Tarot and Other Meditation Decks

History, Theory, Aesthetics, Typology, 2d ed.


In stock

About the Book

Arthur E. Waite and artist Pamela Colman Smith’s Rider-Waite Tarot (1909) is the most popular Tarot in the world. Today, it is affectionately referred to as the Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot in recognition of the high quality of Smith’s contributions. Waite and Smith’s deck has become the gold standard for identifying and analyzing contemporary Tarot and other meditation decks based on archetypes.
Developments in both visual and literary history and theory have influenced Tarot since its fifteenth-century invention as a game and subsequent adaptations for esotericism, cartomancy, and meditation. This analysis consider Tarot in relation to established modern and postmodern art movements, such as Symbolism, Surrealism, and Pattern and Decoration Art, as well as the concepts and theories informing both the dominance and the dissolution of the modernist “grid” and hierarchical priorities. This work also explores the close connection between Tarot and the invention of the literary novel and includes new material on the representation of Tarot in film and fiction. A new chapter addresses the growing influence of the archetypal “shadow” and “shadow work” on Tarot as an artistic form, narrative genre, and practice in the new millennium.

About the Author(s)

Emily E. Auger (Ph.D.) is a retired art historian and author of numerous reviews, articles, and books. Founder and chair of the “Tarot and Other Divination Methods” area at the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association (2004–2020), she lives in rural southwestern Ontario.

Bibliographic Details

Emily E. Auger
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 276
Bibliographic Info: 196 photos, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2023
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8679-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4720-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments v
Preface to the Second Edition 1
Preface to the First Edition 3
Introduction 5
One. Tarot and Visual Art 19
Two. Tarot and Literature 62
Three. Tarot as Tarot 100
Four. Tarot and the Archetypal Shadow 154
Conclusion 198
Appendix 199
Chapter Notes 223
Tarot Decks Cited 239
Meditation and Other Decks Cited 244
Bibliography 246
Index 259

Book Reviews & Awards

  • Reviews of the first edition: “A unique and specialized art history…unusual, fascinating, seminal, and very highly recommended”—Midwest Book Review