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MikeH  MikeH is offline
Join Date: 03 Nov 2007
Location: Oregon USA
Posts: 443
card 14, The Devil.

For card 14, here are: the 1910 Etteilla I from; Sumada's Etteilla II, before 1890,; and De La Rue Etteilla III, 1890-1910,

The Etteilla I and II are of course modeled on the Marseille Devil card. Correspondingly, the Etteilla II and III title of the card is “Devil.” On the II, the two little figures are nude; that is also the way they are on the 1789 original card (below left): the c. 1910 Etteilla I has put clothes on the pair. Also, the small woman’s headdress looks less devilish in the Etteilla II, more like a crown than in the Etteilla I, or perhaps the Egyptian Seth-animal’s ears (or a 15th century ladies’ hat), than in the c. 1910 Etteilla I. Below left, I have put the uncolored Etteilla II, where her headgear looks more like donkey-ears on a crown than the bull's horns of the c. 1910. I can’t tell from Decker et al’s picture in Wicked Pack of Cards (below left), which is closer to the original.

The Devil himself has aspects of both genders. Here we see a forked beard, breasts, and a female torso. Having aspects of both genders was a feature of many of the earlier Devil-cards as well, as we can see in the Noblet, at right above. I think that the two dots on one side and three on the other also ndicate both genders. In some versions of Pythagoreanism, i.e. that of Macrobius, 3 was the first masculine number and 2 the first feminine number.

Now for the word lists. Again, words that are in either translation of Papus, and also in Orsini, are in regular type. Those in Papus only are in italics; and those in Orsini only in bold.
14. [Force Majeur.] MAJOR FORCE (14)- Human Force. Great Movement, Vehemence, Extraordinary Effort, Strength, Extraordinary Power, Ability-Capability, Powers, Violent Impulse, Surge of Genius,-Enthusiasm.-Ravage, Violence, Constraint, Physical or Manual Work.

Reversed: [Etteilla I: Force Majeur. Etteilla II & 3: Force Mineur.] MINOR FORCE. Insubstantial, Weakness, Pettiness, Moral or Physical Weakness. Tenderness, Weakening. Loss of energy, Fainting-spell. Exhaustion, Languor. Sin. Offense. Sacrilege.
Orsini here begins with a lengthy footnote:
The Devil. The Egyptians, by this word Devil, or Demon, did not understand infernal spirits imprisoned in the abysss, but a man whose science surpassed many others; in sum, who knew all by divine gift, or by an “interpassante” study [“etude interpassante,” i.e. study passing between, perhaps the meaning is “study passing between worlds”]. Such were the Brahmins, the Gymnosophists, the Druids, etc. etc. This hieroglyph signifies major force, in all that concerns the things of human life; minor force, in all that concerns the future or eternity.
This contrast between major force and minor force is reflected in the word-lists. That is, the ability to pass, in this world, above the merely human is part of the upright meanings. It includes not just physical power but the ability to go beyond the merely human into ecstatic states. I think someone has in mind the Greek “Daemon,” as in Socrates’ account of his daemon in Plato’s Symposium ( The Reverseds then see such superhuman effort from a Christian standpoint, in which it is not the “daemon” but a “demon” that has been contacted: it is sin, offense, sacrilege, moral weakness, pettiness, insubstantial. There are also words that simply denote small force from any perspective: tenderness, fainting-spell, languor, weakening.

The footnote is fairly unusual in its definition of “major force.” Usually the “force majeur” is just the infernal power of evil. The main body of the Orsini c. 1838 is itself an example:
A formidable [Fr. redoutable] betrayal is announced by this card; an extraordinary power will lead you into errors the results of which will be dreadful [Fr. funestes] for you and your friends.

This card predicts an impending illness if it is found near no. 16 [Judgment]; beside no. 70 [8 of Coins: brown haired girl, usury], it designates a reprehensible love.

Near no. 60 [4 of Swords: Solitude/Economy], it announces that one of your relatives will be shipwrecked near a desert island, at which he will stay abandoned for a long time.

Reversed, one must fear a great dishonor which will destroy your tranquility.
That is a very negative interpretation. Not surprisingly, this section was extensively rewritten for the c. 1853 edition of Orsini, one of a very few explications that receives such treatment:
A joke in bad taste will cause you some difficulties; you will be led into big errors that will not spare you unfortunate suppositions [Fr. suppositions--results?]. But you can hold on, strength returns sweetly and those who laugh are not always turned to the same side.

This card predicts an impending but light illness as a result of imprudences. Beside no. 16, it designates an impossible love. Near no. 60, it announces that one of your relatives or friends takes too great a risk on a distant journey.
This wording brings the predictions back into the everyday and offers hope of escaping without moral blemish. The shipwreck has wisely become more general, the reprehensible love, now associated with 16 rather than 70, firmly impossible.

The 1865, rewritten for the Etteilla III, emphasizes the positive even more.
The interpretation of this tarot has been made in various manners. It demands the greatest attention on the part of the consultant; but if it comes upright, and is accompanied by no. 12 [Prudence], you need fear nothing, because its sense is completely changed by its good neighborhood.

Reversed, it announces that you have resisted the demon, and reason is stronger in you than prejudice.

Near no. 78 [Fool], it indicates that you will presently attend some very nice parties in the city or in the country.
That last is something of an anti-climax, considering Orsini’s dire predictions. One would have thought that Devil plus Fool would equal disaster. But not for Etteilla III; the Devil, under the Fool’s influence, is a party animal.

In the other booklet tradition, that of the c. 1910, likely written 1826, we have language reminiscent of the c. 1838 Orsini. The title of the card is now “Eve.”
Step back when in front of this formidable [Fr. redoutable] card. Upright, it announces that you will make a mistake with dreadful [funestes] results.

If you are a woman, this mistake will put you at the discretion of an indelicate man who will use violence with you, so as to dishonor you as a result and inundate you with tears.

If you are a man, fear that this mistake will send you to prison.

Reversed, the card of Eve announces an abduction. Man, you will abduct a married woman; you will soon have cutting [cuisants] regrets from it. Woman, you will abduct yourself; after a seven months’ sojourn with your lover, you will return with nothing [dépouillée] to the house of your husband, who will receive you well enough.

Beside no. 70 [8 of Coins: brown-haired girl, usury], this card announces that one will have an amorous liaison that is illegal but profitable.
This is all very colorful. The 1826 author, according to Decker et al (pp. 145-147), was one Gabrielle de Paban, born 1793 in Lyons, writer of a number of books, under the name of “Mme. Gabrielle de P.***,” “Gabrielle Pérenna,” or, in this case, “Aldegonde Pérenna, Polish sibyl.” This last is “not at all plausible as a Polish name,” Decker et al observe.

The modern Grimaud tones down Mme. Gabrielle’s lurid premonitions, but not by much. The title is no longer "Eve."
15. EVIL FORCE. Nearly always harmful, this card indicates violence, fruitless efforts, uncontrollable impulses.
R [right side up]: You prefer to seek the shadow rather than the substance.
U [Upside down]: You or someone near you could be the victim of rape, or an abduction. In any case there is trouble ahead of you...even a slight illness.
R: with 24 [Knight of Batons: here Change/Separation]: Serious illness. Surgical operation. With 16: Love that ends in catastrophe.
U: Near 60: A journey or voyage full of difficulties.
For the Upside down interpretations, and Upright with 16, the writer has combined the earlier Grimaud with Orsini. In the Uprights otherwise, he has managed to miss what the card is about, at least as the others see it, and as he himself sees it in his opening statement. (I do not know whether the author is male or female, but the publisher is Jean-Marie Simon, male—assuming we are not dealing with yet another pseudonym.)
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