A Timeline of the Occult and Divinatory Tarot
from 1750 to 1980
collected by Mary K. Greer
with assistance from Lola Lucas and K. Frank Jensen
c. 1735 The Square of Sevens by Robert Antrobus
( “Genuine Gypsy Card reading”---claims to
be a reprint of a 1735 tome with a second edition in 1896. (LL) 1735 date is apocryphal.
c. 1750 Manuscript (discovered by Franco Pratesi in the late 1980s), that lists cartomantic interpretations for 35 Bolognese tarocchi cards along with a rudimentary method of laying them out. A sheet of 35 Bolognese cards (trumps and number cards) are labeled with simple divinatory meanings such as “journey,” “betrayal,” “married man,” “love.” A later deck of double-headed Bolognese cards from the 1820’s are labeled both top and bottom with divinatory meanings, showing a continuity of use.
c. 1750 Etteilla stated that he learned the art of telling fortunes with playing cards from three cartomancers, one of whom hailed from Piedmont in northern Italy. In 1757 his Piedmontese teacher led him to the tarot, declaring that these cards contained the secrets of all the wisdom of the ancients. [Huson, The True Tarot, recently republished as Mystical Origins of the Tarot].
1751-1753 Three persons in Paris were publicly known as offering their services for divination by playing cards. The practice spread until a cry of sacrilege was raised and was stopped by officialdom. [p 160 W. H. Willshire. 1876. A descriptive catalogue of playing and other cards in the British Museum. (reprinted 1975 by Emmering, Amsterdam)]
1757 Etteilla claimed that his Piedmontese (Italian) teacher first taught him the Tarot in this year.
1760 Nicolas Conver’s Tarot de Marseille-style cards engraved and printed. (Reproduced by House of Camoin in the 1968.)
1765 According to Casanova, his Russian peasant mistress would read the cards every day—laying them out in a square of twenty-five cards.
1770 Jean-Baptiste Alliette (1738-1791 publishes the first treatise on fortune-telling with playing cards: Etteilla, ou maniere de se ré cré r avec un jeu de cartes part M*** (Etteilla, or a Way to Entertain Oneself with a Pack of Cards by Mr***) which includes reversed meanings for the 32 cards. He mentions les Taraux in a list of methods of fortune-telling [Wicked Pack, p. 83].
According to Etteilla “the Book of Thoth had been engraved for posterity by seventeen Hermetic adepts, priests of Thoth, on plates of gold 171 years after the Great Flood, and that these plates had been the prototypes for tarot cards. [Huson, The True Tarot (recently republished as Mystical Origins of the Tarot.]
1770 Krata Repoa or "Initiations into the ancient society of Egyptian priests," published in German (by Von Köppen) as a revelation of a new branch of Freemasonry. Its rituals were clearly based on translations of Graeco-Egyptian texts. (See MP Hall Freemasonry of the Ancient Egyptians.) A later edition appeared in French in 1778. Dr. John Yarker published the first English edition in a Masonic Journal, The Kneph. Blavatsky claimed it was based on The Ritual of Initiations by Humberto Malhandrini, published in Venice in 1657.
1770 In the spring of 1770, the young Goethe, at this time 20 years of age, went to Strasburg in the Alsace to continue his studies at the university. There he witnessed and himself had a reading of the playing cards by an old woman.
1771 Count Cagliostro (1743-95) appears in London and Paris with his Egyptian Masonic Rite.
1776 American Declaration of Independence and beginning of the American Revolution.
1776 Founding of the Illuminati (?)
1777 Cagliostro is said to have invented his scheme" of Egyptian Masonry, which would become known as the Egyptian Rite of Freemasonry (see 1782). He claims to have discovered a mysterious document in a London bookstall, written by a "George Cofton."
1778 Volume 5 of Antoine Court de Gébelin’s Le Monde Primitif contains an “Etymological Dictionary of the French Language” in which the old-fashioned form of the word, Tarraux, is listed as a “Game of cards well known in Germany, Italy and Switzerland. It is an Egyptian game, as we shall demonstrate one day; its name is composed of two Oriental words, Tar and Rha, Rho, which mean ‘royal road.’”
1781 The American Revolution ends October 19th. Uranus, first planet to be discovered since Babylonian prehistory, identified March 31 by William Herschel. Russia’s Catherine the Great and Holy Roman Emperor Josef II spilt the Balkans. Los Angeles is founded in California by Spanish settlers. Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason and Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Mozart is composing.”
1781 8th volume of Le Monde Primitif by Court de Gébelin, claiming Egyptian origin of Tarot, as a book of wisdom. Includes an essay by le Comte de M*** [Mellet] which explains how to use the cards for divination. De Gébelin says there are 22 Trumps just as there are 22 Hebrew letters. Le Comte de Mellet gives only the following correspondences (based on the cards running in a descending order): The Sun = Gimel (signifying "recompense or happiness"); The Devil = Zain ("inconstancy, error or crime"); Death = Teth ("the action of sweeping"); Fortune = Lamed ("law or science"); The Fool = Tau . We can assume that The World = Aleph, Judgment = Beth, etc. De Mellet also uses these significances for divinatory purposes. It is de Mellet also who first changes coins to "talismans" (pantacles) which is later developed by Éliphas Lévi.
According to Court de Gébelin the cards were:
0 - Le Fou
I - Le Joueur de Gobelets (Thimble-rigger), ou Bateleur (Juggler, Montebank)
Chefs Temporels & Spirituels de la Société
II - Roi
III - Reine
IV - Grand Prêtre (Chef des Hiérophantes)
V - Grande Prêtresse
VI - Le Mariage
VII - Osiris Triomphant
Planche V. No. VIII, XI, XII, XIIII: Les quatre VERTUS Cardinales
XI - La Force [coming to the aid of Prudence. Moakley]
XIIII - La Tempérance.
VIII - La Justice
XII - La Prudence
IX - Le Sage ou le Chercheur de la Vérité & du Juste. [Seeking Justice. Moakley]
XIX - Le Soleil
XVIII - La Lune (Tears of Isis). Creation of the Moon & Terrestrial Animals
XVII - La Canicule (Dog-star) Sirius (Sothis). Creation of the Stars & Fishes
XIII - La Mort
XV - Typhon
XVI - Maison-Dieu, ou Château de Plutus. [House of God overturned, with man and woman precipitated from the earthly Paradise. Moakley]
X - La Roue de Fortune
XX - Le Jugement Dernier (Last Judgment) ou La Création
X - Le Tems ou le Monde, représenreroit le Globe de la Terre & ses révolutions. [Moakley says “The Word”]
1782 Etteilla applies to the Royal censor to publish Cartonomanie Egiptienne, ou interpré taton de 78 hieroglipes qui sont sur les cartes nommé es Tarots (Egyptian Cartonomania, or Interpretation of the 78 hieroglyphs which are on the cards called Tarots). He is refused.
1782 Cagliostro founds his Egyptian Rite Lodge combined with a private temple of Isis at which Cagliostro is High Priest. His researches consist of a body of knowledge known as the Arcana Arcanorum, or A. A., and basing his "internal alchemy” on Tantrik techniques from German Rosicrucian lodges.
1783-86 Publication of Etteilla’s Manière de se ré créer avec le Jeu de Cartes nommées Tarots (A way to entertain onesel with the pack of cards called Tarots) in four parts. He claims it was devised by a committee of seventeen magi, presided over by Hermes Trismegistus nearly 4,000 years before. The first copy was inscribed on leaves of gold which were disposed about a fire temple at Memphis. [3Ds, pp. 83-85] His recreation of the deck has the first 12 cards based on the creation myths in the Divine Pymander, and on astrology, as he felt Tarot could be consulted in an astrological manner.
1789 Publication of the first Etteilla deck. Available as the Grand Etteilla deck from Grimaud since 1982. The Trumps and all astrological correspondences are as follows:
1 - Etteilla - Le Consultant (Male). Aries. (Papus says this is "special to the Tarot of Etteilla" - I'd make it the Bateleur (as does Edmond))
2 - Eclaircissement (Enlightenment/Fire). Taurus. (Papus: Sun)
3 - Propos (Discussion/Water). Gemini. (Papus: Moon)
4 - Dépouillement (Loss/Air). Cancer. (Papus: Star)
5 - Voyage (Travel/Earth). Leo. (Papus: World)
6 - Nuit (Night/Day). Virgo. (Papus: Empress - I'd make it the Popess)
7 - Appui (Support/Protection). Libra. (Papus: Emperor)
8 - Etteilla - Le Consultante (Female). Scorpio. (Papus: Popess - I'd make it the Empress)
9 - La Justice (Justice/Jurist). Sagittarius. (Papus: Justice)
10 - La Tempérance (Temperance/Priest). Capricorn. (Papus: Temperance)
11 - La Force (Strength/Monarch). Aquarius. (Papus: Force, i.e., Strength)
12 - La Prudence (Prudence/The Masses). Pisces. (Papus: Hanged Man)
13 - Mariage (Marriage/Union). (Papus: Lovers)
14 - Force Majeure (Absolute Necessity/Absolute Necessity). (Papus: Devil)
15 - Maladie (Illness/Illness). (Papus: Bateleur - I'd make it the Pope - it shows the same person as performed the Marriage (in bishop's fish-hat) holding a wand over an altar table with ram's heads on the corners; one of the reversed meanings is "Mage".
16 - Jugement (Judgment/Judgment). (Papus: Judgment)
17 - Mortalité (Death/Nothingness). (Papus: Death)
18 - Traître (Traitor/Traitor). (Papus: Hermit)
19 - Détresse or Misere (Poverty/Prison). (Papus: Tower)
20 - Fortune (Fortune/Raise). (Papus: Wheel of Fortune)
21 - Dissension (Disagreement/Disagreement). (Papus: Chariot)
68 - Ten of Coins = Part of Fortune
69 - Nine of Coins = South Node
70 - Eight of Coins = North Node
71 - Seven of Coins = Saturn
72 - Six of Coins = Jupiter
73 - Five of Coins = Mars
74 - Four of Coins = Moon
75 - Three of Coins = Venus
76 - Two of Coins = Mercury
77 - Ace of Coins = Sun
1789 Cagliostro arrested in Rome and condemned to death as a heretic (the sentence is commuted and he dies in prison in 1795).
1789 Beginning of the French Revolution. Storming of the Bastille - 14 July.
1791 Etteilla dies. Publication of Dictionnaire Synonimique du Livre de Thot (Thesaurus of the Book of Thoth) by Anonymous, but possibly a pupil of Etteilla’s, retired army officer le Chevalier Pierre-Joseph Joubert de la Salette. (Decker, et al, and Huson, The True Tarot, recently republished as The Mystical Origins of the Tarot].
late 18th c? French copperplate deck with 21 extant cards, called by Kaplan, the Grandprêtre Tarot. It appears to be the first deck using the titles High Priest and High Priestess: Le grandprêtre and La grandprêtresse. La prudence replaces the Hanged Man and shows him upright. Card XV is untitled but depicts the Fool instead of the Devil (or could be a combination). [Kaplan, ii, p.194].
c. 1800 Le Grand Etteilla ou L’Art de Tirer les Cartes by Julia Orsini (Paris).
1804-1807 Melchior Montmignon D’Odoucet issues the three volume Science des Signes, ou médecine de l’esprit, connue sous le nom de tirer les cartes, (The Science of Signs, or medicine for the mind, known under the name of card drawing), based on the work of Etteilla. This lays the ground work for Minor Arcana interpretations today. [Huson, The True Tarot, recently republished as The Mystical Origins of the Tarot]
1810 Eliphas Levi born: revolutionary, ex-priest, magician, scholar. Dies 1875.
1811 Paul Christian born. Real name: Jean-Baptiste Pitois. Dies 1877.
1814 Les Souvenirs Prophétiques d’Une Sibylle, Sur les Causes Sécrètes de son Arrestation, Le 11 Décembre 1809 by Mlle. M.A. Le Normand (Paris).
1826 Parisian publisher Pierre Mongie republishes Etteilla’s original deck but with Freemasonic sounding titles on the cards. (now Grimaud’s Grand Etteilla Tarot).
1831 Helena Blavatsky born 12 August just after midnight in the Ukraine. Dies 1891.
1833 Kenneth Mackenzie born 31 October at Deptford.
1838 Grand livre de Thot deck published by Simon Blocquel -- a variation on the Etteilla deck with a book by Julia Orsini called Le Grand Etteilla ou L’Art de Tirer les Cartes. (see 1800).
1843 Jeu de la Princesse Tarot first published as book illustrations. Reprinted as Cartomanzia Italiana by Edizioni del Solleone in 1983. (There is a much better reprint of Jeu de la Princesse by Éditions Dusserre, Paris, circa 1998-2001. Reprinted after the first edition issued by Charles Wattiliaux in 1860. Lo Scarabeo has a reprint too.--K. Frank Jensen)
1848 Fox sisters claim spirit communication.
1854 MacGregor Mathers born January 8 at West Hackney. Possibly 10:56 am. GMT.
1854 The Dogmas & Ritual of High Magic (Doctrine and Literature of Transcendental Magic) by Eliphas Lévi. First identifies Yod/Fire/Batons; H/Water/Cups; V/Air/Swords; H/Earth/Coins as per Agrippa (above).
1857 Arthur Edward Waite born. Dies 1942.
1857 Les Rômes, histoire vraie des vrais Bohémiens by J.A. Vaillant (Paris). Study of gypsies as descendents and carries of Hindustani wisdom, reinforcing their role in Tarot origin theories.
1860 Oswald Wirth born. Dies 1943.
1860 Histoire de la Magie by Eliphas Lévi (Paris).
1861 Le Clef des Grands Mystères by Eliphas Lévi (Paris).
1861 December 3rd. Kenneth Mackenzie visits Éliphas Lévi in Paris. Tells him of his work with Tarot. Lévi shows Mackenzie a manuscript set of 21 cards + Fool “according to the earliest authorities” and drawn by his own hand. He wrote about his impressions of the occasion as An Account of What Passed between Eliphas Levi Zahed (Abbé Constant), Occult Philosopher, and BAPHOMETUS (Kenneth R. H. Mackenzie), Astrologer and Spiritualist, in the City of Paris, December, 1861 for The Rosicrucian.
1861 An Etteilla III-style Tarot deck is published in Russia with complete illustrated Pips (the first ever?). THE MYSTERIOUS BOOK THOTH OR AN ART OF FORTUNE-TELLING WITH 78 ANCIENT EGYPTIAN CARDS, WHICH SURVIVED THE FIRE OF THE FAMOUS ALEXANDRIA LIBRARY. MOSCOW, Bahmetev's Printing House, 1861. Photocopies provided and scanned by Sergey Davydov. Present whereabouts of deck is unknown. See James Revak's website.
1863 L'homme rouge des Tuileries by Paul Christian (J-P. Pitois). This novel tells of an encounter between Napoleon and a Benedictine monk who possesses an occult manuscript. Seems to be the first use of the word Arcana in relation to the cards (from Iamblichus). Describes seventy-eight symbolic houses or pictorial keys, corresponding to the Tarot deck using Egyptian names and imagery. Virtually the same descriptions of the Arcana reappear in Christian’s later work Histoire de la magie (1870). See Mark Filipas' website.
c. 1863+ Edmond Billaudot (1829-81), who Mlle Le Normand declared in her autobiography as her successor, created his own hand-drawn deck in which he attempted to integrate the Etteilla I correspondences with the Tarot de Marseille and the descriptions and attributes given by Paul Christian in L'homme rouge des Tuileries (1863). These include the now “standard continental” correspondences to the Hebrew letters. The deck itself (c. 1865) was published in 1966 by Grimaud as the Grand Tarot Belline. See Kostenko website.
1864 Robert Chambers' Book of Days (Vol. 1, p. 281ff), gives the “folklore of playing cards” based on fortune-telling techniques used by soldier’s wives in the early 19th century British Empire. This seems to be the source of Waite’s interpretations as “Grand Orient.”
1865-1870 The 78 Tarots Egyptiens – Grand jeu de l’Oracle des Dames deck appears as a completely redrawn, Etteilla-style deck with many alterations. Sometimes called Etteilla III, it was designed in 1865 by G. Regamey, reprinted as Tarot Egyptien by Éditions Dusserre in 1985.
1865 The History of Playing Cards with Anecdotes of their Use in Conjuring, Fortune-Telling, and Card-Sharping by Rev. Ed. S. Taylor (London). (See 1973 reprint).
1867 Manuel Illustre de Cartomancie. L’Art de Tirer Les Cartes Francais suivi du Livre de Thot ou Jeu de la Princesse Tarot by J. Trismégiste (Paris).
1870 Histoire de la Magie by Paul Christian (J-P. Pitois). Development of the ideas he popularized in his 1863 novel. Presented the Tarot as a mystery school teaching experienced as an extension of the Krata Repoa Egyptian Sphinx ritual (see 1657; 1770). First used decans in relation to 36 Number Cards. His work was plagiarized freely by other writers: see Burgoyne and the Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor (1883); and Saint Germain (1901). It became the basis for the Church of Light Tarot materials (1918).
1870 William Carpenter's article in The Rosicrucian (January) mentions that "Levi's books were very little known even among the members of our mystic and secret orders." Carpenter may be the source for the first printed reference in the English language to the alleged occult significance of the Tarot cards.
1873 Max Theon made Grand Master of the Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor, Peter Davidson was the Order's frontal Chief. Blavatsky, Olcott, Barlet, Burgoyne and others of the time were numbered on its rolls and probably used their Egyptianized version of the Tarot (see 1883). Blavatsky soon severed ties with the H B of L.
1875 Founding of the Theosophical Society by Madam Blavatsky.
1875 Aleister Crowley born. Dies 1947.
1876 A Descriptive Catalogue of Playing and Other Cards in the British Museum accompanied by a Concise General History of the Subject and Remarks on Cards of Divination and of a Politico-Historical Character by William Hughes Willshire (London).
1877 Isis Unveiled by Helena Blavatsky (who used a lot of Lévi)
1878 Frieda Harris (neé Marguerete Frieda Bloxam) born in London, England.
1883 “The Taro” by T. H. Burgoyne. This article appeared in a number of succeeding volumes of The Platonist, a monthly periodical devoted chiefly to the dissemination of the Platonic Philosophy in all its phases. This is essentially a ripoff of Paul Christian’s description of the Tarot cards (see 1870) and the basis of the Hermetic Brotherhood of Luxor’s Tarot teachings.
1884 Founding of the London Theosophical Society.
1884 Paul Foster Case born on October 3, 5:28 PM, in Perendor NY (now called Fairport). Dies in 1954.
1885 Founding of the Hermetic Society by Anna Kingsford, and of the Dublin Hermetic Society, W. B. Yeats presiding.
1886 Kenneth Mackenzie dies 3 July.
1887 Kabbalah Unveiled translated by MacGregor Mathers.
1887 Tabula Bembina by William Wynn Westcott (Bath).
1887 Westcott obtains papers from Mrs. Mackenzie and soon after asks Mathers to help him write up rituals based on a cypher manuscript. Mackenzie’s wife was known as “Sister Cryptonyma” to Mackenzie’s “Cryptonymus”. Mackenzie crafted many of the core rituals for the Sat B’hai.
1888 The Tarot: Its Occult Signification, Use in Fortune Telling, and Method of Play, Etc. by MacGregor Mathers.
1888 Founding of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn on March 1. (Anna Kingsford dies one month earlier.)
1888 Founding of the Kabbalistic Rose+Croix by Stanislas de Guaita in Paris. Members include Péladan, Papus, Oswald Wirth. Wirth’s Tarot deck is based on the teachings of de Guaita.
1888 The Secret Doctrine by Madam Blavatsky.
1889 Guaita/Wirth deck. Oswald Wirth’s first deck, Les 22 Arcanes du Tarot Kabbalistique , published in an edition of 350 copies. Subtitled “Designed for the use of initiates by Oswald Wirth in accordance with the indications of Stanislas de Guaita. This was the first published set of occult Tarot cards other than those deriving from Etteilla. He revised the design in 1926. This first version is distinguished by its art nouveau borders.
1889 Papus publishes The Tarot of the Bohemians. Contains essay by Oswald Wirth and illustrated with Wirth’s majors.
1890 William Butler Yeats initiated into GD on March 7.
1891 Helena Blavatsky dies.
1893 The Devil’s Picture Books: A History of Playing Cards by Mrs. John King Van Rensselaer (NY: Dodd, Mead, and Co.).
1896 The Magical Ritual of the Sanctum Regnum, Interpreted by the Tarot Trumps by William Wynn Westcott.
1896 Falconnier/Wegener deck. Publication of Les XXII lames hermètiques du tarot divinatoire by R. Falconnier. Here, for the first time, could be seen designs which truly mimicked Egyptian art – based on the descriptions of Paul Christian (1870). The images were drawn by Maurice Otto Wegener and based on the detailed descriptions by Christian. (See also 1901.) These are the inspiration for most future Egyptian-style Tarot decks.
1896 The Square of Sevens by Robert Antrobus. (LL) See 1735.
1898 Aleister Crowley initiated into Golden Dawn on Nov. 26, taking the motto Perdurabo.
1899 The Mystic Rose from the Garden of the King by Sir Fairfax L. Cartwright (London: H.S. Nichols). Source for Blakeley’s Mystical Tower of the Tarot (1974).
1900 The Golden Dawn splits into many factions.
1901 Practical Astrology by Edgar de Valcourt-Vermont -- published under the pseudonym of Comte C. de Saint Germain. (Reprint, see 1973.) Basically plagiarized material from Paul Christian (see 1870). Valcourt’s book reproduced the earlier illustrations by Falconnier- Wegener (see 1896), adding designs for the Minor Arcana. The only difference between the Wegener designs and the Valcourt-Vermont reproductions is that Trump II (The Gate of the Sanctuary) was slightly redesigned. They are the basis for the Church of Light Tarot (1918). These 78 images were later published as a deck in 1978 by AGMüller under the name Egyptian Tarot. See Mark Filipas' website.
1903 Annie Horniman does Tarot reading in which she decides to finance an Irish Theatre (the Abbey Theatre in Dublin).
1906? Founding of the Ordo Templi Orientis in Germany.
1906 Les Cartes à Jouer du Quatorzième au Vingtième Siècle by Henry-René D’Allemagne (Paris). A major and rare work on the history of playing cards with 3200 reproductions of cards.
1907 Founding of Crowley’s Argentium Astrum.
1909 Manuel Synthétique & Pratique du Tarot by Eudes Picard (Paris: H. Daragon, Libraire-Éditeur). Original designs for the Minor Arcana. Sceptres = fire; Coins = Earth; Cups = Air; Swords = Water. The number progression is based on the pattern of vegetative growth.
1909 Le Tarot Divinatoire deck created by Papus & Goulinat deck first published.
1909 First publication of the deck conceptualized by A.E. Waite, art by Pamela
Coleman-Smith, published by Rider & Co. London. The two editions were
different regarding cardstock used and the pattern of the backs (roses and
lilies and brown pebbles respectively). At least two further editions were
printed before World War II which from 1972 onwards was licensed to US Games
Systems Inc. (K. Frank Jensen)
1910 The first edition of Waite's card-size book "The Key to
the Tarot" was dated 1910, but
accompanied the deck in 1909. A new expanded edition of "The Key" appeared in 1920 and again in 1931. (K. Frank Jensen)
1910 Key to the Tarot by A.E. Waite, published as a book and deck set. The cards have a brown “pebble” backing. [There is some indication that two editions were printed in 1910 – the second on better cardstock than the first(?). Although this might refer to the stand-alone deck in 1909 and the set in 1910.]
1910 Le Tarot Divinatoire: Clef du tirage des Cartes et des Sorts by Papus. Card interpretations based on Etteilla and his disciple D’Odoucet (1804).
1910 The Tarot of the Bohemians: Absolute Key to Occult Science by Papus, translated by A. P. Morton. (for French original see 1889; many English editions, esp. 1971).
1911 Pierpont-Morgan Library acquired the Visconti-Sforza cards from a dealer named Hamburger.
1911 Waite's "Pictorial Key to the Tarot" is published with illustrations of all
78 cards. It is based upon the text from "The Key..." but with new material
added. Many later, but not
always faithful, editions appeared. (K. Frank Jensen)
1912 Il Destino Svelato dal Tarocco, originally designed by Bruno Sigon in 1912 as an Egyptian-based Trump set, with a Milanese Minor Arcana. Republished by Modiano in the 1975 as Cartomanzia 184, and in an English version in 1981 under the title Cagliostro Tarot. Interpretive keywords at the top and bottom of the Trumps are from Éliphas Lévi and Paul Christian. (see 1975, 1981) See Mark Filipas' website.
1912 “A Description of the Cards of the Tarot, with their Attributions; including a Method of Divination by their Use” in The Equinox: The Official Organ of the A. A., published by Aleister Crowley. This was a plagiarized version of the Golden Dawn manuscript “Book T”.
1912 Prophetical Educational and Playing Cards by Mrs. John King Van Rensselaer (Philadelphia).
1913 Rudolf Steiner founds the Anthroposophical Society.
1913 The Symbolism of the Tarot by P. D. Ouspensky (St. Petersburg: Trood).
1917 The Key to the Universe: or a Spiritual Interpretation of Numbers by Harriette Augusta Curtiss and F. Homer Curtiss (San Francisco & Washington D.C.: The Curtiss Philosophic Book Co). “Founders of the Order of Christian Mystics.” (Many subsequent editions. (See 1923 for Vol. 2.) Reprinted 1983 by Newcastle. (Illustrated Majors of RWS, Egyptian, Marseilles, Wirth decks.)
1918 C.C. Zain first publishes a series of instructional courses, which were at that time illustrated with the reproductions from Practical Astrology (see 1901). Contains the first English translation of Christian’s original Arcana descriptions translated in 1901 by Zain’s friend Genevieve Stebbins. See Mark Filipas' website.
1918 The Illustrated Key to the Tarot: The Veil of Divination, Illustrating the Greater and Lesser Arcana by L. W. de Laurence (Chicago: The de Laurence Company). A totally plagiarized version of Waite’s book.
1918 Mathers dies in Paris of influenza on Nov. 5. (Armistice Day on Nov. 11)
1919 Moina Mathers returns to London, establishes the Alpha et Omega Lodge of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.
Tarot was introduced to Germany by no less than
Ernst Kurtzahn ("Daïtyanus"): "Der Tarot - Die kabbalistische Methode der Zukunfterforshung als Schlüssel zum Okkultismus", Talis Verlag, Leipzig. 1920. The book (dedicated to Gustaf Meyring, author of Golem) deals with esoteric/kabbalistic tarot and also presents what the author call the first German tarot deck, a slightly modified version of the Etteilla deck. The 78 cards deck is rendered in the back of the book to be taken out, but was also available as a proper tarot deck. (K. Frank Jensen)
A. Frank-Glahn's "Das Deutsche Tarot Buch" published by Uranus Verlag, accompanied by a deck of cards "Deutsches Original Tarot", an Egyptain style deck, but unique. Glahn's book and cards should become a German tarot bible, which survived up in the 1980's, published by Hermann Bauer Verlag. (K.Frank Jensen)
1920 Crowley’s Abbey of Thelema.
1920 May 16, Paul Foster Case initiated into the Second Order of Alpha et Omega lodge. Channels most of the material for what would become The Book of Tokens (see 1934).
1920 An Introduction to the Study of Tarot by Paul Foster Case (NY: mimeographed).
1921-22 J. B. Trinick Tarot or Great Symbols of the Paths, a set of Majors painted for A.E. Waite by John Brahms Trinick and Wilfrid Pippet and used in his Fellowship of the Rosy Cross. [Dummett & Decker]
c. 1922 Paul Foster Case resigns from the Golden Dawn.
1922 Q.B.L. or The Bride’s Reception: Being a Short Cabalistic Treatise on the Nature and Use of the Tree of Life by Frater Achad (Charles Standfield Jones) (Chicago IL: Collegium Ad Spiritum Sanctum). Reprinted 1969.
1922 Le Tarot Egyptien by Elie Alta (Vichy: Bouchet-Dreyfus).
1923 Paul Foster Case founds The School of Ageless Wisdom, probably in Boston.
1923 The Key of Destiny by Harriette Augusta Curtiss and F. Homer Curtiss (San Francisco & Washington DC: The Curtiss Philosophic Book Co). (See 1917 for Vol. 1. Many subsequent editions. Reprinted 1983 by Newcastle.) (Illustrated Majors of RWS, Egyptian, Marseilles, Wirth decks.)
1923 The Egyptian Revival: or The Ever-Coming Son in the Light of the Tarot by Frater Achad (Charles Stanfield Jones) (Chicago: Collegium ad Spiritum Sanctum Publication Department). Reprinted 1969.
1923 Le Tarot: Signification et Interprétation du Tarot Italien: Quatrième édition revue et corrigée by J.-G. Bourgeat; Paris: Librairie Genérale des Sciences Occultes, Chacornac Frères.
1926 April 26. Paul Foster Case establishes the Boston office of Builders of the Adytum (B.O.T.A.).
1926 Oswald Wirth publishes revision of his Tarot deck (original, 1889) under the name Le Tarot des imagiers du moyen âge (Tarot of the Medieval Artists).
1927 Oswald Wirth publishes his book by the same name as his deck (see 1926).
1927 Dion Fortune founds the Fraternity (later Society) of the Inner Light.
1927 A Brief Analysis of The Tarot by Paul Foster Case (NY). Early version of what became The Tarot: Key to the Wisdom of the Ages (see 1947).
1928 An Encyclopedic Outline of Masonic, Hermetic, Qabalistic, & Rosicrucian Symbolical Philosophy by Manly Palmer Hall (Los Angeles: Philosophical Research Press). Significant chapter on the Tarot (later published as a booklet). Illustration by J. Augustus Knapp will later become basis of a Tarot deck. Later editions published as The Secret Teachings of All Ages.
1928 The General Book of the Tarot by A. E. Thierens (Philadelphia: D. McKay Co.) (see reprint, 1975.)
1929 Revised New Art Tarot created by J. Augustus Knapp under the direction of Manly Palmer Hall. Republished as Knapp-Hall Tarot (1978). Deck combines Wirth and Falconnier-Wegener imagery with material from Westcott’s Tabula Bembina and the works of Homer and Harriette Curtis (1917).
1930/41 Arrows of Light: From the Egyptian Tarot: A practical application of the Hermetic System of Names and Numbers, based upon the teachings of the Brotherhood of Light by John H. Dequer (NY: self-published). (No card illustrations.) No illustrations.
1931 Oswald Wirth publishes second book on Tarot, Introduction à l’étude du Tarot (Introduction to the Study of Tarot).
1931 Playing Cards : History of the Pack and Explanations of its Many Secrets by Benham, Sir William Gurney (London: Spring Books).
1932 The Greater Trumps by Charles Williams (London: Victor Gollancz Ltd). (Many reprintings.) Greatest tarot novel ever written.
1933 Oracle of Tarot: A Course on Tarot Divination by Paul Foster Case (NY: mimeographed).
1934 The Book of Tokens: 22 Meditations on the Ageless Wisdom, commentary by Paul Foster Case. (revised, 1968).
1936 The Sacred Tarot book and deck by Elbert Benjamin (C.C.Zain) (Los Angeles: Church of Light). (See 1918; 1969.) Gloria Beresford illustrated the deck based on Falconnier-Wegener (see 1896; 1901). The deck is published by the Church of Light under the name Egyptian Tarot Cards, also known as The Brotherhood of Light Tarot, which takes its name from the organization which Zain founded. The Sacred Tarot is re-published in 1996 with significantly improved Tarot designs which are beautifully redrawn. See Mark Filipas' website.
1939 The Encyclopedia of Occult Sciences introduced by M. C. Poinsot (NY: Tudor Publishing Co.) Reprinted as The Complete Book of the Occult and Fortune Telling (1945). Summarizes the interpretations of Eudes Picard (see 1909).
1941 Pursuit of Destiny: With Thirty-six Tarot Cards and an Endpaper Chart of the Cycles by Muriel Bruce Hasbrouck (NY: E.P. Dutton and Co., Inc.) (RWS illustrations.) Based on the Golden Dawn system and teachings of Aleister Crowley.
1941 An exhibition of Playing Cards. The Tarot (Book of Thoth) 78 paintings according to the initiated Tradition and Modern Scientific Thought with other Occult and Alchemical designs to be shown at The Nicholson Gallery (Nicholson & Venn) at 46 High Street Oxford from June 7 to June 21 1941. Catalog printed with colored pictorial wrappers. On the cover is the variant, unused version of The Magician. Although the descriptions and interpretations of the cards are drawn from Crowley, the text is presumably the work of Frieda Harris and E.W. Bryant. (from R.A. Gilbert’s Hermetica Catalog, Autumn 2002.). There is some question as to whether this exhibition ever took place.
1942 1 July, Exhibition of the Thoth Tarot cards at the Berkeley Galleries in London. Catalog written by Frieda Harris for this exhibition contains several errors in attributions of Hebrew Letters (Daleth instead of Hé for the Star and Teth instead of Lamed for Adjustment).
1944(?) Completion of the Thoth Deck, conceptualized by Aleister Crowley, art by Frieda Harris.
1944 The Book of Thoth by Aleister Crowley. Also a very limited edition of the cards produced in monochromatic brown.
1945 The Complete Book of the Occult and Fortune Telling introduction by M. C. Poinsot (NY: Tudor Publishing Co.) Reprint of The Encyclopedia of Occult Sciences (1939). Summarizes the interpretations of Eudes Picard (1909).
1945 The Song of Sano Tarot by Nancy Fullwood (NY: Macoy Publishing). Channeled material loosely related to Tarot, published by PF Case.
1947 Aleister Crowley dies.
1947 The Tarot: A Key to the Wisdom of the Ages by Paul Foster Case (NY: Macoy Publishing Co). (See 1927 for early version.) (RWS-style Majors, drawn by Jessie Burns Parke.)
1948 Le Tarot de Marseille book, written by Paul Marteau (owner of Grimaud) revolutionizes the way that Tarot card interpretations are generated – through looking closely at the picture details of the cards.
1951 Pamela Colman Smith dies at 2 Bencoolen House in Bude, Cornwall, September 18, 1951.
1951 The Royal Road: A study in the Egyptian Tarot: Key to Sacred Numbers and Symbols by George Fathman (Life Research Foundation. (See also 1977.) Illustrations by Paul Hagerup, based on drawings of Dequer (1931), which are variations of the Falconnier/Wegener (1896).
1954 The Painted Caravan: A Penetration into the Secrets of the Tarot Cards by Basil Rakoczi (The Hague, Netherlands: Boucher). Tarot divination according to gypsy lore. Letterpress book with artful illustrations.
1954 Paul Foster Case dies in Mexico, while on a vacation with his wife Harriette.
1957 The Fireside Books of Cards edited by Oswald Jacoby and Albert Moorehead (New
York: Simon & Schuster). Playing card history, stories, excerpts from novels, poems, art,
cartoons, etc. Mentions tarot often, has a section on tarot and fortune telling including a set
of instructions “distilled from 20 books” by Geoffrey Mott-Smith to go with the tarot
decks being sold by Macy’s Department Store. (LL)
1958 Transcendental Magic by Eliphas Lévi (translated by A. E. Waite) (London: Rider &
1959 A Pictorial Key to the Tarot by A.E. Waite (NY: University Books, their first printing).
1960 The Tarot Revealed by Eden Gray, self-published (NY: Inspiration House). Seminal American Tarot book that is precursor to and inspires the Tarot renaissance of the late 60s and early 70s.
1960 The Tarot Shows the Path, Divination through the Tarot by Rolla Nordic (London). (Original illustrations of Marseilles-style cards drawn by Paul Mathison.) Published in American in 1979. Nordic was a major influence on several British and American Tarot authors but not generally known in America.
1962 The Tarot: a Contemporary Course of the Quintessence of Hermetic Occultism by Mouni Sadhu (London: George Allen & Unwin, Ltd.). (Original illustrations by Australian artist, Mrs. Eva G. Lucas of Melbourne). A Russian metaphysician who developed a yoga exercise and meditation program to be done as part of the study of Tarot.
1963 The Tarot for Today: Being Notes Relative to the Twenty-two Paths of the Tree of Life and the Tarot Trumps Together with a New Way of Approach to this Ancient Symbol, More Suited to the Present Aquarian Age, and Entitled The Horus Arrangement by Mayananda (London: Zeus Press). Strongly influenced by Crowley and Eastern, yogic practices but illustrated with a Marseilles deck.
1964 The Brotherhood of Light (Egyptian) Tarot Cards new edition published by The Church of Light, Los Angeles CA. (see 1936). “These tarot cards are not playing cards; but the primitive symbolical pictograph writing through which Egyptian Initiates conveyed spiritual conceptions derived from a still more remote past.” (Designs based on Falconnier-Wegener, see 1896; 1901).
1964 The Sufis by Idries Shah (NY: Doubleday & Co.). Has an appendix in which Shah claims the Tarot was created by the Sufis.
1965/72 The Esoteric Tarot: The Key to the Cabala by Simon Kasdin (Convent NJ: The Emerson Society, 1965; and NY: Samuel Weiser, 1972). (Original illustrations of Majors based on Hebrew letter shapes by Sylvia Schlossman of Morristown NJ; and Jimmy Carter of Virginia Beach VA for the Wheel of Life.)
1965 A Wicked Pack of Cards by Hugh Ross Williamson, Guild Press, first American edition 1965 (copyright 1961, presumably in Great Britain) -- A murder mystery about gay men with a tarot theme: four tarot kings as the sign at the inn and also the question of the protagonist’s father among four men. (LL)
1966 Grand Tarot Belline published by France Cartes, Paris. Booklet by J. M. Simon. A
19th century hand-made deck that combines the
Marseilles deck with Etteilla’s and Paul
Christian’s imagery and ideas. (See 1863.)
1966 The Tarot Cards Painted by Bembo by Gertrude Moakley (NY: New York Public Library). A great inspiration and impetus to the modern study of Tarot history. Proposed a relationship between the Trumps, Petrarch, and Renaissance parades.
1966 Collecting Playing Cards by Sylvia Mann (NY).
1967 The Linweave Tarot Pack produced by Brown Company, Pulp, Paper and Board Division, 277 Park Ave., New York. Overall design, David L. Burke. “The 42 Linweave cards presented here are intended as a partial sampler of the 58 papers in the Linweave line, and as a graphic ‘showcase’ of fine illustration from many sources on fine paper. However, we will say this: If you consistently specify Linweave papers for the best expression of your artistic skills, you will be giving your talents the best chance of fruition. This is the only real way that fortunes are made in your business.” David Palladini’s first Tarot cards appeared here.
1967 The Secret Workings of the Golden Dawn, Book “T” The Tarot by S.M.R.D & others (Toddington: Helios: Rare Text Library of Philosophical Research). Typed version of the Golden Dawn tarot manuscript in a limited edition of 200.
1967 How to Read Tarot Cards by Doris Chase Doane and King Keyes (West Nyack NY: Parker Publishing Co.). (Church of Light/Falconnier-Wegener illustrations.)
1967 Tarot-Card Spread Reader by Doris Chase Doane (Prentice Hall) (LL)
1967 The Tarot of the Magi by Carlyle A. Pushong (London: Regency). (Influenced by Frank Lind and Rolla Nordic. Illustrated by modified Rolla Nordic/Paul Mathison deck.)
1967 Playing Cards by Roger Tilley (London: Weidenfeld & Nicholson).
1968 Nicolas Conver’s 1760 Tarot de Marseille cards reproduced by the House of Camoin based on the original pearwood woodcuts.
1968 Albano-Waite deck published by Tarot Productions, Inc., Los Angeles CA. Created by Frankie Albano.
1968 The Book of Tokens: Tarot Meditations by Paul Foster Case (Los Angeles: Builders of the Adytum). (Revision of 1934 edition.) (BOTA card illustrations by Jessie Burns Parke.)
1968 Manuel complet d'interpretation du tarot by Hades (Paris: Bussiere). Supposedly based on a 1761 original.
1968 Tarot Instructions No author given, Tarot Productions, Inc.
More pamphlet than
book.(LL) (This booklet was apparently meant to come with Albano's large size
major deck. This maxi size deck is only a few millimeters smaller than the booklet,
but enough so that the booklet can't fit into the box. It is actually printed on the box
that instructions are included, but this sentence was hidden by a neutral yellow label
over it. -- K. Frank Jensen)
1968/70 The Book of Thoth: The Ultimate Tarot by Jerry Kay published by Xeno Publications, 6311 Yucca St., Los Angeles, CA. Deck and booklet. B&W. Available as both 22 and 78 card decks, either in booklet form or as card deck.
1968/69 The New Tarot for the Aquarian Age (deck and booklets) by John Starr Cooke and Rosalind Sharpe (Kentfield CA: Western Star Press, Three Kings Production). Deck based on detailed channeled information depicting a new set of tarot cards that have evolved beyond the Medieval cards for the Aquarian Age and painted by John Cooke. [A set of b&w ‘Atlantean’ tarot cards were drawn during the 1940s based on the dreams of Cooke but not published as cards until 1992 in The Word of One Tarot.--MKG (The Majors were published with text by Alice Kent in black and white in spiral bound book in 1979. It was sold as "Communify - A Game." -- K. Frank Jensen)
1968/69 The Majors of the Atlantean Tarot was, along with the Gypsy Tarot
and the New Tarot, published by Alice Kent in black and white in 1979. They were
printed on cardboard sheets (US-letter format), but published for cutting. The
sheets and a text were spiral bound and sold under the name of "Communify - A
1969 Mont-Saint-Johns Astral Tarot deck (b&w) with 20 page booklet, published by Mont-Saint-Johns. Art by Yurica. “Mont-Saint-Johns, Inc. felt our twentieth century computer age called for a modernized design that would remain faithful to the 78 ancient symbols and yet, would be more readily assimilated by the subconscious.” (see 1971, St. Croix).
1969 Grand Etteilla Egyptian Gypsies Tarot deck and booklet by B. P. Grimaud published in English by France-Cartes/J.M. Simon (Paris).
1969 Tarot of Marseilles deck and booklet by B. P. Grimaud published in English by France-Cartes/J.M. Simon (Paris).
1969 Publication of the Thoth deck through the auspices of Grady McMurtry. The photography is not very good, distorting the colors (Llewellyn or Weiser)
1969 The Book of Thoth: A Short Essay on the Tarot of the Egyptians: Being The Equinox Volume III No. V by The Master Therion (Aleister Crowley); artist Executant: Frieda Harris (Berkeley CA: K@shmarin Press, Shambhala Publications). First American edition of The Book of Thoth. Later editions by many different publishers.
1969 The XXII Keys of the Tarot by Arland Ussher (Dublin: Dolmen).
1969 The Tarot by Brad Steiger and Ron Warmoth (NY: Award Books). (Marseilles illustrations.)
1969 Tarot and the Bible by Corinne Heline (Oceanside CA: New Age Press). (Illustrated with the Church of Light/Falconnier-Wegener tarot deck.)
1969 A Practical Guide to Qabalistic Symbolism by Gareth Knight (Toddington: Helios).
1969 Sacred Tarot by C..C. Zain. New edition (see 1936).
1969 Ancient Tarot Symbolism Revealed by Professor Hilton Hotema (Lakemont GA: CSA Press). Hotema was pseudonym for George R. Clements who also wrote The Land of Light (Pomeroy WA, 1959). (Card illustrations include BOTA, Hall-Knapp, Marseilles.)
1969 Q.B.L. or The Bride’s Reception: Being a Short Cabalistic Treatise on the Nature and Use of the Tree of Life by Frater Achad (Charles Standfield Jones) (NY: Samuel Weiser). Reprint of 1922 edition.
1969 The Egyptian Revival: or The Ever-Coming Son in the Light of the Tarot by Frater Achad (Charles Stanfield Jones) (NY: Samuel Weiser). Reprint of 1923 edition.
1969 The Prophetic Tarot and the Great Pyramid by Rodolfo Benavides (translation of the 14th Spanish edition) (Mexico: Editores Mexicanos Unidos). (Original Egyptian illustrations w/ Marseilles and RWS influences.) Relates Majors to the Book of Revelations.
1969 Tarot by Elisabeth Haich (Stuttgart). Translated into English, 1974.
1969 The Sybil Leek Book of Fortune Telling by Sybil Leek (NY: Macmillan).
1969 ‘Il castello dei destini incrociati by Italo Calvino (Franco Maria Ricci). English translation, 1976. Fantasy stories based on the Tarot.
1970 A Complete Guide to the Tarot by Eden Gray (NY: Crown). First use of the term “Fool’s Journey.”
1970 Aquarian Tarot published by Morgan Press, Dobbs Ferry, NY. Illustrated by David Mario Palladini. “An authentic interpretation of the medieval Tarot.” Palladini, when he was still a student, was one of the artists of the Linweave Tarot (1967).
1970 Morgan’s Tarot published by Big Trees Press, Pelton CA. Created by Morgan Robbins of Boulder Creek CA. “This deck is offered as an excellent tool for cutting through the illusions and/or simultaneously turning on the illusions which are entering the present from above.”
1970 Royal Fez Moroccan deck published by Rigel Press, Ltd., 21 Cloncurry Street, London. Created by Roland Berrill and Michael Hobdell. “The deck was conceived by Roland Berrill, founder of Mensa, in the late 1950’s. Berrill commissioned the artist Michael Hobdell to do the artwork for this tarot. Hobdell died soon after completing the work. Berrill commissioned a limited and numbered print run of the deck (500 decks) but died before having time to market the deck. These lay dormant until 1970 when Rigel Press, Ltd. marketed the deck.”
1970 20th Century Tarot published by Skor-Mor Corp., 1107 E. Kimberly Ave., Anaheim CA. 24 page booklet written by Kevin G. Burne. “An Entertaining and Enlightening Means of Predicting the Future.” (b&w cards)
1970 Insight Institute Tarot Deck (see Frank Lind, 1971) (appropriated by Richard Gardner and sold as the R.G. Tarot, 1974).
1970 Tarot Cards for Fun and Fortune Telling by Stuart Kaplan (NY: U.S. Games Systems, Inc.). (Illustrated with 1JJ Tarot deck.)
1970 Evolution through the Tarot by Richard Gardner (London: Rigel Press). Revised reprint of Accelerate Your Evolution (date unknown). (Marseilles-style illustrations).
1970 Tarot for the Millions by Sidney Bennett (LA: Sherborne Press).
1970 More Tarot Secrets for the Millions by Sidney Bennett (LA: Sherborne Press).
1970 Foreseeing the Future by Basil Ivan Rakoczi (NY: Castle Books).
1970 A History of Playing Cards by Catherine Perry Hargrave (NY: Dover).
1970 Oracle of Fortuna by Ophiel (St. Paul MN: Peach Publishing). Tatvas and four elements as relevant to Tarot structure.
1971 The 9th Dimension Tarot deck and 43 page booklet by Calmera Leosis published by St. Croix, Inc., Whittier CA. Revised edition of the Mont-Saint-Johns Astral Tarot (see 1969). B&w with colored backgrounds.
1971 Mastering the Tarot: Basic Lessons in an Ancient, Mystic Art by Eden Gray (NY: Crown).
1971 The Devil’s Picturebook: The Compleat Guide to Tarot Cards, Their Origin and the Usages by Paul Huson (NY: G.P. Putnam’s Sons). (Illustrated by the author.) Explores parallels to Wiccan and mythic themes in the card designs.
1971 Tarot & You by Richard Roberts (Hastings-on-Hudson NY: Morgan & Morgan). (Illustrated by the Aquarian Tarot.) “The first book of taped tarot card readings, using easy-to-follow free-association methods, without previous knowledge, YOU may divine by tarot for family and friends. Various tarot card spreads are shown dealing with goals, wishes, loves and future probabilities, plus the new Jungian spread, a method revealing another’s innermost mind.”
1971 The Tarot of the Bohemians: Absolute Key to Occult Science by Papus, translated by A. P. Morton.(first modern reprint of 1910 English translation).
1971 How to Understand the Tarot by Frank Lind (London: Aquarian). Founder of the Insight Institute and their Tarot deck (1970).
1971 The Tarot Speaks by Richard Gardner (London: Rigel Press).
1971 Tarot and the Game of Fate by Yitzhac Kahn (San Francisco: Sebaac Publishers).
1971 Keystone of Tarot Symbols: An Outline of Tarot Symbology in a Nutshell by the Holy Order of MANS (San Francisco: Holy Order of MANS). (Re-drawn BOTA-style card illustrations. See also 1974, 1979.) The Holy Order of MANS was founded in 1968 by visionary Earl Wilbur Blighton, as a monastic order of esoteric (Rosicrucian) Christianity dedicated to charity (Raphael Shelters) and their missionary work in 49 states. The order grew rapidly until Blighton’s death in 1974 when there was a power struggle among Blighton’s wife and others. The new director focused on a more conservative and less metaphysical path, eventually joining with a defrocked priest from the Russian Orthodox Church. Since 1988, it has splintered into many groups. The Tarot books and deck are still available.
1971 The Meaning of Tarot by David Hoy (Nashville TN: Aurora Publishers). (Original RWS-style card illustrations by Dale Phillips).
1971 The Sexual Key to the Tarot by Theodor Laurence (NY: Citadel Press). (RWS illustrations.)
1971 Official Rules of the Tarotrump Card Game by Stuart R. Kaplan (NY: U.S. Games Systems, Inc.).
1971 Maps of Consciousness by Ralph Metzner (NY: Collier). Combined Paul Russell Schofield’s Actualism with John Cooke’s Tarot.
1972 Hoi Polloi Tarot deck published by Hoi Polloi Inc., New York. Marketed by Reiss Associates, Inc. NY.
1972 Tarot Cards designed by David Sheridan, published by Mandragora Press, 31 St. Martin’s Lane, London, “with full instructions by Alfred Douglas.”
1972 The Tarot: The Origin, Meaning and Uses of the Cards by Alfred Douglas, card illustrations by David Sheridan, published in the UK by Victor Gollancz, Ltd., London and by Taplinger Publishing Co., NY.
1972 Yeats, the Tarot and the Golden Dawn by Kathleen Raine (Dublin: Dolmen Press).
1972 Understanding the Tarot by Dr. Leo L. Martello (NY: HC Publishers). (RWS illustrations.)
1972 How the Tarot Speaks to Modern Man by Theodor Laurence (Harrisberg PA: Stackpole Books). (RWS illustrations.)
1972 Tarot Classic by Stuart R. Kaplan (NY: Grosset & Dunlap). (Illustrated by the Tarot Classic/Marseilles-style deck).
1972 Tarot Card Symbology by Max Freedom Long (Cape Girardeau MO: Huna Press). (RWS illustrations.) Includes articles from Huna Vistas going back to 1965.
1972 W.E. Butler founds the Servants of Light based on a correspondence course created with Gareth Knight.
1973 Dynamic Games Tarot deck, published by Dynamic Design Industries, Anaheim CA.
1973 James Bond 007 Tarot Deck by EON Productions Ltd and Glidrose Publications, Ltd. Published by AG Muller & Cie in Switzerland for U.S. Games Systems, Inc.. Card Designs by Fergus Hall, Courtesy of the Portal Gallery Ltd, London. “The James Bond 007 Tarot Deck is featured in the popular Film, “Live and Let Die”, a United Artists Release.”
1973 Tarot: How to foretell your future in the cards by Kathleen McCormack (Surrey: Fontana Books/Collins). (Illustrated by Italian Piedmontse deck.)
1973 The Windows of Tarot by F. D. Graves (Dobbs Ferry NY: Morgan & Morgan). (Illustrated with the Aquarian Tarot.) Light-weight.
1973 The Book of Tarot by Fred Gettings (London: Triune Books). Illustrated large-format book. Interpretations based on Marseilles cards and geometric symbolism.
1973 The Tarot and Transformation by Lynn M. Buess (Lakemont GA: Tarnhelm Press). (Illustrated with Church of Light/Falconnier-Wegener style cards redrawn by Roxana R. Donegan)
1973 Practical Astrology by Comte C. de Saint-Germain (Hollywood: Newcastle). Reprint (see 1901).
1973 Pictorial Key to the Tarot by A. E. Waite (Causeway; their first printing). (See 1910; 1959; 1979.)
1973 The Playing Card; an Illustrated History by Detlef Hoffmann (Greenwich, Conn. New York Graphic Society).
1973 The History of Playing Cards with Anecdotes of their Use in Conjuring, Fortune-Telling, and Card-Sharping by Rev. Ed. S. Taylor (reprint Rutland VT: Charles E. Tuttle Co). (see 1865 original).
1974 The New Tarot first published by creators William J. Hurley and J.A. Horler, CA.
1974 Swiss 1JJ Tarot deck, published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc., made in Switzerland by AGMüller, distributed exclusively by U.S. Games Systems, Inc., New York. “Complete with Instruction Brochure by Stuart R. Kaplan, America’s Leading Tarot Authority.”
1974 R.G. Tarot Cards deck published by Rigel Press, Ltd. “Original English Pack Design”. Booklet by Richard Gardner.
1974 Jewels of the Wise by the Holy Order of MANS (San Francisco: Holy Order of MANS) (Re-drawn BOTA-style card illustrations.)
1974 Toward the One: The Perfection of Love , Harmony , and Beauty by Pir Vilanat Inayat Khan (NY: Harper/Colophone). Contains tearout Major Arcana Sufi Tarot by Dane Rudhyar.
1974 The Mystical Tower of the Tarot by John D. Blakeley (London: Watkins). Illustrated with Marseilles and ‘Charles VI’ cards. Shows parallels between Tarot, the Orphic mystery traditions, and a 19th century Sufi work.
1974 Tarot: An Illustrated Guide by Rebecca Micca Warner (NY: St. Martin’s Press & London: Academy Editions). (Primarily Marseilles illustrations.)
1974 The Secrets of Ancient Witchraft with The Witches Tarot by Arnold and Patricia Crowther, with introduction and notes by Dr. Leo Louis Martello (Secaucus NJ: Citadel Press). Illustrations of Majors by Arnold Crowther.
1974 The Hanged Man: Psychotherapy and the Forces of Darkness by Sheldon Kopp (Palo Alto CA: Science and Behavior Books)
1974/76 Egyptian Temple Cards: Past, Present, Future, Key to the secret doctrine of ancient Egypt. Authentic Egyptian Deck with Instruction Book. Manufactured by Osirian Enterprises by A. J. Metcalfe. (54 non-Tarot cards.)
1975 Mountain Dream Tarot: 78 Photographic Cards by Bea Nettles. Distributors: Light Impressions Corp., Rochester NY. “The Mountain Dream Tarot came to me in a dream in the summer of 1970. The decision to assemble a photographic set of cards was made in my sleep. I began the next morning at Penland School of Crafts in the mountains of North Carolina. I chose models who suited the cards and after reading the card’s description we took a walk to find the right place to make the picture. . . . My cards are an intuitive, not a literal interpretation of the ancient deck.” Republished in 2001.
1975 Cagliostro Tarot 184 published by Graphic Arts, Modiano, Trieste, Italy from original Egyptian-style design by Bruno Sigon of 1912. Explained by Docteur Marius in an 80 page booklet titled, “Destiny Revealed by the Tarot”. (see 1912, 1981).
1975 Royal Fez Moroccan Tarot deck published by U.S. Games. (see 1970).
1975/78 Spanish Tarot: Reproduccion de un Tarot del Año 1736, published by H. Fournier, S.A., Vitoria, Spain. “Instructions by Stuart Kaplan.”
1975 El Tarot: La Baraja Profetica by Joss Irish Roca (?) Mexico (LL)
1975 Dictionary of the Tarot by Bill Butler (NY: Schocken Books). Published in England as The Definitive Tarot. Compared decks and card interpretations from many sources. Includes a symbol dictionary.
1975 The Tarot by Richard Cavendish (NY: Harper & Row).
1975 Wisdom of the Tarot by Elisabeth Haich (London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd.). Published with a set of Wirth-based Majors. Strongly based on the work of Oswald Wirth with a Hindu-yoga twist.
1975 The Royal Road: A Manual of Kabalistic Meditations on the Tarot by Stephan A. Hoeller (Wheaton IL: Quest/Theosophical Publishing House). (RWS illustrations.)
1975 Astrology & the Tarot by A.E. Thierens (Hollywood: Newcastle). (Originally published as The General Book of the Tarot, see 1928).
1975 The Guide Meditation: The Manual on Theory and Technique by Edwin C. Steinbrecher (Santa Fe: self-published). First edition of a major work on a Tarot meditation practice. Many editions. Published by Samuel Weiser in 1988.
1975 Prelude to Science: An Exploration of Magic and
Divination (section on tarot) by
Richard Furnald Smith, Scribner, 1975 (LL)
1975/77 The Tarot by Joseph Maxwell (NY: Samuel Weiser). “Translated from the French with Amplification of the Tarot, Introduction and Notes by Ivor Powell.” (Not illustrated, but the deck described is clearly the Marseilles of Nicolas Conver of 1760 which was reprinted (see 1968).
Comments: This book was originally published in France, apparently in several
different editions. It was translated into English in 1975. The translator and publisher don't say when the French editions were published, but from clues in the text (i.e., references to previous editions, etc.), it seems to have been first published sometime between 1900 and 1930. Maxwell was a French lawyer who held high positions in the French judiciary and wrote books on many subjects, including the occult. This is one of only a few of his books to be translated into English. He posits Southern Germany as the birthplace of the cards. His interpretations of the Majors are based heavily on numerology, and he interprets the pip cards according to pictorial elements of the Marseille designs. He assigns elements to the suits as follows: Wands = Earth, Cups = Water, Pentacles = Air, Swords = Fire. (Lee Bursten)
1976 Tarot: The Royal Path to Wisdom by Joseph D. D’Agostino (NY Samuel Weiser). (RWS illustrations.)
1976 The Yeager Tarot: Tarot of Meditation deck, published by Credo Company, Laguna Beach, CA. Art by Marty Yeager. Republished in a sanitized (masking of sexual organs) version by U.S. Games in 19??.
1976 Xultún Deck published by Wisdom Garden Books, Venice CA. Created by Peter Balin.
“I met Peter Balin (creator of the Xultun Tarot) in the early 80s - he came to dinner at my house in San Francisco. He told me that he created the deck after seeing a RWS deck one evening at a party. At the time he was a down-and-out carpenter. A friend suggested he do a deck, which he laughed at, but the idea wouldn't go away. In fact, he suddenly saw in his mind this huge painting - all one piece - which he knew was the Major Arcana - only it was Mayan. But, he knew nothing about Tarot and little about the Mayans although he had lived in Mexico for a while. He was working at an art gallery - during a really slow period - so he started on the canvas and became obsessed, finishing the painting almost non-stop. It was only when it was finished that he realized it could be cut up into the 22 cards. People kept insisting he should publish it, but the price was astronomical as far as he was concerned. Then other people began giving him money to do it - some of them strangers who walked into the gallery - and he very soon had enough to publish. There were many images that he put into the deck that he knew nothing about - and only later found out that they were very significant in relation to the Mayan cosmology and to the particular Tarot card. He said he felt during the whole process that he didn't really have a choice about it - the image of the painting of the Majors appeared as a whole in his mind after seeing a Tarot deck once and he couldn't stop painting (except to eat and sleep) until he had finished it. And, when he thought that publishing was impossible, it came together almost despite him. The book came later - after lots of people had given him input and helped him put together the Tarot and Mayan information that was already encoded into the painting.” –- Mary K. Greer on TarotL.
1976 A Feminist Tarot by Sally Gearhart and Susan Rennie (Watertown MA: Pandora's Box). First book to give feminist interpretations (RWS deck).
1976 Womanspirit Circle Lilith in Santa Cruz. The Matriarchal Tarot conceived out of which emerged at least three subsequent decks - Daughters of the Moon (1984), Book of Aradia (1984, Djinni Van Slyke), and Shekhinah's Tarot.
1976 The Castle of Crossed Destinies by Italo Calvino, translated by William Weaver. (NY: Harcourt, Brace). Fiction, stories. (Illustrated with Visconti-Sforza and Marseilles-style decks.)
1976 The Symbolism of the Tarot by P.D. Ouspensky (NY: Dover).
1976 Forbidden Images: The Secrets of the Tarot by David Lemieux (NY: Barnes & Noble).
1976 Tarot: Its Meaning, Mythology and Methods of Devination by Martin J. Wyatt (Leicestershire: Valldaro Books).
1976 The Quantum Gods: The Origin and Nature of Matter and Consciousness by Jeff
Love (London: Compton Press Ltd.). His Qabalah Mandala shows the intersection of
tarot, qabalah and astrology; quantum physics meets the Tree of Life. (LL)
1976 The Rational Tarot: How to Use It, Why It Works by Richard Spencer Le Gette
(London: Arthur Barker Ltd.) Poems start each of the two sections, one on the Oracle,
on Science. (LL)
1976/81 The Golden Cycle: A Text on the Tarot by John Sandbach and Ronn Ballard (Chicago: Aries Press). (No illustrations.) Metaphysical linguistics approach to Tarot.
1977 The Way of the Sorcerer by Peter Balin. “A Verbatim Report of a Talk on the Higher Arcana of the Xultun Tarot Deck given by its author Peter Balin at Esoteric Speakers Platform in Phoenix Arizona on June 21st, 1977.” (Venice CA, Wisdom Garden Books).
1977 The Tarot: How to Use and Interpret the Cards by Brian Innes (London: Orbis Publishing).
1977 The Royal Road by George Fathman (Mokelumne Hill CA: Health Research). Reprint (see 1951).
1977 The Tarot: Path to Self Development by Micheline Stuart (Boulder CO: Shambhala). (Marseilles-style illustrations as a journey by the Fool from the World to the Magician.) “One day I had gathered enough pieces of the mysterious puzzle to see in a flash the whole picture. I realized that it was a chain in which every link fitted neatly within the next. It is said that the order of the cards has shifted a bit over the centuries: I can well see it, but it does not matter. As we have to pass through each link until the whole chain has been experienced, it is of no great account if sometimes one is experienced before the other.”
1977 The Oracle of Thoth: The Kabalistical Tarot by R.A. Straughn (Bronx NY: Oracle of Thoth Publishing Co.) (Original Egyptian-influenced Majors illustrated by Paul Stephen Grayson.)
1978 The Flight of Feathered Serpent by Peter Balin (Venice CA: Wisdom Garden Books). A book about the tarot and the Maya Indians’ view of the world. (Illustrated with author’s Xultun Tarot deck).
1978 A New Woman's Tarot by Billie Potts (Elf and Dragons Press).
1978 Knapp-Hall Tarot Cards, published with The Tarot: an Essay (Los Angeles, Philosophyical Research Society, Inc.). Deck first published,1929.
1978 The Encyclopedia of Tarot (Vol. 1) by Stuart Kaplan (NY: U.S. Games Systems, Inc.).
1978 Wisdom of the Tarot: Taught Simply: Ten steps to learning to read the Tarot Cards by E-Lois Winkler Lovell (Anaheim CA: Love).
1978 El Sendero Iniciático en los Arkanos del ‘Tarot y Kábala’ by Samael Aun Weor (Budha Maitreya, Kalki Avatara de la Nueva Era de Acuario) (Mexico: Iglesia Gnostica Cristiana Universal). A major work by this Gnostic philosopher, since translated into several languages including French and English. Illustrated by the Majors of a Falconnier-Wegener style Egyptian deck that has been published as the Egipcios Kier Tarot Deck (Buenos Aires; and U.S. Games, 1984).
1979 The Amazon Tarot deck published by Elf and Dragons Press. Created by Billie Potts, River Lightwomoon, Susun Weed, and other artists.
1979 Tarotmania (later renamed Tarot Therapy: A Guide to the Subconscious) by Jan Woudhuysen (Wildwood House, Great Britain) (LA: J.P. Tarcher). (Original card illustrations by Louise Aaltje) .
1979 Tarot: A New Handbook for the Apprentice by Eileen Connolly (No. Hollywood: Newcastle). First in a series of three books on the Tarot. (RWS illustrations).
1979 Pictorial Key to the Tarot by A.E. Waite (NY: Samuel Weiser; their first printing). (see also 1910; 1959; 1973.)
1979 The Game of Life by Timothy Leary. Seriously tripped out stuff---acid, DNA, space-
1979 Tarot Revelations by Joseph Campbell and Richard Roberts (No publisher named).
1979 God of Tarot by Piers Anthony (NY: Jove). Fiction. In 1975, at a judo tournament, Anthony met and became friends with a brother in the Holy Order of MANS (1971, 1974). Anthony was intrigued by their unique mix of Gnostic Christianity, co-ed communalism, and Tarot. Out of this came a character who would appear in several novels: Brother Paul of the Holy Order of Vision. He also created an imaginary deck called the Animation Tarot, having 100 cards in five suits. By September of 1977, he had a 250,000 word manuscript that no one wanted to publish. Also, members of the real order were told not to read the manuscript or speak with him, which he regretted since the novel stemmed in significant part from his admiration of their operation. He reluctantly agreed to splitting the book into a trilogy. Jove then stopped publishing science fiction and the next two volumes were published by Berkeley (1980). It wasn’t until 1987 that the novel appeared in one volume (NY: Ace).
1980 The Game of Tarot: from Ferrara to Salt Lake City by Michael Dummett with the assistance of Sylvia Mann (London: Gerald Duckworth & Co.). The definitive work on playing the Tarot card game (with rules from many countries), plus the history and varieties of the Tarot deck.
1980 Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom: A. Book of Tarot by Rachel Pollack (Aquarian Press).
1980 Jung and Tarot: An Archetypal Journey by Sallie Nichols (NY: Samuel Weiser).
1980 Numerology and Your Future by Dusty Bunker (West Chester PA: Schiffer). Numerology as related to the Tarot cards.
1980 Twelve Tarot Games by Michael Dummett (London: Duckworth).
1980 Vision of Tarot and Faith of Tarot by Piers Anthony (NY: Berkeley). (See 1979.)
1980 The Magic Tarot by Frederic Lionel (published in France as Le Tarot Magique, Editions du Rocher) (LL)
1980 Niki de Saint Phalle began work on her tarot garden sculpture.
1980 The Tarot Design Coloring Book by Caren Caraway (Stemmings).
There are plenty of
color-in decks but this is the only coloring book per se that I know of. (LL)
I propose that 1980 marks the end of the hippie/Tarot revival era and serves as the transition into the full maturity of the modern, 20th century Tarot renaissance.
There are three other Timelines that are absolutely essential supplements to this one:
• Collected Fragments of Tarot History by Michael J. Hurst
• A History of Egyptian Tarot Decks by Mark Filipas
• Herstory of Women’s Tarot by Joan Cole
Mary K. Greer is the author of the seminal work, Tarot for Your Self, in addition to many other books on the tarot. Her latest book is Understanding the Tarot Court, co-written with Tom Tadfor Little.
Lola L. Lucas is a past editor of "Tarot News." She has studied tarot since 1971, taught tarot classes at community colleges and has collected tarot books, decks, periodicals, art, music, videos, software and ephemera for over three decades.
© 2004 Mary K. Greer
Page © 2004 Diane Wilkes