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