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The Tarot: History, Symbolism, and Divination Paperback – March 17, 2005
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Straight up: I find it more than a little amazing that, after an abundance of time, discussion, and scholarship, some very common myths about Tarot still prevail. Haven't we gotten over the idea that Tarot came from the gypsies, or that it originated in Egypt as a pictoral representation of Thoth's teachings? These Tarot myths remain common today (and are often perpetuated by ill-informed authors). Hopefully, this book will help put them to rest. Place convincingly disproves these theories, but (and this is important) carefully notes what is valid and worthwhile about the occultists' perspective.
The real cream of this book comes not from the debunking (after all, Place is not the first author to set the record straight), but in his analysis of what Tarot truly is. This book is the only book available today that explores Tarot as it was intended by its creators, based on the influences and symbolism prevalent at the time of its creation. As someone long steeped in (and quite fond of) occult/Golden Dawn style Tarot practices, these insights are new and exciting approaches to Tarot. I get to be a beginner all over again! For devoted Tarot nerds like me, this is very good news.
Some folks might be put off by Place's style -- he doesn't allow much room for disagreements. Indeed, ordinarily such confidence would get up my nose, too. But his arguments are so convincing, and presented with none of the customary arrogance of many with strong opinions on magical topics, that I'm inclined to overlook that. His sincerity and love of his subject shine through every step of the way.Read more ›
Not this one! Bob Place's _The Tarot: History, Symbolism, and Divination_ is a frank, meticulously researched, and enormously satisfying look at the origins and applications of Tarot. While the book embraces mysticism (Place, for example, reveals his own work with the Tarot was initiated by a symbolic dream), its primary focus is on the card illustrations, the symbolism of the Tarot, and the rich heritage of myth and magic that lie at the heart of both.
Place's clear, concise writing style makes his practical and mystical histories of the Tarot - the first two major sections of the book - a pleasure to read. Few books on the subject of the Tarot offer so much information in such an approachable format; these chapters should be required reading for anyone with a serious interest in the cards.
Why do the images on Tarot cards intrigue some and frighten others? As Joseph Campbell often pointed out, we live in a mythically illiterate society; signs and symbols immediately recognizable to viewers a few hundred years ago now, in our ignorance, strike us as mysterious and spooky. Beginning in Chapter 4, "Interpreting the Major and Minor Arcana," Place does his part to dispel mystery rooted in ignorance and reconnect the reader with the genuine myths and mysteries referenced in the details of each card.
Chapter Five, at first glance, appears to be little more than Place's notes on the popular and familiar images from the Rider-Waite Tarot.Read more ›
For the most part, I don't write many reviews on Amazon even though I do read them. I just feel very strongly about this book.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm giving this book 5 stars. I absolutely loved it. He starts out with a detailed history of Tarot cards and then goes into great depth on each card and what it represents. Read morePublished 24 days ago by Amazon Customer
This is hands down the best book on Tarot I've read so far. I started getting back into Tarot a about 2 months ago, and I have gobbled up about 5 books. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Annedyne
Place insists the cards did not really develop until the 1400s, and especially as divination tools, until the ocultists got hold of the Tarot in the 1700s & 1800s. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Googlie Eyes
This is a great addition to a symbol image collector's library. Wonderful tarot dabbler's background.Published 14 months ago by Evelyn D. Nitzberg
this book offers great insight into the real history of tarot cards both in general and with respect to the imagery of specific cards themselves.Published 15 months ago by Harold M Bates
This book is seconded only by Mystical Origins of the Tarot, by Paul Huson. However, they aren't really in competition, each filling in gaps in the other. I recommend both.Published 16 months ago by Douglas
This is a very interesting, honest and well written book. The author has done significant research and shares it in his book.Published on May 13, 2014 by ERIC JACKSON PERRIN