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Trump card The fool from an old tarot sheet

Tarot ( masculine or neuter , pronounced /ta.ˈʁoː/ ) is a set of 78 playing cards used for psychological purposes or as fortune telling cards . It is divided into the major arcana, the 22 trumps numbered from 0 to 21, and the minor arcana, the 56 color cards: 10 numbers and 4 picture cards in 4 colors each (e.g. sticks, coins, goblets and swords). Arcanum is Latin for secret , it is derived from arca , which means box (what lies in a box is invisible from the outside and therefore secret).

The tarot cards belong to the family of tarot playing cards, their history is identical until the end of the 18th century. (Tarot) card sets, which are explicitly intended as tools of interpretation, then increasingly received symbolic content. In several languages ​​(including French, English, Spanish) the word tarot is still used today for both fortune telling and tarot playing cards .


Origin of the word tarot

The following is certain: The word tarot comes from French and is the name of a card game that is also called Tarocchi (Italian), Tarock (German) or Troccas ( Rhaeto-Romanic ). In the Italian, German and Rhaeto-Romanic names the trumps are also: E.g. the word tarocchi is synonymous with the word trump . This is not the case in the French-speaking area. Whether tarot has the same roots as tarocchi and tarot cannot be fully explained. Some authors assume a common origin, because the names Taraux and Tarocchi first appear in parallel in both France and Ferrara , Italy in 1505 , other early mentions followed in Ferrara. Other authors point out the possibility that the word could derive from the French tarotée , which translated means checkered and thus refers to the back of the card. Another explanation also comes from French usage: many playing cards often had a silver frame with a spiral band of fine dots. These points or holes were called tares . Cards with such tares were then called tarots .

The uncertainty of the origin of the word led esotericists to further, more unscientific interpretations:

The French scholar Wilhelm Postel allegedly pointed out in the 16th century that the four letters TARO written on a circular line result in an endless word: TAROT. If you start with R , you get ROTA, which is either Latin for a wheel or is the term for the highest Roman court in the Catholic Church ( Roman Curia ), which is a proper papal court for appeals in church processes and which deals primarily with matrimonial matters (according to the wheel mosaic in the meeting room). Opposite to the reading direction, the word TORA results, which is the book that is considered sacred in Judaism, or ORAT, which stands for the beliefs of the Christian religions (Latin: "he / she / it prays"). However, this key diagram only appears in the 1646 A. von Frankenberg edition of Postel's Clavis ; it does not appear in any edition that was published during Postel's lifetime (first edition 1547).

History of playing cards

The fool in a 15th century sheet

According to a legend of the French mystic Papus , the tarot was created in ancient Egypt: the ancient Egyptian empire was threatened with destruction a few thousand years ago. The wise men of the country therefore advised how the millennia-old knowledge of the empire could be saved from destruction.

The proposal to carve it into the walls of the pyramids in signs and symbols was rejected because even the strongest walls were built by human hands and are perishable. Even the proposal to let the ten wisest and brightest minds in the country in on the secrets that it could then pass on to others was not approved, since a wise man had often become a fool.

So it was agreed to entrust the knowledge and wisdom to the vice, since this outlasts all fluctuations and changes of the time. So they started to draw the entire knowledge in pictures on playing cards, which were then given to the people so that they indulge their vices and passions.

In fact, there is no evidence to suggest that the tarot is originally based on Egyptian or Hebrew - Kabbalistic wisdom teachings.

The Fool on the Visconti Sforza Deck (ca.1450)

Playing cards have been known in Europe since the end of the 14th century, as evidenced by documentary mentions from 1367, Bern, and a little later. They seem to have spread very quickly across Europe, as can be inferred from mentions that mostly refer to bans on card games. Little is known about the design and the number of these cards, essential information is provided by a text by Johannes von Rheinfelden 1377 from Freiburg im Breisgau, who, among other versions, mentions the still common 4x13 sheet as a basic game, whereby mainly König , Ober and under will ( "marshals") named as court cards, but ladies or queens also are already known.

It is believed that a set of 52 playing cards, consisting of four colors and corresponding to the cards of the minor arcana, first came to Europe from the Islamic world in the 14th century. The origin of the 22 cards of the major arcana is by no means "unclear" (contradicting many Internet pronouncements and tarot books), but many details are documented and known.

Well before this point in time (the above-mentioned year 1505, in which Taraux and Tarocchi , but not Tarot, are mentioned), however, a great many tarot cards and tarot-like compositions are already documented either as actual playing card sheets or by documents - only the term tarot was missing. Instead, the term Trionfi was used (in different forms - triumphi , ludus triumphorum etc.). The oldest "Trionfi game" (it was only named in 1449) was made in the period 1418–1425, probably 1424/1425, and was at the same time perhaps the most expensive of all times and cost 1500 ducats (this price is mentioned in 1447). It is documented by three different sources: an accompanying book that was written no later than 1425 and describes the game, a letter from 1449 about the acquisition and shipping of the game, and the note in a vita of Filippo Maria Visconti 1447, who wrote the unbelievably high price. The game had (presumably) a total of 60 cards, and 16 of them showed Greek deities and thus by no means motifs that are generally assigned to the tarot cards. The painter is well known: Michelino da Besozzo, whom some of his contemporaries considered the best painter of their time. The game itself has been lost.

The oldest use of the word Trionfi in connection with playing cards is documented in Ferrara in February 1442, when the painter Sagramoro (who had previously been busy with playing card orders) received money for the production of four Trionfi sheets. Another earlier document dated January 1, 1441 does not yet use the term Trionfi , but the object produced (Sagramoro is again the painter) appears to be 14 special cards that have the "Trionfi card character". A Trionfi card production for a wedding is suspected in October 1441 - some of these cards have survived (67 cards) and are now in the Cary-Yale Museum (known as Visconti di Modrone or Cary-Yale Tarocchi ). As far as recognizable, it only had some trump motifs, which are used in the so-called standard tarot, and it deviated from the standard structure (there were additional court cards , female pages and female knights ). For specific reasons, this game is believed to have had a 5x16 structure.

Another game (Brera-Brambilla-Tarocchi) can also be assigned to this early period, but since only two trumps have survived, this find provides little information.

In all of these early mentions and still existing products (1424/1425 and 1441/1442) either the Duke Filippo Maria Visconti (1392–1447) of Milan or his daughter Bianca Maria, who came to Ferrara for a six-month visit in the winter of 1440/1441, is involved stayed and apparently transported the play and design idea there.

These early mentions were followed by further document notes on Trionfi games only in 1450 and shortly thereafter, but then in bulk and in several places in parallel. From this connection it can be assumed that the actual tarot game began in these two princely families - Este in Ferrara and Visconti in Milan.

It is mentioned in 1450 for Milan , Ferrara and Florence and in 1452 in Siena . In the same year Sigismondo Malatesta ( Rimini ) showed interest in a Trionfi card production in Cremona (belonged to Milan and was a personally preferred city of the Duchess Bianca Maria Visconti). A traditional game, the so-called Pierpont-Morgan-Bergamo-Tarocchi (also: Visconti-Sforza-Tarocchi ) is assigned to this year 1452 and it has long served as an argument that the tarot game was now complete at this point in time. Only four cards are missing from the composition and only two of 22 special cards - it was assumed that four cards were lost (35 of the originals are in the Pierpont Morgan Library , 26 in the Accademia Carrara , 13 in the family's private collection Colleoni in Bergamo ; the devil , the tower , the three of swords and the knight of coins are missing).

However, closer analysis showed that this game was produced by two different artists, 6 of the 20 trump cards come from another, later hand. For a long time this fact was interpreted as “lost” and “replaced” - today, as an alternative view, there is only one game with a 5x14 structure that was later expanded. A (later) document from 1457 clearly speaks of 70 (= 5x14) Trionfi cards, not 78.

The move to the game with 22 trump cards, today's standard game with rook and devil , is believed to have occurred in the period 1460–1470. It was probably only in this late period that the game found its way to mass production - a development that accompanied the increasing spread of printing and reproduction techniques in Italy during this period. In the period 1490–1510, a successful playing card export structure developed in Lyon (France); the tarot as a game took part in this development.

Michael Dummett quotes card researcher Allmande in his book The Game of Tarot : “The re-imposition of the tax in 1622 provoked a new protest from the 'maistres et ouvriers de cartes et tarotz' of Lyon in 1623, who said that some were already in emigrated to Switzerland or to Besançon in order to escape the tax, and especially that the Duke of Savoy has already lost many mapmakers to Turin and Chambéry . The Lyons mapmakers, happier than their Rouen counterparts , managed to reverse the tax on Lyons in 1623. ”Their laws were improved in 1650; Article 9 continued to refer to the taros .

Tarot (Tarock, Tarocchi) as a game became an internationally successful product in the 18th century, but interest declined again in the 19th century. Its use as a fortune telling instrument, which began at the end of the 18th century and is currently at its peak, became all the more successful. In France, some tarot card sets are still sold as pure game sets.

The written esoteric tradition of the tarot cards does not begin until 1781, when Antoine Court de Gébelin , a Swiss clergyman and Freemason , published the book Le monde primitif, analysé et comparé avec le monde moderne ; a popular treatise on religious symbols and their modern uses. Gébelin was the first to point out the symbols of the Marseilles Tarot, which he interpreted as signs of the mysteries of the Egyptian deities Isis and Thoth . Egyptology was unable to provide evidence of this , but this theory is still widespread today.

The "discovery" of the tarot by occult- esoteric societies, which emerged in western nations in the second half of the 19th century, was more influential. Above all, Éliphas Lévi in his work Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie (English: Transcendental Magic ) , published in 1854, as well as the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn , which was influenced by him, ('Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn'; hereinafter: Golden Dawn) contributed significantly to the spread of the tarot as a system of interpretation. In the Golden Dawn in particular, great importance was attached to the tarot as a tool for self-knowledge. Both rejected a purely divinatory use of the tarot.

The merging of the tarot with elements of Kabbalah and the four elements of alchemy can also be traced back to Lévi . Gébelin's idea of ​​the Egyptian origin of the tarot is retained by both Levi and the Golden Dawn.

Within the Golden Dawn, the tarot deck by Oswald Wirth (1889) was very influential; this deck contains only the major arcana. It is based on the Marseille Tarot, but expands it to include Kabbalistic and esoteric symbols. Both Arthur Edward Waite and Aleister Crowley (see below) were members of the Golden Dawn.

The aspect of tarot as a path of initiation was intensively emphasized for the first time in the Golden Dawn and can be studied, for example, using the Rider Waite Tarot (for the individual decks see below). It is even more evident in the Crowley Thoth Tarot , which has clear references to the Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO). Crowley points out in the Book of Thoth that parts of the symbolism could only be captured by OTO members of certain degrees.

Tarot decks

A set or deck is a complete set of tarot cards that belong together . There are several hundred such decks, some of which differ from each other only in details, but others very significantly. Newer or special decks in particular are often offered in combination with an explanatory book.

Occasionally card sets are also offered as tarot, the structure and images of which have nothing to do with the actual tarot system. B. Lenormand cards , tipper cards or fortune telling cards from other systems.

The 78 cards are divided into the so-called major and minor arcana, sometimes also called “the major and minor arcanum ” (from Latin arcanum , “secret”). More about the arcana and the individual cards below.

The three most famous and influential decks are the Marseille, Rider-Waite, and Crowley Tarot.

Marseille tarot

Decks very similar to today's Tarot de Marseille date back to the beginning of the 16th century. The now known as Marseille tarot deck dates from 1760 and comes from the map manufactory of Nicolas Conver from Marseille . The pictures are based on old wood engravings and are only colored in blue, red, yellow and green. This makes them look very "old" and often coarse. Nevertheless, this color constellation is reminiscent of the four elements water, fire, air and earth, which are also of fundamental importance in today's tarot. The cards of the small arcanum only contain the corresponding number of symbols in the Italian colors .

Trump II in the Tarot de Besançon

A deck developed from this tradition is the Besançon Tarot, in which the cards The Pope and The Pope were renamed Jupiter and Juno . This also applies to the successor deck called 1JJ . This is used to play the Swiss tarot variants - Troccas in the Romansh-speaking part of the canton of Graubünden and Troggu in the German-speaking part of the canton of Valais .

Another deck that is closely based on the Marseille Tarot in its execution is the Oswald Wirth Tarot mentioned above.

Waite tarot

Also known as the Rider-Waite Tarot , this deck was released in 1910. It was created by Arthur Edward Waite together with the American artist Pamela Colman Smith . Both were members of the Golden Dawn. The name's Rider is derived from Rider & Son, the London publisher. This deck is drawn a little finer than the Marseille deck, but it also uses very few colors and because of the lack of nuances it looks a bit comic to many people.

The Rider-Waite-Tarot was characterized by the fact that it did not just illustrate the number cards with the sheer number of symbols, as was customary up to that point, but based on the Sola-Busca-Tarot from the 15th century, the number cards were scenically illustrated. This made these maps easier for many people to use. This change is said to be due more to Pamela Colman Smith than to Waite himself, since Waite in his book on this deck, The Picture Key to the Tarot , only looks at the minor arcana very superficially, almost disparagingly. Another feature of the Rider-Waite Tarot is the change in the order of the cards The Justice (traditionally number 8) and The Force (traditionally number 11), whose positions are reversed in Rider-Waite.

There aren't so many imitations of any deck. The so-called rider-waite “clones” are limited to the pure reproduction of the motif, only with other artistic means, e.g. As the Universal Waite Tarot , the Cosmic Tarot and New Palladini Tarot, but also the gummy bears -Tarot in which the people depicted are replaced with gummy bears.

The Rider Waite deck also illustrates numerous books, and no other deck has so much literature.

Crowley Thoth Tarot (Thoth Tarot)

Lady Frieda Harris and Aleister Crowley created these partially Egyptian tarot cards in the 1940s. They were first published in the form of book illustrations in the Book of Thoth in 1944 . Harris painted the maps over a period of five years. She had a largely free hand in the design and held the copyrights throughout her life. It wasn't until 25 years later that the Crowley Thoth Tarot was released as a deck of cards in 1969. Crowley used a detailed description and systematics in the Book of Thoth (based on Samuel Liddell Mathers ).

Crowley's reputation as a black magician favored the occasional charge that tarot was a tool used by magicians or satanists. Regardless, this deck is popular and has inspired numerous decks. This popularity is based on the representation, which many people perceive as aesthetic, and on the wealth of symbols it contains.

Nowadays the American Caliphats-OTO under William Breeze is mainly financed by the royalties of the Crowley Tarot. In 1998, the Swiss playing card company AG Mueller in Schaffhausen signed a contract with Caliphats managing director William Breeze.

Decks that go back to the Crowley Tarot are the Haindl Tarot, the Cosmic Tribe Tarot and the Liber T Tarot by Roberto Negrini and Andrea Serio.

Different decks

Tarot decks come in a huge variety. They differ mainly in their underlying cultural, esoteric, spiritual or philosophical systems and in their artistic design. Decks that differ widely from the tarot traditions mentioned above, or are completely independent of them, are referred to below as free decks. Systems that can be found in many decks are Kabbalah , Astrology , the I Ching, and Runes .

The ancient Egyptian origin of the tarot claimed by Antoine Court de Gébelin is the cause of a relatively large number of "Egyptian" decks. There are also several decks that deal with indigenous American cultures, for example the Mayan culture. There are Celtic decks, Japanese , Chinese , African , and so on. Decks often refer to more than one culture, so the Haindl- Tarot's court cards each represent an Indian, an ancient Egyptian, a European and an Indian family made up of mythological figures from these cultures. Feminist decks are a special type of this type of deck Decks, the most famous of which are the Daughters of the Moon and the Motherpeace Tarot. These two decks are made up of round cards, while almost all other decks are made up of rectangular cards.

Other decks are based on the works of artists, or specific artistic or literary traditions or works. There is a Shakespeare tarot, a William Blake tarot, a Dürer tarot, a Bosch tarot and a Brueghel tarot and so on. A special type of artist decks are those decks that were designed by visual artists as tarot decks themselves, especially the Dalí deck, the tarot garden by Niki de Saint Phalle , the tarot deck Hansruedi Gigers (Major Arcana) and the Haindl -Tarot as well as the tarot deck Manaras and the two decks by the painter Josef Machynka : The Eclectic Tarot and the Ibis Tarot .

The Kabbalistic Tree of Life Deck requires knowledge of Kabbalah and astrology. The Tree-of-Life tarot does not contain any of the otherwise usual striking scenic motifs, but merely depicts the corresponding abstract symbolism of the Kabbalistic Sephiroth and the Zodiac , based on the assignment of the Golden Dawn.

Paul Foster Case, a member of the Golden Dawn successor "Alpha Omega", founded the order BOTA after its disintegration in the USA , in which the study of the tarot is a central part of the curriculum, as well as its own, executed by Jessie Burns Parke Tarot similar to the Waite deck. It has to be colored by the user himself.

There are also many themed decks, such as a gem and a tree tarot. Thematic decks without esoteric reference are, for example, the baseball tarot, the cat people tarot, the Halloween tarot or the vampire tarot.

Popular art- related tarot decks are the Alice in Wonderland tarot, the Oz tarot, the Marvel tarot or the Lord of the Rings tarot. Some pen & paper role-playing games also use their own tarot decks, for example the Mage series . The Manga Card Captor Sakura comes with a deck of 52 so-called clow cards.

In Discordianism there are drafts for a “free” set consisting of 73 cards ( 23 trumps and 5 number and 5 theme cards for each of the 5 Discordian elements), which is structured completely differently than the classical systems and incorporates the Discordian Dada mysticism . There is currently no printed version of it.


Against the divinatory use of the tarot in particular , as against all other types of divination , the objection is often that there is no evidence for the reliability of the results. However, most recent authors and tarot readers assume that the tarot cannot predict unavoidable and surprising events anyway, but only shows tendencies; for example in the sense of: "If nothing changes in the situation, X will occur".

Like other fortune-telling and counseling methods, the tarot is occasionally misused to cheat , for example to sell “protective amulets ” against alleged “ bewitches ”, or even just for further sessions. Especially with telephone consultations, it also happens that the cards are not actually placed for every caller, but the consultants have a few ready-made statements that are then simply presented, regardless of the question and the person asking.

In addition, the tarot is often associated with magical practices or Satanism , especially by religious groups . This is not least due to Aleister Crowley .

There are basically two possible explanations why the result of a tarot reading can be relevant for answering a question. One is esoteric-spiritual , the other psychological .

  • The esoteric-spiritual or magical explanation is based on the concept of synchronicity coined by Carl Gustav Jung and understands this as the simultaneous or timely occurrence of two events that are meaningful in terms of content, but not causal. According to this explanatory model, there is thus a parallelism between what is presented in an exhibition and events in the life of the questioner.
  • The psychological explanation sees tarot laying as merely a projective or associative procedure; a mirror of internal and external processes. The tarot picture is experienced as a visual parable of one's own situation. According to this explanation, the tarot cards show basic, typical human experiences which, when viewed, evoke a subtle emotional reaction if the depicted topic corresponds to one's own state of mind. In this light the tarot tool can be used for self-knowledge , for tracking down unconscious or preconscious feelings, it becomes a mirror of one's own self. Demystified in this way, the tarot is also used by some psychologists in a therapeutic context.

The tarot cards

Major Arcana (Trump Cards)

The major arcana consist of 22 cards, the symbols of which are completely different from the pictures on the playing cards. While these cards are unnumbered in the oldest known deck, the Visconti Tarot , 21 of these cards have been numbered since the forerunners of the Marseille Tarot from the 16th century. Traditionally, the fool's card either bears no number or is marked with a zero , in rare cases with the number 22. In a few decks, the fool's card is also placed between or after the other cards of the great arcanum, and then numbered accordingly, or it is placed as a zero between cards XX and XXI in the tradition of Papus, Eliphas Levi and AE Waite .

In the 19th century, Oswald Wirth assigned the meaning of "initiation stages" to these 22 cards and later referred to as "22 universal stages of consciousness" in her tarot book by Elisabeth Haich. The decks according to Oswald Wirth, the Waite Tarot ( Arthur Edward Waite ) and, above all, the Marseille Tarot belong to this area . A letter of the Hebrew alphabet is assigned to each tarot sheet.

The following list gives the usual names and the usual numbering, which may differ for individual decks, so in the Rider-Waite deck the positions and thus the numbers of justice and strength are swapped, while in the Crowley Tarot several trumps have different names, for example, The Court at Crowley is called The Aeon . For details of presentation and interpretation, see the relevant articles.

The minor arcana

The small arcana (also: small arcanum ) consist of four times fourteen cards in four different colors or rows, each of which consists of ten number cards (1 (= ace ) to 10) and four cards, usually called court cards. Individual decks change this number, like the universal tarot mentioned above . A few decks either number the cards from 1 to 14, or even dispense with suits, and number these cards from 1 to 56. It is, however, partly controversial whether such decks are still tarot cards in every case, or whether they already have their own interpretation systems.


The principle of the colors of the number cards is known from normal card games. In Tarot, they are identical to the colors of Italian, Spanish and Portuguese decks of cards. There the colors are still referred to with the old names, that is, while in German the color corresponding to the chalices is called "heart" in the French leaf, they are still called "copas" in Portuguese, even if the corresponding original symbol is no longer available is. The corresponding names of the colors in the various card systems and languages ​​are:

Tarot French
English French Spanish Italian Portuguese
Suit Bastoni.svg Bars ♣ Cross / meeting point Bay acorn.svg Acorn Bay acorn.svg Acorn Wands, batons, clubs, staves bâtons bastos bastoni pause
Suit Coppe.svg Chalices Symbol: heart heart Symbol: heart heart RosendeutschschweizerBlatt.svg Roses Cups coupes copas coppe copas
Suit Spade.svg Swords ♠ Spades Bay gras.svg leaf Shields suit Fleur.svg Shields Swords épées espadas spade espadas
Suit Denari.svg Coins ♦ Diamonds Bay schellen.svg Ring Bay schellen.svg Ring Pentacles , coins, disks, rings deniers , écus oros (gold piece) denari ouros (gold)

With the "free" decks, very different names are used for the four colors, e.g. B. stones instead of coins / discs.

Usually the four colors are associated with the four classic elements , i.e. fire, water, air and earth. Occasionally a fifth element, life, or spirit is adopted which is then associated with the great arcanum. The same procedure is followed if reference is made not to the European four-element teaching but to the Chinese five-element teaching (fire, water, earth, metal and wood); this is especially the case for decks with an Asian theme.

The assignment of the colors to the elements was different with the older authors than with the modern esoteric decks, but it was only with the Waite deck that the assignment became manifest in the iconography, as previously the cards of the minor arcana simply represented the respective symbol in the appropriate number .

element older literature Waite typical meaning
Fire Bars Bars Will, strength, intuition
water Chalices Chalices Emotion, instinct
air Coins Swords Thinking, intellect
earth Swords Coins Matter, practical

Court cards

The so-called court cards are usually four cards that represent a person with the symbol of color. Traditionally these are king, queen, knight and page. It is fair to say that these cards have undergone the greatest change among tarot cards, both in terms of their meaning and their representation.

The change in meaning and the variety of meanings can also be seen in the many variations in the names of the individual cards; many of the free decks here deviate from the great traditions.

The names of the court cards in the different languages ​​of classic tarot decks are:

German English (Rider-Waite) English (Crowley) French Spanish Italian Portuguese
king King Knight Roi Rey re Rei
queen Queen Queen Pure Reina Regina Rainha
Knight Knight Prince Cavalier Caballo, Caballero Cavallo Cavaleiro
Jack, Page Page, knave, Jack Princess Valet Sota Fante Valete

As you can see, the names are very similar, with the exception of the Crowley deck. The name of the boy or page varies somewhat, but always expresses subordinate status, a servant or peasant (fr. Valet ) or a foot soldier (it. Fante , cf. infantryman ).

Initially, the courtyard cards only symbolized people, something like this:

  • King of Wands = red-haired elderly man
  • Knight of the Chalices = blond young man
  • Queen of Swords = brunette woman
  • Page of coins = black-haired child

In a fortune telling system, cards that mean something like a blonde woman make perfect sense. In a system that serves (self) knowledge, however, a card that can mean, for example, The power of feelings , would be much more useful. With the increasing connection of the major arcana with archetypes, the need for additional cards that (can) represent people dwindled.

Even in most of the more recent interpretations, court cards can still depict people, although an interpretation regarding age or even hair color has largely been abandoned in favor of the characteristics of people; if they are supposed to represent people, court cards also represent people of any gender, not just the person depicted.

In addition, however, the courtyard cards often show the different influences or applications of the elements. It was initially the Golden Dawn that assigned the four elements to the courtyard cards and gave them new names:

  • King / Knight = fire
  • Queen = water
  • Knight / Prince = air
  • Page / princess = earth

This means, for example, that the king / knight of the wands is fire from fire, so the card symbolizes, among other things, pronounced willpower and dynamism. The king / knight of the coins, on the other hand, is fire of the earth according to this system and, among other things, stands for the will to achieve material things. As usual with the Tarot, there are also systems that make the assignment differently. However, this is the most common.

Most of today's tarot systems use a mixture of these two systems, with different weights, which makes the court cards the most difficult cards to learn, especially for beginners.

Rachel Pollack presented a completely different approach in 1994 in the Shining Women Tarot . There the representation as persons has been completely given up, and the court cards are called place, knower / knower, gift and speaker of the element of the respective color. The location represents the potential of the element or a place where the element can be encountered. The knower stands for the understanding of the element and its meaning for one's own life. The gift can stand for a deeper understanding of the element or for receiving a gift of this element; in the case of rods (fire), for example, the power to do something. And finally, the speaker stands for the ability to actively use the element or to be able to pass on its energy to others.

Number cards

There are basically two ways of interpreting the number cards. One possibility is to link the meaning of the element (color) with the numerological meaning of the number; the other is to give each individual number card its own meaning. Usually these independent meanings are based at least in part on the combination of element and meaning of the number; or they have developed from such interpretations. There are no similarities to be found in decks or systems where this is not the case. For this reason, this article is limited to a brief presentation of the method of combining the element and meaning of the number. The numerical value 1 corresponds to the ace cards.

The meaning of the respective card is then derived from the respective meanings of number and color through combination.

Connection to other esoteric systems

The tarot is originally a genuine European esoteric system. However, since the writings of the Golden Dawn at the latest, there have been many very syncretistic approaches to the interpretation of the tarot. There are likely to be few religious, spiritual and esoteric systems that no one has ever associated with the Tarot. The sense of such connections is often controversial.

The connections between alchemy, Kabbalah, astrology and the tarot are largely undisputed, also because they are already traditional. In the following, only the parts of these systems that are frequently used in relation to the Tarot or their connection to the Tarot are shown; this is not an introduction to the systems themselves.


From alchemy , the tarot has mainly taken over the four elements fire, water, earth and air and their meanings. Likewise, the tarot is often understood, analogous to the alchemical search for the philosopher's stone , as a tool for self-knowledge and self-perfection.


Almost all systems use numerological methods in interpreting the maps.

When interpreting the major arcana, numerological methods are often used, but mostly only simple methods to establish a connection between the cards. An example: Cards 1 - The Magician and 2 - The High Priestess have a direct numerological reference to 3 - The Ruler, 12 - The Hanged Man and 21 - The World. The latter is interpreted in such a way that the mastery of the acting, outwardly directed principle of the magician, as well as that of the contemplative, inwardly directed principle of the high priestess are necessary in order to be able to realize his full human potential.

When interpreting the number cards, more complex numerological systems are usually used, which assign a specific meaning to the numbers 1–10. The problem, however, is the fact that there are very many numerological systems, some of which contradict each other considerably. However, most of the systems used in the Tarot are based on the Kabbalistic interpretation of the ten Sephiroth of the Tree of Life.

When placing the cards, the sum or cross-sum of the cards is often used to determine, for example, the "essence" or the "sum" of the placement. The so-called birth cards or personality cards or similar are also determined in many systems using numerological methods.


Esoteric tree of life with associations between paths and tarot cards

There are several theories that seek to establish a relationship between the Tarot and the esoteric traditions of Kabbalah . In particular, a relationship is constructed between the 22 connections between the 10 Sephiroth of the Kabbalistic tree of life , the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet and the 22 Major Arcana of the Tarot.

These applications of Kabbalistic concepts to the Tarot stem from the Christian-Western reception of Kabbalah . Those familiar with the Jewish Kabbalah, such as Gershom Scholem, repeatedly pointed to contradictions between this Christian tradition and the original Jewish Kabbalah.


Connections are also made to Western astrology in many tarot systems. There are also individual decks that establish corresponding connections to other astrological systems; this will not be discussed here. Usually the zodiac signs, planets and / or astrological houses are assigned to the individual cards, often also one of the four elements with which astrology also works. Their properties are then included in the interpretation of the respective map. However, there is by no means consensus as to which symbol belongs to which card, and even giving an overview would go far beyond the scope of this article. Therefore, as an example, only the assignment that Crowley makes for his tarot system.

map Planet /
zodiac sign
map Planet /
zodiac sign
map Planet /
zodiac sign
0 the fool Uranus 8 justice Libra 15 The devil Capricorn
1 the magician Mercury 9 hermit Virgin 16 The tower Mars
2 The high priestess moon 10 wheel of fortune Jupiter 17 The star Aquarius
3 The ruler Venus 11 The power lion 18 The moon fishes
4 The ruler Aries 12 The hanged man Neptune 19 The sun Sun
5 The Hierophant bull 13 Death Scorpio 20 The judgment / aeon Pluto
6 The lovers Twins 14 temperance Sagittarius 21 The world Saturn
7 The car cancer        

One of the common explanations of the supposed effectiveness of astrology, synchronicity , has also been adopted by many tarot authors; especially when the tarot is used for divinatory purposes.

Other systems

Examples of other systems that are frequently or occasionally associated with the tarot are runes , the I Ching , Celtic mythology , Egyptian mythology , more recently also angels and many others.

Laying and reading the cards


While many people prepare for reading the cards with extensive rituals, which may include candles, music and / or meditations, others largely or completely forego it. A certain concentration is generally considered advisable.

Deck and laying system should be selected according to the question; however, especially as far as the deck is concerned, this is a very subjective decision for which no rules exist.

It is also a personal decision whether to follow certain rituals or methods when shuffling the cards. If one wishes to work with upside down cards, it is necessary to choose a method of shuffling the cards in which upside down cards can occur; this can be done, for example, by withdrawing and turning over cards.

Laying systems

Regardless of the purpose for which you want to interpret the tarot cards, if you do not want to limit yourself to only selecting a single card at a time and interpreting it, you need a laying system. A laying system is any system in which certain places are determined and these places have a certain meaning. A placement system can consist of only two cards, other placement systems include more cards, some even all 78. It is not important to stick to a certain system, but to choose one that suits the question or to determine one yourself. Therefore the number of possible laying systems is unlimited.

Here are a few well-known laying systems as examples. The first with three cards and some possible meanings of the positions, and the second Celtic cross , the most commonly described laying method.

Three card laying

The easiest way to lay cards. In the mindset of tarot practitioners, it should be suitable for making daily predictions for oneself or for answering smaller questions.

  1. past
  2. present
  3. future
  1. I
  2. Partner
  3. environment
  1. What are the pros
  2. What speaks against it?
  3. What if I do

The Celtic Cross

One of the oldest and most famous laying species. Due to the large number of cards laid out and the extensive questioning options, this very detailed method of laying out should be available for all questions. If you are unsure which type of laying to choose, the Celtic cross should be used.

Celtic Cross Spread - Banzhaf.svg
  1. initial situation
  2. Other influences
  3. Conscious aspects (rational)
  4. Unconscious aspects (emotional)
  5. Recent past
  6. near future
  7. Self
  8. environment
  9. Hopes and fears
  10. Result
  1. It's all about this
  2. That is added
  3. That is recognized
  4. That is felt
  5. That led to it
  6. So it goes on
  7. That is how the questioner sees it
  8. That is how the others see it
  9. The questioner expects or fears this
  10. That is where it leads

There are various variations of the Celtic cross . While the actual laying pattern is the same for all these variations, there are 3–6 differences, especially with regard to the order and meaning of the cards.

The compass

The compass has a simple tendency. However, this type of laying can be expanded as required and can therefore be a very good aid to decision-making. The Legart is often used if you suspect that new questions will arise before the cards are laid.

  1. That is the question
  2. Near future
  3. Others and environment
  4. Future (long term)

The cross

The cross is more of a concise interpretation that often points in the right direction. The question can be rearranged here numerous times in order to enable new interpretations of the maps. It is often used to identify a trend or tendency.

  1. The question
  2. That shouldn't be done
  3. That should be done
  4. That is where the path leads

The love oracle

The love oracle is based on the cross, but tailored precisely to questions relating to the topic of partnership. With position three you also get a card that goes to the partner. Here you can carry out very precise explanations for all questions of love and partnership.

  1. The question
  2. Inner motivations
  3. How the other thinks about it
  4. What the advice is

Reversed cards

Depending on how the cards were shuffled, you may find that the cards are placed upside down . Many, especially newer tarot systems, simply turn these cards back into the "correct" position. Historically, however, these cards were (and are still being interpreted in some systems today) as the exact opposite of the meaning of the card. So if a certain card in a certain position meant Sudden Wealth , conversely it would mean Sudden Poverty . Many later authors, however, considered this to be too one-sided. Inverted cards are interpreted by most systems today in such a way that the basic meaning applies, but there is one problematic aspect.

There is also the opinion that the upturned cards have no other historical meaning. The reason lies in the use of the Marseille deck which was one of the earliest tarot decks. In this deck, most of the illustrations are made to mirror each other, so there are no upside down cards.

It is important that the card reader decides before reading the cards whether the cards have a different function for him in his interpretation if they are upside down. The mixing technique is crucial. The usual shuffle in hand cannot generate a deviation here, so this aspect can only apply if the cards are shuffled spread out on the table, not in hand.



  • In Dune Messiah (1969, German "Der Herr des Wüstenplaneten"), the second book of the novel Dune by Frank Herbert , a tarot wave (an arrakista with pictures of history) is reported which makes fortune telling difficult for the Bene Gesserit witches, because the images of the tarot cloud the clarity of their vision.
  • In the fantasy book series The Chronicles of Amber (1970 ff.) By Roger Zelazny , the main character Corwin uses the tarot cards to communicate with family members. The cards also offer him the opportunity to open transitions between different worlds (“shadows”) and to walk through them.
  • Esteban Lopez wrote to Rota. A tarot novel , first published in German in 1972.
  • In the novel The Castle, in which fates cross (1973; original Italian title: Il castello dei destini incrociati ), Italo Calvino has people who cannot speak to one another tell their respective stories using tarot cards placed on a table in an Oulipist game be interpreted. Depending on which side one “reads” them from, the resulting laying pictures result in narratives as varied as those of Faust , Oedipus , Hamlet , Parzival , Roland or Justine . In the afterword, Calvino describes the tarot, which can be interpreted almost arbitrarily, as a “construction machine for stories”.
  • Piers Anthony wrote the fantasy novels of the Tarot Trilogy in 1979/80 .
  • In the first book Black (1982) of the novel cycle The Dark Tower by Stephen King , in chapter 5, the main character Roland is given a tarot by the Man in Black, in which the three cards The Prisoner , The Lady of Shadows and Death are drawn.
  • In Umberto Eco's novel The Foucault Pendulum (1988), the main character Casaubon feels pursued towards the end of the novel by tarot cards that are apparently available in every bookstore in Paris.
  • In the four-volume LuEllen-und-Kidd series (1989 ff.) By the American author John Sandford , the protagonist Kidd uses a rider-waite deck to analyze his respective situation. The titles of the series are also based on the names of the major arcana.
  • Arturo Pérez-Revertes novel The Club Dumas (1993) is based on fictional tarot cards; filmed by Roman Polański as " The nine gates " (1999).
  • In the book Tarot paryski (1993) the Polish author Manuela Gretkowska writes on at least two linguistic levels: the language describing everyday life in Paris for a young Polish woman meets the language interpreting the symbolic meaning of the tarot.
  • In the book Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2005) by Joanne K. Rowling, the main character, Harry Potter , often apparently by chance meets his fortune-telling teacher Sybill Trelawney while she draws tarot cards and unconsciously predicts the further action of the book, among other things the death at the end using the The Tower card .
  • In the novel trilogy The Arcana Chronicles (2012 ff.) By Kresley Cole , several characters represent the major arcana.



  • In the third season of the Japanese manga Jojo no Kimyō na Bōken , Stardust Crusaders , the abilities of the characters are named after tarot cards.



  • James Bond 007 meets a seer (Solitaire) in Life and Let Die (1973), with whom he falls in love. However, as a result, it loses its ability to predict the future. So she falls from grace with Kananga aka Mr. Big, the villain of the film. However, Bond is able to save her and kill Kananga. Solitaire lays the cards for Kananga, who believes in the power of voodoo . Bond seduces her with marked cards, but thereby loses her power to see the future. The deck used was Tarot of the Witches , painted by Fergus Hall; on the back of the card is a stylized 007 lettering. In a later scene in the film, a Rider-Waite deck with the same back is used.
  • In Peter Jackson's film Braindead (1992), the protagonist Paquita is led into the main plot by laying the tarot on cards from the Crowley tarot. One of the cards is expanded to include the face of the main actor and a version of the trump card Der Stern , tailored to the film plot, is used.
  • In the Simpsons episode Lisa's Wedding (season 6, episode 19, 1995), Lisa Simpson visits a fortune teller at a medieval market who is laying her tarot. First the fortune teller puts down the card Lisa’s death is shocked, but the fortune teller, referring to the usual fortune telling practice, describes the card as not that bad. As a second card she places The happy Squirrel (the funny squirrel), which Lisa thinks is cute, but almost panics the fortune teller. Some new tarot games have added the gag and have added the happy squirrel card to their set.
  • In the anime series The Vision of Escaflowne (1996), the leading actress Hitomi can predict the future using tarot cards. Each episode starts with a different, thematically related card.
  • In the anime series One Piece (1997 ff.) The pirate captain Basil Hawkins seems to lay tarot cards with which he sees the future or calculates its probabilities.
  • In the anime series Yu-Gi-Oh! GX (2004 ff.), The leader of the Society of Light, Sartorius, lays tarot cards and is able to see into the future. He partly connects the cards with the characters from the series such as The Fool and Jaden Yuki .
  • In the anime series JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Part 3: Stardust Crusaders , the so-called "stands" of the characters are named after tarot cards. Examples are Jotaro Kujos Stand Star Platinum and Dios Stand The World .
  • In the movie Kings of Rock - Tenacious D (2006) the opening credits contain numerous real and modified or invented tarot cards and their symbolism. The subheadings are also designed in the form of self-invented tarot cards.
  • In the season finale of the third season of the crime series Criminal Minds (2008), a New York terrorist group leaves a tarot death card on one of the crime scenes, as did Lee Boyd Malvo and John Allen Muhammad , the "Snipers of DC".
  • In the film The Cabinet of Doctor Parnassus (2009) Parnassus draws the card The Hanged Man on the bridge just before they see the hanged man under the bridge.
  • In the British BBC series Torchwood there is a character, a little girl, who uses tarot cards to predict the future of the protagonist Captain Jack Harkness several times.

Radio plays

  • In the radio play series Revelation 23 - The knowledge of mankind (episode 13) by Jan Gaspard , the main character, Georg Brand , is predicted the future with the Michelini tarot.
  • In episode 82 "The Cards of Evil" with the three ??? Tarot plays a central role.

Computer games

  • In the third part of the adventure series Monkey Island (1997) a fortune teller lays Guybrush tarot cards and draws five times Death , which suggests bad things for his future. In the Tales of Monkey Island part , which is divided into several episodes , the Voodoo Lady tells the events of the previous ones at the beginning of each episode, which she illustrates with (presumably herself) invented tarot cards such as The Scientist and The Treason . In the game itself, she can also actively cause events through her cards.
  • In the Persona series ( Persona , Persona 2: Innocent Sin , Persona 2: Eternal Punishment , Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 , Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 , Persona 5 ) the tarot cards play in connection with the psychological assignments a central role for the archetypes of Carl Gustav Jung. The relationships of the main character to groups or persons as well as to opponents are each assigned to a trump card. Part 3 and 4 use the Rider Waite deck, Part 5 uses a thematic reversal of the Marseille deck.
  • In the game The Binding of Isaac (2011), Isaac finds various tarot cards from the major arcana that he can use. The names of the cards correspond to the Rider Waite Tarot, but power and justice are not interchanged.



Even if the classical authors of the esoteric tarot regularly claim in their representations to present the tarot as it is and has always been since the ancient Egyptians or even older times, their writings are the actual sources of modern conception of tarot and are therefore considered here as Primary literature.

  • Jean-François Alliette : Etteilla, ou Maniere de se Récréer avec le Jeu de Cartes Nommées Tarots. Lesclapart, Amsterdam & Paris 1770. Self-published enlarged edition, Paris 1783–1785. 4 vols. (“Cahiers”): I, II, III, 1783; IV, 1785. Reprint of I and II: Jobert, Paris 1977. Reprint by IV under the title: Etteilla: L'astrologie du livre de Toth. Edited by Jacques Halbronn. Guy Trédaniel, Paris 1993.
  • Paul Foster Case : An introduction to the study of the tarot. Azoth, New York 1920.
  • Paul Foster Case : The Tarot: A Key to the Wisdom of the Ages. Macoy, New York 1947. German: Key to the eternal wisdom of the Tarot. Urania, Neuhausen 1992, ISBN 3-908644-87-9 . New edition: Pomaska-Brand, Schalksmühle 2006, ISBN 3-935937-41-5 .
  • Antoine Court de Gébelin : Le Monde primitif analyze et comparé avec le monde modern. 1773/1784 (speculations on the Egyptian origin of the tarot in vol. VIII). New edition: Elibron, Paris 2001.
  • Aleister Crowley : The Book of Thoth. A Short Essay on the Tarot of the Egyptians. In: The Equinox III: 5. With Frieda Harris. Reprint: Samuel Weiser, New York 1969, ISBN 0-87728-268-4 , online . German edition: The Book of Thoth. Egyptian tarot. 11th edition Urania, Neuhausen 2005, ISBN 3-908644-73-9 .
  • Sergius Golowin : The world of the tarot. Secret and teaching of the 78 cards of the gypsies. With 78 illustrations of the Gypsy Tarot by Walter Wegmüller . Sphinx, Basel 1975 (tarot book very popular at the time).
  • PD Ouspensky : The Symbolism of the Tarot. Philosophy of Occultism in Pictures and Numbers. Dover Publications, New York 1976, ISBN 0-486-23291-3 , online .
  • Papus : Le Tarot des Bohémiens, clef absolue des sciences occultes. Le plus ancien livre du monde; à l'usage exclusif des inité. Carré, Paris 1889. German: Tarot of the Gypsies, the absolute key to occult science. Ansata, Bern et al. 1999, ISBN 3-502-20245-1 .
  • Anonymus d'Outre-Tombe (= Valentin Tomberg ): Méditations sur les Arcanes Majeurs du Tarot. Par un author qui a voulu conserver l'anonymat. Foreword by Hans Urs von Balthasar . Aubier Montaigne, Paris 1980. German: The great arcana of the Tarot. 2 vols. Herder, Basel 1993, ISBN 3-906371-05-0 .
  • Valentin Tomberg: The Wandering Fool - Love and its symbols. A Christian tarot meditation. Bilingual. Translated from French by Wilhelm Maas based on handwritten notes. Edited by Friederike Migneco and Volker Zotz . Kairos Edition, Luxembourg 2007, ISBN 2-9599829-5-9 .
  • Arthur Edward Waite : The Pictorial Key to the Tarot. Weiser 2008, online . German edition: The picture key to the original Rider Waite Tarot. Fragments of a secret lore behind the veil of divination. Illustrations based on drawings by Pamela Colman Smith. Translation by Astrid Ogbeiwi. Urania, Neuhausen 2005, ISBN 3-03819-070-5 .
  • Arthur Edward Waite: The Tarot: An Antique Method of Divination. In: Walford's Antiquarian. A Magazine and Bibliographical Review. XII / 4 (1887), pp. 210-213.
  • Oswald Wirth : Le livre de Thoth. Les 22 arcanes de Tarot […] de Stanislas de Guaita. Paris 1889 (only published in limited edition with one set of hand-colored major arcana).
  • Oswald Wirth: Le tarot des imagiers du moyen âge restitvé dans l'esprit de son symbolisme. Le Symbolisme, Paris 1926. New edition with a foreword by Roger Caillois: Tchou, Paris 2006, ISBN 2-7107-0728-4 . English: The magic of the tarot. A textbook of esoteric initiation. Fischer-Media-Verlag, Münsingen 1998, ISBN 3-85681-404-3 . English edition: The Tarot of the Magicians. Weiser, New York 1985, ISBN 0-87728-656-6 , 2nd ed. 1990.

Secondary literature

  • Bill Butler: Dictionary of the Tarot. Schocken, New York 1975.
  • Ronald Decker, Michael Dummett: A history of the occult tarot, 1870-1970. Duckworth, London 2002, ISBN 0-7156-3122-5 .
  • Ronald Decker, Thierry Depaulis, Michael Dummett: A wicked pack of cards: the origins of the occult tarot. Duckworth, London 1996, ISBN 0-7156-2713-9 .
  • Michael Dummett , Sylvia Mann: The Game of Tarot - From Ferrara to Salt Lake City. Duckworth, London 1980, ISBN 0-7156-1014-7 .
  • Helen Farley: A Cultural History of Tarot: From Entertainment to Esotericism. Tauris 2009, ISBN 978-1-84885-053-8 .
  • Eckhard Graf: Myth Tarot - historical facts. Param Verlag, Alberstedt 1989, ISBN 3-88755-004-8 .
  • Eckhard Graf: Lexicon of the tarot as well as the oracle and self-awareness games. Nagelschmid, Stuttgart 1991, ISBN 3-927913-03-0 (Lexicon of the various tarot decks).
  • Marion Guekos-Hollenstein: On the psychological interpretation of the tarot game. Dissertation Zurich 1978. Revised book edition: Sources of the Tarot. Unknown treasures in the 22 Major Arcana. Königsfurt-Urania, Krummwisch 2000, ISBN 3-933939-06-2 .
  • Paul Huson: The Devil's Picture Book. The Compleat Guide to Tarot Cards. Abacus 1972.
  • Paul Huson: Mystical Origins of the Tarot. From Ancient Roots to Modern Usage. Destiny Books 2004, ISBN 1-62055-183-7 .
  • Stuart R. Kaplan: The Encyclopedia of Tarot. 4 vols. US Games Systems, New York 1979-2005.
  • Stuart R. Kaplan: Tarot Classic. US Games Systems, New York 1972. German: Der Tarot. History - interpretation - reading systems. Hugendubel, Munich 1984.
  • Thomas Körbel: Hermeneutics of Esotericism. A phenomenology of the tarot card game as a contribution to the understanding of pareligiousness . Series: Religion and Biography Vol. 6, Münster 2001, ISBN 3-8258-5378-0 .
  • Martin Kriele, Robert Spaemann (ed.): The great arcana of the tarot. Meditations by Anonymus d'Outre-Tombe . Herder, Basel 1989, 4 vol., ISBN 3-906371-01-8 (interdisciplinary work on Christian hermetics).
  • Jean-Pierre Laurant: Tarot. In: Wouter J. Hanegraaff (ed.): Dictionary of Gnosis & Western Esotericism. Brill 2006, ISBN 978-90-04-15231-1 , pp. 1110-1112.
  • Kurt Hildebrand Matzak: Tarok - Rota - Tarot. The secret of the tarok card. Leykam, Graz & Vienna 1976, ISBN 3-7011-7069-X .
  • Hildegard Piegeler: Tarot. Esoteric imagery. Wilhelm Fink Verlag, Munich 2010, ISBN 978-3-7705-4934-4 .
  • Belinda Rodik : Tarot Dictionary. Basic concepts and key words for symbolism and interpretation. Schirmer, Darmstadt 2008, ISBN 978-3-89767-612-1 .
  • Ralph Tegtmeier : Tarot - story of a game of fate. DuMont, Cologne 1986, ISBN 3-7701-1682-8 .

Esoteric advisory literature

The number of writings from the area of ​​esoteric advisory literature on the tarot is vast. So here is just a small selection:

  • Hajo Banzhaf : The Tarot Manual. 10th edition. Hugendubel, Munich 1998, ISBN 3-88034-697-6 .
  • Paul Fenton-Smith: Tarot Revealed: A Beginner's Guide. Allen & Unwin, 2008, ISBN 978-1-74176-282-2 .
  • Marcia Masino: Tarot. The practice book. What the cards mean, how to place and interpret them. Ludwig, Munich 2001, ISBN 3-7787-3677-9 .
  • Rachel Pollack : Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom. 2 vols. Aquarian, Wellingborough. Vol. 1: The Major Arcana. 1980. Vol. 2: The Minor Arcana and Readings. 1983. German: Tarot - 78 levels of wisdom . Knaur, Munich 1985, ISBN 3-89060-508-7 .

Web links

Commons : Tarot  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Duden, The German Spelling, 2007
  2. Rachel Pollack: The Haindl Tarot . Droemer Knaur, Munich 1988, p. 7, ISBN 3-426-26374-2 .
  3. ^ Early Tarot Notes. Early Playing Cards Research
  4. a b Stuart R. Kaplan: The Tarot, history, interpretation, laying systems . Henrich Hugendubel Verlag, Munich 1972, p. 41 ff, ISBN 3-88034-224-5 .
  5. see: Willy Schrödter: Das Rosenkreuz . Origo Publishing House. S. a .: Peter Ortmann: The Lombard Tarot . Falcons paperback.
  6. Ronald Decker, Thierry Depaulis, Michael Dummett : A Wicked Pack of Cards: The Origins of the Occult Tarot . London 1996, ISBN 0-7156-2713-9 .
  7. ^ Hajo Banzhaf : The Tarot Manual . Hugendubel, 10th edition, Munich 1998, ISBN 3-88034-697-6 .
  8. trionfi.com - The Oldest Tarot Cards
  9. ^ Trionfi Cards - Early Documents
  10. Ferrara 1441 - where the Tarot cards started
  11. ^ Museum for old playing cards
  12. Cary Yale Tarocchi
  13. Tarot: 5x14-theory
  14. ^ Bianca Maria Visconti in Ferrara 1441 - Tarot Research
  15. ^ Spotlights on the 5x14 theory
  16. ^ Trionfi Cards - Early Documents
  17. ^ Baldassare Castiglione, Il Cortegiano. Extract with notes to playing cards
  18. D'Allemagne vol. I, pp. 297-8, vol. II, pp. 244, 246, 492, 502.
  19. Ibid., Vol. II, p. 258
  20. Michael Dummett: The Game of Tarot from Ferrara to Salt Lake City . 1980, Duckworth, ISBN 0-7156-1014-7 .
  21. Brief meeting 3
  22. Arthur Edward Waite : The picture key to the original Rider Waite Tarot. New translation 2005, AGM Urania, ISBN 3-03819-070-5 .
  23. Learn Tarot
  24. Aleister Crowley : The Book of Thoth. Egyptian tarot. AGM Urania, 11th edition, 2005, ISBN 3-908644-73-9
  25. Andreas Huettl and P.-R. König: Satan - Jünger, Jäger und Justiz , 416 p., Kreuzfeuer Verlag, 2006 , p. 202.
  26. Eckhard Graf: Mythos Tarot, param 1989, p. 25
  27. ^ Josef Machynka: Eclectic Tarot Deck , Verlag Piatnik, Vienna 1986, ISBN 3-900300-19-4
  28. ^ Josef Machynka: Ibis Tarot Deck , Us Games Systems Inc; Edition: Gmc Crds (June 1988), ISBN 0880795166 , ISBN 978-0880795166
  29. Tarocchi Marvel , tarotpedia.com. Retrieved January 26, 2014
  30. Marvel Tarot , marvel.wikia.com. Retrieved January 26, 2014
  31. Discordian Deck (English; PDF; 674 kB)
  32. Bernhard Sommer-Teckenburg: Clarification aid with tarot. Diploma thesis in the Department of Psychology, University of Hamburg 1991; Page 21. - A scientific discussion of psychological counseling with tarot (available from the author's internet portal ).
  33. ^ Elisabeth Haich (Ed.): Tarot - The twenty-two stages of consciousness of people , Drei Eichen Verlag, October 2000, TB, ISBN 978-3-7699-0599-1
  34. Rachel Pollack: The Shining Woman Tarot . 1994, re-released in 2001 as The Shining Tribe Tarot . ISBN 1-56718-532-0 .
  35. ^ March publishing house. From the Dutch by Johannes Piron. Also love & tarot , or as love and tarot in a reprint by Area-Verlag 2004 ISBN 3899960297 . Other title versions Amor & Tarot (Spanish version) or Rota & Liebe .