How to Read The Etteilla Tarot

Do you want to learn how you can read the Etteilla Tarot? I bet you’ve bought an Etteilla Tarot deck and you have no idea what to do with them. Don’t worry! I am going to teach you exactly how you can tackle this historical Tarot system.

Etteilla is a system of reading Tarot which pre-dates the popular Rider-Waite-Smith system. Although the structure of the cards is generally very similar, the interpretations for Etteilla are so much more old fashioned than what modern readers are used to; for example, the Five of Pentacles is lucky for love. 

Not only have I included links to the Grand Etteilla Tarot meanings, but below these links, you can find my top five tips for reading Etteilla Tarot cards! 

Major Etteilla Meanings | Pentacles Etteilla Meanings Swords Etteilla Meanings | Cups Etteilla Meanings | Wands Etteilla Meanings 

How to Read the Etteilla Tarot

Because of the differences (and lack of information available in English), many would-be Etteilla readers just up, thinking that the process of reading in a vintage style is just too difficult. However, I am here to say, don’t let these minor things put you off of this amazing system. 

The fact that you are reading this article tells me that you have an interest in reading Etteilla (hooray!) So therefore, I am going to give you my top five tips for making Etteilla reading easier, so let’s get to it! 

Lay Out Your Etteilla Tarot Cards

Etteilla cards are read best when you have plenty to choose from. When I’m reading Etteilla, I lay them out in a 5×5 table, similar to a Lenormand Grand Tableau, and then I read what jumps out at me. 

Sometimes, I may be drawn to the card in the middle. Other times, I am drawn to the corners. I can combine cards, read left to right, right to the left, the world is your oyster when you’re reading with this amazing system! 

Read from Right to Left

If you read old fashioned Cartomancy books, you will notice that many advise you to read right to the left. Usually, reading direction can also be dependent on using significators. When reading Etteilla, try reading from right to left for a change and see where this takes you. 

Check Court Card Direction 

One thing which is essential if you’re reading Tarot old school is to interpret the direction which the Court cards are facing. The direction the Court cards are facing is relevant because this can help you to see what each of the characters in the seeker’s life is up to. The direction Courts face can reflect everything from priorities to problems in the lives of people who are represented by them. 

Write on your Deck

Crazy right? Ha! I know, but I actually did this to help me learn my Etteilla interpretations. Most people wouldn’t dream about writing on their cards and think it looks terrible. However, I didn’t use just any old pens. I used fancy metallic pens I got from a stationary shop and wrote on the cards in a decorative style; this way, it looks like the writing is part of the design of the cards, not just a lot of scribbles. 

Learn the Ettellia Tarot Card Meanings

This tip is obvious but essential for reading Etteilla. There isn’t much information out there in English for would be Etteilla readers, but I have translated and collected some interpretations. You can find the links to the meanings here:

Closing Thoughts on How to Read the Etteilla Tarot

I love the Etteilla Tarot system, but it is not for absolute beginners. Many people often have a hard time interpreting the card meanings.

How about you? Are you struggling to read the Etteilla Tarot system? What are your biggest challenges? Feel free to share with myself and the Diviner Life community in the comments section below!

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