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Translations of Keywords Written On Known Historical Tdm Decks


Decan

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Below the very beginning, maybe the text will be moved towards a special thread? I don't know.

Okay stay tuned!

 

Tarot de Marseille

 

Below a translation of the words annotated on the second deck mentioned, the one which belonged to Paul Marteau and that we can find here at the BNF: https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b10543303s.item

 

I kept the typos (there are a few unless we wrote these words that way in the past and grammar evolved, it’s possible too).

I didn’t translate a few titles like Le Mat and Le Bateleur (Le Bateleur is as times translated as The Juggler but he isn’t exactly a juggler, actually we have the word “jongleur” for “juggler” and it’s not that here).

In this deck La Papesse (the Popess) is named Junon and the Pope is named Jupiter, it’s a particularity, but the words on the cards seems to refer to the Popess and to the Pope.

 

Le Mat

-at the top (title): “Folie, Inconscience”> Madness, Unconsciousness

-throughout the card (upper half): “trouble, inprévoyance”> disorder, carelessness

-throughout the card (midway): “maison fout” here I think it’s a little shorcut for “maison de fous”> madhouse (or lunatic asylum)

 

I Le Bateleur

-at the top (title): “ruse, adresse”> ruse, skill

-throughout the card (upper half): “science, habileté”, “pouvoir”> science, ability, power

 

II The Popess (Junon)

-throughout the card (upper half): “science, secret, discrétion”, “union” “word unreable, maybe: nation?”, "mystères” “6 amour secret” > science, secret, discretion, union, nation?, mysteries, 6 secret love (I think it could be a reference to 6 the Lover card here and to “a secret love” for the combination 6/Lover + 2/Popess, but it’s just an interpretation from me, for example something like "with 6: secret love"?)

Edited by Decan
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I am creating this new thread as a continuation of the discussion around historical keywords that begun in this thread:

 

 

Basically we were discussing two documented historical decks with written text/keywords on them. I am intending this thread to be the place where we translate and discuss the information that’s written on them. 

 

If anyone wants to highlight or analyze how these keywords differ or is in agreement with other historical interpretations, then please do. 

 

These are the two decks in question:

 

number 1 (said to have miss Lenormands handwriting on it): 

https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b10537348r/f1.item

 

number 2 (said to have the handwriting of Paul de Marteau on it):

https://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b10543303s.item

 

 

 

 

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Okay the following from III to V, I will stop there for now in order that people off line for some time can look at the cards and translate if they feel that way.

I don't want to create problems, it will be  really too bad. Thanks.

 

III The Empress

The words are almost all erased on this card, I can just decipher (with difficulty) “fécondité?”> fertility?

 

IV The Emperor

-at the top (title): “pouvoir, protection”> “power, protection”

-throughout the card (upper half): “grand personnage”, “puissant”, “stabilité”, “hautes destinées”, “word unreadable” > "great figure, powerfull, stability, great destinies”

-throughout the card (midway): “16 menace”> “16 threat” (this likely refers to a combination, something like “with 16. La Maison Dieu/Tower: “threat”)

 

V The Pope (Jupiter)

-at the top (title): “inspiration, indication?”> "inspiration, indication?" (probably for this second one but I’m not 100% sure)

-throughout the card (upper half): “prêtre, docteur, avocat, homme de robe”, “maison église”, “as d’épée”, “demande mariage” (here it’s a shortcut for “demande en mariage” )> “priest, doctor, lawyer/attorney, man in the cloth”, “church” (but likely especially for the presbytary/priest house), “Ace of Swords”, “Marriage proposal” (here there is a reference to the Ace of Swords and if I follow how things are annotated before in the other cards this can refer to a combination, for example “with the Ace of Swords: a proposal”, but in this card it’s unclear because “proposal” isn’t annotated just next “Ace of Swords”, so?…)

Edited by Decan
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Great work!! This is incredibly interesting. So far these keywords feel very ‘traditional’ (though I’m using that word very lightly here, simply to mean that they are in line with what I would have expected or at least not massively contradictory).

 

And do not worry about making mistakes, stepping on toes or creating problems. There is room for us all to be part of this. Every persons contribution is valuable and appreciated ❤️

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Some good work being done, but a few minor quibbles:

 

6 hours ago, Decan said:

Inconscience

More like 'recklessness' or 'foolishness' in this context.

 

7 hours ago, Decan said:

science

Bear in mind that this is 'knowledge' or 'wisdom' or even 'know-how' in this context, rather than 'science' as it is commonly meant in English.

 

7 hours ago, Decan said:

“word unreable, maybe: nation?”

I think that this was a first attempt at 'discrétion' before our author decided to write sideways.

5 hours ago, Decan said:

man in the cloth

In French, "un homme de robe" refers to a magistrate, and not to a "man of the cloth" as the name might suggest.

 

5 hours ago, Decan said:

indication?"

Yes, I think so. As in a pointer.

 

I will take a closer look over the weekend, but I will suggest, for those who are interested, to take a look at the Grimaud LWB from 1970, which is more or less translated from Marteau's own 1930s LWB, as there will be some overlap, at least, assuming the annotations are his. This can be found in the thread on the subject here: 

 

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@_R_ I’m glad you shared that link, it’s a great resource. And if you or anyone else wants to list any other really good (and accessible) resources for historical keywords or ‘traditional’ tdm meanings then that would be great too. I bet a lot of people will want to read and learn more after seeing this and then it’s perfect to get an idea of where to start!

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Just posting to say 'thank you' and get this thread to come up in 'content I posted in' so I'm able to find it easily. Carry on. :)
 

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Hello, @Decan

 

I hope that you appreciate what a valuable contribution you are making; thank you.

 

I can barely make out the individual letters on many of the cards.

 

Regards

Kevin

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On a lot of cards we find the word “maison” (“house” in English), and beside one or two words: I was wondering about that…, but it seems that this points to the sort of particular place the card refers. For the previous card it was “Maison église”, in English “church” (i.e church is the sort of place indicated by the card), it is a bit tricky, but I don’t think that the card hints to a presbytery here (it could be considering this card of the Pope/Jupiter in this deck, but it’s not exactly that, and it is just “church” here).

 

Otherwise and apart the words related to the meaning of the cards we find a lot of indications with regard to combinations; it’s something to deduce because there are a lot of shortcuts in the annotations on the cards.

 

Below the Lover; it is interesting because we don’t find at all meanings about “choices” but “love” only (with flirtation and pleasures I think).

Likely there were changes concerning the Tarot cards meanings: for Le Mat I have some meanings about “to leave and find freedom” (with some other meanings too like recklessness) but in this deck Le Mat isn’t described like that (nothing with regard to spirituality I mean). On the other hand I have meanings on my side which highlights “choices” for the Lover, here it's not the case.

Enjoy the Lover!

 

VI The Lover

-at the top: “13 divorce”, “et As d’épée rapports intimes”> (with the Death card) 13: divorce”, “and (with the) Ace of Swords: intimate/sexual relations”

-throughout the card (upper half and midway):  “lettre d’amour”, “Soleil, Mariage”, “10 d’épée: chagrin d’amour”, “Maison téatre?, bal?” > “love letter”, “(with the) Sun: marriage”, “(with the) 10 of Swords: heartbreak”, “place: theater?, ball-dance?” (I had difficulties to read these two last words, but I think this could be that).

Edited by Decan
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I've taken a look through the deck again as I hadn't really considered the annotations when I first came across it when it was uploaded. My thoughts on the handwriting is that it is rather bad, childish in fact, or that of an uneducated person, and that many of the spelling mistakes are just mistakes and not due to an older form of spelling. The notes seem to have been written in at least 2 passes, by the same hand, notably some combinations. 

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7 minutes ago, _R_ said:

I've taken a look through the deck again as I hadn't really considered the annotations when I first came across it when it was uploaded. My thoughts on the handwriting is that it is rather bad, childish in fact, or that of an uneducated person, and that many of the spelling mistakes are just mistakes and not due to an older form of spelling. The notes seem to have been written in at least 2 passes, by the same hand, notably some combinations. 

That’s an interesting observation. But I find myself asking whether spelling errors or lack of formal education has much of a significance here? We are, after all, discussing tarot and not, let’s say, medicine. Maybe someone wanted to document what another, more experienced reader had taught them (perhaps verbally?). Just a thought 🙂

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19 minutes ago, Raggydoll said:

That’s an interesting observation. But I find myself asking whether spelling errors or lack of formal education has much of a significance here? We are, after all, discussing tarot and not, let’s say, medicine. Maybe someone wanted to document what another, more experienced reader had taught them (perhaps verbally?). Just a thought 🙂

On my part I don't know of course, but there are a few things with this deck both interesting and strange; first this deck was part of Paul Marteau's private collection (why did he keep this deck? He must have possessed probably a lot of valuable decks).

There are the misspellings indeed, but considering the way things are written on the cards, it isn't a child who wrote that; I mean, for example in the Lover card, sexual relations are among the meanings with the words "rapports intimes"; well it's an elegant way to spell that because there are a lot of ways to spell sexual relations in French, and not all are elegant, lol.

There is something similar with the Devil card. On this card we found "maison rendez-vous" for "maison de rendez-vous" I think. It is a pretty elegant way to write "a brothel"!

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41 minutes ago, Raggydoll said:

That’s an interesting observation. But I find myself asking whether spelling errors or lack of formal education has much of a significance here? We are, after all, discussing tarot and not, let’s say, medicine. Maybe someone wanted to document what another, more experienced reader had taught them (perhaps verbally?). Just a thought 🙂

The point is that if Paul Marteau wrote them, he must have been quite young. He had an PhD in Philosophy after all. 

 

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14 minutes ago, _R_ said:

The point is that if Paul Marteau wrote them, he must have been quite young. He had an PhD in Philosophy after all. 

 

I’m not sure how they went about assigning that handwriting to him other than that the deck was in his possession? 🤔 I guess if it was a study deck then it makes sense that he was young. But he might also have kept that deck in his collection as a curiosity because it had someone else’s handwriting. Maybe he himself was interested in what it said, just like we are now? 

 

And I’m still as keen to find out what the rest of the notes say. This uncertainty and mystery only adds to the fun for me 😊

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2 hours ago, _R_ said:

The notes seem to have been written in at least 2 passes, by the same hand, notably some combinations. 

Yes. There's different colored inks.

For myself, I doubt it was Marteau, but it's still interesting.
In some ways, it's even more interesting if the deck belonged to a rag man, scullery maid or similar. It's folk cartomancy.

Edited by katrinka
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1 hour ago, Decan said:

On my part I don't know of course, but there are a few things with this deck both interesting and strange; first this deck was part of Paul Marteau's private collection (why did he keep this deck? He must have possessed probably a lot of valuable decks).

There are the misspellings indeed, but considering the way things are written on the cards, it isn't a child who wrote that; I mean, for example in the Lover card, sexual relations are among the meanings with the words "rapports intimes"; well it's an elegant way to spell that because there are a lot of ways to spell sexual relations in French, and not all are elegant, lol.

There is something similar with the Devil card. On this card we found "maison rendez-vous" for "maison de rendez-vous" I think. It is a pretty elegant way to write "a brothel"!

If one is to write "brothel" on a card, do it elegantly. And mark out the Devils bits! LOL.
Whoever owned this deck, in spite of the misspellings, was aiming for a certain level of refinement. :D

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2 hours ago, katrinka said:

Yes. There's different colored inks.

For myself, I doubt it was Marteau, but it's still interesting.
In some ways, it's even more interesting if the deck belonged to a rag man, scullery maid or similar. It's folk cartomancy.

Folk cartomancy is awesome ❤️ (Folk magic too!!) 

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Lovers + Death is divorce. It's on the Lovers card. See Decan's post above.
Legal divorce came and went several times  in France. https://www.ohio.edu/chastain/dh/divorce.htm
Though I'm sure that during the times it was illegal, if people wanted to split up, they did.
As for whether it was socially acceptable, that most likely depended on the social circles you were in.

 

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