Hello, and welcome to my blog. This is where I’ll share book reviews, my favorite tarot decks, tidbits of tarot history, and some ideas I’m working on that combine tarot and astrology. I’ll also bring you news and reviews about Italian books and websites. Please explore the other pages on this site for in-depth articles on tarot history and tips on reading with historic decks.
I’ve been watching Alejandro Jodorowski read cards on Youtube. He has a unique method of picking the cards for his three-card line. I’ve described it below and demonstrate with two readings. You’ll need two sets of trump cards to try his method. He uses two identical sets of trumps from the TdM he created with Philippe Camoin. I see this as a chance to use a variety of trumps-only decks that rarely come off the shelf and are too precious to shuffle. Read more
One of the most exciting events in my twenty years of collecting historic decks occurred in 2017 when Sullivan Hismans (Tarot Sheet Revival.com) introduced the Budapest Tarot. He meticulously recreated a very important fifteenth-century deck that only exists in museum collections as partly damaged uncut sheets of cards. This limited edition of 250 decks sold out quickly and has become a favorite reading deck of the lucky few who own one. Hismans just released another edition of 450 Budapest decks with some changes that I’ll illustrate below. But first, I want to put the deck in its historic context. Read more
This phantom of the tarot world is possibly the earliest Tarot de Marseille we know of. The only traces of the Rolichon tarot’s existence are a brief listing in an 1851 French auction catalog, and reproductions of thirty-five cards in the July 1919 edition of the Larousse Mensuel magazine. The deck itself has disappeared, so Benedetti’s careful recreation is a wonderful opportunity to experience this important piece of tarot history. Read more
The Tarot: A Strange and Wondrous Thing by Annette Wakulenko will give you a solid foundation for reading cards with the Tarot de Marseille (TdM). The card meanings, spreads and exercises in this book are the result of the author’s many years of devoted study. The author’s mission is to introduce tarot readers to the TdM and show a method for interpreting the cards, especially the pips, that does not rely on the Golden Dawn system. The book is written in a conversational style that feels like receiving one-on-one mentoring from an experienced teacher. Read more
This beautifully illustrated catalog is a rare opportunity to see cards that have been hidden for centuries, until this exhibit on display from September 2019 to January 2020 at the Castello Ursino, Catania. The text of each chapter is either fully translated or summarized in English. Read more
I discovered this spread in a booklet by Giulia Orsini included in the Lando Tarocchi produced by Giordano Berti. It works best for providing an overview of a situation and for advice on how to get the outcome you want. I don’t often use spreads, but I was attracted to this one because it has features I like: The trumps are separated from the suit cards; only one suit is used – whichever fits the question best; and it resembles the Tirage à Croix (fancy name for the Cross Spread). Read more
A square Tarot de Marseille with cards that can be turned in any direction! Pips arranged in triads according to a system described by the French occultist Papus. This radically unique deck will spark your intuition and give you a solid system for interpreting the pips. The sixty-page booklet that comes with the deck gives you everything you need to read with it. It’s great fun playing with the possibilities in these cards. Let’s look at each component of the deck in detail. Read more
About this series:
If you want to read with the Tarot de Marseille (or any deck with non-illustrated pips) and only know English, get acquainted with these six essential authors: Yoav Ben-Dov, Jean-Michel David, Camelia Elias, Enrique Enriquez, Alejandro Jodorowsky and Caitlín Matthews. I plan to spend the winter rereading them and reporting on a few tips or exercises from each author that strike me as especially interesting. Stay tuned for J-M David in a few months. Here’s what stood out for me in Yoav’s book, Tarot: The Open Reading. Read more
There’s something compelling about the Rosenwald deck. It’s enough like the Tarot de Marseille to feel comfortable; yet its quirky details give it a slightly exotic tone. For a transcendent experience, hold Benedetti’s gold and silver Rosenwald cards in your hands. Read more
The legendary “da Tortona” deck, grandfather of all tarocchi/tarot decks, is now accessible thanks to a small but incredibly rich book by Ross G. Caldwell and Marco Ponzi; and a recreated deck by Robert Place, The Marziano Tarot.
About 1420, the Duke of Milan, Filippo Maria Visconti, asked his secretary and advisor, commonly known as Marziano da Tortona, to invent a card game. Marziano created the Game of Sixteen Deified Heroes, a deck of cards with four suits numbered ace to ten and an extra suit of illustrated cards – the same format as the game of trionfi/tarocchi/tarot invented about 15 years later. Read more