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A wicked pack of cards : the origins of the occult tarot

Author: Ronald Decker; Thierry Depaulis; Michael Dummett
Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Press, 1996.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
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
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Genre/Form: History
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Ronald Decker; Thierry Depaulis; Michael Dummett
ISBN: 0312162944 9780312162948
OCLC Number: 34919726
Description: xii, 308 pages, [16] pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
Contents: Introduction: Imaginary Magi --
1. Game or Magic? --
2. How Tarot Divination Began --
3. The Founders of Tarot Occultism --
4. Etteilla: the First Professional Cartomancer --
5. Etteilla's Disciples and Posterity --
6. Mlle Le Normand: Prophet or Sorcerer? --
7. The Tradition of Etteilla --
8. The Second Founder: Eliphas Levi --
9. From Ghost Writer to Magus: Paul Christian --
10. Among the Gypsies: Jean-Alexandre Vaillant --
11. Papus and his Circle.
Responsibility: Ronald Decker, Thierry Depaulis, and Michael Dummett.

Abstract:

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.

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