THE ARCANAS GALLERY
A meeting place
with the magic of the world of symbols
As with all great mysteries, the origin of the Tarot remains unfathomable. Through ages, many Tarot decks have been created. The Tarot history is impregnated with controversies and theories that attempt to explain it's origin in time and space. How could a visual language generate so much writings? The historians have their theories; the Tarot readers their interpretations and yet, nothing talks more about the Tarot than the Tarot itself.
This is an invitation. Come and walk through the Arcanas Gallery as if you were in a museum and discover the inexhaustible variations on a same theme:
Cathedral of human consciousness
Tarot of Marseille - Grimaud Editions
The editions are numerous and not without controversies
The Tarot of Marseille is the one I use for my readings. There are many editions of the Tarot of Marseille whose differences depend on multiple and complex factors that are beyond the intention behind this Gallery.
The Tarot of Marseille, Grimaud Editions, was my first Tarot deck. Its figures, shapes and colors have educated my glance and sharpened my perception. As a first Master, it has a privileged seat in my Tarot practice.
Tarot of the Gypsies by Dr. Papus
The divinatory Tarot of Papus reflects the esoteric world of France
in the 18th and 19th centuries
Papus considered the Tarot to be both a depository of ancient esoteric wisdom and a tool for divination.
Though he never had any historical proof, Papus claimed that the Tarot has its origin in ancient Egypt. Streaming down from the Marseille tradition, the major arcanas in Papus' deck are accompanied by symbols borrowed from diverse sources such as: astrogoly, numerology, cosmology, theogony, etc...
Visconti-Sforza Tarot Deck
It bears the name of the two ruling families in Milan during Italian Renaissance
Many Tarot historians consider this deck as the most ancient of all Tarot decks. The term "Visconti-Sforza" refers indeed to more than ten decks, which are unfortunately incomplete. These collections represent one of our museum and library wealth all around the globe.
The beauty of its imagery, the fineness of its design and the use of precious material such as gold, not only tell us about the life of these rich Italian families, but make of this deck a true piece of art.
The Jungian Tarot - by Dr. Robert Wang
A support for active imagination principle according to Carl G. Jung
The Jungian Tarot was developed in the spirit of offering a visual tool as an introductory access to the work of the Swiss psychoanalyst Carl G. Jung.
His autheur, Dr. Robert Wang, is an internationally known artist and art historian specialized in the history and evolution of symbol systems.
Oswald Wirth Tarot Deck
Late 19th century occultismt and cabalist
Oswald Wirth, master of symbolism, wrote important pieces that have become classics in Tarot literature. "LE TAROT des imagiers du Moyen Age" (translated in English as: "THE TAROT of the Magicians" is considered, among the Tarot readers, as essential for apprenticeship in the art of the symbolic interpretation of the Tarot.
Inspired by the "Tarot des Bohémiens" (Tarot of the Gypsies) by Papus, the arcanas are accompanied by their corresponding Hebrew letters.
According to Claude Burdel
Reproduced from original 18th century woodcuts
As for many other decks, The Tarot Classic according to Claude Burdel's woodcuts is not without controversies. Its origin is itself contested and there is another deck whose Italian publisher "Lo Scarabeo" claimed it as the true descendant of Burdel's woodcuts. (See next Gallery)
Though different, it belongs to the Marseille tradition with obvious variations within its colors and figures.
Universal Tarot of Marseille
Lo Scarabeo Editions
Based on the Tarot deck of the Swiss Claude Burdel
Most writings on the Universal Tarot of Marseille link to Burdel's woodcuts from 1751. This is obviously in controversy with the Tarot Classic displayed above in the Arcanas Gallery. It belongs to the Marseille Tradition as of its style and iconography.
The term "Universal" itself has been associated to other decks and in particular to the Rider-Waite, which is viewed as the first "modern" Tarot deck.
Tarot of Marseille
The minor arcanas are organized around four central pillars linked to the four elements: earth, fire, air and water. These families of energies, in connection with numerology, constitute a breeding ground from which are born surprising and meaningful associations that often remain hidden at the first glance.