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The Pythagorean Tarot Cards – 18 Sep 2001

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Cards: 470 pages
  • Publisher: Llewellyn Publications,U.S.; Min edition (18 Sept. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1567184499
  • ISBN-13: 978-1567184495
  • Product Dimensions: 23.5 x 15.8 x 6.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,245,216 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

John Opsopaus (Tennessee) is a practicing Neopagan in the Hellenic tradition who has been an active magician and diviner for thirty years. He is also a university professor with more than twenty-five years' experience reading ancient Greek and Latin.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Cards
I have used the accompanying book as a source for my own research into early Kabbalah and Numerology. This is one of the first books to refer to the Babylonian Kabbalah theories of Professor Parpola. If you have studied ancient Greek culture to A level or University level it is a gem but be prepared for hard study. I would put the card deck in the same league as the Babylonian Tarot by Cicero, a card picture book that gently educates the user in a really important but vanished mindset. This is cultural Tarot in the sense of Angeles Arrien's Tarot Handbook.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars 16 reviews
56 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great resource for understanding the Tarot. 22 July 2002
By Ruth Henriquez Lyon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Cards Verified Purchase
The subtitle of this book is "An Interpretation Based on Pythagorean and Alchemical Principles," and as such it gives a broad introduction to the symbols at the root of Western occult iconography.
In his introduction Opsopaus writes that he's written the book for neopagans who are dissatisfied with traditional decks based on the theology and esotericism of the late Renaissance. But that doesn't mean the book isn't useful for traditionalists as well. After all, much of the esoteric though of the Renaissance grew out of Pythagoras' thought and the Greek mystery traditions. I use traditional decks myself, but I reference this book constantly.
In fact, anyone interested in the history of symbols will find a wealth of material in this book. The bibliography in the back is absolutely wonderful. The section on Pythagorean numerology is the best I have read on that subject.
In addition, the cards are beautiful; the symbols are different than a traditional deck, but not so different that you can't recognize immediately which major arcana card you're looking at. The pip cards have no pictures, which is the way the early tarot decks were created. However, their meanings are easily derived by combining the numerological information with the element qualities. Opsopaus does this in his section on the pip cards.
The book starts out with a section on the background of the metaphysical ideas the author deals with, then goes on to sections on the major, then the minor arcana. The fourth section covers divination thoroughly and with some wonderful insights not covered in other books.
I first found out about Opsopaus' tarot writings on his encyclopaedic website, which has the same name as the book. I originally tried printing out the website material (before the book was published), but there was just too much. I've found the book to be a must-have in my Tarot library. It's not only scholarly but also very readable, which makes for a good learning experience.
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Maths and Magic synthesised 11 Aug. 2005
By BPG - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Cards
I am a newcomer to the Tarot, which is probably not the best way to start this book. However, I'm well read in Pythagorean esoterica, and dived straight in. What can I say?

Phenomenal! The logic and symmetry which underlie Pythagoras' school of mysticism, is astounding. And, despite being extremely lucid, the author is clearly a highly qualified and academically rigorous authority on the subject.

Discovering this book honestly feels like stumbling upon some ancient priceless treasure. Perhaps the greatest preSocratic philosopher, Pythagoras treated magic and science as an indestructable whole, and the meaningfulness that emerges is a powerful antidote to our modern schizophrenic view of the world.

I didn't buy the book for the tarot deck. But having extensively researched the Tarot since, I don't think one could get nearer to profoundly insightful divination
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You'll Find No Other Better! 23 Jan. 2007
By Irish Blackthorn - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Cards
John Opsopaus is an incredible scholar & that is what lays the foundation for this magnificent book & deck of Tarot cards. I am a fanatical researcher of the "Arcane Arts" & have learned SO much from Mr. O's website. I have never owned a Tarot deck before & was scarcely interested as I'm as psychic as anybody & just learned to follow my hunches at an early age & I like suprises. However, after reading about each of the Major Arcana on his site, I felt compelled to get the book & deck.

As it turns out, my studies of Alchemy, Astrology, Magick & Mythology all came in handy because this book is SO thorough in it's use of symbology & numerolgy, & synthesizes these cross-culturally. This has a layering effect & I'm certain to learn even more upon subsequent readings of this tome. While there was plenty of dot connecting I could do while I read it- there was still plenty I could nowise make use of as I had no frame of reference.

If you are new to Arcane Arts this is probably NOT the best place for you to start unless you have some amazing gift of Intelligence &/or understanding beccause this IS complex. Mr. O puts the Tarot back in it's original order making one wonder WHY it was EVER changed & why SO many just blindly go along with those changes. Also, this particular Tarot is NOT a game- there is a whole industry of pseudo-occult objects & websites (read: Occult-lite or diet-Occult) that caters to the surfacey, dabblers & thank Goodness for it as that keeps us all safe. This Tarot is in depth citing around 1600 sources.

One can visit John Opsopaus' website & learn in doses before deciding whether or not they're ready to go this deeply into the Tarot but please, whoever you are, wherever you are, start telling anyone you know with any interest in the Tarot that most decks DO not use the original order of the Major Arcana & it's MOST likely that the Tarot has NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with the Quaballa. (or howEVER it's spelled.)
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars These Cards Require Rethinking 15 July 2008
By Neshamah - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Cards
A user of traditional Tarot will be quite confused while thumbing through these cards at first. The order of the cards is strange; the images on the cards don't 'fit' our usual understandings. Which is why the creators of this deck include, for our edification, a 470 page book that explains everything they were attempting to achieve with this marvelous set of cards.

They went 'back to the drawing board' in constucting this deck. The iconography corresponds to the Greek pantheon, as well as including alchemical ideas. Also, the order of the cards is based on Pythagorean numerology. So, don't expect to begin using them as soon as you get them; they will require some work -- reading the book and studying the images on the cards. I assure you that the work is well worth the effort.

You will come to treasure this deck for its unique approach and its bold re-statement of traditional concepts. Highly recommended.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very nice price for a brand new still in the wrapper ... 5 Jun. 2015
By Lady Cyn Aptic - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Cards Verified Purchase
Erm... This is just a very positive review for Books4Little, who was my seller. Very nice price for a brand new still in the wrapper product at under $20 (original price $40). I was expecting far less. I haven't gotten the chance to thoroughly review the book and deck quite yet (from very inconsequential preliminary card draws and glimpsing exerts it's quite good, but not tested or explored enough for a solid review), but exceptional marks for the seller. If curious about card draws and the like, even with knowledge of classical tarot and many many offshoot tarot decks, card draws are the most objective and clear I've seen in my experience in relation to inquiries... including the thoth and rider waite deck. Albeit random intuitive observation, but hey. If you are an experienced card reader and interested in a different take, this is the best deck to get. It veers off the given path for traditionalists, while subscribing to more traditional approaches and formats than most tarot readers are aware of as being traditional. As long as you are aware of nuances (or if you are willing to learn a set of guidelines outside the typical tarot norm), you're fine. I find that this system/deck is more helpful than most, but it is largely a matter of interpretation and reading between the lines. Use what works for you, I understand how that's not super helpful... but hey.
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