The Babylonian Tarot

Boxed Set/Slip Case/Casebound | November 7, 2013

bySandra Cicero

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Over four thousand years ago, the Sumerians built the world's first cities near the fertile floodplains of ancient Mesopotamia, or Babylonia, as it would later become known. Their sophisticated civilization was so influential that elements of Sumerian culture, including their mythology and alphabet, would survive for millennia.

Traces of Babylonian myth can even be found in the Hebrew Scriptures and, according to Golden Dawn Adept and Tarot artist Sandra Tabatha Cicero, the powerful deities and mysterious incantations of this ancient culture can also be seen as the very root of Western Ceremonial Magick. Babylonian Tarot is beautifully original in concept and design, yet faithful to tarot tradition. The only tarot deck based on the Sumerian mythos, it includes five extra cards-one Trump and four court cards-yet retains the traditional zodiacal, elemental, and planetary associations. The accompanying guidebook includes detailed descriptions of each card, as well as instructions for using the deck in magick and divination.

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Over four thousand years ago, the Sumerians built the world's first cities near the fertile floodplains of ancient Mesopotamia, or Babylonia, as it would later become known. Their sophisticated civilization was so influential that elements of Sumerian culture, including their mythology and alphabet, would survive for millennia. Tr...

Both Chic and Tabatha are Chief Adepts of the Golden Dawn as re-established by Israel Regardie. The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, of which Chic is the G.H. Imperator, and Tabatha is the G.H. Cancellaria, is an international Order with Temples in several countries. The Ciceros have written numerous books on the Golden Dawn, Tarot, ...

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Format:Boxed Set/Slip Case/CaseboundDimensions:216 pages, 8 × 5.19 × 0.68 inPublished:November 7, 2013Publisher:Llewellyn WorldwideLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0738707163

ISBN - 13:9780738707167

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- Introduction - Babylonian Tarot is based on the cosmology and legends of ancient Mesopotamia which is Greek for "the land between the rivers." Even older than mighty Egypt, Mesopotamia was the original cradle of civilization located in the Fertile Crescent valley between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers-an area now occupied by modern-day Iraq. Archeologists divide Mesopotamia into two sections: Lower Mesopotamia, which stretched from the river delta at the top of the Persian Gulf to what is now the city of Baghdad, and Upper Mesopotamia, which extended from Baghdad through Eastern Syria to the foothills of the Taurus Mountains in southeastern Turkey. It was in Mesopotamia, or Babylonia as it is often called, that the world's first cities appeared during the fourth millennium B.C.E. The city of Babylon has long been the primary symbol for all of Mesopotamia. The Biblical stories suggest only negative connotations of the city-hardly an unbiased account. Ironically, many elements of Babylonian spiritual beliefs, practice, and mythos have found their way into the Hebrew Scriptures in such stories as the creation of the universe and the Great Flood. Fortunately recent archeological discoveries have given us a more accurate and balanced description of a vibrant and deeply religious people. The Fertile Crescent was the home of the ancient Sumerians- the builders of the first civilization in Mesopotamia. Their culture eventually outlasted them and became the basis for all later Babylonian civilization. The Sumerian way of life, style of writing, and religious customs were preserved in the Tigris-Euphrates river valley throughout ancient times by the kingdoms that followed--the Akkadian, Babylonian, and Assyrian empires. The gods and goddesses of the Sumerians were adopted by successive Babylonian civilizations and although the names of these deities were often altered, their basic characteristics, personalities, symbolism, and cosmology changed little. The Babylonians were an agricultural people who worshipped the natural forces of the universe that ruled the skies and governed the fertility of the earth. The relationship between gods and humans was compared to that between parents and children. There were cosmic gods, underworld gods, city gods, and gods of nature. There were also personal gods who were thought to favor specific individuals. Oftentimes the functions of these different classes of divinities overlapped. Certain gods were thought to be in charge of both cosmic forces and their earthly counterparts-the cities of Mesopotamia-whose existence was maintained by the surrounding farmland. It was considered the duty of humanity to carry out the gods' will on earth, implementing a divine order that would secure the prosperity of the land and its people. The gods were honored with great temples that were the cultural and economic centers of the city-states. A city itself was considered the property of its primary deity, and the temple was the deity's earthly abode. It was in service to the gods that the Babylonians conceived many of their most important contributions to civilization, including writing, which developed from the need to keep track of temple assets. Every human endeavor, whether for peace, war, agriculture, or commerce, was performed for the benefit of the gods, whom the Babylonians depended upon for every aspect of their lives. Below the realm of the celestial gods was the realm of spirits, both good and evil. Magical incantation developed as a method of appeasing friendly spirits and driving off malicious ones. As a result the practice of magic played a very important role in the religious expression of Mesopotamians. The average Babylonian employed the services of astrologers and magi (hereditary priest-magicians) for divination, healing, blessing of amulets and talismans, purification, cursing, warding off evil, etc. Private homes usually contained shrines to the owner's personal god or goddess, where prayers and sacrifices were made to attract the deity's favor. It is these most ancient deities and spirits of "the Land between the Rivers" that are the subject of Babylonian Tarot. The deck is comprised of eighty-three cards divided into two sections, the Major Arcana and the Minor Arcana. The Major Arcana consists of twenty-three Trump cards. The Minor Arcana contains sixty cards which are divided into two groups-the pips, which are the small or numbered cards, and the court cards. Seventy-eight of the cards represent the traditional cards of the tarot with zodiacal, planetary, qabalistic, and elemental attributions that correspond with those of modern Hermetic decks such as the Golden Dawn Magical Tarot. There are five additional cards in this deck, including one extra trump (the card of Genesis) and four extra court cards. As in most other decks, the four court cards of the King, Queen, Prince, and Princess correspond to the four elements of Fire, Water, Air, and Earth. Babylonian Tarot includes a fifth court card, the Kerub, which represents the element of Spirit. There are four suits: Wands, Cups, Arrows (comparable to Swords), and Disks (comparable to Pentacles). In general, Wands indicate Fire, great energy and dynamic power; Cups denote Water, creativity, fecundity, and pleasure; Arrows indicate Air, intellect, communication, mental faculties, and sometimes trouble; and Disks suggest Earth, material or worldly affairs, business, or money. A complete listing of attributions for every card is given in the appendix. The Babylonians provided us with humanity's earliest written records of social, intellectual, and religious expression. Theirs was a long and rich history of human innovation and advancement, progress and set-backs, hopes and fears, successes and dreams. It is this rich source of knowledge that inspired the creation of Babylonian Tarot, correlating many of the major deities and legends of Mesopotamia to the wisdom of the tarot. Although perhaps not as well-known as emissaries from other pantheons, these heroic gods and goddesses are nonetheless every bit as fascinating as their later counterparts in Egypt, Greece, and Rome. The Fertile Crescent stills yields a rewarding harvest for those who wish to cultivate its productive soil. Sandra Tabatha Cicero Metatron House First Day of Nisan (Vernal Equinox, 2004)

Table of Contents

Contents

Introduction ix

The Trumps 1

The Wands 67

The Cups 91

The Arrows 119

The Disks 145

Card Spreads 173

Appendix 177

Bibliography