Etteilla’s Book of Thoth

The Book of Thoth aka. The grand Etteila (1804)

The Book of Thoth aka. The grand Etteila (1804)
According to Etteilla, the Tarot was created by a group of seventeen Magi under the direct guidance of Hermes Trismegistus. He wrote in 1783, that he calculated that the Tarot was 3,953 years old. Originally called ‘The Book of Thoth’, engraved on leaves of gold, the foils embellished the altar of a temple.
Papus in ‘The Divinatory Tarot’ associated the Major Arcana cards from Etteilla’s deck based on their graphic depictions with the similar Tarot of Marseille cards. However, the meaning and interpretation traditionally attributed to the cards, in some cases, may point in a different direction.
For example, the thirteenth card called Marriage is almost identical to the classic depiction of the Hierophant. However, the card was associated with The Lover. Card twenty-one, The African Despot is identified by Etteilla as being The Chariot, but its title and description fit The Emperor. Card eighteenth called The Traitor visually can be identified with The Hermit, but its attributions are more appropriate for The Hanged Man. Etteilla’s Hanged Man, on the other hand, is card number twelve, called Prudence, and, encouraged by the ‘Belgian Tarot’,[1]is unrestrained and standing on one foot. Also, the rope around the man’s ankle has become the snake at the woman’s toe.
The interpretation of the seventy-eight cards according to Etteilla… more at

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