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Carte de la prudence oracle de Marseille
Roue gauche chariot triomphe -oracle de Marseille

The prudence

“When prudence is everywhere, courage is nowhere.”
—Cardinal Mercier


The name of this card is called “la prudence” in French. It can be translated as “the prudence” 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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The arcana of prudence features 2 characters symbolizinglife and death.The central image offers usan envisaged future. “Read the present and understand the future”. Prudence or negligence, such is the conflict that this arcana of prudence carries. Prudence is an attitude of mind of a person who strives to avoid possible errors and misfortunes. This caution is directly linked to our deep fears. These fears are sometimes real and well-founded, and sometimes based on limiting beliefs and absurdities. This caution then has two sides. The first face allows you to overcome your fears. The second face blocks the person in their fears, legitimately or not. Caution is linked to the fear of death and the passing of time. The skeleton holds a mirror reflecting the reflection of the person in front of him. However, the reflection on the mirror shows the image of an older man and the rabbit on his shoulder is not present. Where is he? is he dead? Or is it an allegory of illusion?The mirror does not reflect the truth of what man experiences.The mirror gives a distorted perception of reality. We can convince ourselves of all things in front of a mirror, that we are intelligent and beautiful, or the other way around, but that does not change physical reality.

Did the white rabbit present in this arcana give us a path? or has he guided us thus far? The Way of the White Rabbit alludes to the novel “Alice in Wonderland” written by Lewis Carroll. Lewis Carroll also wrote the sequel to this novel entitled “Through the Looking Glass “. Crossing the mirror means going beyond appearances. It’s another reality. Looking at the mirror is not going through the mirror. The mirror reflects an image of reality and not reality itself, like the adage “the skylark”. To look carefully at the mirror, beyond first impressions, is to observe yourself, to gauge yourself, to accept yourself. Not being able to look at yourself in a mirror is to flee a reality is to repress what we are. “Mirror, mirror, am I the most beautiful?” is a famous phrase from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The mirror’s response can be fatal. The mirror invites us to be cautious when judging the appearances of our reality. Judge “yes”, but with caution. Appearances are sometimes deceiving, and clothes do not make a monk.

The foresight of certain events prevents us from being entangled once the situation arises. The famous terms, “I told you so…” or even “ you should have listened to me…”are often associated with it. The reckless has many faces, he can be negligent, unaware, crazy or very naive of the problems he could encounter. Prudence also calls for trust in certain cases. Caution and lack of trust lead to absurd phrases like “trust does not preclude control.” If we have trust, control is not necessary. To control is to ensure what has been done. But if we trust, we no longer need to control. It’s an absurd adage that says everything is its opposite. We can never be careful enough, can we! Too much caution sometimes leads to immobility. When we are frozen, nothing interacts, it is an unnatural movement. Life is bohemian, and bohemian is in motion. A blocked machine is a broken machine. A blocked machine is guaranteed to run away when unblocked.It’s like a dam where the water is released. Prudence must not lead us to immobility, otherwise we would fall into the arcana of fear which represents a woman curled up, motionless, head down, who no longer dares to observe the world around her.

CARD 70 - THE prudence

Carte arcane de la prudence de l'oracle de Marseille





Ravage of time









Unrevealed love

Smile at life

Deceptive appearance


Break the mirror



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