The History Of Tarot

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Monday, February 26, 2007
The History Of Tarot - the 4th son of Ramesses II - Khaemwese 
By Karima Lachtane 

I personally believe that the symbolic system, which is portrayed in the tarot system, was started through the knowledge, which a pharaoh prince named Khaemwese had or gained from his ancestors. 

To be even more precise he was the 4th son of Ramesses II (also known as Ramesses the Great), because Ramesses II became so old and hereby ruling for so long, he outlived some of his sons. It is well known that Ramesse the II favorite son was Khaemwese which he praised with many titles. 

For me personally their relationship seems much like Dozer’s and Imoteps relationship, that it can amaze me of their likeness. Khaemwese would make himself noticed through all of his many talents, just like Imoteps once did 1000 years before Khaemwese’s time.

Archeologists believe Khaemwese was born while Ramesses was still young, even before he was crowned. His mother is said to be Queen Istnofred (Isisnofret). Ramesses the II most famous wife was Nefertari, but his second wife which was Queen Istnofred (Isisnofret) was probably as great an influence as Nefertari. She would be the queen who gave her king the greatest sons/men of his time, namely Merenptah and Khaemwese. Merenptah would be Ramesses the II successor and Khaemwese would until this very day capture the attention of the one who listens. Khaemwese was said to be very intelligent, and had a very deep love for his ancient ancestors. But this was only one among the many talents which this person seemed to have had. In ancient text, he earned a reputation which today eludes the public, still. He became Ramesses II favorite son, even thou he wasn’t a war hero like his father. Khaemwese was the greatest magician of his time, and a scholar, remembered for over a thousands years after his death. I would call him ‘the Imoteph’ of his days, which I believe can still be seen. And when his tomb like Imotephs tomb is found, wonders will be revealed – it could be that their tombs are empty, like some others are… An inscription from him can be found at the Serapaeum at Saqqara, where he states that he was at a very young age when he joined the Ptah priesthood, thereby dedicating his life to the knowledge of Ptah. Ptah was a God, the god-father of The Triad of Memphis, his wife was Sekhmet and his son was Nefertem. But Ptah was a kind of description of the priests that was dedicated to the 'knowledge of truth - Matt' (another form of this could be the later 'wisdom Lovers' – philosophers Plato Socrates and such people).

Some believe that the Tarot deck first came about around the 16th - 17th century, but I personally believe it was here even before 13 century. Dear Sir Michael Anthony Eardley Dummett dismiss the idea that the Tarot system came about before 18th century, but he does admit that that the system was in use in other ways. Personally I don’t believe this, Sir Michael Anthony bases his thoughts on the mere fact that no evidence has been found so fare, which would pre-date the 17 century. 

I perfectly understand why he is not able to state any theories, like I can. When a person becomes a scholar/professor and even a Sir, their statements will be noticed in a totally new light. Many people tend to ‘believe’ what is stated not understanding that it is so fare only on a theory level. So usually Professors keep their theories to the private hours, I personally think this is sad because their theories are as valuable as their known knowledge. From a theory comes and idea, and from the idea and the theory together a reality can accrue (or so I think). 

As I try to state as often as I can, I truly love all the universes teachers, but a teacher will always need his/her students questions, also the ‘why’. I personally believe a teacher is the worlds’ most lazy student, never ending his or her terms, because they KEEP ahead of his or her students, so their can guide them in the best manner, and with moral (which apparently the world is in a total lack of). 

Gian Giacomo Girolamo Casanova was born in 1725 in Venice, he was not like the many romance thoughts that exist about him. Rather he was a man of many scandals, he was accused of raping a young girl, and he had dug a freshly buried body up, just for playing a particle joke (no respect for the ones that have passed on). In July 1755, at age thirty, he was arrested and convicted for his interest in magic (witchcraft) by the Inquisitori di Stato in Venice, and imprisoned in "I piombi" ("The Leads"), a famous prison attached to the Doge's palace. From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giacomo_Casanova
Now I personally believe that it is here we first see Casanova had knowledge of the tarot cards. He is said to have had a young Slave/prostitute/peasant named Zaïre, this girl would lay a deck a cards and tell people about their fortune – a fortuneteller. For his companion in those days to do such with cards, is in fact Tarot readings. Other evidence shows that Sir Michael Anthony Eardley Dummett could be very mistaken in his thoughts about the tarot deck.

It is believed that it was in 1499 when France conquered Milan that French and Swiss soldiers first were introduced to the Tarot deck of Milan. http://www.tarothermit.com/marseilles.htm
The misconception about fortuneteller could in terms be said to be the understanding about the tool in itself. Actually it is not the ‘tool or the object’ that contains the ancient old ‘Heka / Essen’s of Magic’, it will always be the life force in itself. The tool which at first was just numbers has through time now been classified as ‘Numerology’. The next tool was the word or the letter, which was at times combined with the numbers, which would give a more accurate telling. When the time of the ancient Assyrians and Aztecs, and Egyptians and Sumerians, it was them all combined into an image.
Around 1465 50 Copper-engraved plates/images emerged, which is probably where the Milan tarot deck came from. These copper engravings were not cards, but rather images portraying that cultures god system and its symbolism. The first known tarot deck of 78 cards was commonly known as Visconti-Sforza Tarot deck (Trionfi /Trump), and this deck of cards came from the old ruling houses of Milan and Lombardia. In each level the information was rapped into symbolic meanings, which have their roots in ancient times. Like with so many other words, they change through time, through systems (either it be school or religion and so on). Tarot is a modern word, for this kind of card-readings, Tarok is an older and a more northern word. The oldest word known for this conception of symbolism in an image was the word ‘Trionfi’. In a handwritten letter dated to 1442, it refers to the word Trionfi.
The original note states:
"MCCCCXLII Maistro Iacomo depentore dito Sagramoro de avere 10 fiebraro per sue merzede de avere cholorido e depento le chope e le spade e li dinari e li bastoni e tute le fegure de 4 para de chartexele da trionffy, e per farle de fora uno paro de rosse e 3 para de verde, chargate de tonditi fati a olio, le quale ave lo nostro Signore per suo uxo; tanssa i prexii per Galiota de l'Asassino chamarlengo de lo prefato Signore de chomissione de lo Signore, in raxone de lire zinque per paro .......... L.XX"
Translation:
To Maestro Jacomo Sagramoro, painter, 13th day of April, five or 20 lire marchesane for two of his orders, that is to say one for his trouble in having painted the backs of one pack of triumph cards, which Piedro de Schiveto had for the use of the aforesaid our Lord, and for his trouble of having painted one box with the arms of the said Lord, which Maestro Nicolo had from the crossbows to hold the "vere" (arrows ?) when the Lord shot the crossbows, as in the "Journal AA" of ussita, at c. 30 ... L. V.
- The painter was paid for having colored the cups, swords, coins and batons and all the figures of 4 packs of trump cards and making the backs for a pack of red cards and 3 packs of green ones, embellished with roundels painted in oil, which our Lord has for his use. http://www.geocities.com/autorbis/ferrara1442.html

Tarot symbolism has changed a lot through the century the symbolic system could also be called Alchemy decks. Because the symbolism, that are illustrated in the decks, even today, is the 12th century alchemy symbolism. Much of the alchemy symbolism is much like the symbolism in a tarot deck, only meaning different things. I personally see it as a writing system, pretty much like the ancient hieroglyphics.
Written By Karima L.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this.

Malissa said...

Well written article.