Re: Tarot (Proposal to encode dominoes and other game symbols)

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Tue May 25 2004 - 13:45:04 CDT

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    From: "Michael Everson" <>
    > At 10:07 -0400 2004-05-25, John Cowan wrote:
    > >"Trumps" in English. I suggest that 21 trumps be encoded, but not
    > >named, because the correspondence of names to numbers is variable.
    > This would be the Major Arcana?
    > >Suitable names would be PLAYING CARD TRUMP I through PLAYING CARD TRUMP XXI.
    > >The Fool, the 22nd or un-numbered trump, is the direct ancestor of
    > >the Joker and should be unified with it.
    > I would disagree about that.

    Me too: notably because the most frequent plain-text use of this deck will be
    for commenting games and hands. The official design of this deck is not a fool
    but a musician playing what looks like a mandolin or small guitar.

    In the Tarot of Marseille, this deck is "THE STAR" (the modern deck for Tarot
    game competitions displays a 8-pointed black star symbol at each corner).

    If there are names to give to the trumps, then it is to match modern decks with
    "Old Tarot of Marseilles" decks symbols. This may be within notes.

    But then there would be other names for all the 4 series of figures and numbered
    cards, because the old design was not based on the same 4 "colors" as 52-decks
    sets (Heart, Spider...). For these decks there would be ambiguity about which
    modern color corresponds to the old series (Ecu, Wound, Cup, ...).

    There are some other well-known Tarot series called "Oracles" used for

    All other designs are freely invented and have little use, except for their
    graphic design (in that case a plain-text represention for them will have little
    or no value, as the most important thing will be the pictural symbolism and
    colors of inks).

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