Tarot Divination:
Three Parallel Traditions
Edited & Translated By
James W. Revak




Ten of Cups from the Tarot de Marseille par Nicholas ConverWAITE: Contentment, repose of the entire heart; the perfection of that state; also perfection of human love and friendship; if with several picture-cards, a person who is taking charge of the Querent’s interests; also the town, village or country inhabited by the Querent.  Additional meanings: For a male Querent, a good marriage and one beyond his expectations.
Reversed: Repose of the false heart, indignation, violence. Additional Meanings: Sorrow; also a serious quarrel.

MATHERS: The town wherein one resides, Honor, Consideration, Esteem, Virtue, Glory, Reputation.
Reversed: Combat, Strife, Opposition, Differences, Dispute.

Illustration (above): Ten of Cups from the Tarot de Marseille par Nicolas Conver (1761), republished by Héron.  Click the image for a larger one.

ETTEILLA: Town, City, Homeland, Country, Market Town, Village, Place, Site, Dwelling Place, House, Residence.—Citizen, Citizenry, Town Resident.
Reversed: Wrath, Indignation, Strife, Irritation, Rage, Anger, Violence.


WAITE: Concord, contentment, physical bien-être [well-being]; also victory, success, advantage; satisfaction for the Querent or person for whom the consultation is made. Additional Meanings: Of good augury for military men.
Reversed: Truth, loyalty, liberty; but the readings vary and include mistakes, imperfections, etc. Additional Meanings: Good business.

MATHERS: Victory, Advantage, Success, Triumph, Difficulties surmounted.
Reversed: Faults, Errors, Mistakes, Imperfections.

ETTEILLA: Victory, Success, Attainment, Advantage, Profit.—Pomp, Triumph, Trophy, Pre-Eminence, Superiority.—Spectacle, Pageantry, Paraphernalia.
Reversed: Sincerity, Truth, Reality, Loyalty, Good Faith, Frankness, Artlessness, Candor, Romantic Overture, Unaffectedness.—Liberty, Science, Freedom, Familiarity, Boldness, Ease, Dissoluteness.


WAITE: The card speaks for itself on the surface, but other readings are entirely antithetical—giving joy, mildness, timidity, honour, modesty. In practice, it is usually found that the card shews the decline of a matter, or that a matter which has been thought to be important is really of slight consequence—either for good or evil. Additional Meanings: Marriage with a fair woman.
Reversed: Great joy, happiness, feasting. Reversed Meanings: Perfect satisfaction.

MATHERS: A fair Girl, Friendship, Attachment, Tenderness.
Reversed: Gaiety, Feasting, Joy, Pleasure.

ETTEILLA: Fair Girl, Honest Girl, Practical Girl, Honor, Propriety, Modesty, Restrained, Timidity, Fear, Apprehension, Sweetness [Mildness], Attractiveness.
Reversed: Satisfaction, Happiness, Contentment, Gayety, Joy, Elation, Festivity, Entertainment, Feast.—Apology, Atonement, Exoneration.—Public Joy, Spectacle, Pomp, Dressing, Preparation, Arrangement.


WAITE: Fairy favours, images of reflection, sentiment, imagination, things seen in the glass of contemplation; some attainment in these degrees, but nothing permanent or substantial is suggested. Additional Meanings: Fair child; idea, design, resolve, movement.
Reversed: Desire, will, determination, project. Additional Meanings: Success, if accompanied by the Three of Cups.

MATHERS: Idea, Sentiment, Reflection, Project.
Reversed: Plan, Design, Resolution, Decision.

ETTEILLA: Thought, Soul, Mind, Intelligence, Idea, Memory, Imagination, Understanding, Notion, Meditation, Contemplation, Reflection, Deliberation, View, Opinion, Sentiment.
Reversed: Project, Design [Plan], Intention, Desire, Will, Resolution [Decision], Determination, Premeditation.


Six of Cups from The Rider Tarot DeckWAITE: A card of the past and memories, looking back, as—for example—on childhood; happiness, enjoyment, but coming rather from the past; things that have vanished. Another reading reverses this, giving new relations, new knowledge, new environment, and then the children [see illustration, left] are disporting in an unfamiliar precinct. Additional Meanings: Pleasant memories.
Reversed: The future, renewal, that which will come to pass presently. Additional Meanings: Inheritance to fall in quickly.

llustration (above): Six of Cups, from an early edition (c. 1910) of The Rider Tarot Deck by Waite & Smith, published by Rider (from the private collection of Holly Voley).  Click the image for a larger one.

MATHERS: The Past, passed by, Faded, Vanished, Disappeared.
Reversed: The Future, that which is to come, Shortly, Soon.

ETTEILLA: The Past, Times Gone By, Wilted, Faded, Formerly, Earlier, Previously, Long Ago, In The Olden Days.—Old Age, Decrepitude, Antiquity.
Reversed: Advent, Future.—After, Following, Subsequently, Later.—Regeneration, Resurrection.—Reproduction, Renewal, Repetition.


Five of Cups from The Rider Tarot DeckWAITE: It is a card of loss, but something remains over; three have been taken, but two are left [see illustration, right]; it is a card of inheritance, patrimony, transmission, but not corresponding to expectations; with some interpreters it is a card of marriage, but not without bitterness or frustration. Additional Meanings: Generally favourable; a happy marriage; also patrimony, legacies, gifts, success in enterprise.
Reversed: News, alliances, affinity, consanguinity, ancestry, return, false projects.  Additional Meanings: Return of some relative who has not been seen for long.

llustration (above): Five of Cups, from an early edition (c. 1910) of The Rider Tarot Deck by Waite & Smith, first published by Rider in 1909 (from the private collection of Holly Voley).  Click the image for a larger one.

MATHERS: Union, Junction, Marriage, Inheritance.
Reversed: Arrival, Return, News, Surprise, False projects.

ETTEILLA: Legacy, Succession, Bequest, Gift, Donation, Dowry, Patrimony, Handing Down, Will.—Tradition, Decision—Conspiracy.
Reversed: Consanguinity, Blood, Family, Forbears, Ancestors, Father, Mother, Brother, Sister, Uncle, Aunt, Cousin.—Filiation, Extraction, Race, Lineage, Alliance [Union].—Affinity, Contact, Relationship, Connections [Junctions].


Four of Cups from The Rider Tarot DeckWAITE: Weariness, disgust, aversion, imaginary vexations, as if the wine of this world had caused satiety only; another wine, as if a fairy gift, is now offered the wastrel [see illustration, left], but he sees no consolation therein. This is also a card of blended pleasure. Additional Meanings: Contrarieties.
Reversed: Novelty, presage, new instruction, new relations. Additional Meanings: Presentiment.

MATHERS: Ennui, Displeasure, Discontent, Dissatisfaction.
Reversed: Acquaintance, Conjecture, Sign, Presentiment.

ETTEILLA: Weariness, Displeasure, Discontentment, Disgust, Aversion, Enmity, Hate, Horror, Anxiety, Mental Suffering, Mild Dejection, Vexation, Painful, Annoying, Unpleasant.—Distressing, Troubling.
Reversed: New Instruction, New Light.—Sign, Indication, Conjecture.—Omen, Presage.—Premonition, Prognostication, Prediction, Novelty.

llustration (above): Four of Cups, from an early edition (c. 1910) of The Rider Tarot Deck by Waite & Smith, first published by Rider in 1909 (from the private collection of Holly Voley).  Click the image for a larger one.


WAITE: The conclusion of any matter in plenty, perfection and merriment; happy issue, victory, fulfillment, solace, healing.  Additional Meanings: Unexpected advancement for a military man.
Reversed: Expedition, dispatch, achievement, end. It signifies also the side of excess in physical enjoyment, and the pleasures of the senses. Additional Meanings: Consolation, cure, end of the business.

MATHERS: Success, Triumph, Victory, Favorable Issue.
Reversed: Expedition of business, Quickness, Celerity, Vigilance.

ETTEILLA: Success, Science, Fortunate Outcome, Happy Issue [Fortunate Ending], Victory.—Healing, Cure, Relief.—Fulfillment.—Perfection.
Reversed: Expedition, Dispatch, Execution, Achievement, End, Conclusion, Termination, Accomplishment.


Two of Cups from Ancien Tarot de MarseilleWAITE: Love, passion, friendship, affinity, union, concord, sympathy, the interrelation of the sexes, and—as a suggestion apart from all offices of divination—that desire which is not in Nature, but by which Nature is sanctified.  Additional Meanings: Favourable in things of pleasure and business, as well as love; also wealth and honour.
Reversed: [No primary reversed meanings provided.]  Additional Meanings: Passion.

MATHERS: Love, Attachment, Friendship, Sincerity, Affection.
Reversed: Crossed desires, Obstacles, Opposition, Hindrance.

ETTEILLA: Love, Passion, Inclination, Sympathy, Appeal, Proclivity, Friendship, Kindness, Affection, Attachment, Liking, Union, Gallantry, Attraction, Affinity.
Reversed: Desire, Want, Wish, Will, Craving, Covetousness, Cupidity, Concupiscence, Jealousy, Passion, Illusion, Longing.

Illustration (above): Two of Cups from Ancien Tarot de Marseille (1932) by Marteau, Copyright © 1980 Grimaud.


WAITE: House of the true heart, joy, content, abode, nourishment, abundance, fertility; Holy Table, felicity hereof. Additional Meanings: Inflexible will, unalterable law.
Reversed: House of the false heart, mutation, instability, revolution. Additional Meanings: Unexpected change of position.

MATHERS: Feasting, Banquet, Good Cheer.
Reversed: Change, Novelty, Metamorphosis, Inconstancy.

ETTEILLA: Table, Meal, Feast, Reception, Treat, Food, Edibles, Nutrition.—Guests, Service.—Invitation, Prayer, Supplication, Convoking.—Host, Hotel, Hostelry, Inn.—Abundance, Fertility, Production, Robustness, Stability, Steadiness, Constancy, Perseverance, Continuation, Permanency, Duration, Regularity, Persistence, Confidence, Courage.—Scene, Painting, Image, Hieroglyph, Description.—Tablets, Portfolio, Desk, Secretary.—Simple Table, Bronze Table, Marble Table, Law.—Catalog, Table of Contents.—Sounding Board, Garden Table, Holy Table.
Reversed: Mutation, Permutation, Transmutation, Alteration, Vicissitudes, Varieties, Variation, Inconstancy, Weakness.—Barter, Exchange, Purchase, Sale, Deal, Treaty, Agreement.—Metamorphosis, Variety, Changeability, Reversal, Disruption, Revolution, Reversion.—Version, Translation, Interpretation.


Red indicates passages from Mathers or Waite which paralleled those of Etteilla, in the opinion of the editor

Green indicates passages from Waite which did not parallel those of Etteilla but did parallel those of Mathers, in the opinion of the editor.

For further details concerning the presentation and sources of this material, see the Introduction.

Copyright © 2000 James W. Revak.  All rights reserved.  Version 1.1 (3/27/00).