Tarot de Marseille Edition Millennium
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∞ Frequently asked questions

• Why a new edition of the Tarot of Marseilles ?

• On what bases rests the Tarot of Marseillse Millennium Edition ?

• Why does the Tarot of Marseilles Millennium Edition contain only the 22 major Arcana ?

• Why do the images of the Tarot of Marseilles Millennium Edition appear to be smaller
That in most of the known decks ?

• Why do the names of the cards of the Tarot of Marseilles Millennium Edition
contain V on the place of U and I on the place of J ?

• Why are VI LAMOVREVX and XIII of the Tarot of Marseilles Millennium Edition
inverted with regard to most of the known decks ?

• Why does XX LE IVGEMENT of the Tarot of Marseilles Millennium Edition feature, unlike
most the known Tarots, a “ribbon from Anjou” and not a vaporous thick cloud around the Angel ?

• How much does the Tarot of Marseilles Edition Millennium respect the tradition of the master cardmakers ?

• What is the sacred geometry and the Metatron's cube, the integral matrix of the Tarot of Marseilles ?

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Videos on the sacred geometry, the flower of Life and the Metatron's cube

Why a new edition of the Tarot of Marseilles ?

     It is because of the progressive degradation of the editions of the Tarot of Marseilles through centuries, and compared to some risky recent attempts of restoration, that the Tarot of Marseilles Millennium Edition was realized. It answers the necessity of the existence of the faithful, precise and the most exact possible restoration of the traditional cannon of the Tarot of Marseilles, of which the 22 major Arcana constitute the heart and the quintessence. The Tarot of Marseilles, exactly defined in its structure as well as in its iconography, is indeed comparable to a program, a software. So it requires, to work properly, to be accurate and tuned. By the precision of the restitution of its traditional iconography, and by its geometrical purity (its “ Verb ”, its language, its Logos) rediscovered, the Tarot of Marseilles Millennium Edition restores finally this initiatory game in all its dimension, and by there even, all its efficiency as universal instrument of knowledge. Besides, until now the historic republications of the Tarot of Marseilles were on one hand inaccurate (copies unrefined of historic models), did not respect colors, dimensions and back originals (“ taroted ”), and on the other hand these republications presented to the public only models very altered compared to the traditional standard cannon, such as we can find it in certain regrettably never republished Tarots, nor even widely accessible to the general public before their display in the gallery of the present site, which the reader is invited to visit.
     It is thus to restore the traditional truth that Wilfried Houdouin realized the Tarot of Marseilles Millennium Edition, but also that he created, with his colleague of historic research Yves Reynaud, the website www.tarot-de-marseille-heritage.com (online early 2012). This website has for objective to realize eventually the republication of all the most beautiful Tarots of Marseilles, totally faithful to the originals. To begin with, this website will propose in the sale the exclusive republication of the Tarot of Pierre Madenié, realized in Dijon in 1709, the oldest and more beautiful known Tarot of its category, constituting the main model of the Tarot of Marseilles Millennium Edition.

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On what bases rests the Tarot of MarseilleS Millennium Edition ?

        The historic Tarots of Marseilles are classified by the historians according to the categories “Tarot of Marseilles type I” (TDM I) and “Tarot of Marseilles type II” (TDM II). It is to this last one that corresponds the Tarot of Marseilles Millennium Edition. The TDM II is a category among which the oldest model of decks known to which it corresponds date the XVIIIth century, while the oldest models known for the TDM I date the XVth century. However, the present author demonstrates in his book Sacred code of the Tarot, as well as in the notebook accompanying the Tarot of Marseilles Millennium Edition deck, that the Tarot of Marseilles Type II dates very probably the XIVth century. Besides, the rediscoveries of the present author demonstrate that, if we cannot reasonably assert that the Tarot said “ of Marseilles ” (many were realized in the other cities, of which the oldest known) is the first in the historical sense, it is clear from now on, thanks to the rediscovery of its original nature and structure presented for the first time in Sacred code of the Tarot, that it constitutes the most archetypal model, and thus the first on the purely intelligible plan (arkhè meaning “primary” in Greek), that is to say, on the metaphysical level, proper to the Tarot, that the present author demonstrates to be designed as an analogic and symbolical model of the Universe, integrally generated by the sacred geometry of the Metatron's cube, diagram of the instrumental matrix of the Logos (“language-system” in Greek) universal.

The Tarots said “of Marseilles” (type II) of reference
constituting the base of the Tarot of Marseilles Millennium Edition are :

. Pierre MADENIÉ, Dijon 1709
. Jean-Baptiste MADENIÉ, Dijon 1739
. François HÉRI, Solothurn (Switzerland) 1718
. François CHOSSON, Marseilles 1736 (there is a controversy over the year 1672 which would be registered on II of Disks, dates which does not correspond either to the historic references of this master cardmaker, or to the cannon of this Tarot, whose features are characteristic of the XVIIIth century)
. François TOURCATY Son, Marseilles ±1745
. ARNOULT, Paris 1748 (the official reference for moulds constituting the base of the deck realized by Paul Marteau of the House Grimaud in 1930)
. Rochus SCHÄR, Mümliswil (Switzerland) 1750 . Claude BURDEL, Freiburg (Switzerland) 1751
. François BOURLION, Marseilles 1760
. Jean-Pierre LAURENT, Belfort ±1760 (Tarot said “ of Besançon ” because of Junon and Jupiter replacing II LA PAPESSE and V LE PAPE, but similar, besides, to the TDM II)
. Joseph FAUTRIER, Marseilles ±1760
. Nicolas CONVER, Marseilles 1760
. François BOURLION, Marseilles 1760
. Antoine BOURLION, Marseilles 1768
. ARNOUX AMPHOUX, Marseilles 1801

Some other decks, of lesser importance, were also consulted, among which :

. Jacques ROCHIAS, Neuchatel (Switzerland) 1782
. Suzanne BERNARDIN, Marseilles 1839
. François CARRAJAT, Chambéry 1794
. André ARNOUX, Marseilles ±1800

      Of course, other models of Tarots and printed sheets (notably of type I) were analyzed as indispensable complement of study. The reader is invited to visit the Historic Tarots gallery presenting the 22 major Arcana of the Tarots of reference. He can so contemplate decks until now almost unknown, among which some are shown in color for the very first time. The visitor can so judge the relevance of the realization of the Tarot of Marseilles Millennium Edition, which constitutes an authentic restitution of the traditional cannon of this ancestral philosophical game.

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Why does the Tarot of Marseilles Millennium Edition
contain only the 22 major Arcana

        The 22 major Arcana of the Tarot of Marseilles Millennium Edition are entirely realized in their sacred geometry of origin, which is presented in the first book of the present author : Sacred code of the Tarot. The rediscovery of the placement of each and every card within the matrix blueprint, as well as the regeneration of cards in their pure geometrical Verb of origin, required more than 7 years of research and work. It is the necessity and the urgency of the existence of a faithful restoration of the traditional cannon of the Tarot of Marseilles, and the fact that the general public uses only the 22 major Arcana, which justified that the present edition has been realized with these only cards. The author working at present on his next book, completely dedicated to the traditional symbolism of the 22 major Arcana, and to the finalization of the 56 minor Arcana, asking some more of work, a complete edition of the 78 cards of the Tarot of Marseilles Millennium Edition will not be published before 2015.

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Why do the images of the Tarot of MarseilleS Millennium Edition
appear to be smaller that in most of the known decks ?

     The rediscovery of the sacred geometry matrix of the Tarot of Marseilles allowed the author to regenerate entirely the icons of the Tarot of Marseille, as exactly and faithfully as possible, compared to its traditional cannon (Cf. Historic Tarots gallery). The precision of this matrix and the fact that the frame of the cards is traditionally a double square (Cf. Sacred code of the Tarot), allowed the author to discover that the icons of the cards of the known decks are more or less “ cut down ”. Now, on certain ancient decks, as the Jacques Viéville (soon in the gallery), the Paris 1643 deck, or the François Heri, Solothurn 1718, icons are, for lack of their geometry and of the precise respect for the traditional cannon, respected enough in their integrity. The reader is invited to visit the gallery of the historic tarots of reference to notice it by himself. So, in the Tarot of Marseilles Millennium Edition, the frame having been reopened, but the size of cards being definite, the icons seem, proportionally in the frame, smaller than in the other known decks. Compared to the Tarot of Marseilles Millennium Edition, the “ cut down ” of the icons of the historic Tarots is quite obvious from now on. This new edition thus allows to rediscover, in a exclusive way, the beauty of the icons of the Tarot of Marseilles, restored as much as possible today in their original purity.

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Why do the names of the cards of the Tarot of MarseilleS Millennium Edition
contain V on the place of U and I on the place of J ?

     While the names of the cards of oldest Tarots of Marseilles represent no apostrophe, the words making only one as in VIIII LERMITE, certain names were “ reformed ” in the second half of the XVIIIth century, beyond the simple modification of the alphabet, altering so dramatically the traditional namings of the cards. In the analysis, it is apparently from the time of the Tarot of Nicolas Conver, by 1760, that these modifications were made. Indeed, no Tarots of Marseilles type II (see above) known for the first half of the XVIIIth century are altered by these modifications. On the other hand, the other Tarots of the end of the XVIIIth century, as the François Bourlion, Marseilles 1760, the Arnoux & Amphoux, Marseilles 1793, or even the Bernardin Suzanne, Marseilles 1839, although they are very altered iconographically , preserved the traditional names of the cards. There are however “ hybrid ” cases, such as the deck of André Arnoux, Marseilles 1800, names of which contain apostrophes, and of which U replace V on certain cards only, the traditional names not having been besides modified.

Here is the list of the alterations of the traditional namings of the 22 major Arcana :

. I LE BATELEVR became I LE BATELEUR
. III LIMPERATRISE became III L'IMPERATRICE
. IIII LEMPEREVR became IIII L'EMPEREUR
. VII LE CHARIOR became VII LE CHARIOT
. VIII IVSTICE became VIII LA JUSTICE
. VIIII LERMITE became VIIII L'HERMITE
. XII LE PENDV became XII LE PENDU
. XIIII TENPERANCE became XIIII TEMPERANCE
. XVII LESTOILLE became XVII LE TOILLE ( not LE TOULE) then XVII L'ETOILE
. XVIII LA LVNE became XVIII LA LUNE
. XX LE IVGEMENT became XX LE JUGEMENT.

    Only the Arcana VI LAMOVREVX and XVI LA MAISON DIEV will have protected, for a mysterious reason, their exact naming, letting believe to more than one researcher that a digital code with Roman numerals was present in these two cards only, leading them to diverse speculations, resting regrettably on erroneous bases. The Tarot of Marseilles Millennium Edition, for its part, restores entirely, besides the structural and graphic cannon, the traditional names of all the cards.

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Why are VI LAMOVREVX and XIII of the Tarot of Marseilles Millennium Edition
inverted with regard to most of the known decks ?

     The Tarot of Marseilles, throughout its known history, presents in certain editions, with regard to the others, the cards inverted as reflected in a mirror, their names and numerals exepted. These inversions were due as much to the tracing of moulds and to the inverted transfers of copy, as to the whims of the engravers who were not necessary instructed of the science of the Tarot any more, at times when the productions became purely commercial and simply playfully oriented. Sometimes, it is only about a couple of cards, as in the Tarot of Jacques Rochias 1782, and sometimes it is about the whole deck, as for example the Tarot of Jacques Viéville 1643. Now, if the cards of the most beautiful copies of the Tarot of Marseilles (little numerous), as the Pierre Madenié 1709, the François Chosson 1736 or the François Tourcaty 1745, present identical orientations, the study of the iconography and the symbolism of the Tarot of Marseilles, fathomed on one hand by the rediscovery of the structural codification of the cards in the sacred geometry and on another hand by their archetypal organization in the Rota (the wheel of the Tarot, Cf. Sacred code of the Tarot), reveals that three cards settled back to front in the Marseilles Tarot said “type II”. It is about the Arcana VI LAMOVREVX, XIII (which had also lost its empty cartridge) and of II of Disks. These three cards appear, on the other hand, in the right direction in Tarots of other types, in particular Italian, and partly in the Tarot said “ of Besançon ”. VI LAMOVREVX made an exception however, by being strangely half inverted in some of these historic Tarots. The demonstration that these three cards are effectively inverted in most of the Tarots of Marseilles type II known will be presented in the next book of the author, entirely dedicated to the traditional symbolism of the 22 major Arcana. The reader is invited to visit the Historical Tarots gallery, as well as to refer to the encyclopedia of the Tarot by Stuart R. Kaplan, Éd. U.S. Games Systems, which shows, in black and white and in low quality regrettably, a large number of decks presenting inverted cards.

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Why does XX LE IVGEMENT of the Tarot of Marseilles Millennium Edition
feature, unlike most the known Tarots, a “ribbon from Anjou” and not
a vaporous thick cloud around the Angel ?

     The ribbon from Anjou, or “ angevine ribbon ” (from Angiers, in Anjou, France) is actually found around the Angel of the Arcanum XX LE IVGEMENT on some of the oldest known Tarots of Marseilles, but all belonging to the Type I category (see above). We thus find it in the Tarot of Jean Dodal, Lyon 1701, Jean-Pierre Payen, Avignon 1713 (soon in the Historic Tarots gallery), but also in Italian Tarots of the beginning of the XIXth century, such as the Giacomo Draghi and the Stefano Vergnano. Regrettably, we find it on none of the Tarots of Marseilles known of the Type II category, to which belongs the Tarot of Marseilles Millennium Edition. However, the fact that the ribbon from Anjou was in fact present originally in this model of Tarot, and that the vaporous thick cloud, for its part, was a late modification implemented from the XVth century, is doubtless. Indeed, the Ace of Wand and the Ace of Sword present both this ribbon from Anjou, and not a vaporous thick cloud. Now, besides the fact that, in the popular symbolism of the Middle Ages, these two cards and the Arcanum XX LE IVGEMENT represent a comet (formerly interpreted as the demonstration of the divine power and as a celestial messenger), these three cards also express the conjunction of the four Elements, from which results the Quintessence, that is the spiritual and transcendent plane. The Arcanum XX LE IVGEMENT is indeed bound, in the archetypal organization of the Rota (Cf. Sacred code of the Tarot) to the Cup and the Disk (so forming the Elemental square), and the Ace of Wand and the Ace of Sword do symbolically merge in the Arcanum XXI LE MONDE, which represents the universal man or the philosopher child, to whom XX LE IVGEMENT gives birth. This symbolic, too complex to be presented here in detail, will be explained in a future book of the present author.
     Besides, what also allows to assert that the ribbon from Anjou was certainly present originally in the Tarot of Marseilles Type II, is the fact that this last one, as demonstrates the present author in the introduction of his book Sacred code of the Tarot, dates of the XIVth century, period when the celestial clouds were still represented by the ribbon from Anjou, and not by the vaporous thick cloud. This one is indeed characterized by a naturalist realism which was effectively imperative in Europe from the XVth century. Indeed, certain engravings of this period show these same allegories with vaporous thick clouds. Here are for example two engravings of the heroic slogans of Claude Paradin, dating the XVIth century, who show us well that, from then on, the vaporous thick cloud had replaced the ribbon from Anjou, probably considered then as being “ old-fashioned ”. Besides, this shows that if, in the Tarot of Marseilles, the ribbons from Anjou of the Ace of Wand and of the Ace of Sword were not replaced by thick clouds, unlike that of the Arcanum XX LE IVGEMENT, it is because already, in the XVIIIth century, the minor Arcana were considered as being of lesser value. This “ modernization ” was thus made only at the level of the major Arcana, on which pays all the attention first of all. Finally, for the Tarot of Marseilles Millennium Edition, the present author had realized initially the Arcanum XX LE IVGEMENT with the vaporous thick cloud, such as we find it on the Tarots of Marseilles Type II known. It is afterwards that he understood that the ribbon from Anjou was actually the first shape of this cloud, and that it was necessarily present originally in Tarot of Marseilles Type II. But as says the Chinese proverb, “ an image is worth one thousand words ”. So, it is still the comparison of both versions of this card, flanked each by the Ace of Wand and the Ace of Sword, who finishes demonstrating that the vaporous thick cloud, indeed, is a modification of the traditional cannon of the Tarot of Marseilles.
    Click here to see the version with the thick cloud, and click here to see that with the ribbon from Anjou. It is certainly obvious to all that the version with the vaporous thick cloud presents a graphic incoherence with the two other cards, but also a formal flimsiness. In the version with the vaporous thick cloud and without flying sparks, the angel indeed seems motionless, and the space left by their absence is striking. Besides, the beams passing behind the flag are inconsistent, these overlapping if we prolong them, another sign that an unrefined modification was made. On the contrary, the version with the ribbon from Anjou and the flying sparks is complete, alive and balanced, livened up, and expresses well the “ dramatic ” side of this major Arcanum, keeping in mind that this card, quite as the Ace of Wand and the Ace of Sword, represents traditionally a comet, as demonstrate engravings of the period, like this one. No doubt that not much time will be necessary for the reader to realize by himself that indeed, the deletion of the ribbon from Anjou and the flying sparks was well and truly an important damage, and that their restoration was necessary to regenerate the traditional cannon of the Tarot of Marseilles.

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How much does the Tarot of Marseilles Millennium Edition
respect the tradition of the master cardmakers ?

    The Tarot of Marseilles Millennium Edition is entirely realized in the sacred geometry of the Metatron's cube, that the present author demonstrates to be not only the integral matrix of the Tarot of Marseilles, but also the very source of the whole sacred science and traditional art, geometrical secrets of the Tarot having been known of only certain master cardmakers and engravers till the end of the XVIIIth century. Although it was realized on computer (in pure vector graphics), the Tarot of Marseilles Millennium Edition is realized according to the “ rules of the art ” traditional of the Tarot of Marseilles. Besides, the author, a professional computer graphic designer, was trained in the traditional graphic arts in Paris at the end of the 80s, as well as in the professional computer graphics in the 90s, and worked one time in printing office. Finally, the Tarot of Marseilles Millennium Edition was completely realized in Marseilles, city having counted one very large number of master cardmakers, among which some realized Tarots of reference, which we can admire in the historic Tarots gallery of the present website. The author, being born in the Oise, northern France, having lived and worked in Paris until 2001 when he came to settle down in Marseilles, was so able to draw at the source of a secular (millennial ?) tradition, as well as that of an antique inheritance, this city being actually the most ancient of France, established by the Phocaeans (this city was originally named Massalia), more than 2600 years ago. The Tarot of Marseilles Millennium Edition thus joins legitimately in the authentic tradition of the Tarot of Marseilles, and immortalizes, by the medium of computer graphics instead of the wood of pear tree (traditionally used to engrave the moulds of the cards, this wood being very fine and very hard), the inheritance of the Ancients at the beginning of IIIth millennium, the change of scientific and philosophic paradigm of which allowing now to rediscover this extraordinary initiatory legacy.

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What is the sacred geometry and the Metatron's cube,
the integral matrix of the Tarot of Marseilles ?

     The sacred geometry, unlike the simple geometry, is considered as such as the archetypal matrix geometry at the root of all things, encompassing both the microcosm and the macrocosm, constituting the expression of the universal Logos (language-system in greek) of the whole Creation. The greek word arkhè, origin of the word archetype, indeed indicates the “ original principle ”, or “ ruling, commanding primordial principle ” (cyber/kuber in greek, related to kýbos, the cube) at the very root of all things. The Metatron's cube, as diagram of the hypercube, hyperdimensional universal matrix of which each of the parts is similar to the totality, so constitutes the instrumental matrix structure of the whole Universe as a dynamic unity, which ultimately expresses itself as the toroïdal vortex, or torus, the hypersphere encompassing the all. The geometrical, mathematical and metaphysical aspects of the geometrical archetypes of this matrix, known since the Highest Antiquity, were originally described by Pythagoras (580-497 BC), Plato (427-346 BC), Aristotle (384-322 BC) and Euclide (325-265 BC).

From the Monad to the Metatron's cube, isometric diagram of the hypercube, the universal cosmological matrix

     More than fifteen centuries later, it was described by Leonardo Pisano (Italy 1175-1250), more known under the name of Leonardo Fibonacci, famous for the “ cube of Fibonacci ” and an eponymic suite related to the golden mean. It is Leonardo Fibonacci who would have demonstrated the first that the Metatron's cube constitutes the matrix of the five archetypal geometrical volumes called the Platonic solids, so named because they were evoked (with their correspondence with the five Elements) for the first time by Plato in the Timaeus.

The five Platonic solids in isometric view within the Metatron's cube, and in perspective in space

     As regards the Tarot, the cosmological matrix of the Metatron's cube defines at once the number of all the cards, the various groups which these constitute, as well as the interrelation of these cards and of these groups between them. It also defines their drawings, their colours, their framing, as well as the letters with which their names are composed. Contrary to the other models of Tarots composed of 78 cards, (model said “ Venetians ”), as the Italian decks of the Renaissance (XVth to XVIIth century) or the Tarot said “ of Besançon ” (XVIIIth to XIXth century), all the aspects of the Tarot said “ of Marseilles ” (type II) are generated by this one and only matrix, holographically embedded within each and every parts of it, expressing in turn its multiple aspects. It is the uniqueness of the Tarot of Marseilles there : content and form make only One, the set expressing a universal cosmological code, the multiple aspects of which underlying our whole life and evolution. The Tarot of Marseilles so constitutes the most archetypal model of Tarot, and thus the most original, or primordial (arkhè in greek) on the metaphysical level, that which belongs exclusively to it, the Tarot of Marseilles constituting ultimately an analogical model of the Universe, symbolical articulation of the logical tree of Knowledge.

IIII LEMPEREVR of theTarot of Marseilles Millennium Edition, within the sacred geometry of the Arcanum

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Videos on the sacred geometry, the flower of Life
and the Metatron's cube

     In order to understand better the nature and the metaphysical implications of the sacred geometry, here are some videos (to look rather in full screen and with the sound) presenting the metaphysical genesis of the Universe, the Metatron's cube being its archetypal cosmological matrix. To discover in what exactly the Tarot of Marseilles is generated by this hyperdimensional matrix, and in what the Tarot of Marseilles constitutes a structural and symbolic codification of life (including DNA) and the whole Universe, the reader is invited to refer to the book of the present author Sacred code of the Tarot - The rediscovery of the original nature of the Tarot of Marseilles. Besides, the reader is invited to visit www.thrivemovement.com which presents in a developed way the global implications of this universal sacred code of Creation, and the benefice its understanding, integration and practical applications will bring to the human race.

The Metatron's cube, the flower of Life and the imbricated Platonic solids

Another animation of the Metatron's cube, the flower of Life and the imbricated Platonic solids

Animations of the Torus or toroïdal vortex, ultimate nature of the Rota of the Marseilles Tarot

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