Ancient Greece, especially Athens, was the keystone of all Western thoughts thanks primarily to works by Aristotle and Plato.
With Alexander the Great, dynasties of Greek origin ruled the most important kingdoms of the Middle East including Syria, Persia, and Egypt. The Romans themselves, conquerors of Greece, were so fascinated by this culture *which they had already run into in Southern Italy) that they modeled their philosophy and art on the Greek canons. With Rome, the Greek culture completed its spread throughout the Mediterranean basin and continental Europe.
The Greek religion
The Divine for an ancient Greek was a very different concept from that of today. The Greek religion was polytheistic and each god embodied an aspect of nature and the cosmos which, as the civilization became more refined, then evolved into a mental and philosophical concept.
Reverence for the gods was not so much "belief" as it was an attempt to humanize the forces of nature and abstract concepts (justice, truth, poetry: attributes which the gods began to have as the Hellenistic culture prospered). The Greek religion did not praise the gods but rather respected them as part of a whole, as a representation of an enormous and varied world that, even though unknown and frightening, could be approached, confronted, and understood. (...)
In the Major Arcana, each archetype was linked with an Olympic divinity. The association was made considering what the god represented for the common mind of the Greek world.
Three attributes, which help to understand the meaning and its correspondence with Greek mythology, are indicated for each Major Arcanum:
- the first one indicates a concept tied to the divinity;
- the second one indicates a behavioral aspect;
- the third one indicates the god's dominating character.
In the Olympus Tarot, the traditional Tarot suits (Chalices, Pentacles, Wands, and Swords) were associated with Places, Objects, Creatures, and Heroes.
The Chalices are the spirit and soul of things.
The Pentacles are the objects, possessions, potential and everything material.
The Wands represent instinct, the animalistic aspect, passions, and strength.
The Swords are logic, intelligence, knowledge, the human mind which overcomes everything.
Artwork by Luca Raimondo
Created and developed by Manfredi Toraldo
2002, Lo Scarabeo, Torino, Italy