This is one of the best resources for understanding the Tarot's mystical symbolism. It includes an updated history based on Place's The Tarot: History Symbolism and Divination, which "Booklist" said " may be the best book ever written on ...the tarot." This edition adds color illustrations of key works and comparative illustrations from the Renaissance, from alchemical texts, from ancient Egypt, and from occult sources. It views the Tarot as a 500-year visual conversation between artists, mystics, and occultists. The work is based on the 2010 Tarot exhibition at the LA Craft and Folk Art Museum, curated by Place, and includes the Visconti-Sforza Tarot, the 1st Italian printed deck, the oldest Tarot of Marseille, The 1st occult reference, the 1st occult Tarot, the 1st modern Tarot, the 1st New Age Tarot, and examples from popular modern decks including the Twilight Tarot, the Legacy Tarot, the Deviant Moon Tarot, the Annotated Tarot of the Sevenfold Mystery, and Place's Alchemical Tarot.
The earliest known decks of tarot cards created in Italy in the late 15th century were used as a game. The tarotÕs association with fortune telling and gypsies did not come about until the late 1700s. The first decks were hand painted for wealthy families who had the money to commission the decks as well as the time to play with them. After the advent of lithography, the easy replication through printing made tarot decks much more accessible to the everyday man and woman. In todayÕs world, the tarot has numerous uses, most of which have the purpose of encouraging self-knowledge and reflection. The beauty and lyricism of hundreds, and even thousands, of tarot decks illustrated throughout the last 600 years, as well as those currently in circulation and those yet to be designed and published, make them a unique art form. This book celebrates that art form.