The Influence of Etteilla &
His School on Mathers & Waite
By James W. Revak



Table 13—Etteilla’s Tarot vs. the Tarot de Marseille: Comparison of Trumps by Selected Criteria(a)
Etteilla’s Tarot(b) Tarot de Marseille(c)
No.  Title(d) Image  Selected
No. Title  Image Selected
  1 Etteilla, Male Querent Dark clouds surrounding apparently empty space. Aries, Primal Chaos No corresponding Trump.(g)
  2 Enlightenment, Fire Above: bright star; below: two nude children on steps of pedestal on which is apparent pyramid. 2nd element (Fire), 1st Day of Creation, Taurus. XVIIII The Sun Above: Sun with human-like face; below: two children in loincloths in front of wall. Probably  the Sun; possibly Fire or Gemini
  3 Comments, Water Above: Moon in cloudy sky; below: body of water in background with  lobster at edge, two towers at sides, wolf & dog in foreground. 1st element (Water), 3rd Day of Creation, Gemini XVIII The Moon Above: Moon with human-like profile, teardrop-shaped objects in sky (possibly rain or dew); below: two towers at sides, two animals (possibly dogs or wolves); foreground: lobster in body of water. Probably the Moon; possibly Water or Cancer
  4 Desolation, Air Kneeling nude woman pouring water from two pitchers into body of water beneath stars & planetary sigils, butterfly at side. 3rd element (Air), 2nd Day of Creation, Cancer XVII The Star Kneeling nude woman pouring water from two pitchers into body of water beneath eight stars; background: two trees, bird in one. Probably stars or planets (as general classes), possibly Water, or Aquarius
  5 Voyage, Earth Center: nude woman holding in right hand branch & standing between two pyramids,  encircled by Ouroboros; corners: angel, eagle, lion, bull (possibly symbols of the Four Evangelists). 4th element (Earth), 6th Day of Creation, Leo(h) XXI The World Center: nude woman holding baton in left hand, standing on right foot only (possibly dancing), surrounded by mandorla-shaped wreath; corners: angel, eagle, lion, bull (possibly symbols of the Four Evangelists). Probably Earth
  6 Night, Day Above: Sun, Moon, stars, part of zodiac (Aries & Libra); below: terraced landscape with vegetation. 4th Day of Creation, Virgo III The Empress Crowned woman, sitting on throne on vegetation, holding in left hand scepter surmounted by orb & cross, & in right hand, shield emblazoned with eagle. Possibly  Virgo or Venus
  7 Support, Protection Above: flying birds; below: body of water & coast, sea animals & monsters, snake. 5th Day of Creation, Libra IIII The Emperor Enthroned, helmeted, bearded man with crossed legs and chain around neck, holding in right hand scepter surmounted by orb & cross, shield at his side on which eagle emblazoned. Possibly Jupiter
  8 Etteilla, Female Querent Nude female outdoors, surrounded by eleven circles, tree and footpath in foreground, mountain in background. Day of Rest, Scorpio II The Papess Foreground: enthroned, woman wearing triple crown (apparently papal tiara) and priestly vestments (including stole), holding open book on knee; background: narrow curtain or possibly back of throne. Possibly Virgo
  9 Justice, Jurist Crowned woman, seated on throne on tiled floor, holding balance in right hand & upright sword in left, THOT apparently on waistband. Sagitarius VIII Justice Crowned woman, seated on throne on vegetation with chain around neck, holding in left hand balance,  upright sword in right hand. Probably  Libra
10 Temperance, Priest Angel standing outdoors, pouring liquid between two pitchers, sunburst on head; left foot on spherical object (possibly rock); other on triangular object; THOT on waistband. Capricorn XIIII Temperance Angel standing outdoors, pouring liquid between two pitchers, flower in hair. Possibly Water or Aquarius
11 Strength, Sovereign Crowned woman, seated on throne on tiled floor, with head of lion on lap, THOT on waistband. Aquarius XI Strength Standing woman wearing large hat and possibly crown, holding (with both hands) open jaws of lion standing next to her. Probably Leo
12 Prudence, The People Woman outdoors holding Caduceus in left hand, lifting edge of dress with right hand, gazing down at snake crossing her path. Apparently  none XII The Hanged Man Man, hands behind back, hanging upside-down, right foot bent at knee, left foot tied with rope to gibbet comprised of horizontal beam between two trees (from which branches removed). Apparently none
13 Marriage, Union Bearded standing man indoors & wearing miter (apparently priest), apparently marrying man & woman standing at his sides & reaching out to each other. Apparently none V The Pope Middle ground: bearded, seated man (apparently pope), wearing papal tiara, priestly vestments, holding scepter in right hand surmounted by triple cross; foreground: two men (probably tonsured and kneeling); background: back of throne or possibly two columns. Possibly Taurus or Jupiter
14 Great Force, Great Force On pedestal: demonic creature with wings (possibly those of bat), horns (possibly those of ram),  bearded head of man, breasts of woman, scaly midsection, apparently furry legs, holding lit torch in right hand; on ground & tied to pedestal: nude & horned man & woman. Apparently none XV The Devil On pedestal:  cross-eyed demonic creature, sticking tongue out, wearing hat or helmet, with wings (possibly those of bat), horns (possibly those of deer), head of man, breasts of woman, exposed male genitalia, & claw-like hands & feet, holding in left hand lit torch; on ground & tied to pedestal: two nude demonic creatures with hands behind backs, horns (possibly those of deer), long ears (possibly those of ass), long tails, & claw-like feet. Possibly Fire, Earth, or Capricorn
15 Illness, Illness Bearded man (apparently priest or magician) wearing miter, holding wand in right hand, standing indoors at altar (on which apparent urn & other objects) with ram’s heads at corners. Apparently none I The Juggler or Mountebank [Le Bataleur] Man with large hat standing at three-legged table (on which cups, knives & other objects), standing on vegetation, holding baton in left hand and apparent coin in right hand. Probably Mercury
16 Judgment, Judgment Above: sunburst in front of which angel flies, blowing trumpet & holding two more; below: three standing men,  kneeling man, & nude woman apparently rising from grave in foreground, crowd of people in background. Apparently none XX Judgment Above: angel with flower in hair, halo, among clouds and apparent rays of light, blowing trumpet from which banner emblazoned with cross hangs; below: man, woman, and third person (possibly tonsured man) apparently rise from their graves with apparent hills in background. Possibly Fire,  Air, or Earth
17 Mortality, Nothingness Skeleton clothed in robe, holding scythe upright in left hand, pointing downwards toward earth with right hand, pyramids in background. Apparently none XIII None (but commonly called Death) Skeleton (missing left foot), apparently reaping with scythe; on ground are vegetation & body parts (three hands, two heads & foot). Possibly Saturn
18 Traitor, Traitor Running bearded man outdoors in robe (apparently monk with cowl down), holding lantern aloft in right hand & cane in left hand, near apparent pedestal, round building in background. Apparently none XIV  The Hermit Standing or walking bearded man in robe (with cowl down), holding lantern aloft in right hand & cane in left hand. Possibly Saturn
19 Misery, Prison Round building on hill in foreground, lightning bolt emerging from cloudy sky and apparently striking crumbling tower in background. Apparently none XVI The House of God Lightning bolt striking tower, crown of which is flying off at angle, round objects (apparently debris) & two human beings fall from tower; background: hills. Possibly Fire or Jupiter
20 Fortune, Increase Above: crowned, capped animal (possibly monkey) sitting on tree branch, holding scepter; below: thin ring suspended in air above earth, on rim man (serpent wrapped around him) descends & animal (possibly mouse or rat) ascends.  Apparently none X Wheel of Fortune Six-spoked wheel with crank & supporting frame, at top, winged, crowned creature (possibly sphinx), animal on rim (possibly monkey) descends, another animal (possibly rabbit) ascends. Apparently none
21 Dissension, Dissension Crowned man wearing cuirass, holding scepter in left hand, reins in other, seated in chariot, led by two horses. Apparently none VII The Chariot Crowned man wearing cuirass & epaulets with human-like faces, standing in chariot (topped with canopy supported by four posts), holding scepter in right hand, left hand on hip, VT emblazoned on front of chariot, led by two horses. Probably  Mars
(or 0)
Folly, Folly Foreground: bearded man walking outdoors (building at his back) wearing pullover hat, carrying bag on stick over right shoulder, holding cane in left hand, single bell on belt, apparently pursued by animal (possibly cat) which apparently bites him in right leg, mountain in background. Apparently none None The Fool Walking man wearing hat (apparently fool’s cap), carrying bag on stick over right shoulder, holding cane in left hand, multiple bells on waste & collar, pursued by animal (possibly cat), which scratches him on his exposed right buttock. Apparently none
No corresponding Trump.(f) VI The Lovers Above: Eros (winged nude child armed with bow & arrow) flies in front of sunburst, aiming drawn arrow downward; below: man between two women, woman on his right wears possible crown & places left hand on his right shoulder, woman on his left stretches her left arm towards him. Possibly Fire, Sagitarius, or Venus.


Redindicates aspects of ET which are absent or significantly different from corresponding aspects of the TM in the opinion of the author.

Green indicates aspects of the TM which are absent or significantly different from corresponding aspects of ET in the opinion of the author.

(a) Correspondences between the Trumps of ET and those of the TM are from Papus (1909) (see body of this paper and Appendix C for further details).
(b) Etteilla’s original Tarot deck was reconstructed to the extent possibly by the author from Decker, Depaulis, Dummett (1996); Etteilla (c. 1785/c. 1975); and Silvestre-Haéberlé (1996).
(c) From Conver (1761/n.d.).
(d) Two titles appear for each card: the first is for the upright orientation; the second, for the reversed orientation.  Occasionally both orientations carry identical titles.
(e) Correspondences are limited to the four elements, zodiacal signs, and days of creation, and were developed by Etteilla (1785/1993, c. 1788/c. 1975) (see also Decker, Depaulis, Dummett, 1996; Silvestre-Haéberlé, 1996).  For further astrological correspondences developed by Etteilla (including the planets) see Appendix A.  Kaplan (1978) presents different, apparently incorrect, astrological correspondences, for which he cites no source.
(f) These correspondences, which are limited to the four elements, zodiacal signs, seven planets (individually and as a class), and stars (as a class) were developed, in part, by the author.  They reflect how he feels a reasonable person with a working knowledge of Western Esotericism and its iconography might assign correspondences to the TM.  No attempt was made to include systematically all elements, zodiacal signs, or each planet individually or relate them to any single esoteric view or doctrine.  Many of these correspondences have also been suggested by others, e.g., Mackenzie (c. 1870/1996); O’Neill (1986); and Wirth (1927/1985); to specify a few.
(g) These Trumps have no correspondents from the other deck according to Papus (1909) (see body of this paper and Appendix C for further details).
(h) In addition to the the card, in general, corresponding to Leo, the angel, eagle, lion, and bull are individually assigned to Aquarius, Scorpio, Leo, and Taurus respectively.

Copyright © 2000 James W. Revak.  All rights reserved.  Version 1.1 (8/19/00).