The Empty Tarot

The Empty Tarot

The Empty Tarot
“The Fool is also a musical figure, as his costume is decorated with tiny jester’s bells. (…) Symbols of the creative trinity can be seen in several elements of his costume: his staff bears a small triangle composed of three dots; on one of the jester’s bells is a white circle divided by three lines. This is easy to see as the Christian trinity or the first three Sephirot of the Kabbalah’s Tree of Life, or even the three fundamental processes of life: creation, conservation, and dissolution. (…) On The Fool’s belt, we see four small yellow bells that could correspond to the four centres of the human being symbolized by the Suits of the Tarot’s Minor Arcana. The Fool produces an input of luminous energy to these four centres, which are also symbolised by the four worlds of the Kabbalah. (…) Two half-moons can be seen on his cap. One of them, light yellow framed by an orange circle, is pointed toward the sky. The other, located on the red ball at the end of the back portion of his cap, is pointing toward the ground. The red moon represents the total gift of action, and the yellow moon represents the total reception of Consciousness.”

Some may find Jodorowsky’s dedication and detail-oriented meticulosity admirable. With due respect, I find it hilarious. Jodorowsky, in my opinion, erroneously, believes that the pattern and depictions of the Tarot de Marseille hold hidden deeper meanings – messages well guarded and preserved by the Franch Master card-maker such as Jean Noblet. I think that the French army when conquered Milan and Piedmont in 1499 only get their hands on the popular, game playing offshoot of the Tarot. The game of Tarot was highly popular among regular people and especially among merchants, sailors, mercenaries and soldiers. For instance, the numbering of the Trumps is relevant in the game playing practice and most likely appeared as a necessity for that matter only. Therefore, Franch sailors, soldiers and mercenaries brought back the game of Tarot to the South of France. Manufacturing such decks of cards was a great business opportunity. Tarot is still the most popular card game among the Franch Legionnaires.

One of the questions which emerge is a causality dilemma. Initially, the Tarot has esoteric or game playing function? Arguably, mainly based on the purely esoteric structure and architecture of the deck of cards, I am inclined to believe that it has esoteric origins. Another question is that the game playing offshoot of the Tarot still holds glimpses of this mysterious, “old science” and if it does so, how much of it remained unaltered? At this point, I am afraid we cannot give a satisfying answer to these questions while the source and the circumstances of the sudden appearance of the Tarot remain unknown. A genuine, truthful reconstruction of the original meanings without having access to the source is virtually impossible. What we can observe and traceback which decent degree of accuracy is that the Tarot was altered continuously due to the perception of those particular times when it was reproduced, and according to the individual believes of its authors.

The Empty Tarot wipes out centuries of misconceptions and misinterpretations. On the one hand, it is an opportunity to clear off our minds and reconsider our possibilities from scratch. In my opinion, the Tarot is a vehicle of preserving and transmitting knowledge and wisdom. However, most of the twenty-first century cartomancers will prefer to fill up the gapes with intuition and imagination. The Empty Tarot leaves all these options open. Moreover, one can keep these cards as they are, immaculate, or, can grab a pen and fill the space with the content they consider most appropriate.
On the other hand, this is a chance for sincere introspection. In that matter, each card is a mirror and what we see is who we are and what we know.

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