100 books like The True Nature of Tarot

By Diane Wing,

Here are 100 books that The True Nature of Tarot fans have personally recommended if you like The True Nature of Tarot. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom: A Tarot Journey to Self-Awareness

Claire McMillan Author Of Alchemy of a Blackbird

From my list on for the tarot curious and the tarot maven.

Who am I?

I started studying the tarot ten years ago with no thought that I would ever write about it. I took an introductory class in the back of a local metaphysical shop and went down a rabbit hole of books and teachings. I also enjoy readings myself - from quick fifteen minute reads at sidewalk fairs, to hour long readings in person with renowned readers, from an hour on Zoom with a famous reader, to a reading in a shop in Salem, Massachusetts during the chaos that is October in that town - I’ve benefited from them all. It has been a delight to include this interest in my latest novel.

Claire's book list on for the tarot curious and the tarot maven

Claire McMillan Why did Claire love this book?

Rachel Pollack’s classic guide to the tarot is a well-loved reference for me and for many.

While it’s a great next step to add depth of insight into the cards for the less experienced, it also continually serves up new insights to someone with more familiarity with the cards as well. She wrote it in the early eighties while living in Amsterdam and teaching tarot at the Kosmos Meditation Center.

By Rachel Pollack,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The bestselling tarot classic in a new edition with a new preface by the author.

“Whenever I have a question about tarot, I reach for 78 Degrees of Wisdom. It is the most in-depth exploration of tarot and my most trusted resource. If you want to learn tarot, you’ll want 78 Degrees on your bookshelf too. It’s the gold standard in tarot.” —Theresa Reed, author of Tarot No Questions Asked

"What is your favorite tarot book? The answer is always 78 Degrees of Wisdom."—Melissa Cynova, author of Kitchen Table Tarot

“Essential reading for the beginner and a classic that tarot…


Book cover of Understanding the Tarot Court

Kirsten Weiss Author Of The Mysteries of Tarot: A Work of the Imagination

From my list on how to read Tarot.

Who am I?

When I joined the Peace Corps in the early nineties, I wasn’t allowed to take much luggage. I decided to bring a Tarot deck, figuring I’d finally have time to learn it while parked in an Estonian forest. That Tarot deck opened up a world of Renaissance mysticism and magic, and I’ve been hooked ever since. Tarot cards and readings feature prominently in many of my cozy mystery novels, not the least of which are the Tea and Tarot mysteries. Now my imaginary Tarot reader from that series, Hyperion Night, has recently written his own Tarot guidebook, The Mysteries of Tarot.

Kirsten's book list on how to read Tarot

Kirsten Weiss Why did Kirsten love this book?

It’s said that court cards can be the trickiest for Tarot readers to interpret. This was certainly true for me when I was starting out, so Understanding the Tarot Court became invaluable to me. 

Mary K. Greer is another Tarot classicist and has spent decades delving into the history and usage of Tarot. The book goes deep into the symbolism and meanings of various cards—both upright and reversed—even going so far as to equate them to Myers-Briggs personality types.

Perhaps more importantly, it also has excellent explanations of how to read these quirky cards. 

By Mary K. Greer, Tom Little,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Understanding the Tarot Court as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Just who are those kings, queens, knights, and pages in the Tarot deck? Generally considered the most difficult part of the Tarot to interpret, they actually represent different characters or personalities that are aspects of ourselves. Two esteemed Tarot scholars unmask the court cards with details not found in any other book. They bring the Tarot court cards to life, showing their full human possibilities.


Book cover of The Tarot: History, Symbolism, & Divination

Kirsten Weiss Author Of The Mysteries of Tarot: A Work of the Imagination

From my list on how to read Tarot.

Who am I?

When I joined the Peace Corps in the early nineties, I wasn’t allowed to take much luggage. I decided to bring a Tarot deck, figuring I’d finally have time to learn it while parked in an Estonian forest. That Tarot deck opened up a world of Renaissance mysticism and magic, and I’ve been hooked ever since. Tarot cards and readings feature prominently in many of my cozy mystery novels, not the least of which are the Tea and Tarot mysteries. Now my imaginary Tarot reader from that series, Hyperion Night, has recently written his own Tarot guidebook, The Mysteries of Tarot.

Kirsten's book list on how to read Tarot

Kirsten Weiss Why did Kirsten love this book?

Robert Place is my favorite Tarot historian and artist.

What I love about this book is that he writes it in such a way that his discussion of the history of the cards makes it easier to understand and remember their symbolism (always useful when you’re trying to read Tarot). It also has detailed descriptions of different spreads.

But to my mind, it’s just a fun, interesting read, and a book I’ve turned to many a time for research and reading purposes.

By Robert Place,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Tarot as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Tarot is one of the few books that cuts through conventional misperceptions to explore the Tarot deck as it really developed in the Middle Ages and Renaissance Europe-not, as some would suggest, in the far reaches of Egyp-tian antiquity. Mining the Hermetic, alchemical, and Neoplatonic influences behind the evolution of the deck, author Robert M. Place provides a historically grounded and compelling portrait of the Tarot's true origins, without overlooking the deck's mystical dimensions.

Indeed, Place uncommonly weds reliable historiography with a practical understanding of the intuitive help and divinatory guidance that the cards can bring. He presents techniques…


Book cover of The Marseille Tarot Revealed: A Complete Guide to Symbolism, Meanings, and Methods

Kirsten Weiss Author Of The Mysteries of Tarot: A Work of the Imagination

From my list on how to read Tarot.

Who am I?

When I joined the Peace Corps in the early nineties, I wasn’t allowed to take much luggage. I decided to bring a Tarot deck, figuring I’d finally have time to learn it while parked in an Estonian forest. That Tarot deck opened up a world of Renaissance mysticism and magic, and I’ve been hooked ever since. Tarot cards and readings feature prominently in many of my cozy mystery novels, not the least of which are the Tea and Tarot mysteries. Now my imaginary Tarot reader from that series, Hyperion Night, has recently written his own Tarot guidebook, The Mysteries of Tarot.

Kirsten's book list on how to read Tarot

Kirsten Weiss Why did Kirsten love this book?

Today’s Tarot decks tend to be clones of one of the three main “models”: The Rider-Waite-Smith, the Marseille, and the Thoth Deck.

Most books on reading Tarot reference the former, the Rider-Waite-Smith. But if you’re going to get serious about reading, it’s useful to have an understanding of the Marseille deck.

When I first picked up a Marseille deck, however, I put it down pretty quickly. No symbols on the Minor Arcana? How was I supposed to read the cards without rote memorization (which I hate)?

But the Marseille style is based on the original Tarot decks from Renaissance Italy, and they’re more typically used in Europe. This deck is important. So when I found this book, despite my misgivings about ever understanding the deck, I decided to give it a read. 

What a revelation. There actually are symbols on the Minor Arcana—they’re just subtle. Using numerology and an explanation…

By Yoav Ben-Dov,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Marseille Tarot Revealed as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Discover the Marseille Tarot! This book explores the fascinating history of this often misunderstood deck and provides practical insights into using it for readings on a variety of questions. Yoav Ben-Dov shares the meaning of the classic Marseille symbols and specific reading techniques that help you tap into your own intuition. The Marseille Tarot Revealed explains everything you need to know to start or deepen your Marseille Tarot practice, including history, decks, reading, spreads, symbols and much more.


Book cover of The Book of Thoth: (Egyptian Tarot)

Peter Mark Adams Author Of The Game of Saturn: Decoding the Sola-Busca Tarocchi

From my list on the Esoteric Tarot.

Who am I?

I have been a tarot devotee since my early teens and have offered both training and divinatory sessions using the tarot. My book on the fifteenth-century tarot deck known as the Sola-Busca, The Game of Saturn, was nominated The Best Esoteric Book of the Year and was reviewed in two of the world’s leading academic journals. My non-fiction is published by Inner Traditions and Scarlet Imprint; literary prose and poetry by Corbel Stone Press and Paralibrum. My essays on energy healing appear in the peer-reviewed Paranthropology Journal and the Journal of Exceptional Experiences and Psychology as well as on my academia.edu page.

Peter's book list on the Esoteric Tarot

Peter Mark Adams Why did Peter love this book?

The Crowley-Harris Thoth Tarot remains one of the greatest tarot decks ever conceived in respect of the artistry employed in its design and the esoteric depth conveyed by its underlying system of metaphysics. Supervised personally by Aleister Crowley, one of the most important esotericists of the past century, this essay - suitable for advanced students - remains a tour de force in the evolving tradition of the esoteric tarot.

By Aleister Crowley, Frieda Harris (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Book of Thoth as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"

The occult classic study of the tarot and as a key to all Western mystery traditions.

Used for many years by students of the occult for study of the tarot and as a key to all Western mystery traditions, The Book of Thoth is on the short list of must-have textbooks for modern students of the tarot and esoteric studies.

“The Tarot is a pictorial representation of the Forces of Nature as conceived by the Ancients according to a conventional symbolism. At first sight one would suppose this arrangement to be arbitrary, but it is not. It is necessitated…


Book cover of Guided Tarot: A Beginner's Guide to Card Meanings, Spreads, and Intuitive Exercises for Seamless Readings

Laura Perry Author Of The Minoan Tarot

From my list on to make Tarot seem less intimidating.

Who am I?

I began reading Tarot in high school – or at least, trying to. Like most people, I was pretty intimidated starting out. It took several teachers, a stack of books, and a lot of years before I understood that Tarot cards are simply repositories for symbols of the human experience. That’s how they continue to be so popular: they speak to something deep within us all. It was only natural that my art endeavors and my passion for the ancient Minoans would eventually dovetail with my love of Tarot. The end result was The Minoan Tarot, which I’m delighted to share with you along with these excellent Tarot books.

Laura's book list on to make Tarot seem less intimidating

Laura Perry Why did Laura love this book?

Guided Tarot is a how-to book for Tarot readings: how to lay out the cards and get some sense out of them. There’s more to Tarot than just memorizing the card meanings, and this book walks you through the process of developing your own card reading style. If you can’t figure out which spreads to use, or if you’re having trouble trusting your intuition and letting the reading flow, this book will take you through exercises to figure out the answers to those questions so you become a more powerful Tarot reader and can take the training wheels off, so to speak.

By Stefanie Caponi,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Guided Tarot as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Your essential guide to reading tarot cards seamlessly--with confidence and ease

Each of us holds gifts deep within and, with tarot, we have the power to unlock those gifts and make transformative discoveries. For beginner tarot readers, learning the cards--all 78 of them--and understanding how to use spreads may seem daunting. Tarot expert Stefanie Caponi explains that interpreting the cards is a blend of knowing the card meanings, listening to your heart, and trusting your intuition. In her fully-illustrated book, Guided Tarot, she offers easy exercises to nurture and grow your intuition, not only to understand the cards' universal meanings,…


Book cover of The Alchemical Tarot

Peter Mark Adams Author Of The Game of Saturn: Decoding the Sola-Busca Tarocchi

From my list on the Esoteric Tarot.

Who am I?

I have been a tarot devotee since my early teens and have offered both training and divinatory sessions using the tarot. My book on the fifteenth-century tarot deck known as the Sola-Busca, The Game of Saturn, was nominated The Best Esoteric Book of the Year and was reviewed in two of the world’s leading academic journals. My non-fiction is published by Inner Traditions and Scarlet Imprint; literary prose and poetry by Corbel Stone Press and Paralibrum. My essays on energy healing appear in the peer-reviewed Paranthropology Journal and the Journal of Exceptional Experiences and Psychology as well as on my academia.edu page.

Peter's book list on the Esoteric Tarot

Peter Mark Adams Why did Peter love this book?

This truly great, visionary re-conceptualisation of tarot imagery combines profound mystical insight with inspired artistry to render familiar tarot imagery through the transformative lens of alchemy. The Alchemical Tarot deck is one of the most outstandingly beautiful and inspiring decks in existence. Based on my own initiatory experience I can confirm that The Alchemical Tarot is an inspired, true, and faithful transmission of the esoteric current underpinning the notion of an esoteric tarot.

By Rosemary E. Guiley,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Alchemical Tarot as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Robert Place's Tarot deck, beautifully illustrated in the style of original Renaissance alchemical art, takes you deep into the alchemical mysteries--and unlocks their secrets.


Book cover of The Esoteric Tarot: Ancient Sources Rediscovered in Hermeticism and Cabalah

Peter Mark Adams Author Of The Game of Saturn: Decoding the Sola-Busca Tarocchi

From my list on the Esoteric Tarot.

Who am I?

I have been a tarot devotee since my early teens and have offered both training and divinatory sessions using the tarot. My book on the fifteenth-century tarot deck known as the Sola-Busca, The Game of Saturn, was nominated The Best Esoteric Book of the Year and was reviewed in two of the world’s leading academic journals. My non-fiction is published by Inner Traditions and Scarlet Imprint; literary prose and poetry by Corbel Stone Press and Paralibrum. My essays on energy healing appear in the peer-reviewed Paranthropology Journal and the Journal of Exceptional Experiences and Psychology as well as on my academia.edu page.

Peter's book list on the Esoteric Tarot

Peter Mark Adams Why did Peter love this book?

Tarot scholar and art historian, Ronald Decker, provides a solid and up-to-date grounding in the history and esoteric sources that informed the design of the earliest tarot decks. Decker balances the demands of historical scholarship with esoteric insights derived from Hermeticism, Neoplatonism, and the Kabbalah to provide a foundational text in the various traditions underpinning the notion of an esoteric tarot.

By Ronald Decker,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Esoteric Tarot as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

That the Tarot originated in ancient Egypt as a divinatory tool is a romantic misconception. Ron Decker's meticulous scholarship will surprise practitioners and academics alike, revealing the Tarot's true evolution and meanings as its inventor(s) understood it.

The Tarot consists of the Minor Arcana, four suits of cards similar to our modern deck, and the Major Arcana, twenty-two allegorical or "trump" cards. Decker says the four-suit deck was invented in Asia Minor before AD 1000; Italian courtiers added the trumps in the 1400s. But Tarot was first used as a game. Tarot divination was only created in the 1700s by…


Book cover of The Way of Tarot: The Spiritual Teacher in the Cards

Peter Mark Adams Author Of The Game of Saturn: Decoding the Sola-Busca Tarocchi

From my list on the Esoteric Tarot.

Who am I?

I have been a tarot devotee since my early teens and have offered both training and divinatory sessions using the tarot. My book on the fifteenth-century tarot deck known as the Sola-Busca, The Game of Saturn, was nominated The Best Esoteric Book of the Year and was reviewed in two of the world’s leading academic journals. My non-fiction is published by Inner Traditions and Scarlet Imprint; literary prose and poetry by Corbel Stone Press and Paralibrum. My essays on energy healing appear in the peer-reviewed Paranthropology Journal and the Journal of Exceptional Experiences and Psychology as well as on my academia.edu page.

Peter's book list on the Esoteric Tarot

Peter Mark Adams Why did Peter love this book?

The famed filmmaker and esotericist, Alejandro Jodorowsky, has poured decades of profound spiritual and divinatory understanding into this text to create one of the most significant systems for using the cards as a divinatory tool. Based on the Tarot d’Marseilles - arguably the stylistic form that constitutes the tarot’s most fundamental iconography - the text includes a comprehensive training system that can be used to provide a foundation for professional divinatory work.

By Alexandro Jodorowsky, Marianne Costa,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Way of Tarot as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Alejandro Jodorowsky's profound study of the Tarot, which began in the early 1950s, reveals it to be far more than a simple divination device. The Tarot is first and foremost a powerful instrument of self-knowledge and a representation of the structure of the soul. The Way of Tarotshows that the entire deck is structured like a temple, or a mandala, which is both an image of the world and a representation of the divine. The authors use the sacred art of the original Marseille Tarot--created during a time of religious tolerance in the 11th century--to reconnect with the roots of…


Book cover of Tarot 101: Mastering the Art of Reading the Cards

Laura Perry Author Of The Minoan Tarot

From my list on to make Tarot seem less intimidating.

Who am I?

I began reading Tarot in high school – or at least, trying to. Like most people, I was pretty intimidated starting out. It took several teachers, a stack of books, and a lot of years before I understood that Tarot cards are simply repositories for symbols of the human experience. That’s how they continue to be so popular: they speak to something deep within us all. It was only natural that my art endeavors and my passion for the ancient Minoans would eventually dovetail with my love of Tarot. The end result was The Minoan Tarot, which I’m delighted to share with you along with these excellent Tarot books.

Laura's book list on to make Tarot seem less intimidating

Laura Perry Why did Laura love this book?

This is a Tarot how-to book with a difference: It organizes the cards by theme, making it way easier to understand and remember their meanings compared to the usual memorize-them-one-at-a-time approach. The book is really a Tarot course in 22 lessons (it’s no coincidence that there are 22 Major Arcana cards in a Tarot deck!). Tarot 101 is an excellent resource for demystifying the Tarot and breaking it down into manageable chunks that make sense and that you can remember and use for the long term.

By Kim Huggens,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Tarot 101 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Are you eager to learn the Tarot in a way that's both effective and fun? This complete course in Tarot demystifies the art of card reading by drawing on your intuition and imagination. "Tarot 101" will turn anyone into a professional card reader in just twenty-two practical lessons. Each lesson introduces an essential concept broken down into four topics, with exercises, tips, and key terms, plus optional tasks designed to enhance your learning experience. Unlike other Tarot guides, "Tarot 101" groups the cards according to theme - a simpler, more intuitive way to learn - and is compatible with any…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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