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The Tarot (Arkana) [Paperback]

Alfred Douglas , David Sheridan
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

28 Mar 1991 Arkana
In this authoritative study, Douglas explores the traditions, myths, and religions associated with the Tarot, investigates their psychological importance, and shows how to use the cards for divination.

Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Arkana; New edition edition (28 Mar 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140192395
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140192391
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 12.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,369,386 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


"The most objective, direct, and clearly written book to date on the complex subject of the Tarot" --Library Journal, April 1972 --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Publisher

'The Tarot: the origins, meaning and uses of the cards'
by Alfred Douglas, has been revised and republished by us after being out
of print for a decade. It accompanies the Sheridan Douglas Tarot deck,
which is also once more available after an absence of 25 years.

New Sheridan Douglas ISBN for this title: 9780955373817 --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Neglected To Resurrected 25 April 2011
Alfred Douglas' interest in things esoteric began whilst he was still at school in the 1950s. He became a member of a teaching order in the western magical tradition where Douglas pursued his Tarot studies, inviting his partner's son, David Sheridan, to design a Tarot deck to illustrate his book. More recently, in 2007, Douglas' classic work on the Tarot was relaunched, along with the Tarot deck itself. The author's intention in writing this book is not stated in so many words apart from it's actual title - it is a book which is presenting standard information on the Tarot i.e. it's origins, meaning and uses. Sheridan's deck used for illustration purposes throughout the book is shown in black and white, whilst the coloured version is actually very highly and beautifully coloured, well worth a look. Douglas begins with an examination of some of the theories of playing card origins, including China, Korea, India and France, following this up with some discussion about the Tarot's origins. Possibilities suggested are the Knights Templar, a connection with the Qabalah, and Egypt. He then goes on to look at how the original playing cards and the Tarot's Major Arcana may have been joined together to become one deck. The author's natural progression leads him to then look at the possible symbol sources of the Major Arcana with emphasis on the medieval Renaissance movement; the Gnostic religious sects; and Celtic, Norse, Christian and Islamic imagery. For the Minor Arcana, he states that the suits are possibly related to and deriving from the four main divisions of European society; the four Grail Hallows; and the Four Treasure of Ireland, rounding off the chapter by pointing out that much of this is based on speculation and supposition rather than hard-and-fast facts. Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good book to learn about the tarot 17 May 2012
When I wanted to learn about the Tarot this is the book that I read because of the authors reputation. The book is informative, well researched, clearly written, well structured and beautifully illustrated
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 25 July 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Psychology, mythology, symbolism, and history 4 Aug 2003
By Stephanie Holland - Published on
When I started looking into Tarot, I asked an experienced reader which book to start out with and he recommended this one. He was so right! Buying this book was the best thing I could have done for myself as a beginner. This book examines the history of where the cards come from, what types of mythology are incorporated into the pictures on the cards, the evolution of the cards through time, and the psychology involoved in the Major and Minor Arcana. Every reader has a book that they always rely on for thier interpretations, and this one is mine!
This book is an excellent start for any beginner and I think that an experienced reader would benefit from reading it as well. Definately worth 5 stars!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Tarot by Alfred Douglas 12 May 2002
By A Customer - Published on
comprehensive, philosophical tarot background with Jungian interpretation of the major arcana. Archetypal story progression of 0 through 21 in major arcana and memory key for minor arcana. Outstanding overall presentation on formal tarot use. Great, especially used in conjunction with similar texts.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Right up there with the best! 12 Jan 2008
By Jeff Budge - Published on
In my search to understand the Tarot, I have read probably 25 books or so. Some of them, a very few, stand out as what I consider to be the best. Coming to grips with the Tarot is very personal, but I'm a traditionalist in the sense that earlier decks tell more about the original intent, and that there is a structure to the major and minor arcana; there for the Diviner to construct a methodology.
This particular book by Alfred Douglas is right on the mark, and his analysis and interpretations have added knowledge to my extensive readings. In short- a fabulous top of the line Tarot book (Barbara Walker also comes to mind) for not only the beginner (what a great place to start!) but also for the advancing. While not complicated in the least, his interpretations are thought-provoking, and expansive.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Introduction 3 Jun 2008
By Flippy - Published on
This introduction was perfect and in my opinion, the best place to start if you plan on learning about the Tarot deck. Jungian and Gnostic perspectives on reading the cards (especially the Major Arcana). I think this is the best place to start. Douglas goes through the Major Arcana after an excellent history/introduction of the Tarot. From there, the Minor Arcana with a great introduction into using the cards.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A tool for intuition. 19 Jan 2006
By Michael Silkebakken - Published on
This is a good book published by Penguin. Some think the tarot is bizarre, cultish, and evil but I have found it to be an excellent way to make decisions. Really all it is is meditating on artwork to tap your intuition. I reccomend it for decision-making for all with a right-brain temperament. This book is a good primer.
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