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Is there a canonical non-woowoo history of the tarot?

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santasser  santasser is offline
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Is there a canonical non-woowoo history of the tarot?


Meaning a single authoritative scholarly work that is the standard historical go-to reference for tarot scholars. If there is not, let me know which books you think are otherwise the best.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by santasser View Post
Meaning a single authoritative scholarly work that is the standard historical go-to reference for tarot scholars. If there is not, let me know which books you think are otherwise the best.
Undisputably -

Michael Dummett (1925-2011), The Game of Tarot (London, Duckworth, 1980 ISBN 0715610147 (there is only one edition)). Still the standard reference, and the foundation of the study.

Amazon UK is selling a copy for 53 euros at the moment (ex-library), but copies typically start at a couple of hundred. This is still a bargain, since the book was sold at £40 in 1980 or 34 years ago, which is between 200 and 300 pounds by today's values.
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Although, according to forum rules, this probably is not a legitimate response, I totally agree with Ross. So bite me!
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See also

A Wicked Pack of Cards: Origins of the Occult Tarot *by Michael Dummett, Ronald Decker and Thierry Depaulis (focus on playing cards)

A History of the Occult Tarot *by Ronald Decker and Michael Dummett

The last was the most useful for me, as he details the developments from 1870 to 1970.

Most assuredly non-woowoo
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I'd also recommend Kaplan's Encyclopedias vols. I & II.
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There is a lot of good stuff, which hasn't been published in a book, but in the web.

For instance:
Franco Pratesi: "Playing Card Trade in 15th-Century Florence" has appeared as a book in December 2012 (a small book), but its 11 articles have been published in the web before as part of a series of articles written 2011/12.
Together with works written in 2013 these are 64 new articles.
http://trionfi.com/franco-pratesi

And Franco Pratesi proceeds with it ...
http://naibi.it

Andrea Vitali has published also a lot of new information ...
http://www.letarot.it/page.aspx?id=5&lng=ENG
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DavidMcCann  DavidMcCann is offline
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Beware of the recent book by Decker (Esoteric tarot): without the restraining influence of Dummett, it's definitely woowoo.
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Originally Posted by DavidMcCann View Post
Beware of the recent book by Decker (Esoteric tarot): without the restraining influence of Dummett, it's definitely woowoo.
I haven't read the book, but if it conjectures that there may be Kabbalistic influences in the Etteilla, that is not necessarily woo-woo but a natural consequence of Alliette's being exposed to Kabbalah in Freemasonry.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LRichard View Post
I haven't read the book, but if it conjectures that there may be Kabbalistic influences in the Etteilla, that is not necessarily woo-woo but a natural consequence of Alliette's being exposed to Kabbalah in Freemasonry.
There is very little to indicate much Kabbalistic influence in Etteilla's tarot works, certainly none to show he made any connection for example between the trumps and Hebrew alphabet (despite the speculations of Christine Payne-Towler), nor much evidence that Etteilla was ever a Freemason (in fact he denies he was, and is scathing of them), and Decker's connections between Etteilla's keywords and Gitakilla's 'Gates of Light', which is perhaps Decker's most original suggestion, doesn't stand up to even the most casual examination - tis definitely woowoo.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwaw View Post
There is very little to indicate much Kabbalistic influence in Etteilla's tarot works, certainly none to show he made any connection for example between the trumps and Hebrew alphabet (despite the speculations of Christine Payne-Towler), nor much evidence that Etteilla was ever a Freemason (in fact he denies he was, and is scathing of them), and Decker's connections between Etteilla's keywords and Gitakilla's 'Gates of Light', which is perhaps Decker's most original suggestion, doesn't stand up to even the most casual examination - tis definitely woowoo.
My bad! I somehow got the impression that Alliette's affiliation with Freemasonry was a given. Apparently the Payne-Towler movement has made some serious inroads into the internet.
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