If you bought the first edition of the Pierre Madenié deck produced by Yves Reynaud in 2013, do you need to get the second edition as well? Yes, you probably do.
Even though it’s my number one reading deck, I initially felt a second copy was an unnecessary indulgence. Besides, I was afraid the newer, cleaned-up version might be too pristine. I prefer historical facsimiles that preserve the original intact; so I shudder at the thought of someone touching up historic cards to conform to their arbitrary criteria of perfection. But a fellow collector convinced me the second edition was even more beautiful than the first, so I succumbed to temptation. I’m very glad I did. Read more
New Moon in Leo and my Mars Return on the same day.** I just pulled my morning trump and suit card combination and was astonished to see Mars in Leo staring me in the face disguised as the Chariot and Five of Batons.
I know, those of you who use the Golden Dawn system are saying, “Stop! The Chariot is Cancer.” And those using the continental system are saying “Stop! The Chariot is Gemini.” Read more
The Pierre Madenié deck (1709) and The Tales of Mother Goose (1696) emerged from the same cultural milieu at nearly the same time. A small archive of letters has recently come to light showing that Cinderella, Bluebeard and their friends frequented a fortuneteller who read cards with the Madenié deck. Here’s the transcript of a reading that was delivered by post to a rather cautious prince.
The Question: While on a hunting trip, I discovered an ancient, crumbling castle in a forest at the edge of my father’s kingdom. It was so overgrown with brambles and brush I couldn’t get near it. Some villagers said the castle is haunted by ghosts. Others told me that witches hold coven meetings in the grand ballroom on the full moon. Then there were stories about ogres who drag children into the castle to eat them. Read more
Here’s a technique for getting a quick answer to a question. It’s especially useful if you want to know whether the universe, or Dame Fortune, supports your plans.
Designate a significator for the question. Keep it in mind, but don’t pull it out of the deck. Shuffle the deck while focusing on your question. Look through the deck for the significator and take it out along with the cards on either side of it. Line the cards up and look at how well the flanking cards support the significator. Read more
You may have heard people say the 22 trumps were grafted onto a pack of playing cards for gaming purposes. Actually, the 22 trump cards and the four suits were always a set. You need 78 cards to play the game of Trionfi/Tarocchi/Tarot. The 22 trump cards were never sold separately until occultists put them on a spiritual pedestal while scorning the suit cards (minor arcana) as a vulgar fortune-telling tool.
Many contemporary French and Italian tarot books discuss only the trump cards. If they deal with the minor arcana at all, it’s with a few lines for each card in the back of the book, as if the author were embarrassed to be caught talking about them. Read more
U.S. Games, Inc. has just made it easier for North Americans to purchase the exquisite Chosson and Madenié Tarot de Marseille decks produced in France by Yves Reynaud and Wilfried Houdouin. The duo obtained access to decks that have been hidden away in European museums for two and a half centuries, and created 3,000 facsimile copies of two very significant TdMs. U.S. Games has acquired 1,000 copies of each deck to resell. If these decks are supported by the tarot community, they plan to produce several more.
The best way to develop a personal relationship with a deck is to give yourself a short reading every day and record it in a tarot journal.
I like to do my reading first thing in the morning using two or three cards. I jot down a few notes in my journal about the cards’ meaning and how it relates to my life. Then in the evening, I review the spread to see how it actually played out during my day. Sometimes I’m surprised at how well the cards described an incident that happened.
A while back I pulled the 7 of Swords on the day of a dental appointment. I couldn’t help but see the vertical sword as a drill! Read more
Tarot collectors now have the opportunity to acquire rare and historic Tarot de Marseilles decks thanks to Yves Reynaud of Marseilles. He has access to the tarot collections of various European museums and private collections, and is gradually putting out high-quality facsimile editions of these decks.
You can see the trump cards from twelve decks in his online gallery. So far, he’s produced facsimiles of the 1736 Chosson deck and the Pierre Madenié deck published in Dijon in 1709. He only shows the 22 trump cards in his gallery, but his decks have all 78 cards.
I intended to buy the Chosson deck, since it’s the template for today’s standard TdM, but after looking over all the decks in his gallery, I changed my mind and got the Madenié. It’s the oldest complete TdM in existence, and I’m a pushover for the first, the original or the oldest of anything. Also, the rich colors really grabbed me – Deep ruby, forest green, dark royal blue and antique gold. Read more