Tchalai Unger Book On Marseille Tarot


I was wondering if anyone has read the book by Tchalai Unger on the Marseille tarot? I found some translated pages in English & the book seems really great. The book now is in Spanish from Nov 2002. But I don't know if she covers the minors & courts in the book. The book seems like it is so thorough on each card with so many insights on the symbols it is amazing. Let me know feedback on this book.


Thanks Luminosa for the link but since the pages are copied I cannot translate them with my bing translator. So I don't know what else to do.


This message comes quite late, but may still be of interest to some readers:

It appears that Tchalaï's classic little booklet for the 1980s Grimaud Marseilles deck was in fact translated into English (I've never seen one or even heard of it before), as a copy has just turned up on EBay UK, entitled: "The Tarot: Why, how and how far":

Again, as I have had occasion to state before, her take on Tarot is a bit unusual, and her writings, though highly influential, are something of a mixed bag.

This booklet is not strictly a "LWB" of divinatory meanings and spreads (there are none), nor are there methods of interpretation: it is a highly personal guide to reorienting oneself towards the universe, the Tarot, and all the rest. In other words, changing one's perspective and developing the analytical and analogical skills which will enable a deeper connection with the Tarot - and with oneself in the process.

This is by no means an "easy read": Tchalaï was a very well-educated lady, in fact, she was the translator of books by the philosopher-physicist David Bohm, among others. The booklet is in consequence quite dense and demanding, but rewarding for those who would wholeheartedly engage with its approach. Expect digressions on quantum physics, causality, neuroscience, semiotics and psychoanalysis...

In terms of practical exercises, there are a bunch given, ranging from exercises in observation with the trumps, courts, and the suit of swords. (The other suits are continued in her later book.) Observation, detecting patterns, reasoning...

Some of her rather categoric assertions are questionable, but what is not in question is the richness and depth of her take on Tarot.

Tchalaï was supposed to have been a mentor to Jodorowsky at one stage, and since the reading style of Enrique Enriquez has made an impact on a number of people on this forum, it may be opportune to return to the source of that particular methodology. (EE himself gave credit to Tchalaï's work on occasion, this booklet having been translated into Spanish.)


Well, all I can say is that I hope that whoever snapped that up will see fit to give us a thorough book review...


How many books on tarot has she written? I am really intrigued by her thoughts on tarot - ever since I saw some geometric diagrams relating to the cards' images, attributed to her. My Spanish is very poor, though. :-/


The LWB for the 1981 Grimaud TdM, “Le Tarot, pourquoi, comment, jusqu'où”, was (obviously) translated into English in 1982, this would have accompanied the English language (or bilingual) deck. There were a couple of Spanish editions as separate books, “El Tarot - Por que? Como? Hasta donde?” (1985), and “El Tarot - La respuesta del futuro” (1991).

This booklet was followed by a book, “Les empreintes de l'invisible” (1989), which was later republished under a slightly different title: “Le tarot, jeu du gouvernement du monde” (1994).

Potential readers should bear in mind that this book builds on the booklet, and that the section dealing with the Minor Arcana omits the suit of swords on the grounds that they were already covered in the booklet. Much like the booklet, it is a mixed bag of illuminating insights and infuriating digressions.

Tchalaï published some articles on Tarot in some journals and magazines in the 70s and 80s, some of which are now available online, such as this one: ”Le tarot: comment s’en servir?” (1979):

Some of these articles were recycled in the booklet and book.

Tchalaï, partly of Gypsy extraction herself, also created her own “Tarot-ish” deck, or oracle deck, based on the different Gypsy tribes, “Le Véritable Tarot Tzigane” (2001). This was also followed by a related stand-alone book, “Secrets de gitans” (2002), which deals tangentially with Tarot.