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Tarot Card Deck Number

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.pagan.magick,alt.magick,alt.tarot,alt.divination
From: nagasiva 
Subject: Tarot Card Deck Number (was 78...?)
Date: Fri, 01 Nov 2002 06:48:53 GMT

50021031 VII om Winter's Eve

>> Why is there 78 cards in a Tarot deck?

jk put a finger on it in describing the Tarocci deck and its
composition (56+22, or, if you like, 56 + 21 + Fool).

>> What is significent of that number.

78 breaks down nicely on its own as 13 x 3 x 2 (13 x 6).

    13 has lunar implications, and that associated with witchery.
     6 has solar implications, comparably, and this may speak well
       of the entirety's composure and self-consistency.

or we may extend based on the tarot's traditional game
and occult structure to:

	(7 x 2 x 2 x 2) + (7 x 3) + Fool
	(7 x 8) + (7 x 3) + Fool
	(7 x 11) + Fool

which lends some weight to the notion that its resonance is more
septenary, perhaps suggesting a Venusian (Key III -- The Empress)
or transportive (vehicular/technical) qualities (Key VII -- 
The Chariot), combined with the 'number of magick' (11). as with 
most symbolic finger-painting, the preferences as regards symbolic 
and theoretical tradition will lead you from rote numerology and 
the cultural biases of this vaunted language to something more 
complex and cosmological, mystical, and instructive. have at it.
> It depends on whom you talk to. Tarot decks were no always 
> that number of cards, the range varied larger and smaller.

wasn't the historical game of Tarocci always 78 cards? if not, 
could you break down the history somewhat as to how and when 
the number varied, or point to some website that does beyond
those already suggested? thanks.

> The 78 though has(for the most part) become standard, 

agreed, for both Tarocci and occult Tarot.

> because of wider aceptance.  

arguable, though you have the weight of reason on your side.

> The number 78 has no special meaning to me, for others it might.

the only resonances I detect is its transcendental associations
(the numbers 7 and 8 being in the upper (or lower) registers,
and often conveying instructive and passionate modes). that the
deck may be subdivided into 22 (associated by qabalists with the
Hebrew aleph-beth from de Gebelin an reinforced by Levi) and the
preceding two integers, 56 (5 and 6) is interesting, and its
sequencial subdivisions:

	56 = (Ace/Root-thru-10 + 4 Court Cards ) x 4 Suits

provides a resonance with the next smaller integer (4), 
but I'm not sure what to make of it beyond this. there's
a ton of twos which could be considered cubes of 2. to wit:

	expanding the factoring of the numbers:
	  78 tarot

		      Minor                              Major 
           =          56 (7 x 8)                       + 22 (11 x 2)

ordinary composition  Numbers          Courts            Major     Odd
		      (10 x 4)       + (4 x 4)           (0-XXI)   n/a
         alternatively (5 x 8)       + (2 x 8)         + (7 x 3) + Fool 

                      Deck              Odd
                      (13 x 6)          n/a
        alternatively (7 x 11)        + Fool

I enjoyed Pollack's description of the Major Cards in sets of
7 (0 + 7 + 7 + 7) in stages of a Jungian Hero-journey. this 
continues upon a principle of 7, expanded from an octave to a
power of 11, which I enjoy in a thing arcane. :>

r       B
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.com@nagasiva                            apologies for any duplication

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