The Tarot: History, Symbolism, and Divination Paperback – Mar 17 2005
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*Starred Review* This may be the best book ever written on that deck of cards decorated with mysterious images called the tarot. Dozens of books provide sketchy information on the cards' history and evolution before turning more discursive on how to interpret them. Place inverts that formula. Well-researched, entertainingly written chapters begin the book with information on where the tarot comes from and how it gained so much prominence as a tool for divination. Far from developing from deeply magical sources, as many have claimed, the tarot was originally just a deck of cards used for playing games. Even at the start, however, those games included some fortune-telling. Over the course of centuries, the cards' lore was enriched by thoughtful practitioners who added cards, elaborated their meanings, and connected their imagery to mythology and dreams. At the beginning of the twentieth century, an inspired young artist, Pamela Smith, drew upon her occult training and her own visions to create the now classic Rider-Waite deck. In a comprehensively researched and passionately argued chapter, Place restores Smith to her rightful position as the genius behind the deck. That Place also offers excellent guidance to actually reading the cards makes the book that much more appealing, as a how-to as well as a why-bother. Patricia Monaghan
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About the Author
Robert M. Place is an internationally known visionary artist and illustrator. He is recognized as an expert on the Western mystical tradition and the history and philosophy of the Tarot, and his work has appeared in many books and publications. Place is also the designer, illustrator, and coauthor of the highly acclaimed Alchemical Tarot and The Angels Tarot. He has appeared on The Discovery Channel and The Learning Channel and has conducted lectures and workshops throughout the country, including the Open Center and the Omega Institute in New York and the International Tarot Congress in Chicago. Place's work in precious metals have been displayed in museums such as the New York State Museum, the American Craft Museum, and the White House.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
If you *are* familiar with his art, then you only need to know that this book is like his art -- absolutely top notch. Like his illustrations, his explanations of complex history and symbolism are clean, clear, and elegant.If you're not familiar with Robert Place's art work, you should be. Go get one of his Tarot decks right now. Hurry! We'll wait...
If you *are* familiar with his art, then you only need to know that this book is like his art -- absolutely top notch. Like his illustrations, his explanations of Tarot history and symbolism are clean, clear, and elegant. Place is that rare combination: a serious scholar and an inspired artist.
If you have even a passing interest in Tarot, you want this book. As another reviewer wrote, it is an instant classic.