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Cartomancy Book List


Hopper, V. F. Medieval Number Symbolism. Dover, 2000.

Numerology at the time tarot was invented: Christianity meets Pythagoras.

Opsopaus, John. Pythagorean Tarot. Llewellyn, 2001.

If Pythagoras had designed his own tarot deck it would have looked like this. Deck comes with a 470 page book loaded with material on Pythagoras, numerology, Greek myth.

Waterford, Robin, translator. Theology of Arithmetic. Phanes Press, 1988.

Translation of a Greek Neo-Platonic text on number symbolism. The bedrock of western numerology.

 Elements and Dignities

Hazel, Elizabeth. Tarot Decoded. Weiser, 2004.

Extensive material on elements, dignities and astrological attributions from the Golden Dawn perspective.

Hughes-Barlow, Paul. Tarot and the Magus. Aeon Books, 2004.

Uses the Golden Dawn system of dignities with its clearly defined rules. Many examples analyzing card combinations by element.

Michelson, Teresa. The Complete Tarot Reader. Llewellyn, 2005.

Chapter 16 guides you through constructing your own system of dignities rather than imposing a system on you.

 Court Cards

Greer, Mary and Tom T. Little. Understanding the Tarot Court. Llewellyn, 2004.

Examines court cards from every possible angle. Exercises that help you form your own relationship to the tarot personalities.

Michelson, Teresa. The Complete Tarot Reader. Llewellyn, 2005.

Three chapters with exercises that help you turn the cards into personalities. Tips on reading court cards when they turn up in spreads.


Huson, Paul. Mystical Origins of the Tarot. Destiny, 2004.

Puts tarot in its medieval context. Discusses each card and gives a range of traditional divinatory meanings from the 18th and 19th centuries.

Jackson, Nigel. Fortuna’s Wheel: The Mysteries of Medieval Tarot. Available at

Puts each trump card in its historical context with an alchemical and hermetic slant. Illustrated with his own card designs.

Williams, Brian. A Renaissance Tarot. US Games, 1994.

This book accompanied the deck and was also sold separately. Each trump card has its own chapter illustrated with drawings of several 14th and 15th century cards and related art. He puts the card imagery in its medieval and renaissance context and derives card meanings from this historical context.

 How to Read the Tarot de Marseille

Ben-Dov, Yoav. Tarot: The Open Reading., 2013. Link to my review.

Bursten, Lee. Universal Tarot of Marseille. Lo Scarabeo, 2006.

The booklet that comes with the deck discusses each trump card and gives reading tips.

David, Jean-Michel. Reading the Marseille Tarot. Association for Tarot Studies, 2011.  Link to my review.

Elias, Camelia. Marseille Tarot: Towards the Art of Reading. Eyecorner Press, 2015.  Link to my review.

Enriquez, Enrique. Looking at the Marseilles: Notes on Tarot’s Optical Language. Mind’s Eye View Publishing, 2007.

34 page booklet with tips and exercises to help you interpret the card from its imagery rather than a system. Illustrated with Flornoy’s Noblet Tarot.

Huson, Paul. Mystical Origins of the Tarot. Destiny, 2004.

He gives divinatory meanings for all the cards by various occultists like Etteilla, Papus and Waite. They all used a Tarot de Marseille until they designed their own decks.

Jodorowsky, Alejandro. The Way of Tarot. Destiny Books, 2004.  Link to my review.

If you read French or Italian, here are some authors to look for:

French: Judith Charles, Claude Darche, Colette Sylvestre-Haeberle, Carole Sedillot

Italian: Antonia Mattiuzzi, Diego Meldi

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