I have already mentioned elsewhere on this site the admonishment of Philippe de Chérisey in his document Stone & Paper. He wrote;  

"Dear Reader, to whom we tell everything, but who does not listen".

Chérisey is not simply telling us that he has told us everything necessary to solve the mystery, he is also telling us that we haven't listened!  A quick reading of this sentence might mean we haven't fully concentrated on what he has written. But on another level should we concentrate on the sound of his words - should we in fact listen - give more of our attention to the sound of what he writes? 

I think he certainly does infer this. He has used phonetic sounds to convey different meanings elsewhere in his works. For example, he encourages us to listen in his novel CIRCUIT. Circuit is littered with puns and how to read them, as well as anagrams and word play. This is shown amply when he refers to the word play in respect of the Pierre de Trou!

This key he is uses is a kind of cryptography.

The clue's [clews?] he gives act as strands of a phonetic yarn able to be used as a guide through the historical labyrinth which is the mystery of Rennes-le-Chateau. It is that labyrinth of complicated irregular networks of passages and paths of history which are difficult to find one's way round and indeed, one's way out of. This is the metaphorical inextricable vegetation of the woods description used by the author of  Le Serpent RougeThe inextricable vegetation resembles overgrown untamed and prickly woods of a dark forest, impossible to get through or into, impassable like a fortress that has foiled one invader after another over the centuries! This important knowledge about the secret of Rennes is certainly not to be violated, criticized, or tampered with! The mass of information/clues are so vast and so scrambled that without some kind of help, we will never find our way or the solution! 

This would seem to be borne out again in  Le Serpent Rouge. In the verse under Ophiuchus, the poet says: To this, Dear Reader, be careful not to add or remove an iota... meditate, meditate again, the vile lead of my writing contains perhaps the purest gold!  

Meditate on the writing? On the words? The sounds? Yet again, stressing the importance of the language of words. Do not add or remove an iota!

Iota is used in a common English phrase, 'not one iota', meaning 'not the slightest amount', in reference to a phrase in the New Testament: "until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law" (Mt 5:18). Or more fully - For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. The quote is part of the Sermon on the Mount. The general sense is  "From this code, so written, not the smallest letter nor part of a letter--not an  `i' nor the crossing of a `t' -- shall be erased until all things come to pass." 

The poet tells us his writing may contain codes of the 'purest gold'. In actual fact, he says the 'vile lead' of his writing contains the gold. The lead [graphite] is the material used to form the writing tool. 

This is a direct reference to the fabled Philosophers Stone. Why? Because the philosopher's stone (Latin: lapis philosophorum) is a legendary alchemical substance said to be capable of turning base metals (lead, for example) into gold (chrysopoeia).  

How many times must we be told? The clew's are there and the clues point the way and act as a guide. Always remember the play on the phonetic sound of clew/clue - for this is all part of the Ariadne thread in the Rennes Affair.

This is La langue des oiseaux -  a secret language used by Boudet and also Chérisey - based on puns and symbolism drawn from homophony - the linguistic phenomenon whereby words of different origins become identical in pronunciation, or two words that are pronounced the same but differ in their meanings. An example of homophonic words are pair and pear.

For Boudet - this is how he enshrined the clues to find the treasure of Rennes-les-Bains - via the language of the pun, the play on words, the very key being phonetic. Chérisey uses both - puns, [exploiting the different possible meanings of a word or the fact that there are words which sound alike but have different meanings as well]  - and the homographic pun which exploits words which are spelled the same but possess different meanings and sounds. Because of their origin, the homographic pun relies more on sight than hearing, contrary to homophonic puns.

This amazing language of the birds therefore is a cryptographic language dedicated to protecting messages (ensuring confidentiality, authenticity and integrity) by using secrets or keys.

It is based on three levels:

    •    the sound correspondence of the words spoken with others not spoken - this allows a semantic comparison which constitutes a voluntary coding, either to mask information, or to amplify the meaning of the first word;

    •    the word games used allow a more subtle and esoteric coding, the words are reflected ad libitum: verlan, anagrams, fragments of words, etc.;

    •    finally, the spelling, which can refer to an iconic coding reinforcing the meaning of the words, as in hieroglyphics.

But what is the history of such a coded language so important in the Rennes Affair?

Jean-Claude Flornoy wrote the following;

"The Language of the Birds  - A Magic of words and images  

Before focusing directly on the subject at hand, let us review the history.

On October 13, 1307, the king of France, Philippe le Bel, ordered the arrest of the members of the Knights Templars. In the afternoon of March 19, 1314 the order of the Temple was definitively eliminated with Jacques de Molay's death at the stake on the l’Ile aux Juifs in Paris. It was on this critical afternoon that the masters of the builders' fraternities launched what the Companions traditionally call the Strike of the Cathedrals.

In three weeks the word spread over all the construction sites in provinces controlled by the king. All the workers, from master to apprentice, put down their tools and either left France or returned to their families. Medieval sacred society died in this strike and the emigration that followed. No church or chapel would ever again be built according to the rules of sacred construction, that art which uses stone to magnify the telluric forces of the wouïvre and confer this energy on the believers within. For Europe this signals the beginning of the Inquisition and the dictatorship of the church.

Those who stay on must leave their fraternities and, if they want to remain alive, melt into the anonymity of civil society.

Those who leave go for the most part to northern Italy, where they will generate the Renaissance in their work for the princes. Some fraternities go yet farther away: one from Poitou went as far as the Middle East, in the last Frankish (Christian) kingdom that still resisted Islam, that of the Lusignans of Cilicie, wedged between today's Syria and Turkey.

A small kingdom pledged to the Romano-Germanic emperor, Cilicie disappeared under the blows of the Marmelukes in 1375. The sons of those who participated in the cathedral strike returned to Christian lands, to the effervescence of Northern Italy where, known as "Sarrasins" they invested their knowledge, like a bottle thrown into the sea, in the tarot.

So when we speak of the "language of the birds" we must articulate two periods: before the Strike, when this "tongue" is spoken in the language of goth* art and is expressed in words and images on all the cathedral building sites, and after the Strike, when it goes underground.

The language of the birds functions through spontaneity and direct comprehension. A classic example, though late – probably 17th century – can be found in the names of old inns on old roads in France. There are many roadside inns bearing signs « au lion d’or » (at the golden lion), or « au cochon d’or »(at the golden pig).

What does the image mean? Nothing in particular; just a golden lion, often badly drawn, or a golden pig. Why then give such a seemingly stupid name to an inn? Because once "au lit on dort " (in bed one sleeps), or at the place where the coach stops (au coche) "on dort" (one sleeps). Coche was the name in old French for pig.

We find ourselves in the play on words which characterises this "language of the birds". Of course the people of this time did not just focus on such foolishness. Their jargon, as sons of Mother Goose*, subjects of the Queen Pédauque*, as men "pattés*" was that of baby geese (oisons) and not birds (oiseaux). We are in the tradition of "Maitre Jacque's children." For these magicians, as for certain Sufis of today, what counted above all was the creation of that magic instant of suspended time, this astonishment by which we are all connected with the divine. Their word plays must literally "take your breath away". The cagots of Southwestern France bore the last vestiges of this culture and wore, until around 1730, a goose's footprint in red cloth sewn on the left shoulder.

The language of goslings dating from the first period is perfectly direct, meant to be taken literally, at the instant.

At the Romanesque-Byzantine abbey built by Eléonore d’Aquitaine at Souillac (department of Lot), the capital of the 8th ambulatory depicts doves putting their beaks in an owl's ear. This is Athena's owl of course, and represents access to knowledge. At Talmont in the Charente, it is a heron which relates to the owl.

The birds unstop the owl's ears and offer you access to what the ancients called the "third ear" [also a popular term for the use of intuition, sensitivity, and awareness].

That is the language of the birds. Expression is direct: you are told to stand up against the pillar in order to have your subtle ear unblocked. If you try and fix on a "symbol" which explains this image you risk getting caught up in verbiage and entirely missing the event itself, and it is only this experience that interested the ancients.

Many are the images of this sort, and many are the astonishing experiences at our disposal if we manage to not analyse what we see; but just experiment. All European Romanesque churches and chapels are loaded with these images. It is up to you to see them and let them live within you. Back against the pillar, let yourself be "bewitched": that is goth* art.

Thus we see this language of the goslings already expressed on two levels: a game of words and images, a game of image and experimentation.

When the engraver Nicolas Conver places three dots on the breast of arcane XV, The Devil, one must read his message as simply as possible: Freemasonry is a Devil. That's all! All further explanation is superfluous.

After the Templars' extermination and the arrival of the Inquisition, the social life of Europe slipped back into the repression of the old sciences. Tens of thousands of fires were lit. Only certain professions retained their traditions over the centuries: doctors, apothecaries, builders and a few others. The language of the goslings, flown to other skies since March 19, 1314, becomes the language of the birds and goes underground to become the language of initiates. Its word plays become increasingly savant, even employing Greek.

As for the alchemists' image games, some are still understandable, but many must be approached with considerable erudition.

From time to time we meet individuals whose freshness and spontaneity of language create, like a blow to the plexus, that moment of astonishment. Each of them is, at that instant at least, The Fool who reactivates the language of the birds

Jean-Claude Flornoy [see HERE]

"language of the birds"

The expression "language of the birds" consists in hearing a sound rather than reading it. It is therefore a question of no longer trusting "the written word", but of hearing "the cries", those of birds, their sung words.

In this language where the "double meaning" prevails, enabled by homophony (and other mechanisms); sound, in short, "resonates" and "reasons". The analogy with birds is above all physical: on the contrary, sounds fly from letters, which remain fixed, even the "L" s. The popular proverb "The writings remain the words fly" also testifies to this symbolism. The language of the birds invites us therefore to find the deep, hidden meaning of the sentence!

The expression “language of the birds” (one also uses the synonymous expression of “language of the angels”) has a confused and plural origin:

    •    a first possible interpretation is that it refers to the fact that the birds whistle melodies, music for the human ear, but whose hidden meaning is not realised by us. It is the idea of a sacred, hidden language that man does not "hear" (in the sense of understanding). Grasset d'Orcet [possibly a friend of Henri Boudet, who supposedly gave him a signed copy of his book, The True Celtic Language, which may yet turn out to be quite significant!] takes up this point of view. 

We can also see in the god Hermes , Mercury among the alchemists, the creator of the language of birds. Winged, he represents the volatile and esoteric principle of the mystery of Nature.

    •    the expression could also be a historical phonetic distortion ("synchronic") of the name of a secret brotherhood called: "language of the goslings  " (in reference to the young goose, a term that has become archaic), so named because of the crow's feet worn by the builders of cathedrals. As we read above they used on construction sites a jargon allowing to preserve the ancestral techniques of the "masons". However, after the “Strike of the Cathedrals” (following the proclamation of the Templars as non grata in France theMarch 19, 1314), most of the initiated workers fled the French Inquisition, for northern Italy (where they would prepare for the Renaissance ) and the Middle East. After the end to the Inquisition, these initiates, back in France, nicknamed "Saracens", disseminate their knowledge by means of secret coding systems quickly assimilated to the occult sciences, in the first place: the Tarot de Marseille , the "goth art" (art of light, which will become Gothic art ), alchemy and the language of birds.

Plantard himself uses the Tarot de Marseille to encode the message of Rennes and Chérisey uses this Tarot deck to name his chapters in his novel CIRCUIT.

Consequently the language of the goslings becomes a receptacle of the traditional knowledge of the builders of cathedrals, and turns into the language of the birds, which thus goes underground and becomes the language of initiates. It becomes more complex so as not to attract censorship and anathema from the clergy, even resorting to ancient languages such as Greek. Words are thus loaded with at least double meanings, making it possible to communicate information while not arousing suspicion and while using the means of communication of the time (poetry, inscriptions, songs, rhymes …).

This may explain why in medieval France, the language of the birds was a secret language of the Troubadours, connected with the Tarot, allegedly based on puns and symbolism drawn from homophony, e. g. an inn called au lion d'or "the Golden Lion" is allegedly "code" for au lit on dort "in the bed one sleeps" (note that this particular pun cannot be medieval, since final t was pronounced until Middle French, c.f. e.g. the 14th century loanword bonnet).

In ancient times

Virgil in the Aeneid (Book III, 360) describes the "language of the birds" as one of the skills of the diviner:

"Son of Troy, interpreter of the gods, you who hear the will of Phebus, the tripods, the laurels of Claros, you who understand the stars and the language of the birds and the omens heralded by their rapid flight, come on, speak"

Nevertheless, this language can have a real linguistic origin. Lambule, Greek writer (ist century BC.) in a fantastic book since disappeared, writes that the inhabitants of the Indian Ocean island have a forked tongue (cut in half) to hold two conversations at the same time, with each letter referring to a sound (28 sounds / letters) of 7 characters which can be formed in different ways. Diodorus of Sicily, in book II of his Bibliotheca, sums up his words:

There is also something special about their language, which comes partly from nature and partly from an operation they perform there. It is split lengthwise and appears double up to the root. This gives them the ability not only to pronounce and articulate all the words and all the syllables which may be in use in all the languages of the world but also to imitate the song or the cry of all the birds. What is most marvelous is that the same man maintains two people at the same time by means of his two languages and answers them at the same time on very different subjects without being confused. "

Grasset d'Orcet [alleged friend of our hero priest HENRI BOUDET]

Grasset d'Orcet (1828-1900) studied the traces of the cryptographic systems of archaic Greece. On the strength of this experience, he published articles on the Language of Birds published in the British Review. Friend of Fulcanelli, and having had a powerful influence on Father Henri Boudet, Grasset d'Orcet will devote himself to the study of “Cryptographic Materials”, that is to say the rules for decoding texts in the language of birds. It mainly focuses on heraldry, another science with occult origins using double language. The hieroglyphic mottos of the coat of arms obey rules allowing their "reading" (other than iconic):

    •    1) the motto consists of verses of six to eight syllables, ending with a syllable where enters the letter L,

    •    2) Any emblazoned design must be deciphered starting with the feet (from bottom to top) 

Orcet studied at the college of Aurillac, then at the college of Juilly where he discovered esotericism with the Abbot Constant, the future Éliphas Lévi, who had been hired there as tutor by the superior who was at that time the Abbot of Bonnechose (1800-1883), who would later be Bishop of Carcassonne in 1847, then of Évreux in 1854, then Rouen. These links are interesting in relation to the affair of the Two Rennes. 

Orcet also met Ernest Renan at the college of Juilly [Renan wrote a book called the Life of Jesus, famous for is scholarship and historical method in analysing the life of Jesus. Renan for example, on the death of Jesus wrote that "It is evident, in fact, that doubts arose as to the reality of the death of Jesus. A few hours of suspension on the cross appeared to persons accustomed to see crucifixions entirely insufficient to lead to such a result. They cited many instances of persons crucified, who, removed in time, had been brought to life again by powerful remedies. Origen afterward thought it needful to invoke a miracle in order to explain so sudden an end. The same astonishment is found in the narrative of Mark."].

Renan also entered the college of St Sulpice in order to take his degree in philology prior to entering the church, and, here, he began the study of Hebrew; also studying at Issy-les-Moulineaux at this time was Alphonse Louis Constant, who after Issy, also went to study at the seminary of Saint-Sulpice [to learn theology]. He was ordained a sub-deacon and tonsured. Louis Constant had already met Grasset d'Orcet at the Collège de Juilly and in fact participated in an archaeological mission to Phoenicia with Ernest Renan in 1859-1861.

Abbé Constant, as we have seen, had been hired as a coach by the superior who was at that time the abbe Bonnechose (1800-1883), then Bishop of Carcassonne in 1847, then Evreux in 1854 and Rouen . Bonnechose actually taught at the College of Juilly. It should be known that Monseigneur Félix-Arsène Billard was the right arm of Bishop Bonnechose in Rouen as in Rome. It was Bonnechose who himself appointed Archbishop Billard to the Carcassonne diocese when he was forced to leave for Rouen. 

Loisy, Constant, Renan, d'Orcet, Bonnechose, Billard! We know that Monsignor Félix-Arsène Billard was protected by Cardinal Henri de Bonnechose, since 1860, at the time when he was archbishop of Rouen (Normandy). But from 1848 to 1865 Bishop Bonnechose himself had been archbishop of Carcassonne. This is certainly the occasion of one or other of his many and, apparently, meticulous, pastoral visits to churches in his diocese. He would naturally have transmitted any information to Billard & he will support the nomination to Carcassonne in 1881 of Billard. It is said Billard even indicated to Sauniere where to look in his church .....

Bonnechose sheilded Billard and Billard looked after Sauniere and Boudet!

There are suggestions that Grasset d'Orcet was a friend of Henri Boudet. HERE is a signed copy of La Vrai Langue Celtique given to Orcet. Whatever the truth, Boudet certainly used these themes and theories to encode the device he uses to talk about the history of his village. He told us as much when he instructs us that what his book is really about is to 'penetrate the secret of a local history by the interpretation of a name written in an unknown language'. The unknown language for him isn't the Celtic language. It is the Punic language. He says "...Notice how easily the Punic language, through a play on words, is able to synthesis mens names. Common nouns also offer similar combinations, and represent, in several associated monosyllables, complete sentences in a rigorous and precise way. We shall choose several of these expressions, in order to demonstrate the admirable care with which words, nouns or verbs, are composed".  In other words Boudet's language is the language of the pun, the 'play on words'. The key used by Boudet is a phonetic one. But we have to ask ourselves questions. If the abbe Boudet is not talking about a 'true Celtic' language - why did he have to encode what he did want to talk about? Why invent a non-existent Cromleck? Why not just tell us the local history? And why on earth is that local history 'secret'? Using a quote by Joseph de Maistre Boudet notes that using his system of 'dialects and the names of people and places, appear to me like mines that are almost unexploited, which are the source of great wealth'. Is this last sentence not an allusion to some kind of treasure, important, buried in an ancient mine and by using the Punic language one may be able to locate it? 

Grasset d'Orcet stayed in Paris where he studied at the faculty of law, then sculpture at the School of Fine Arts in the studio of Élias Robert , which encouraged him to undertake trips to Greece, then throughout the Middle East. He frequented between 1848 and 1851, the café of La Régence in Paris where he met Alfred de Musset , Théophile Gautier, the soap opera and librettist Henri Murger with Musette, model of the character of Scenes from the Bohemian Life, Jules Barbey d'Aurevilly. He settled for several years in Cyprus where he undertook excavations and discovered a large quantity of objects, part of which would be brought back to France in 1859 by the Saulcy Mission on his return from the Holy Land and which constitute the first Cypriot archeology collection from the Louvre Museum. This probably interested Boudet, who was involved with excavations and recovery of archaeological artefacts at Rennes-les-Bains. 

Orcet then participated in two other archaeological missions, first in Phenicia with Ernest Renan in 1859-1861, then again in Cyprus with Melchior de Vogüé and the architect Edmond Duthoit in 1862-1864. Prior to 1870, Grasset d'Orcet worked as a journalist for the newspapers La Cloche, Le Figaro and reported for the Havas Agency during the Paris Commune .

He collaborated for twenty-seven years in La Revue anglaise in which he published 218 articles, the first in 1873 on Alcoholism in literature , and made numerous translations.

Part of his work has been taken up and continued, on the one hand by Henri Dontenville (1888-1981) who does not mention it and who founded the Société de mythologie française in 1950, and plagiarized by Joséphin Peladan; on the other hand by a certain number of esoteric authors like Fulcanelli or Claudius Popelin who quote him.


Fulcanelli, whose true identity remains unknown, in Les Demeures Philosophales, a work of modern alchemy in which he shows that the spagyric masters fixed their ancestral knowledge in the stone of the cathedrals, was one of the first to clearly reveal the meaning of the language of birds:

The old masters, in the drafting of their treatises, mainly used the hermetic cabal, which they still called the language of birds, of the gods, gay science or gay knowledge. In this way, they were able to steal the principles of their science from the vulgar, by enveloping them in a cabalistic cover. […] But what is generally ignored is that the idiom from which the authors borrowed their terms is archaic Greek, the mother tongue according to the plurality of the disciples of Hermes. The reason why we do not notice the cabalistic intervention lies precisely in the fact that French comes directly from Greek."

The cryptographic dimension of this language is therefore proven according to him; nevertheless, it would be based on ancient Greek. Then Fulcanelli defines the method founding the language of birds as being phonetic :

The language of birds is a phonetic idiom based solely on assonance . No account is therefore taken of spelling, the very rigor of which acts as a brake for curious minds […]."

He continues, emphasizing the double meaning of this language:

"The ancient writers called it langua general ("universal language"), and lengua cortesana ("court language"), that is to say diplomatic language, because it conceals a double meaning corresponding to a double science , one apparent, the other deep."

Then he made the original language of humanity, that of before Babel;

The few authors who have spoken of the language of birds attribute it first place to the origin of languages. Its antiquity dates back to Adam, who would have used it to impose, according to the order of God, the suitable names, suitable for defining the characteristics of beings and created things. "

The symbols of cathedrals, testimonies of alchemical and occultist iconography, are often understandable by recourse to the rebus or by reading aloud. The example that Fulcanelli takes about the horse adorning the south wall of the church of Saint-Grégoire-du-Vièvre, “and whose message is read first in rebus or the language of the knights and ends in symbols, many less obvious to understand."

The secret code of the Templars .

For Fulcanelli, each alchemical name contains, in the language of birds, a symbolic correspondence that the phonetics expresses: 

"Know therefore, brethren, in order not to err, that our term antimony ... shall, by a pun familiar to philosophers, ass-tiller, the guide leads ..." In The Mystery of the Cathedrals , Gothic art is a language itself interpretable by the language of birds. This hypothesis, specific to Fulcanelli, never mentioned in the Middle Ages, allows us to study the symbolic functioning at work in the language of birds. First of all, phonetically the expression "gothic art", shorthand: "goth art" (pronounce [go]) is close to that of "slang"; there is perfect homophony :

For us, Gothic art is only an orthographic distortion of the slang word, including perfect homophony, in accordance with the phonetic law which governs, in all languages and without taking any account of spelling, the traditional cabal. The cathedral is a work of Goth or slang art. However, dictionaries define slang as being "a language specific to all individuals who have an interest in communicating their thoughts without being understood by those around them" . It is therefore indeed a spoken cabal.

Gothic art therefore refers to a coded language. The symbolic amplification can then be proposed by means of a second phonetic matching: "The slang, those who use this language, are hermetic descendants of the argo-nautes, who ascended the ship Argo ... to conquer the famous Toison d'Or. [...] All the Initiates spoke in slang, as well the mobsters of the Court of Miracles, - the poet Villon at their head, - as the Frimasons, or Freemasons of the Middle Ages, "lodgers of the good Lord », Which built the slang masterpieces that we admire today. "

There would therefore be a correspondence between Gothic art, the coded language known as slang and the myth of the Argonauts, widely mentioned by alchemist authors. This relation could be synthesized in a sentence taking up all the terms: Gothic art is a coded language used by a group of initiates to this language and looking for the Golden Fleece (implied, by metaphor: the philosopher's stone ). The spiritual destination of this art is reinforced by the Greek root of the adjective "Gothic":

Gothic art is, in fact, the art got or cot (Co in Greek), the art of Light or of the Spirit."

René Guénon

Metaphysician of the first half of the xx th  century Rene Guenon in Symbols of Sacred Science thinks the language of birds includes the fundamental esoteric formulas and incantations. He considers that it is the metaphor for human communication with the “higher beings” that are the angels : “birds are frequently taken as a symbol of angels, that is to say precisely of higher states”. He shows that it is in the Islamic tradition that the language of the birds appears with the figure of Solomon:

And Solomon was David's heir; and he said: O men! we have been instructed in the language of the birds ['ullimna mantiqat-tayri] and filled with all things."

Angels are often represented as birds.

The term aç-çāffāt is considered to literally designate birds, but as symbolically applying to angels (al-malā'ikah) by phonetic proximity. The language of the birds would therefore be an expression to designate the language of the angels. (Guénon cites in particular the study on the symbolism of the "bird of paradise" by ML Charbonneau-Lassay based on a sculpture where this bird is represented with only a head and wings, the form in which angels are often represented).

For Guénon, this language is above all founded on the universal rhythm, on verse and poetry . Islamic tradition considers, moreover, that “Adam, in the earthly Paradise, spoke in verse, that is to say in rhythmic language; this is the Syriac language" .

And finally, some observations:

 ... the language of the birds (le langage des oiseaux) was originally the secret language of the Troubadours. It's still explored today in literary circles and similar. The language of the birds is a play on words, more than just ordinary puns or mundane stuff (the word for "pun" in French is "jeu de mots"). 

French tarologists have always found references to the language of the birds in the Tarot de Marseille. The proper name for Tarot cards in French is not "carte" (although this is used in more informal situations and is most common). However, the formal and proper name, used in the more studious contexts, is "lame". \ɑm\ .The word "carte" for the Tarot of Marseilles just never took off for some reason. A "lame" is the woodblock on which the original cards were engraved before being reproduced. Ordinary playing cards were also printed on "lames", but no-one ever has and never does ever refer to them as "lames" - they are just plain cartes / cards. Whatever type they are. Only the Tarot of Marseilles has retained this terminology.

Now Lame is, in the language of the birds, "L'ÂME". Which means "THE SOUL".

The use of the term "lame" literally, "blade," goes back - along with "arcanes" - "arcana" - to Paul Christian/J.-B. Pitois and his books. I do not think it refers to woodblocks, although one could check d'Allemagne or any other reference work on cardmaking, just to be sure. Again, if my memory is correct, the idea was that the "original Egyptian" images were printed (or engraved?) on thin sheets of metal, rather than paper, hence the 'metallic' term used.

La Maison Dieu ? As you know, the arcanum XVI is not a Tower, but a Maison Dieu (house of god). At the time this would refer to either a sort of hospital, run by the church; or it could have some reference to the Knights Templars; or it could refer to a name given to the places where the crusaders could stop overnight for sustenance and rest. But in any case it's NOT a Tower and it has something to do with a House and God.

L'ÂME ET SON DIEU which means "The Soul and its God".

Alternatively it can also be "L'AME EST SON DIEU" which would mean "The Soul IS its God." The two are pronounced the same. Both are therefore right because both sing as the birds do.

The unique subject of the Language of the Birds. This language possesses a legendary history in myth and folklore bringing together a constellation of ideas including the ability to understand the languages of the animals, nature, the angels, or the science of rhythmic speech.

It was given a concrete historical identity in the literary heritage of France where it was associated with the discovery or concealment of hidden meaning within texts and poetry from the medieval Troubadours to the Modern Surrealists. Unlike the Gematria of the Kabbalists which is based on deciphering a numerical code, the Language of the Birds is largely auditory and based upon puns, including colloquial slang, and wordplay incorporating rhyme, anagram, homophony, and assonance.

In the 20th century, the primary source of information on the Language of the Birds was Fulcanelli who applied the art to reveal the alchemical teachings concealed within the engravings of the French Cathedrals. In the 21st Century, the primary source of information about this tradition is Enrique Enriquez who teaches the practice as an oracular approach to language. Like Fulcanelli, he also teaches how this language can be applied to images but instead of the Cathedrals he applies it to the images of the Tarot of Marseilles. Also unlike Fulcanelli, he doesn’t reveal a canonical interpretation akin to alchemical teachings. Instead he shows how it can be used to derive meaning within the context of the oracular use of the Tarot.

“The "Language of the Birds" is a metaphor describing a way of reading a text in which language moves forward by means of puns and wordplay rather than being guided by a narrative. Reading becomes the act of detecting patterns rather than the act of interpreting symbols. In this way, language becomes a 'pataphysical oracle, a mechanistic structure in which every word provides the means for its own derailment; words provide us with a way to swerve away from words.

This Language of the Birds seems to come from Provençal poetry, from a time when troubadours composed "cants" that were called "open" when they meant what they said, and "closed" when they said one thing but meant something else. Troubadours were the "makers of tropes", craftsmen of that sense of ambiguity that is the foundation of the poetic experience. Other names for the Language of the Birds are "green language" and "gai sçavoir", or "gay science". This is the science of the merry and unbridled language of poetry.

Ordinary reality is the domain of prose, and magic is the domain of poetry, a space where the structure of cause and effect is broken. We only get there once we run out of reasonable options, not so much to hope for the unreasonable, as to look for the unexpected. Poetry is based on magical thinking, as it operates under the rules of analogical causation. What is poetry but the laws of Sympathetic Magic applied to language?

In a poem, words seem to be magically linked by means of their aural or visual similarity. Once two words have been glued by this formal correspondence, we take the connection to be a form of "truth". In the Language of the Birds, grammar recedes to the background and form moves to the forefront. Form derails us from its function. We become readers of the word in the world.

We could consider the Language of the Birds as an imaginary folklore that links a whole lineage of poets, from the Provençal troubadours to Clement Marot, Rabelais, Gerard de Nerval, Alfred Jarry, Raymond Roussel, some of the surrealists like André Bretón, Michael Leiris and the elusive Marcel Duchamp. Most recently, that lineage continued through the OuLiPo group [Cherisey was a member of this group!] which are the French ’pataphysicians, the Canadian ‘pataphisicians, like Nichol, Steve Mc- Caffery, Victor Coleman, their offspring Christian Bök, and also some Fluxus artists ...”
[See HERE].

"Is it the Bateleur's or the Fool's journey?"