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Christine Payne
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Here are a few other articles I have written about the substance and practice of Renaissance magic between 1400-1600: Wow, I guess I've been working on this topic a long time!
Whoopsie! I forgot to give the link to the chat with Angel! It's a sound file rather than a slide show, listen here:
I have recently found the excellent author Richard Tarnas, whose magisterial book _Cosmos and Psyche_ takes on the very same issues, with stunning effect. Not to be missed by those who are trying to bridge the gap between the Renaissance and Reformation worldview and our own. I might also mention that this article forms the preamble for the alchemical paradigm of the Tarot of the Holy Light. But, since it was written in 2007, I hadn't yet worked out the issues that arise when this ancient model is cast into Kabbalistic terms, as it has to be to become "operative". Therefore there are issues still not solved in this presentation. I resolved the entire paradigm by crafting the THL Icon and making a slight re-arrangement in the unfolding of the numbers 1-10 among the Pips. You'll find the Icon discussed in nearly every ArkLetter since Sept 2011.
Here's a new archive Samten just made available -- we are so lucky he's such a collector!
Nobody has called me out on this, but what I meant to say was "Neptune has crossed over into Pisces".
Historical research that has been completed since this chart was published in 1999 requires that an amendment be offered: For the sake of ultimate correctness, the Falconnier pack needs to be taken out of the row labeled 'Old Alexandrian', and given it's own row below the Modern Continental row (see below). These words are from Mary K. Greer, shared me in private correspondence: "The Falconnier corresponds with the Hebrew letters and Zodiac (planets ala Lévi), but he changes the numerical order of the cards so that the Moon is last and numbered 22, thus changing the numbers and the sequence of the final four cards. Falconnier's original book is available online." What we learn from this is, the Falconnier creator is demonstrating knowledge of the 3/7/12 model of the Hebrew alphabet , and showing this deck's relatedness to traditional magical applications. However the author doesn't feel "safe" making the pack 100% transparent, so the last four cards were fiddled-with in order to obscure its magical impact (or else elicit further investigation on the part of the user). When I find a standout gaffe in an otherwise correct compilation like this, I attribute it to the routine Masonic teaching strategy. That is, to insert a stumbling block that will distract the superficial student, who can be trusted to never consult the sources and untangle the real facts. This keeps the Tarot deck magically "disarmed" as it enters the marketplace, making it safe so ignorant people can't accidentally hurt themselves with it. This strategy protects the karma of the deck's maker, and it also separates the sheep (who love the flat ground and will generally stay within their allotted space) from the goats (who can be counted on to push beyond the fence line, to rove and to climb in search of a higher vista). Regarding the correspondences given for Etteilla; these represent his own testimony about the way his Trumps relate back to the Marseilles pack. Etteilla's signal importance in the esoteric transmission is that he demonstrates through this linkage the intact arrival of the Doctrine of Correspondences into his era. He also lobbies very persuasively (as much in his usage of the cards as in his words) for the idea that the Fool comes at the end of the Trump sequence, rather than at the beginning. For these two reasons, he shares the row occupied by the Marseille-style packs of history. I have no resistance to the idea that Etteilla popularized Tarot and attracted a whole new audience to the deck, which ensured that the turbulence of the French Revolution (with its hidden but very deadly subtext of war between the Revenge Lodges and certain Catholic Orders) didn't undermine the esoteric achievements of the previous two centuries. But I don't see that the "occult bric-a-brac" on the surface of his cards actually adds up to a satisfactory "system" substantial enough to shift Tarot usage away from it's original esoteric design. And, as a matter of fact, history bears me out on this. Traditional Tarot esotericism was able to flow over, under, around and through the Etteilla armature even as Etteilla permanently changed Tarot's aspect and popular profile going forward. Mission accomplished! To my eye, the surface features of the Etteilla pack serve as a kind of well-capping mechanism, providing a "fresh, new" popular face for Tarot while protecting the traditional esotericism, sealing it in amber (so to speak) during a period when the inherited wealth of philosophy and practice belonging to this esoteric calculator were in grave danger from the outer-world forces grinding through society. Anybody who makes themselves aware of the challenges that faced Louis Claude de Saint-Germain, whose whole intellectual life was lived in the cross-hairs of occult and political upheaval, and who wrote about Tarot a generation before Etteilla, will be much better able to appreciate the line that Etteilla was walking by producing a Masonic-inflected Tarot in the time and place of his heyday. A translation of Etteilla's own writings on Tarot (including his remarks about the Marseille Trump relationships) has been very generously supplied by MikeH over at the Etteilla Variants link >, explicitly starting in post #84. Let me remind the reader that my AAN chart is Astro-alpha-numeric, keyed to the standard values of the Magical Alphabet, and every deck of cards or book mentioned on the chart is being evaluated according to the particular AAN system it demonstrates. This body of knowledge can be found throughout Western Esotericism under the rubric of the Doctrine of Correspondences. I compiled this information using a Marseilles chart as the historical prototype. This fact results in every other pack or book being measured by the Marseille standard. As one can easily see from the historical packs and authors mentioned there, the fundamental doctrine of correspondences associated with Tarot cards are and have always been those of the Sefer Yeti, although we can see slight adjustments, mostly between the planetary letters, from one pack to the next. A pure-Hebrew form of the Sepher Yetzirah assignments appears first on the chart because that version is the oldest and most well-grounded body of correspondences in history, even though no Tarot showed those correspondences on the faces of the cards until the 20th century (El Gran Tarot Esoterico). It is the mixed Greek/Hebrew correspondences of the Marseille pack that provide the historical baseline for the chart as a whole, because it is this version, ordering, and progression of Trumps that typifies the AAN values of Europe's broadest native Tarot tradition. This is the version to which subsequent packs either defer or depart, at first just a little (Levi, Falconnier), and then later quite a lot (the OGD packs). Other Corrections to the Chart are as follows: Gra version row: the names of Henriette and Homer Curtiss need to be added to this line, because their two volume set The Key of Destiny and The Key To The Universe form a full exposition of the correspondences found on El Gran Tarot Esoterico, and in Aryeh Kaplan's breakdown of the Sefer Yetzirah. This pattern is also available for modern use on the Tarot of the Ages and the upcoming Magdalene Legacy Tarot, but any of these variants can easily be projected onto any Marseille-style pack. Old Alexandrian row: This would explicitly include the Marseille Tarots in their widest variety and the Etteilla packs including Cartomanzia Italiana. Etteilla's students D'Odoucet and Orsini should also be included here. Writers in English who support this lineage directly are Corrine Heline and Margaret Peeke, and indirectly Fred Gettings, Richard Cavendish, and Paul Huson. The question is still open which historical figure chose the Greek planetary letter translations over the classic Hebrew pattern. These correspondences are available for modern use on the Ibis Tarot (although to make it match perfectly, the glyph of the Sun must be ignored on the World card, since it belongs with the final planetary letter Tav, on the final Trump, The Fool). Falconnier Tarot should have its own row. The modern reprint of this pack is called the Tarot of Saint-Germaine, but that pack has been "corrected" to conform to the Modern Continental pattern as set by Levi. The Continental row: This row would gain the title Modern, as in 'Modern Continental Tarots'. It would also gain the names of P. Christian, Manly P. Hall, Valentine Tomberg, Mouni Sadhu, the Grand Tarot Belline, Madame Blavatsky, Irene Gad, Elizabeth Haich, Brian Williams (his 'A Renaissance Tarot'), and Hajo Banzhaf. These correspondences are available for use on the Tarot of the Ages. Papus appears to be writing about the Etteilla packs in his Divinatory Tarot, but in fact he presents the Trumps in Marseille order and switches the Fool and the World at the end of the Trumps. The rest of the rows represent creeping attrition invading the traditional AAN model during the 20th century. I won't be making corrections to the lower part of the chart. My only interest in the modern Tarot 'correspondences' would be to show their intentional departure from the traditional paradigm, as embodied in the uppermost rows. I am not attempting to catalogue Tarot decks beyond the ones that allow for informed use of the Sefer Yetzirah with its 3/7/12 interior logic.
One might also stay with the Courtly Love article a little longer and read the review of Christopher Lehrich's fascinating _The Occult Mind; Magic in Theory and Practice_. It follows the above section under the title 'Tarot and the Mind of Magic'. I can't emphasize enough that historians of Tarot will forever misinterpret the evidence they are digging up until they can recognize and understand the magical worldview of the Renaissance.
Toggle Commented Aug 18, 2012 on Something and Nothing at Tarot University ArkLetters
I forgot to mention that in the ArkLetter article on Courtly Love, , I did a long section on this very topic. In that it article it appears under the heading The Presence of Absence. Just scroll down below my little book-review section (at the beginning) and you'll find it. This same set of ideas is reviewed from a mythological perspective in the discussion of the Hymn of the Pearl in the article Sophia, Holy Word. For magicians and priesthoods, this deep focus on "Something from Nothing" started with the Emerald Tablet. To this very day all attention is focused on somehow "conceiving" a spark of our future selves, the ones who magically appear with fixes in hand for our present insolvable dilemmas.
Toggle Commented Aug 17, 2012 on Something and Nothing at Tarot University ArkLetters
I found a great article today from CNN, again on the subject of music and the brain:
Here's a quote from Yates' _The Art of Memory_, which summarizes again what was going on in the early centuries of Tarot (although she's not talking about Tarot at all, but two of Bruno's books which she abbreviates as _Shadows_ and _Seals_): "...Bruno's memory efforts are not isolated phenomena. They belong into a definite tradition, the Renaissance occult tradition to which the art of memory in occult forms has been affiliated. With Bruno, the exercises i Hermetic mnemonics have become the spiritual exercises of a religion. And there is a certain grandeur in these efforts which represent, at bottom, a religious striving. The religion of Love and Magic is based on the Power of the imagination, and on an Art of Imagery through which the Magus attempt to grasp, and to hold within, the universe in all its ever changing forms, through images passing the one into the other in intricate associative order, reflecting the ever-changing movements of the heavens, charged with emotional affects, unifying, forever attempting to unify, to reflect the great monas of the world in its image, the mind of man. There is surely something which commands respect in an attempt so vast in its scope." (p. 259-60) This seems to make a very cogent statement that also applies to the content of the 78 cards of Tarot.
Here's an excellent article (loosely translated by Google) about the contribution of Pico the the synthesis of Pythagorean and Kabbalistic magic. When words like "bondage" or "glue" come up in the article, remember that he's talking about making magically-potentized links between spiritual and material things. This is what magic seeks to do, using the number-letters, images, and potentized symbols (and their astral referents) to cement the links. I couldn't read it all (the translator quits a short way through) but the content I could see is excellent!
I just found a stunning outline of Ficino's logic regarding the decanate seals and signatures. So fine, clean, and lucid!'s+medals+of+the+Zodiacal+decans&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESg9HJ5jeFTi46UgkrxwfAGw42-ui_EbtpdExy7OAd4OliTVh0yamdbI-N9zWABCG7JQQdiddMt2ZxQoPcFGE_qZZAcl-P0O8oVvnNd56CZvGKPvEiHAzSszGVGLB_SrVnvBnAu3&sig=AHIEtbRmGX5Y0tNnyDjB1xLdvzDeCYeXow
By the way, the most amazing article I have read about the Lazzarelli icons is this one: It clears up a lot of questions about whether the early Tarot decks would have been seen as "magical" or not. Remember, this is the 1st century of Tarot's existence! So it started right up under a cloud of suspicion, though luckily the cards managed, just barely, to evade the censor's list...
Here's the Wikipedia article on Lenain: He was inspired by Etteilla and D'Odoucet. Interesting! Hey, thanks for asking, this has been a very profitable investigation. cpt
Ok, just found the date for Lenain's book: 1823. His full name is Lazare Lenain. Also here's a link to the above conversation, but translated:
Thanks for the feedback, rachelcat! If you have a copy of Papus, he has listed some of his sources on p. 149, giving the name (but not the date) of Lenain's book as _ le science Kabbalistique_. If I remember correctly this was published around 1810 (?). Papus mentions him several times. Poking around online I found this , do you read French? There's a whole conversation there for whoever can follow it. Seems as if the table of contents of Lenain's book is shown. Is there a chapter there that gives graphics, the talismans of the angels? I am very avid myself to see where the circular seals on the Papus pack originally come from. If you find an online copy of Lenain's angel-seals, will you please come back and tell us? Meanwhile, the site put together by Uri Raz takes the farther back: You'll see he gives us a set of seals taken from 'the well-known 16th century cryptographer Blaise de Vigenere'. So there's an even older lead to follow. Keep us posted! cpt
Just a note for those stopping by: Here's a readout from my favorite astral-Grampa, Carl Boudreau. Remember that this is a composite chart between the New and Full Moons, located for Greenwich. So it's a global average that always expresses the nature of the opening square of the Lights.
Hi Bonnie -- I think the folks working in theurgical mode would calculate the angel on the Ascendent at the moment of the working, and address that when the circle is cast. Nothing wrong with doing the same for the quinary angels of the Sun's location and the Moon's location either. Plus these angels are the ones to petition for "getting things done". There's lots of resources on these guys too, in terms of powers and qualities and that sort of thing. One finds their names on pentacles and talismans as well. The conversation over at the Aeclectic Tarot continues. I'm so grateful to have such high-quality people to discourse with, on one of my favorite topics, no less.
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Mar 15, 2010
Hi caramary! Thank you for asking, dear. I am just fine. Just as it was time for me to settle down and start writing, I was whisked away to my old home town, due to a medical event. The March ArkLetter will appear as normal. blessings of the season, Christine
Hi Birdy! Well, though I feel sorry for the person who lost the very first card in their deck (this is the Magus, totem of the whole pack to follow), it does signify that a force of creative imagination and dexterous manipulation of circumstances was blowing past at the time. Usually, due to the traditional male gender of this card, it refers to the man in question. However, it can also stand in for Animus energies in general. As an oracle, Id suggest that you consider suggestions like these: starting fresh from new premises; break the mold; treasure your uniqueness; trust your gut and follow your instincts; go ahead and press your luck; believe in yourself; break precedent and try something new. I hope this helps! Now go call the concierge and let him know that one of his guests has lost a card.... blessings, Christine