When the Mamluk pack came to Europe near the end of the 1300s, it had four suits with cards 1-10 and three Royals per suit. There were no human images on any cards, only numbers and titles, and all of the Royals were masculine.
Europe’s reaction to this new arrival was to add four Queens and an entire suite of Trumps, among which were a goodly proportion of female icons. Some of these images are quite surprising to see if we take the stance that the Trumps represent orthodox Christian values. Coincidentally, there was a movement afoot in Europe during the same era that fostered a spiritual feminism that survived in the margins of Christianity, drawing from Gnosticism, Astrology, Kabbalism, Alchemy and Persian angelology.
In the first of these two classes, Christine investigates the themes that were part of settled and established Tradition by 1400, when the Mamluk pack first begins to show Western influence. In the second, she investigates some of the cultural and social forces that pushed the face of the Feminine Divine to the surface of the Tarot in the century of its first appearance in 78-card form.
Christine Payne-Towler is a staunch and steady supporter of the Continental Tarots, their inherent esotericism, and the various lineages of Tarot that have stemmed from this tradition. She is the author of The Underground Stream; Esoteric Tarot Revealed, as well as the the writer of the divinatory Tarot text at the website Tarot.com. Since 2007, Christine has been presiding over a growing body of work at the website TarotArkLetters.com. In 2012 she and partner Michael Dowers published their own Continental deck – The Tarot of the Holy Light.
You can download video recordings of the two classes as Windows Media files (.wmv). They can be viewed on PCs using Windows Media Player and on Macs using the free VLC multimedia player for Mac operating systems which can be downloaded here.
Total size of both files: 589 MB
Cost: $30 USD
Payment: online through PayPal using a credit or debit card.