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Etteilla's Tr. of Pymander

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.tarot,alt.divination,alt.pagan.magick,alt.magick
From: nagasiva 
Subject: Re: Etteilla's Tr. of Pymander
Date: Sun, 04 Jan 2004 08:43:13 GMT

Etteilla's sources. re Pimander/Pymandres/et al.
the second French, according to Depaulis et al.

# I know for a fact that at least one such translation was 
# available in France during his day.

two, apparently. the first was classic and the second was
the one to which Alliette turned. here's the text from which
I'm deriving this conclusion:

	The *Pimander* was Etteilla's authority,
	mentioned frequently in his writings about
	the Tarot, notably in the 'Second cahier'
	of *Maniere de se recreer avec le jeu de
	cartes nommees tarots*, where reference
	is made to the 14th section of the
	'*Pymandre*, traduit par *Francois de
	Candalle*, 1578' (p. 17).

		Actually *Le Pimandre de Mercure
		Trismegiste ... traduit de
		l'exemplaire grec ... par
		Francois, Monsier de Foix de
		Candalle*, Bordeaux, 1579.
		This was the second French
		translation to be published in
		the XVI century. The first
		had appeared in 1557: *Deus
		livres de Mercure Trismegiste
		Hermes ... traduit en francois
		par Gabriel du Preau*, Paris, 1557.
                                  Despite Etteilla's
	fantasies, his fundamental thinking is still
	coherent: if the Tarot is the Book of Thoth,
	and Thoth is Hermes Trismegistus ('Mercure
	Trismegiste', as he calls him), and the
	teachings of Hermes Trismegistus are preserved
	in the *Pimander*, then we should find learned
	Hermetism in the cards. However, Etteilla does
	not attempt to accommodate the whole of
	Hermetic philosophy in his Tarot. His focus is
	on the creation myths. Etteilla also noted the
	Hermetist's reliance on the four classical
	elements: this is why he assigned four trumps
	to the elements. Both Etteilla and his authority
	are partially dependent upon the description of
	creation in Genesis with its six days culminating
	in the formation of humans.
	"A Wicked Pack of Cards...", Depaulis, Decker, Dummett, 
	 St. Martin's Press, 1996; pp. 86-7, 273-4 n44.

# ...Etteilla's predecessors, Gebelin and Mellet, did relate 
# Tarot to the story of Creation, which almost certainly
# influenced Etteilla to do similarly.  

that seems to have been the basis for Alliette's quasi-reversion 
of the Tarot de Marseille (TdM), yes. 

# *However*, unlike Etteilla,
# Gebelin and Mellet, for reasons they never satisfactorily explained,
# insisted that the true or esoteric ordering of the Trumps began with
# the World as number one.  They insisted that the story of Creation
# began with this card, continued with Judgment as number two, etc.  Go
# figure.

someone (I couldn't find a reference with a brief glance; could 
have been the fabulous Levi for all I know) noted that they presumed 
the Egyptian values were descending, that primacy was given by 
*Egyptians* to higher numbers and perhaps even that counting by
Egyptians happened this way. it should be remembered, if I'm even
close to motivation, that this was the heyday of *Sethos* Egypto-
mania, and no historical evidence was available to these Frenchmen
from which they might derive their theories.

my impression was that they were Christians attempting to make some
sense out of the card-ranking, saw a potential emanation-scheme in
the Trumps, and fabricated atop them for their purposes (whether one
presumes them deceptive or merely imaginative absent evidence). this
kind of thing is what led me to playfully suggest that the logic of 
this sequence might some kind of Neoplatonic emanationist hierarchy 
(which was succinctly criticized for its weaknesses :>). I got some
points, but couldn't, as I suggest that early (occult) Tarotists 
could not more convincingly, persuade a modern reader of its 
awesome character and origins given the contradicting evidence.

Etteilla liked Hermeticism and Rosicruciana of his time and 
sought to express within this writ concordant and innovative 
ideas which might be taken up as part of an emergent ancient 
recovery of an occult device. he published text on this
subject and described himself as a Professor of Algebra.


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