The history of Tarot Pre-occult

The journey starts with the introduction of playing cards into Northern Italy, around 1370-1380, most probably via Islamic Spain. These cards were called Mamluk and were Arabesque in style, comprising 52 cards. The Malmuk pack was domesticated by the Renaissance Italians, who added four queens to the deck to make the pack up to 56 playing cards. The first Tarot cards were made for the nobility of Milan and Ferrera around 1430-1440. 22 trumps were added to the 56 playing cards. The 22 cards were elaborate works of art depicting the classical deities.

The oldest surviving Tarot deck is the Visconti Sforza of Milan. The first Tarot cards were called Carte ConTrionfi which means 'The Cards of The Triumphs'. They were later given the name Tarrochi (plural) or Tarrocco (singular). The word 'Tarot' is French in origin. Tarot cards were used to play a game similar to Bridge where one card could be used to 'triumph' or 'trump' another card. The term 'triumphs' was also used to describe decorated floats that were drawn through the streets in processions, describing allegorical themes. Petrarch's poem 'I Trionfi' (or The Triumphs) presents one such allegorical procession. Petrarch's (1304-1374) philosophical work was thought to be a way of depicting the soul's journey. Many artists were influenced by his work and Tarot historians believe some of the ideas for the Tarot trumps came from his poem

Old manuscripts from the ancient classical world were discovered and taken to Florence, the centre of Renaissance culture.

One of these manuscripts - the Corpus Hermticum - was thought to have been written in Egypt whilst under Greek rule. The text included work on astrology, alchemy and magic. Marsilio Ficino (1433-1499) translated both the Corpus Hermeticum and works by Plato.

Pico Della Mirandola (1463-1494) introduced the idea of the Jewish mystical system the Kabbalah. Astrology, talismanic magic and alchemy were practiced during the Renaissance and the craze for images and the symbolic meaning of those images preoccupied the Renaissance thinkers and artists. The symbolic images on Tarot cards were to be found in all popular art of the time.

The Neo-Platonic Hermetic movement believed that man, was a great miracle, that he was in essence a microcosm of the greater universe. Self-knowledge was encouraged, believing knowledge of soul was knowledge of the divine.

In Plato's vision we are all in possession of a divine intelligence capable of understanding the abstract patterns that underlie reality. The gods are personifications of these abstract patterns.

One of the godfathers of the Renaissance, Cosimo De Medici, financed an academy dedicated to the study of Neo-Platonism.

Images of the Greek gods appeared in Renaissance art. These gods were considered to be great laws at work in life and the art of the Renaissance was shot through with symbolism from mythology, alchemy astrology, and other magical mystical systems.

The Magi of the Renaissance laid the foundation of modern magic. The new Renaissance world view was encouraging man to know himself. It challenged the authority of the Church, which claimed the only way to know God was through the Church.

In keeping with the popular art and culture of the Italian Renaissance the first Tarot cards appeared depicting images of the Greek Deities.

In Plato's vision we are all in possession of a divine intelligence capable of understanding the abstract patterns that underlie reality. The gods are personifications of these abstract patterns.

One of the godfathers of the Renaissance, Cosimo De Medici, financed an academy dedicated to the study of Neo-Platonism.

Images of the Greek gods appeared in Renaissance art. These gods were considered to be great laws at work in life and the art of the Renaissance was shot through with symbolism from mythology, alchemy astrology, and other magical mystical systems.

The Magi of the Renaissance laid the foundation of modern magic. The new Renaissance world view was encouraging man to know himself. It challenged the authority of the Church, which claimed the only way to know God was through the Church.

In keeping with the popular art and culture of the Italian Renaissance the first Tarot cards appeared depicting images of the Greek Deities.

 

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