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Sibyl Oracle

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The Oracle of the Sibyl: History and Definition

In Greek mythology, the Sibyl is a priestess of Apollo – like the Pythia – who provides enigmatic, symbolic divination, thus offering lengthy interpretations. Thanks to the Sibyl, the human being can communicate with the divine, understand some secrets, and transmit them in the form of trance, songs, and dances to other mortals.

The Sibyl of the salons is a divination game widely used in cartomancy in the 19th century. The Sibyl, also called “The Pythia,” was reputed to be a great seer in antiquity. The Sibyl of the salons is Madame Lenormand, famous fortune teller of Napoleon Bonaparte and Empress Josephine. This card game is inspired by everyday life. The 53 tiles were designed by J.J Grandville, a famous caricaturist, in 1827. The forecasts concern the daily life events of the consultant, the divinatory cards will be interpreted right-side-up and upside-down.

The Sibyl symbolizes revelation in all its senses for various reasons, and of course the reason why we find her associated with the number 12 (like the zodiac signs, Christ’s apostles) in some prophecies, some oracles.

The divination tarot through the cards called Oracle of the Sibyl is a divination game widely used in cartomancy from the 19th century in France. It is the same fortune teller of Napoleon Bonaparte who introduced this game in the worldly salons.

The card game is inspired by the everyday scenes of life and is composed of 52 cards (+ 1 extra, the famous Sibyl representing the consultant or the question itself), in 6×11 format, called “tiles.” The cards can be read and interpreted in both ways, right and upside-down.

In the Oracle of the Sibyl, we find the 8 main Sibyls, as well as the so-called Western Sibyls (Cumae, Eritrea, Egypt, etc.) and the Sibyls of the East (Persian, Delphic, Libyan, and Chaldean).

In the upper left of each card is represented the energy of the card. The Hearts represent the element of fire (physical and sensory plane), the Squares represent the element of Earth (material and concrete plane, possessions), the Swords represent the Air (mental and intellectual plane, reflections). According to the place of the card and its position at the moment of the draw, the interpretation varies.


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