kwaw said:Seventeen, the Creation of Stars & Fish , represented by Stars & Aquarius.
Stars and Fish [Dix-septième, la Création des Étoiles & des Poissons, représentées par des Étoiles & le Verseau]?
There is an image of the star tableau [cary sheet?] that shows what appears to be the tail of a fish rising from the water, but what deck is de Mellet using? He is clearly using a Besancon style pattern of deck [later referencing Jupiter and Juno], is there a besancon style deck that shows a fish on the star card? Or is C.d.Mellet reflecting here some tradition or attribution of the card without having actually seen an image of a fish on the card? In relation to Aquarius the fish on the card is most likely to represent Pisces Austrinus, the Southern Fish whose 'mouth' is one of the four royal stars of persia Fomalhaut, images as drinking from one of the jugs of the water bearer.
Aquarius is attributed to the letter tzaddi, said to represent the ideogram of a fish-hook, the Gra attributes the kingship word LOYTH [lamed-ayin-yod-teth-heh] to Tzaddi, which means 'to feed animals' the root being LOT meaning 'to swallow greedily, to glut, to devour like an animal' [Kaplan in his SY says LOYTH means 'taste' but I can't find any reference to that in any of my dictionaries, strong, brown-driver-briggs or jastrow; fellow students in an SY study group who speak Hebrew are also unfamiliar with the word; it seems to me there is some difference between 'to devour greedily', 'feed animals' and 'taste']. However, while C.d.Mellet clearly does intend that interpretation of the images has relation to Hebrew letters, according to his scheme the the letter attributed to the Star would be Heh, not Tzaddi, so the association he is making cannot come from the association of Tzaddi, aquarius, fish-hook and the feeding of animals, glutting greedily on their food. If that is he is being open about the attributions, his description of Tau as meaning completion and perfection would make sense with the world card but seems completely out of context in his description of Madness.
Crowley too makes a connection with fish with this card, but it develops exegetically from a free association of star-tzaddi-aquarius-fish-hook I think:
"O my beautiful God! I swim in Thy heart like a trout in the mountain torrent.
I leap from pool to pool in my joy; I am goodly with brown and gold and silver.
Why, I am lovelier than the russet autumn woods at the first snowfall.
And the crystal cave of my thought is lovelier than I.
Only one fish-hook can draw me out; it is a woman kneeling by the bank of the stream. It is she that pours the bright dew over herself, and into the sand so that the river gushes forth.
There is a bird on yonder myrtle; only the song of that bird can draw me out of the pool of Thy heart, O my God!" [from the Book of the Lapis Lazuli].