THE
ARCANE
ARCHIVE

a cache of usenet and other text files pertaining
to occult, mystical, and spiritual subjects.


TOP | YRONWODE | ARCANE ARCHIVE.ORG | OCCULTISM | DIVINATION | TAROT

Basic Tarot Definitions/Philosophy

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.magick,alt.pagan.magick,alt.tarot,alt.divination,talk.philosophy.misc
From: tyagi@houseofkaos.abyss.com (nagasiva)
Subject: Basic Tarot Definitions/Philosophy
Date: 12 Jan 1998 15:30:20 -0800

49971221 aa2 Hail Satan!                Yule tidings for all!

re 'a tantric tarot deck' being satisfied by the Secret Dakini Oracle:
I'm new to the forum to which this is originally sent (tarot-l), so I
should say that while my interest in tarot has given me exposure to
a variety of decks and books which may accompany them, I have found
that the Harris-Crowley 'Thoth' deck provided the response of awe
and mystery and continued return in self-readings that I require to
continue doing them, and that when I discovered the Secret Dakini
Oracle I was very excited because not only was it constructed (by
Penny Slinger and Nik Douglas) using collage-technique (an artform
that I have myself worked with for many years), but it integrated
a wide variety of 'tantric' images in playful and significant ways,
allowing a rather positive matching to the disciplining nature of
the Thoth deck.

the purpose for my writing here, however, is less to acclaim these
decks over others (despite being my preference) than to point
out the fuzzy dividing line between tarot and what has come to be
known as 'cartouche'.  decks which did not conform to tarot
standards have, at least by manufacturers and dealers, been
characterized in a different way using this term.  my Bible
(Am. Her. Dic.) defines 'cartouche' as:

        1. *Archit.* A scroll-like tablet used either to
         provide space for an inscription or for ornamen-
         tal purposes.

        2. In ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics, an oval or
         oblong figure that encloses characters expressing
         the names or epithets of royal or divine personages.

        3. *Obs.* A heavy paper cartridge case.

        [Fr. < Ital. *cartoccio* < *carta*, card --
                see CARTON.]

        ----------------------------------------------
        _The American Heritage Dictionary, Second
         College Edition_, Houghton Mifflin Co.,
         1982; pp. 243-4.
        ______________________________________________

I find intriguing the connection both to Italian and
Egyptian sources, reminiscent the Italian *taroccio*
prototype suggested by some tarot historians as well as
the Egyptian origin suggested by many Hermetic religious.
if anyone has some notion of the origin of the usage of
the term 'cartouche' or why it was applied I would love
to hear this (preferrably along with approval to quote
either anonymously or with proper attribution).

and yet this is only the surface of the controversy that
lies waiting to be delved in the study of cartomancy.
where does 'tarot' end and 'cartouche' begin?  there are
many who would claim that the Secret Dakini Oracle,
being devoid of suits, arranged from 0 to 64, having no
discernable 'arcanum' (Greater/Lesser), and possessed
of little traditional Hermetic symbology or structure,
should not be considered a 'tarot deck' at all.

indeed, the authors went so far as to include in their
accompanying book (_The Secret Dakini Oracle_, by Nik
Douglas and Penny Slinger, Destiny Books, 1979; pp. 42-50)
a correspondence table between their deck and traditional
tarot.  the table provides suit-assignments and identifies
the relevant card of traditional decks that corresponds
with their own (generally omitting the Court cards and
proceeding 'down' in the traditional tarot structure).

the Oracle is one of the few card decks that seems to
make few claims to being 'tarot', even while its form
and the intention in creation was in reflection of the
traditional tarot.  some other decks are inspired by
tarot in this way or even patterned directly after it,
and yet vary greatly enough that we must begin to ask
the question: 'how much can a deck be changed before
it can no longer be said to be (even a nontraditional)
"tarot" deck?'.

this really brings us to basic definitions of tarot
philosophy -- questioning the 'nature of tarot':
whether there are significant constants, how many of
these need be present in order to qualify a deck, who
should be or has been deciding where these boundaries
lie, and what repercussions (if any) may result from
such a decision.

the first question in a field of study is always the
most profound and simple, typically structured as a
response to the statement of it as a field.  in tarot
studies the first is 'what is tarot?', and the way we
answer this question displays the particular type of
presumptions we have made about terminology, knowledge,
and the basics which are often overlooked in our rush
to get the 'proper answers'.

blessed beast!
tyagi@houseofkaos.abyss.com
-- 
(emailed replies may be posted); http://www.hollyfeld.org/~tyagi; 408/2-666-SLUG
  join the esoteric syncretism in alt.magick.tyagi; http://www.abyss.com/tokus 

The Arcane Archive is copyright by the authors cited.
Send comments to the Arcane Archivist: tyaginator@arcane-archive.org.

Did you like what you read here? Find it useful?
Then please click on the Paypal Secure Server logo and make a small
donation to the site maintainer for the creation and upkeep of this site.

The ARCANE ARCHIVE is a large domain,
organized into a number of sub-directories,
each dealing with a different branch of
religion, mysticism, occultism, or esoteric knowledge.
Here are the major ARCANE ARCHIVE directories you can visit:
interdisciplinary: geometry, natural proportion, ratio, archaeoastronomy
mysticism: enlightenment, self-realization, trance, meditation, consciousness
occultism: divination, hermeticism, amulets, sigils, magick, witchcraft, spells
religion: buddhism, christianity, hinduism, islam, judaism, taoism, wicca, voodoo
societies and fraternal orders: freemasonry, golden dawn, rosicrucians, etc.

SEARCH THE ARCANE ARCHIVE

There are thousands of web pages at the ARCANE ARCHIVE. You can use ATOMZ.COM
to search for a single word (like witchcraft, hoodoo, pagan, or magic) or an
exact phrase (like Kwan Yin, golden ratio, or book of shadows):

Search For:
Match:  Any word All words Exact phrase

OTHER ESOTERIC AND OCCULT SITES OF INTEREST

Southern Spirits: 19th and 20th century accounts of hoodoo, including slave narratives & interviews
Hoodoo in Theory and Practice by cat yronwode: an introduction to African-American rootwork
Lucky W Amulet Archive by cat yronwode: an online museum of worldwide talismans and charms
Sacred Sex: essays and articles on tantra yoga, neo-tantra, karezza, sex magic, and sex worship
Sacred Landscape: essays and articles on archaeoastronomy, sacred architecture, and sacred geometry
Lucky Mojo Forum: practitioners answer queries on conjure; sponsored by the Lucky Mojo Curio Co.
Herb Magic: illustrated descriptions of magic herbs with free spells, recipes, and an ordering option
Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers: ethical diviners and hoodoo spell-casters
Freemasonry for Women by cat yronwode: a history of mixed-gender Freemasonic lodges
Missionary Independent Spiritual Church: spirit-led, inter-faith, the Smallest Church in the World
Satan Service Org: an archive presenting the theory, practice, and history of Satanism and Satanists
Gospel of Satan: the story of Jesus and the angels, from the perspective of the God of this World
Lucky Mojo Usenet FAQ Archive: FAQs and REFs for occult and magical usenet newsgroups
Candles and Curios: essays and articles on traditional African American conjure and folk magic
Aleister Crowley Text Archive: a multitude of texts by an early 20th century ceremonial occultist
Spiritual Spells: lessons in folk magic and spell casting from an eclectic Wiccan perspective
The Mystic Tea Room: divination by reading tea-leaves, with a museum of antique fortune telling cups
Yronwode Institution for the Preservation and Popularization of Indigenous Ethnomagicology
Yronwode Home: personal pages of catherine yronwode and nagasiva yronwode, magical archivists
Lucky Mojo Magic Spells Archives: love spells, money spells, luck spells, protection spells, etc.
      Free Love Spell Archive: love spells, attraction spells, sex magick, romance spells, and lust spells
      Free Money Spell Archive: money spells, prosperity spells, and wealth spells for job and business
      Free Protection Spell Archive: protection spells against witchcraft, jinxes, hexes, and the evil eye
      Free Gambling Luck Spell Archive: lucky gambling spells for the lottery, casinos, and races