In a reading situation today with my old Petit Etteilla deck, I found myself promulgating a curious sentence: ‘yes, your boss will do the right thing and put the sack of money where the money needs to be put, just for you.’ This was in response to a question about a large project that needs some extra funding coming from a third party only tangentially related to the project. In other words, the question revolved around whether this third party would show good will.
Now, the curious part is not so much about the situation, which the cards gave a straight-forward answer to. The curious thing is related to the way in which the cards fell on the table. Usually for a tirage-en-ligne of 5 cards, I start by looking at the card in the middle. Then I glance at the cards to the left to get some info on where the querent comes from – her position, concerns or wishes. In this case the querent wishes strongly and curiously (9 hearts) not only to know but also to see that the primary funding gets ‘company’ (Jack of Spades).
Finally, I look at what trajectory the cards indicate for a potential outcome. In this context here, I didn’t choose a signficator. I let the card in the middle act as one, or tell me something about the state or condition of the situation.
Here, the boss clearly embodies noblesse. Since the project itself is quite venerable, I’m pleased to see this one. The 10 diamonds to the right enforce the reason for expecting that the outcome might be positive, so no problems there. The money rolls in.
Now, in any other situation the verdict would stop there, with that sentence. The question is answered, so there’s nothing more to it.
But the last card here, the one indicating the querent, even when the querent was not called for in this tirage, tells me that I must append to the sentence something else. Not a more nuanced answer, but an apposition that gives us unsolicited information. So I said: ‘…the money will roll in, just for you.’
It is worth remembering that often, when some neutral cards insist on popping up, we don’t need to give them extra attention as such. But what we do need to do is give them space to speak beyond the context of the question.
I loved it that here the querent was left to ponder on why, in a clearly formal not romantic setting, her boss would do something just for her. That sense of wonder and mystery is something that we, as card readers, must remember to pass on to our curious sitters whenever the situation arises.
And just a little note at the end: In my reading with the petit Etteilla pack above I have not followed Etteilla’s own method, but rather my own style of reading the cards according to the cunning folk cartomancy that has in focus the way we associate the sylized suits (hearts, batons, spades, coins) to ‘sylized’ nature in its manifestation as cycles and seasons. For an intro to this see my 101 post here.
Etteilla’s method relies on creating pairs that add up to 31, a special number for him. Then you read right to left in pairs taking into account the primary and secondary meanings found on the cards. Then you read the multiples (cards must be in the same position, not one reversed and one upright). I’ll write a sample reading for this at some other point, but suffice to say that here that the outcome is the same as with the method used here.
The Romanian-speaking audience may check a snippet featuring Etteilla’s method here, by one ‘doctor in philosophy’ Andreiu Petru Stanceanu Putna. What is amusing is that this is an ad literam translation of L’Oracle Parfait, 1875, which the Romanian doctor forgot to mention.
Note on the deck:
Petit Etteilla, Grimaud, 1890
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