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A CONCISE BIBLIOGRAPHY OF THE CHIEF WORKS DEALING WITH THE TAROT AND ITS CONNEXIONS

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Subject: A CONCISE BIBLIOGRAPHY OF THE CHIEF WORKS DEALING WITH THE TAROT AND ITS CONNEXIONS

   As in spite of its modest pretensions, this monograph is, so far as I
   am aware, the first attempt to provide in English a complete synoptic
   account of the Tarot, with its archæological position defined, its
   available symbolism developed, and--as a matter of curiosity in
   occultism--with its divinatory meanings and modes of operation
   sufficiently exhibited, it is my wish, from the literate standpoint,
   to enumerate those text-books of the subject, and the most important
   incidental references thereto, which have come under my notice. The
   bibliographical particulars that follow lay no claim to completeness,
   as I have cited nothing that I have not seen with my own eyes; but I
   can understand that most of my readers will be surprised at the extent
   of the literature--if I may so term it conventionally--which has grown
   up in the course of the last 120 years. Those who desire to pursue
   their inquiries further will find ample materials herein, though it is
   not a course which I am seeking to commend especially, as I deem that
   enough has been said upon the Tarot in this place to stand for all
   that has preceded it. The bibliography itself is representative after
   a similar manner. I should add that there is a considerable catalogue
   of cards and works on card-playing in the British Museum, but I have
   not had occasion to consult it to any extent for the purposes of the
   present list.

                                     I

   Monde Primitf, analysé et comparé avec le Monde Moderne
   . Par M. Court de Gebelin. Vol. 8, 40, Paris, 1781.

   The articles on the Jeu des Tarots will be found at pp. 365 to 410.
   The plates at the end shew the Trumps Major and the Aces of each suit.
   These are valuable, as indications of the cards at the close of the
   eighteenth century. They were presumably then in circulation in the
   South of France, as it is said that at the period in question they
   were practically unknown at Paris. I have dealt with the claims of the
   papers in the body of the present work. Their speculations were
   tolerable enough for their mazy period; but that they are suffered
   still, and accepted indeed without question, by French occult writers
   is the most convincing testimony that one can need to the
   qualifications of the latter for dealing with any question of
   historical research.

                                     II

   The Works of Etteilla. Les Septs Nuances de I'œuvre philosophique
   Hermitique; Manière de se récréer avec le Jeu de Cartes, nommeés
   Tarots; Fragments sur les Hautes Sciences; Philosophie des Hautes
   Sciences; Jeu des Tarots, ou le Livre de Thoth; Leçons Théoriques et
   Pratiques du Livre de Thoth--all published between 1783 and 1787.

   These are exceedingly rare and were frankly among the works of
   colportage of their particular period. They contain the most curious
   fragments on matters within and without the main issue, lucubrations
   on genii, magic, astrology, talismans, dreams, etc. I have spoken
   sufficiently in the text of the author's views on the Tarot and his
   place in its modern history. He regarded it as a work of speaking
   hieroglyphics, but to translate it was not easy. He, however,
   accomplished the task that is to say, in his own opinion.

                                    III

   An Inquiry into the Antient Greek Game, supposed to have been invented
   by Palamedes
   . [By James Christie.] London: 40, 1801.

   I mention this collection of curious dissertations because it has been
   cited by writers on the Tarot. It seeks to establish a close connexion
   between early games of antiquity and modern chess. It is suggested
   that the invention attributed to Palamedes, prior to the Siege of
   Troy, was known in China from a more remote period of antiquity. The
   work has no reference to cards of any kind whatsoever.

                                     IV

   Researches into the History of Playing Cards
   . By Samuel Weller Singer. 40, London, 1816.

   The Tarot is probably of Eastern origin and high antiquity, but the
   rest of Court de Gebelin's theory is vague and unfounded. Cards were
   known in Europe prior to the appearance of the Egyptians. The work has
   a good deal of curious information and the appendices are valuable,
   but the Tarot occupies comparatively little of the text and the period
   is too early for a tangible criticism of its claims. There are
   excellent reproductions of early specimen designs. Those of Court de
   Gebelin are also given in extenso.

                                     V

   Facts and Speculations on Playing Cards
   . By W. A. Chatto. 8vo, London, 1848.

   The author suggested that the Trumps Major and the numeral cards were
   once separate, but were afterwards combined. The oldest specimens of
   Tarot cards are not later than 1440. But the claims and value of the
   volume have been sufficiently described in the text.

                                     VI

   Les Cartes à Jouer el la Cartomancie
   . Par D. R. P. Boiteau d'Ambly. 40, Paris, 1854.

   There are some interesting illustrations of early Tarot cards, Which
   are said to be of Oriental origin; but they are not referred to Egypt.
   The early gipsy connexion is affirmed, but there is no evidence
   produced. The cards came with the gipsies from India, where they were
   designed to shew forth the intentions of "the unknown divinity" rather
   than to be the servants of profane amusement.

                                    VII

   Dogme el Rituel de la Haute Magie
   . Par Éliphas Lévi, 2 vols., demy 8vo, Paris, 1854.

   This is the first publication of Alphonse Louis Constant on occult
   philosophy, and it is also his magnum opus. It is constructed in both
   volumes on the major Keys of the Tarot and has been therefore
   understood as a kind of development of their implicits, in the way
   that these were presented to the mind of the author. To supplement
   what has been said of this work in the text of the present monograph,
   I need only add that the section on transmutations in the second
   volume contains what is termed the Key of Thoth. The inner circle
   depicts a triple Tau, with a hexagram where the bases join, and
   beneath is the Ace of Cups. Within the external circle are the letters
   TARO, and about this figure as a whole are grouped the symbols of the
   Four Living Creatures, the Ace of Wands, Ace of Swords, the letter
   Shin, and a magician's candle, which is identical, according to Lévi,
   with the lights used in the Goetic Circle of Black Evocations and
   Pacts. The triple Tau may be taken to represent the Ace of Pentacles.
   The only Tarot card given in the volumes is the Chariot, which is
   drawn by two sphinxes; the fashion thus set has been followed in later
   days. Those who interpret the work as a kind of commentary on the
   Trumps Major are the conventional occult students and those who follow
   them will have only the pains of fools.

                                    VIII

   Les Rômes
   . Par J. A. Vaillant. Demy 8vo, Paris, 1857.

   The author tells us how he met with the cards, but the account is in a
   chapter of anecdotes. The Tarot is the sidereal book of Enoch,
   modelled on the astral wheel of Athor. There is a description of the
   Trumps Major, which are evidently regarded as an heirloom, brought by
   the gipsies from Indo-Tartary. The publication of Lévi's Dogme et
   Rituel must, I think, have impressed Vaillant very much, and although
   in this, which was the writer's most important work, the anecdote that
   I have mentioned is practically his only Tarot reference, he seems to
   have gone much further in a later publication--Clef Magique de la
   Fiction et du Fait, but I have not been able to see it, nor do I
   think, from the reports concerning it, that I have sustained a loss.

                                     IX

   Histoire de la Magie
   . Par Éliphas Lévi. 8vo, Paris, 1860.

   The references to the Tarot are few in this brilliant work, which will
   be available shortly in English. It gives the 21st Trump Major,
   commonly called the Universe, or World, under the title of Yinx
   Pantomorph--a seated figure wearing the crown of Isis. This has been
   reproduced by Papus in Le Tarot Divinataire. The author explains that
   the extant Tarot has come down to us through the Jews, but it passed
   somehow into the hands of the gipsies, who brought it with them when
   they first entered France in the early part of the fifteenth century.
   The authority here is Vaillant.

                                     X

   La Clef des Grands Mystères
   . Par Eliphas Lévi. 8vo, Paris, 1861.

   The frontispiece to this work represents the absolute Key of the
   occult sciences, given by William Postel and completed by the writer.
   It is reproduced in The Tarot of the Bohemians, and in the preface
   which I have prefixed thereto, as indeed elsewhere, I have explained
   that Postel never constructed a hieroglyphical key. Eliphas Lévi
   identifies the Tarot as that sacred alphabet which has been variously
   referred to Enoch, Thoth, Cadmus and Palamedes. It consists of
   absolute ideas attached to signs and numbers. In respect of the
   latter, there is an extended commentary on these as far as the number
   ig, the series being interpreted as the Keys of Occult Theology. The
   remaining three numerals which complete the Hebrew alphabet are called
   the Keys of Nature. The Tarot is said to be the original of chess, as
   it is also of the Royal Game of Goose. This volume contains the
   author's hypothetical reconstruction of the tenth Trump Major, shewing
   Egyptian figures on the Wheel of Fortune.

                                     XI

   L'Homme Rouge des Tuileyies
   . Par P. Christian. Fcap. 8vo, Paris, 1863.

   The work is exceedingly rare, is much sought and was once highly
   prized in France; but Dr. Papus has awakened to the fact that it is
   really of slender value, and the statement might be extended. It is
   interesting, however, as containing the writer's first reveries on the
   Tarot. He was a follower and imitator of Lévi. In the present work, he
   provides a commentary on the Trumps Major and thereafter the designs
   and meanings of all the Minor Arcana. There are many and curious
   astrological attributions. The work does not seem to mention the Tarot
   by name. A later Histoire de la Magie does little more than reproduce
   and extend the account of the Trumps Major given herein.

                                    XII

   The History of Playing Cards
   . By E. S. Taylor. Cr. 8vo, London, 1865.

   This was published posthumously and is practically a translation of
   Boiteau. It therefore calls for little remark on my part. The opinion
   is that cards were imported by the gipsies from India. There are also
   references to the so-called Chinese Tarot, which was mentioned by
   Court de Gebelin.

                                    XIII

   Origine des Caries à Jouer
   . Par Romain Merlin. 40, Paris, 1869.

   There is no basis for the Egyptian origin of the Tarot, except in the
   imagination of Court de Gebelin. I have mentioned otherwise that the
   writer disposes, to his personal satisfaction, of the gipsy
   hypothesis, and he does the same in respect of the imputed connexion
   with India; he says that cards were known in Europe before
   communication was opened generally with that world about 1494. But if
   the gipsies were a Pariah tribe already dwelling in the West, and if
   the cards were a part of their baggage, there is nothing in this
   contention. The whole question is essentially one of speculation.

                                    XIV

   The Platonist
   . Vol. II, pp. 126-8. Published at St. Louis, Mo., U.S.A., 1884-5.
   Royal 4to. This periodical, the suspension of which must have been
   regretted by many admirers of an unselfish and laborious effort,
   contained one anonymous article on the Tarot by a writer with
   theosophical tendencies, and considerable pretensions to knowledge. It
   has, however, by its own evidence, strong titles to negligence, and is
   indeed a ridiculous performance. The word Tarot is the Latin Rota =
   wheel, transposed. The system was invented at a remote period in
   India, presumably--for the writer is vague--about B.C. 300. The Fool
   represents primordial chaos. The Tarot is now used by Rosicrucian
   adepts, but in spite of the inference that it may have come down to
   them from their German progenitors in the early seventeenth century,
   and notwithstanding the source in India, the twenty-two keys were
   pictured on the walls of Egyptian temples dedicated to the mysteries
   of initiation. Some of this rubbish is derived from P. Christian, but
   the following statement is peculiar, I think, to the writer: "It is
   known to adepts that there should be twenty-two esoteric keys, which
   would make the total number up to 100." Persons who reach a certain
   stage of lucidity have only to provide blank pasteboards of the
   required number and the missing designs will be furnished by superior
   intelligences. Meanwhile, America is still awaiting the fulfilment of
   the concluding forecast, that some few will ere long have so far
   developed in that country "as to be able to read perfectly... in that
   perfect and divine sybilline work, the Taro." Perhaps the cards which
   accompany the present volume will give the opportunity and the
   impulse!

                                     XV

   Lo Joch de Naips
   . Per Joseph Brunet y Bellet. Cr. 8vo, Barcelona, 1886.

   With reference to the dream of Egyptian origin, the author quotes E.
   Garth Wilkison's Manners and Customs of the Egyptians as negative
   evidence at least that cards were unknown in the old cities of the
   Delta. The history of the subject is sketched, following the chief
   authorities, but without reference to exponents of the occult schools.
   The mainstay throughout is Chatto. There are some interesting
   particulars about the prohibition of cards in Spain, and the
   appendices include a few valuable documents, by one of which it
   appears, as already mentioned, that St. Bernardin of Sienna preached
   against games in general, and cards in particular, so far back as
   1423. There are illustrations of rude Tarots, including a curious
   example of an Ace of Cups, with a phoenix rising therefrom, and a
   Queen of Cups, from whose vessel issues a flower.

                                    XVI

   The Tarot: Its Occult Signification, Use in FortuneTelling, and Method
   of Play
   . By S. L. MacGregor Mathers. Sq. 16mo, London, 1888.

   This booklet was designed to accompany a set of Tarot cards, and the
   current packs of the period were imported from abroad for the purpose.
   There is no pretence of original research, and the only personal
   opinion expressed by the writer or calling for notice here states that
   the Trumps Major are hieroglyphic symbols corresponding to the occult
   meanings of the Hebrew alphabet. Here the authority is Lévi, from whom
   is also derived the brief symbolism allocated to the twenty-two Keys.
   The divinatory meanings follow, and then the modes of operation. It is
   a mere sketch written in a pretentious manner and is negligible in all
   respects.

                                    XVII

   Traité Méthodique de Science Occulte
   . Par Papus. 8vo, Paris, 1891.

   The rectified Tarot published by Oswald Wirth after the indications of
   Éliphas Lévi is reproduced in this work, which--it may be
   mentioned--extends to nearly 1,100 pages. There is a section on the
   gipsies, considered as the importers of esoteric tradition into Europe
   by means of the cards. The Tarot is a combination of numbers and
   ideas, whence its correspondence with the Hebrew alphabet.
   Unfortunately, the Hebrew citations are rendered almost unintelligible
   by innumerable typographical errors.

                                   XVIII

   Éliphas Lévi: Le Livre des Splendeurs
   . Demy 8vo, Paris, 1894.

   A section on the Elements of the Kabalah affirms (a) That the Tarot
   contains in the several cards of the four suits a fourfold explanation
   of the numbers 1 to 10; (b) that the symbols which we now have only in
   the form of cards were at first medals and then afterwards became
   talismans; (c) that the Tarot is the hieroglyphical book of the
   Thirty-two Paths of Kabalistic theosophy, and that its summary
   explanation is in the Sepher Yelzirah; (d) that it is the inspiration
   of all religious theories and symbols; (e) that its emblems are found
   on the ancient monuments of Egypt. With the historical value of these
   pretensions I have dealt in the text.

                                    XIX

   Clefs Magiques et Clavicules de Salomon Par Éliphas Lévi
   . Sq. 12mo, Paris, 1895.

   The Keys in question are said to have been restored in 1860, in their
   primitive purity, by means of hieroglyphical signs and numbers,
   without any admixture of Samaritan or Egyptian images. There are rude
   designs of the Hebrew letters attributed to the Trumps Major, with
   meanings--most of which are to be found in other works by the same
   writer. There are also combinations of the letters which enter into
   the Divine Name; these combinations are attributed to the court cards
   of the Lesser Arcana. Certain talismans of spirits are in fine
   furnished with Tarot attributions; the Ace of Clubs corresponds to the
   Deus Absconditus, the First Principle. The little book was issued at a
   high price and as something that should be reserved to adepts, or
   those on the path of adeptship, but it is really without
   value--symbolical or otherwise.

                                     XX

   Les
   xxii Lames Hermétiques du Tarot Divinatoire. Par R. Falconnier. Demy
   8vo, Paris, 1896.

   The word Tarot comes from the Sanskrit and means "fixed star," which
   in its turn signifies immutable tradition, theosophical synthesis,
   symbolism of primitive dogma, etc. Graven on golden plates, the
   designs were used by Hermes Trismegistus and their mysteries were only
   revealed to the highest grades of the priesthood of Isis. It is
   unnecessary therefore to say that the Tarot is of Egyptian origin and
   the work of M. Falconnier has been to reconstruct its primitive form,
   which he does by reference to the monuments--that is to say, after the
   fashion of Éliphas Lévi, he draws the designs of the Trumps Major in
   imitation of Egyptian art. This production has been hailed by French
   occultists as presenting the Tarot in its perfection, but the same has
   been said of the designs of Oswald Wirth, which are quite unlike and
   not Egyptian at all. To be frank, these kinds of foolery may be as
   much as can be expected from the Sanctuary of the Comédie-Française,
   to which the author belongs, and it should be reserved thereto.

                                    XXI

   The Magical Ritual of the Sanctum Regnum, interpreted by the Tarot
   Trumps
   . Translated from the MSS. of Éliphas Lévi and edited by W. Wynn
   Westcott, M.B. Fcap. 8vo, London, 1896.

   It is necessary to say that the interest of this memorial rests rather
   in the fact of its existence than in its intrinsic importance. There
   is a kind of informal commentary on the Trumps Major, or rather there
   are considerations which presumably had arisen therefrom in the mind
   of the French author. For example, the card called Fortitude is an
   opportunity for expatiation on will as the secret of strength. The
   Hanged Man is said to represent the completion of the Great Work.
   Death suggests a diatribe against Necromancy and Goëtia; but such
   phantoms have no existence in "the Sanctum Regnum" of life. Temperance
   produces only a few vapid commonplaces, and the Devil, which is blind
   force, is the occasion for repetition of much that has been said
   already in the earlier works of Lévi. The Tower represents the
   betrayal of the Great Arcanum, and this it was which caused the sword
   of Samael to be stretched over the Garden of Delight. Amongst the
   plates there is a monogram of the Gnosis, which is also that of the
   Tarot. The editor has thoughtfully appended some information on the
   Trump Cards taken from the early works of Lévi and from the
   commentaries of P. Christian.

                                    XXII

   Comment on devient Alchimiste
   . Par F. Jolivet de Castellot. Sq. 8vo, Paris, 1897.

   Herein is a summary of the Alchemical Tarot, which-with all my respect
   for innovations and inventions-seems to be high fantasy; but Etteilla
   had reveries of this kind, and if it should ever be warrantable to
   produce a Key Major in place of the present Key Minor, it might be
   worth while to tabulate the analogies of these strange dreams. At the
   moment it will be sufficient to say that there is given a schedule of
   the alchemical correspondences to the Trumps Major, by which it
   appears that the juggler or Magician symbolizes attractive force; the
   High Priestess is inert matter, than which nothing is more false; the
   Pope is the Quintessence, which--if he were only acquainted with
   Shakespeare--might tempt the present successor of St. Peter to repeat
   that "there are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio." The Devil,
   on the other hand, is the matter of philosophy at the black stage; the
   Last judgment is the red stage of the Stone; the Fool is its
   fermentation; and, in fine, the last card, or the World, is the
   Alchemical Absolute-the Stone itself. If this should encourage my
   readers, they may note further that the particulars of various
   chemical combinations can be developed by means of the Lesser Arcana,
   if these are laid out for the purpose. Specifically, the King of Wands
   = Gold the Pages or Knaves represent animal substances the King of
   Cups = Silver; and so forth.

                                   XXIII

   Le Grand Arcane, ou l'occultisme dévoilé
   . Par Éliphas Lévi. Demy 8vo, Paris, 1898.

   After many years and the long experience of all his concerns in
   occultism, the author at length reduces his message to one formula in
   this work. I speak, of course, only in respect of the Tarot: he says
   that the cards of Etteilla produce a kind of hypnotism in the seer or
   seeress who divines thereby. The folly of the psychic reads in the
   folly of the querent. Did he counsel honesty, it is suggested that he
   would lose his clients. I have written severe criticisms on occult
   arts and sciences, but this is astonishing from one of their past
   professors and, moreover, I think that the psychic occasionally is a
   psychic and sees in a manner as such.

                                    XXIV

   Le Serpent de la Genêse--Livre II; La Clef de la Magie Noire
   . Par Stanislas de Guaita. 8vo, Paris, 1902.

   It is a vast commentary on the second septenary of the Trumps Major.
   Justice signifies equilibrium and its agent; the Hermit typifies the
   mysteries of solitude; the Wheel of Fortune is the circulus of
   becoming or attaining; Fortitude signifies the power resident in will;
   the Hanged Man is magical bondage, which speaks volumes for the
   clouded and inverted insight of this fantasiast in occultism: Death
   is, of course, that which its name signifies, but with reversion to
   the second death; Temperance means the magic of transformations, and
   therefore suggests excess rather than abstinence. There is more of the
   same kind of thing--I believe--in the first book, but this will serve
   as a specimen. The demise of Stanislas de Guaita put an end to his
   scheme of interpreting the Tarot Trumps, but it should be understood
   that the connexion is shadowy and that actual references could be
   reduced to a very few pages.

                                    XXV

   Le Tarot: Aperçu historique
   . Par. J. J. Bourgeat. Sq. 12MO, Paris, 1906.

   The author has illustrated his work by purely fantastic designs of
   certain Trumps Major, as, for example, the Wheel of Fortune, Death and
   the Devil. They have no connexion with symbolism. The Tarot is said to
   have originated in India, whence it passed to Egypt. Éliphas Lévi, P.
   Christian, and J. A. Vaillant are cited in support of statements and
   points of view. The mode of divination adopted is fully and carefully
   set out.

                                    XXVI

   L'Art de tirer les Caries
   . Par Antonio Magus. Cr. 8vo, Paris, n.d. (about 1908).

   This is not a work of any especial pretension, nor has it any title to
   consideration on account of its modesty. Frankly, it is little--if
   any--better than a bookseller's experiment. There is a summary account
   of the chief methods of divination, derived from familiar sources;
   there is a history of cartomancy in France; and there are indifferent
   reproductions of Etteilla Tarot cards, with his meanings and the
   well-known mode of operation. Finally, there is a section on common
   fortune-telling by a piquet set of ordinary cards: this seems to lack
   the only merit that it might have Possessed, namely, perspicuity; but
   I speak with reserve, as I am not perhaps a judge possessing ideal
   qualifications in matters of this kind. In any case, the question
   signifies nothing. It is just to add that the concealed author
   maintains what he terms the Egyptian tradition of the Tarot, which is
   the Great Book of Thoth. But there is a light accent throughout his
   thesis, and it does not follow that he took the claim seriously.

                                   XXVII

   Le Tarot Divinatoire: Clef du tirage des Caries et des sorts
   . Par le Dr. Papus. Demy 8vo, Paris, 1909.

   The text is accompanied by what is termed a complete reconstitution of
   all the symbols, which means that in this manner we have yet another
   Tarot. The Trumps Major follow the traditional lines, with various
   explanations and attributions on the margins, and this Plan obtains
   throughout the series. From the draughtsman's point of view, it must
   be said that the designs are indifferently done, and the reproductions
   seem worse than the designs. This is probably of no especial
   importance to the class of readers addressed. Dr. Papus also presents,
   by way of curious memorials, the evidential value of which he seems to

   accept implicitly, certain unpublished designs of ÉIiphas Lévi; they
   are certainly interesting as examples of the manner in which the great
   occultist manufactured the archæology of the Tarot to bear out his
   personal views. We have (a) Trump Major, No. 5, being Horus as the
   Grand Hierophant, drawn after the monuments; (b) Trump Major, No. 2,
   being the High Priestess as Isis, also after the monuments; and (c)
   five imaginary specimens of an Indian Tarot. This is how la haute
   science in France contributes to the illustration of that work which
   Dr. Papus terms livre de la science éternelle; it would be called by
   rougher names in English criticism. The editor himself takes his usual
   pains and believes that he has discovered the time attributed to each
   card by ancient Egypt. He applies it to the purpose of divination, so
   that the skilful fortune-teller can now predict the hour and the day
   when the dark young man will meet with the fair widow, and so forth.

                                   XXVIII

   Le Tarot des Bohémiens
   . Par Papus. 8vo, Paris, 1889. English Translation, second edition,
   1910.

   An exceedingly complex work, which claims to present an absolute key
   to occult science. It was translated into English by Mr. A. P. Morton
   in 1896, and this version has been re-issued recently under my own
   supervision. The preface which I have prefixed thereto contains all
   that it is necessary to say regarding its claims, and it should be
   certainly consulted by readers of the present Pictorial Key to the
   Tarot. The fact that Papus regards the great sheaf of hieroglyphics as
   "the most ancient book in the world," as "the Bible of Bibles," and
   therefore as "the primitive revelation," does not detract from the
   claim of his general study, which--it should be added--is accompanied
   by numerous valuable plates, exhibiting Tarot codices, old and new,
   and diagrams summarizing the personal theses of the writer and of some
   others who preceded him. The Tarot of the Bohemians is published at
   6s. by William Rider & Son, Ltd.

                                    XXIX

   Manuel Synthétique et Pratique du Tarot
   . Par Eudes Picard. 8vo, Paris, 1909.

   Here is yet one more handbook of the subject, presenting in a series
   of rough plates a complete sequence of the cards. The Trumps Major are
   those of Court de Gebelin and for the Lesser Arcana the writer has had
   recourse to his imagination; it can be said that some of them are
   curious, a very few thinly suggestive and the rest bad. The
   explanations embody neither research nor thought at first hand; they
   are bald summaries of the occult authorities in France, followed by a
   brief general sense drawn out as a harmony of the whole. The method of
   use is confined to four pages and recommends that divination should be
   performed in a fasting state. On the history of the Tarot, M. Picard
   says (a) that it is confused; (b) that we do not know precisely whence
   it comes; (c) that, this notwithstanding, its introduction is due to
   the Gipsies. He says finally that its interpretation is an art.

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organized into a number of sub-directories,
each dealing with a different branch of
religion, mysticism, occultism, or esoteric knowledge.
Here are the major ARCANE ARCHIVE directories you can visit:
interdisciplinary: geometry, natural proportion, ratio, archaeoastronomy
mysticism: enlightenment, self-realization, trance, meditation, consciousness
occultism: divination, hermeticism, amulets, sigils, magick, witchcraft, spells
religion: buddhism, christianity, hinduism, islam, judaism, taoism, wicca, voodoo
societies and fraternal orders: freemasonry, golden dawn, rosicrucians, etc.

SEARCH THE ARCANE ARCHIVE

There are thousands of web pages at the ARCANE ARCHIVE. You can use ATOMZ.COM
to search for a single word (like witchcraft, hoodoo, pagan, or magic) or an
exact phrase (like Kwan Yin, golden ratio, or book of shadows):

Search For:
Match:  Any word All words Exact phrase

OTHER ESOTERIC AND OCCULT SITES OF INTEREST

Southern Spirits: 19th and 20th century accounts of hoodoo, including slave narratives & interviews
Hoodoo in Theory and Practice by cat yronwode: an introduction to African-American rootwork
Lucky W Amulet Archive by cat yronwode: an online museum of worldwide talismans and charms
Sacred Sex: essays and articles on tantra yoga, neo-tantra, karezza, sex magic, and sex worship
Sacred Landscape: essays and articles on archaeoastronomy, sacred architecture, and sacred geometry
Lucky Mojo Forum: practitioners answer queries on conjure; sponsored by the Lucky Mojo Curio Co.
Herb Magic: illustrated descriptions of magic herbs with free spells, recipes, and an ordering option
Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers: ethical diviners and hoodoo spell-casters
Freemasonry for Women by cat yronwode: a history of mixed-gender Freemasonic lodges
Missionary Independent Spiritual Church: spirit-led, inter-faith, the Smallest Church in the World
Satan Service Org: an archive presenting the theory, practice, and history of Satanism and Satanists
Gospel of Satan: the story of Jesus and the angels, from the perspective of the God of this World
Lucky Mojo Usenet FAQ Archive: FAQs and REFs for occult and magical usenet newsgroups
Candles and Curios: essays and articles on traditional African American conjure and folk magic
Aleister Crowley Text Archive: a multitude of texts by an early 20th century ceremonial occultist
Spiritual Spells: lessons in folk magic and spell casting from an eclectic Wiccan perspective
The Mystic Tea Room: divination by reading tea-leaves, with a museum of antique fortune telling cups
Yronwode Institution for the Preservation and Popularization of Indigenous Ethnomagicology
Yronwode Home: personal pages of catherine yronwode and nagasiva yronwode, magical archivists
Lucky Mojo Magic Spells Archives: love spells, money spells, luck spells, protection spells, etc.
      Free Love Spell Archive: love spells, attraction spells, sex magick, romance spells, and lust spells
      Free Money Spell Archive: money spells, prosperity spells, and wealth spells for job and business
      Free Protection Spell Archive: protection spells against witchcraft, jinxes, hexes, and the evil eye
      Free Gambling Luck Spell Archive: lucky gambling spells for the lottery, casinos, and races