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Re: [Gnosticism] Gnostic Tarot

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  • Terje Dahl Bergersen
    ... Lee Irwin, a profilic writer on many assorted areas - is noted for letting the cat out with a book named Gnostic Tarot . With regards the gnostic origin
    Message 1 of 3 , Jul 9, 2002
      Re: [Gnosticism] Gnostic Tarot
      I was wondering if there are any Gnostic Tarot cards.  It has been
      said that the tarot can be traced back partially to gnostic
      tradition.  I know that there is a book on interpreting tarot cards
      with a gnostic influence. I am unsure however if there are actual
      cards being sold.  Thanks :)

      Lee Irwin, a profilic writer on many assorted areas - is noted
      for letting the cat out with a book named "Gnostic Tarot".

      With regards the "gnostic" origin of Tarot.
      Modern "Tarotists" operate with the trumps representing
      "archetypes" and "types of persona" - these two features
      are drawn from modern thinkers such as Carl Gustav Jung
      (who some people would call a "Gnostic" based on his usage
      of gnostic symbols, structures/diagrams (in AION for instance)
      and themes, as well as his psychologization of some alchemical
      writings and processes found therein) - but also by occultists
      and founders of new "religious paradigms" such as Blavatsky
      and her Theosophical Society, wherein you will find a myriad
      writers on Tarot and kindred. In addition, among the "re-interpreters"
      possibly "discoverers" of Tarot/Taroc in modern time, you will
      find Eliphas Levi, Oswald Wirth and Papus (Gerard Encausse, who
      actually were among the founders of the modern Gnostic Church,
      the L`Eglise Gnostique).. Papus` "The Tarot of the Bohemians"
      refers to the myth and legend of the Gypsies bringing the
      "condensed wisdom of the egyptians" to Europe during the middle
      ages, in the form of the Taroc cards and their trumps.
      This is problematic, since with "Gypsy" you could mean one specific
      of hundreds of tribes who all have different geographical and
      cultural origins.. in modern anthropological and philological
      research the finds indicate that the origin proper for the
      central european gypsies is somewhere along the Silk Road,
      from India and SouthWest ward... not Egypt at all.

      Some more recent researchers considers a Provencal origin
      somewhere in the 12th, early 13th century - for the Taroc
      as a complete deck with the symbology we know today (which
      is incessantly mixed up with new ideologies and new paradigms
      of occultism etc.) - In the first instance, Tarot as
      "the condensed wisdom of the egyptians" per chargon in
      recent cultural trend, is easy to pin a "gnostic" label on,
      in the second instance - the usage of the cards in some
      initiatory structure often incorporate the cabbalistical
      Tree of Life, and its Sephiroth - Kabbalah is either branded
      "Gnostic" or often mentioned in the same breath as "gnostic"
      , and some - like Gershom Scholem, a religious history scholar,
      suggest the roots to the medieaval schools which is named
      Kabbalah. especially around Provence, is in nature a kind
      of "Jewish Gnosticism"..

      I´d say Irwin is worth the look because in many ways the
      man is a modern Hermetist, and where the Cards come to their
      right in terms of a historical and philosophical continuity,
      however trunctated, there has always been a Hermetist and
      neo-platonic ambience... I have not read Papus Book
      Tarot of the Bohemians, but Papus belonged to a milieu
      where Gnosticism and the Kabbalah (sic) were important
      and did have some influence.

      Pax Pleromae

      Terje D. Bergersen

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