By Helen Farley
The enigmatic and richly illustrative tarot deck unearths a bunch of odd and iconic mages, akin to The Tower, The Wheel of Fortune, The Hanged guy and The idiot: over which loom the terrifying figures of demise and The satan. The 21 numbered cards of tarot have consistently exerted powerful fascination, manner past their unique goal, and the a number of resonances of the deck are ubiquitous. From T. S. Eliot and his "wicked pack of playing cards" in "The Waste Land" to the psychic divination of Solitaire in Ian Fleming's "Live and allow Die"; and from the satanic novels of Dennis Wheatley to the deck's adoption through New Age practitioners, the playing cards have nowa days develop into inseparably attached to the occult. they're now considered as arguably the main medium of prophesying and foretelling. but, because the writer indicates, initially the tarot have been used as leisure cards by means of the Italian the Aristocracy within the Renaissance. It used to be merely a lot later, within the 18th and nineteenth centuries, that the deck grew to become linked to esotericism sooner than evolving eventually right into a diagnostic software for brain, physique and spirit. this can be the 1st ebook to discover the remarkably different ways that tarot has prompted tradition. Tracing the altering styles of the deck's use, from online game to mysterious oracular machine, Helen Farley examines tarot's emergence in fifteenth century Milan and discusses its later institutions with astrology, kabbalah and the Age of Aquarius.
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Additional info for A Cultural History of Tarot: From Entertainment to Esotericism
Elsewhere in the manuscript, Marziano stated that there were several gods of the same name. 44 The exact meaning of these statements was probably obvious when the treatise was read while having access to the deck, but when considered without it, it is difficult to ascertain the exact composition of the deck. In the second section of Marziano’s treatise, he described each of the sixteen classical figures, providing detail about their genealogy, the sphere of human activity governed by each and the attributes which distinguished them.
However, it could have represented an intermediate stage between playing cards and cartes da trionfi. Though the sixteen deities were not represented as trumps in later tarot decks, there was some resemblance between the suits of Virtues, Riches, Virginities and Pleasures with those of both the regular tarot deck and regular playing cards. 46 In his letter to King René of 1449, Jacopo Marcello admitted he had augmented Michelino’s deck with some high cards, seemingly to make it compatible with games played with the seventy-eight card tarot deck.
191 In the absence of relevant documentation supporting the transition from board game to tarot card deck, an absence of evidence demonstrating a similarity in methods of play and a probable manner by which the game could have travelled from India to Europe, these theories must be discounted. The differences between the nominated games and the deck far outweigh any superficial similarities. It would be easier to discern the similarities between another card game and tarot than between board games and tarot.
A Cultural History of Tarot: From Entertainment to Esotericism by Helen Farley