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MikeH  MikeH is offline
Join Date: 03 Nov 2007
Location: Oregon USA
Posts: 443
card 13, the High Priest.

Alexander replied very promptly to my emal about the 1910 deck. He repeated what he said on the web page, adding that the same deck printed in 1910 was printed in later years, too, and he didn't know if 1910 was the first year it came out, but he didn't know any earlier. He mentioned that it's been a while since he put those decks on the

So I will continue to call it "c. 1910/"

For card 13, here are: the c. 1910 Etteilla I from; Sumada's Etteilla II, before 1890,; and La Rue Etteilla III, 1890-1917,

The Etteilla II and III title of the card, “The High Priest,” and the appearance of a high church official on the Etteilla I and II, misled Papus into thinking that this card corresponds to the Pope in the Marseille sequence (The Diivnatory Tarot p. 18). But Etteilla said clearly in the second Cahier that card 1 corresponds to the Pope. And everything else points to the Lover as its Marseille counterpart; it is a card of love and marriage, as can be seen by its keywords, “Marriage” and “Union.” Etteilla is following the tradition in which the third person on the Lover card, if there is one, is someone sanctioning the marriage, if not a priest then perhaps a priestess or a parent.

One card that appears to have a priest is the Vieville, Paris, 1650 (below right): the third person looks more male than female. In the Schoen horoscope of 1515, where tarot card images were put as astrological Houses, the third person appears to be a priest (below center).

Another example is in the earliest known Love card, the Cary-Yale, the couple has above them a row of banners in alternating heraldic designs, suggesting the union of two families (above right). The serpent is certainly the Viscontis’; the other was probably originally Savoy, into which Filippo Visconti married in 1428. It might also have been Sforza, if the card was after 1449, when Francesco Sforza captured Pavia, which also had the white cross on red background as its banner. (See Kaplan Encyclopedia vol. 2.)

For the specific imagery, Etteilla was likely inspired by 17th century alchemical illustrations, for example this one from Michael Maier’s Tripus Aureus of 1618.

Now for the word lists. Again, words that are in either translation of Papus, and also in Orsini, are in regular type. Those in Papus only are in italics; and those in Orsini only in bold.
13. [Mariage.] MARRIAGE (13)-Union, Meeting, Joining, Assembling, Bond, Alliance, Vow, Oath, Intimacy, Copulation, Coupling, Chain, Slavery, Financial Straits [Gene; Stockman has "discomfort or difficulty "], Captivity, Servitude.

Reversed: Union. UNION. Society, Contacts, Concubinage, Adultery, Incest, Alloy, Blending, Mixture, Compounding.-Peace, Concord, Accord, Harmony, Correct [Good] Understanding [bonne intelligence; Stockman has "good terms"]. Reconciliation, Patching up.
These words include marriage in a metaphorical as well as literal sense. And the Reverseds, at least in Orsini’s word-list, include some disapproved forms of sexual relationship. This is perhaps why the modern Grimaud changes the reversed keyword from “union” to “Liaison.”

Here is Orsini's commentary on the card, c. 1838, with my explanatory comments in brackets.
The Egyptians were much invested in this hieroglyph, because they regarded marriage as an absolute commandment of the Creator.

If the consultant is a young man, this card announces a union to follow soon with the person he desires; if the consultant is married, it will be one of his relatives who marries.

If this card is found near no. 18 [Traitor], it means betrayal of love [c. 1853 has “love cooling off” (refroidissement d’amour), which doesn’t quite fit]; if it is near no. 14 [Devil], defy a person who makes a good impression in order to deceive you; beside no. 70 [8 of Coins: Brown-haired girl], your existing or future marriage will be very happy and your lineage will be numerous.

Near no. 57 [Hopes], it announces an impending reconciliation with a person whom you have not seen for a long time.

When this card is reversed, it predicts only contrary things: failed marriages, trouble in your household or in that of your friends [this last, starting with “trouble...” omitted from c. 1853 edition].
The word "reconciliation" is in the word-lists, albeit in the Reverseds.

The 1865 booklet, written for the Etteilla III, merely repeats some of Orsini. It says the card means marriage to the one whom one desires, or if already married, for a very near relative. Near 57, it means reconciliation, and near 70, many children.

The c. 1910 Grimaud booklet, probably written 1826, has some melodramatic twists:
It is a marriage which cannot miss for you or someone who touches you closely. But this marriage will please you.

If this card is reversed, the person that you love will marry another, and you will have great despair as a result.

IF it is near no. 18, you will be ignobly betrayed in love. The person to whom you have given your confidence will steal the heart of the one you love.

If no. 14 follows, defy a dark-haired person who wants to marry you; that person will be unfaithful.

If no. 13 is near no. 70, your marriage, made or to be made, will prosper, and your children will be rich
The plots of numerous potboiler romances may be found here. Only a few of them were retained by Orsini.

Here is the modern Grimaud. Its interpretation is closer to Orsini than to the c. 1910, in that it includes Orsini's association to 57. For the reversed meaning of 13, it offers yet a third alternative.
The High Priest. This card represents marriage or a love affair with its ups and downs.
R [right side up]: it is all right to sign the contract.
U [upside down]: Your matrimonial plans will be delayed.
R: With 14: a dark-haired person deceives you.
U: No. 18 brings you no happiness. But 70 [now “Pleasant girl”] and 57 herald a lot of happiness because of children and return of affection.
The modern writer has ameliorated some of the others’ extremes: when reversed, there is not failed marriage, or dashed hopes, but merely delayed marriage; also, the prediction with 18 [Traitor] is stated very vaguely and is only a problem when 13 is reversed.

It seems odd to me that 70, Brown-haired Girl, predicts children, as that is not mentioned in any of the interpretations for that card, nor in the word-lists, which only has “passive” and “depth of night.” My only explanation--and there doesn’t have to be one--is that there is a residue here (and so far, only here) of an association, from the Theology of Arithmetic (and only there), of the number 8 with Rhea, mother and grandmother of the Olympian gods.
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