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Origins of the Tarot, by Dai Léon

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Origins of the Tarot, by Dai Léon


Subtitle: "Cosmic Evolution and the Principles of Immortality."
This is a a weighty book with a complex historical narrative weaving together a wide variety of intellectual threads the author believes contributed to the creation of the tarot Triumphs. Léon clearly thinks he has found The Answer. Whether he has or not, I strongly recommend this book to the small minority of ATers who are likely to enjoy this sort of thing. If in doubt, here's the book's home page where you can check out the main thesis and read a few chapter excerpts.
http://www.originsofthetarot.com/
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Thanks fyreflye, this sounds like an interesting book. Christine Payne-Towler has also written a review at Amazon.

That the tarot was first invented as a card game seems reasonable to me, but from looking at even the earliest images the influence of Renaissance humanism is clear. Besides being a game, the trumps represented a moral or philosophic allegory of some sort. Modern tarot historians (Robert Place excluded), in an all-out attempt to discount any "occult" origins of tarot, have overlooked this simple fact.

I haven't had a chance to read the excerpts yet, but if it lives up to the hype I'll probably try to get a copy.
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I read it. I found it intriguing, some good idea's, some good history and some faulty history. Too much emphasis on certain religious idea's coming together in certain area's at certain times. This is his book and it has a lot of his personal opinions in it, likely from his indoctrination through the San Francisco Renaissance and Gia fu Feng, but they are written as fact rather then conjecture and personal opinion.

Still I did enjoy the book, he has a great vocabulary, and writes with a strong personal conviction.
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I agree with The Crowned One's personal review of the book.
I also enjoyed it, the Authors personal convictions aside.
I must admit it would be good (also convenient) to be so convinced and sure of the Origins of Tarot.
~Rosanne
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The thing that interests me about all 'origins' of the Tarot is that we are aware of a time when it didn't exist - by this I mean the 78 card deck.

So while I'm open to anything that can clarify how the Mamulk cards came into existence & their european evolution, and also (of course) the construction of the early trumps and the joining of the two 'decks', I find it diffcult to envisage that there was some sort of driving force that operated over centuries of time to finally conclude with the 78 card deck that we currently use - whether they are the early patterns or the esoteric variety.

O.K. you can all chuck tomatoes at me now. I haven't read the book, just snippets here & there. My 'card allowance' is permanently budget-sized, so I rarely buy books now - I already have tons here at home.

Bee
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Ha Bee, I would never chuck tomatoes at you.
It is fascinating (the subject) but I think we may find over time, that it evolved from commercialism - and the thirst for entertainment. I think they were much like us, those Renaissance people...hankering after the novel and new. Then there were long hours of boredom- in Church- in the long dark hours of winter. A diversion for waiting soldiers and sailors, and the very human trait of taking a gamble and beating your opponent without a Sword. Then images became as images do-a source of imagination. The psychology of imagery has many uses- the esoteric been only one. Soothsaying is as old as Man- bones for futures, but first for knuckle bones when a child.
I think you might be able to order the book from your library.
~Rosanne
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Library! Completly forgot about the library. Haven't been there for nearly two years now - couldn't. But now you've triggered me - I'll give them a ring. Many thanks Rosanne

Bee
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On my bookcase, I really need to dig into this one...
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I haven't read the book but I tend to agree with Bernice. I have read similar theories about Sufi influence on the cards before. I didn't really buy it then & I don't really buy it now. The book looks interesting though.
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I started it. I have trouble following the reasoning.
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