Etteilla Timeline and Etteilla card Variants - background


Minor correction: dating Etteilla's original work

The first edition is 1770.


Huck wrote
First, the quote in DDD is on p. 113, not 13. This is of course merely a typo.

Thanks, I repaired it.

I posted about Simon Blocquel and his publishing in Lille and his son in law earlier than Huck in my related threads and sent the information to you--actually months before Huck. But let me check again to see if if Huck has posted my links on Simon Blocquel being a freemason and all the printing business success. My links had the same data of number of employees, the apprenticeship data and so I did not contradict Huck. Rather I thought Huck copied it from my previous posts.

I followed my own line of research, when I detected the Blocquel-Castiaux text of 1809 in Andrea Vitali's material (which surprised me, actually I suspected a father and son relation, but it was the same man) ..


.. as given at ...

Mainly I used DDD and then the very informative link, that I found ...
with a text of Roger. A. Collins of 1985, "Simon Blocquel, imagier et éditeur lillois".

Well. The Etteilla timeline text has become very complex, it's too difficult to know everything, what happened inside.


Generally I would assume, that Simon Blocquel was just a very big publisher and business man, who - as a rather small part of his big business - also took publication merits for Etteilla decks. Perhaps he had a much deeper correlation to children games and books for children than to any esoteric content.



My October 2011 posts on Simon Blocquel for historical interest

Simon-Francioise Blocquel 1780-1863
Orphan (1), Native of Douai
Feb 1789 with his aunt, whose husband was printer/bookseller Charles-Louis de Bourbers of Lille (3)
1800-1802 - Apprentice for Charle-Louis de Bourbers (1 & 3)

French Mason, member of the Lodge of Amis réunis, edited the masonic publications (3)
1805 - rachete le fonds for the printer of Lille Hermenegilde-Hubert Lemmens & Associate (3)
1809 - Partnership with printer Jean-Baptiste Castiaux (1786-1855)(1) (His prospective father in law (3)
Castiaux information: Published of popular prints based in Lille. Went bankrupt in 1809 and from then worked in association with printer Blocquel (q.v.). Some of his wood-blocks executed by Fleuret and Antoine Thiebaut (qq.v.) come from Chartres-based publisher Garnier-Allabre (q.v.).(2) After Castiaux's death the business was taken over by his son Louis Castiaux, who died in 1864.
1811 - Brevete printing July 15, 1811 (3)
1813 - Bookseller the 1st of January (3)
1818 - Brevet renouvele November 20th 1818 (3)
1819 - Started printing lithography March 6, 1819 (1 & 3)
1820 - 1857 member of the Municipal Counsel de Lille
Until 1836 - member of the comiion of the bookseller comumunale and administrator of the bureau de bienfaisance
1836 -married Constance-Aimee-Patrie Castiaux, daughter of his associate. His brother in law Lois-Joseph- Marie Castiqux (1805)-1864) was also a partner of his work.
Address Rue de la Comedie
Lille Grande Place, no. 113, Lille(2)

1848 - By that time, his atelier employed 12 men, 12 women and two children
Brother in law (Beau-Frere?) Marie Francoise Delarue (1783-1848) librarre a Paris, est un collabrateur tres proche.

1861 - President de la Societie Typographique in Lille

Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneaur (1 & 3)

Author and editor of numerou publication and almanac (3)

The books were distributed in France and also Belgium. Editor of popular images, dominant in the Lilles production of his age. His domain addresses a diverse range--milatary, infants, artisans, clergy, etc...popular choice include books of piety, scholarly manuals, almanachs, essays of grand voages, regional traditions, military and adventure...(1)


Printer of popular prints, based in Lille. Trained by De Boubers. Active from c.1805. Worked in association with Castiaux (q.v.) from 1809 till his death. Succeeded by his widow, who died in 1877. (2)

Also Known As
Blocquel, Simon François; Castiaux & Blocquel

...La maison Blocquel-Castia-Delarue present a series ..(note, the rest of the subject of this essay (1) was mainly descriptives of travel/almanac, travel narratives...Cerulean will comb through to get approximate dates...)

Combining three sources:

1. Roger D.J. Collins did a research paper for the Jouranl de la Societe des oceistes. n. 81, 1985, pp. 235-240 on the engraver and editor in Lille, France. (In a bit of a rush, will translate some of the notes more fully later, doing this on the fly).

2. British Museum website: October 2011

3. Citations from for Simon-Francois Blocquel (October 2011)

Still, cerulean surges...
where, as sunset lingers
Eve with golden fingers...

Hector A. Stuart
South Sea Dreamer, 1886

Last edited by Cerulean; 19-10-2011 at 17:54.

Free mason, no less! (Lodge of Amis Reunis)


Imprimeur-libraire ; imprimeur-libraire du corps de toutes les armes ; imprimeur lithographe. Natif de Douai. Orphelin, recueilli en fév. 1789 par sa tante, épouse de l'imprimeur-libraire lillois Charles-Louis de Boubers, chez qui il fait son apprentissage. Exerce la librairie dès 1800 ou 1802. En 1805 rachète le fonds du marchand d'estampes Zevort. Ouvre une imprimerie dès 1805. Franc-maçon, membre de la loge des Amis réunis, édite des publications maçonniques. En 1809, rachète le fonds de l'imprimeur lillois Herménégilde-Hubert Lemmens et s'associe avec le libraire Jean-Baptiste Castiaux, son futur beau-père. Breveté imprimeur le 15 juillet 1811 (brevet renouvelé le 20 nov. 1818), libraire le 1er janv. 1813 (brevet renouvelé le 27 juil. 1818) et lithographe le 6 mars 1819. Membre du conseil municipal de Lille de 1820 à 1857, membre de la commission de la bibliothèque communale et administrateur du bureau de bienfaisance à partir de 1836. Président de la Société typographique lilloise en 1861. Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur. Auteur et éditeur de nombreuses publications, notamment d'almanachs, de chansonniers et de livres d'instruction sous différents pseudonymes. Sa veuve est brevetée en sa succession le 21 juillet 1863.

Travaille en association avec J.-B. Castiaux jusqu'en 1835 env..

Here is more about the Lodge of Amis reunis in summary during the Enlightenment period:

Maison François DELARUE & Fils A. DELARUE FILS SUCCESSEUR Éditeur d'Estampes, Imprimeur 68, Eue J.-J. Rousseau. — PARIS Le Catalogue général des Gravures, ...

The edition cover is all that is historic in this catalog, so am only saving this picture.

Attached Images Editions Delarue.jpg (56.5 KB, 8 views)

I am hoping this earlier information adds to Huck, MikeH's and others interests. I put the information in separate threads back in October of 2011, but have added it here for more detail--hopefully it adds to the interesting discussion. Best wishes,



The French masonic lodge link

I see the Bavarian Iliminati link is broken , will have find another link for the French Masoniic lodge.

Simon Blocquel's link to that lodge would be of interest.


I see the Bavarian Iliminati link is broken , will have find another link for the French Masoniic lodge.

Simon Blocquel's link to that lodge would be of interest.

Here's one ...

Well ... from some earlier local history study, I know, there were Illuminati in Bonn. What they actually reached, that was the foundation of a "Lese-Gesellschaft". A society for reading. So some basis for a public library.
Actually the place, where they started, became later the Bonner Universitätsbibliothek (still running with 100.000's of books ... actually more than 2 millions ... And the university has the founding date 1818, not long after the Illuminati action. I had been there occasionally and profited from the earlier engagement.

So it isn't so surprising to find that a French publisher at begin of 18th century had contacts and was a member of a similar society. That was just part of his business. Libraries buy books.

Well ... :) ... if there are any modern Illuminati, then it would be those, who make the best out of the modern reading situation, so people like Mr. and Mademoiselle And somewhere also our own humble engagement to research the mysteries of Tarot and of objects with similar character.


The 78 cards as they were in old Memphis

I don't know if this has been posted before. In the c. 1838-1840 edition of "Julia Orsini", Le Grand Eteilla, ou l'Art de Tier les Cartes, we have the following, which purports to be the original layout of the cards as wall images "on the right of the temple of fire at Memphis." I am not sure how one navigates through this collection of art-objects; but I post it here as an example of Etteilla's, or his school's, love for the number 7.


The first 21 cards form an inverted pyramid of sorts, with the Fool as the apex and merging with some of the suit cards as base. The 21 are divided into the first 7, the next 5 (to equal the first 12), then the next group of 5 (the cards with double numbers?), and a group of 4. You will notice that the middle cards go up by seven each row. Around them the cards equally distant from this middle cards add up to 9, then 21, then 30. then 39.

In addition, there are four other inverted quasi-pyramids, each with an odd multiple of 7 at its apex. The other four images in each quasi-pyramid start with the number after an odd-numbered multiple of 7. Then along the sides we have four groups of 9, each in consecutive order going down from the number just below an odd-numbered multiple of seven.

Obviously only the pyramid-obsessed ancient Egyptians could have thought up such a clever arrangement. QED.

The signs of the zodiac seem to have been added by an 18th [added later: I meant 19th] century artist.


I was hoping that this might help

James Revak and Elizabeth Hazel did some study of Etteilla's astrology and wrote an appendix of assignments. Maybe it corresponds to the table?

I am so used to seeing dates and names of the astrological sign and decanates of Golden Dawn astrology, that trying to figure out the "Temple of Memphis" card table has me puzzled--yet it seems like the visual representation should be easy enough. Perhaps if if the scan had lines drawn between the card numbers, one can more easily see which astrological sign is assigned?

Or my suspician is this it just a fancy depiction of an imagined mural of the 'cards as hieroglyphics' as if the cards adorned an alter, or a wall for the secret initiates?

The last idea is to lay out the cards as noted and maybe you can find a curious cipher or a model of the universe? Or at least the world according to Etteilla...


James Revak and Elizabeth Hazel did some study of Etteilla's astrology and wrote an appendix of assignments. Maybe it corresponds to the table?
I don't see any relationship between the spread described by Liz and the diagram above.

I'm not even sure if the astrological signs on the page are meant to correspond to specific cards in the diagram since most of them end in the middle of a set of cards.

The last idea is to lay out the cards as noted and maybe you can find a curious cipher or a model of the universe? Or at least the world according to Etteilla...
Good suggestion.


Yes, Teheuti, it's not at all clear that any connection is meant between the signs of the zodiac and the layout of cards. Also, it is not certain that Etteilla had anything to do with either; the book this comes in is 50 years after his death. Yet I'd say it is likely that the numbered card layout, least, was his idea, since he maintained, I think in the 2nd Cahier, that the card-images were taken from such a temple, and because number philosophy was important to him. That is why, I think, his term was "cartonomancy" rather than "cartomancy".