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Evidence the Tarot is of Hermetic origin

To: alt.magick,alt.tarot
From: "J. Karlin" 
Subject: Re: Evidence the Tarot is of Hermetic origin
Date: Tue, 24 Oct 2000 19:44:34 GMT

Prophet 718 wrote:

> To counter your rather vauge and misunderstood claims of links between
> the Tarot and the Tree of Life, I counter with an excellent article on
> the Mantegna prints which indicates the Tarot was likely developed
> within the Greek school of thought---

Early Tarot developed within the playing-card school of thought.

Its symbolism is largely ornamental, and NOT mystical in any
way. While the designers of Trionfi decks borrowed from many
traditions, especially Christian traditions, to decorate the
cards, the bulk of the combined deck, referred to by occultists 
as the "Minor Arcana", had nothing whatsoever to do with 
the "Greek school of thought", nor the Jewish one, since it
was a derivation of card suits introduced from Mamluk 
Egypt. These suit signs were Mamluk heraldic devices and 
were changed only superficially when introduced into Europe
in the 14th century. "Tarot" was added to these cards
in the 15th century, purely for the purpose of creating
a specialized deck of playing cards.

The "Mantegna deck" is NOT a Tarot or Trionfi deck. While
comparisons can be made between these, one shouldn't
overstate the case for their similarities. There were 
many card games and many decks developed in Renaissance
Italy. Trionfi (or Tarocchi, the Italian names for Tarot)
is one class of these.

As for the Kabbalistic content of Tarot, this is
an 18th-century invention, born of the imagination of 
Antoine Court de Gébelin, the first person to publish
"serious" symbolic speculations concerning the meaning
of Tarot symbolism. Eliphas Lévi developed these ideas
further, and they were adopted into the absurdly complex
Tarotic-Kabbalistic symbolism of the Golden Dawn, by
which time Tarot HAD become a Kabbalistic "book" (well,
coloring book), in addition to its continuing existence 
as a more mundane type of game.


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