differences between two versions of the page.

Link to this comparison view

Next revision
Previous revision
parn:the_story_of_tarot [2013-04-16 11:55]
alkan created
parn:the_story_of_tarot [2013-10-16 16:02]
nik
Line 43: Line 43:
 ====A Brief Summary of the Best Known Tarot Decks==== ====A Brief Summary of the Best Known Tarot Decks====
  
-==Visconti-Sforza Deck==+===Visconti-Sforza Deck===
  
 The oldest surviving Tarot cards are three early to mid fifteenth century partial sets, all made for members of the illustrious Visconti family. The oldest of these existing Tarot decks was most probably painted to celebrate the wedding of the ruling Visconti (Bianca-Maria) with (Francesco) Sforza, uniting the two noble families of Milan. Most likely the cards were painted by Bonifacio Bembo and other miniaturists of the Ferrara school. Today's term //Visconti-Sforza Tarot// refers to a collection of incomplete sets of approximately 15 known decks, now located in various museums, libraries and private collections around the world. Unfortunately, no complete deck has survived. The three most known collections are the Pierpont-Morgan Bergamo, Cary-Yale and Brera-Brambilla. All the remaining Visconti-Sforza decks lack four cards: the Devil, the Tower, the Three of Swords, and the Knight of Coins. Tarot scholars theorise that they have either been lost or were never made. We speculate that the cards existed, but someone superstitious in the Visconti family removed them on purpose, most likely in the hopes of getting rid of bad luck or simply to avoid bringing misfortune upon the family. The oldest surviving Tarot cards are three early to mid fifteenth century partial sets, all made for members of the illustrious Visconti family. The oldest of these existing Tarot decks was most probably painted to celebrate the wedding of the ruling Visconti (Bianca-Maria) with (Francesco) Sforza, uniting the two noble families of Milan. Most likely the cards were painted by Bonifacio Bembo and other miniaturists of the Ferrara school. Today's term //Visconti-Sforza Tarot// refers to a collection of incomplete sets of approximately 15 known decks, now located in various museums, libraries and private collections around the world. Unfortunately, no complete deck has survived. The three most known collections are the Pierpont-Morgan Bergamo, Cary-Yale and Brera-Brambilla. All the remaining Visconti-Sforza decks lack four cards: the Devil, the Tower, the Three of Swords, and the Knight of Coins. Tarot scholars theorise that they have either been lost or were never made. We speculate that the cards existed, but someone superstitious in the Visconti family removed them on purpose, most likely in the hopes of getting rid of bad luck or simply to avoid bringing misfortune upon the family.
  
-==Marseille Deck==+===Marseille Deck===
  
 The //Tarot de Marseille// (or //Marseille// deck) is one of the best known patterns in Tarot design. It is a pattern from which many subsequent Tarot decks derived. It was probably introduced to southern France when the French conquered Milan and the Piedmont in 1499. The //Tarot de Marseille// (or //Marseille// deck) is one of the best known patterns in Tarot design. It is a pattern from which many subsequent Tarot decks derived. It was probably introduced to southern France when the French conquered Milan and the Piedmont in 1499.
Line 55: Line 55:
 More recently French-speaking Tarotists including Alejandro Jodorowsky and Kris Hadar continue to use //Tarot de Marseille// for esoteric purposes. In the mid-1990s Jodorowsky contacted a late descendent of the Camoin family who had been printing the Marseille decks since the nineteenth century. They worked together for almost a decade to create a 78-card deck including the original details and eleven colour prints. More recently French-speaking Tarotists including Alejandro Jodorowsky and Kris Hadar continue to use //Tarot de Marseille// for esoteric purposes. In the mid-1990s Jodorowsky contacted a late descendent of the Camoin family who had been printing the Marseille decks since the nineteenth century. They worked together for almost a decade to create a 78-card deck including the original details and eleven colour prints.
  
-==Esoteric Decks==+===Esoteric Decks===
  
 In the English-speaking world, where there is little or no tradition of using Tarot as playing cards, Tarot became known through the of occult traditions influenced by French Tarotists such as Etteilla and Eliphas Levi. The occultists later produced esoteric decks that reflected their own ideas. These decks were widely circulated in the anglophone world. In the English-speaking world, where there is little or no tradition of using Tarot as playing cards, Tarot became known through the of occult traditions influenced by French Tarotists such as Etteilla and Eliphas Levi. The occultists later produced esoteric decks that reflected their own ideas. These decks were widely circulated in the anglophone world.
Line 63: Line 63:
 Tarot became increasingly popular from the 1910s, with the publication of the //Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot,// which included symbolic images and divinatory meanings in the numeric cards. Due to large marketing campaigns by the publisher U.S. Games Systems, the //Rider-Waite-Smith// deck has been one of the most popular decks in the English-speaking world from the 1970s. It could be generally said that English-speaking countries favour the //Rider-Waite-Smith// deck (sometimes abbreviated as the RWS, //Rider-// or //Rider-Waite// deck), while in French-speaking countries the //Marseille// deck enjoys the equivalent popularity. Tarot became increasingly popular from the 1910s, with the publication of the //Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot,// which included symbolic images and divinatory meanings in the numeric cards. Due to large marketing campaigns by the publisher U.S. Games Systems, the //Rider-Waite-Smith// deck has been one of the most popular decks in the English-speaking world from the 1970s. It could be generally said that English-speaking countries favour the //Rider-Waite-Smith// deck (sometimes abbreviated as the RWS, //Rider-// or //Rider-Waite// deck), while in French-speaking countries the //Marseille// deck enjoys the equivalent popularity.
  
-=RWS (Rider-Waite-Colman-Smith) Deck=+==RWS (Rider-Waite-Colman-Smith) Deck==
  
 The images in the RWS deck were drawn by artist Pamela Colman Smith, based on the instructions of the Christian mystic and occultist Arthur Edward Waite, and originally published by the William Rider & Son publishers in 1909. While the deck is sometimes known as a simple, user-friendly one, its imagery, especially in the Trumps, is complex and replete with occult symbolism. The subjects of the trumps are based on those of the earliest decks, but have been significantly modified to reflect Waite and Smith's view of Tarot. An important difference from Marseille-style decks is that Smith drew scenes on the numeric cards to depict divinatory meanings; those divinatory meanings derive from early cartomancers such as Etteilla, and are linked to those espoused by The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. The images in the RWS deck were drawn by artist Pamela Colman Smith, based on the instructions of the Christian mystic and occultist Arthur Edward Waite, and originally published by the William Rider & Son publishers in 1909. While the deck is sometimes known as a simple, user-friendly one, its imagery, especially in the Trumps, is complex and replete with occult symbolism. The subjects of the trumps are based on those of the earliest decks, but have been significantly modified to reflect Waite and Smith's view of Tarot. An important difference from Marseille-style decks is that Smith drew scenes on the numeric cards to depict divinatory meanings; those divinatory meanings derive from early cartomancers such as Etteilla, and are linked to those espoused by The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.
  
-=Thoth Deck=+==Thoth Deck==
  
 A widely-used esoteric Tarot deck is Aleister Crowley's //Thoth Tarot.// Crowley engaged the artist Lady Frida Harris to paint the cards. It was finished in 1944 but published for the first time only in 1969.  The //Thoth// deck is distinctly different from the Rider-Waite deck and has a very intricately elaborated system of symbolism and divinatory meanings. Given the complexity of this deck we have left //Thoth Tarot// beyond the scope of this tutorial. A widely-used esoteric Tarot deck is Aleister Crowley's //Thoth Tarot.// Crowley engaged the artist Lady Frida Harris to paint the cards. It was finished in 1944 but published for the first time only in 1969.  The //Thoth// deck is distinctly different from the Rider-Waite deck and has a very intricately elaborated system of symbolism and divinatory meanings. Given the complexity of this deck we have left //Thoth Tarot// beyond the scope of this tutorial.
Line 77: Line 77:
 Diane B. Wilkes together with Arnell Ando (the creator of the //Transformational Tarot// deck) discussed the concept of the //Storyteller Tarot// at the 1997 International Tarot Society Convention in Chicago. Most of the cards in this deck were supposed to be based on stories from literature, although several include pop-songs and historical figures. Diane B. Wilkes together with Arnell Ando (the creator of the //Transformational Tarot// deck) discussed the concept of the //Storyteller Tarot// at the 1997 International Tarot Society Convention in Chicago. Most of the cards in this deck were supposed to be based on stories from literature, although several include pop-songs and historical figures.
  
-===Tarot Symbolism and Psychology===+====Tarot Symbolism and Psychology====
  
 Tarot has a complex and rich symbolism with a long history. Contrary to what many popular authors claim, Tarot origins are not lost in the mists of time. In fact, much of the fog around the symbolism can be clarified if one studies iconographical sources rather than the occult ones. Interpretations have evolved together with the cards over the centuries: later decks have “clarified” the pictures in accordance with meanings assigned to the cards by their creators. In turn, the meanings come to be modified by the new pictures. Images and interpretations have been continually reshaped, in part to help the Tarot live up to its mythic role as a powerful occult instrument. Each card has its own large, complicated and disputed set of meanings. Tarot has a complex and rich symbolism with a long history. Contrary to what many popular authors claim, Tarot origins are not lost in the mists of time. In fact, much of the fog around the symbolism can be clarified if one studies iconographical sources rather than the occult ones. Interpretations have evolved together with the cards over the centuries: later decks have “clarified” the pictures in accordance with meanings assigned to the cards by their creators. In turn, the meanings come to be modified by the new pictures. Images and interpretations have been continually reshaped, in part to help the Tarot live up to its mythic role as a powerful occult instrument. Each card has its own large, complicated and disputed set of meanings.
Line 85: Line 85:
 Carl Gustav Jung (1875–1961) was the first psychiatrist to attach importance to the Tarot. He regarded the Tarot cards as representing archetypes: fundamental types of a person or situation embedded in the subconscious of all human beings. Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist and colleague of Sigmund Freud. He was a creative thinker whose observation of correspondences between world religions, mythologies and dreams of his patients led to a unique view of the human condition. Jung emphasized the reality of the psychic life (a fact that separated him from the empirically oriented mainstream of academic psychology). He proposed that the consciousness of all humans is linked; that the consciousness of each person is like a small pond which trickles into the ocean of a shared “collective unconscious”. One of his key principles involves the contents of this collective unconscious – the archetypes as “cultural imprints”, images and ideas built up by the thoughts of mankind throughout history. Jung linked Tarot trumps and characters in fairy tales, both referencing the archetypes of the collective unconscious. Archetypes are seen as a kind of algebra of the subconscious, allowing Tarot imagery to be analysed at the conscious level. Carl Gustav Jung (1875–1961) was the first psychiatrist to attach importance to the Tarot. He regarded the Tarot cards as representing archetypes: fundamental types of a person or situation embedded in the subconscious of all human beings. Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist and colleague of Sigmund Freud. He was a creative thinker whose observation of correspondences between world religions, mythologies and dreams of his patients led to a unique view of the human condition. Jung emphasized the reality of the psychic life (a fact that separated him from the empirically oriented mainstream of academic psychology). He proposed that the consciousness of all humans is linked; that the consciousness of each person is like a small pond which trickles into the ocean of a shared “collective unconscious”. One of his key principles involves the contents of this collective unconscious – the archetypes as “cultural imprints”, images and ideas built up by the thoughts of mankind throughout history. Jung linked Tarot trumps and characters in fairy tales, both referencing the archetypes of the collective unconscious. Archetypes are seen as a kind of algebra of the subconscious, allowing Tarot imagery to be analysed at the conscious level.
  
-===Tarot and storytelling===+====Tarot and storytelling====
  
 The Tarot has inspired writers as well as visual artists for centuries. Selections of Tarot cards have also been used to construct stories in writing exercises and writing games. Italo Calvino described the Tarot as “a machine for telling stories”. He wrote the novel //The Castle of Crossed Destinies// with plots and characters constructed on the Tarot archetypes. Charles Williams wrote a supernatural thriller //The Greater Trumps,// about a struggle over “the Original Deck” that landed in the hands of an English civil servant. T. S. Eliot's famous poem “The Waste Land” contains descriptions of Tarot cards. These are but a few examples of links between Tarot and storytelling. The Tarot has inspired writers as well as visual artists for centuries. Selections of Tarot cards have also been used to construct stories in writing exercises and writing games. Italo Calvino described the Tarot as “a machine for telling stories”. He wrote the novel //The Castle of Crossed Destinies// with plots and characters constructed on the Tarot archetypes. Charles Williams wrote a supernatural thriller //The Greater Trumps,// about a struggle over “the Original Deck” that landed in the hands of an English civil servant. T. S. Eliot's famous poem “The Waste Land” contains descriptions of Tarot cards. These are but a few examples of links between Tarot and storytelling.
Line 91: Line 91:
 Stories have a curious relationship to the future and fortune-telling. In sci-fi and other speculative fiction genres, stories allow us to imagine whole worlds in the near and far future. In games, we can play out possible futures in the first person. In fortune telling, stories guide us to identify with them, to find their connections with our own lives and through them to speculate on what the future might bring. Tarot is such an elaborate system of stories, symbols and archetypes, and can be used (according to Jung) to reach deep into a person's psyche, uncovering links between their own experience and the images of kings and queens, astral bodies and abstract intuitions of which the Tarot consists. A Tarot reading remains a highly interpretative and participatory storytelling performance that can engage people across cultures and generations. It can invoke alternate realities and introduce chance and wonder into decisions of everyday life. Stories have a curious relationship to the future and fortune-telling. In sci-fi and other speculative fiction genres, stories allow us to imagine whole worlds in the near and far future. In games, we can play out possible futures in the first person. In fortune telling, stories guide us to identify with them, to find their connections with our own lives and through them to speculate on what the future might bring. Tarot is such an elaborate system of stories, symbols and archetypes, and can be used (according to Jung) to reach deep into a person's psyche, uncovering links between their own experience and the images of kings and queens, astral bodies and abstract intuitions of which the Tarot consists. A Tarot reading remains a highly interpretative and participatory storytelling performance that can engage people across cultures and generations. It can invoke alternate realities and introduce chance and wonder into decisions of everyday life.
  
 +====References====
 +(see [[:tarot notes]])
  • parn/the_story_of_tarot.txt
  • Last modified: 2013-10-16 16:02
  • by nik