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Tarot- The Library of Esoterica, Book I


To explore the Tarot is to explore ourselves, to be reminded of the universality of our longing for meaning, for purpose + for a connection to the divine. This 600-year-old tradition reflects not only a history of seekers, but our journey of artistic expression + the ways we communicate our collective human story.

For many in the West, Tarot exists in the shadow place of our cultural consciousness, a metaphysical tradition assigned to the dusty glass cabinets of the arcane. Its history, long + obscure, has been passed down through secret writing, oral tradition + the scholarly tomes of philosophers + sages. Hundreds of years + hundreds of creative hands―mystics + artists often working in collaboration―have transformed what was essentially a parlor game into a source of divination + system of self-exploration, as each new generation has sought to evolve the form + reinterpret the medium.

Author Jessica Hundley traces this fascinating history in Tarot, the debut volume in TASCHEN’s Library of Esoterica series. The book explores the symbolic meaning behind more than 500 cards + works of original art, two thirds of which have never been published outside of the decks themselves. It’s the first ever visual compendium of its kind, spanning from Medieval to modern, + artfully arranged according to the sequencing of the 78 cards of the Major + Minor Arcana. It explores the powerful influence of Tarot as muse to artists like Salvador Dalí + Niki de Saint Phalle + includes the decks of nearly 100 diverse contemporary artists from around the world, all of whom have embraced the medium for its capacity to push cultural identity forward. Rounding out the volume are excerpts from thinkers such as Éliphas Lévi, Carl Jung + Joseph Campbell, a foreword by artist Penny Slinger, a guide to reading the cards by Johannes Fiebig + an essay on oracle decks by Marcella Kroll. Hardcover.

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