Le Petit Oracle des Dames


This is a deck from 1799 or so. It’s like a mash-up of French Sibyl characters, Grand Jeu myth and Etteilla Tarot, with a good many of the cards double ended like Tarock. In spite of this, it’s a surprisingly easy, eloquent deck to read, and it reads true. I got this combo in a recent spread:

It’s talking about a boring town, being bored and disgusted with a town. I’m living in a little hole in the road in central Texas, and I’ve never seen another deck describe the situation so plainly. 😀

Here’s the keywords, translated:

1. Voyage/Earth
2. Clarity/Victory
3. Thoughts*/Water
4. Brilliant Stars/Air
5. Creation of the man and woman/production
6. Heaven on earth/bad man and woman
7. Major Force/business
8. The Force/boredom, disgust
9. Caution/the people
10. Night/The Temperance
11. Divine law (Themis), Justice/the rich bribe
12. The Fortune/Fortune (increase)
13. Mortality/Sorrows, grief
14. Fidelity/the wise
15. Bellona (war goddess)/Discord
16. Man between vice and virtue/betrayal
17. Marriage/union
18. Jupiter/Protector
19. The law and faith/safety and harmony of people
20. Juno/Protectoress
21. The Fool/the street performer
22. Consultant/Consultant
23. Love/the desire
24. Marriage (Hymen)/Departure, disunity, abandonment
25. Unmarried, indecision/childbirth, fertility
26. Hope/Abundance
27. Litigation, squabble/Good faith, friendship, success
28. Fame/obstacle
29. Prison/shipwreck, big misfortune
30. despoilment, thieves/patrol, safety, unexpected pursuit
31. House, table, feasting/jealousy, flatterer (favor seeking)
32. City/Good sea voyage
33. Little Master, embarrassment (awkward position)/Letter, love letter
34. Solitude, rest/economy, money purse
35. Battery, violence, dispute/Hypocrite
36. The old man, father of a family/society, evil chatter (cackle)
37. Traitor woman/the charity and the allowance
38. Brunette man, wholeheartedly/Blond man, beneficient
39. Good brunette woman/Good blonde woman
40. Blonde boy/Brunette boy
41. Blonde girl and chestnut blonde/Brunette girl and chestnut brunette
42, Country man/Stranger, news

*thoughts – offers and decision in emotional things

Additionally, here’s a translation of the LWB from Eric Bowers:

The deck is available here http://www.esoterikshopping.de/products/Kartenlegen-Tarot-Lenormand-Wahrsagekarten-Engelkarten/Sibillakarten/Le-Petit-Oracle-des-Dames-BP-Grimaud.html


12 responses »

  1. Hey, Stella, so how do you read them? Only the upright part counts? ‘Cause some of them the two pieces are totally incompatible, at least for me.

    • Yes, I just read just the upright part of the two-ended cards.
      The combo shown above does seem to contain the solution if you flip it, lol. But not all of them would work that way. 😉

      • Got it. Quite intriguing. I see that La Force’s symbolism is common through all its historic depictions (lady with the lion thing). The illustrations are quite nice, better than some of the traditional Lenormand decks. Is the color saturation just like that in print?

      • The scans are very close to the way it looks IRL, yes. Backgrounds are yellowed, the reds aren’t *quite* that intense, but close.

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  3. Pingback: 30-Day Lenormand Challenge—Qs 16 & 17 - Cosmic Whispers Tarot

  4. How can a video substitute for a booklet? I’m sure that many people wanting to work with these, but not speaking French, would find it very frustrating not being able to look anything up. I agree with you, that these cards are a simple read, and I love the fact that they could have been used by Jane Austen, being of the same era. The booklet is very chauvinistic and a direct translation might offend us now!

    • It can be pretty frustrating trying to locate a particular passage in a youtube video, lol, while you can go straight to it in a booklet. 🙂 No video can substitute for printed material as far as I’m concerned, and the Bowers video is full of “uhhhhhs…” and pauses, it’s excruciatingly slow and I don’t think he did any prep work (other than perhaps putting a pleasant buzz on) and some of his translations seem to be off. But I do give him points for effort – he did something. This deck gets almost no attention, other than history buffs occasionally doing their “Look! Here’s a similar image” thing. This deck is so purely designed for reading, I’d like to see more people get into it.

      I’ve been (very lazily, off and on) running the LWB through google translate and the Reverso dictionary, and while it’s only slightly better than the Bowers video and surely still full of mistakes, at least I’ll have it in print form, in english. I suppose parts of it could be construed as sexist, but 1. It’s 1799 we’re talking about, and 2. Annoying tumblristas is half the fun, lol.

  5. levan, I intend to. I’m just thinking about how to go about it.
    Recently I found my Kipperkarten meanings copypasted into a PDF that was uploaded to a facebook group. Now, I blogged them with the intent of sharing them freely, but this PDF was not attributed to me. I’m sure that the same would happen with the POdD meanings.

    I’ve had to send out a few DMCA notices on my Grand Jeu stuff, as well. People like to copypaste it to their blogs and claim it as their own.

    I did not write the original instruction book, true enough. But translating is work, making sense of archaic things and communicating all of it clearly is work. Unpaid work, I only ask for attribution.

    So, while I’m aware that once the genie is out of the bottle, what can go wrong will go wrong, I’d like to keep that to a minimum. I’m looking at options for that. 😉

    Do you have the deck? How do you like it?

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