Re: Mellet: Names preserved by Spaniards

III. Names of various cards, preserved by the Spaniards.

[Translator's Note: These names are from the card game Aluette, or the cow game. ]

The names of several of these tableaus preserved by the Spaniards allow us know their disposition. There are seven of them.

The Three of Coins, mysterious number, called the Lord, the Master, consecrated to the supreme God, the Great IOU.*

The Three of Cups, called the Lady, dedicated to the Queen of Heaven.

The One-Eyed or the Ace of Coins, Phoebeoe lampadis instar*, consecrated to Apollo.

The Cow or the Two of Cups, consecrated to Api or Isis.

The big Nine, the Nine of Cups; consecrated to Destiny.

The little Nine of Coins, consecrated to Mercury.

The Serpent or the Ace of Batons (Ophion), famous symbol and sacred among the Egyptians.
*IOV - the Etruscan form of Jove:

"In Claros Pluto was named IAO, a name that seems to derive from the Hebrew JHV, of which the Etruscans then made their god. IOV, Jove and the Romans their Jupiter."

*Like the Lamp of Phoebus

It is generally agreed by writers upon the subject, that the Cyclopians were of a size superior to the common race of mankind. Among the many tribes of the Amonians, which went abroad, were to be found people, who were styled Anakim, and were descended from the sons of Anac: so that this history, though carried to a great excess, was probably founded in truth. They were particularly famous for architecture; which they introduced into Greece, as we are told by Herodotus: and in all parts, whither they came, they erected noble structures, which were remarkable for their height and beauty: and were often dedicated to the chief Deity, the Sun, under the name of Elorus, and P'elorus. People were so struck with their grandeur, that they called every thing great and stupendous, Pelorian. And when they described the Cyclopians as a lofty towering race, they came at last to borrow their ideas of this people from the towers, to which they alluded...

...As these buildings were oftentimes light-houses, and had in their upper story one round casement, Argolici clypeï, aut Phœbeæ lampadis instar, by which they afforded light in the night-season; the Greeks made this a characteristic of the people. They supposed this aperture to have been an eye, which was fiery, and glaring, and placed in the middle of their foreheads.

end quote from: ... em/c10.htm

Virgil, Aeneid, Book 3, lines 637 - Describing the eye of the shepherd Polyphemus, a cyclops in whose cave they are trapped:
Argolici clypeï, aut Phœbeæ lampadis instar,
like an Argive shield or the lamp of Phoebus.

Phoebus fē′bus the sun-god: the sun, Greek god of light [Helios, Phoebus Apollo, Apollo]; god of prophecy and poetry and music and healing; son of Zeus and Leto; twin brother of Artemis. Phoebus means ray in Greek (as in 'ray of sunshine') and is another name for Apollo, Helios.
Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.
T. S. Eliot

Re: Mellet: Mythological Attributes

IV. Mythological attributes of several others.
Several other tableaus are accompanied by mythological attributes which seem destined to impress upon them a special and secret virtue.

Such as the Two of Coins surrounded by the mystical Belt of Isis.

The Four of Coins, dedicated to good Fortune, painted in the middle of the tableau, his foot on his sphere & the sail deployed.

The Queen of Batons consecrated to Ceres; this Queen is crowned with ears of grain and bears the skin of the lion, as does Hercules, the cultivator par excellence.

The Page of Cups with his hat in his hand, carries respectfully a mysterious cup, covered with a veil; he seems to stretch out his arm, to draw this cup away from him, to teach us that we must approach sacred things only with fear, and seek to discover hidden things only with discretion.

The Ace of Swords is dedicated to Mars. The Sword is adorned with a crown, a palm & an olive branch with its berries, to signify Victory & its fruits: there seems to be no happy card in this suit other than this one. It is unique because there is only one way to make war well: to vanquish in order to have peace. This sword is supported by a left-arm coming out of a cloud.

The picture of the Serpent’s staff, of which we have spoken above, is decorated with flowers and fruits like that of the victorious Sword; this mysterious staff is supported by a right arm also emerging from a cloud, but shining with rays. These two signs seem to say that Agriculture & the Sword are the two arms of the Empire & the supports of society.

Cups in general foretold happiness, & Coins wealth.

The Batons earmarked for agriculture foretold more or less abundant harvests, the things that happened in or concerned the countryside. They seem to be mixed with good and evil: the four court cards have the green baton, similar in this to the fortunate baton, but the other cards appear, by ornaments which offset each other, to indicate indifference: only two, whose batons are blood-coloured, seem devoted to bad fortune.

The swords predict only misfortunes, especially those marked with an odd number, still more those that bear a bloody sword. The only sign of a happy event in this suit is the crowned sword, the sign of victory.
Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.
T. S. Eliot

Re: Mellet: V

V. Comparison of these attributes with the divinatory meanings assigned to modern cards.

Our fortune-tellers, not knowing how to read the hieroglyphs, have subtracted all the pictures from them & changed the names of cup, baton, coin & sword, of which they know neither the etymology nor the expression and substituted those of heart, tile [diamond], clover [club] & pike [spade].

But they have retained certain turns of phrase & several expressions consecrated by use that hints at the origin of their divination. According to them;

Hearts, (cups), announce happiness.

Clubs, (coins), wealth. Spades, (swords), misfortune.

The Tiles/Diamonds [1], (batons), indifference & countryside.

The Nine of Spades is a dire card.

That of hearts, the card of the Sun; it is easy to recognize there the big Nine, that of cups: as well as the little Nine in the Nine of Clubs, which is also looked upon as a happy card.

The aces announce letters, news: in fact who is more able to bring news than the one-eyed, (the Sun) who goes all over, sees & illuminates the whole Universe?

The Ace of Spades & the Eight of Hearts foretell victory; the crowned Ace predicts the same, & is all the more fortunate accompanied by cups or fortunate signs.

Hearts & particularly the ten, reveal events that must happen to the city. The cup, symbol of the priesthood, seems intended to express Memphis & the residence of the pontiffs.

The Ace of Hearts & the Queen of Diamonds announce a happy and faithful tenderness. The Ace of Cups expresses a unique happiness, which one possesses alone; the Queen of Diamonds indicates a woman who lives in the countryside, or as in the countryside, & in what places can one expect more truth, more innocence, than in the village?

The Nine of Clubs & the Queen of Hearts signify jealousy. Though the Nine of Coins is a fortunate card, yet a great passion, even happy, for a Lady living in the great world, does not always leave her lover without anxiety, and so on. We would still find an infinite number of similarities that it is unnecessary to search, we already have more than enough.

1. It should be noted that in their symbolic writing the Egyptians drew tiles to express the countryside.
Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.
T. S. Eliot

Re: Mellet: Consulting the Fates

VI. How it was used to Consult the Fates.

Let us suppose at the present that two men who want to consult the fates have, one the twenty-two letters [trumps + fool], the other the four suits, & that after having each shuffled the cards, & having cut each other's, they begin counting together up to the number fourteen, holding the letters & suit cards upside down to show only the back; then if a card arrives at its natural rank, that is, which bears the number called, it must be set apart with the number of the letter issued at the same time, which will be placed above it: he who holds the letter will hand over the same so that the Book of Destiny will always be in its entirety, & that there can be, in no case, incomplete sentences; then he will shuffle and cut again. Finally, the suit cards will be run through three times thoroughly with the same attention. When this operation is completed, it will be only a matter of reading the numbers that express the letters turned up with them. The happiness or misfortune that each of them presages must be combined with that announced by the card that corresponds to them, in the same way, their power, more or less, is determined by the number of this same card, multiplied by the one that characterizes the letter. And this is why Madness which produces nothing, is without number; it is, as we have said, the zero of this calculation.
Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.
T. S. Eliot

Re: Mellet: Portion of Ancient Wisdom

It was a large portion of ancient wisdom.

But if the Sages of Egypt used sacred tableaux to predict the future, even when they had no other indications to make them presume future events, with what hopes did they not flatter themselves to know them when their investigations were preceded by dreams that could help develop the sentence produced by the Tableaux of Fate!

The priests of this ancient people formed early on a learned society, in charge of preserving and extending human knowledge. The priesthood had its leaders, and the names of Jannes & Mambres, which Saint Paul has preserved for us in his Second Epistle to Timothy, are titles that characterize the august functions of the pontiffs[1]. Jannes means the Exponent, & Mambres the Permutator, the one who does wonders.

The Jannes & the Mambres wrote their interpretations, their discoveries, their miracles. The uninterrupted continuation of these memoirs[2] formed a body of Science & Doctrine, wherein the priests collected their physical & moral knowledge: they observed, under the inspection of their leaders, the course of the heavenly bodies, the floods of the Nile, Phenomena, etc,. Kings sometimes assembled them to help each other with their advice. We see that in the time of the Patriarch Joseph they were called by Pharaoh to interpret a dream; and if Joseph alone had the glory to discover its meaning, it nonetheless proves that one of the functions of the Magi was to explicate dreams.

The Egyptians[3] had not yet given up the errors of idolatry; but God in those distant times often manifesting his will to men, if anyone would have considered it rash to question him on his eternal decrees, it should at least have seemed forgivable to seek to penetrate them, when the divinity seemed not only to approve but even to provoke, by dreams, this curiosity: therefore their interpretation was a sublime Art, a sacred science of which a special study was made, reserved for the Ministers of the Altars: & when the officers of Pharaoh, prisoners with Joseph, grieved that they had no one to explain their dreams, it is not that they did not have companions in their misfortune; but because they were locked in the prison of the Chief of the Militia, there was no one among the soldiers who could perform the religious ceremonies, who had the sacred images, far from having the understanding of them. The very answer of the Patriarch seems to explain their thought: does not interpretation, he says to them, depend on the Lord? Relate to me what you have seen.

But to return to the duties of priests, they began by writing in common letters the dream with which they were concerned, as in all divination there was a positive question, the answer to which had to be sought in the Book of Fates, & after shuffling the sacred letters and drawing them, paying scrupulous attention to placing them under the words whose explanation was sought; the sentence formed by these images was deciphered by the Jannes.

Suppose, for example, that a Magus had wished to interpret the dream of Pharaoh, of which we spoke earlier, as they had tried to imitate the miracles of Moses, and that he had drawn the fortunate Baton, the symbol par excellence of agriculture, followed by the Knight & the King [4]; and from the Book of Destiny the cards of the Sun, Fortune & the Fool are drawn at the same time, we will have the first part of the sentence we seek. If he then took out the Two and Five of Batons, whose symbol is marked with blood, and from the sacred images were drawn Typhon and Death, he would have obtained some sort of interpretation of the King’s dream, which may have been written thus in ordinary letters:
The Sign of Agriculture gives seven.

It will be read, therefore, that seven years of prosperous agriculture will give an abundance a hundred times greater than has ever been experienced.

The second part of this sentence, closed by the two and the five of batons, also gives the number seven which, combined with Typhon & Death, announces seven years of famine & the evils it entails.

This explanation will appear even more natural if attention is paid to the meaning and value of the letters that the pictures represent.

The Sun corresponding to Gimel means, in this sense, remuneration, happiness.

Fortune or Lamed means Rule, Law, Science.

The Fool expresses nothing by itself, it corresponds to Tau, which is simply a sign, a mark.

Typhon or Zain heralds fickleness, error, broken faith, crime.

Death or Thet indicates the action of reaping: indeed, Death is a terrible reaper. Teleuté, which in Greek means the end, could be, in this sense, a derivative of Thet.

It would not be difficult to find in the Egyptian customs the origin of most of our superstitions: for example, it seems that turning the sieve to know a thief, owes its birth to their custom of marking thieves with a hot iron, composed of the two characters Tau and Samech [5], one on the other, to make the figure Signum adherens, which served to warn people to be suspicious of the bearer. It produces a figure which somewhat resembles a pair of scissors pricked in a circle, in a sieve, which must separate when the name of the thief is pronounced and made known.

Divination by the Bible, the Gospel, and our Canonical Books, which were called the auguries of the Saints, of which it is spoken in the one hundred and nineteenth Letter of St. Augustine and in several Councils, among others that of Orleans; the auguries of Saint Martin of Tours, which were so famous, seem to have been considered as an antidote to Egyptian divination by the Book of Destiny. It is the same with the omens drawn from the Gospel, ad apperturam libri, when after the election of a Bishop they wished to know what his conduct would be in the Episcopate.

But such is the fate of human things: of such a sublime science, which has occupied the greatest men, the most learned philosophers, the most respectable saints, there remains only the usage of children drawn to the beautiful letters.

1. As Pharaoh means the Sovereign without being the particular name of any Prince who has ruled Egypt.
2. Pope Gelasius I put in 491 some Books of Jannes & Mambres among the apocrypha.
3. Long after this time the Magi recognized the finger of God in the Miracles of Moses.
4. The valet is worth 1, The Knight 2, The Queen 3, The King 4.
5. Tau, sign: Samech, adhesion.
Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.
T. S. Eliot

Re: Mellet: Notes VII

The Second Letter of St. Paul to Timothy, 3:8
8 Now as Jannes and Jambres* withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.
*Jambres, more accurate transliteration is Mambres.

" Jannes and Jambres are the subjects of many legendary tales, one of which is presented in a Greek work entitled "Pœnitentia Jannis et Mambre," counted among the Apocrypha in Pope Gelasius' "Decretum," and referred to by Origen (to Matt. xxvii. 9)." ... nd-jambres


Take a Sieve and stick into the outside of the rim the open points of a pair of scissors, and having rested the rings of the said opened scissors on the thumb-nails of two persons, let one of them say the following Prayer:--

DIES MIES YES-CHET BENE DONE FET DONNIMA METEMAUZ; O Lord, Who liberated the holy Susanna from a false accusation of crime; O Lord, Who liberated the holy Thekla; O Lord, Who rescued the holy Daniel from the den of lions, and the Three Children from the burning fiery furnace, free the innocent and reveal the guilty.

After this let him or her pronounce aloud the names and surnames of all the persons living in the house where the theft hast been committed, who may be suspected of having stolen the things in question, saying:--

'By Saint Peter and Saint Paul, such a person hath not done this thing.'

And let the other reply:--

'By Saint Peter and Saint Paul, he (or she) hath not done it.'

Let this be repeated thrice for each person named and suspected, and it is certain that on naming the person who hath committed the theft or done the crime, the sieve will turn of itself without its being able to stop it, and by this thou shalt know the evil doer.

The Veritable Clavicles of Solomon,, chapter 26. Translated from Hebrew into the Latin Language by Rabbi Abognazar. (English translation by Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers).

The auguries of the Saints (les sorts des Saints) : Bibliomancy, to divine by the first lines of a sacred scripture opened at random.
The auguries of Saint Martin of Tours (les sorts des Saint-Martin de Tours) : When the Deputies of Clovis entered the church of St. Martin of Tours, where his relics were kept, the words being sung by the choir were "Lord Lord I have put on my strength for the war, and you have slaughtered under my feet those who have risen against me." And indeed, Clovis was victorious. Thus arose the superstition that the words being sung by the choir when one entered the church were to be taken as a divine omen.

ad apperturam libri: [to open book] - an act of translation, a sermon, or other activity based on a text: extemporaneously, without preparation or recourse to reference materials. Oxford Dictionary.
Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.
T. S. Eliot

Re: Mellet: Card DMs

VIII. Cards to which Fortune Tellers attach predictions.

A Piquet deck is used that one shuffles and then has the interested person cut.

We draw a card saying Ace, the second Seven, and so on up to the King:* we set aside all the cards which arrive in the order of the calculation which we have just established: that is, if by naming Ace, Seven, or another, there comes an Ace, a Seven, or another that has been named, that is the one that must be set apart. We always start again until we have exhausted the deck. If at the end there are not enough cards left to go to the King inclusively, we take back the cards, without mixing them or cutting them, to complete the calculation up to the King.

This whole operation is done three times in the same way. It is necessary to have the utmost care to arrange the cards that come out of the deck in the order that they arrive, on the same line, which produces a hieroglyphic sentence. Here's the way to read it.

The court cards represent the persons that relate to the question; the first one that is drawn is always the one in question.

The Kings represent Sovereigns, Parent, Generals, Magistrates, Old Men.

The Queens have the same characters in their kind in relation to the circumstances, or in the Political Order, serious or joyful: sometimes they are powerful, adroit, intriguing, faithful or light, passionate or indifferent, sometimes rivals, accepting, confidants, perfidious, etc,. If there are two cards of the same kind, the second plays a supporting role.

The Jacks represent Young Men, Warriors, Lovers, Dandies, Rivals, etc,.

The Sevens and Eights are young ladies of all kinds.

The Nine of Hearts is called, par excellence, the Card of the Sun, because it always announces brilliant, pleasant things, successes, especially if it is joined with the Nine of Clubs, which is also a wonderful omen.

The Nine of Diamonds means delay, for good or bad.

The Nine of Spades is the worst card: it predicts only ruins, diseases, death.

The Ten of Hearts signifies the City; that of Diamonds, the countryside; Ten of Clubs, Fortune, Money; that of Spades, Pain and Sorrows.

The Aces announce letters, news.

If the four Queens come together, it means babble, quarrels.

Several Jacks together announce rivalry, dispute and fights.

The clubs in general, especially if they come out together, announce success, advantage, fortune, money.

The diamonds, the countryside, indifference.

The hearts, contentment, happiness.

The spades, scarcity, worries, sorrows, death.

It is necessary to arrange the cards in the same order that they come out, on the same line, so as not to disturb the sentence, to read it more easily.

The events predicted, for good or ill, may be more or less advantageous or unfortunate, depending on which cards accompany the principal card: the spades, for example, accompanied by clubs, especially if they are between two clubs, are less dangerous; likewise a club between two spades, or next to a spade, is less fortunate.

Sometimes the beginning announces dire mishaps; but the end of the cards is favourable if there are many clubs; they are looked upon as diminished, more or less, depending on the quantity: if they are followed by the Nine, the Ace or the Ten, it proves that one has run great dangers, but that they have passed, and there is a change of face in their fortune.

The Aces:
1 of Diamonds, 8 of Hearts, Good News.
1 of Hearts, Queen of Spades, Female Visitor.
1 of Hearts, Jack of Hearts, Victory.
1, 9 & Jack of hearts, Happy Lover.

1, 10 & 8 of Spades, Woe
1 of Spades, 8 of Hearts, Victory.
1 of Clubs, Jack of Spades, Friendship.

The Sevens:
7 & 10 of Hearts, Friendship of a Young Lady.
7 of Hearts, Queen of Diamonds, Friendship of a Woman.
7 of Diamonds, King of hearts, Delay.

The Nines:
Three Nines or Three Tens, Success.

The Tens:
10 of Clubs, King of Spades, Present.
10 of Clubs & Jack of Clubs, A Lover [male].
10 of Spades, Jack of Diamonds, Someone Worried.
10 of Hearts, King of Clubs, Sincere Friendship.
Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.
T. S. Eliot

Re: Mellet: Notes VIII

* Taking into account that in a piquet deck the 2-6 of each suit has been removed, so as you turn the cards you say Ace, 7, 8, 9, 10, Jack, Queen, King. If a card turned is the same as one called, then you lay it aside to form the sentence.

Piquet was a very popular game in 18th century France, so popular that card manufacturers made a reduced set of cards specifically for the game, and it was the most popular deck. Perhaps the reason cartomancy developed around the Piquet deck is that it is one that most people had to hand.
Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.
T. S. Eliot