Novice Question: Thoughts on Decker's "The Esoteric Tarot"?

#1
I consider myself an OK student, but have limited time to study the tarot and its history. So for the moment, I need to limit myself to a few well written and well researched books, if only just to start off with. After the demise of ATF, I found myself uncertain as to where to post an entry level question such as this. I do apologize in advance if this level of a question is not in keeping with the usual caliber of this forum :D I did spot a thread commenting on some of Decker's statements in this book. But I am not sure if I should take that as an implicit recommendation. The reviews I found online seemed mixed. I have Wicked Packs of Cards and History of the Occult Tarot, both of which seemed to be universally favoured. Thanks in advance!

Re: Novice Question: Thoughts on Decker's "The Esoteric Tarot"?

#2
My recommendation for basic readings on the pre-de Gebelin tarot, non-esoteric, would be the texts I have uploaded on the two Dummett threads in the section of this forum called "Library (East Wing)." These are of course rather old, but still fundamental. The main change is that some decks attributed by Dummett to Ferrara are now attributed to Florence. So Florence is very much in the early history of the tarot.

If you want Esoteric tarot before de Gebelin, I of course would recommend the Researcher's Study threads on alchemy, Dionysus, and Pythagoreanism/Neopythagoreanism, at least my contributions to them. They are speculative. But then I think all history is speculative, more or less, beyond a skeleton of probably true propositions, which indeed are worth gathering, such as they are. But the ones that can be gathered may have, to some extent, been rigged in advance. There are many points of view. For example: For people to write about the tarot, overtly orthodox, in esoteric terms before de Gebelin, in the countries where people might have thought about it in those terms (Italy, France) might have been a dangerous proposition, and at least gotten their favorite game banned, as opposed to merely being strongly discouraged. So all we can do is speculate--just as we speculate about the Kennedy assassination and many other historical events.

Other than the recommendations I have mentioned, it all depends on what you are interested in.

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