The Avatars of Tarot Past and Present

This morning I was thinking about the various "tarot factions" that exist and how I might write about them in a fresh (and satirical) way. The timeline for tarot-card development is fairly well-known, at least in broad terms: early Italian decks were appropriated by French, Swiss and German cartiers for the "Marseille" and "Besancon" styles, … Continue reading The Avatars of Tarot Past and Present

Chickens, Eggs, Carts and Horses

I just had an interesting but perplexing conversion on one of the Facebook tarot pages regarding the provenance of the tarot material associated with the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. There is apparently a widespread popular opinion that "Liber T," a compilation of the Order's tarot "knowledge papers," was actually written after Aleister Crowley's … Continue reading Chickens, Eggs, Carts and Horses

Archetype, Archetype, Who’s Got the Archetype?

It appears from the on-line conversations I've been following that there are two distinct chains of archetypal descent in the tarot. One of them  - the older one - is culturally-specific, symbolizing conventions that were widely understood and accepted during the pre-Enlightenment era when they were first captured in the trump cards. Their appeal to … Continue reading Archetype, Archetype, Who’s Got the Archetype?

Tarology: Enrique Enriquez and the Tarot de Marseille

After watching the documentary Tarology, I've decided that - although I'm probably a quarter-century older than he is - I want to be Enrique Enriquez when I grow up. He finally gave me a sound rationale for why I've staunchly resisted applying esoteric symbols from Qabala and astrology to my study and practice of the Tarot … Continue reading Tarology: Enrique Enriquez and the Tarot de Marseille

Tarot 101, My Way – The Major Arcana and Esoteric Symbolism

There are a couple of different ways to approach sequencing of the Major Arcana, or "trump" cards. Modern thinking is that the series begins with the Fool, numbered zero, and ends with the World, designated XXI in Roman numerals. But it wasn't always that way. Some early decks had the Fool as an unnumbered card and various writers … Continue reading Tarot 101, My Way – The Major Arcana and Esoteric Symbolism

Tarot de Marseille: Built for Comfort, Not for Speed

"Some folk rip and roar, some folk b'lieve in signs But if you want me, you got to take your time Because I'm built for comfort, I ain't built for speed" Built for Comfort (Willie Dixon/Howling Wolf) There is something (well, actually 40 "somethings") about the Tarot de Marseill that eludes a facile approach to … Continue reading Tarot de Marseille: Built for Comfort, Not for Speed