Celebrating my website’s tenth anniversary: 174 blog articles and 42 website pages on tarot history, reading with non-scenic pips, and decks of historic significance. Throughout the summer, I’m going to group the most useful articles by topic and send out links in a series of blog posts.
Today, I’m listing my reviews of the essential books on reading with the Tarot de Marseille.
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
According to a review in the November 2015 issue of Art News, a museum in Bordeaux, France has just wrapped up a 50-year retrospective of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s career. In the photo shown here, peeking out from under the screen, you can see the bottoms of the Tarot de Marseille that Jodorowsky designed with Philippe Camoin. But Jodorowsky is about a lot more than tarot. Read more
Recently, I’ve been rotating through the four TdM books listed below, reading about each trump card in turn. I’m struck by the individual voice and unique viewpoint in each book. It’s like holding a gem up to the light and turning it back and forth to appreciate each facet individually.
Ben-Dov supplies meat-and-potatoes card meanings and practical advice for readers. J-M David gives us a foundation in art history and 15th century iconography interspersed with practical exercises. Jodorowsky is an original who shares his deep understanding of the cards while presenting the deck as an organic structure. Elias invites us to look over her shoulder as she interprets spreads for her clients. Read more
This is one of the most significant books in English on the Tarot de Marseilles. Jodorowsky is a Chilean surrealist filmmaker, therapist and tarot reader based in Paris who uses the Tarot de Marseilles exclusively. His background and tarot experience couldn’t be more different from mine, but I feel he’s a kindred spirit. Jodorowsky’s approach to tarot, which I heartily endorse, rests on the following principles:
- He does not apply external systems like Kabbalah or astrology to tarot. He uses the structure of the deck itself to discover its meaning. (He mentions Kabbalistic correspondences in some of his card descriptions, but they don’t have much influence on his card meanings).
- He uses tarot for counseling and psychological healing; does not use tarot to predict the future.
- He does not confine the cards to fixed meanings, but reads intuitively by closely examining the card images and their interactions while in a trance-like state. Read more