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Dame Fortune’s Wheel - Flaxen, Sace & Albadawn’s Study


Albadawn
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Here we go @Flaxen!

 

Just to kick us off - what drew you to working with this deck? What were your first impressions?

 

For me I loved the way the author has linked the tarot suits up with what later became playing card suits. It makes a lot of sense with the way I read cartomancy and was a nice crossover for me. At first I was puzzled about the choice of Diamonds for Batons but once I realised the visual connection it clicked for me. Also, I read Diamonds as power (not just financial), which fits well. Coins for Clubs - the mundane day to day work that needs to be done - also made good sense to me. 
 

I must admit that the background colour choices for Swords and Batons still puzzles me somewhat. At the introduction for the Swords, the author writes,
 

”... modern cartomancers also frequently link it with the Element Air, although this can conflict with the rather gloomy cast often given the suit.”

 

To me this feels like a sort of hint towards reading the element differently, but the introduction for Batons makes note of the usual association for that suit with Fire. 
 

What are your thoughts on this? Do you think it matters?

 

EDIT: @Sace is joining us for our study too! The more the merrier. This is such an interesting deck!

 

Edited by Albadawn
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I’m a bit of a history buff and was first drawn to this deck because it linked back to an older tradition of tarot and philosophies. The beliefs and traditions of medieval/renaissance periods fascinate me. The artwork speaks to me of that time - when the spiritual and mundane were closely intertwined. 
 

I think the elements and background colours can be tricky. There have been different suit/element associations found. I’ve found it helpful to think in terms of temperaments as well as elements. The ‘choleric’ personality was associated with swords and this can add a different dimension. 
 

For this deck, I’ve found thinking of the suits in terms of the associated cardinal virtues most helpful. The Swords are an instrument of Justice but, on a human level, life can feel full of injustice - hence the slightly gloomier nature of this suit. 
 

 

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18 hours ago, Flaxen said:

I’m a bit of a history buff and was first drawn to this deck because it linked back to an older tradition of tarot and philosophies. The beliefs and traditions of medieval/renaissance periods fascinate me. The artwork speaks to me of that time - when the spiritual and mundane were closely intertwined. 
 

You may have noticed that certain cards are in fact designs from the Budapest and Rosenwald tarot sheets, they also reflect a strong Mantegna and Visconti influence. It's one of the very few decks, that actually depict The Hermit with an hourglass instead of a lantern, and Strength is named Fortitude.

 

Another interesting characteristic, is Huson's inclusion of a "significator card" which harkens back to some of the late 19th century cartomancy decks, such as 

Le Jeu du Destin Antique/ B.P. Grimaud, which included a blank significator card.

 

 

 

 

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23 hours ago, Flaxen said:

I’m a bit of a history buff and was first drawn to this deck because it linked back to an older tradition of tarot and philosophies. The beliefs and traditions of medieval/renaissance periods fascinate me. The artwork speaks to me of that time - when the spiritual and mundane were closely intertwined. 
 

I think the elements and background colours can be tricky. There have been different suit/element associations found. I’ve found it helpful to think in terms of temperaments as well as elements. The ‘choleric’ personality was associated with swords and this can add a different dimension. 
 

For this deck, I’ve found thinking of the suits in terms of the associated cardinal virtues most helpful. The Swords are an instrument of Justice but, on a human level, life can feel full of injustice - hence the slightly gloomier nature of this suit. 
 

 

Ah of course, I didn’t think to try linking the suits with the temperaments rather than the alchemical suits. This seems to be a very well thought out and self-contained deck. I’ll have to go and refresh my memory on the temperaments!

 

As for the four virtues, good point on that as well. These are a new concept to me but off the top of my head I’d go for:

 

Swords / Justice (as you’ve said)

Coins / Prudence

Cups / Temperance

Batons / Fortitude 

 

Do you feel the same or do you associate them differently? 🙂 

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Copied from Wikipedia:

 

Four fundamental personality types

Most individuals tend to have aspects of their personality which identify with each of the four temperaments. However, there are usually one or two primary temperaments that are displayed at a significantly higher level. An individual could be any combination of the following four types.

Sanguine personality type is described primarily as being highly talkative, enthusiastic, active, and social. Sanguines tend to be more extroverted and enjoy being part of a crowd; they find that being social, outgoing, and charismatic is easy to accomplish.[2][3] Individuals with this personality have a hard time doing nothing and engage in more risk seeking behavior.[2]

Choleric individuals tend to be more extroverted. They are described as independent, decisive, goal-oriented, and ambitious. These combined with their dominant, result-oriented outlook make them natural leaders. In Greek, Medieval, and Renaissance thought, they were also violent, vengeful, and short-tempered.[19]

Melancholic individuals tend to be analytical and detail-oriented, and they are deep thinkers and feelers. They are introverted and try to avoid being singled out in a crowd.[2] A melancholic personality leads to self-reliant individuals who are thoughtful, reserved, and often anxious.[2] They often strive for perfection within themselves and their surroundings, which leads to tidy and detail-oriented behavior.[2]

Phlegmatic individuals tend to be relaxed, peaceful, quiet, and easy-going.[2] They are sympathetic and care about others, yet they try to hide their emotions. Phlegmatic individuals are also good at generalising ideas or problems to the world and making compromises.[2]

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I would associate them that way too.

 

Is it worth spending a bit of time of examining each of the Virtues and how they might influence the expression of the suit? 
 

The Catholic catechism describes virtue as:

A virtue is an habitual and firm disposition to do the good. It allows the person not only to perform good acts, but to give the best of himself. The virtuous person tends toward the good with all his sensory and spiritual powers; he pursues the good and chooses it in concrete actions.

The goal of a virtuous life is to become like God.

 

Food for thought there...

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4 hours ago, Papageno said:

It's one of the very few decks, that actually depict The Hermit with an hourglass instead of a lantern, and Strength is named Fortitude.

Yes, and I like those links back. Fortitude has a different connotation to me than Strength. 

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56 minutes ago, Flaxen said:

I would associate them that way too.

 

Is it worth spending a bit of time of examining each of the Virtues and how they might influence the expression of the suit? 
 

The Catholic catechism describes virtue as:

A virtue is an habitual and firm disposition to do the good. It allows the person not only to perform good acts, but to give the best of himself. The virtuous person tends toward the good with all his sensory and spiritual powers; he pursues the good and chooses it in concrete actions.

The goal of a virtuous life is to become like God.

 

Food for thought there...

That sounds really interesting and a worthwhile exercise. Which suit would you like to do first?

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Shall we start with Temperance and the Cups? This seems like a fairly straightforward one to get us thinking. :classic_smile:

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6 hours ago, Flaxen said:

Shall we start with Temperance and the Cups? This seems like a fairly straightforward one to get us thinking. :classic_smile:

Sounds great. I’ll have a look over them and post some thoughts in a day or two!

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From the Catholic Catechism for reference:

Temperance is the moral virtue that moderates the attraction of pleasures and provides balance in the use of created goods. It ensures the will's mastery over instincts and keeps desires within the limits of what is honorable. The temperate person directs the sensitive appetites toward what is good and maintains a healthy discretion.

 

Looking at the Cups as symbols of Temperance, I would expect them to refer to sensual pleasures and how we react to them.

 

Looking at the numbered pips there are references to love, feasts, happiness and worldly achievement. It seems to highlight how we relate to our physical existence and how we try to find success and happiness here. Being temperate would be an acknowledgement that finding pleasure in the ‘right’ things is important. If we have built success and happiness...what have been the foundations? Are they a result of temperate living or are we given to excess in our appetites? If it’s the latter, the teaching seems to be that this is not good for the soul. 
 

The Knave of Cups seems to be a warning of Love (Lust) taken to excess - when this emotion is allowed free rein, without boundary it threatens ruin and distraction. 

Edited by Flaxen
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On 7/20/2020 at 3:07 AM, Albadawn said:

EDIT: @Sace is joining us for our study too! The more the merrier. This is such an interesting deck!

*waves* I'm looking forward to it! 

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@Flaxen I also noticed the theme with excess pushing and pulling against deprivation. I felt like a big message coming through as I flipped through the pips was “be careful what you wish for”. 
 

Courts have always been somewhat of a blind spot for me - the companion book treats them rather literally as being “blonde people”, with the Page as a young person of either gender, Queen/King as adult woman/man, but the Knight is more abstract - in fact all knights are described as being “the thoughts of the King or Queen”. In a reading I’d probably interpret this more broadly as outside intentions towards the Querent - so for the Cups, an intention from someone else to bestow or withhold something. 

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