Re: Pre-1770 Etteilla, from accounts in 1791 & 1797

Somewhere I got, that the text "L'homme a projets" (the one of 1791, not that of 1983) would be the text, which made the theory of a cooperation between Etteilla and Hisler in 1768/69.
DDD's source for the note at page 100 was Millet-Sant-Pierre (1859). It also isn't available. ... el&f=false
... has some reference to the text, but a note about 1769/70 is missing.

Re: Pre-1770 Etteilla, from accounts in 1791 & 1797

I can offer no enlightenment on your issue, Huck.

Instead, I want to look some more at the Bolognese cartomancers' list from Pratesi, this time for the triumphs;
La Stella = Regalo, Carro = Viaggio, Mondo = Viaggio Lungo, Traditore = Tradimento, Diavolo = Rabbia, Luna = Notte, Sole = Giorno, Bagattino = Uomo maritato, Matto = Pazzia, Amore = Amore, Forza = Violenza, Morte = Morte, Tempra = Tempo

(The Star = Gift, Carro = Journey, World = Long Journey, Traitor = Treason, Devil = Anger, Moon = Night, Sun = Day, Bagattino = Married man, Matto = Madness, Love = Love, Strength = Violence, Death = Death, Tempra = Time)
One case, Star=Gift, seems to suggest the Bolognese tarocchini scene on its Star card, with the Magi under a star. An association of the Bagattino to a married man suggests that he was seen as some sort of artisan or merchant, in any case someone with a legitimate trade. Several, like Carro, Luna, Sole, Amore, Matto, Tradimento, and Morte have no need of any special explanation other than what is suggested by the picture or the title. If Carro=Journey, then World as Long Journey is a logical choice. Violenze is suggested by the picture of someone pushing a column, together with "Forza". Tempo is suggested by the spelling "Tempra".

Let's see how well they fit Etteilla's first 21 cards and the last one, whose key word is "Folie", i.e. Pazzia.

As the guy with a pack on a stick, Etteilla's card 78, also with the number 0, is the Fool. This one works, precisely--but it is rather obvious.

Etteilla's card 2 has a sun on it, with 2 boys underneath. It does not have "day" as its keyword, but "day" is one of his associations, in the 2nd Caher, as well as "night". That is because Etteilla associates the card with the first day of creation, when God created the night and the day.

When I look at the Etteilla card associated with the Moon, his card 3, "Night" is not listed at all--logically enough, since it has already been created, and now we are on to the seas.

His card 4 is his version of the Star card. There is no association to gifts.

Perhaps surprisingly, Journey is indeed his keyword for his version of the World card., his card 5. It is not qualified by "long".

The sixth card has both a sun and a moon on it. Its keywords are "Night" and "Day". Perhaps that counts as a meaningful correspondence to the Bolognese list; but it is fairly obvious.

We don't come to any more of the Bolognese cards until Etteilla's 9-12, for him the four cardinal virtues. However the Bolognese cartomancer doesn't see them in terms of virtues. Strength is "violence" and "Tempra" is "Time". Even Etteilla's Reversed meanings don't match: for Strength, it is "Sovereign" and for Temperance, "Priest".

His card 12, Prudence, is the Traditore card turned upside down. I would imagine that he knows what it was said to be, a Traitor, and declines to associate that meaning with it, feeling it preferable to give it to Prudence. Then he can assign "Traitor" to his Hermit, whom he identifies as a perfidious monk, no doubt aiming to subvert the rule of reason.

Etteilla's version of the Love card is his number 13, keyword "Marriage". There is nothing about Love in the word-lists of his immediate followers, but perhaps it is understood. It is included by the time we get to "Julia Orsini" in 1838.

Etteilla's Devil card is number 14, keyword "Force majeur". I think it means "very strong force". "Anger" is not on the wordlists.The closest is "violent impulse".

Etteilla's Magician is card 15, which he sees as depicting a great sage and magician. There is nothing about being married or unmarried in any of the associations.

His number 16 is judgment, which the Bolognese cartomancer doesn't list.

Etteilla's 17 is Death, with keyword "Mortality", followed by "death' in the other associations.

Etteilla's 18 is the Old Man, called Traitor, whom I've already discussed.

Etteilla's 19 is the temple struck by lightning, which the Bolognese doen't have.

Etteilla's 20 is the Wheel of Fortune, which the Bolognese doesn't have.

Etteilla's 21 is the Chariot, for which Etteilla has "dissension" and nothing about any journeys.

Summary: the associations are few and fairly obvious to anyone looking at the Tarot de Marseille versions of the cards. The only exceptions might be the World, as Journey, and maybe Day and Night, but that is not much. There are too many complete misses to suppose that he was inspired by this list.

That the card called "Love" has become "Marriage" in Etteilla is perhaps due to a tradition started in the CY and carried over to Vieville and the Belgian tarots of having a couple entering upon marriage, signified by the banners on the CY and the man on the Vieville with his hand raised as though to bless the couple. It is also rather clear in the Schoen Horoscope ( ... eville.jpg). This tradition was absent from Bologna and northeastern Italy generally.

The relationship between Etteilla and the Bolognese list is much closer with the suit cards, however. Let me repeat:
RD = L’uomo, QD = Verità, CD = Pensier dell’Uomo [thought of the man], FD = Denari (money], FD = Signorina, AD = Tavola (Table), 10D = Denari.
Clubs (Trefles, clover leaves). K = dark-haired man; L = dark-haired woman, V = Dark-haired boy, A = A lot of money, 10 = House, 9 = A present; 8 = dark-haired girl, 7 = Money.

RC = Un Vecchio [an old man], QC = Donna Maritata [married woman], CC = Accomodamento [accommodation, arrangement], FC = La Donna, AC = La Casa [House]
Hearts (Coeurs). K= blond man, L = blonde woman, V = blond boy, A= Bottle, table, 10= city, 9=Victory, 8=blonde girl, 7=Thought

RB = Un signore non ammogliato [unmarried man], QB =, CB = Martello della porta [hammer of a door], FB = Pensiere della Donna [thought of the woman], AB = Baronate
Diamonds (Caros, Tiles). K=a man, L=a woman, V=military man/ servant, A=Letters or news, 10=Gold/Anger, 9=Delay, 8=Country, 7=Gossip.

RS= Mala Lingua [bad tongue], AS = Lettera, 10S = Lagrime [tears].
Spades (Piques, pikes). KING = Robed/widowed man, L = Gallant/Widowed woman, V = Envoy/curious, A = Love/Pregnancy, 10 = Tears, 9 = Ecclesiastic/Mourning, 8 = Illness.
The match up is not always with the same suit, but that does not matter for the purpose of fortune-telling from a random selectin. There is also Etteilla's variation in the courts that hair color is associated with French suit color. The correspondences seem to me sufficient enough to be significant.

Combining the two results, I would say that he probably did not get any of the meanings directly from the Bolognese source, but that those in the suit cards derive from a tradition for interpreting the ordinary pack which both Etteilla and the Bolognese cartomancer drew from.

That such a tradition was originally Italian or Spanish rather than French is suggested by the themes of the Etteilla's suits, which do not correspond to what the French suits were called but do to the Latin suit-symbols. That Coins would be associated with money, houses, and gifts makes sense, but Clover-leaves do not. That Cups is associated with table, bottle, victory, and the town (religious seat) makes sense, but not Hearts. That Staves, made of wood and the lower-class weapon, would be associated with military men, servants, and the country makes sense, but "Tiles" does not.

If we expand the reach of our associations to include the 1797 cards we get one coincidence I find somewhat striking. The Bolognese meanings "thought of the man" in the feminine suit of Coins, and "thought of the woman" in the masculine suit of Batons are paralleled in the 1797 list by "thought of the blond man" for the Valet de Coeurs (hearts). It suggests a connection between the two systems, albeit at some remove. That may suggest also the same, but with more defectiveness in transmission, for Eteilla's "thought" by itself, also in Hearts. But perhaps "thought of the man (or woman)" is a natural enough association in a fortune-telling context, as it answers the no doubt often-asked question "Does he (or she) think about me?"

Re: Pre-1770 Etteilla, from accounts in 1791 & 1797

Mikeh ..
"In my next post I will have the supposed 1757 list of Etteilla's, arranged in that fashion, plus his simplified method of interpretation."

I think, you mean 1797 ???


I looked for "Le Bohémien" in the relevant time (around 1797) in the search engine.

I stumbled in a text of the year 1800 about the following ... ... 00&f=false


... with the footnote addition ...


I didn't know the name and looked it up. ... ,_Johannes

He wrote a prophetic work in 1484 (curiously the year, when the legendary Christian Rosenkreuzer shall have died), called Pronosticatio. It was printed in 1488 and became a success. Also he shall have been an astrologus for emperor Fredrick III. He shall have predicted the farmer rebellion in Germany 1523-25. So a truthsayer of some recommendation. He got his name of the location "Lichtenberg" in the lower Alsace. About its existence had been much confusion, some assumed, that he was an invented figure and not real (according the biographer).

If I understand the French passage correctly, the expression "Bohémien" is here (year 1800) directly used in connection to divination.


I found a Jakob (not Johannes) von Lichtenberg ...

Die letzten Lichtenberger

Die beiden Erben, Ludwig V. und Jakob, waren vollkommen gegensätzliche Charaktere: Der ältere, Jakob von Lichtenberg, interessierte sich vor allem für „Wissenschaften“, Astrologie und Alchemie. Als Ältester beanspruchte er die politische Führung der Herrschaft, nahm sie aber nicht angemessen wahr. Ludwig V. dagegen hatte das politische Talent, als jüngerer aber nicht die Führungsposition zu beanspruchen. Aus dieser Konstellation entstanden jahrelange Auseinandersetzungen. Diese führten 1440 zu einer Landesteilung zwischen beiden.[36] Da Jakob aber seine Aufgaben als Landesherr offenbar nicht ausreichend wahrnahm, lag auch nach der Landesteilung die reale Macht in der gesamten Herrschaft wieder bei Ludwig V.
One of the two last heirs, Jacob von Lichtenberg, was especially interested in astrology and alchemy (so he might well be the relevant author).

However, according ...
... the biography of Bärbel von Ottenheim it's claimed, that she was the maitresse of a Jacob von Lichtenberg (Vogt in Strassburg), who died in 1480. She was accused to be a witch and set into prison. She died, possibly in the interest of the heirs, who wanted her money.

The German biographer of Johannes Lichtenberg (the author) wrote, that the author of the Pronosticatio lived till 1503.


... taken as a presentation of Jacob (sic) von Lichtenberg (as a prophet)


... taken as Sybille and Bärbel of Ottenheim

Johann Valentin Andreae, the author of the later Rosenkreuzer text, lived not too far from the region of Lichtenberg.


A German book ..
Historischer Versuch über die Zigeuner 1787 (author Grellmann) ... navlinks_s
... was translated in 1810 to ...
Histoire des Bohémiens, ou Tableau des mœurs, usages et coutumes de ce peuple nomade;: suivie de recherches historiques sur leur origine, leur langage et leur première apparition en Europe
Heinrich Moritz Gottlieb Grellmann
Chez Joseph Chaumerot ... Chez Chaumerot jeune, 1810 - 354 Seiten
(I saw noted, that this book was translated already in 1787) ... navlinks_s

The word "wahrsagen" I found 4 times, but none of the passages included divination with cards. "Banat" is mentioned as a place with many Zigeuner (it means a region in Romania, Serbia-Croatia and Hungary).


Re: Pre-1770 Etteilla, from accounts in 1791 & 1797

Huck wrote:Mikeh ..
"In my next post I will have the supposed 1757 list of Etteilla's, arranged in that fashion, plus his simplified method of interpretation."

I think, you mean 1797 ???
No, I meant 1757. Actually, I should probably, for clarity, have put quotes around the date. It is the "1757" list (as hypothesized by DDD, although the 1797 text itself says 1771) embedded in the 1797 text.

Although the word "Bohemien" in French in divinatory or other exotic or derogatory contexts meant "Gypsy", the man sitting at the table in the 1797 frontispiece does not look like a Gypsy to me. He looks more Slavic, German, or even like the bust of Lichtenberg.


And the things on the walls--globes, statuary (a bust, an angel)--are not Gypsy accoutrements, but those of a scholar, or, yes, prophet.

Did the designer of the frontispiece think Gypsies were just Bohemians, and included educated people? Or he didn't distinguish between Gypsies and Jews, in which case "Bohemien" just meant to him "nomad, wanderer"? It's a puzzle, yes.

Re: Pre-1770 Etteilla, from accounts in 1791 & 1797

... :-) ... Yes, I also noted the similarity.



Curiously the head is nowadays in Strassburg, likely it was always there as a statue of the church ...
Musée de l’Œuvre Notre-Dame ... Notre-Dame

Etteilla was in Strassbourg. He might have known the statue, perhaps even also the legend about it, which connected it to one of the Lichtenbergs.

This seems to be the reconstructed figure.


And this seems to be the older figure of Bärbel von Ottenheim


photo of 1860


The book of the Johannes Lichtenberger (1526 edition) ... 00005.html


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests