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ATS Newsletters

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

Discovering Tarot in Literature:
… The List

Compiled by Nina Lee Braden

(abridged from Nina Lee Braden’s copyrighted list from 2002, the year in which the issue of this Newsletter appeared – the full and most recent updated list may be viewed online here)

Since I like to read fiction, and since I like Tarot, I like to read fiction which has Tarot in it. Tarot is such a wonderful system of ymbols, that I find it a natural for writers. Increasingly, more and more writers seem to be using Tarot in their works. Some of them have obviously done their homework and are familiar with the Tarot. Others use it for effect without any knowledge.

Check out the following books which use Tarot. Some of them are quite good; others are not. In addition, I have a list of books which do not have Tarot, but which, in my not so humble opinion, “shoulda had” Tarot. Most of these books are what I would call metaphysical fiction.

Personal note: some of the books on this list are truly amazing, wonderful, tremendous and powerful works of literature. Others are fun reads, good light entertainment. A few are just plain bad. Inclusion on this list is no assurance of literary merit nor of any accuracy in the history or use of Tarot, only of using the Tarot as a literary device. [É] Unfortunately, a great number of these books are out of print.

If you know of a book which mentions Tarot but which is not mentioned on this list, please email me, so that I can revise my list. I wish to thank all of those who have helped me with this list over the years. I have been working on this list since about 1991. It has been a labor of love. In particular, I wish to thank Diane Wilkes for several contributions to the list. If you would like to read about how I got started with compiling this list, please read Discovering Tarot in Literature: The Journey, Part I .

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→ indicates a book which I consider of great literary merit or my personal favorites [please note that Nina distinguishes these on her site].

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The List

Adams, Deborah
      All the Dark Disguises (I really love Adams’ books)

Adams, Richard
      → The Tyger Voyage (Juvenile)

Albert, Susan
      Wittig Witches’ Bane

Allende, Isabel
      → The House of Spirits (Movie adaptation may use non-Tarot divination cards)

Anthony, Piers
      Chaining the Lady
      → Cluster
      Kirlian Quest
      → Tarot (Originally in 3 separate volumes–excellent, excellent, excellent)
      Viscious Circle

Ashe, Geoffrey The Finger and the Moon

Atwood, Margaret
      → The Robber Bride

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Baxter, Charles
      “Kiss Away.” Believers

Barnes, Linda.
      “Lucky Penny” in Sisters in Crime edited by Marilyn Wallace

Bayley, Barrington J.
      The Grand Wheel

Bischoff, David
      The Destiny Dice

Block, Francesca Lia
      The Hanged Man (Young adult. Many people really like this book, but it left me flat.)

Bradley, Marion Zimmer
      Heartlight (Several mere mentions, lots of ceremonial magick)
      The Inheritor (Mere mention)
      Witchlight (Fleeting)

Breton, Andre
      → Arcanum XVII

Bronwyn, Lundell
      Another Poet Among Us “Missing Ingredient.”

Brown, Mary
      Dancing the Jack (Fleeting)

Brust, Steven, and Megan Lindholm
      Gypsy (Dark, futuristic science fiction)

Byers, Richard Lee
      Dark Fortune (Horror)

Bull, Emma
      Bone Dance (Science Fiction)

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Calvino, Italo
      → The Castle of Crossed Destinies (Highly regarded by many, but I wasn’t particularly impressed)

Camp, John See John Sandford.

Card, Orson Scott
      “The Changed Man and the King of Words” in The Changed Man. Originally published in Omni, December, 1981.

Carr, John Dickson
      The Eight of Swords

Casteneda, Carlos

Cate, Nathan
      Sanctuary of the Gods

Chopra, Deepak
      The Return of Merlin (Too bad that it’s the bad guy who uses Tarot)

Chopra, Gautama
      Child of the Dawn

Civil-Brown, Sue
      Chasing Rainbow (Heroine a psychic)

Clarke, Lindsay
      → The Chymical Wedding 1989 (Much alchemy. Stunningly written. Highly recommended)

Cook, Thomas
      Night Secrets (Brief)

Cooper, Louise
      The Book of Paradox (One of the first books that I read which featured Tarot)

Cornwell, Patricia D
      All That Remains

Coville, Bruce
      Eyes of the Tarot (Juvenile. Very well done, as is all of his work)

Creeley, Robert.
      Pieces (Poetry. Quotes Waite on the Fool. Also mentions astrology and playing cards)

Crichton, Michael
      → Travels (See related article: ‘Michael Crichton a New Ager?’)

Crowell, Jean
      → Necessary Madness (fleeting)

Crowley, Aleister
      → Moonchild

Cunningham, Elizabeth
      Return of the Goddess: A Divine Comedy

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Davies, Robertson
      The Rebel Angels
      The Lyre of Orpheus

Davis, Dorothy Salisbury
      A Death in the Life

Deaver, Jeffrey
      The Devil’s Teardrop (Mere mention and negative at that)

Deitz, Tom
      Dreambuilder (Deitz has a wonderful musical Tarot which he features in three of his books)
      The Gryphon King
      Windmaster’s Bane (Mere mention)
      → Wordwright

Delany, Samuel

De Lint, Charles
      The Dreaming Place (Young adult)
      Moonlight and Vines (three short stories previously published elsewhere)
      Trader (Mere mention, but lots of great stuff on divination)

Devlin, Mary
      Murder on the Canterbury Pilgrimage

Dillard, J.M.
      → The Lost Years (Star Trek and Tarot!)

di Prima, Diane
      → poem in Mary Greer’s Tarot for Your Self

Dunstan, Stephen
      Tarot Poems

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Eco, Umberto
      → Foucault’s Pendulum (Fleeting)

Edghill, Rosemary
      Book of Moons (Brief, but lots of Wicca)
      Bowl of Night
      Met by Moonlight (Mere mention, lots of Wicca)
      Speak Daggers to Her (Modest Tarot, lots of Wicca, Tarot on cover)

Egan, Doris
      The Gate of Ivory (Brief Tarot, significant non-Tarot divination cards)

Eisner, William
      The Sevigne Letters

Elder, Catherine
      The Sword and the Rose

Eliot, T.S.
      → The Waste Land

Ellin, Stanley
      House of Cards (Brief. See also the movie)

Emerson, Ru
      Princess of Flames

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Farina, Richard
      Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up To Me

Fennelly, Tony
      Closet Hanging
      The Glory Hole Murders
      1-900-DEAD (Lots on astrology)

Finch, Sheila
      Infinity’s Web

Fitch, Janet
      → White Oleander (Really lovely book with a few fleeting Tarot references)

Fortune, Dion
      → The Sea Priestess (Much ceremonial magic, brief Tarot scene)

Fowles, John
      → The Magus

Foyrer, Gayle
      Prince of Cups (Romance)

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Gates, Charlene Elizabeth
      The Tarot Trumps: Their Origin, Archetypal Imagery, and Use and Some Works of English Literature (doctoral dissertation)

Geary, Patricia
      Strange Toys (indirect & cover)

Gentle, Mary
      Rats and Gargoyles (Brief, but strong alchemy)

George, Demetra
      Mysteries of the Dark Moon

George, Elizabeth
      → Deception on His Mind (Mere mention)
      → Missing Joseph (Passing, but fair amount of Wicca)

Gilman, Dorothy
      The Clairvoyant Countess (Cover, mere mention, strong clairvoyance)

Goldstein, Lisa
      Travelers in Magic (Photos, also Mexican Lotto Cards)

Gotlieb, Phyllis
      Emperor, Swords, Pentacles

Goudge, Elizabeth
      The White Witch (Historically questionable)

Grafton, Sue
      “O” is for Outlaw

Grahn, Judy
      → The Queen of Swords (Verse play, indirect)
      → The Queen of Wands (Poetry, indirect)

Green, Kate
      Black Dreams
      → Shattered Moon

Greenberg, Martin H. & Lawrence Schimel, eds.
      The Fortune Teller (One Tarot story)
      Tarot Fantastic (16 stories and poems by a variety of authors)

Gresham, William Lindsay
      → Nightmare Alley

Guthrie, Al
      Murder by Tarot

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Hager, Jean
      Blooming Murder

Hahn, Mary
      Downing The Time of the Witch (Juvenile)

Hambly, Barbara
      Dog Wizard
      Stranger at the Wedding

Harrington, R.E.
      7 of Swords

Harris, Joanne
      Chocolat (a marvelous book in many ways)

Heinlein, Robert
      Stranger in a Strange Land

Herbert, Frank
      Children of Dune (Mere mention)
      Dune Messiah (Not sure if it qualifies for “real” Tarot)

Hetmann, Frederik

Higgins, Jack
      The Eagle Has Landed (Brief but noteworthy)

Highwater, Jamake
      The Language of Vision

Hoffman, Alice
      → Practical Magic

Hulme, Keri
      → The Bone People (Brief specific Tarot scene, but strong use of basic Tarot archetypes)

Hyvard, Jeanne
      Waterweed in the Wash House

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Jackson, Shirley
      → Hangsaman

Jarvis, Kel
      Lady Tarot (Verse play)

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Keene, Carolyn
      The Fortune Teller’s Secret Nancy Drew.
      Hits and Misses (Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys) (brief)

Kellerman, Faye
      → Grievous Sin (Mere mention)

King, Laurie R.
      → The Beekeeper’s Apprentice
      → A Darker Place (Mere mention of Tarot but much alchemy)

King, Stephen
      The Eyes of the Dragon (Mere mention)

      The Gunslinger: The Dark Tower I (Deck used has some non-standard additions)

Kopp, Sheldon.
      → The Hanged Man: Psychotherapy and the Forces of Darkness (Memoirs and musings of a psychotherapist, using eleven Tarot cards as the organization)

Kotzwinkle, William
      Fata Morgana
      Queen of Swords (Indirect)

Kurtz, Katherine
      → Lammas Night

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Laubenthal, Sanders
      Anne Excalibur

Lee, Tanith
      A Heroine of the World

Lem, Carol
      The Hermit’s Journey: Tarot Poems for Meditation

London, Cait
      The Daddy Candidate (Romance)

Lorens, M. K.
      Sorrowheart (Mystery)

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Magarshack, David
      Death Cuts a Caper

Makino, Erika B.
      Six of Cups: A Circle of Stones (Short stories)

Meade, Marion
      Sybille (Short but noteworthy. Historically questionable)

McCarthy, Cormac
      → Blood Meridian

MacGregor, T.J.
      → The Hanged Man

McKillip, Patricia A.
      Fool’s Run (Indirect)

McMillan, Terry
      A Day Late & a Dollar Short

Mathewson, Joseph
      Alicia’s Trump

Matteson, Stefanie
      Murder on the Silk Road

Melville, Jennie
      Tarot’s Tower

Meyer, Julie
      In the Cards (Romance)

Meyers, Annette
      Tender Death

Morris, Winifred
      With Magical Horses to Ride (Juvenile)

Muller, Marcia
      Ask the Cards a Question (Mere mention)

Murphey, Warren & R. Sapir
      The Ghost in the Machine (Destroyer series #90)

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Nolen, Han
      Dancing on the Edge (Mere mention, but lots of metaphysics)

Norman, Marsha
      → The Fortune Teller (Signi-ficant. Nicely done)

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O’Har, George M.
      Psychic Fair (Fleeting Tarot but much Ouija Board)

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Park, Jacqueline
      The Secret Book of Grazia dei Rossi (Short but significant, historically questionable)

Pavic, Milorad
      Last Love in Constantinople: A Tarot Novel for Divination (Popular, but I didn’t like it)

Piercy, Marge
      → “Laying Down the Tower” cluster in To Be of Use (Truly awesome)
      → Small Change (Brief)

Plath, Sylvia
      → Ariel (Assorted poems)

Pollack, Rachel
      → Golden Vanity (Slight, indirect)

Pollack, R. & C. Matthews, ed.
      Tarot Tales

Powers, Tim
      Expiration Date (bare mention)
      → Last Call (Significant and excellent)

Pratchett, Terry
      Light Fantastic (Discworld series, “Caroc” cards)
      Lords and Ladies (Discworld series, “Caroc” cards)
      Mort (Discworld series, “Caroc” cards)

Pynchon, Thomas
      → Gravity’s Rainbow (Known Tarot, just not known how extensive)

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Rafferty, Carin
      Touch of Magic (Romance)
      The Lake of Darkness

Rich, Adrienne
      → “Twenty-One Love Poems” (Indirect)

Riley, Judith Merkle
      The Master of All Desires (historically inaccurate, but a fun tale of intrigue during the time of Nostradamus and the Medicis)

Ritkin, Virginia
      Fate of the Silver Moon (Audio book)

Robbins, Tom
      Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas

Robertson, Garcia y.
      “Gypsy Trade”

Rose, Carol Jean
      The Tarot Gypsy Trips

Rowling, J. K.
      → Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Delightful book of interest to those of metaphysical bent. Tarot only a fleeting mention, however)

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Sandford, John
      The Empress File (Formerly published under John Camp)
      The Fool’s Run (Formerly published under John Camp)
      Mind Prey (Mere mention)
      Silent Prey (Brief but significant)

Satterhwait, Walter
      The Hanged Man

Savic, Sally
      Elysian Fields (Bare mention)

Sellers, M. R.
      Harm None: A Rowan Gant Investigation

Sherrell, Carl

Shields, Jody
      The Fig Eater

Shitcher, Susan
      The Fool Reversed (Young adult)

Simmons, Robert

Simon, Jean
      Wild Card

Slade, Michael
      Ripper (Horror. Very graphically violent. Strong use of Tarot)

Smith, Julie
      The Axeman’s Jazz (Very brief)
      Other People’s Skeletons (Short but significant, much New Age)

Spillard, Anne
      The Cartomancer (Divination with playing cards)

Stansberger, Richard
      “Arcana: Poems from the Tarot” Glass Hat: Poems 1979

Stein, Diane
      “Queen of Hearts” in Lady Sun & Lady Moon

Steinbeck, J.
      → The Winter of Our Discontent

Stockenberg, Antoinette

Stone, Irving
      The Agony and the Ecstasy (Fictional life of Michaelangelo with references to game of Tarrochi)

Stuart, Anne
      Prince of Swords (Romance)

Sullivan, Evelin
      Four of Fools (Significant)

Sussex, L.
      ‘The Man Hanged Upside Down’

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Tannen, Mary
      Second Sight

Taylor, Laurie Aylma
      “Fortune Tellers.” Poem in Xanadu 3 ed. Jane Yolen

Taylor, Peter
      Oracle at Stoneleigh Court (Brief)

Thurm, Marian
      The Clairvoyant (Minor but significant. Somewhat accurate portrayal of professional psychic)

Tryon, Tom
      Night Magic

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Wakoski, Diane
      → Assorted poems including “From the Tarot Deck”

Warner, Mignon
      Death in Time (Mere mention)
      The Girl Who Was Clairvoyant
      A Medium for Murder (Brief)
      → The Tarot Murders

Webb, Don
      Essential Saltes (Mere mention but lots of alchemy)

Weick, Stewart

Whitten, Leslie H
      The Alchemist

Wilhelm, Kate
      The Hamlet Trap
      Seven Kinds of Death

Willard, Nancy
      “The Friendship Tarot” in Between Friends, ed. Mickey Pearlman (title, actual cards not Tarot, picture of Tree of Life layout)

Williams, Charles
      → The Greater Trumps (significant, classic work)

Williams, Tad
      Otherworld (indirect, Hanged Man archetype)

Wilson, F. Paul
      The Keep

Wilson, Robert Anton
      The Cosmic Trigger, Vol. I. (non-fiction)

Wilson, Robert Anton
      The Earth Will Shake (The Historical Illuminatus trilogy)
      → Masks of the Illuminati
      The Trick Top Hat (Schrodinger’s Cat trilogy)
      The Universe Next Door (Schrodinger’s Cat trilogy)
      The Widow’s Son (mere mention)

Wilson, Robert Anton and Robert Shea The Eye in the Pyramid (Illuminatus! trilogy)
      The Golden Apple (Illuminatus! trilogy, mere mention)
      Leviathan (Illuminatus! trilogy)

Winterson, Jeanette
      → Gut Symmetries

Worth, Valerie
      Gypsy Gold (Young adult, no historical accuracy at all)

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Yate, Allan Coriolanus
      The Chariot

Yeager, Dorian
      Cancellation by Death.
      Eviction by Death (Brief)

Yeats, William Butler
      → “Stories of Red Hanrahan,” “Blood and the Moon,” others.

Yorke, Christy
      The Wishing Garden (One of the most extensive uses of Tarot that I’ve run across)

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Zelazny, Roger
      Amber series

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[thank you Nina Lee Braden for this list – please check for updates since this Newsletter online at her site.]

3 comments to

Discovering Tarot in Literature:
… The List

  • Dear Ms. Braden,
    You might want to update this list to include In The Lap of Morpheus. The novel, newly released at’s CreateSpace, features a Tarot Reading for each of its two main characters, readings that influence the nature and culmination of an unusual relationship.
    r. muir

  • Just finished the last book in David Skibbins mystery series in which tarot plays a large role, and am hungry for more tarot-themed novels.

    Looking forward to digging in to the titles on this list.


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