Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The four virtues

I continue translating the 3rd Cahier, as he turns to illustrate his general perspective with his discussion of Justice, Temperance, Strength, and Prudence. The first three paragraphs below were included in the c. 1840 “Julia Orsini” book, as part of its explication of the card. (http://www.tarotforum.net/showpost.php?p=2773925&postcount=100) For this part of the 3rd Cahier, I have put Etteilla’s footnotes at the end of the quote:
Nº. 9. Justice, said these Sages, signifies Equity, but this word is only a sound; for it not to be arbitrary, but on the contrary, fixed, we must give a true idea of all that this harmonious sound contains, to analyze it, or otherwise a man will pronounce Justice and Equity a hundred thousand times, and he will not be less unjust.

Justice comprises the natural positive rights of human beings [gens]; the Rights of the Fathers of families; of the Sovereign, of the Masters, and finally of superiors over inferiors.

It comprises the right of giving Recompense, of commuting the Punishment of crimes, proportionally to their Nature, following the Intention [Volunté], or the Action, Considering the Knowledge or ignorance of the party responsible; this is called Interpretation of the law.

The Parts belonging to Justice are General and Particular. General, the avoidance of evil. Particular, the practice of good. Here, Religion, which leads [one] to love God above all things, and one’s neighbor as oneself. The will by science to know what is good and evil, Morally and Humanly: Morally in all countries, one God above all: Humanly, each country, each custom. The moral and physical activity of Justice; Moral, to be internally just, after love of God, which removes fear. Physically, it appears [reading paraît for ]i]pareque[/i]) that one is oneself a weak and fragile person. In Justice, Morality, God, Religion, and Eternal salvation. Physically, internal or external: Internal, Devotion and Prayer; External, sacrifice of self-love, which brings [one] to receive the Poor, bandage the Sick and visit Prisoners, in order to aid the indigent, like those who have wives and children, without bread, without fire, without clothes, in short to bring them physical and moral help, which brings us the grace of God.

Having seen generally all which is in the spirit of Justice, noting that this is only a weak summary, one reflects about all that is set against one; and supposing that one sees a person act against the law of Justice, in that case the Egyptians forecast to him that he would be Severely punished for it; or on the contrary, if he operated only because of her, these Wise men pronounced that he would be rewarded for it, and the Oracle was inevitable, because no view other than that of the truth made them speak.

Nº. 10. The Egyptians considered Temperance differently than we do; they did not say that it had to do more directly with our carnal passions than with all our other vices; some lines in the book of Thoth, written because of this, will put us in a position to judge.

Temperance is a virtue that rules morality as much as physicality; it is called the Precursor of the Truth; without Temperance, a person carries all the other virtues into a period of generation [i.e. without temperance, in time its lack will degenerate them]. Of a man who would be virtuous, intemperance makes him a maniac, an enthusiast, a dullard; thus for the strongest reason, how much Temperance is necessary, generally, in [regard to] all our vices, our blind passions, our faults, our weaknesses, our infirmities, and also in the brute things utilized in the physical life of man.

Prudence warns, but Temperance intervenes. Prudence abandons us, but never Temperance; who once has seized her subject, will not leave until she has conducted one to Strength, Justice, and Prudence, or to the grave.

With Temperance beside the criminal man, sighing for his unjust actions, often in that vice where she triumphs over it. After and before the act, she speaks to him like a father and teacher; she fights against the vice, and although she is poorly listened to by the man whose defense she takes, she brings down her enemy, and returns the man to virtue.

Temperance deadens our passions, our disorder, often resulted from a sinful humor, from corrupted blood, from a muddied pituitary, or one too clear, in sum from bile that is too soft, too abundant, too dried out.

Temperance spreads its effect everywhere, directly and indirectly, in all that is useful and not useful to humanity. A man is compelled to love wine, gambling, women,--and everything else that, if used to excess, causes him to become debauched; but with Temperance, nothing that is moderate is reprehensible. I am, says this admirable Virtue, Temperance [Moderation], and the Moderator of all that people love and detest. Finally, I am Perhaps the only good-humoured (débonnaire) friend of humanity; Prudence speaks to them, it is true, but she likes good people; but I do not leave them wicked: yes, although I am an emanation of the truth, I do not flee from false people, and to tell you everything, I run more after the wicked than after the good; this responsibility, this employment is cruel and painful to me, but it is given to me; and whenever I return a person to himself and to the Truth, I am satisfied, because my reward surpasses one thousand times my sufferings. Let us stop using the metaphor.

Temperance is one of the four Cardinal virtues; She holds in particularly high esteem Modesty and Sobriety; she requires work proportional to our strengths, to our intelligence, and a kind of laziness pleases her, named the repose of old age. She likes solitude, but she wants some activity there, and every day a little company. The Egyptians defined her well, in a few words, in the book of Thoth, by saying, “Temperance is the Divinity who presides over moral and physical health". She is ahead of Apollo, the God of Medicine, the Sick, and the Physician, accompanying everywhere Prudence, who is her companion.

The Egyptians gave her two wings, to mark her intelligence, her activity, her quickness, etc.

The ignorant Cardmaker did not conceive that the character on top of her forehead was the Sun that comes to rest on her (*25).

She is clothed, but her head is absolutely naked; she pours from one vase to the other, not water and wine, but the substance of water transmuted into oil and wine, and in order to speak to the young Disciples of the great Hermes, she mixes after the purification both fluids, (the waters that separated the waters,) the water above and the water below, to spray with it, soak [imbiber] the dry with it, which was going to appear as the number 10. which Nature has sealed, seals and will seal.
Warning: the next paragraph is quite dense. A native French speaker, Aeclectic's Lotus Padma, graciously clarified the syntax for me, and also identified who "Guide" was in the list of artists. Lotus says, "Guido Reni, Italian painter born in Calvenzano (1575-1642) He was considered brilliant, due to the grace of his subjects, and their coloration and facial expression. Some of his paintings include Aurora, The Kidnapping (or taking) of Helen, and Ecce Homo. He also used nitritic acid in the creation of art."

But I'm still not sure about the pronouns in this first paragraph below: him, her, it, his, hers, himself, etc. In French these are not obvious on their face, as the ending is often either omitted or agrees with the noun it modifies rather than the noun it substitutes for. Expressions like "de lui"--of him or of it, if the noun is masculine, should help, but they don't if the nouns "lui" might refer to are all masculine. There's no neuter in French. So what I have done is put what I think makes sense, based on what I think Etteilla is trying to say, and then in brackets what Lotus Padma--who doesn't know Etteilla--thinks makes sense based on French usage.

There is also an issue about what "mâne" means here. Normally the word refers to spirits of the dead; but I think that in this case it should be translated just "spirit", because it means something like the kind of spirit that he talks about at the end of the paragraph, that which inspired the great artists, their Génie or "genius", a kind of angelic presence. In another work (see my essay "Etteilla's Angelology") he applies the word Génie to spirits under one of the 72 angels of Kabbalah. They are personal, there to assist a person in some way, in that way like the "lares" or household gods of the Romans, to which the term "mâne" originally applied, according to the dictionaries and Wikipedia. I'd appreciate knowing what others, especially those fluent in French, think about these various points.

Now let us look at Etteilla on Temperance. Here I need to thank "Lotus Padma" on Aeclectic for clarifying the terms with which Etteilla describes Temperance's clothing (in the paragraph starting "This noble Virtue...".

For a picture of Etteilla’s Temperance, see my post at http://www.tarotforum.net/showpost.php?p=2775413&postcount=101
You must not think that the Sun placed on her [or his/her] forehead is there to enlighten her [or him/her]; King of Celestial bodies, he contemplates her [or his] work, and that of her [or his] illustrious Companions; He is on Temperance's forehead because he has explored the entire sky of Prudence, Strength and Justice; he admires the liquid substance that he has vivified, and it pleases him to see to the Purifying, Mitigating, Mixing, Amalgamating, and Perfecting of it, so that he may subdivide the parts of the opaque night, which he will then use to complete the Trinaire [a made-up word, perhaps meaning "Three"], and the entire Matrix of Nature--or guarantee of the divine Science or sacred Art--he is a Reliquary for the Seed, but not the Seed of the Seed [du Germe] of which he is only one, and the profane one [le profane] may neither hear, nor touch, nor see it, until it is inseparable from him, master over him, and spirit over him [or "he is inseparable from himself, master of himself, and of the spirits of the dead [or ..."and of his spirit" or "and of the spirit in him]: Fr.: il soit inséparable de lui, maître de lui, & mâne de lui]; what a shame that this Hieroglyph has been altered! You should not study it in its entirety, but only some small and pure parts of it, in order to understand the entire meaning of it: Ho! Raphaël, Correggio, Guido [Guido Reni, 1575-1642], Carracci, that you had painted this Tableau! perhaps you would not have died [or, perhaps you would no longer be dead; Fr. peut-être ne seriez vous point morts]; Your Geniuses [I think spirits are meant, in a metaphysical sense; but in ordinary usage it would be muses, or talent] would have dictated to you the spirit of it [ i.e. inner meaning, or essential nature of the thing; Fr., vos Génies vous en eussent dicté l’esprit]

Suppose, Reader, seeing Temperance having her right foot on a triangular solid of Jet black color, her left foot put on a ball white as alabaster, and these two solids sitting on a terrace of dark red-brown.

This noble Virtue is dressed in the Canaanen fashion, and more, Arabian or Turkish style: arms tightly bound in the cloth of a multi-coloured Cassock, edged in marten fur; flowing hair; enameled wings ordered in [such] a way that one distinguished the seven primary colours there (*26); finally, a golden Belt [Ceinture] squeezing her cassock at the bosom, on which was written Thoth, which is there in the other virtues as well: a name by which she draws out its spirit lying there, which, interpreted, means center; The name of this Virtue was likewise placed on her bosom, half hidden by the belt; the Cardmaker neglected and deformed everything.

Temperance recommends Chastity in Virginity, Marriage and Widowhood; it oversees Continence, Clemency, Modesty, Study, Affability (gentle, easy, tractable and thoughtful Leniency), Graciousness, Humility, Moderation, Simplicity;, and she mistress of Ambition, Curiosity, Luxury, Gaming, Drunkenness, Self-love, and in sum all the vices, as Prudence warns of them, and Strength surmounts them and delivers the guilty to Justice, which punishes them, as it recompenses the virtuous man.
*24. For lack of this interpretation, one thinks that the rights of humanity have often been violated.
*25. The Cardmaker believed that it was simply small circles. This figure or Hieroglyph serves to ornament the front of this Cahier.
*26. Note that the seven colours are on one other Hieroglyph, where it is perfect Work.
One of the main innovations of Etteilla’s card, in relation to the Marseille, is the block and ball she is standing (see againhttp://www.tarotforum.net/showpost.php?p=2775413&postcount=101 ). That Etteilla does not explain the symbolism (here or anywhere that I can see) suggests to me that this innovation was not original with him, and that he copied it from something earlier. The block symbolized slowness and the ball swiftness; Temperance, as the mean between extremes, is between the two. A well-known example is an engraving by the school of Mantegna discussed by Edgar Wind in relation to the saying festina lente, make haste slowly; I reproduce the engraving at the link just given.

In the engravings at the front of this and the other Cahiers, the word “Thot” does not appear on the belt of Temperance or indeed of any of the virtues (see Holbronn’s Astrologie du Livre de Thot, pp. 6-7 of the essay accompanying his reprint of the 4th Cahier, which reproduces all four; you can also inspect the frontispieces for Cahier 1 (Justice) and 3 (Temperance) at http://www.tarotforum.net/showpost.p...&postcount=100 and http://www.tarotforum.net/showpost.p...&postcount=101). My scan of the frontispiece of Cahier 2 also shows no belt. But as early as the 1789 set of cards obtained by Depaulis, of which all four virtue cards are shown in Wicked Pack of Cards, Temperance is shown with “THOT” on her belt, and all the other virtue cards as well with the same, just as Etteilla specified in the 3rd Cahier. On the cards reprinted by France Cartes/Grimaud, however, the word “THOT” can be clearly seen on Temperance’s and Strength’s belts, and the final “T” on Justice’s, but clearly nothing on the belt of Prudence (see posts 100, 101, 105, 108 in the thread already cited). For an enlargement of Depaulis's Prudence card, where "THOT" does appear, see my post at http://www.tarotforum.net/showpost.p...&postcount=255.)

Etteilla’s point about Temperance pertaining to all the virtues, and not just those of the body, and being the most essential virtue, governing the rest, was one made frequently in texts on the virtues, as Lynn White has documented (pp. 187ff of Medieval Religion and Technology: Collected Essays, at http://books.google.com/books?id=quC...page&q&f=false, a reference I owe to M. J. Hurst). (It was an application of Aristotle’s doctrine that the virtues are means between two extremes.) It may be in part for that reason that the position of Temperance went from being the lowest virtue in the early listings (corresponding to the ranking of the body below the soul and the spirit) to being the highest in the Marseille.

Etteilla says (footnote 26) that Temperance’s wings were supposed to show all seven colors. That didn’t happen, but the cardmaker did do it perfectly on another card, he says.
I do not know what the other card would be. Possibly it was the Judgment card, which has many colors in the robes of the people below, as well as also having an angel.

You might wonder how in 1782 Etteilla can be talking about an actual deck: was his deck, in full color, actually published by then? And besides this reference, there is the P.S. to his footnote 2, which also gives Etteilla's address. I think this particular copy of the 3rd Cahier must be a reprint, with this part changed. At the end of the book all four cahiers are listed plus the deck itself; but the 4th Cahier wasn't published until 17 (85. And in footnote 5, he gives people instructions on how to modify their World card so that it looks the way it should look, i.e. "*5. Remove the oval Cartouche, & put in its place a Serpent having its head in its mouth... & in place of two miserable blades of grass, put two pyramids of 59 measures, because the figure had some 121; & in agreement with all the Wise, you will conceive that this figure was surrounded by seven stars." Also, in the Supplement to Cahier 1, he is apologizing for not having the "restored hieroglyphs": "The author's intention was to have the 78 hieroglyphs of the Book of Thoth engraved, as closely to the original ones as would have been possible, but having calculated the cost, the fatigue, the general taste of the world, he has preferred to leave this enterprise to posterity" (Wicked Pack p. 89).

In Wicked Pack of Cards,, the first deck is dated to 1789. This is based on the author's copy of letters to Etteilla by a disciple, Charles Geille-Saint-Leger de Bonrecueille in Lyons, one of 27 November 1788, "I am very glad to hear that we will soon have the Tarot cards you have restored", and another of 14 March 1789, "We very satisfactorily have received the Tarot cards which you sent us..." (Wicked Pack p. 91). That seems fairly conclusive.

The device of having the card speak for itself, which we see charmingly in the case of Temperance, was used to good effect recently by Jodorowsky for all the cards in his Way of Tarot.

Having looked at Justice and Temperance, Etteilla goes on to Strength and Prudence, and finishes by putting all four virtues in the context of the four directions and four humors.

I should perhaps preface the discussion by saying when Etteilla used the word "hieroglyph" he was using a term that was not then understood to refer exclusively to Egyptian writing. The word was understood to mean a form of writing in pictures whereby a single picture conveyed a complex, even on some levels mysterious meaning. Tarot cards were spoken of as hieroglyphs. For more on this term, see Ross Caldwell's opening post at http://www.tarotforum.net/showthread.php?t=94755, and my documentation toward the end of that thread, that this meaning was in place no later than around 1450.
Nº. 11. Strength gives Magnificence, Confidence, Patience, Perseverance; its Acts are: Piety, obedience to God, in the moral and physical virtues. [i]Around men: to obey and observe human, National, and Provincial laws, and those which extend from [sur] the Sovereigns, the Lords, the Magistrates and also from Relatives, Just men, Superiors, Equals, Benefactors, Friends, the Poor, the Infirm, the Weak; finally, Strength ordains having regard to and likewise obeying all that is virtuous, indeed to do all that a vigorous man could by his personal strength, to secure this inestimable humility [docilité], [against that which] would trouble the celestial harmony put by the Creator among the Creatures; She especially requires submitting to the truth of the Divine and Human Laws; She dictates to us their Recognition, Esteem, and true Friendship. If human strength departs for one minute from the spirit of Divine Strength, man puts himself at that moment between the arms of celestial vengeance and the secular arms of human Justice; to be humble [Fr. docile], contains all the true spirit of strength.

Nº. 12. Prudence, In Consultation, Judgment, and Command; joining Memory, Intelligence, Science [or knowledge], Reason, Foresight, Circumspection, Delivery. She wants Honest solitude, Economy, Work, Activity, Politics, etc.

As the four Cardinal virtues are infinitely connected and united together, it is not surprising that they rule over almost the same subject; but nevertheless, in reflection, we always find there a kind of distinction: example; Prudence requires work to meet the needs of life, and Temperance requires work for the same reason that she requires repose, both being necessary for moral and physical life.

In the book of Thoth. the four Cardinal virtues point to the Three Theological virtues: Faith: to believe in one God, alone and unique, who made Heaven and Earth out of nothing; because, say these Sages, Your understanding having submitted to believing in one God, alone and unique, who created the world, and arranged all the parts of which it comprises in their true places, is it more difficult for you to believe than that he formed this world out of nothing, becaise he himself was everything? And finally, do you not see that the second assertion is certain, as a consequence of the first, in as much as he is God, infinitely powerful?

Hope: without this Virtue, say the Sages, how could man see his Creator, because he would have no hope of it? Would not it be a tacit volition [volonté], even a categorical [formelle] one, to give up this unique good to which man can aspire?

Charity: this Virtue was so sacred for the Egyptians, that all the Foreigners who went to see them, had not only shelter, food, and clothing but the subject for which they had gone there; that is, the true principles of Science and Wisdom; or the answer to their question concerning their undertakings, or the cure of their troubles: The true Sages know Nature, and the Wise ones [Sophistent] study the Art.

Not to muddle the Work, I put here these Notes, which the Reader will put back in their true place.

The Charlatans every day find sovereign remedies for our diseases; they are grasping souls, the Charlatans; for they notice [reading “remarquent” for “remarquez”] in others, that if Nature does not come to their aid, they are dead.

The greatest physicians recommend to us, since Hippocrates Father of ordinary Medicine, diet and water; but to admit that they are ignorant would be more worthy: where are the Egyptians and their celestial astral liquor? Study the Book of Thoth.

Every letter of the Alphabet has its value A B. .... B. A, gives several pronunciations, several sounds, finally various senses; the Hieroglyphs of the Egyptians are absolutely the same .....

In looking for the relationships in a series of tones, I was indeed delighted to find other agreements which I had never understood; they would form the whole of a harmony so melodious that the delight in which I was, made me doubt for a moment the truth of my discovery, and caused in me a sudden seizure of my satisfaction, which was suspended and stopped only by the appearance of death, which wanted to seize the happiest moment of my life in order to cut the thread......

What a fine balance we must keep, in order to avoid the extremes of pain and joy!

Neglecting my first research, I promptly removed the numbers from my nine hieroglyphs, and I deliberately scrambled the cards so as not to be subjugated by the highest, most ecstatic state of mind that I have ever felt, and I returned to my first work.

In my leisure time, I wrote my numbers in one of the bookd which contain everything I find to be sublime, but did not take them in their progressive order, but as follows:

9. 12. 16. 25. 28. 37. 40. 42. 49. and now, ignoring what has become like an uncatchable leaf flying in the wind, I cannot, (unless I add 362880 + 362880 + and about 181440, which totals 907,200 diverse permutations) find the literal meaning of what the first Egyptians wrote... Happy, yes, Happy, will be the person who can put these nine Hieroglyphs in the order that the progress and direction of my work allowed me to first discover them! This is my latest digression.

1. East, the Eastern Regions [l’Orient],, Strength, Spring, 6 a.m.; ruling Angel, Gabriel; Man, Asia, Childhood, Sadness, Melancholy, Weapons, Ambition, and the channel of the past and the future, its number is 11.

2. South, the Southern Regions [le Midi], Justice, Summer, 12 noon, ruling Angel, Michaël, the Lion, Africa, Adolescence, Quickness, Anger, Bile, Repose, Fire, Agriculture, Wealth and the chain of the present and the future, its number is 9.

3. West, the Western Regions [l’Occident], Temperance, Autumn, 6 p.m., ruling Angel, Raphaël; the Eagle, America, Youth, Trouble, Blood, Joy, Amiability, Reflection, Air, the bosom of cities, Poverty, and chain of the past and thefuture, its number is 10.

4. North, the Northern Regions [Septentrion], Prudence, Winter; 12 Midnight; ruling Angel, Uriel; the Ox, Europe. Old age, Pain, the Pituitary, Stupidity, Laziness, Earth, Finance, Mediocrity, Death, and the chain of the present and the past, its number is 12.

It would be appropriate to demonstrate how the Egyptians made divinations by the Book of Thoth, in the Astrological manner; but always I go by promising, and give, while waiting, their couplet on this subject.

Heaven surpasses in beauty any human intellect.

Art, Science, and Wisdom are the primary qualities with which real Cartonomancers must be provided. [or, to retain the rhyme in the original: Art, Science, and Wisdom are the primary qualities that real Cartonomancers must collect.]

End of the Third Cahier.

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