tarot of marseille

I've had a Tarot reading only once (seems I couldn't resist the magnetic pull of Madame Anna and her card table setup - Venice Beach - circa 1991), but I am a long-time fan of Tarot art. These images from Emmanuel Polanco are some of the most fantastic and beautiful interpretations of Tarot symbolism that I've ever seen.

Tarot (Tar-oh) is a system of symbolical images. Whatever their original significance, the cards have been used since they first surfaced as much for divinatory purposes as for trick-taking card games*. Tarot is currently used as tool for reflection on one's personal life, as well as an aid to meditation. Tarot is normally embodied in a deck of 78 cards, similar to a regular set of playing cards. In the English speaking world, Tarot is widely seen as a form of cartomancy**.

In France, Tarot is most often employed as a trick-taking card game. The game has long been regarded as taboo, due to obscure associations that predate its 19th-century occult associations. Roman Catholic sermons inveighing against the evil inherent in playing cards can be traced to the 14th century.

* any one of a class of card games where play centers around a series of finite rounds or units of play, called tricks.
** fortune-telling or divination using a deck of cards.

:emmanuel polanco


Anonymous said...

These are wonderful! Thanks so much for sharing.


tangobaby said...

As a very bad amateur magician and a pretty sorry tarot card reader, this post just excites the heck out of me. I love old cards. Love the intricate designs, the history, the slightly dark and mysterious origins of both card games and divination.

These cards are wonderful. I'll be here for a while...

Mary-Laure said...

BEAUTIFUL pictures!

I'd love to have a Tarot reading some time.

Jane Flanagan said...

Wow - I just love these. And I love your research too! I constantly learn something new from you :)