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by author


The Boiardo 15th c Poem
Tarot history in brief

quotations from various people

Functions of Readings
What is Tarot?


Med. on XVIIII

Emily E. Auger

Tarot and Other Meditation Decks

L. Atkinson

Orphalese Software review

S. Arwen

Memory & Instinct

Kathy Berkowitz

Waite's Mystical Tradition (Pt 1)
Waite's Mystical Tradition (Pt 2)
Waite's Mystical Tradition (Pt 3)
Waite's Mystical Tradition (Pt 4)

Nina L. Braden

Tarot in Literature

David Brice

Birth of Tarot

Colin Browne

Square & Compasses Tarot

Lee A. Bursten

Journeys in Tarot Creation
Vachetta review


Review: The Lo Scarabeo Story

Ross G. Caldwell

Tarot History

Bonnie Cehovet

Tarology - Poetics of Tarot
Review: Secret of Tarot
The Mystereum Tarot

N. Chishty-Mujahid

Concerning Ghisi’s Laberinto

Craig Conley

A House of Tarot Cards

A.B. Crowther

Rachel Pollack interview

Jean-Michel David

On Paneurythmy and Tarot
Tarot's expression of the numinous
Yarker, Tarot & Arcane Schools
Waite-Smith Sun card
The Fool as Wandering Jew
Tarot as Christian Art
Education through Tarot
Tarot: the vatical & the sacral
Fortuna, Ass & Monkey
Steiner and Tarot
1701 Dodal restored!
Enc. Tarot vol I-IV: review
Christ, World & Sin
Caveat Emptor:
       Visual Tarot

Tarot & AlefBeit
Review: Jean Payen Tarot
Tarot and Freemasonry
I-Ching and Pip Cards
Whither directing your course?
Tarot & the Tree of Life
Ovid, Egypt and Tarot
When the Devil isn't the Devil
Four elements and the suits
Court Cards & MBTI
Certification & Codes
Jean Dodal Marseille
Conference FAQs
Golden Dawn
Kabalah & Tarot
Golden Tarot review
Annual spread
Iraqi Museum
Two Brief TdM reviews
Meditations on the Tarot

Enrique Enriquez

The Joy of Wordplay
J-C. Flornoy interview
Embodied Tarot
Indirect Suggestions
Whispering to the Eye

Mark Filipas

History of Egyptian Decks
Lexicon Theory

Jean-Claude Flornoy

in memorium
from Oral Tradition

Roxanne Flornoy

Children and Tarot
from Oral Tradition

Mary Greer

Killing the Thoth Deck
On the Tarot of the Four Worlds
Egypt, Tarot and Mystery School Initiations

William Haigwood

The Sixties: Counterculture Tarot

Alissa Hall

Parlour Tricks

Kris Hadar

The Tarot

Claas Hoffmann

Crowley-Harris 'Thoth' deck

Michael J. Hurst

Tarot Symbolism review

K. Frank Jensen

Century with the Waite-Smith

Shane Kendal

A Poetry of Tarot

Ken J. Killeen

The Metaphysical Bible

Barbara Klaser

Language of Tarot

E. Koretaka

Cardinal Virtues

Dovid Krafchow

Kabbalistic Tarot

Lisa Larson

Perceptions of Spirituality

Suzan E. Lemont

Therapeutic Tarot Work

Eric K. Lerner

Diloggun and Tarot

N. Levine

Tarot of Prague review

C. Liknaitzky

Journey in Ceramics

Joep van Loon

Tarot Wheel

Karen Mahony


S.J. Mangan

Fool, Alef & Orion

Robert Mealing

Petrarch’s Triumphs
Jean Noblet Tarot
Hunting the "true" Marseille Tarot
Cary Sheet

Fern Mercier

Playing the Fool

C. de Mellet

Inquiries into Tarot

Sophie Nusslé

Fantastic Menagerie

Robert V. O'Neill

Tarot Symbolism
Tower Iconology

Michael Owen

Xultun Tarot

Dan Pelletier

Magic Manga Tarot
the Blank Spot

Robert M. Place

The Fool's Journey

Debra Rosenthal

Looking at the Jacques Vieville

Mjr Tom Schick

Tarot Lovers Calendar

Inna Semetsky

Counseling Reading for Spouses
Learning the language of images
Re-Symbolization of Self
Tarot (dis)contents

Diana Sobolewska

'Bateleur's tale'

Russell Sturgess

Jesus's New Testament

N. Swift

Sufism & Tarot

Arthur E. Waite

Symbols of Tarot

Meditations on the Tarot:
A Journey Into Christian Hermeticism

book by Anonymous

written in French by a Russian ex-patriot living in London, 1967

Review by Jean-Michel David

(originally written in 2002 in light of the new release of the book)

As the Robert Powell 1985 translation of this book has just been published for the third time, I thought it timely to write this brief review which cannot, in my opinion, do the book justice. As Powell writes in his own review, the book ‘is truly a magnum opus‘.

I have the 1993 edition published by Element Books, which has no introduction, nor afterword nor index – unlike, from what I have been told, the newly released (Penguin-Putnam) Tarcher 2002 publication. Still, the manuscript I have has 658 pages of solid, clear and wide-ranging text.

The book is divided into twenty-two letters from the Unknown Author (UA) to his readers (‘UA’ is an appellation becoming increasingly common when referring to its author, and reminiscent of the Martinist ‘Unknown Philosopher’). Such ‘letter’ style is not unusual, and is found in some classic Russian and mediaeval Christian texts – for example The Cloud of Unknowing (Penguin Classics).

The UA clearly comes from a Christian perspective, but not one which would be expected from the exoteric church – though I have been informed that the current Pope has a copy of the German translation of the work!

Each letter truly is an exegesis of one of the trumps, with the final letter making implications for the minor. Though the author clearly refers to the Marseille deck in the text, he also states (p 260)

The twenty-two Cards of the Major Arcana of the Tarot being an organism, a complete whole, it is not a question of diverse and disparate origins of particular Cards, but rather of the degrees of their evolution or transformation. For the Tarot, also, is not a wheel, a closed circle, but rather a spiral, i.e. it evolves through tradition and … reincarnation

Reading the book is certainly a journey – not because it takes the reader along well traveled paths (which it does, being firmly grounded in tradition) – but because the reader is lead far and wide to a very diverse and broad range of other authors – some well known, such as Drs Steiner or Jung, others not as well, such as Dr Carton or Prof. Mebes.

The classics are also extremely well interweaved, and relevant quotes from such important esoteric, spiritual and hermetic texts as the Kore Kosmu, the Bible, the Zohar, the Vishvasara Tantra, the Hermetica (amongst others), as well as quotes from Wirth, Origen, Papus, St Teresa, St John of the Cross, as well as those previously mentioned (Steiner et al.) are carefully selected and artfully placed.

Of Tarot’s history, the UA states (ibid.)

The authors who saw in the Tarot the ‘Sacred Book of Thoth’ (Thoth = Hermes Trismegistus) were both right and wrong at the same time. They were right in so far as they traced back the history of the essence of the Tarot to antiquity, notably to ancient Egypt. And they were wrong in so far as they believed that the Tarot had been inherited from ancient Egypt, i.e. that it had been transmitted from generation to generation subject to minor iconographic changes.

Further details of the book are also available at

This book, when not long out of print, fetched up to $200 on the second-hand market — such is its desirability. For all serious Tarot enthusiasts, and for all aspirants walking the Occidental Spiritual paths, I would recommend it without reservation.

This work ranks amongst the classics of mysticism, gnosis and magic – the three pathways into Hermeticism. In my opinion, it is the most masterful book which utilises the trumps of the Tarot as tools to enter spiritual dimensions.

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Meditations on the Tarot:
A Journey Into Christian Hermeticism

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