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Singe oracle de Marseille - illusion et malice
Roue gauche chariot triomphe -oracle de Marseille

The Animal

“Man: an animal that makes dogmas.”
—Gilbert Keith Chesterton, Heretics


The name of this card is called “l’animal” in French. It can be translated as “the animal” in English. If you notice any translation errors in this article, please let us know for our entire community. You can leave your comment at the bottom of this page.

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If there is a genesis to our closest Western culture, it is indeed the Christian thought which has persisted for centuries in our mores, our customs, our society and still persists today. The garden of Eden and original sin are one of the most popular sources. According to this creation myth found in genesis, there is first the creation of our world in several days with different stages of creation. At the end of the 6th Day, Adam was created, and Eve was created from Adam. The earth was a big garden where the first human beings lived, with a very simple rule, and any crossing of it will lead to death. The rule allowed Adam and Eve to eat all the fruits in this garden, except the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The serpent invited Eve to eat an apple, making her believe in a false story. She bites into the forbidden fruit and also invites Adam to bite into the apple. God realizing this, condemned the serpent to be legless* (*without feet), to make Adam work hard to have to feed, and Eve to have to give birth. A benevolent god, in short, who reminds us of our real world.

We find ourselves in this mystery, in the presence of the snake with an air of the devil, because he pushed by ignorance the union of 2 complementary beings in a difficult world by taking the appearance of an animal. This animal of the snake which has always as a symbol today in the Christian culture of being cunning, evil and deceitful. In antiquity, the symbol of the snake is also found in the symbolism of the Caduceus of Hermes in another form. The snake is hermaphrodite and therefore contains within it the poison and the antidote of its venom. It is represented with 2 identical snakes surrounded one in front of the other. Morals evolving, the snake also takes the symbol of energy under the influence of oriental culture.

Another animal is present on this arcana, the monkey. The monkey is of the animal what is most animal in man. Man is a great ape. The monkey eats fruit like man eats apples, it’s his nature. By biting into the apple of the tree of knowledge,man enters the real world, where he becomes the cursor of good and evil, the actor of his world. The human being is often considered as a being endowed with reason, capable of reflection, analysis and creation. However, he is also a political and surplus animal who creates dogmas to organize the society in which he lives, whether through rigid beliefs, unfounded fears or pseudo truths without real questioning. Dogmas impose themselves on him as absolute truths in order to organize the relationships between human beings and their environments, and thus give a common meaning to life. These dogmas can be religious, political, philosophical or cultural. The mystery of the animal is a quest for our own truth outside of any dogma. Doubt and the search for meaning open the way to light.

The animal card is here in the singular, and asks us questions about our beliefs, our culture, our mores. Are we more under the influence of Darwin (the monkey) or the creation myth of genesis (the snake)? To begin our quest, it is important to know where we are coming from. come to find out where we are going! This notion of the Garden of Eden is not always easy to appropriate, because sometimes we are in a Garden of Eden without even realizing it. The tree of knowledge has been broken and must be restored. The tree is the symbol of life, it makes the connection between heaven and earth. L he tree carries many virtues that we will find in our quest, such as strength, knowledge and wisdom. It brings us the necessary fruits so that we mature, and that we become in its image , strong, robust and wise, bringing juicy and sweet fruits to life.


Carte arcane de l'animal de l'oracle de Marseille


Dogmatic ideas







In search of truth

New path


Animal instinct

Sexual needs

Lost paradise






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