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Originally Posted by kwaw View Post
Mellet also appears to have attributed the Hebrew letters to them in reverse order: alef with the world, beth with judgement, gimel with the sun... shin with the juggler, tau with the fool. (He doesn't give a full list, but this order can be deduced from what he does give).
quote:

...
Fourth, the King armed with a bludgeon which ignorance made an Imperial Ball thereafter [Osiris is often represented with a whip in his hand, with a sphere & a T; all these joined together, produced in the mind of a German Cartier an Imperial Ball]: his helmet is furnished at the back with saw like teeth, to make known that nothing serves to appease his insatiability [Or his revenge, if it has irritated Osiris].
Third, the Queen, bludgeon in her hand; its crown has the same ornaments as the helmet of the King.
Second, the pride of power, represented by the Peacocks, on which Junon* pointing to the Sky with her right hand, & the Earth with her left, announces a terrestrial Religion or Idolatry.
First, the Juggler holding the rod of the Magi, working miracles to deceive credulous people. It is followed by a single card representing a Madman who carries his bag or his defects behind him, while a tiger or the remorse's, devouring his haunch, delays his march towards crime [This card does not have a rank: it completes the sacred Alphabet, & answers to the Tau which signifies completion, perfection: perhaps one wanted to represent in his direction the most natural result of the actions of men].
These twenty-two original Cards are not only hieroglyphics, which placed in their natural order tell the history of the first times, but they are also as many letters [the Hebrew alphabet is composed of 22 Letters] which differently combined, can form as many sentences; also their name (A-tout) is only the literal translation of their employment & general property...

...This explanation will be even more natural if one pays attention to the direction & the value of the letters that the tables** represent. The Sun answering to Gimel, means, in this direction, remuneration, happiness. Fortune or Lamed means Rule, Law, Science. Fol does not express anything by itself, it corresponds to the Tau, and it is simply a sign, a mark. The Typhon or Zain announces inconstancy, error, violated faith, and crime. Death or Teth indicates the action to reap: indeed, Death is a terrible reaper. Teleute in Greek means the end, appears to be, in this direction, a derivative of Teth...

End quote
Compte de M : Research on the Tarot.
Publish in Monde Primitif, 1781 (Earliest known reference connecting the Tarot with the Hebrew letters)

* Cleary Mellet is using a Tarot de Besancon.
** I'm not sure what table he is referring too - was there an accompanying table in Le Monde Primitif?
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