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The Cartomancer Summer 2016

The cartomancer magazine cover

There’s plenty in this issue of The Cartomancer to keep a history nerd happy!

  • While discussing why Justice and Strength switch positions in some decks, Erik K. Lerner gives us a concise 250-year history of occult tarot and tells us how tarot came to be associated with Qabala.
  • A good companion to Lerner’s article is Donna Evleth’s comparison of the Waite Smith and Thoth decks.
  • Giordano Berti, a prominent Italian historian of tarot and esotericism, has found similarities between Rosicrucian symbols in a 17th-century German book, images printed on an English deck in the mid-18th century, and a 19th-century Petit Lenormand. Berti has used the German symbolism to create his own Lenormand deck, the Sibyl of the Heart. A special treat for this student of Italian — the article is bilingual!
  • The late Jean-Claude Flornoy is a legend to those of us who love historically correct re-creations of old and rare decks. Bonnie Cehovet gives a profile of Flornoy, who beautifully restored the Noblet, Dodal and Vieville decks. His website is still up and chock-full of fascinating information.
  • My article takes us back to the 15th century and the earliest days of the printing industry, when printers divided their output between playing cards and images of saints. I speculate that both types of images were used as magical talismans.
  • I’ve reviewed a new Tarot de Marseille that is very faithful to tradition, by South American deck creator Pablo Robledo.

As usual there are several pages of images from new decks printed in saturated color on a rich black background, reviews of several tarot and Lenormand decks, and general interest articles that should please everyone.

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