The Puzzling Tarot Dodal

Master cartier of the 18th century, Jean Dodal has staged a complex imagery, full of allusions and enigmas where the tarologist can exercise sagacity. This is the purpose of Noémie, our new author who is working on this particular tarot. I invite you to follow her discoveries step by step.

Particularly, the tarot of Jean Dodal is it in more than one way. Few people know it, because except for the late master cartier Jean-Claude Flornoy, it has not been the subject of any recent reissue. Tarot lovers are better accustomed to that of Nicolas Conver, transformed by Marteau for Grimaud editions.

Let’s say it all, my preference goes to the enigmatic tarot of Dodal, more searched, more swarming, more fiery … in a word more initiatory. Before it and the shock it caused me, I was completely ignorant of the tarot and its hidden keys, having read only the articles of this same on the left arrow at the bottom of the page

I use faithfully the method already proven, the one that Xavier calls the language of the birds, more precisely language of the goslings … It allows to say much more than the first meaning, which is essential in an initiatory reading. In the language of birds, taro(t) can be read tora, rato, otar, ator or rota.

On tarot = rota, there is also tarot = rota = torah. One can even add rake,French: rateau to avoid receiving one in the teeth.a French joke lost in translation Rake again: this game and its images will rake everything in the player’s head and heart. And rake everything in his pockets too, because the Tarot is primarily a gambling game.

Torah, we understood the allusion. There is also Hathor, the Great Goddess, who is believed to have invented the Tarot. There is also the wheel, rota in Latin. But we have more than one wheel in the tarot. Two wheels in the Chariot, or rather the Charior as Dodal writes – does he mean chariot of the origin?

And especially the Wheel of Fortune. By using accidents – or so-called such – which enamel the names of arcana, such as points, lines, etc. I was able to establish another order that owes nothing to the official numbering.

Arcana or Triumph

As you can see from the illustrations in this article, Jean Dodal loves to distort the spelling of arcana. The PopessFrench: Papesse becomes La Pances, The StarFrench: L’étoile becomes Le Toile … In the 18th century, the spelling was not as strict as it is today. But I am not satisfied with this explanation. On the arcana, nothing is accidental. Even less in Dodal than in other tarots. His whimsical spelling wants to tell us something. What?

Originally, maps were called trionfi in Italian: ie triumphs. To be compared to the Greek: Tri Omphalos, three navels … Why three? Is it to remind us of the necessary union of our three bodies, or three persons? Omphalos also designates, in a general way, all that is central, and more especially the hub of a wheel. The wheel is the tarot of course. Triumph would perfectly represent the groupings by three formed according to the logic of the points … (source) This famous code-point that I will present you in a future article, and which ends with series of three arcana.

Yet it is the 4th, and not the 3rd, which abounds in triumphs … and throughout the Tarot of Jean Dodal! The “JU”, of judgment and justice written in Roman capitals, form IV is 4 in Roman numeral.

If we prefer the word arcane, we get the art cane, and we are his ducklings. Like the mother goose and her children the goslings … The arts-cane, and the language signed goslings, the paw-goose, the auque pau, symbol of recognition carried by fellow builders, named Cagots. The crow’s foot is still three branches that meet in a fourth. Like the Greek psi Ψ … Cane art, goth art, art queange, art high … The language of the Oisans is a fantastic exercise, children can even play. This is reminiscent of Jesus’ words: “When you know the truth, you will see how simple it is, even children can understand it …” (source) Apocryphal Gospel of Nag Hammadi

All is significant in the initiatory tarot: the details have their importance often determining, those of the images as well as those of the texts. I adopt this point of view, which allowed me to hunt with success the smallest points, the slightest features, and a rigorous observation leads to conclusions that give the thrill. It is an original reading, which departs from that developed by Jean-Claude Flornoy, and since repeated by many authors, from Alejandro Jodorowski to Xavier Séguin.

Tarot or Rota

This reading gave me a new arcane ranking that owes nothing to their numbering. To achieve this, I have updated a key hidden by Jean Dodal, which I call the point code. I will tell you about it in a future article. The wheel of fortune appears at the end in the code-point version: wheel = rota (Latin), upside down, renewal => tarot, the end of the cycle, for a new start.

Concerning the arcana XVII THE STAR (French L’ETOILE) LE.TOILLE, writes Dodal. In old French goose = ewe. It would be the star of the shepherd, Venus, and this interpretation is supported by the presence of a beautiful girl on the arcana! The symbol of Venus is also present on the scepters of the emperor and the empress. As long as one is on oille = ewe, do you know how the priests called their faithful in the old days? Weasels … sheep, what. Then one should read LET OILLE, leave the faithful, spare the faithful, save the believer …

We continue the delirium of the birds. Arcanum I The Bateleur becomes The low lures you. Arcanum XX THE JUDGMENT becomes: le juge ment.the judge lies. I note that in this initiatic version, the balance of the Arcanum VIII Justice leans a little, so it lies, too?

Sun or Single EyeFrench: Soleil ou Seul Œil

Arcanum XVIIII The Sun: the eye ground or the only eyelost in translation – French: soleil or seul œil ?! The ground gives the key, as in music, the treble clef.lost in translation – French: clé de sol – “sol” means “ground” and “clef/key” So should we understand that the ground is an eye or that the eye of the sun is unique? In Vendée patois, we pronounce eye as “eil”. Which is close to the English word eye. Significant detail: an eye is lacking to the character on the right …

The sun’s eye, I do love that. Imagine that the sun is a hole through which we can see the Spirit of the Creator … Just as our eyes let in the inner light produced by the brain, so the One Eyeseul œil lets through the blinding light of the Creator of all things. … (or just our solar system?) The Bible repeats that we can not look God in the face as it is dazzling … like the One Eye !!


The tarot of Jean Dodal, dated 1701, is one of the oldest tarots said to Marseille, although having been printed in Lyon. It is assumed that its tarot was intended for export, based on the inscription “F • P • LE • TRANGE ♦” present on the arcana XI and XXI, as well as the inscription “F • P • LE • TRENGE ♦ »on five so-called” minor “arcana. Which would mean “FAICT FOR FOREIGN”. This is the opinion of specialists. And that reassures rational minds. But it tickled me. Every detail has its importance and the tarot is an initiatory game. I was also struck by the number of gross spelling mistakes in this particular tarot. And if these faults were not?

Why did Dodal bother to mention on as many cards as this game is for export? This insistence may mean something else … Coded language, for example. The signature of Jean Dodal is as follows: “FAICT A LYON P IEAN DODAL”. And obviously this P means PAR. By taking inspiration from it, one can very well read the other inscription: “FAICT BY L’ÉTRANGE”. Which would indicate to the initiates that this game is for their use and contains initiatory secrets … Why? Read more next.

Do not neglect anything, notice everything, and try to understand everything. The images of the tarot of Marseille, their graphics and colors openly refer to the art of stained glass churches and cathedrals. And these fellow builders of cathedrals called each other “the foreigners”. “The engineer and the companions worked together, united by the particularism allowing them to say to themselves everywhere” the foreigners “or” the horsains “(source)” the secrets of the builders “of Maurice Vieux

The tarot would have been made by a foreigner AND for foreigners! The tarot Dodal hiding knowledge and symbols companions, it is made by and for the foreigner, or the initiate. That is to say for the use of insiders, foreign companions.
Man has always used codes, dialects, jargon or encrypted messages to be understood by anyone. Some use the language of the goslings, which is to give a second sense to words or sentences, by a game of sounds or puns, such as the strange being angel. I suspect Jean Dodal of having engaged in this exercise. Suddenly, the analysis of his arcana becomes an exciting treasure hunt, where triumphs are so many treasure cards. A treasure of knowledge, worth a hundred times better than gold or jewels.

Xavier’s discoveries about Plato are phenomenal, I recommend a close study. There is much to learn from the texts of Plato, who transcribed knowledge without having understood it. Moreover, if the sun is a hole through which the light of the creator passes, we are in his image, by virtue of the principle of the dark room … just as described by Plato! In short, tarologists have a famous research program here!

In a future article, The code-point of the Dodal, I’ll show you that impossible could be on the cards …


Ignorance is not the lack of knowledge, but the lack of self knowledge ; without self knowledge there is no intelligence.
Jiddu Krishnamurti