Books on the history and origins of the Tarot, presenting evidence or new theories.
A Wicked Pack of Cards: An Occult History of the Tarot is a somewhat controversial book intended to dispel misinformation on the origins of Tarot. It's written by two historians and a professor of logic, on the premise that tarot was not created with occult or cartomantic uses in mind.
'All Love Goes Before Me: Poems on the Sola Busca Tarot' is a journey through the major arcana on the symbolic pathways of poetry. 22 small poems accompany full-colour images of the 22 major arcana from the 15th century deck.
Explaining the Tarot: Two Italian Renaissance Essays on the Meaning of the Tarot Pack is a translation of two early essays on the meaning of tarot, which view the cards as reflecting the structure of society and the meaning of life.
Hieros Gamos: Benediction of the Tarot
Hieros Gamos: Benediction of the Tarot has 22 meditative poems on the sacred marriage and the meeting of opposites. Each poem is shown with a reproduction of one of the major arcana from the 1650 Jean Noblet Tarot.
Mirror of the Free, subtitled The Tarot and the Kabbalah, the Ancient Mesopotamians and the Sufis, offers Swift's own theories on the origins of Tarot. Published as a limited hand-numbered edition of 136 copies.
Mystical Origins of the Tarot: From Ancient Roots to Modern Usage
Mystical Origins of the Tarot is a well-researched and well-written reference book discussing the development and background of Tarot, its symbols and its divinatory meanings.
'Pointing to my Heart: poetry journey through the Visconti-Sforza Tarot' is a whimsical and contemplative look at the cards of the 15th century deck. Twenty-two poems are presented side by side with their corresponding card images, shown unaltered and in their original state.
Powers and Patterns: poems from the Tarocchi de Mantegna is a volume from Stewart Warren linking poetry with tarot history. The book has full-colour illustrations of the 50 cards in the 15th century Mantegna deck accompanying the poems.
Tarot Mysteries: Rediscovering the Real Meaning of the Cards is an exploration of the theory of tarot - history and background of the Tarot, its associations with Qabala, astrology and more - and its concrete application in reading.
A classic and well-researched book on the historical influences, trends, theories and origins of Tarot. Originally published in the mid-eighties, it has now been reprinted by the Association for Tarot Studies.
Tarot Triumphs: Using the Marseilles Tarot Trumps for Divination and Inspiration is an excellent introduction to the history of tarot and the process of divinatory readings with Marseilles-style cards.
Tarot Trumps and the Holy Grail
Tarot Trumps and the Holy Grailis an academic thesis revealing the links between the historical tarot trumps, or major arcana, and the legends of the Holy Grail. Out of print, but due to be reprinted soon.
The Renaissance Origins of Tarot
The Renaissance Origins of Tarot is an educational resource on the history of tarot. Giovanni Pelosini describes the tarot as an adaptation of Eastern card games and a Renaissance creation of cultural models of the time.
In The Secret of the Tarot, Robert Swiryn shows how the Marseilles Tarot may have come to carry the story of the Cathars, a thirteenth century sect of religious heretics.
The Tarot: A Short Treatise on Reading Cards
This is the 1993 edition of "The Tarot", a revised and expanded edition of the original 1888 treatise on the cards. Mathers introduces tarot as a fortune telling tool, and tells a little of its history and occult associations.
The Tarot: History, Symbolism & Divination
The Tarot: History, Symbolism & Divination is well-grounded and factual account of the Tarot's development in the Renaissance and its mystical roots history and evolution. Author Robert Place also offers information on the card symbology, and practical techniques for using the cards in divination.
The Underground Stream: Esoteric Tarot Revealed
The Underground Stream: Esoteric Tarot Revealed looks at the Golden Dawn and Continental attributions alongside their origins and derivatives, and speculates on the early occult history of the Tarot.
Twenty Years of Tarot: The Lo Scarabeo Story
Twenty Years of Tarot: The Lo Scarabeo Story celebrates the tarot publishing company's first 20 years of operation from 1987 to 2007. It's a hard cover, coffee-table sized book full of images of pre-market and test sketches, as well as completed cards that were part of published decks.
The book, Visconti Tarots - Extraordinary examples of Renaissance art is the companion book to the Visconti Tarot deck, also published by Lo Scarabeo.
A story of the sacred feminine and how it has been denied through time. This book draws on many sources of knowledge to illustrate its theory, one of which are the trumps of the Charles VI Tarot.