Top 4 blasphemies of the first tarot creators
In our time, the Church is loyal to many things, which cannot be said about the Middle Ages, when the Church had almost absolute power: it had its own army in the form of knightly orders and intimidated everyone with the Inquisition. It was during the Late Middle Ages, that the creators of the Tarot lived, according to historians.
When I studied the cards from a historical point of view, the question always sounded in my head: how the creators of the Tarot were not burned or hanged for their shocking antics towards the Church? Why was the Tarot not anathematized?
Now the same question will sound in your head, because before you are the Top 4 blasphemies, that the tarot creators committed in their decks. Naturally, they date back to the late Middle Ages. Here we look at Tarot a little bit through the eyes of the Medieval Church, not modern people.
4th place: Place the Arcanum of the Emperor above the Pope
In the Marseille Tarot, the Arcanum Pope is the Hierophant
Here is a standard sequence of Tarot cards from the Fool to the Pope. Now with us, such a sequence does not lead to questions, but if you lived in the Late Middle Ages, then you would definitely have them:
“Since the 10th century, the Holy Roman Empire arose, at the helm of which were two rulers: the Pope and the Emperor. Formally, everything was like that, but in fact the Church had an advantage. She could impose an interdict, that is, excommunicate people from the Church, including the rulers. For a Medieval man, this was the worst punishment. Excommunication did not give him the right to be buried according to Christian traditions, he became an outcast of society, could not baptize children, enter into marriages and even more began to fear, that he would burn in hell. For the emperor, such excommunication meant, that his power was already illegal, and those people, who serve him, could also be punished. If the emperor was the ruler of only his own country, then the Pope influenced the entire Western Christian world.”(from the book”Tarot Exposed” by Tailyn Dream)
See, what influence the Church had? The fact, that the creators of the Tarot during the Late Middle Ages placed the Pope after the Emperor is nonsense. In theory, the logical order should be as follows: the Fool, the Magician, the High Priestess (the Papess), The Hierophant (the Pope), the Empress, the Emperor.
3rd place: Dedicate two whole Arcana to alchemy
It would seem, what’s wrong with that? Everything is fine, only alchemy was anathematized in 1317, which is almost 100 years earlier, than the Tarot was created. Many alchemists were executed or imprisoned, because the Church considered them to be counterfeiters.
We see a direct reference to alchemy in the Arcana the Magician and Strength.
The Magician is an alchemist, but the image of a woman with a lion on card Strength was taken from alchemical engravings, in which the lion is absorbed by a certain Moon, which could be a reference to the feminine principle.
In addition, the “golden lion” in alchemy was called a catalyst, that could turn mercury into gold through a chemical reaction.
2nd place: To portray the Papess and dedicate the Arcana to her.
In the Marseille Tarot, the Papess is the High Priestess
In fact, behind the mysterious figure of the Papess is the legendary (because it is not yet known, if she existed) the personality of Pope John, who was the first and only woman on the papal throne, disguised as a man. During the service, she called herself John VIII. “This woman was educated — she could read and write. Therefore, at first she became a notary for the curia, then rose to the rank of cardinal, after which she became Pope. She was exposed only, when she gave birth to a child. There is a version, that she died immediately after giving birth, or she was executed by a crowd, angry with deception. The most important proof of her real existence may be, that after John VIII, the Church introduced a procedure for determining the sex for all new pontiffs. For this, even a special chair was invented. “ (from the book “Tarot Exposed” by Tailyn Dream)
It is in the 15th century, when the Tarot was created, that the Church disputes her existence. All monuments to this woman are subject to reconstruction for other religious leaders. The church refused to recognize this historical figure, but what are the creators of the Tarot doing? That’s right, a whole Arcana is dedicated to her, which stands above the Pope, the Emperor and the Empress, which reaches our days.
1st place: Depict Judas instead of Jesus
Because of Tarot Waite, all tarot readers subconsciously perceive the image of the Hanged Man as Jesus, because he has a halo, and he hangs on something very similar to a cross. Let’s not forget, that Waite’s Tarot was created in the last century, and we are now interested in the Late Middle Ages. At this time, in the 15th century, the Visconti-Sforza Tarot and the Golden Florentine Tarot were created, and in them the creators of the cards depicted Juda.
As you can see, Judas is clearly depicted on the cards. In the Golden Florentine Tarot, he holds onto bags of money, which may be a reference to the thirty pieces of silver. On both cards, Judas is hanged upside down, in Italy that is how traitors were punished. Also, according to biblical texts, Judas, after repenting for his sin, really hanged himself.
If you look at the Golden Florentine Tarot or the Visconti-Sforza Tarot, then you will not find a single hint of Jesus among the Major Arcana, but there is a direct reference to Judas. How can this be explained? Indeed, in the Middle Ages, society was very religious. Why has more attention been paid to the antagonist of the New Testament protagonist on Tarot? This is again a question for the creators of the Tarot.
So, the tarot makers were very progressive people, but the fact, that the Church turned a blind eye to them and allowed the business of creating decks to develop, I personally found it suspicious. After all, the Tarot was not anathematized, despite the freethinking of the authors. In my book “Tarot Exposed” I found the answer to the question: why was the Church loyal to the Tarot?
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© Tailyn Dream