By Ronald Decker
First released in 2002, hugely wanted, and eventually to be had back, A History of the Occult Tarot is the vintage paintings at the heritage of the Tarot deck and its makes use of in occult circles. beginning with the overdue nineteenth century, the authors—art historian and vintage card curator Ronald Decker and previous Oxford good judgment professor Michael Dummett—examine how the Tarot went from a deck used easily for card video games to being the well-liked divination device of occultists, a bridge to the spirit international, or even a map of the subconscious brain.
Looking on the humans and organisations who followed the Tarot, starting from the Theosophical Society and Aleister Crowley to the Order of the Golden sunrise and P.D. Ouspensky, this compelling scholarly examine Tarot’s occult heritage describes a number of the interesting decks utilized by occultists in addition to the key histories of magical and occult teams of the overdue nineteenth century via modern instances. it really is one of many crucial histories of the topic and a key quantity for the libraries of all severe scholars of Tarot.
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Additional info for A History of the Occult Tarot
Even the most scholarly efforts have failed to supply the Tarot with an interpretation that is acceptable to art historians and historians of playing cards. We do not deny the likelihood that some Renaissance allegories underlie the selection of trump images. We did not write A Wicked Pack of Cards in order to attack all arcane interpretations of the Tarot, as some critics supposed. On the contrary, we initially intended to include chapters advancing a theory about the esoteric significance attached to the trump sequence by its original inventor.
At Gerona, a small town in Catalonia, the Cabalists began to consolidate and unify their doctrines. In describing the ten sephiroth, the Geronese school arrived at a consensus about their names and their sequence: 1) Kether (Crown) 2) Chokmah (Wisdom) 3) Binah (Understanding) 4) Chesed (Mercy) 5) Geburah (Power) 6) Tiphereth (Beauty) 7) Netzach (Victory) 8) Hod (Honour) 9) Yesod (Foundation) 10) Malkuth (Kingdom). In other parts of Spain different preferences were exercised. Indeed, not all Cabalists accepted the basic Tree, instead envisioning the sephiroth in a single column or as ten concentric circles.
The Corpus as we have it was probably compiled or edited by Byzantine scholars. They would have concentrated on spirituality and may have ignored or deleted both magical and materialistic topics. The Corpus dates from the II and III centuries ad and was unknown to Western Europe in the Middle Ages. In about 1460 an Italian monk, travelling in Macedonia, acquired a copy of the manuscript and conveyed it to Florentine humanists. Cosimo de’ Medici, the ruler of Florence, urgently directed Marsilio Ficino to translate the manuscript into Latin.