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Annotated List of Tarot Books
A Tarot Bibliography.
Clicking on a link for the name of a book will take you to a place where you can purchase the book. If you've been looking for a particular title and can't find it anywhere else, and you see it here, make me an offer. In many cases, I have more than one copy or will be willing to let a title go to the right seeker.
Abraham, Sylvia. How to: Read the Tarot. St. Paul, Minn.: Llewellyn International, 2002.
[Paperback, 260 pp. A keyword approach.]
Alexander, Skye. 10 Minute Tarot. Find Your Future in the Cards. Gloucester, Mass.: Fair Winds Press, 2003.
[Pap. 224 pp. Takes each card and relates it to money, love, work and growth--but no deck is specified.]
Amberstone, Ruth Ann, & Amberstone, Wald. Tarot Tips. 78 Practical Techniquest o Enhance Your Tarot Reading Skills. St. Paul, Minn.: Llewellyn, 2003.
["Special Topics in Tarot" series. Intro. by Mary K. Greer. This is a book better suited to professional readers. Pap., 192 pp.]
Amberstone, Wald & Ann, Ruth. The Secret Language of Tarot. San Francisco: Red Wheel/Weiser, 2008.
[Paperback, 284 pp. B/w illustr. faint, marring an otherwise useful book that elucidates the symbolism through thematic groupings.]
Anonymous. Meditations on the Tarot. A Journey into Christian Hermeticism. New York: Amity House, 1985.
[Hardcover, 658 pp. Not for beginners, this book is more a journey into Hermeticism than a work about the Tarot. It's a fascinating book.]
Anonymous. Meditations on the Tarot. A Journey into Christian Hermeticism. New York: Element, 1985.
[Paper, 658 pp. See above.]
Antenucci, Nancy. Psychic Tarot: Using Your Natural Psychic Abilities to Read the Cards. St. Paul, Minn.: Llewellyn Pub. Co., 2011. [Currently, the best of the psychic/intuitive approach books.]
Auger, Emily E. Tarot and Other Meditation Decks. History, Theory, Aesthetics, Typology. Jefferson, N. Carolina: McFarland & Co., Inc., 2004.
[Paperback, pp. 214. A must-read for history students.]
Aviza, Edward A. Thinking Tarot. New York: Fireside (Simon & Schuster), 1997.
[An excellent, small paperback reference using RWS. Software CD included. 220 pp. Brief but useful section on spreads at the end.]
Barrett, David V. Tarot. New York: Dorling Kindersley Pub. Co., 1995.
[An attractive, small hardcover with about 60 pages. Samples from various decks, full color, and a reasonably comprehensive text for such a small edition.]
Benares, Camden. Common Sense Tarot. The Complete Guide to Tarot Reading. A Practical Guide to Reading the Tarot for Pleasure and Profit. U.S.: A Newcastle Book, 1992.
[Intro. by Mary K. Greer which means that it is entirely a client-centered approach. Despite the title, Benares offers only one chapter ("Clients and Compensation") that assists the professional reader.]
Bruno, Girodano. Cause, Principle and Unity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003 (orig. 1998). Burned alive in 1600 on order by the Pope, Bruno had published a number of works on alchemy and magic. This is one of the most interesting. Edited by Richard J. Blackwell and Robert de Lucca.
Buess, Lynn M. <The Tarot and Transformation. Lakemont, Georgia: Tarnhelm Press, 1973. [Pap., 265 pp. This edition has a broken spine and a loose folio. The illustrations are b/w, a mix of Egyptian and RWS, and from a deck I do not recognize. Nonetheless, it is interesting to see a psychologist work through Tarot.]
Bunning, Joan. Learning the Tarot. A Tarot Book for Beginners. San Francisco: Weiser Books, 1998.
[Paperback, 320 pp. The most readable book for tyros. Bunning's style is honest, informal, and accessible. It's a personal favorite.]
Butler, Bill. Dictionary of the Tarot. New York: Schocken Books, 1975.*
[Paperback, 256 pp. Unsurpassed reference that synopsizes the approaches/decks of the major schools as it progresses through the cards. One of my favorite tarot books.]
Case, Paul Foster. The Tarot - A Key to the Wisdom of the Ages. New York: Macoy Publishing Company, 1947.
[Hardcover w/ dust jacket. 215 pp. Based on the esoteric school, with references to Levi and Waite, with considerable reference to the Kabbalah and scriptural sources.]
Doane, Doris Chase. Keyes, King. How to Read Tarot Cards. New York: Barnes & Noble, 1978.
[Good job on keywords and correspondences. Pap., 208 pp.]
Doane, Doris Chase. Keyes, King. Tarot-Card Spread Reader. W. Nyack, NY: Parker Pub. Co., 1967.
[Good job on keywords and correspondences. Clo. & Pap. eds., 208 pp.] This is a useful book, both for the work on spreads and for the correspondences section; emphasis on astrology and Kabbalah, but readable & helpful in other ways. My copy is slightly water-damaged; I'm always on the lookout for another. You should be, too. It's rare.
Donaldson, Terry. The Dragon Tarot. Stamford, CT. U. S. Games, 1996. Accompanying book for the deck.
The Encyclopedia of Occult Sciences. New York: Tudor, 1968.
[Introduction by M. C. Poinsot. Tarot is covered in Cartomancy and also in Kabbalistic symbolism.]
Fairchild, Dennis. Tarot - An Illustrated Journal. Philadelphia: Running Press, 2002.
[Orig. pub. 1996. A blank book with a bit about each card at the bottom of the page. Perfect for building your own keyword book or doing in-depth meditations and writing about each card. Marred by Chinese manufacture and a weak spine.]
Fairfield, Gail. Choice Centered Tarot. Seattle, Wash.: Choices, 1984.
[Reprinted by the author from editions in 1982 and 1983. Revised and expanded. Found with a little pink bookmark labeled "Magickal Guaranteed Good Luck Booky Marker" which is, of course, still in the book. As you would guess from the title, the card readings are phrased as choices. Paperback, 154 pp.]
Fairfield, Gail. Everyday Tarot. Seattle, Wash.: Choices, 1984.
[Exactly the same content as Choice Centered Tarot above, released with a different title only in 2002, a mildly annoying and somewhat predatory thing to do.]
Foli, P. R. S. Fortune-Telling by Cards. Chicago: Max Stein Publishing House, date unknown.
[When was this published? Paperback on newsprint, 144 pp., misnumbered]
Ferguson, Anna-Marie. A Keeper of Words: The Arthurian Legend Tarot. St. Paul, Minn.: Llewellyn, 2000.
[Pap., 256 pp. Guide to the deck.]
Garen, Nancy. Tarot Made Easy. New York: Simon & Schuster (Fireside), 1989.
[Paperback, 384 pp. B/w illustrations, all from RWS deck.]
Gardner, Richard. Evolution through the Tarot. London: Rigel Press, 1970.
[Some pages cut from the front of this edition, but nothing appears to be missing. Hardcover, 112 pp. w/ dust jacket.]
Gardner, Richard. The Tarot Speaks. London: Rigel Press, 1970.
[Some pages cut from the front of this edition, but nothing appears to be missing. Hardcover, 106 pp. w/ dust jacket.]
Geddes & Grosset. Tarot. New Lanark, Scotland, 2005. Excellent for TdM.
Gettings, Fred. Tarot - How to Read the Future. Stamford, Conn.: Longmeadow Press, 1993.
[Originally published in 1973, copied and printed in China. Hardcover, w/dust jacket and library sleeve. Extensively illustrated, mostly in b/w, but w/o attributions.]
Giles, Cynthia. The Tarot History, Mystery and Lore. New York: Paragon House, 1922.*
[First Edition, hardcover, w/dust jacket. Giles has a Ph.D. in humanities specializing in Jungian and archetypal psychology.]
Gray, Eden. A Complete Guide to the Tarot. New York: Crown Publishers, 1970.
[Hardcover, 160 pp. An absolute classic. RWS deck illustr.]
Gray, Eden. Mastering the Tarot. Basic Lessons in an Ancient Mystic Art. New York: Crown Publishers, 1971.
[Hardcover, 152 pp. Diagrams by Peter Gray Cohen. Some neat underlining in section on Major Arcana on this edition. Owned by Dorothy B. Hughes, mystery writer. With dust jacket. Also second copy, w/o jacket, cover stained, but no underlining.]
Gray, Eden. The Tarot Revealed. A Modern Guide to Reading the Tarot Cards. New York: Dell Publishing Co., 1960.
[Hardcover, 120 pp., b/w illustr. from RWS. Lovely horizontal aspect book. (See below.)]
Gray, Eden. The Tarot Revealed. The essential, fully illustrated guide to uncovering the mysterious powers of the Tarot. New York: Signet, 1988.
[Orig. 1960. Pap., 256 pp. RWS. I get the sense that this book was an important one in popularizing Tarot. For a while, I saw it everywhere. 2 cps.]
Greer, Mary K. 21 Ways to Read a Tarot Card. Woodbury, Minn.: Llewellyn Worldwide, 2006.*
[Paperback, 310 pp. The Massachusetts Tarot Society used this book as the center of their study in 2009 and early 2010, which is where I encountered it. It is very nearly the perfect beginner's book as well as of inestimable value to the practicing reader.]
Greer, Mary K. Tarot for Your Life. A workbook for personal transformation. N. Hollywood, Calif.: Newcastle Pub. Co., 1984.*
[Paperback, 256 pp. I have two, one that I write in, on that is for reference only.]
Greer, Mary K. Tarot Mirrors. reflections of personal meaning. N. Hollywood, Calif.: Newcastle Pub. Co., 1988.*
[Paperback, 206 pp. ]
Greer, Mary K. Tarot Constellations. patters of personal destiny. N. Hollywood, Calif.: Newcastle Pub. Co., 1987.*
[Paperback, 206 pp.]
Greer, Mary K. The Complete Book of Tarot Reversals. St. Paul, Minn.: Llewellyn, 2002.*
[From the "Special Topics in Tarot" series. Pap., 274 pp.]
Grimaud, B. P. Ancien Tarot de Marseille. 1952.
["LWB" (but brown. In French. A treasure. Grimaud wrote this to go with his deck.]
Hoy, David. The Meaning of Tarot. Nashville: Aurora Publishers, Inc., 1971.
[Hardcover, 168 pp. The first part of this book attends to the preparation of the reader her/himself.]
Innes, Brian. The Tarot. How to use and interpret the cards. New York: Crescent, 1987.
[Orig. pub. 1976 in England. hardcover, 88 pp., full color. A quick overview, mostly attractive because Innes puts several of the same card, but from different decks, on plates facing his text, and has chosen some interesting illustrations. The text offers little.]
Jodorowsky, Alejandro. Costa, Marianne. The Way of the Tarot. The Spiritual Teacher in the Cards. Rochester, Vermont: Destiny Books, 2004.
[Surpasses Paul Marteau as the seminal work on Tarot de Marseille decks.]
Johnson, Cait. Shaw, Maura. Tarot Games. San Francisco: Harper, 1994.
[Subtitled "45 Playful Ways to Explore Tarot Cards Together"; paperback, 112 pp.]
Kaplan, Stuart R. Tarot Classic. New York: U. S. Games, 1972.
[Pap., 240 pp., excellent reference for Tarot de Marseille-related decks.]
Kaplan, Stuart R. Tarot of the Witches. Stamford, Conn.: U. S. Games, 1982.
[Orig. 1973. Companion to the deck. 96 pp., pap.]
Kaser, R. T. Tarot in Ten Minutes. New York: Avon, 1992.
[Paperback, 346 pp., never published in hardcover. This probably should have been split into two books, one published in workbook form and the other as a reference. Despite that, it's very useful once you get the hang of it.]
Kelley, Edward. (attrib.) A Facsimile Rosicrucian Alchemical Manuscript On the Philosophers Stone. Containing the Three Magisteriums of the Art Attributed to Edward Kelley 1592-97 The companion of Dr. John Dee from an unpublished handwritten notebook circa 1860 which reflects the secret alchemical traditions of the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia
and the Hermetic Society of the Golden Dawn. Bound by Eamonn Loughran of the The Hell Fire Club Books.]
Kenner, Corrine. Tarot for Writers. Woodbury, Minn.: Llewellyn Worldwide, 2009.
Kliegman, Isabel Radow. Tarot and the Tree of Life. Finding Everyday Wisdom in the Minor Arcana. Wheaton, Ill.: Theosophical Publishing House, 1997.
[222 pp., pap. One of the better attempts to artificially marry the Tarot to the Kabbalah. Scholarly.]
Knapp, J. A. Divination with Tarot Cards. Los Angeles: Llewellyn, 1936.
["LWB" (but orange). The guide to Knapp's "Tarot Cards" deck.]
Krafchow, Dovid. Kabbalistic Tarot. Hebraic Wisdom in the Major and Minor Arcana. Rochester, Vermont: Inner Traditions, 2002.
[Paperback, 133 pp. Reissued in 2005.]
Lind, Frank. How to Understand the Tarot. London: The Aquarian Press, 1971.
[Orig pub. 1969, 2nd printing, Hardcover, 63 pp. Modest but good.]
Lovell, Rev. Elois Winkler. Wisdom of the Tarot Taught Simply. Van Nuys, Calif.: Astro-Analytics Publications, 1978. [First printing was in 1978. This is the 2nd, 1980. Divided into lessons. Hand bound, copied from typewritten pages. Rare.]
Laurence, Theodor. How the Tarot Speaks to Modern Man. New York: Bell Publishing Co., 1972. [Hardcover, w/ dust jacket, 218 pp. plus a few blanks for "readings"; pages removed from front badly. Illust. w/ RWS.]
Lind, Frank. How to Understand the Tarot. New York: Samuel Weiser, Inc., 1969. [Pap. 64 pp., 3rd printing, 1973. B/w illustr., TdM.]
MacCoun, Catherine. On Becoming an Alchemist. Boston & London: Trumpeter, 2008. [This is such an important work that I now have several copies in stock at all times. I have one first edition. Strictly speaking, it's not a Tarot book, but it is a book that opens intuition and energy abilities, and as such, it is a significant text for the serious Tarot practitioner, aspiring alchemist, paganist or magician. ISBN 9781590303696]
Mann, A. T. Tarot, An Introductory Guide to Unlocking the Secrets of the Tarot. Boston: Element Books, 1999.
[Paperback, 128 pp. In the New Perspectives series of small editions on new age subjects. Mann uses guided imagery to assist the reader in understanding a card's meaning. RWS-like illustrations.]
Marteau, Paul. Le Tarot de Marseille. Paris: Arts et Metiers Graphiques, 1949.
[Paperback, 282 pp. In French. Excellent reference for TdM; includes numerology. Germaine Spaens, my paternal grandmother from Lille, France, owned a copy of this book and a Grimaud deck from the 1930's, of which I also have a copy.]
McCarroll, Amber. The Kaleidoscope of Day Dreams. A Spiritual Journey Through the Tarot. Atlanta, Georgia: JJ Publishing, 1998. Quirky pap., 112 pp. Either it goes with a deck I'm not familiar with, or its illustrations are completely original. Worth an exploration. This is on my list to read.]
McCormack, Kathleen. Tarot Decoder. Hauppauge, N.Y.: Barron's Educational Series, Inc., 1998.
[This is a lusciously produced book, made in England. TdM illustrations, full color, and a magazine style layout. Pap. 144 pp.]
McElroy, Mark. Putting the Tarot to Work. St. Paul, Minn.: Llewellyn International, 2004.
[Paperback, 233 pp. McElroy shows how tarot can be used in the workplace. My choice for "Worst Tarot Cover--Ever" but an interesting, useful book.]
Mead, G. R. S. Fragments of a Faith Forgotten. The Gnostics. A Contribution to the Study of the Origins of Christianity. New Hyde Park, New York: University Books, 1960.
[Cloth (hardcover), 633 pp., scholarly work. Dust jacket in rough shape.]
Noble, Vicki. Motherpeace. A Way to the Goddess through Myth, Art, and Tarot. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1982. ISBN 0060663006.
Noble, Vicki. Tenney, Jonathan. The Motherpeace Tarot Playbook. Berkeley, Calif.: Wingbow, 1986.
[A must-have for users of the Motherpeace Tarot.]
Osho. The Book of Secrets. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2010. (Originally pub. in 1974).
Ozaniec, Naomi. The Element Tarot Handbook. Initiation Into The Key Elements Of The Tarot. Rockport, Mass.: Element, Inc., 1994.
[Paperback, 194 pp. Qabalah based. Esoteric school.]
Ozaniec, Naomi. The Watkins Tarot Handbook. The Practical System of Self-Discovery. London: Watkins Publishing, 2006 (2nd printing, 2007).
Papus. The Tarot of the Bohemians. N. Hollywood, Calif.: Wilshire Book Co., 1972.
[Paperback, 352 pp. Originally published in 1892, this is esoterica at its best ("as above...") and worst (densely written and assuming considerable knowledge already in the mind of the reader. 2 copies.]
Parker, Derek & Julia. Kiss Guide to Astrology. New York: DK Publishing, 2000. It's always good to have an astrology reference handy when working with the Tarot. This one is a good test marred by ridiculous illustrations more suitable for Saturday morning cartoon shows.
Peach, Emily. Discover Tarot. Understanding and Using Tarot Symbolism. Earthlingborough, Northamptonshire, Great Britain: The Aquarian Press, 1984.
[Originally published 1984 as Tarot Workbook, republished 1990. Paperback, 256 pp. This really is a workbook, not useful as a reference. Emily Peach has strong opinions about things, and unfortunately, I disagree with her about many of them, so I haven't given the book a fair shot, yet.]
Peach, Emily. The Tarot Workbook. New York: Sterling Publishing Co., 1990. This is a reissue of the text above, with some updating.
Pollack, Rachel. Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom. A Book of Tarot. 2 vols. Earthlingborough, Northamptonshire, Great Britain: The Aquarian Press, 1980.
[Paperback, 128 pp. Part 1; 208 pp. Part 2. RWS illustr. A psychological approach.]
Pollack, Rachel. Seeker. The Tarot Unveiled. St. Paul, Minn.: Llewellyn Publications, 2005.
[First edition. One of the best "first" books available.]
Renée, Janina. Tarot Spells. St. Paul, Minn.: Llewellyn Publications, 2000. ISBN 9780875426709.
Ricklef, James. Tarot Get the Whole Story. Use, Create & Interpret Tarot Spreads. Woodbury, Minn.: Llewellyn Worldwide, 2004.
Roberts, Richard. Tarot and You. The First Book of Taped Tarot Card Readings. Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.: Morgan & Morgan, 1975.
[Pap., 124 pp. A good idea not as well done as I hoped. Someone should try this again.]
Sadhu, Mouni. The Tarot. N. Hollywood, Ca.: Wilshire Book Co., 1968. [Orig. 1962; Pap. 494 pp. Esoterica.]
Samul, A. L. Wisdom in the Cards. Stamford, Conn.: U. S. Games, Inc., 2002.
[Guide for the Hudes Tarot deck. Pap., 300 pp. Lovely illustrations; can't wait to find the deck.]
Scott, Laura. Linge, Mary Kay. Divining the Future. The Complete Idiot's Guide to. Indianapolis: Alpha, 2003. [Autographed by Laura Scott. Pap., 343 pp. An excellent collection of exercises.]
Simon, Sylvie. The Tarot - Art, Mysticism, Divination. New York: Harper & Row, 1988.
[Translated from Fr. edition published by Editions Fernand Nathan (1986) by Kit Currie and Sean Konecky and copyrighted by William S. Konecky Associates, Inc. Printed in Spain. Hardcover, w/ dust jacket. 120 pp., illustr. in color and b/w, with credits.]
Stavish, Mark. The Path of Alchemy. Energetic Healing and the World of Natural Magic. Woodbury, Minn.: Llewellyn Worldwide, 2008.
Steventon, Kay. Spiral Tarot. Stamford, Conn.: U. S. Games, Inc., 1998.
[Pap., 157 pp. Guide to the deck.]
Stuart, Micheline. The Tarot. Path to Self-Development. Boston: Shambala Press, 1977.
[From the "Pocket Classic" series. 110 pp. pap.]
Stuart, Rowena. Tarot. Glasgow: Harper Collins, 1999.
[Orig. pub in 1998. 256 pp., pap., pocket book. Still the best portable reference for TdM deck readers.]
Waite, Arthur Edward. The Occult Sciences. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., Ltd. 1891.
[This is the original 1891 text rebound by Eamonn Loughran of the The Hell Fire Club Books.]
Waite, Arthur Edward. The Occult Sciences. Secaucus, New Jersey: University Books, 1974.
[This is a reproduction of the 1891 text. See entry above for the original.]
Waite, Arthur Edward. The Pictorial Key to the Tarot. (Being Fragments of a Secret Tradition Under the Veil of Divination). Blauvelt, NY: Multimedia Publishing Corp., 1971. Pap. 340 pp., from the Steiner Library series aka "Steinerbooks". If one uses the Rider Waite Smith deck for readings, this book should be in your collection.
Wirth, Oscar. Les Mystères de L'Art Royal. Rituel de L'Adepte. Paris: Nouvelle Edition, 1947.
[This is the original edition, recovered by an amateur. It's in fine shape, however, and the pen and ink illustrations are fabulous.]
Yurica. The Secret of Tarot. New York: Mont-Saint-Johns, 1969.
["Yurika" = Eureka, a pseudonym; was it really printed in NY? Booklet, 24 pp. incl. paper cover, unstapled, part of Astral Tarot box set]
Zalewski, Chris. Enochian Chess of the Golden Dawn. St. Paul, Minn.: Llewellyn Publications, 1994. ISBN 0875428959.
* An asterix after a work indicates that I have completely read the title. The other works are referred to from time to time as references.