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

Good. We agree. I wasn't sure what you meant--that's why I said "(if I understand correctly)." You wrote:
The designs of the circa 1900 Grimaud Grand Etteilla and the 1890 Lismon Grand Etteilla have design variations, but that too hard for me to address right now. But here is a dating hint: if your copy of the 1890 Lismon tarots has an Ace of Wands with the upright meaning as Chute/Fall and the reversed meaning of Naissance/Birth--then you will see that the Editions Dusserre copy of the Julia Orsini text agrees with some of our (Aeclectic members) own 1890 copies of the Lismon card design... and subsequent circa 1900 Grimaud Grand Etteilla instructions and designs has changed or corrected the Ace of Wands so it matches Papus Divinatory Tarot, Waite's Key to the Tarot, etc.
Since you said that "the designs of the circa 1900 Grimaud Grand Etteilla...have design variations" and "subsequent 1900 Grimaud Grand Etteilla instructions and designs has changed or corrected the Ace of Wands" I thought that maybe you meant that the pre-1900 Grimaud Grand Etteillas were different than after c. 1900. I wasn't sure. Thanks for the quick clarification. I'm relieved. It would be a mess otherwise.

So now I will conclude my survey of Etteilla I versions. After tomorrow morning I'm not going to have much time for posting for a few days.

My final “Etteilla I” (Kaplan vol 2 p. 409), which I will call “Etteilla Id,” is the modern Grimaud, which Kaplan says is “contemporary.” In most respects it is similar to the previous deck, my “Etteilla 1c,” in having the sun on card 1, the clothes on card 14, and the astrological signs, the elements, and the days of creation outside the frame, appearing just as they did in 1789 but now on the bottom as well as the top of the card. In one respect, however, it is a huge departure from earlier decks: the keywords are in very many cases not the same as in 1789 or any early decks that I can find. Other decks departed in a few cases; but this one really goes overboard.

That in itself does not mean it is not faithful to Etteilla’s teachings, if the words are traditional ones, drawn from either of the two lists published by his disciples, or ones like them. So let us see if that is so. Here are the first 36, interrupted occasionally with my comments. First comes the Grimaud keywords, then whether they are in the word-lists, and finally what the original keywords were in 1789, as far as I can determine.

1. Ideal/Sagesse (Wisdom). Both are in the Julia Orsini synonym list, but not Papus’s. God is there, too, which perhaps explains the sun on the card. 1789: Etteilla/Questionnant.

2. Eclaircissement/passion. Both are in both lists.. 1789: Eclaircissement/Feu (fire).

3. Discussion/Instablite. Upright: Discours is close, as is Propos. Rev., not there. 1789: Propos (design)/Eau (water).

4. Revelation/Maniere d’Etre (manner of being). Upr., no. Rev. has “Maniere” by itself. 1789: Depouillement (Privation)/Air.

5. Voyage/Biens Rurales (Country properties). Both there. 1789: Voyage/Terre.

6. Secrets/Verites (Truths). In the lists we have: “en secret” and ”verite.” 1789: Nuit/Jour.

7. Appui (support)/Protection. Both there. 1789: Appui/Protection.

8. Tenacite/Progres. Neither there. 1789: Etteilla/Questionnante.

What we have so far: the designer does not find the words for the four elements useful any longer. Nor the 7 days of creation. Nor male and female querent. Instead, he will go to the word-lists and get primarily words describing personal and especially psychological characteristics of typical modern human beings. When he does not find what he wants, he apparently makes up his own keywords (unless someone knows of a source). And in general, he picks positive words rather than negative ones. Of his innovations so far (12 of them out of 16, only one is negative, “Instability.” And only one might be construed as non-personal: “country properties”—unless, of course, it refers to properties owned by the querent or someone of his or her acquaintance.

9. Justice/Legislature. Both there. 1789: Justice/Legiste.

10. Temperance/Conviction. Upr. there. Rev. not there. 1789: Temperance/Le Pretre.

11. Force/Pouvoir (Power). Upr. there. Rev. “pouvoir supreme.” 1789: Force/Souverain.

12. Prudence/Popularite. Upr: there. Rev. not there; closest is “population.” 1789: Prudence/Le Peuple.

In these “four cardinal virtues” it is clear that our designer is continuing to go for adjectives about personality rather than institutions, except in one case, Justice.

13. Mariage/Liaison. Upr., there. Rev: exact word not there, just “alliage,” alliance, plus a lot of negative things like incest, adultery, and concubinage. “Liaison” is a less judgmental word for a sexual relationship that not quite licit. 1789: Mariage/Union.

14. Violence/Faiblesse (weakness). Both are in the lists. 1789: Force Majeur/Force Majeur.

15. Maladie (sickness)/Chagrins (sorrow). Both there. 1789: Maladie/Maladie.

16. Opinion/Arbitrage (arbitration). Both there, although not typical; synonyms stress good judgment vs. bad judgment. 1789: Jugement/Jugement.

17. Deces (Death)/Incapacite. Upr: ok. Rev: closest is paralyse, but psychologically. 1789: Mortalite/Neant (nothingness).

18. Trahison (betrayal)/Faussete (falsehood). Both there, although rev. has hermits, related to the picture. 1789: Traitre/Traitre.

19. Misere/Prison. Both there, although words more various. 1789: Misere/Prison.

20. Fortune/Augmentation. Both ok. 1789: Fortune/Augmentation.

21. Proces (lawsuit)/Litige (legal dispute). Upr: not there. Rev: there, among a variety of other meanings. 1789: Dissension/Dissension.

You can see how the designer has introduced more variety into the words, and also avoided religiously tinged associations like “judgment” and “hermit.” I’m not sure why he sticks to such a narrow view of #21; perhaps the other words sounded religious. Now I will go through the suit of Batons, which goes through the four courts, King through Valet, and then 10 through Ace.

22. Probity/Indulgence. Both there, but lists have more variety. 1789: Homme de Campagne/Homme Bon et Severe. (Man of the Country, Good and Severe Man.)

23. Virtue/Devoument (devoted). Both there, among others. 1789: Femme de Campagne/Bonne Femme.

24. Change/Separation. Both there, among others. 1789: Depart/Desunion.

25. Originalite/Nouvelle (news). Upr: not there, but “suprenant” (surprising) is close. Rev. there. 1789: Etranger (Stranger)/Nouvelle.

26. Lies/Obstacle. Both there. 1789: Trahison (betrayal)/Obstacle.

27. Retard (delay)/Infortune (misfortune). Both there. 1789: Retard/Traverses (delay/crossing).

28. Repentir/Rejouissance (repent/rejoicing). Both there, but reversed. 1789: Campagne/Disputes Intestines.

29. Pourparlers (negotiations)/Indecision. Both there. 1789: same.

30. Domestiques/Attente (servants/expectation). Both there. 1789: same.

31. Opulence/Proces (opulance/Trial). Both there. 1789: Or (gold)/Proces.

32. Contrat/Prosperite. Upr: In Papus but not Orsini. Rev. there. 1789: Societe/Prosperite.

33. Enterprises/Fin de Tracas (end of worries). Both there. 1789: Enterprise, Fin de Peine (end of pain).

34. Chagrin/Surprises. Both there, but Rev. has more negative words than positive. 1789: Chagrin/Surprise.

35. Naissance/Faillete (birth/bankruptcy). Both there, but lists have more variety. 1789: Naissance/Chute (fall).

In general, our designer tends to avoid associations to the countryside and uses both Papus (no. 32) and Orsini (no. 1). He often picks atypical words; the word-lists go in more directions. I don’t know why he reversed the meanings in 28, from what is in both “Orsini’s” and Papus’s lists. In general he sticks closer to the originals than he did in the trumps.

I assume that these generalizations apply to the other suits, but I haven’t checked, except for Coins. There I notice that he avoids Etteilla’s associations to hair/skin color, which must come from the suit-colors in ordinary cards; we have to keep in mind that a shortened regular deck with 32 cards was his original basis for the keywords.

Decker et al’s pictures of the 1789 cards did not include any of the suit of Coins, which Etteilla associated with the seven planets, the north and south nodes, and the part of fortune. In’s presentation of all 10 of these cards, we can see diagrams for the non-planetary assignments and appropriate little figures at the bottom of the cards assigned to the planets. Their astrological symbols appear inside the coins in the upper part of the card.

Surprisingly to me, the Etteilla meanings do relate to attributions that I know for the planets, primarily in the Reverseds. Saturn, as the planet of melancholia, is associated with “inquietude,” anxiety; Jupiter, with ambition (and in the Uprights, the deck designer drops Etteilla’s “le present” for a word not in any of the lists, “Entourage” (surroundings); and Mars goes with “Incondute” (Misconduct), although more in the sense of discord.

The next, 74, has the Moon symbol and the meaning “obstruction.” In the lists, and the original keywords, “cloture” (enclosure) is primary, like a circle, as in the moon going around the earth, by the 18th century, the only heavenly body that did so. Obstruction is there, but very secondary. Some of the secondary Uprights relate more to the Moon: lunar medicine, white stone.

Then we have Venus and Celebrite (fame)/Mediocrite. The Reverseds lists have “enfant” (child) as primary, which is Etteilla’s keyword: “mediocrite” is in the list, but it derives from childish adult traits: purility, weakness. Venus is not especially known as a mother, but from the Renaissance on, she was often portrayed with her child Cupid. She also associates to the upright, Fame, to be sure.

Mercury, god of communication, has “lettre”—and an alchemical illustration with his astrological sign. Mercury was the key transformative agent in alchemy.

Then come the Sun and riches, of course, and “Parfaite Contentement” in the upright.

So there is much correlation between the planets as arranged by Etteilla and the keywords in the suit of Coins, mainly in the Reverseds, most of it retained by the Grimaud.

Then there is the issue of Masonic symbolism, etc., in Batons. I don’t know anything about that, nor do I think I need to for what we are doing now. Hopefully if and when I get the LWB I will be more informed.

I feel better about the modern Grimaud now than before I checked out the keywords against the old "Orsini" and Papus word-lists. The deck both modernizes the keywords and retains what was already there, in the word-lists of his disciples. Etteilla's own keywords were of his time, and from cartomantic traditions before his time.

However the question of how important they thought it was to use the whole lists is in doing Etteilla deck readings, as opposed to using only keywords, has yet to be discussed. That's where comparing the "Julia Orsini" books and booklets I think will shed some light.

I feel ready to move onto to the Etteilla II decks, unless someone has something to discuss about Etteilla I. Before comparing the "Julia Orsini" texts, I want to make sure we are clear on what characterizes these decks, for which the books and booklets were written.
Top   #47