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The Secret Tarot: Renaissance Symbols of Science, Magic and Myth Now Reveal the Future Paperback – October 30, 2001


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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

If readers are expecting to glean some covert, insider information from The Secret of the Tarot, they will be disappointed. On the other hand, if enthusiasts are yearning to explore the mysterious history and images of the tarot, this deck and guidebook make an ideal set. Illustrator Helen Jones (The Chinese Astrology Kit) re-creates the early Renaissance images that appeared on the original cards, giving this set a medieval ambiance with the colorful luster of Italian artwork. Author Jane Lyle (The Lovers' Tarot) has a strong command of archetypes and imagery, expertly interpreting how they apply to divination and personal growth. For example, she explains how the Hermit's stave "connects him with the earth, with his path, and symbolizes his inner strength." For the reader, this translates as "a wise guide leading you toward an unknown future." Lyle also offers a basic introduction to tarot reading, along with suggested card spreads. --Gail Hudson

About the Author

Jane Lyle is an expert on divination and has written many books on the subject.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; Pap/Crds edition (October 30, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743226135
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743226134
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.8 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,380,850 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
5 star
88%
4 star
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2 star
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See all 8 customer reviews
I highly recommend this beautiful set of cards and the accompanying book.
randomdoll
She uses gorgeous metallic tones against richly colored backgrounds in a clean, uncluttered style that truly speaks to the bare essence of the individual cards.
"ferigoddess"
I love the abstract meanings, they give you an extra insight on what the card can mean when it doesn't seem to apply to you as a person or another person.
Rashchupkina

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By JPH on April 6, 2002
I bought three copies of this deck when it was in its previous incarnation as the Renaissance Tarot; now renamed, I suspect, to avoid confusion with Brian Williams' deck of the same name. Why was I willing to buy it thrice? In a word, it is one of the best decks I have ever come across (and I own over 50 decks).
This deck manages to borrow several influences from the Rider-Waite, but unlike other run-of-the-mill Rider clones, it actually breaks free from the Rider deck's shadow --- to be regarded as an artistic and conceptual original in its own right. The use of symbols and color-codings in the images is downright intuitive --- making this deck a real pleasure to read from.
BUT --- alas it has one MAJOR failing. And this is its build quality. If you are used to the fine plastic-coated decks produced by professional card-printers like US Games, AGMuller and Lo Scarabeo, etc... this paper quality of this deck may shock you. The cardboard stock is extremely thin, and there is definitely none of that AGMuller-ish flexible plastic film placed inside each card to ensure firmness (I tore up the cards of one of my copies up to realize this). The protective coating is also non-existent, and a few months' of heavy use will be witness to the flaking off of the handsome back design --- leaving tiny white holes. Also, the gold/bronze ink on the cards' backs will, over time, vary in shades of darkness amongst themselves --- which means that, when laid face-down in a spread, they will take away some of the suspense and thrill a reader would normally experience before flipping the cards over. "Oh, this unflipped card can't be the Wheel of Fortune, the gold ink on its back isn't THAT bright. The ink on this one has faded!"
Any wonder why I bought three copies?
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Rashchupkina on April 29, 2008
Verified Purchase
First off, this is a very unique, unusual and GREAT deck in every aspect!

I bought it on impulse about a month ago, I had looked at it once in awhile, but always thought the minors looked too simple, even though the majors always captured my interest. It was on sale, so took the plunge.

Am I EVER glad I did! Much to my immense surprise it has turned into one of very most favourite decks now, the connection and emotional/intuitive response was immediate to the images.

The cards are about 3x5 and the cardstock is a thicker type and fairly sturdy. The backs are really cool in their own way, in a large diamond shape in the middle is the eternity symbol on it's side and on top and bottom are the 4 ancient symbols for the 4 elements....air, fire, water and earth. Then surrounding that large diamond, are tiny versions of that all on the backs. I love it! The backs are a rich dark blue with an antique gold ink.

In all the hundreds and more decks I own and have seen, I have certainly never seen a deck with art like the Secret Tarot. It's done in a clay/plasticine type material that the artist Helen Jones has manipulated and created into small evocative works of art on each card. They're 3-D and so 'alive' and full of life. I love it! On first looking through each card, I was so captivated and ushered into this magical Fairytale world Jones had created. Each card has such simple yet powerful symbols and colors, they convey the depth and intricatcies of each arcana in a way that burrows deep within your psyche.

The courts I love especially, they're all fairytale/mythical beings and are so magical! They all really embody the personalities and attributes of each court and make it much easier to read them within a spread.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 11, 2003
Although I own a number of decks, this is my favourite. The cards are beautiful photographs of 3D art. I can also usually feel how the spread will read with one glance. The illustrations are effective.
The explanations of the cards are some of the best I've encountered and give great history and description. I've found many decks that use rather biased readings of cards like the Devil and Death. This works fine for some, but I've never liked it.
The readings are also rather positive. If you don't use the book at all and do your own readings, this won't matter much to you. If you're starting out, though, or like to use an author's interpretations with his or her deck, it's a consideration. It's not all happiness and light, but constructive advice is given on most cards, making even gloomy situations seem surmountable (as they surely are).
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By "ferigoddess" on April 18, 2002
The deck is an example of simply elegant artwork. The understated design of the cards allow Helen Jones' painting to do all the talking. She uses gorgeous metallic tones against richly colored backgrounds in a clean, uncluttered style that truly speaks to the bare essence of the individual cards. There is no other deck like it. And they have incredible accuracy.
Because the cards are, design-wise, somewhat "stripped down", (compared to Rider, Crowley, etc.) the user will
find it helpful to use a companion book such as Rachel Pollack's Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom. Eden Gray's Mastering the Tarot is a good pocket-sized quick reference.
The book has great basic Tarot information and a good discussion of the Elements as they relate to the Suits, but the overall spin (especially on some Swords, Wands, and some Major) is just a little too optimistic for accurate, realistic interpretation of a spread.
The paper quality of the cards, as someone else mentioned, is poor. I am now on my third copy. Hopefully they'll do something about it eventually. But don't let that stop you from getting your hands on them; they're truly a work of art- and spirit!
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