Mystical Origins of the Tarot: From Ancient Roots to Modern Usage

Front Cover
Inner Traditions / Bear & Co, May 26, 2004 - Body, Mind & Spirit - 352 pages
4 Reviews
A profusely illustrated history of the occult nature of the tarot from its origins in ancient Persia

• Thoroughly examines the original historical source for each tarot card and how the cards’ divinatory meanings evolved from these symbols

• Provides authentic 18th- and 19th-century spreads and divination techniques

• Reveals the divinatory meanings of the cards as understood by diviners in the Middle Ages and Renaissance

The origins of the tarot have been lost in the mists of time. Most scholars have guessed that its origins were in China, Egypt, or India. In Mystical Origins of the Tarot, Paul Huson has expertly tracked each symbol of the Minor Arcana to roots in ancient Persia and the Major Arcana Trump card images to the medieval world of mystery, miracle, and morality plays. A number of tarot historians have questioned the use of the tarot as a divination tool prior to the 18th century. But the author demonstrates that the symbolic meanings of the Major Arcana were evident from the time they were first employed in the mid-15th century in the popular divination practice of sortilege. He also reveals how the identities of the court cards in the Minor Arcana were derived from a blend of pagan and medieval sources that strongly influenced their interpretation in tarot divination.

Mystical Origins of the Tarot provides a thorough examination of the original historical source for each card and how the cards’ divinatory meanings evolved from these symbols. Huson also provides concise and practical card-reading methods designed by the cartomancers of the 18th and 19th centuries and reveals the origins of the card interpretations promoted by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and A. E. Waite.
  

What people are saying - Write a review

Review: Mystical Origins of the Tarot: From Ancient Roots to Modern Usage

User Review  - Gabe - Goodreads

a re-read, still pretty good. Read full review

Review: Mystical Origins of the Tarot: From Ancient Roots to Modern Usage

User Review  - Kerry - Goodreads

This book was packed with information, but for the most part, it was clearly presented and well referenced. I liked how the tarot meanings were itemized by the develop that introduced them. It was also the most usable description of tarot spreads that I have seen. Read full review

Related books

Contents

OF PLAYING CARDS AND TAROT DECKS
1
The Mamlûk Cards
2
The Creation of the Court Cards
5
The Naming of the Court Cards
8
The Creation of the Tarot Trumps
10
Tarot in the Sixteenth Century
13
Further Developments
14
THE ORIGIN OF THE SUIT SIGNS
18
Trump XI Fortitude
111
Trump XII The Hanged Man
113
Trump XIII Death
117
Trump XTV Temperance
121
Trump XV The Devil
124
Trump XVI The Tower
129
Trump XVII The Star
135
Trump XVIII The Moon
139

The Four Cardinal Virtues
23
The Four Castes of Ancient Persia
25
THE ORIGIN OF THE TRUMPS
29
Petrarchs I Trionfi
30
Medieval Drama
32
The Four Last Things
38
The Tale the Trumps Tell
39
OF CARTOMANCY AND THE TAROT
43
Egyptian Magic and the Book of Thoth
52
Etteillas System
55
The Kabbala and Eliphas Lévi
59
The Golden Dawn Attributions
64
Papus and His Bohemian Tarot
69
THE MEANINGS OF THE TRUMP CARDS THE MAJOR ARCANA
71
Trump 0 The Fool
74
Trump I The Juggler
77
Trump II The Female Pope
81
Trump III The Empress
86
Trump IV The Emperor
89
Trump V The Pope
92
Trump VI The Lovers
95
Trump VII The Chariot
98
Trump VIII Justice
101
Trump IX The Hermit
104
Trump X The Wheel of Fortune
107
Trump XIX The Sun
142
Trump XX The Judgment
145
Trump XXI The World
148
THE MEANINGS OF THE SUIT CARDS THE MINOR ARCANA
153
The Suit of Coins or Pentacles
155
The Suit of Cups or Chalices
179
The Suit of Swords
200
The Suit of Batons or Wands
224
READING THE TAROT
246
Selecting a Tarot Deck
249
Getting in Touch with Your Cards
250
Preparing for Divination
252
General Rules of Cartomancy
253
Simple Tarot Spreads
259
Advanced CartomancyLinking the Cards
263
Complex Systems
271
Last Words of Advice
277
Historical Tarot Decks
279
Where To Buy Your Cards
291
Where To See the Originals
294
About the Illustrations
297
Bibliography
308
Index
322
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

About the author (2004)

\Paul Huson has been a student of the tarot for over 40 years. He received initial esoteric training from the Society of the Inner Light in London and he later studied the methods of the Order of the Golden Dawn. He is the author of a number of books, including Mastering Witchcraft, in print for more than 30 years, and The Devil's Picturebook: The Compleat Guide to Tarot Cards. He lives in Los Angeles.

Bibliographic information