The Encyclopedia of Tarot brings together for the first time all the relevant information and artwork of the tarot world. Every major theory and interpretation, every recognized tarot deck, and all knowledge realating to the symbolism, origins, iconbiography, and interpretation of these colorful cards are provided in this mammoth reference work.
Currently there is a phenomenal interest in tarot. Student of the occult, mystics, astrologers, art historians, military historians, card collectors, and fortune-tellers find genuine enchantment in different aspects of the cards. The intriguing history behind the developement of each deck, the luminous art, the esoteric meanings, and the rich symbolism create excitement for millions.
Stuart R. Kaplan begins the search for the obscure origins of tarot cards with the ancient Egyptians and their gods. Other theories concerning the origins of tarot are studied, the developements of games such as chess is considered, and the earliest references to playing card are cited. Next early types of tarocchi cards are studied along with the heraldic devices of famous families such as the Viscontis and Sforzas. Then beginning with the fifteenth century and continuing to the present, every major deck is discussed and displayed with the significant differences carefully noted.
The Encyclopedia of Tarot reproduces over 3200 tarot cards - from more than 250 different tarot, tarock, and related decks dating from the fifteenth century to the present. Many rare decks never before published serve to exhibit the artistry of their original design. Major artists such as Albrecht Dürer and Salvador Dali, as well as artist Pamela Colman Smith (the Rider-Wait tarot deck) and Lady Frieda Harris (the Crowley tarot deck), are but a few of the many artists and designers whose works are included in this profusely illustrated volume.
For those whose major interest in tarot lies in its fortune-telling powers, The Encyclopedia of Tarot contains chapters on the interpretations of the Major Arcana and Minor Arcana cards, and how to spread the tarot deck. Both the divinatory and reverse meanings for all the cards are given along with sample readings, and several of the most popular spreads are demonstrated with illustrations.