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The Tarot

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  156 ratings  ·  13 reviews
The Tarot is one of the few books that cuts through conventional misperceptions to explore the Tarot deck as it really developed in the Middle Ages and Renaissance Europe-not, as some would suggest, in the far reaches of Egyp-tian antiquity. Mining the Hermetic, alchemical, and Neoplatonic influences behind the evolution of the deck, author Robert M. Place provides a histo ...more
ebook, 336 pages
Published March 17th 2005 by Penguin Group (USA)
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Sasha
Jun 18, 2008 Sasha rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those already familiar with the basics of tarot
Recommended to Sasha by: Robert Place
Shelves: nonfiction, own, spirit
I bought this book after meeting the author briefly. He told me about how he reads spreads, and I was so impressed that I bought his book, despite the fact that its immediate appearance did not distinguish it from dozens of other books on tarot. I am so glad that I did get this book. It fills a gap in my knowledge of the tarot that was bothering me, and I hardly even realized it.

The book goes over the beginnings of the tarot in a clear and comprehensive way. The basic origins of the playing car
...more
Jim Wickson
The Tarot is one of the most distorted and misrepresented of all cultural artifacts. All too many writers pushing the divinatory uses of these cards, cling to outdated myths and pseudo-history. Place's mostly accurate and exceptional book on Tarot history is a breath of fresh air.

The earliest Tarot cards appeared in northern Italy during the 15th century and they were originally used to play a trick taking card game. What many now call the "Major Arcana" were intended to be a trump suit in this
...more
Rachael Sherwood
This is quite an interesting book. It is a very well researched history of the Tarot, but unlike many historic accounts, does not dismiss its mystical origins entirely. Place is a respected deck creator (known for the Alchemical Tarot and the Buddha Tarot, among others) and a nice side feature in the book is that when he didn't have the rights to print an image of a card, he drew his own version.

Place thoroughly debunks the French and later English occultists ridiculous theories of the origins o
...more
Sarah
This book is a plain language and really fascinating intro to Tarot that doesn't sensationalize or mystify anything. I'm learning a lot about philosophy and the healthy growth and exchange of ideas through the ages and places more than anything at this point, but I do expect that once I look at a tarot deck and try to use one it will come in useful as well for my growth as a person...we'll see.
Gail Katz
If you've ever been interested in Tarot cards, this is a must read. Author Robert Plan documents historical references better than anything I've ever read. Whether it is Plato, Jung, medieval theories, and Renaissance writers, the coverage makes sense.

Another aspect of this book is Plant's use of the Waite Tarot cards which are the mostwell known of the many versions of the Tarot
Allie
fascinating, even if you're not interested in the tarot specifically. Place's research and insights into Neoplatonism and symbolism in early Renaissance art makes this well worth the read.
Jim
This book is well-written and a joy to read. I would give it 4.5 stars, as it is. If it had full-color illustrations it would easily be 5 stars.
Susan
Probably one of the very best books on the tarot. Fascinating, beautifully illustrated, and well-written.
James
This book presents some fascinating information--most books on the tarot only describe their interpretations of the cards, but Place has obviously done considerable research to bolster his claims. It's a well informed book.

Unfortunately, that's all that's going for this one. I'm a fast reader, but it took me a long time to get through this one. It's endlessly repetitive; Place restates his thesis (that the tarot is not an ancient text) continuously, and many other important pieces of his thesis
...more
Library-KAT
Actually quite an informative & insightful book.

There is a bit of run-on in the introduction, but once the author got to the actual subject of the Tarot, I was impressed. In fact there was a piece of information I had been searching for, in order to print an hand-out for my class.

Even the history of Tarot was pretty complete. I'll continue to use & recommend this book.
Duke
For this guy, antiquated equates to authoritative, despite his belief that the major arcana are archetypal.
Joseph (Millennium Man)
Easy to read, History , Symbolism and Divination.
Rob
A very scholarly and granular view of Tarot.
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