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




King of Cups from Tarocco PiemonteseWAITE: Fair man, man of business, law, or divinity; responsible, disposed to oblige the Querent; also equity, art and science, including those who profess science, law and art; creative intelligence. Additional meanings: Beware of ill-will on the part of a man of position, and of hypocrisy pretending to help.
Reversed: Dishonest, double-dealing man; roguery, exaction, vice, scandal, pillage, considerable loss. Additional meanings: Loss.

MATHERS: A fair Man, Goodness, Kindness, Liberality, Generosity.
Reversed: A Man of good position, but shifty in his Dealings, Distrust, Doubt, Suspicion.

ETTEILLA: Fair Man, Honest Man, Integrity, Equity, Art, Science.
Reversed: Distinguished Man, Honest Man.—Dishonest Man.—Exaction, Misappropriation of Public Funds, Injustice, Bandit, Swindler, Rogue.—Vice, Corruption, Scandal.

Illustration (above): King of Cups from Tarocco Piemontese (after a late nineteenth-century design), published by Dal Negro.  Click the image for a larger one.


Queen of Cups from Etteilla’s TarotWAITE: Good, fair woman; honest, devoted woman, who will do service to the Querent; loving intelligence, and hence the gift of vision; success, happiness, pleasure; also wisdom, virtue; a perfect spouse and a good mother. Additional meanings: Sometimes denotes a woman of equivocal character.
Reversed: The accounts vary; good woman; otherwise distinguished woman but one not to be trusted; perverse woman; vice, dishonor, depravity. Additional Meanings: A rich marriage for a man and a distinguished one for a woman.

MATHERS: A fair Woman, Success, Happiness, Advantage, Pleasure.
Reversed: A Woman in good position, but inter meddling, and to be distrusted; Success, but with some attendant trouble.

ETTEILLA: Fair Woman—Honest Woman, Virtue, Wisdom, Honesty.
Reversed: A Woman of Distinguished Rank, Honest Woman.—Vice, Dishonesty, Depravity, Dissoluteness, Corruption, Scandal.

Illustration (above): Queen of Cups adapted from Le Grand Etteilla (after Etteilla’s original deck, c. 1788), published by Grimed.


WAITE: Arrival, approach—sometimes that of a messenger; advances, proposition, demeanor, invitation, incitement. Additional meanings: A visit from a friend, who will bring unexpected money to the Querent.
Reversed: Trickery, artifice, subtlety, swindling, duplicity, fraud. Additional meanings: Irregularity.

MATHERS: Arrival, Approach, Advance.
Reversed: Duplicity.

ETTEILLA: Arrival, Coming, Approach, Access, Reception, Entrance, Bringing Closer.— Similarity.—Advent, Approximation.—Accession To.—Flow.—Comparison.
Reversed: Mischief, Villainy, Duplicity, Cunning, Artifice.—Keenness, Shrewdness, Suppleness, Fraud.—Subtlety, Irregularity.—Evil Deed.


WAITE: Fair young man, one impelled to render service and with whom the Querent will be connected; a studious youth; news, message; application, reflection, meditation; also those things directed to business. Additional meanings: Good augury; also a young man who is unfortunate in love.
Reversed: Taste, inclination, attachment, seduction, deception, artifice. Additional meanings: Obstacles of all kinds.

MATHERS: A fair Youth, Confidence, Probity, Discretion, Integrity.
Reversed: A Flatterer, Deception, Artifice.

ETTEILLA: Fair Young Man, Studious.—Student, Application [Diligence], Work, Thought, Observation, Consideration, Reflection, Contemplation, Job.—Business, Profession, Employment.
Reversed: Tendency, Bent, Proclivity, Inclination, Attraction, Taste, Sympathy, Passion, Affection, Attachment, Friendship.—Heart, Craving, Desire, Appeal, Promise, Seduction, Invitation, Agreeableness.—Flattery, Cajolery, Fawning, Sycophancy, Praise, Approbation.—Inclined towards threatening ruin and complete destruction.


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).