Book Review: A Wicked Pack of Cards
It may seem strange to do a book review on a title that is out of print, but these days buying a second-hand copy of something worthwhile is only a mouse-click away. Unfortunately though, the book I’m about to review has a hefty price tag attached. A used copy will set you back at least $80. On Amazon, one person was trying to get $688 for their copy! Is it worth it? If you want to learn about the origins and evolution of Tarot cards, then the answer is YES!
A Wicked Pack of Cards was written in 1996 by two historians and a Professor of Logic. They have meticulously traced the history of Tarot from its invention in Italy in the fifteenth century, to its current role as a divination tool.
From its start as a simple card game with 22 ‘trumps’, to its association with the New-Agers of today, the authors have scoured occult books and historical references from around the world to uncover the truth of Tarot’s amazing journey.
In this book we discover that the Tarot images we are so familiar with have changed considerably over the years, along with their titles. And it was in late eighteenth-century France that Tarot was first used for fortune-telling.
It’s not an easy read, but it is unequalled as a reference book for Tarot history. It takes us all the way through to the late 1800s. The sequel—A History of the Occult Tarot—is devoted to the next stage of Tarot’s development, with particular interest in the influence of Britain and American occultists. But that’s another story!
Title: A Wicked Pack of Cards—the Origins of the Occult Tarot
Authors: Ronald Decker, Thierry Depaulis, and Michael Dummett
Published by: St Martin’s Press