Conventional wisdom traces Tarot cards to medieval Italy, but their roots go back much further in time and draw on a surprisingly rich variety of cultures and spiritual traditions. Combining pioneering scholarship with practical spiritual instruction, Origins of the Tarot is the first book to unveil the full range of the ancient streams of wisdom from which the Tarot emerged.The timeless principles of conscious realization and cosmological unfoldment underlying the Tarot have never been explored in a comparably extensive and detailed way: herein the teachings of a tremendous range of traditions, including Kabbalah, Western esotericism and alchemy, Buddhism, Taoism, yogic disciplines, Sufism, mystical Christianity, Gnosticism, and Neoplatonism, are masterfully incorporated and synthesized.Author Dai Léon explores a confluence of philosophical schools from East and West as they relate to the Tarot, giving each its due in the exposition of a universal procession of evolution and the soul’s quest for enlightenment. In the process, the Tarot is seen as a unique exemplification of perennial teachings on the soul and its liberation, as well as a still-unfolding window into concealed currents of human history. The book’s profound learning and unprecedented range of references are sure to attract close study among students both of the world’s most enduring esoteric tradition and of esotericism itself.
|Publisher:||North Atlantic Books|
|Sold by:||Penguin Random House Publisher Services|
|File size:||4 MB|
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Very evocative prose. If you are not already familiar with the origins and history of the Tarot, this will be a dive-in-the-deep-end read. This is dense reading in thick chapters, not a bullet-pointed encyclopedia of the cards' meanings. The Minor Arcana are not discussed. If you are looking for a study on consciousness evolution and the history and power of the cards as catalysts in that process, this is a lovely book to have in your library. Pictures of the cards are accompanied by gorgeously crafted captions that reveal the image's power to cultivate a higher understanding and harmony of Self in this World. The author's deep compassion for humanity and keen intellect shine through his writing- although he lost me a little towards the very end when tying together physics and spirit, the concluding chapters were a bit tangled. However, he concludes with grace and overall the book is a benediction. A note on the Kindle Edition- the woodblock print images of the inter-text cards are very small and sometimes do not render completely on screen. The chapter heading images are also relatively small, certainly not large enough to enable a full study of the symbology. This is the reason it earned 4 rather than 5 stars. Given the importance of imagery and symbolism in works discussing the Tarot, the publishers should consider larger images for this book; I for one would pay a little more for a book that included pictures large enough to really study.
A rare find that intricately details the perennial wisdom behind the original, Venetian based 'eastern' school of the Tarot. It redefines the whole field of Tarot studies. A must have for anyone serious about history, philosophy and spirituality.