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The Esoteric Tarot

Ancient Sources Rediscovered in Hermeticism and Cabalah
Paperback Book
Publisher: 
Quest Books
 | 
July, 2013
ISBN:
9780835609081
Quantity: 
0
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Banyen's Description: 

That the Tarot originated in ancient Egypt as a divinatory tool is a romantic misconception. Ron Decker’s meticulous scholarship will surprise practitioners and academics alike, revealing the Tarot’s true evolution and meanings as its inventor(s) understood it.

The Tarot consists of the Minor Arcana, four suits of cards similar to our modern deck, and the Major Arcana, twenty-two allegorical or “trump” cards. Decker says the four-suit deck was invented in Asia Minor before AD 1000; Italian courtiers added the trumps in the 1400s. But Tarot was first used as a game. Tarot divination was only created in the 1700s by a Parisian fortuneteller who based the trump images on Hermeticism, which merges Greco-Egyptian alchemy, astrology, numerology, magic, and mysticism. Today, the suit-cards are often traced to the ancient Jewish Cabala. But, says Decker, they, too, acquired their meanings only in the 1700s, and he cites a lost numerical system based on Cabala at that time.

Decker’s interpretation integrates three whole systems—astrological, arithmological, and mystagogical (concerning initiation rites into the Mysteries). His depth of knowledge makes the book a must-have for serious students of Tarot and esotericism.

“Most important to Decker’s theory is his close examination of the life and theories of eighteenth century Parisian card reader Jean-Baptiste Alliette, who, perceiving the Hermetic resonances of the cards, first popularized the use of tarot cards for divination purposes under the pseudonym “Etteilla”. His card interpretations became the basis for those of the Order of the Golden Dawn, and indeed form the basis of most tarot card interpretations used today. This impressive book is as readable as it is learned, it should have a definite appeal to tarot historian and tarot reader alike.
—Paul Huson, author, Mystical Origins of the Tarot

Publisher’s Description: 

Ronald Decker holds a B.A. in fine art from State University College at Buffalo and a M.A. in painting from the University of Cincinnati graduate school. He has taught art and art history at all levels of education. Until his retirement, he was curator of antique cards at The U.S. Playing Card Company. He has studied Tarot cards in public and private collections in all of Europe's capitols as well as Turkey, Egypt, and India. Tarot and the Esoteric Traditions is his fourth book about the cards.

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