The Esoteric Tarot
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The Esoteric Tarot : Ancient Sources Rediscovered in Hermeticism and Cabalah

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That the Tarot originated in ancient Egypt as a divinatory tool is a romantic misconception. Ron Decker's meticulous scholarship will surprise practitioners and academics alike, revealing the Tarot's true evolution and meanings as its inventor(s) understood it.The Tarot consists of the Minor Arcana, four suits of cards similar to our modern deck, and the Major Arcana, twenty-two allegorical or "trump" cards. Decker says the four-suit deck was invented in Asia Minor before AD 1000; Italian courtiers added the trumps in the 1400s. But Tarot was first used as a game. Tarot divination was only created in the 1700s by a Parisian fortuneteller who based the trump images on Hermeticism, which merges Greco-Egyptian alchemy, astrology, numerology, magic, and mysticism. Today, the suit-cards are often traced to the ancient Jewish Cabala. But, says Decker, they, too, acquired their meanings only in the 1700s, and he cites a lost numerical system based on Cabala at that timeDecker's interpretation integrates three whole systems-astrological, arithmological, mystagogical (concerning initiation rites into the Mysteries). His depth of knowledge makes the book a must-have for serious students of Tarot and esotericism

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Product details

  • Paperback | 312 pages
  • 187.96 x 259.08 x 33.02mm | 294.83g
  • Quest Books,U.S.
  • Wheaton, IL, United States
  • English
  • 0835609081
  • 9780835609081
  • 234,960

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"Scholars of the Tarot and historians of the esoteric and mystic arts will find much to appreciate in Ronald Decker's investigation into the history, symbology, and meaning of Tarot - long mired in mystery, legend, and conjecture. Of great interest is Decker's research into cabala, the dominant form of Jewish mysticism. Based on ancient teachings formulated in the Middle Ages, the teachings of cabala were kept secret from all but the initiated. Nevertheless, Decker traces the ways in which cabalistic symbolism played a significant role in the development of the Tarot." --Kristine Morris, "ForeWord Reviews," Summer 2013

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About Ronald Decker

Ronald Decker holds a B.A. in fine art from State University College at Buffalo and a M.A. in painting from the University of Cincinnati graduate school. He has taught art and art history at all levels of education. Until his retirement, he was curator of antique cards at The U.S. Playing Card Company. He has studied Tarot cards in public and private collections in all of Europe's capitols as well as Turkey, Egypt, and India. Tarot and the Esoteric Traditions is his fourth book about the cards.

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