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Huck, thanks for clearing up the math. Sometimes people get so immersed in an intuitive free-association mode, that it inappropriately gets carried over into matters of exact science.
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Disks


Mary -- yes, I am referring to the way Etteilla portrays his Disks not only on the 10 but also on his Disk royals. Are they the nobility of the North Node, or are they the nobility of the Earth, as in Malkuth?

Yes I understand how he was indicating the Part of Fortune on his card. Yes I agree that what we see pictured are the planets on the Disks moving outward from the Sun on the Ace, leading to the North and South Nodes on the 8 and 9. I do not disagree with what is pictured on the cards, but what ideas and esoteric values to associate with those pictures.

I fail to see how Etteilla is departing from the 12/7/3 pattern I was talking about above, which is a standard "tell" pointing at the structure of all magical alphabetics rooted in Hebrew.

On the same page where he's quoting "kabbalistic numbers bearing signs and planets", and talking about the intelligences/shem angels (2nd Cahir suppliment, p. 161-2) Etteilla himself says that his first 12 "pages" are the signs, and then the last 10 "pages" are the Planets.

But in his time there weren't 10 Planets, there were 7! Whatever he says, it turns out he is in practice defaulting the 12/7/3 pattern (and he chose these obscure astrological derivative points to fill the last three cards, to complete the decave.)

It's all in who is reading the text. Someone who knows about magical alphabets will see a page on which there three direct references to Hebrew and they will say, "OK, Etteilla is pointing something out here that I need to be conversant with."

Meanwhile, please direct me to the evidence that the users of this pack, in the time it was fresh and new, had enough sophistication to understand concepts like North Node, South Node and Part of Fortune in the context of a Tarot deck. How did he include them in his divinatory matrix? Is there any text to tell us how these symbols integrate into his style of use? Where does he talk about the ways they affect the other three suits in the numbers 8, 9 and 10?

To me it seems just as easy to rule out astrological sophistication among this pack's users as it is to rule out kabbalistic sophistication.

But among the makers, the people who are manipulating these symbols for the widest audience possible, would they not have knowledge that this same symbol has other applications in Kabbalah, and also in Alchemy as well? Would they not expect some of their users to see this symbol in its larger identity? I am not assuming Etteilla was stupid, or dense, or disconnected from his environment.

That alchemy is intimately entwined with kabbalah is well-established, witness the excellent little handbook: _The Alchemical Keys to Masonic Ritual_ by Timothy Hogan. Another larger presentation is _The Tower of Alchemy_ by David Goddard. This is the type of resource that will help us place Etteilla's contribution in context, IMHO. All around Etteilla there was a magical ferment brewing that was Kabbalistic, Hermetic, Alchemical, Astrological, Egyptian and magical.

Just notice: Even as Etteilla denied being a member of the contemporary secular lodges of Paris, he openly declared his "brotherhood" with the old-school Jacobite lineage right in that quote shared with Mary above! I find it hard to believe that anybody who knew the politics of the time would expect him to stick his neck out any farther than that.

But of course that means that you'll have to disprove my contention that Etteilla participated in the very fertile Hermetic, Masonic, Egyptian, Kabbalistic, Scottish Rite, post-Swedenborgian enthusiasm of his time. Perhaps I am alone in having these thought at this venue?
Top   #162
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Angel seals


Mary, not only is that seal on the Tavaglione 2 of Disks, but it's also on the Papus 2 of Disks.

That's the location which is important to this discussion. Why did Papus attribute these seals to Etteilla in his book on Etteilla's cards? This is the question we have to answer. I have already discussed with Mary in private the fact that the Elus Cohens and Martinists had associated this group of angels with the Pips, long before Levi, Papus, and the rest of the latecomers. So why is Papus bringing these up in context of Etteilla?

Mary has found one set of seals for these angels, though those are actually the "mirror image demons" with the same astrological degrees. Certainly, we don't find these seals on Etteilla's pack, or Papus' pack either. But the seals in question, the ones that ARE on the Papus pack, and tacitly attributed to Etteilla, and which we find being an item of focus among the Elus Cohens and Martinists (notice, I didn't say Masons!), these are the things we need to discover more about before we decide that Etteilla's 2 of coins isn't a reflection of this active tradition being practiced all around him.

Here's where you lose me, Mary: You say "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." No, it means that Papus is directly saying that Etteilla made the link to the Shem Angels! Poiel is one of the Shem angels, you'll find him nowhere else!

Once you place a single Angel onto a single Pip, then you have the means to see how the whole sequence falls into the four suits. Are there any other Angel names on the Papus-Goulinat pips? To me, the question is -- Why did Papus do that? What was he trying to tell us? Etteilla himself names out the Intelligences, then Papus puts them on the Pips. Coincidence? You'll have to convince me further.

And by the way, what is the image on that 2 of Disks? It's the Vesica Pisces that is the defining identity of this image! It totally doesn't matter whether it's vertical or horizontal, the message is the same. That's the very mathe-magic that I was saying earlier links the Pythagorean and the Kabbalistic mathematical matrix. I'll try to scan those two pages from Fideler tomorrow for you.
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Christine, On 3 + 7, I assume you are referring to this:

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(2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7,) divine prescience of Eternity communicating itself by its works, which put in their true number 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, = 21 = 12 = 3, together 36, it extends over Men by 1 + 6, 2 + 5, 3 + 4, which [p. 142] gives infinitely correct numbers. 16, 25, 34 = 75, 3 over the intelligences, 75 (2 next to 37, number by which in this spirit the Cabalists do not dare to count, seeing this number thus 1 integer + 37 + 8, and subtracting 1 from the 8, leaves 45 and 3 + 7 = 10.
Although it is difficult to make a lot of sense of this, he seems to get 37 by reversing the digits of 73, which is 2 next to 75. Then 3 + 7 = 10 is the summation of the digits--the "numerological reduction" procedure he used in the passage just before this one--which then gives him his desired result, for some reason, 10. Probably 10, which reduces to 1, is a number of God. The 3 and 7 come out of his calculations. If they have any other significance, it is most likely that the 3 is the Trinity and 7 is a powerful number for various reasons, as we can see in the Theology of Arithmetic's section on the Heptad, or more probably, Philo of Alexandria's On the Creation. For Etteilla, 7 is most closely associated with the days of creation, of which on the cards (nos. 2-8) he specifies seven.

On the cards he also specifies four elements, by name and number (not the Sefer Yetsirah's three. Card 3 has element 1, water, Card 2 has element 2, Fire. Card 4 has element 3, Air. Card 5 has element 4, earth. It is easy to see why he assigns particular elements to particular cards: just look at the images on these cards. But why the elements get the numbers 1-4 in the way they do is a mystery to me. Maybe he just wanted it to look mysterious, so that people would pay money to go to his school.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christine View Post
Mary, not only is that seal on the Tavaglione 2 of Disks, but it's also on the Papus 2 of Disks.
Yes, I mention that in post 159 above. It's clear that Papus was working off the Etteilla deck for much of his Minor Arcana symbolism, but he was also adding plenty of elements of his own that are not found in Etteilla - just as C.C. Zain added his own correspondences and changes to the Falconnier-Wegener deck.

It's my theory that rather than there being one true Tarot system that was hidden from the masses but known to Boehme, Postel, de Gébelin, Etteilla, Papus, etc., that instead there was an evolution and branching of ideas, so that Papus took some elements from Etteilla and added material from Lévi and others. I see it as an accretion of ideas and images that were slowly added to or subtracted from earlier decks.

Quote:
Why did Papus attribute these seals to Etteilla in his book on Etteilla's cards?
I missed the part where Papus says the seals came from Etteilla. Please quote this from Papus. In fact, Papus explains that he drew from several different sources for the information he put on the cards. The word 'D'Etteilla' at the top of each card refers to the number directly above it, as in "Etteilla's card number 76”

Quote:
I have already discussed with Mary in private the fact that the Elus Cohens and Martinists had associated this group of angels with the Pips, long before Levi, Papus, and the rest of the latecomers.
You claim this but you haven't shown any direct evidence that supports your claim. If you had the evidence it would revolutionize Tarot history. It's a supposition, not a fact.

Quote:
Mary has found one set of seals for these angels, though those are actually the "mirror image demons" with the same astrological degrees.
That is Ambelain's theory of the Blaise de Vigenere seals, which all writers before Ambelain listed simply as the seals of the Shem Angels. The Golden Dawn used a different set of seals. As you say, neither appears on either the Etteilla or Papus decks (nor any other deck until the late 20th century). The timeline along which ideas appeared is important!

Here's Ambelain's own explanation of these being demon seals: 
Quote:
In this republication of the work published in1951, the author would draw the reader’s attention to the Seals incorrectly attributed to the 72 Divine Names. These Seals are in reality their opposites. Conclusive experiments occurring between 1955 and 1960 allowed us to establish their eminently malefic and excessively dangerous character: incidents of cancer, suicidal obsession, corporeal possession and infestation have been observed and are beyond possible argument. December 1989, R.A. 
Back to Christine:
Quote:
Here's where you lose me, Mary: You say "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." No, it means that Papus is directly saying that Etteilla made the link to the Shem Angels! Poiel is one of the Shem angels, you'll find him nowhere else!
You are assuming that everything in the Papus cards comes directly from Etteilla. I wish you had a copy of Papus' book in French, in which the material is organized entirely differently and where it is abundantly clear that the Etteilla material is only part of the book. For instance Papus explains that he got permission from his friend Saint-Yves to include his Archéomètre system on the Trumps. Without a doubt Papus was creating his own deck that combined elements of Etteilla, Christian and Lévi, and adding his own contributions!

Quote:
Etteilla himself names out the Intelligences, then Papus puts them on the Pips.
Where does Etteilla name the Shem Angels? Intelligences was a term used for lots of things besides the Shem Ha'Mephorash, not all of which were Kabbalistic. In fact, the term 'Intelligences' is Neo-Platonic. We might as well say that Iamblichus was referring to the Tarot because he used the term "Arcana". Arcana was a word long in use before it was applied to the Tarot.

BTW, it is impossible to prove a negative, but it is possible to show whether or not Etteilla ever mentions any specific links between his cards and Kabbalah or the Shem Angels. Just because someone 120 years later does, is no proof that the earlier person did so.

ADDED - Even if Etteilla was making a reference to the 72 Intelligences of the Shem Ha'Mephorash in his text, there is no evidence that he assigned them to the 56, 40, or 36 small cards. See my later post where Papus explains where he got the seals that he used on the pips.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christine View Post
Meanwhile, please direct me to the evidence that the users of this pack, in the time it was fresh and new, had enough sophistication to understand concepts like North Node, South Node and Part of Fortune in the context of a Tarot deck. How did he include them in his divinatory matrix? Is there any text to tell us how these symbols integrate into his style of use? Where does he talk about the ways they affect the other three suits in the numbers 8, 9 and 10?

To me it seems just as easy to rule out astrological sophistication among this pack's users as it is to rule out kabbalistic sophistication.
First - Etteilla makes direct, unambiguous references to astrology and to the North and South Nodes and the Part of Fortune - labeling the Coins suit with them and including a diagram on the 10 of Coins illustrating how the Part of Fortune is calculated.

Second, there are no clear, unambiguous, specific references to Kabbalistic correspondences to Tarot cards (Hebrew letters, Paths on the Tree, or specific Shem Angels) anywhere in his Tarot material.

Third, I don't know anything about French astrologers but the British astrologer and Mason, Ebenezer Sibly, was writing his highly influential astrology books at this time (mostly cobbled together from other works). The Nodes plus Part of Fortune were essential factors in his charts. While the Part of Fortune is not used much today, it was always included in charts through the mid-20th century - if the birth time was known. Here's an original Sibly chart. Note the Part of Fortune in the 1st House and the Nodes in the 2nd and 8th Houses:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ho...rtinLuther.jpg
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Quoting from the English translation of The Divinatory Tarot by Papus, where he describes all the information he put on the Minor Arcana cards:

Quote:
”In the center is the drawing reconstituted by Gabriel Goulinat on the basis of Egyptian documents and the personal work of Eliphas Lévi. The engravings at the bottom of each of the cards are reproductions of the secret talismans of Eliphas Lévi . . ." p. 55
I am doing my best to support my arguments with actual evidence.
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Teuheuti wrote
Quote:
Where does Etteilla name the Shem Angels? Intelligences was a term used for lots of things besides the Shem Ha'Mephorash, not all of which were Kabbalistic. In fact, the term 'Intelligences' is Neo-Platonic. We might as well say that Iamblichus was referring to the Tarot because he used the term "Arcana". Arcana was a word long in use before it was applied to the Tarot.
Well, the passage I quoted in the post just before yours is good enough for me.

Quote:
(2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7,) divine prescience of Eternity communicating itself by its works, which put in their true number 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, = 21 = 12 = 3, together 36, it extends over Men by 1 + 6, 2 + 5, 3 + 4, which [p. 142] gives infinitely correct numbers. 16, 25, 34 = 75, 3 over the intelligences, 75 (2 next to 37, number by which in this spirit the Cabalists do not dare to count, seeing this number thus 1 integer + 37 + 8, and subtracting 1 from the 8, leaves 45 and 3 + 7 = 10.
72, the number of Shem angels, is 3 less than 75, which is the number of Intelligences per Etteila. It is the number beyond which the Cabalists dare not to count, of which apparently 37 is in the same spirit, since it is numerologically equivalent, in the Kabbalist way of doing numerological equivalences.

This reference is merely an aside on Etteilla's part, but it does show that he knew about the Shem angels. perhaps not under that name, but at least as 72 intelligences in Kabbalah.

It is still an open question whether Kabbalah plays any role in Etteilla's system. I don't see any, but there is much about his system that is unclear to me. At that time--the 18th century--there was no sharp distinction between Kabbalah, alchemy, and Hermeticism (or is it Hermetism?): many Hermetics (or Hermetists), following Pico etc,, drew on Kabbalah (including the 72) as well as alchemy, as Jung pointed out somewhere. And we know for sure that Etteilla incorporated Hermeticism and alchemy into his system. I have quoted some of the relevant passages earlier in this thread.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeH View Post
This is an aside, but it does show that he knew about the Shem angels. perhaps not under that name, but at least as 72 intelligences in Kabbalah.

It is still an open question whether Kaballah plays any role in Etteilla's system. I don't see any, but there is much about his system that is unclear to me.
I had already conceded in an addendum to my above posts that Etteilla could have been referencing the 72 Intelligences in Kabbalah in that quote. I'm willing to change! Now we need to find any references by Etteilla that would suggest that he linked Kabbalah with the Tarot deck and how.

Christine's theory is that the specific Astro-Alpha-Numeric code found in the Sepher Yetzirah and the GRA Tree (with the exception of the planets which followed a Greek code) were linked to the Marseilles Tarot as early as Jacob Boehme, Paracelsus and Postel and passed to French Freemasons by the early-to-mid 18th century. Furthermore, that Etteilla was the main link in passing on this information to those who followed, such that Lévi, Paul Christian and Papus were only revealing information that Etteilla already knew and had encoded in his deck.

Anything in Etteilla's deck that seemingly contradicts this code was put there to deliberately misdirect the general public and the Inquisition.

AAN = Astro-Alpha-Numeric = fixed correspondences among Astrology, Letters, and Numbers (specified in the Sepher Yetzirah). These correspond to the Paths on the Hebrew Tree of Life—GRA Tree - not on the Kircher Tree (one secret is that they all knew the Kircher Tree was wrong). They also knew that the Hebrew planetary correspondences were wrong and so they used Greek ones (Bet-Moon, Gimel-Venus, Daleth-Jupiter, Kaph-Mars, Peh-Mercury, Resh-Saturn, Tav-Sun).

Christine - please correct any piece of this that is wrong.
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My theory on Tarot


Thanks for the feedback folks. This post is in response to Mary's attempt to paraphrase my position.

I try to look at this territory in historical order, like building a pyramid from the ground up.

*The sexugesimal grid is ancient, the Babylonian contribution to the Mysteries. The Greeks, Hebrews and Egyptians all built their astrological traditions on this foundation. The alphabet is loaded with astrological and numeric values at this time.

*It is contested which civilization is older, but both the Greeks and the Hebrews built a powerful mysticism of the Decave. The Hebrew side of the process gave birth to the Sefir Yetzira (short form) and it's alphabetic mysticism, whereas the Greek strain benefitted from the synthesizing vision of Pythagoras, who added sacred geometry, astrological harmonics and the Tetractys to the lexicon. The Alexandrian Synthesis forced the two to cross-compare and re-discover their astrological/mathematical roots in common.

* The end of the Crusades opened the gates whereby Arabic, Hindu, Chinese, Hebrew, and Egyptian/Alexandrian culture could flow into Europe. The utility of the Hebrew alphabet as a carrier wave for sacred geometry, astrological calculations, cryptographic coding, cabalistic speculations, yogic instructions and the Masonic Word was irresistible. It became the ultimate memory-cabinet for people of multiple disciplines to embed their esoteric values into, and from which to draw bodies of correspondences.

*Ficino's translations formally "set loose the demons" in Europe. A wave that had been rising for several centuries crested. A plethora of translations flew from, to and through both the ancient Sacred languages, and the contemporary 'vernacular' languages. Polyglot Bibles, as well as the Protestant Reformation, allowed the masses to experience Scripture and the Classics for the first time in their own language. Now the Church scholars are being challenged in their translation of Scripture by the laity, and the magus steps out of the closet (though just as often he takes a beating and is thrown back into it again!) Agrippa and Trithemius open up new horizons of theory and practice for the adventurous, and the Church lost control of the information for good.

*The Crusading Orders had been driven underground upon the demise of the Templars, but had never been extinguished. Their members fanned out and assimilated to their sympathizers in Spain, Scotland and other places. Their independence from Church and State had made them a target of hostility from both, but their revenge was successful; they seeded a blooming of Rosicrucian and Masonic/Freemasonic organizations that kept both the Crusading spirit, and its higher Arts and Sciences, alive. The alphabetarian knowledge, the Wisdom Tradition, the Gnosis continued to flow along channels that couldn't be suppressed, though the Church expended every effort to quash it.

Hence: By the time of the Boehme, a very sophisticated yogic / gnostic / cabalistic / alchemical / Hermetic / astrological / theological worldview had grown up which became the primary religious/spiritual paradigm within the Lodges. It is formed by the last wave of "magical christians" both Catholic and Protestant whose allegiance was to Sophia and the Religion of the World. This paradigm embraces multiple disciplines, and is keyed to a very specific usage of the Alphabet on the Paths and Chakras of the practioner's body. We are talking about a Sophianic yoga of the Restitution, practiced as a cabalistic meditation whereby the meditator experiences the Creation, the Lucifer Rebellion, the loss of Heaven, the Incarnation of Christ, and finally the Restitution, all played out between the individual's Chakras (Sephira) as a prefiguration of the final Judgement. These magical christians spliced together everything they could find about Sophia in every tongue, and they created a personal cultivation that they believed would advance the world into the Age of the Holy Spirit. The Tarot trumps and the whole magical philosophy of its construction is permeated with this mythos. (for those who care to use it this way, that is.)

All that being said, my theory has always been that the equation that constructs the Tarot:
{[(7x3)+1] = [(4x3) + (4x1)] + ([(3x3)+ 1] x4) }
{[Trumps] + [Royals] + (Pips)}

is an esoteric equation, and no esotericist of any generation would have missed this. It is this, I believe that justifies the "so-called Egyptian" myth of origins that has traveled with Tarot through the centuries.


Yes there is a tradition of linking the numbers to the letters, and also linking the 12/7/3 of astrology to the letters as well. This is **fixed** (emphasizing Mary's locution here) in history to the extent that A = 1 wherever you go in magical alphabets everywhere. That would have left the Fool to be the last letter right up to and including Etteilla. Nobody would have thought otherwise because there is no historical usage that I can find before the 20th century that arranges the alphabets with the numbers any differently. And having combed the evidence exhaustively, and come to the realization that the prime value of the letters in magic is associated with their NUMBERS first, and their sounds (and speech/writing value) second, *that* tells me that the letters go on the Trumps according to the numbers on their faces.

What Mary is calling "fixed correspondences" does have variants within it, but they are only among the Planetary letters. The Greeks assigned two pairs of Planets differently than the Hebrews did (switching out Mars/Venus and Jupiter/Sun). This still maintains the 12/7/3 pattern of antiquity, remaining a matter of personal taste or perhaps religious preference, so it doesn't cause a controversy. But then Levi switched out the Fool and the World for his own reasons (and someone here knows the date better than I), which breaks up the 12/7/3 pattern and really begs the question "what was he trying to do?" (But I see that's another thread here….)

Anyway, anybody who studies the Sefir Yetzira (short form) can easily see that Kircher's tree is a mess. Nobody had to keep any of this a secret, it's right there if you are interested enough to take the right books in hand. Even as a novice I could see that Kircher departed utterly from the 12/7/3 usage. So the issue becomes, whose Kabbalah are you following? I have tried to seek out people who had respect for the real Hebrew studies, rather than the Christian reformats.

Anyway, Etteilla was lucky to be in the right place and the right time to inherit Boehme's mystical synthesis, but at this point it was much more Mason-ized and less yogic by far. I can see traces of Boehm-ian Gnosticism and Sophianic magic in Etteilla, but there's also this overlay of the Lodges that wasn't present with Boehme. What I take from Etteilla is that he makes a very great effort to show the Fool as the last of the Trumps, which is consistent with the Kabbalistic peculiarities of Boehme's astral yoga (and which is WAY too much to explain to you in this post!!) Just look at the way Etteilla handles the Fool in his "division of the pack by 1,2,3,4,5,6,7', and you'll see that in almost every division, the Fool falls with the Trumps, at the end of the 22.

In short: Pythagorean sacred geometry embedded onto the ancient Magical alphabet gives the esotericists of Europe the perfect "personal computer". Lull demonstrates the memory-arts using combinatory wheels, and the "Lullist Arts" go a long way towards teaching people how to visualize the recombinant nature of the Alphabet. Before playing cards hit Europe, Kabbalistic/cabbalistic consciousness had already spread from royalty to commoners, especially after the suppression of the Templars. (So much so that any form of number-magic comes to be called 'cabbala'). Tarot appears without a manual, but Paracelsus, Trithemius, Agrippa and the polyglot Bibles teach people the magic of language and the Number/Letters.

Royal politics and the Reformation force the magical, gnostic, Sophianic Christians to band together away from their churches to get some space to study esotericism. Hence the best part of the teachings is sequestered in the Orders, where the Inquisition cannot crush it and snuff it out. Yes, there was tremendous effort even in Etteilla's time to hide the essence of what was being transmitted, and if you read the history of Cagliostro (a friend and contemporary of Etteilla's) you'll realize this was not a game. I'm reading Marsha Schuchard's last two research tomes and am amazed at the politicization of the Orders, and the deadly consequences of coming sideways up against a Pope! It turns out, just like with Dee, the "underground" work of the esotericists provided Europe with the means to carry on clandestine political manipulations and pursue secret agendas in code. Wild complications ensue!

But the esotericism itself, the basic premeses, were not at all secret in the sense you and I think of it. After all, the Marseilles Trumps were advertising the facts of the Letter/number connections from the time they first got numbers on their faces. And Etteilla doesn't repudiate that pack, he even names half his Trumps with the same old names, and makes the links obvious between the Marseilles Trumps and his. So I don't get the impression that Etteilla expects us to throw out everything we used to know about Tarot in order to use his cards.

What I see him doing is, like Lazzarelli before him, trying to tell the story of the Creation from the Greek side of the myth instead of the Hebrew side. But since they are both simply variants of the same alphabetarian and Pythagorean core model, it's really just a matter of new drapes and paint, not a "brand new invention". The ignorant think they have their hands on the "hottest new fad", and the cognoscenti can use it just as they did the Marseilles pack. It's all about "he who has eyes to see" -- a phrase which Schuchard says is an Eccosais flag that tells Masons to put on their thinking-caps!
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