I’m a big fan of Rider Waite deck. I practically don’t use anything else. Apparently, though, there are many forerunners to Tarot. This is what lead me to Etteilla’s Livre Thoth Tarot of Jean-Baptiste Alliette, also known as Etteilla, was a French occultist who is credited with being the first professional tarot reader. His tarot deck, the Livre de Thot Tarot, was one of the first to be intended specifically for divination and fortune-telling rather than for game-playing. The deck, which consists of 78 cards divided into the Major Arcana and Minor Arcana, was published in 1789 and quickly gained popularity as a tool for accessing the occult and unlocking hidden knowledge.
Old-School Tarot like you’ve never seen
These Tarot Cards look sort of Hackneyed, but when it’s 300 years old I guess it’s to be expected.
Etteilla’s Occultist Tarot Deck
Etteilla’s Major Arcana cards, which include the Fool, the Magician, and the Lovers, were rearranged and assigned new meanings based on his own system of correspondences. The Minor Arcana, which is divided into four suits (Cups, Wands, Swords, and Coins), consists of 14 cards numbered from Ace to Ten and four court cards (the King, the Queen, the Knight, and the Knave).
Etteilla’s approach to the tarot was heavily influenced by the ideas of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, a secret society that focused on the study of the occult. He believed that the tarot was a powerful tool for accessing the collective unconscious and unlocking the secrets of the occult. In addition to his work on the Livre de Thot Tarot, Etteilla wrote several books on cartomancy, including “Le Livre de Thot,” “Le Manuel de Cartomancie,” and “Le Petit Oracle des Dames.”
Methodology for occult divination
Etteilla’s method of reading the tarot, called the “Threefold Method,” involved laying out the cards in a specific pattern to reveal the past, present, and future. His approach to tarot was highly structured and methodical, and he believed that a deep understanding of symbolism and Carl Jungs correspondences was necessary in order to accurately interpret the cards.
Was etteila’s Livre de Thot tarot the first Tarot deck for divination?
Etteilla’s Livre de Thot Tarot was not the only tarot deck designed for divination, but it was one of the earliest and most influential. Its impact can still be seen today in the many tarot decks that have been created since, many of which have borrowed from Etteilla’s system of correspondences and his approach to reading the cards. The Livre de Thot Tarot remains an important part of tarot history and a valuable resource for those interested in the occult and the deeper meanings of the tarot.
Etteilla’s work on the Livre de Thot Tarot was not only significant in the history of tarot, but it also contributed to the broader study of the occult. As a French occultist, Etteilla was interested in a wide range of mystical and esoteric subjects, and his writings on the tarot reflect this interest.
In his books on cartomancy, Etteilla not only provided detailed explanations of the meanings of each card in the deck, but he also explored the connections between the tarot and other occult traditions. He saw the tarot as a key to understanding the mysteries of the universe and believed that it could be used to gain insight into the hidden forces that shape our world.
What was Etteilla’s approach to occult divination with the Thot deck?
Etteilla’s approach to the tarot was highly intuitive and symbolic, and he placed a strong emphasis on the importance of the tarot’s imagery and correspondence. He believed that the tarot could be used to tap into the collective unconscious and unlock hidden knowledge, and he encouraged his readers to develop their own intuitive abilities in order to fully understand the tarot’s messages.
In addition to his work on the Livre de Thot Tarot, Etteilla was also known for his contributions to the study of the occult more broadly. He was an active member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and was deeply interested in the secrets of the universe. His writings on the tarot and other occult subjects remain an important resource for those interested in exploring the deeper meanings of the tarot and the mysteries of the universe.
interesting aspect of Etteillas tarot practice
One interesting aspect of Etteilla’s approach to the tarot is that he placed a strong emphasis on the practical application of the cards. In addition to using the tarot for divination and personal insight, Etteilla believed that it could also be used to solve problems and make decisions.
To this end, he developed a system of “card therapy” in which he used the tarot to help his clients identify and overcome obstacles and challenges in their lives. He believed that the tarot could be used to tap into the unconscious mind and uncover the root causes of problems, and he used the cards as a tool to guide his clients towards greater self-awareness and personal growth.
Etteilla’s approach to the tarot was also highly personalized and tailored to the needs of each individual client. Rather than using fixed spreads or predetermined meanings for the cards, he believed that the tarot should be interpreted in the context of each person’s unique situation and goals.
Etteilla’s Livre de Thot Tarot remains an important part of tarot history and continues to be a valuable resource for those interested in the deeper meanings of the tarot. While it may not be as well-known as some other tarot decks, it has had a lasting impact on the way that the tarot is used and understood today, and it continues to be an important tool for those seeking guidance and self-improvement through the use of the tarot.