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MikeH  MikeH is offline
Join Date: 03 Nov 2007
Location: Oregon USA
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Timeline II continued from preceding post: 1784-1791.

May 19. Etteilla publishes Supplement au troisième cahier (Supplement to the 3rd Cahier). (DDD p. 84). See and

Jacques Grassett Saint-Sauveur (1757-1810), French diplomat and author (on his life, thread, participates in a book series 1784-1788, Costumes Civils actuels de tous les Peuples connus. It was dedicated to "Charles-Eugene-Gabriel de La Croix, Maréchal de Castries, Comte d'Alais, premier Baron des Etats du Languedoc, Ministre d'Etat", who was "secrétaire d'État à la marine” (Secretary of State of the Navy) 1780-1787 ( , The de La Croix family came from Montpellier, as did Grasset Saint Sauveur's. This project puts Saint-Sauveur, who will publish 20 books as well as decks of divination cards, in the company of high government officials, perhaps including de La Croix’s friend the wealthy Jacques Necker, retired in 1781 as France’s Director-General of Finances, returnng in 1788 and becoming Finance Minister July 1789 - Sept. 1790 ( From 1788, such officials will include François-Emmanuel Guignard de Saint-Priest (1735 – 1821), associated with a divinatory deck of c. 1790. See

1785a, 30 Jan. Cagliostro installed in Paris, promoting his “Egyptian Rite”, conducting healings and seances, to great acclaim. 23 Aug, he is arrested and imprisoned in the Bastille from association with con artist Jeanne de Saint-Remy, accused of being part of the "diamond necklace" swindle. 30 May 1786, he is judged innocent but banished from France by the King, his seized goods not returned. Goes to London, Basle, and finally Rome, where the Inquisition condemns him to death for heresy, changed to life imprisonment; he dies in prison 1795. (Dates in Gervaso's Cagliostro p. 122, 147, 239.)

1785b. Etteilla publishes Fragment sur les hautes sciences, suivi d’une note sur les trois sortes de medicines donnees aux hommes (Fragment on the High Sciences, followed by a note on the three kinds of medicines given to men) (DDD p. 84).

1785c. Etteilla publishes his 4th Cahier (with Fortitude as frontispiece) and its Supplement. These have been reprinted in Jacques Halbronn’s L’Astrologie du Livre de Thot (1785) Suivis de Recherches sur l’Histoire de l’Astrologie et du Tarot, Paris 1993. In the 4th Cahier he sets up correspondences between the 12 signs of the zodiac, in order starting with Aries, with the first 12 of his trumps. He also has the 10 Coin pip cards correspond to the 7 planets plus head and tail of the Dragon and Part of Fortune. Attributes these assignments to the Egyptians (DDD p. 87). The 4th Cahier Supplement in part is an addition to the 3rd Cahier. That part is online with translation at and

1785d. The last of the Cahiers in order of publication is the 2nd Cahier, with Justice as Frontispiece, explaining the cards as the Book of Thot, put together under the supervision of Hermes Trismegistus. Etteilla mostly focuses on the deck as a whole and as a series seen in a variety of ways. Cards 2-8 represent the days of creation, but not in sequence; cards 2-5 are the four elements, not in sequence. He gives correspondences between the Marseille tarot trumps and his “Egyptian” ones and describes some of the trumps. Selections from the 2nd Cahier, in French with English translation are at (previously posted on the “Etteilla Timeline” thread)

1785e. Etteilla publishes Philosophie des hautes sciences, ou la clef donnée aux enfans de l’art, de la science & de la sagesse (Philosophy of the high sciences, or the key given to children of art, science and wisdom) (DDD p. 84).

1786. Etteilla publishes Supplement au deuxième cahier, ou mieux cinquième livre des tarots (Supplement to the 2nd cahier, or better 5th book of the tarots). (DDD p. 84). A short selection, with translation, is posted at; find “161”.

c. 1786.
A treatise on alchemy: Les sept nuances de l’oeuvre philosophique-hermétique, suivies d’un traité sur la perfection des métaux (The seven grades of the philosophical-Hermetic work, followed by a treatise on the perfection of metals). “Historians of alchemy regard Etteilla’s book as the last alchemical treatise of the classical period” (DDD p. 88; they cite the 20th century writer Conseliet).

1787a. Two books by Etteilla unrelated to tarot. The title of one may be translated as The art of knowing men by inspecting the forehead, or elements of metposcopy according to the ancients. The other is The art of reading in the lines and characters that are in the palms, or elements of chiromancy. (DDD p. 88)

Etteilla invited to speak to the “Philelethes,” which had been founded in 1775 as a Masonic-like secret society. Etteilla in his Treatise on the Perfection of Metals had said he had the highest regard for “true Masonry,” but “All the little denominations of lodges and grades announce folly more than wisdom.” (DDD p. 89).

1787c (end)
. Melchior Montmignon d'Odoucet is “recommended” to Etteilla as a student. (DDD p. 104, quoting Etteilla’s 1790 Apperçu..; see entry 1790d below). His studies proceed in 1788.

1788a. Etteilla organizes the “Société des Interpretes du Livre de Thot,” so as to gather together all those who were interested in the “interpretation of the Book of Thot”. Etteilla made “correspondent general.” He designs his 78 card deck, raises funds, has the engravings made. (DDD p. 90)

1788b. Claude Hugand, a Lyon native, joins the Temple of the Sun, and also Etteilla's Société (Decker p. 191, from Amadou)

1788c. Hisler visits Etteilla in Paris (Decker p. 191).

1788d. Pierre Joseph Joubert de La Salette (1742-1833), an army officer stationed in Grenoble, contacts Hugand and de Bonrecueille in Lyon, joins Etteilla's group (Decker p. 192).

1788e. Date that Albert D’Alby says his L'Oracle parfait, ou nouvelle manière de tirer les cartes, au moyen de laquelle chacun peut tirer son horoscope” was approved by the censor; online at discussed at and Mentioned by DDD p. 146 and note 8, p. 282. It uses three 36 card decks, each 32 + four special ones. See also entry 1802, the year of publication and the first date actually known. In the same year is Etrennes nouvelles de l'horoscope de l'homme et de la femme By M. G. D. R., published by G. Quinet, using an expanded piquet set of 36 cards, online at

1789a. Etteilla applies for a “general” patent to print his deck on 19 Jan. 1789, granted 5 Feb. 1789, registered on 13 March (DDD p. 92). A 4 page pamphlet entitled “Livre de Thoth” dated 1789 says, “See the Book of Thoth, which I am permitted to publish today, with the King’s appointment.” Also establishing Etteilla’s involvement with this deck are copies, made by their author, of letters written in Lyon by De Bonrecuille, one of the “interprètes.” On 27 November he writes to Etteilla: ‘I am very glad to hear that we will soon have the Tarot cards you have restored.’ Then on 14 March 1789: “We very satisfactorily have received the Tarot cards which you sent us...” (DDD p. 91) The keywords are those of the 3rd Cahier. In addition, Cards 2-5 each have the name and number of one of the 4 elements, not in sequence; cards 2-8 say which of the 7 days of creation, not in sequence, relates to the card. Unlike most later versions, there is no sunburst on card 1 and no clothing on the small figures in card 14. Cards 13-17 have extra numbers: a 14 on card 13, a 15 on card 14, a 16 on card 15, a 17 on card 16, and a 13 on card 17 (DDD p. 93). DDD say that according to the Dictionnaire Synonymique of 1790, they are "signs of death." In the 2nd Cahier Supplement of 1786, Etteilla says of the double numbering on 13-17, that it indicates "the chain from birth to death" (p. 162: "la chaîne de la naissance à la mort"). For more details see

1789b. In May, National Assembly declared, inaugurating the French Revolution. Bastille prison stormed 14 July, new government formed by Louis XVI July 16-19.

1789c. In Lyon Hugand writes a pamphlet Faites Mieux, J'y Consens, ou les Instructions d'Isis Divulguées par un Electeur de la Commune de Lyon, en l'Année 1789 (Do Better, I Agree, or the Instructions of Isis Revealed by a Voter of the Commune of Lyons, in the Year 1789). (DDD p. 100f, Decker p. 191. For a translation and discussion of some of this pamphlet, see

1789d. Etteilla in an advertisement of his work mentions that lessons are available from d'Odoucet as well as from himself (Decker p. 192).

c. 1789 or later. The "Nouvel Eteila". A deck pf 32 cards with small inserts of playing cards at the bottom right, crudely added to the originals, plus 4 cards with “Eteila” in the corner instead ( ). According to the BM, which has a deck at, they are “late 18th“, “Anonymous”, and “36 cards”, On ATF they are at “Late 18th century” is also the dating in an 1898 publication at, item 53, of a deck called the “Petit Oracle des Dames/Nouvel Eteila/Petit Necromancien” published by a “Mme. Finet”. The Rothschild Collection at Waddesdon Manor has an uncut identical to the cards of the BM deck except for added color; the sheet is labeled “Nouvel Eteila, ou le Necromancier” on the top right, no date (information from Philippa Plock at The BnF attempts no dating for a “Nouvel Eteila ou le petit nécromancien” in their catalogue, at Some of the imagery of the BM’s deck is very close to Etteilla’s tarots published 1789 (e.g. cards its 15, 16, 25, 34, 36). So either it is after then, or Etteilla’ tarot borrowed heavily from it (unlikely because the cards in question derive from prior French tarot, and the Anonymous is not a tarot). Other of its cards are similar to a c. 1790 66-card deck (see “c. 1790” entry). Many of the cards in the Anonymous are reversals of cards in the c. 1790 (or vice versa). Deck comparisons are in the first two posts of The deck has 4 images found also in the 33 card version of a Saint-Saveur "geographic" deck, 3 of them reversed. These cards are dated "18th century" by the Metropolitan Museum,, for more on which see "c. 1820" entry, the date of a 52+1 card version. The earliest verified date for a “Finet” is 1824, per Kwaw at, citing Depaulis personal communication 24 Dec. 2015. There is also a c. 1840 “Finet” in the Cary Collection ( and ). A deck with the same title (Nouvel Eteila, ou le petit necromancien) but lacking the small cards in the corner also appear under the name of “Robert” in the Bibliographie de la France for March 1820 (, and in a BNF listing at . DDD (p. 144, citing in note 5 p. 282 Depaulis 1984, no. 133), had given a dating of c. 1810 to the same “Robert”, as did Depaulis in Tarot, Jeu, et Magie (, per Kwaw). For another “Nouvel Eteila”, also a Petit Etteilla type, see entry 1791b.

D’Odoucet publishes a booklet entitled “French Revolution, the events that have caused it, accompanied it and those which will follow it, prognosticated through Mr. M. Nostradamus’s prophetical ‘centuries’”. DDD comment (pp. 103f):
...there a final footnote expresses negative feelings for two magi ‘living in France, one in Paris and the other in Lyons’.. It is easy to recognize Etteilla, and Hugand, his Lyonese disciple; ‘the first one a “half-savant” who is causing much trouble to science by stepping back from his sacred duties of a husband, of a father, etc., with impunity’, is accused of ‘real ignorance, concealed with much art.’ Hugand is ‘enthusiastic’, but ‘less skilled’.
D’Odoucet also puts his name to a leaflet promoting a forthcoming journal; the leaflet ends “AMOUR POUR LE ROI,” i.e. Love for the King (DDD p. 104).

. De La Salette joins the Temple of the Sun. Reveals its existence to Etteilla & is reprimanded for breaking the vow of secrecy. (Decker p. 192, Amadou 26ff.)

1790c. D'Odoucet publishes Revolution Francaise in Paris. It has a footnote critical of Etteilla and Hugand, but not mentioning their names. Etteilla is judged a neglectful husband and father, as well as a charlatan. Hugand is declared unskilled. (DDD pp. 103-104; for scans, see .

1790d. 1 July. Etteilla founds, with his son, the “Nouvelle Ecole de Magie” (New School of Magic), on “le premier juillet de la seconde annee de la liberte francaise,” as a July 19 leaflet for a lecture announced: the first July of the second year of French liberty. The Ecole publishes Cours theorique et pratique du livre de Thot (In full: Theoretical and practical course in the book of Thoth, so as to understand correctly the art, science, and wisdom of giving oracles). 6 lessons are planned, but all copies have only 4 (DDD p. 95). Another book is “The Game of Tharaoth, following one of the ways of the first Egyptians.” Another is the Apperçu sur La Nouvelle Ecole de Magie (Prospectus on the New School of Magic), where he calls d'Odoucet "Dodo", which Decker (p. 196) says is equivalent to the infantile "goo goo" in English and not the name of the famously stupid bird. Etteilla attacks this disciple’s "despising tone" in one who “should have been grateful” for his master’s 35 or 36 years of studying (DDD p. 104). Another pamphlet, November, is “Oracle pour et contra mille sept cent dix-huite-onze [Oracle for and against 1791]”, seen at (

1790d. De Bonrecueille, Hugand, and de La Salette have all begun to compile interpretations of individual cards. De Bonrecueille writes de La Salette: "Brother Hugand has indeed received your epistle on the synonyms of the Book of Thoth, but according to the announcement made by Monsieur Etteilla, we had presumed that you had composed something more complete about it" (Decker p. 197, from Amadou, p. 20).

c. 1790. A 66 card hand-painted divinatory deck now in the BnF ( is produced, perhaps for a family member of François-Emmanuel Guignard de Saint-Priest; but it might have been for the court in his capacity as “Secrétaire d'Etat à la Maison du Roi”). Some designs later appear in "Petit Oracle des Dames" decks, combined with designs from Etteilla’s tarot; they are also, reversed, in the “c. 1789 or later” deck above. For the cards, see the first three posts of thread, additional comments in posts 4 and 5, more in other threads, e.g and, with links. Here is a summary. Why Guignard, and when? Card 66 has a map of an area just north of the Danube River in what is now Rumania showing places where the Russian army scored key victories over the Ottomans in 1769-1770; Guignard was then the French ambassador to the Ottoman Empire (, posts 53, 55). Also, card 3 is the “Minister of the Interior”. The latter was an office created by the King on 7 Aug. 1790, (, filled by Guignard until Jan. 1791 (compare the blue sash on the Wikipedia portrait with that on the card). But the handwritten “Ministre de l'Intérieur” on the card is on what looks like a piece of paper pasted on ( Guignard, before assuming that office (or that office was renamed), was “Secrétaire d'Etat à la Maison du Roi”, from July 16 of 1789 (Philippe at, confirmed at Card 4 is “minister of war”. The man on that card is most likely Jean-Frédéric de La Tour-du-Pin Gouvernet, who held the office of “Ministre de la Guerre” from Aug. 4, 1789, to November 16, 1790, and who was part of the same post-July 16 government as Guignard (and Jacques Necker, who would be the “finance minister” of card 54). Both he and Guignard had roots in Grenoble, a springboard of the Revolution. So the deck was likely produced sometime between July 16, 1789, and August 4, 1790. Guignard's connection is to Etteilla: The town of Saint-Priest, with its Saint-Priest family chateau, is located just outside of Lyon, where Etteilla’s disciple, attorney (and son of a local "sieur") Claude Hugand, lived. The “Prelate” (card 61) could be the Archbishop of Lyon. A stronger connection is to de La Salette and Grenoble; see entry 1794d. On a similar Russian deck but of 42 cards, see entry 1825.

1791a. Etteilla’s Nouvelle Ecole de Magie publishes a 4 page pamphlet every week from 1 Jan. To 27 March, then 4 more. Issue 1 is devoted to a plan for old-age insurance. Others are on administration, social insurance, and against the death penalty. No. 14 calls for abolishing taxes on playing cards, or at least divinatory ones, e.g. “the Book of Thoth, renewed from the Egyptian, and the Etteila, composed of 33 cards.” This last became known as the “Petit Etteilla”; the French card images are in the middle of each card and the keywords from Etteilla’s 1770 book above and below. For examples, many later reprints can be found under “Petit Etteilla” in Google Images. Etteilla also reissues (he says) his 1783 L’homme a projets, “proudly stating in its forward,” DDD report, “that he had foreseen the 1789 events some six years ago.” Another publication is Etteilla, ou l’art de lire dans les cartes/ (DDD p. 95f) (this is the booklet that is the basis for the 1751-1759 material above).

1791b. A card-maker named Lebouviet publishes 24 “Eteila” packs (DDD p. 96 and 274, note 61, which cites “Arch. Nat. (Paris), G2 185, file no. 16: “Etat des jeux controles et des produits operes pendant les premiers mois de l’annee 1791”) No pack with his name survives; but there is a 33 card pack “chez Etteilla, Rue de Bauvais, Paris” (DDD p. 96, and p. 274, note 62, now at the Bodlean Library, Oxford). and , from There is also the undated 36 card pack with “Eteila” on four of the cards, see entry “c. 1789 or later”.

1791c. In February de Bonrecueille writes to Etteilla, "You will find here enclosed the manuscript of our estimable competitor Monsieur de La Salette. There are many synonyms [for individual Tarot cards] whose fortunate conjunctions I have admired. However, there are many others that I do not think are at their natural places. Either he is wrong or I am; but it is true that the work is very helpful, and--for fear it would not be printed--I made a copy of it." (Decker p. 213, from Wicked Pack, p. 110.)

On 22 June. King and Queen of France are arrested following their flight from the Tulleries Palace, returned under guard.

1791e. On 30 Sept., in Vienna, is the premier of Mozart’s Magic Flute, an opera using Egyptian-style Masonic initiations. Hundreds of performances in the 1790s. It had been preceded by the collaboratively written Philosopher’s Stone of 1790. For more on this see .

1791f. De Bonrecueille, a government bureaucrat, is transferred from Lyon to Toulon. At his urging Hugand is now "first pilot" of the Temple of the Sun (Decker pp. 198-199). In Lyon Hugand publishes Cartomancie, our l’art de développer la chaine des événements de la vie: récréations astrologiques par le livre de Thot (Cartomancy, or the Art of Developing the Succession of Life's Events: Astrological Recreation through the Book of Thot. (DDD p. 101)

1791g. Dictionnaire synonymique du livre de Thot published anonymously (Decker, p. 197, says by Hugand in Lyon). The author is probably de La Salette. His name is mentioned as author of such a work by another student, de Bonrecueille. The author himself says he “lives in a village” and is “joined to considerable details related to the troops of whom I am in command.” In its “Preliminary discourse,” the author says that he was preceded “in the same undertaking” by another member, M. Jejalel (Hugand’s “Cabalistic” name). He also mentions that another member, M. de B., is occupied with the same task. That is likely de Bonrecuille (DDD p. 110). The core of the book, DDD says, is its ‘Table-des-synonymes de livre de Thot,’ pp. 19-57, following Etteilla’s order of the cards and their keywords.

On 13 December, Etteilla dies, age 53, leaving his son, his widow, and the companion of his later years, Elizabeth. He also leaves, as he said in the forward to L’homme a projets, 500 students, of whom 150 became professional cartomancers, but only two were really good; “all the others are charlatans”. One is Hisler, who lived in Berlin. The other is Hugand, in Lyon. But the one taking over, at least in the short term, and acting as publisher, is D’Odoucet, as letters by other followers make clear. (DDD p. 100; Decker, p. 198, says that Etteilla died on Dec. 12.)
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