Let me see if I can get that to reproduce...
Let me see if I can get that to reproduce...
Are you referring to the passage in Corpus Hermeticum XIII, which Ficino translated (but written in 2nd century Alexandria), in which 10 virtues drive out 12 vices? It is sections 7-10 at http://www.gnosis.org/library/hermes13.html. I am not at all sure the 10 and the 12 here refer to either Judaism or Christianity. The Corpus was in the same milieu as both and was influenced by both but was neither. Perhaps you are referring to something Ficino himself wrote. If so, I'd like to know where it is, so I can look at it.Oh, he is being tricky, our Etteilla! He remembers that Ficino uses this trope of the "10 conquering the 12" in the diatribe that put him into the history books. This was at an earlier stage of Christianity's encounter with the Hebrew Mysteries, and the Christians still had to take the position that they were learning Hebrew in order to convert the Jews. 'The 12 Tribes' is a traditional way to refer to the Jews, because of their divinely-mandated social organization. The 10, on the other hand, is associated with Hermeticism, the post-Alexandrian-synthesis Mysteries that ushered in the Christian dispensation. Thus it also makes an around-the-backside reference to the Tree, the 10 Sephira (which are, after all, the Numbers even in the Hebrew paradigm). Etteilla is following in Ficino's footsteps in telling us to look beyond these "vulgar numbers" (the 12 Signs of the Zodiac) to see the "Multiplied 5" (5 x 2).
This translation is by Farmer in his book Syncretism in the West, p. 342; he also has the Latin. Farmer in a footnote explicitly connects Pico's theses here with Corpus XIII. Farmer observes that Pico has collapsed the 12 Hermetic vices into 10, something that the text itself gives some suggestion of. Pico is probably thinking of the 10 Hermetic virtues as corresponding to the positive side of the 10 sefiroth of Kabbalah, although he doesn't say so explicitly. So both sets of 10 are for him Jewish/Hermetic, two expressions of the universal philosophy (i.e. the many faceted thought of 2nd century Alexandria). Hey, 10 is a good Jewish number, as in commandments and sefiroth (albeit they come from Egyptian Jews). And in Christianity there are the 12 apostles and the 12 days of Christmas. In the West, there are 12 inches to an English foot, and plenty of Roman base 12 units (see see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duodecimal).7.9. Within each thing there exist ten punishers: ignorance, sorrow, inconstancy, greed, injustice, lustfulness, envy, fraud, anger, malice.
27.10. A profound contemplator will see that the ten punishers, of which the preceding conclusion spoke according to Mercury, correspond to the evil order of ten in the Cabala and its leaders, of whom I have proposed nothing in my Cabalistic conclusions, because it is secret.
The current Grimaud Grand Etteilla is a fake when it comes to titles (and a few small details as well). Some Grimaud Grand Etteillas do have Etteilla's titles (but still depart from Etteilla in those details), but not the one you have. For yours, only the pictures are reliable (except on card 1). Compare your cards to the earlier Grimaud cards that I posted on pp. 9-10 of this thread and you'll see. They at least have the right titles; the earlier Grimauds are very much like the original, but are still not the same, at least on cards 1 (they added a sun) and 13-17 (they took away the extra numbers). Compare to the pictures of a real Etteilla 1789 deck, in Wicked Pack of Cards. I'd love to have a reprint, but I don't know of any.This idea caused me to put Etteilla's Trumps into the numbered positions. (Remember, these are Trumps with numbers 2,3,4,5,6,7.) Those trumps are Enlightenment, Discussion, Revelation, Voyage, Secrets and Support.
I assume you are referring to the Ten of Coins/Disks with the X inside each disk. The final three number cards of the Coin Suit represent the North Node (8), the South Node (9) and the Part of Fortune (10). The symbol for the Part of Fortune is an X inside a circle and the small picture at the bottom of the card makes this designation clear as it demonstrates the geometry involved in determining this astrological point (it's the relationship between one's Sun, Moon and Ascendant).I also want to ask, why do we think Etteilla's pictured Disks look like the Hebrew symbol for Malkuth? When I see a Tetractys made up of Malkuth symbols, I can't help but notice the signal.
I also see nothing to indicate that the overlapping circles in the Etteilla 2 of Coins are the angel seal of Poiel. I've found two classical seals for Poiel and neither of them look like that. The Tavaglione "Stairs of Gold" Tarot (1979) has two interlinked circles placed vertically (not horizonally), and all of the Tavaglione Shem-seals for the Coin Suit are made up of interlinked or juxtaposed circles of the same number as the card on which they appear. They depict the geometry of the numbers from 1 to 10 and seem unique to Tavaglione. The flames in the background of the Etteilla 2 of Coins are indicative of the element of Fire. Each of the 2's show their suit's element. The Papus-Goulinat 2 of Coins does seem to be the missing link between the Etteilla and Tavaglione, as it has the name Poiel on it in Hebrew, but it doesn't mean that Etteilla made the link to the Shem Angels.I include Etteilla in the lineage because he shows the identifying feature of the angel-seal for Poiel on his 2 of Coins. That's the pip with Mercury on it, with the interlocked circles against a background of fire.
Also remember that the square root of 3 is pi which by the ancient geometers was symbolized as 22/7. Hmm, back to the Hebrew alphabet again!
On a smaller scale, it takes 6 Shem angels of 5 degrees each to make up one 30-degree sign of the Zodiac. This is the 72 Intelligences. Etteilla's remark about how the "Hebrews don't count beyond this" could just as much be about their sacred calendar (which worked on a 360-day year, requiring an intercalcary month every few years to keep Passover in the spring) as about their angel-sequence. Whether you look at this remark as talking about the Shems or about the extra month every few years, this remark demonstrates that Etteilla understands the calculatory peculiarities of the Hebrew sacred calendar.
The Babylonian year, which influenced the French time reckoning, seems to have consisted of 12 months of 30 days each, intercalary months being added by the priests when necessary. Two Babylonian calendars are preserved in the inscriptions, and in both each month has 30 days as far as can be learnt. In later times, however, months of 29 days alternated with those of 30. The method of intercalation is uncertain, and the practise seems to have varied.