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Tarot-Heritage Tenth Anniversary Roundup: Odds and Ends

Winding down my website’s tenth anniversary summer celebration. Even here in sunny Santa Barbara, where weather rarely happens, I can feel a subtle shift in the air as we head toward autumn. To finish up the series, here’s a grab bag of articles that don’t fit into any category.

The Grande Dame of tarot history, Gertrude Moakley, was praised by Dummett for her scholarship. She appeared on popular radio shows and hung out with Eden Gray. She was the first to alert the tarot world that the deck has a medieval/renaissance origin. Wish I could have known her.

I love the pip cards, although I realize they can be a stumbling block for beginners. Here’s a sample reading using one of my favorite techniques for laying out suit cards with one trump: Reading the Tarot de Marseille Suit Cards.

The Triadic Tarot is a radical revisioning of the TdM that deserves to be better known. The book gives a solid a range of meanings for each card, and a well thought-out system for interpreting the pips. The cards themselves are meant to be turned in several directions and lend themselves to intuitive reading. It’s so innovative it’s hard to describe, but I’ve tried with sample readings in this article.

Here’s a page with links to Franco Pratesi’s collected articles. Pratesi, an Italian playing card historian, has added greatly to our knowledge of tarot’s earliest history with his awesome collection of 300+ articles. A complete list of his articles is online as well as a collection of translations by Michael S. Howard.

Three-Dimensional Tarot Spreads gives examples of vertical layouts using wooden card holders.

Haibun is a Japanese literary form that combines a short prose paragraph with haiku. This piece by Alexis Rotella references a tarot card and gives me a chance to talk about dysfunctional court cards.

The Rouen-Brussels pattern is getting more attention these days. Here’s the rundown on the Spanish Captain who substitutes for the Popess. This was a fun article to research.

Nuns Behaving Badly is a fun look at life in Renaissance convents with a surprising amount of information on divination techniques.

The Bones You Have Cast Down is a novel by Jean Huets who collaborated on Stuart Kaplan’s Encyclopedias. She knows her tarot history and has written a novel that time travels between the worlds of Bianca Sforza in 1448 and Sister Maifreda in 1298, who was a possible model for the Visconti-Sforza Papessa card.

The story behind one of my favorite Devils by the printer calling himself Agnolo Hebreo. With a spread and sample reading based on this card.

Happy reading!

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