Origins of the Tarot: A Guidebook to the Ancestral Influences that Shaped the Tarot's Minor Arcana (Paperback)
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Winner of the 2020 Best Indie Book Awards
Origins of the Minor Arcana, the first volume in the Learn Authentic Tarot series, presents the true story behind the ancestry of the Tarot's much-neglected Minor Arcana, which is to be found in the symbolism, culture, and gaming traditions of Asia and the Middle East. In doing so, it abolishes the numerous occult myths surrounding the Tarot that have been promulgated from the late 18th century right up to the present day. Origins of the Minor Arcana provides a new foundation by which to understand the development of the Tarot, one grounded in historical scholarship and careful research.Set against the backdrop of humankind as Homo symbolicus (symbolic man) and Homo ludens (playful man), this volume illustrates how the gradual evolution of symbolic expression, together with the integral nature of play in human culture, ultimately led to the invention of playing cards and their transmission across the Eurasian landscape and into Europe. These early ancestors served as the foundation for the creation of all European playing cards, including the Tarot, and are the source of its four-suit system.Lavishly illustrated and beautifully presented, this volume contains a sizable collection of stunning color photos, including a full presentation of the Tarot's direct ancestors: the Chinese Money cards and the Mamluk deck. Heavily researched, but eminently readable, this scholarly account of the Tarot's Minor Arcana is the definitive work on the early, formative history of the Tarot.