Divinatory Tarot and the School of Etteilla

Christine Payne-Towler is a prodigious researcher and author. Her article/review of Papus’ “Divinatory Tarot and the School of Etteilla” can be found on her site, Tarot University – http://noreah.typepad.com/tarot_arkletters/2008/03/divinatory-taro.html. Here she discusses the 2008 translation of this work, presented by Aeon Books.

Her very first remark on this translation is very telling – and a gift in and of itself, as she notes that the language is very “modern day”, and “fresh”, as if she and Papus were contemporaries. Through this work a definite statement is made on the Etteilla pack – that it did indeed an esoteric Tarot. In fact, Payne-Towler notes that it is actually a manifesto on esoteric Tarot! Her feeling is that Etteilla made cartomancy a Trojan Horse used to smuggle inner Lodge occult practices and esoteric philosophies into the common discourse of the day.

There are some excellent references in this article, as well as a cataloging of the influences on each of the Trumps and Suit cards. There is much more here – check the article out, it will be well worth your effort!

(c) April 2011 Bonnie Cehovet

2 comments on “Divinatory Tarot and the School of Etteilla

  1. r3v3r8 says:

    Hi Bonnie —

    Thanks so much for drawing attention to this book! It is a classic of the genre and also a testament to how far along the esoteric Tarot project was already advanced at the end of the 1700’s. It was a thrill just to assemble that article because it represents the convergence of multiple research threads that I’ve been collecting data points about for years.

    Do you know, Bonnie dear, if there is an Etteilla community anywhere online? I’d love to be the fly on the wall of that forum!



  2. Christine –

    LOL I am going to have to check and see if there is an Etteilla community somewhere online. There just might be!

    Bonnie (Who is so happy now thta her comments are working!)

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