Asmodeus

Russian Tarot of St. Petersburg



17-Jan pulled card [deck: choose for me; one card spread] from Russian Tarot of St. Petersburg as focus to collect a cloud of impressions, ideas & whatnot. never heard of this deck before. 21-Jan worked 03-Feb Full Moon chart [Asteroid Listing] where Sun & Moon conjunct Russia & Anastasia.


Russian Tarot of St. Petersburg, Cynthia Elizabeth Giles

{Preface}
There is one interesting item which I couldn't find a place for in the book, so I thought I'd mention it here. Yury Shakov created an extra card for the deck, something of a "title page," apparently, which bears an image found nowhere in the Tarot tradition. As nearly as I can tell, based on the conventions of religious iconography, the figure on the card is St. Jerome. Saints (since their true likenesses often remains unknown) were made identifiable in art by giving them certain symbolic accessories, and St. Jerome — a Christian scholar and Church Father who lived in the fourth century — was typically shown in art accompanied by an owl, a token of wisdom and solitude, befitting Jerome's life as an ascetic; and often by writing implements, signifying his importance as the translator of the Old Testament into Latin.

St. Jerome was well-loved in Russia (see the commentary in this book on the Strength card), but I don't have any idea why Yury Shakov might have chosen to give him his own card in the Russian Tarot of St. Petersburg! I can only speculate that it might have something to do with Jerome's role as translator — perhaps a parallel with Shakov's own undertaking, to "translate" the Tarot into Russian imagery.
. . . . . .
{162}
The next pair, Strength and The Hermit, were not originally a pair at all. In old-style Tarots, card number 8 was not Strength but Justice. Waite reversed the places of the two cards for unexplained esoteric reasons. Ever since [Antoine] Court de Gébelin introduced the idea of an esoteric Tarot, there had been a great deal of debatge over the "real" order of the cards; many Tarot theorists claimed that the cards would reveal their occult message only when the right order was known. Perhaps the bes way to look at the matter is to look at all of the next four cards together. Strength and Justice, regardless of their placement, are qualities sought by the Hermit in the face of complex and mysterious reality, represented by the Wheel of Fortune. [StrengthThe HermitWheel of FortuneJustice]

{163} VIII Strength
But the lion has also long been viewed as an animal unusually close to human beings; tales of lions and humans exchanging favors abounded throughout Europe, and part of the lion's nobility was believed to be his generosity. Lions were purported to release their prey if beseeched, and were reputed to be especially gentle in the company of virgins. One of the most famous stories concerning lions and humans, known as early as ancient Greece, is that of the good person who removes a thorn from the lion's paw, illustrating the triumph of gentleness over the wild power of nature. This story was told of St. Jerome, and it was said the lion thereafter became his devoted companion. St. Jerome was among the saints especially loved by Russians, even though he never visited there, and in a beautiful sixteenth-century icon, the saint is shown aiding the lion. Behind the two figures in the icon is the opening of a hermit's cave — very similar to the one shown in the next of the Russian Tarot of St. Petersburg trumps, The Hermit… One widely accepted interpretation of the image on the Strength card is the union of Leo and Virgo, represented by the lion and the young woman.

Russian Tarot of St. Petersburg [Cards]
St Jerome in the Desert, Lazzaro Bastiani
St Jerome in his Study, Albrecht Durer, 1514
Saint Jerome and the Lion, Hans Memling, about 1485-1490
Penance of Saint Jerome, Albrecht Durer, 1494
Hieronymus in der Wüste, Bellini c. 1455
Thoth: The Hermit

For I brought thee up out of the land of Egypt, saith the Lord,
and redeemed thee out of the house of servants;
and I sent before thee Moses, Aaron and Miriam.

—Micah 6:4