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A Wicked Pack of Cards: Origins of the Occult Tarot

Dummett, Michael; Decker, Ronald; Depaulis, Thierry

2 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0715627139 / ISBN 13: 9780715627136
Published by Duckworth, U.S.A., 1996
Used Condition: Fine Hardcover
From Veronica's Books (GIg Harbor, WA, U.S.A.)

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Clean, tight copy in mylar-protected dust jacket. 308pp. Bookseller Inventory # 035463

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Bibliographic Details

Title: A Wicked Pack of Cards: Origins of the ...

Publisher: Duckworth, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 1996

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Edition: First Edition.

About this title

Synopsis:

Tarot cards were invented in Italy in the early fifteenth century, and for almost four centuries used exclusively for playing games. In late eighteenth-century France, however, they were purloined from the card-players for fortune-telling and the occult. For a hundred years, the use of Tarot cards for divination, and their interpretation as enshrining an occult meaning, remained all but exclusively confined to France. Professional French fortune-tellers, French exponents and practitioners of magic, and the occasional French charlatan, developed uses for Tarot cards and baseless theories about them which were virtually unknown in other countries. The authors trace this phenomenon through the writings and activities of many advocates of Tarot occultism, including Court de Gebelin, Etteilla, Levi, and Papus, showing how an extraordinary variety of occult theories - from Hermetism to Rosicrucianism, from the Cabala to Freemasonry - was brought to bear on a pack of playing cards.
In the twentieth century Tarot divination has spread throughout the Western world; the very word 'Tarot' is now identified with the occult, fortune-telling, and cartomancy. This book tells the fascinating story of how Tarot divination was born and grew to maturity in a single country.

Review:

The authors, experts in the fields of art history, games, and the tarot, trace the history of the tarot deck from its origins in the game room to its current role in occult circles. Their thorough research cuts through the misconceptions and glamorization surrounding the cards' rather mundane beginnings, while revealing the rich history of psychological, political, and religious influences on our perceptions of what is now a common tool of many occult practitioners.

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