Cultural History of Tarot

From Entertainment to Esotericism

Cultural History of Tarot

The enigmatic and richly illustrative tarot deck reveals a host of strange and iconic mages, such as The Tower, The Wheel of Fortune, The Hanged Man and The Fool: over which loom the terrifying figures of Death and The Devil. The 21 numbered playing cards of tarot have always exerted strong fascination, way beyond their original purpose, and the multiple resonances of the deck are ubiquitous. From T S Eliot and his 'wicked pack of cards' in The Waste Land to the psychic divination of Solitaire in Ian Fleming's Live and Let Die; and from the satanic novels of Dennis Wheatley to the deck's adoption by New Age practitioners, the cards have in modern times become inseparably connected to the occult. They are now viewed as arguably the foremost medium of prophesying and foretelling. Yet, as the author shows, originally the tarot were used as recreational playing cards by the Italian nobility in the Renaissance. It was only much later, in the 18th and 19th centuries, that the deck became associated with esotericism before evolving finally into a diagnostic tool for mind, body and spirit. This is the first book to explore the remarkably varied ways in which tarot has influenced culture. Tracing the changing patterns of the deck's use, from game to mysterious oracular device, Helen Farley examines tarot's emergence in 15th century Milan and discusses its later associations with astrology, kabbalah and the Age of Aquarius. 'Deeply researched and elegantly written, Farley's is by far the most important contemporary contribution to the academic study of the Tarot. No serious work in the history of Western Esotericism will be able to ignore the author's ground-breaking study. Engrossing and fascinating' - Philip C Almond, Emeritus Professor of Studies in Religion, University of Queensland

A Cultural History of Tarot

From Entertainment to Esotericism

A Cultural History of Tarot

The enigmatic and richly illustrative tarot deck reveals a host of strange and iconic mages, such as The Tower, The Wheel of Fortune, The Hanged Man and The Fool: over which loom the terrifying figures of Death and The Devil. The 21 numbered playing cards of tarot have always exerted strong fascination, way beyond their original purpose, and the multiple resonances of the deck are ubiquitous. From T S Eliot and his 'wicked pack of cards' in "The Waste Land" to the psychic divination of Solitaire in Ian Fleming's "Live and Let Die"; and from the satanic novels of Dennis Wheatley to the deck's adoption by New Age practitioners, the cards have in modern times become inseparably connected to the occult. They are now viewed as arguably the foremost medium of prophesying and foretelling. Yet, as the author shows, originally the tarot were used as recreational playing cards by the Italian nobility in the Renaissance. It was only much later, in the 18th and 19th centuries, that the deck became associated with esotericism before evolving finally into a diagnostic tool for mind, body and spirit. This is the first book to explore the remarkably varied ways in which tarot has influenced culture. Tracing the changing patterns of the deck's use, from game to mysterious oracular device, Helen Farley examines tarot's emergence in 15th century Milan and discusses its later associations with astrology, kabbalah and the Age of Aquarius.

The Tarot

History, Symbolism, and Divination

The Tarot

A comprehensive guide to the Tarot offers insight into its history, symbolism, and practical applications, discussing the cultural influences that shaped its evolution while outlining techniques on how to read and interpret a Tarot card spread. Original. 12,500 first printing.

The Power of Tarot: To Know Tarot, Read Tarot, and Live Tarot

The Power of Tarot: To Know Tarot, Read Tarot, and Live Tarot

“Whether you’re new to tarot, or a seasoned reader, Liz Worth’s The Power of Tarot will help you deepen your understanding and practice. Bravo to Worth for sharing her extensive wisdom and providing seekers with important tools and context in an inspiring way.” – Suzanne Alyssa Andrew, author Reading tarot isn’t just about memorizing card meanings. It’s about understanding what tarot is, what it can and can’t do, where it came from, and what makes it relevant to our daily lives. The Power of Tarot helps to bridge the gaps between studying tarot and putting your knowledge to use. If you feel like your tarot readings are missing something... If you feel like you’re ready to go deeper with tarot but you’re not sure how... If you are ready to develop the perspective you need to read tarot with confidence... The Power of Tarot is for you, no matter what stage of the journey you are on. Here, you will learn not just how to read tarot, but how to think about tarot.

Terrible Beauty: A Cultural History of the Twentieth Century

The People and Ideas that Shaped the Modern Mind: A History

Terrible Beauty: A Cultural History of the Twentieth Century

A history of the twentieth century which covers all the ideas, people, great events, literary and artistic movements, scientific discoveries which have shaped the twentieth century. Terrible Beauty presents a unique narrative of the twentieth century. Unlike more conventional histories, where the focus is on political events and personalities, on wars, treaties and elections, this book concentrates on the ideas that made the century so rich, rewarding and provocative. Beginning with four seminal ideas which were introduced in 1900 - the unconscious, the gene, the quantum and Picasso's first paintings in Paris - the book brings together the main areas of thought and juxtaposes the most original and influential ideas of our time in an immensely readable narrative. From the creation of plastic to Norman Mailer, from the discovery of the 'Big Bang' to the Counterculture, from Relativity to Susan Sontag, from Proust to Salman Rushdie, and Henri Bergson to Saul Bellow, the book's range is encyclopedic. We meet in these pages the other twentieth century, the writers, the artists, the scientists and philosophers who were not cowed by the political and military disasters raging around them, and produced some of the most amazing and rewarding ideas by which we live. Terrible Beauty, endlessly stimulating and provocative, affirms that there was much more to the twentieth century than war and genocide.

Origins of the Tarot

Cosmic Evolution and the Principles of Immortality

Origins of the Tarot

Conventional wisdom traces Tarot cards to medieval Italy, but their roots go back much further in time and draw on a surprisingly rich variety of cultures and spiritual traditions. Combining pioneering scholarship with practical spiritual instruction, Origins of the Tarot is the first book to unveil the full range of the ancient streams of wisdom from which the Tarot emerged.The timeless principles of conscious realization and cosmological unfoldment underlying the Tarot have never been explored in a comparably extensive and detailed way: herein the teachings of a tremendous range of traditions, including Kabbalah, Western esotericism and alchemy, Buddhism, Taoism, yogic disciplines, Sufism, mystical Christianity, Gnosticism, and Neoplatonism, are masterfully incorporated and synthesized.Author Dai Léon explores a confluence of philosophical schools from East and West as they relate to the Tarot, giving each its due in the exposition of a universal procession of evolution and the soul’s quest for enlightenment. In the process, the Tarot is seen as a unique exemplification of perennial teachings on the soul and its liberation, as well as a still-unfolding window into concealed currents of human history. The book’s profound learning and unprecedented range of references are sure to attract close study among students both of the world’s most enduring esoteric tradition and of esotericism itself.

Supernatural America: A Cultural History

A Cultural History

Supernatural America: A Cultural History

This book is much more than an authoritative and compelling look at the cultural history of the supernatural over the last century in America—it also explains why we want to believe. • Shares hundreds of real-life stories, and uses hundreds of sources, many of them forgotten • Provides a bibliography of authoritative books and articles, both in support of and arguing against beliefs in the supernatural

New Orleans Voodoo: A Cultural History

New Orleans Voodoo: A Cultural History

There is no more compelling nor more spiritual city than New Orleans. The city's Roman Catholic roots and its blended French, Spanish, Creole and American Indian populations heavily influenced the rites and rituals that West Africans brought to Louisiana as enslaved laborers. The resulting unique Voodoo tradition is now deeply rooted in the area. Enslaved practitioners in the nineteenth century held Voodoo dances in designated public areas like Congo Square but conducted their secret rituals away from the prying eyes of the city. By 1874, some twelve thousand New Orleanians attended Voodoo queen Marie Laveau's St. John's Eve rites on the shores of Lake Pontchartrain. The Voodoo tradition continues in the Crescent City even today. Rory Schmitt and Rosary O'Neill study the altars, art, history and ceremonies that anchor Voodoo in New Orleans culture.

Holistic Tarot

An Integrative Approach to Using Tarot for Personal Growth

Holistic Tarot

Designed for beginning as well as experienced tarot readers, Holistic Tarot offers a fresh and easy-to-follow approach to the use of the tarot deck for tapping into subconscious knowledge and creativity. The tarot deck has been used as a divination tool for more than two centuries; while the tarot is still most commonly thought of as "fortune telling," the true power of the tarot lies in its ability to channel a clear path for our deep intuition to shine through. Consulting the tarot can help clear creativity blockages, clarify ambitions, work through complex decisions, and make sense of emotions and relationships. Whether used for simple decision-making or an understanding of your life's purpose, learning tarot can be an indispensible tool for being more mindful of the factors that can assist or weaken your efforts toward success. In Holistic Tarot, author Benebell Wen provides a complete guide to using the tarot to foster personal development. Wen gives a comprehensive overview of the history of the tarot and a wide array of theories on its use (including its relationship to Jungian archetypal psychology and traditional Chinese divination practices) before digging deeply into one of the best-known tarot systems, the Rider-Waite-Smith. Beginners will find a complete guide to working with the tarot, including choosing and caring for a deck, how best to learn and remember the attributes of the major and minor arcana, the interpretation of cards and spreads, the role of meditation in a tarot practice, and how to use the tarot for improving relationships, professional development, and personal resilience. More advanced practitioners will appreciate nuanced theoretical discussions of the tarot as well as practical advice about reading others' tarot cards and setting up a practice. Containing over 500 illustrations and detailed information on each card as well as numerous spreads, Holistic Tarot is a complete compendium of tarot study that every practitioner should have in his or her library. “A modern alchemical achievement.”—Barbara Moore, author of Tarot Spreads “Will become one of the jewels in the crown of tarot literature.” —Anthony Louis, MD, author of Tarot Beyond the Basics “A tarot classic.”—Sasha Graham, author of Tarot Diva “A magnificent, intelligent, comprehensive overview and innerview of the Rider Waite Smith system of tarot! This is the only guide you need to have. Bravo!” —James Wanless, PhD, author of Voyager Tarot “A huge accomplishment … likely to become the essential guidebook for serious students of the tarot.”— Joan Bunning, author of Learning the Tarot “No tarot enthusiast should be without this book!”—Chic and Tabatha Cicero, authors of The Golden Dawn Magical Tarot “Arguably the most comprehensive guide to tarot on the market today. It's also innovative: it deftly combines Eastern mysticism with Western metaphysics. It's an impressive tome that presents a wholly modern, rational approach to tarot practice while preserving notable elements of tradition."—Corrine Kenner, author of Tarot and Astrology From the Trade Paperback edition.

Re-Symbolization of the Self: Human Development and Tarot Hermeneutic

Re-Symbolization of the Self: Human Development and Tarot Hermeneutic

Bringing together popular and academic cultures, Inna Semetsky presents Tarot as a system of transformative hermeneutics for adult self-education and cultural pedagogy. Her research is a decisive and intelligent step ahead from the reductive stereotype of Tarot as fortune-telling. The fifteen life stories at the heart of the book exemplify the author’s commitment to alternative modes of education and counseling that transcend individual, cultural or language barriers. Assembling a rich array of sources, from Hermeticism to Jungian depth psychology, the philosophies of Noddings, Buber, and Deleuze, and the science of self-organization, this book opens a new path to personal and social revitalization. It should be widely read across disciplinary divides by scholars, students, and professionals alike.