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MikeH  MikeH is offline
Join Date: 03 Nov 2007
Location: Oregon USA
Posts: 443
timeline 1784-1810

Thanks for the reference, Huck [edited 7-1611, after rereading; I originally wrote "Mary"]. I will read it.

I have rewritten the entries for 1782 and 1783 slightly, giving the full quote from DDD in 1782 and mentioning that the 3rd Cahier has Prudence as its frontispiece and 1st Cahier has Temperance.

I am now moving on to 1784 and after, going as far as 1810. Again, DDD means Decker, Dummett, and Depaulis, Wicked Pack of Cards. Mostly what I am doing is condensing the relevant pages, and putting the material in chronological order. I have interjected events in French history gleaned from Wikipedia.

(Added 9/1/12: I have now added to the entry to 1793 and added entries for 1800 and 1809, based on new research by Huck.)

1784. May 19. Etteilla publishes the Supplement au troisieme cahier (Supplement to the 3rd Cahier). (DDD p. 84)

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

1785. Etteilla publishes mumerous books: Fragment sur les hautes sciences, suivi d’une note sur les trois sortes de medicines donnees aux hommes (Fragment on High Sciences, followed by a note on the three kinds of medicines given to men). 4th Cahier (with Fortitude as frontispiece). Supplement to the 4th Cahier. 2nd Cahier (with Justice as frontispiece). Supplement to the 2nd Cahier. Philosophie des hautes sciences, ou la clef donnee 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). In the 2nd Cahier (see my translations in this thread), he talks about the cards as the Book of Thot, put together under the supervision of Hermes Trismegistus. The 2nd through 8th cards represent the days of creation. He also gives complete correspondences between the Marseille tarot trumps and his “Egyptian” ones and describes some of the trumps in detail. The 4th Cahier is where he sets up correspondences between the 12 signs of the zodiac, in order starting with Aries, and the first 12 of his trumps. He also has the 10 Coin pip cards correspond to the 7 planets plus the head and tail of the dragon and the part of fortune. He attributes these assignments to the Egyptians (DDD p. 87).

1786. Supplement au deuxieme cahier, ou mieux cinquieme livre des tarots (Supplement to the 2nd cahier, or better 5th book of the tarots). (DDD p. 84)

c. 1786. A treatise on alchemy: Les sept nuances de l’oeuvre philosophique-hermetique, suivies d’un traite sur la perfection des metaux (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).

1787. Two books 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 charaacters that are in the palms, or elements of chiromancy. (DDD p. 88)

1787. Invited to speak to the “Philelethes,” which had been founded in 1775 and was 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)

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

1789. 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 Lyons by De Bonrecuille, one of the “interpretes.” On 27 November he writes to Alliette: ‘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 for the suits derive in part from Etteilla’s 1770 book. 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 relates to the card, not in sequence. DDD say that these cards are precisely like the reprints issued by Grimaud later except for the sunburst in card 1 and the clothing on the small figures in card 14. Also the keywords are in many cases different from the current Grimaud. Later they mention extra numbers on cards 13-17: 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). These numbers are also not on reprints done in the later 19th century onwards. What are these extra numbers for? DDD say that according to the Dictionnaire Synonymique of 1790, they are "signs of death." Reading the 2nd Cahier Supplement of 1786, I see that 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 my post at

1789, May. National Assembly declared, inaugurating the French Revolution. Bastille prison stormed 14 July.

1789. Hugand, one of the “Interpretes,” publishes in Lyons a leaflet called Faites mieux, j’y consens, ou les instructions d’Isis divulguees par un electeur de la Commune de Lyon, en l’annee 1789 (Do better, I agree, or Isis’ instructions divulged by a voter of the City of Lyons, in the year 1789). (DDD p. 100f)

1790. M. D’Odoucet, another member of the “Interpretes,” 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’, which has a final footnote that “expresses negative feelings for two magi living in France, one in Paris and the other in Lyons.” DDD say that one is Etteilla, and the other a follower named Hugand. D’Odoucet calls the one a “half-savant” of “real ignorance, concealed with much art.” The other is less skilled. (DDD pp. 103f). 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.

1790. 1 July. Etteilla founds, with his son’s participation, 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 Thot, so as to understand correctly the art, science, and wisdom of giving oracles). 6 lessons are planned, but all the 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 a leaflet Appercu sur la lnouvelle ecole de magie..., in which Etteilla refers to D’Odoucet as “Dodo” and writes mockingly of him. (DDD pp. 95, 104)

1791. The Ecole publishes a 4 page pamphlet every week from 1 Jan. To 27 March, then 4 more. Issue one is devoted to a plan for old-age insurance. Others are on admnistration, social insurance, and against the death penalty. No. 14 calls for the abolishing of 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 is what 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. Etteilla also reissues 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) (I cited pp. 7-17 in my previous post; it also contains a summary of ways of reading the cards. This publication is reprinted with France Carte’s current reprint of the “Petit Etteilla.”)

1791, 22 June. King and Queen of France arrested following their flight from the Tulleries Palace, returned under guard.

1791, 30 Sept. In Vienna, 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 Philosophe’s Stone of 1790.

1791, Lyons. Hugand publishes Cartomancie, our l’art de developper la chaine des evenements de la vie: recreations astrologiques par le livre de Thot. (DDD p. 101)

1791. Dictionnaire synonymique du livre de Thot published anonymously but probably written by Joubert de La Salette, an army officer then stationed in Grenoble. 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. The core of the book, DDD write (p. 110), is its ‘Table-des-synonymes de livre de Thot,’ pp. 19-57, following Etteilla’s order of the cards and their keywords.

1791. 13 December. Etteilla dies, age 53, leaving his son, his widow, and his 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 Lyons. 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)

1792. August, King and Queen of France imprisoned. September, monarchy declared abolished.

1793. German translation of Cours theorique et pratique du livre de Thot, in Leipzig. (DDD p. 100). Also in 1793, per DDD’s dating (p. 113), an Etteilla deck with German keywords, elements, and days of creation, in script at top and bottom. Hand colored. The bottom keywords on the first 12 cards are printed right-side up. Card One has “Etteilla” and “Forschung” (Search) as keywords. Otherwise the cards are identical to the original 1789 deck, including the astrological signs and the extra numbers on cards 13-17. The publisher in Leipzig is Baumgärtner. For colored pictures of the first page, as well as some cards, see, top of page.) (Kaplan, vol. 2 p. 401, says erroneously that the designs are like the Lismon decks. Pictures of the cards are on his p. 402.) These cards are issued again in 1857 (DDD p. 114).

1793. January 20, King Louis XVI executed. Committee of Public Safety takes power, instituting “Reign of Terror.” October, Queen Marie Antoinette executed.

March 1494. Hugand’s Art of Life, or Complete Lesson for reading the Book of Thoth advertised for sale in Paris, probably a reissue of his Lyons booklet. Also publishes with his real name a booklet {i]Les decans francais: meditations politiques, morales, pour chaque jouir de l’anneee (French decans: political and moral meditations for each day of the year. After 1494 there is no trace of Hugand. (DDD pp. 102f)

1794, July. Robespierre and other members of the Committee of Public Safety executed.

1797-1808. D’Odoucet imprisoned several times and under surveillance often, for anti-government printing activities. (DDD p. 104ff)

1799. Napoleon’s expedition to Egypt, which includes artists and scientists. Upon his November return, he becomes First Consul of France in a coup. Proclaimed Emperor in 1804.

1800, Jan. 19. Advertisement for "Petit Oracle des Dames" in Paris. No author or publisher given, but the address, "rue du Coq-Héron, maison de France" is the same as for other publications of Jacques Grasset de Saint-Sauveur. (See Huck's research at See also entries here for 1807 and 1809.) DDD p. 143 give for this title and date the publisher "Mme. Finet", with 36 cards. Their references (footnote 3, p. 282), are Depaulis, Les Cartes de la Revolution 1984 no. 1321984, Hoffmann & Kroppenstedt, Wahrsagencarte 1972 no. 68; Hoffmann and Dietrich Tarot - Tarock - Tarocchi 1988 no. 105; and Depaulis Mademoiselle Lenormand 1989, nos. 100, 101, and 102.

1802. According to Huck at, based on Guillaume Fleischer, Annuare de la Librarie, Premiere Annee, at necromancien&f=false, "Petit Oracles des Dames" is now published by Gueffier jeune.

1804. D’Odoucet publishes vol. 1 of Sciences des signes, ou medecine de l’esprit; it is similar to Etteilla’s Cours theorique et pratique. (DDD p. 106)

1805. Dec. 2. Battle of Austerlitz, Napoleon’s greatest military victory, defeating a combined Austrian-Russian army.

1806 or 1807. D’Odoucet publishes Vol. 2 of Science des signes. DDD say (p. 107)
The second more concerned with the Tarot and is clearly inspired by the Dictionnaire synonimique (1791) of which it is a kind of summary. But it also offers seventy-eight Tarot woodcuts in the texts with due comments. It only shows some minor divergences, e.g. when the Dictionnaire says “Questionnant”, D’Odoucet uses ‘Consultant.’
Since D’Odoucet uses woodcuts, he must not have had access to the original copper plates.

1807. Vol. 3 of Science des Signes. The full title, or most of it, translates as follows: Science of signs, or mind medicine, containing 1st, The understanding of numerical and astral sciences of the first Egyptians. 2nd The art of knowing the heart of man through his external signs; 3rd, An interesting survey of the diversity of minds and characters; 4th, The true origin of Freemasonry and initiation to the different ranks, third and last part, illustrated and engraved by M. D’Odoucet, one of the interpreters of the book of Thot, possessor of the collection [fonds] of Etteilla, his collaborator and continuator of his works. The book has a copper engraving showing a Masonic allegory with two pillars and bearing D’Odoucet’s name ('D’Odoucet invenit’) together with the signature of the engraver: “De Bonrecuille Scripts.” De Bonrecuille, another long-time disciple, was a known Mason. (DDD p. 107f)

1807. Per DDD p. 143, a “Petit Oracle des Dames”, is published by the veuve (widow) Gueffier, 42 cards, with designs that are partly from a 66 card fortune-telling pack of about 1790 and partly from Etteilla’s tarot pack. It had an 82 p. book of instructions, per Kaplan (vol 1 p. 157). Kaplan dates it to 1815 and has pictures. Some of Etteilla’s designs for trumps are here associated with suit cards, small images of which are put in the left bottom corners. (These images are similar in style to those of Grasset de Saint-Sauver and his associates. See entry here for 1800 ; also 1809.)

1808. Imperial decree now requires the licensing of printers. D’Odoucet is not among those granted a license and there is no further trace of him.

1809. Blocquel and Castiaux, in Lille, publish a booklet with all 42 images of the "Petit Oracle des Dames" deck, but with an unrelated text. (See also entries for 1800 and 1809.)

1810. “Nouvel Etteilla” or “Petit Necromancien” deck produced by publisher Robert in Paris, 36 cards, with a one-word title on top. Uses 8 of Etteilla’s figures. (DDD p. 144)
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