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MikeH  MikeH is offline
Join Date: 03 Nov 2007
Location: Oregon USA
Posts: 443

If Julia Orsini is a made-up name for a hack, that's perfectly OK. I was just trying to get material from the Etteilla School independently of Papus. Hacks are all the better, because they won't be introducing their own ideas into the mix, hopefully, but just assembling other people's. Decker et al comment (p. 149):
Although Julia Orsini is professing to expound the method of Mlle Le Normand, no source was available for that: almost everything in her book is copied from Etteilla and the Interpretes. So it is with her explanations of the individual cards, her table of synonyms, her list of the hundred most usual questions posed by consultants and her royal game of human life...
That's fine by me, if it's really true.

Unfortunately hacks are also prone to making mistakes, such as reversing "Chute" and "Naissance" in the Ace of Batons. Since the cards also make this mistake, and the cards were by "Lismon," i.e. Blocquel, perhaps the old theory that Julia Orsini = Blocquel is right. Perhaps he had some personal reason for doing the Ace of Batons that way, which then became holy writ until Papus or someone else then noticed the mistake.

Another thing is that "Julia Orsini" gives a lengthy but quite spurious quotation from Etteilla; the book cited, Les sept nuances, is genuine but the quotation is not, Decker et al say (p. 149); the page "Orsini" quotes, 240, does not even occur in sept nuances, which does not have 240 pages. So even hacks insert themselves into the work, at least to the extent of mixing things up, Uprights with Reverseds and a quotation purportedly from one thing which is really from something else (probably not by Etteilla, in Decker et al's opinion, base on the content) or just made up.

One question: why would the publisher use the name of such a notorious figure as Giulia Orsini for the alleged author? He's not trying to advertise his Grand Etteilla as a piece of chicanery, is he? If he were, few people would buy it. Or did his intended audience actually support Alexander VI as an unfairly maligned pope? Or is the publisher counting on no one's having heard of Giulia Orsini and making a private joke at the expense of his customers, which only people who knew some history would get? I tend to think the latter, given his spurious quote from Etteilla.

And to Mary, another question, since I am trying to separate genuine from fake Etteilla School material. For Etteilla's deck of 1789, you give extensive astrological correspondences for the trumps and the suit of coins. I presume you are basing yourself on Papus. Kaplan (Vol. 1, pp. 4-5) gives a different set of correspondences--although it's hard to figure out, because the correspondences are to the Marseille trumps (and to nothing in the suit of coins). His reference is to a summary by Oswald Wirth, 1927 (no specific book or page number given).

Who is right? According to Decker et al (p. 87), the correspondences were in the fourth "cahier" (volume) of Maniere de se recreer avec le jeu de cartes nommees tarots, p. 18, published 1785. In a footnote (46, p. 274) they add that "this fascicule and its supplement have recently been reprinted in Halbronn 1993." That is Jacques Halbronn, Etteilla. L'astrologie du livre de Thot (1785), suivie de Recherches sur l'histoire de l'astrologie et du tarot par Jacques Halbronn, according to their index. But they don't say what the correspondences there are. Did you happen to check Halbronn? It would save me some work. Anyway, your time-line should give 1785 for the correspondences (whatever they are), not 1789, since they are not on the cards but in the fourth and last "cahier," 1785. [Note added next day by MikeH: this criticism of the time-line is wrong, in that the astrological correspondences are in fact on the 1789 cards, just as Mary gives them. I was looking at another Etteilla I deck, in Kaplan vol. 2 p. 400, assuming that all Etteilla I decks were alike. I should have been looking at the 1789 cards in Decker et al and their discussion of them. I make this correction in my next post below, with pictures. However it appears that 1785 is the right date for Etteilla's first published statement of the zodiacal correspondences, as confirmed in today's post by Ptah, quoting from the source. So it might be appropriate to make this addition to the time-line.]

Hazel and Revak ( give the same list of astrological correspondences as you do. But they don't give a specific reference, just "Etteilla." Maybe they just relied on Papus. But their list of correspondences between Etteilla and the Tarot of Marseille trumps is the almost same as that given in Decker et al (p. 86), which is almost the same as Papus's. There are only two differences: in Decker et al and in Hazel/Revak, the Pope corresponds to Etteilla's card 1; and in Decker et al, the Fool corresponds to his 0. Hazel/Revak don't mention the Fool; apparently he has no astrological significance. For myself, I didn't know Etteilla had a 0; I guess he did in 1485. So probably your list of astrological correspondences is the right one, too. I am assuming that Decker et al didn't use Papus as their source, but checked him against the original four books (cahiers) of the Maniere de se recreer avec le jeu de cartes nommees tarots.)

Still, someone should check your and Hazel/Revak's list of astrological correspondences against Etteilla himself, since Decker et al don't have one. Unfortunately the only library in North America with Halbronn's book is the NY Public Research Library. I don't expect they lend it out. Maybe if I email them nicely, they will make me copies of the right pages. But I hope someone has already done this work. (And maybe I will just forget it, since I'm not really interested in the astrological correspondences at this point anyway.)
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