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

Before going on, I need to point out that I made an addition to my previous post around 7:15 Pacific Daylight Time on March 29. I hope ayone who read my post before that will go back and look at it.

Now I would like to move on to examine other versions of Etteilla I. In Kaplan vol. 2, there are four such (pp. 402, 400, 403, 409). I will call them Etteilla Ia, Ib, Ic, and Id respectively. The reason why the pages are not consecutive is that Kaplan misdates a couple I am following Dummett et al’s convincing chronology. They don’t say much about these decks’ individual features; but for me, each serves as a kind of commentary on Etteilla’s original effort of 1789.

The first, my Etteilla Ia, is that identified by Kaplan as German and mid-19th century. It is actually from 1793, accompanying a book published in that year (Decker et al p. 113). Kaplan says it resembles the “Lismon,” which is Etteilla II. Decker et al disagree, and I concur. Temperance, Prudence, Maladie, and the 10 of Coins are all characteristically Etteilla I; Lismon would have Temperance with an elephant instead of two jugs; Prudence holding her staff up proudly instead of bending down to look at the snake; a more Aaron-looking Magician facing left; and a 1+3+3+3 pattern for the 10 instead of the 1+2+3+4. They are engraved and hand-painted, Decker et al say (p. 113), and not “printed by lithography and hand-painted” as Kaplan reports (vol. 2 p. 401).

This deck is very similar to the 1789. The astrological signs are all there, and all seven days of creation designated on cards 2-8, in the same style as in 1789, except that on card 2 instead of “3 Crea.” we have “3 schoepfungstag,” day of creation, abbreviated to “schoepfung” thereafter. Likewise all four elements are designated in script with the abbreviation “Elem.” or “El.”; the script is hard to make out. I presume that it is merely copying the 1789 in this writing, although I haven’t seen all the relevant 1789 cards. And as Decker et al point out, on the first eight cards the lettering on the bottom is right-side-up, when it is usually upside-down.

This German deck, as Kaplan shows it, has all the double-numbering of cards 13-17 that Decker et al point out for the 1789. The 16 on card 15 is quite clear; 16 has 17; and 17 has 13. Here are the cards of interest, from Kaplan p. 402:

It still seems to me that the designer, here as in 1789, is associating these Etteilla cards with particular Marseille cards in their capacity as “signs of death.” I have already discussed this point in detail in my previous post (and anyone who read it before 7:15 pm PDT on March 29, please read my addition).

Another innovation of this deck is that the words are not always even free translations of Etteilla’s keywords. In 7, instead of Protection we have Increase, “Vermebrung.” But nothing like that word appears in the lists of synonyms for that card; I think he took it from another card, I forget which [added later: it is from 20, Fortune], where it is called "Augmentation." Perhaps here it reflects something about the day of creation on which fish and birds are created: propagation of the species. Or it comes from the Marseille card associated with it, the Emperor, whose benevolent rule leads to increased prosperity.

In 9, Justice, instead of merely repeating the German “Gerichtigkeit,” the deck has for the reversed “Die Obrigkeit,” Government. This comes from the synonyms (both versions) which have “Legislation,” “Lois” (laws), “Codes,” etc.

In 10, Temperance, we see "Die Geistlichkeit, Spirit, as the reversed instead of the German for “Pretre,” priest. In the synonyms,” we have “Religion” and “Sect” (both versions), which perhaps can be generalized to "Spirit."

In 16, the words are “Gericht,” Judgment, and “Meinung,” Opinion. In Etteilla, it is simply "Judgment" twice. In this case, the contrast between good and dubious judgment is in the list of synonyms, which includes “weak mind” and “pusaliminity” in the reverseds. It is clearer in the c. 1838 “Julia Orsini” list (presumably from the Dictionnaire than it is in Papus’s (presumably from D’Odoucet): the c. 1838 has “Injustice,” “Demence,” and “Betise”: injustice, madness, beastliness, none of which is in Papus’s list.

In 24 reversed, instead of one word, comparable to “Desunion,” there are three: Trennung, Zank, Hass: Separation, Quarreling, Hatred. All are in the synonym lists.

Decker et al speculate that the designer of this deck was Hisler, Etteilla’s Prussian disciple. If so, he would likely have had the Dictionnaire with him for reference. Even then he did not follow it precisely. But his modifications do not detract from the overall spirit of Etteilla’s perspective.
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