Mutus Liber: The Bookstore of the Museo dei Tarocchi
The Museo dei Tarocchi’s new online bookstore makes it very easy to order their books and decks using Paypal. I celebrated their grand re-opening a few months ago with my usual lack of self-restraint and ordered a pile of books and one very interesting deck. Ordering was a breeze, and it took less than three weeks for my loot to make its way from Italy to California.
Most of their books are in Italian, but there was one bilingual book in my order: Alla Corte Dei Trionfi (In the Court of the Trumps). It has a somewhat dicey history section that spends too much time on Egypt, Gypsies and Cabala for my taste. But there was a very intriguing section associating trump cards with scents using cabalistic references. This differs from Mary Greer’s 1993 book, The Essence of Magic, that uses traditional astrological associations. It’ll be fun to sit down with both books and compare olfactory attributions.
The back of the book has 48 pages with color photos of decks the museum has printed or commissioned. This is worth the price of the book.
The Literatarot decks are an ongoing project where artists in a particular region of the world associate the trump cards with works of literature. The American deck has cards by well-known names like Arnell Ando, Diane Wilkes, Chris Paradis, Marie White and Julia Cuccia-Watts.
A more recent purchase is the Sunrise/Sunset Tarot by Giovanni Monti, published by the Museo in a limited edition of 100. Two sets of collaged trump cards reflect the clarity of sunlight and the mysteries of the night.
Some Italian books that caught my eye:
Tarocchi in Pentola has twenty-two recipes and a witty discussion of why the author associates certain foods with the trumps. The Wheel of Fortune is matched up with beans which were used in many cultures for casting lots. Spinach goes with the Strength card because it contains iron and was Popeye’s favorite.
Their travel books focus on magical places to visit in cities from Turin to Bologna to Ferrara. Be sure to consult them if you’re planning a trip to Italy.
Browse the bookstore here: museodeitarocchi.net
Arnell Ando has set aside a section of her ArnellArt website for information about the Museo and links to their shop. Americans can order some decks directly from Arnell and avoid postage costs from Italy. ArnellArt.com/Museodeitarocchi
Cover: Alla Corte dei Trionfi
Literatarot America, Museo dei Tarocchi:
Magician by Leslie Cochran based on the book The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Justice by Julie Cuccia-Watts based on The Egyptian Book of the Dead