About Tchalaï

You’ve heard of Tchalaï, haven’t you ? This summer I have decided to put on the grill the well known French Tarot author. On the grill, figuratively speaking, of course, peace be to her ashes. Tchalaï was of Romani descent and she promoted the idea  that the Tarot derived from a divinatory tool used by her ancestors. Here are some extracts of an English translation of a text by her, originaly in French, on the subject . Rom ( No relationship with Tchalaï or her brothers and sisters) 

Preface to TZIGANE TAROT

(Tarot of the Roms)

by Tchalai

My Brothers They had eyes dark as night, my brothers, As if cut in black diamond They had moon-woven hair, my brothers, Glistening blue in endless mist And teeth like wolves’ teeth, my brothers, Joyous teeth clenched tight on their hungers The voice they had, borne it was from the stars, Fascinating and misunderstood the hands they had, fearsome hands, my brothers, And the world was drunk at their fingertips Gone are they on all the paths, my brothers, They were warm like fire, and fresh like the wind Let me touch your hair your brow your lips, Scrutinize the palms of your hands I’m only searching for my brothers everywhere around, To live is to know how to love Gone they are on all the paths, my brothers, But in every mirror, I find them again! Tchalaï In the Beginning… In the beginning was one word, And this word was ROM and this word was in the Rom All that came came from this word came from this Rom … … That which people know is this: That we are the Rom That we roam along the roads accomplishing our Tzigane things and sleeping out of doors at night … … That which people do not know… Land of the culture of old! India! Where is thy sun? Covered with the smoke of centuries We have lost thee left thee behind! Countries and sovereigns were changing all around… Roads wagons and horses go by Through meadows sands and woodland… O history! Like in the cauldron Where peoples are cooked You have thrown the Tzigane family! You have burnt their heart in the fore… Leska Manush Department of Linguistics Institute of Social Sciences USSR Academy of Sciences That these explanatory notes should begin with a poem originating from the USSR Academy of Sciences is absolutely intentional, for there is nothing esoteric about It.(…) We Roms possess Tarots which have come to us from the « Chaturangas » that our ancestors the Rajput Princes had painted on round pieces of mother-of-pearl or leather. We draw them for one another following our elaborate and familiar laws which make life so livable. The present one was made for a brother, or a non-Tzigane cousin, who humbly wishes to forsake his prejudices and ready-made ideas (for which he naturally bears no responsibility), and open his mind to our true story, our true inner landscape, to our people as a whole. For this reason, the Tzigane Tarot is termed « ethnological game ». But these images, coming as they do from another world and another thought-system, carry an extremely strong archetypal charge. Interpretation of the draws is very simple. This Tarot is not polluted by centuries of erroneous interpretations like most others. This is why it has great precision at divinatory level. Originating in the age old wisdom of the Roms, its indications are vigorous, simple, easy to apply. Four methods for drawing the cards are exposed, at the end of this booklet (however, do read the explanations concerning the cards before). For this reason, the Tzigane Tarot Is also called a « divinatory game ». Tchalaï …from the preface to Instructions for TZIGANE TAROT by Tchalai completed July 22, 1984 at the Old Rectory, Ath Chill Mahntain, Eire Translation by Josee Noel … reproduced with the gracious permission of the author. Copyright 1984 Tchalai… all rights reserved


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À propos de Rom

Je me nomme Marc Olivier Rainville. Je suis connu sous le nom de Rom depuis mes débuts dans la Tarotsphère en 1998. Je suis Bachelier en Animation et recherche culturelle, mineure en Histoire de l’art, de l’Université du Québec à Montréal (Promotion 1982). Je m’intéresse à l’histoire du Tarot depuis 1985. J’ai eu la chance de bénéficier d’un concours de circonstances favorables qui m’a permis d’approfondir mes recherches sur le sujet. J’en livre le fruit ici.
Bienvenue sur Tarotchoco !

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