The best tarot card books

2 authors have picked their favorite books about tarot cards and why they recommend each book.

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The Alchemical Tarot

By Rosemary E. Guiley,

Book cover of The Alchemical Tarot

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.


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.


I wrote...

The Game of Saturn: Decoding the Sola-Busca Tarocchi

By Peter Mark Adams,

Book cover of The Game of Saturn: Decoding the Sola-Busca Tarocchi

What is my book about?

The fifteenth-century Sola-Busca tarocchi is one of the earliest and most artistically accomplished fully-figured tarot decks in existence. The Game of Saturn leads the reader, step by step, in a process of patient detective work to decode the clues embedded in its complex imagery. Decoded, the imagery reveals the Neoplatonic metaphysics and ritual practices of an elite Cult of Saturn active amongst the elite families of the Italian Renaissance.

Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom

By Rachel Pollack,

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

Though Tarot readings themselves don’t always feel clear or straightforward, this book is both of those things. It does an excellent job of demystifying the cards, providing both practical card meanings and the history and symbology behind the art and iconography. It’s my go-to when I have questions or need clarification. Pollack manages to organize a huge amount of useful information into a format that makes sense and isn’t at all intimidating. There’s a reason a lot of people call this book their “Tarot Bible.”


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.


I wrote...

The Minoan Tarot

By Laura Perry,

Book cover of The Minoan Tarot

What is my book about?

Ancient Minoans meet modern Tarot in this vibrant 86-card deck and guidebook that call on archetypes of Tarot through iconography inspired by beautiful works of art from ancient Crete. Connect with mysterious snake priestesses, labyrinthine temple complexes, and courageous bull-leapers. Explore gender-balanced face cards reflecting the egalitarian nature of Minoan society that makes this deck especially relevant for modern users: Priest and Priestess, Lord and Lady, Youth and Maid.

Each card displays symbols from an ancient writing system reflecting literal image concepts or pointing to deeper meanings. This deck and comprehensive guidebook can also be used for meditation and personal growth. Experienced or new readers will find The Minoan Tarot a natural tool.

Guided Tarot

By Stefanie Caponi,

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

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.


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.


I wrote...

The Minoan Tarot

By Laura Perry,

Book cover of The Minoan Tarot

What is my book about?

Ancient Minoans meet modern Tarot in this vibrant 86-card deck and guidebook that call on archetypes of Tarot through iconography inspired by beautiful works of art from ancient Crete. Connect with mysterious snake priestesses, labyrinthine temple complexes, and courageous bull-leapers. Explore gender-balanced face cards reflecting the egalitarian nature of Minoan society that makes this deck especially relevant for modern users: Priest and Priestess, Lord and Lady, Youth and Maid.

Each card displays symbols from an ancient writing system reflecting literal image concepts or pointing to deeper meanings. This deck and comprehensive guidebook can also be used for meditation and personal growth. Experienced or new readers will find The Minoan Tarot a natural tool.

The Way of Tarot

By Alejandro Jodorowsky, Marianne Costa,

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

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.

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.


I wrote...

The Game of Saturn: Decoding the Sola-Busca Tarocchi

By Peter Mark Adams,

Book cover of The Game of Saturn: Decoding the Sola-Busca Tarocchi

What is my book about?

The fifteenth-century Sola-Busca tarocchi is one of the earliest and most artistically accomplished fully-figured tarot decks in existence. The Game of Saturn leads the reader, step by step, in a process of patient detective work to decode the clues embedded in its complex imagery. Decoded, the imagery reveals the Neoplatonic metaphysics and ritual practices of an elite Cult of Saturn active amongst the elite families of the Italian Renaissance.

The Esoteric Tarot

By Ronald Decker,

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

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.


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.


I wrote...

The Game of Saturn: Decoding the Sola-Busca Tarocchi

By Peter Mark Adams,

Book cover of The Game of Saturn: Decoding the Sola-Busca Tarocchi

What is my book about?

The fifteenth-century Sola-Busca tarocchi is one of the earliest and most artistically accomplished fully-figured tarot decks in existence. The Game of Saturn leads the reader, step by step, in a process of patient detective work to decode the clues embedded in its complex imagery. Decoded, the imagery reveals the Neoplatonic metaphysics and ritual practices of an elite Cult of Saturn active amongst the elite families of the Italian Renaissance.

The Book of Thoth

By Aleister Crowley, Frieda Harris (illustrator),

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

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.


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.


I wrote...

The Game of Saturn: Decoding the Sola-Busca Tarocchi

By Peter Mark Adams,

Book cover of The Game of Saturn: Decoding the Sola-Busca Tarocchi

What is my book about?

The fifteenth-century Sola-Busca tarocchi is one of the earliest and most artistically accomplished fully-figured tarot decks in existence. The Game of Saturn leads the reader, step by step, in a process of patient detective work to decode the clues embedded in its complex imagery. Decoded, the imagery reveals the Neoplatonic metaphysics and ritual practices of an elite Cult of Saturn active amongst the elite families of the Italian Renaissance.

The Lost Girls of Devon

By Barbara O'Neal,

Book cover of The Lost Girls of Devon

A small village in Devon, England serves as the backdrop for the four generations of Fairchild women—Isabel (teenage daughter), Zoe (mother), Poppy (grandmother), and Lillian (great-grandmother). The story centers around their hopes and fears, their deep wounds and tattered emotions, their desires for peace and healing even as they fumble with how to mend themselves and each other. While the characters are physically beautiful, they’re also deeply flawed and engage in the fascinating pursuits of photography, painting, Tarot card reading, and writing novels. Each character offers a unique view of the countryside, her relationship to the others, and a key to healing the whole of the family. Find a cozy chair, brew a pot of tea, and get lost in this story.


Who am I?

I’ve always been a huge believer of love and romance and happily ever after. I also know that real life and happily ever after aren’t always easy. It took me 45 years to find my Prince Charming (after kissing a lot of frogs). I love reading stories of hope, courage, and promise and strong women who pursue their dreams. They inspire me to keep going and to keep writing. Whether I’m creating women’s fiction, historical novels, fantasy, or romance, my books explore relationships and why people do what they do, and every story focuses on love (what we always strive for) and forgiveness (what we always need). 


I wrote...

Bella Toscana

By Nanette Littlestone,

Book cover of Bella Toscana

What is my book about?

Fifty-year-old Toscana Blake has a “nice” husband and a “comfortable” marriage. There’s no magic. When she travels to Italy for Rome’s chocolate festival, she’s startled by visions at the Temple of Vesta and an unexpected meeting with a young history professor, Flynn Harris, who feels strangely familiar. As Flynn helps her unravel the mystery of her visions, Toscana starts to fall for her new friend. And when a psychic tells her she’s been searching for love for many years and is only half-alive, she fears there’s no way back to the world she understood. 

From Atlanta to Rome to Tuscany, Toscana’s emotional journey tests the bonds of love and friendship. Will her sensible side prevent her from accepting her happily ever after?

Meditations on the Tarot

By Anonymous, Robert Powell (translator),

Book cover of Meditations on the Tarot: A Journey Into Christian Hermeticism

This classic text is perhaps the single greatest work combining mysticism with the tarot; one that is viewed through the rarely revealed lens of Christian esoteric tradition. The text guides the reader through a series of extended meditations on each of the Tarot d’Marseilles trumps. Irrespective of your belief system, these meditations provide a valuable source of spiritual insight and a ladder in the evolution of one’s own spiritual path.


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.


I wrote...

The Game of Saturn: Decoding the Sola-Busca Tarocchi

By Peter Mark Adams,

Book cover of The Game of Saturn: Decoding the Sola-Busca Tarocchi

What is my book about?

The fifteenth-century Sola-Busca tarocchi is one of the earliest and most artistically accomplished fully-figured tarot decks in existence. The Game of Saturn leads the reader, step by step, in a process of patient detective work to decode the clues embedded in its complex imagery. Decoded, the imagery reveals the Neoplatonic metaphysics and ritual practices of an elite Cult of Saturn active amongst the elite families of the Italian Renaissance.

Tarot 101

By Kim Huggens,

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

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.


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.


I wrote...

The Minoan Tarot

By Laura Perry,

Book cover of The Minoan Tarot

What is my book about?

Ancient Minoans meet modern Tarot in this vibrant 86-card deck and guidebook that call on archetypes of Tarot through iconography inspired by beautiful works of art from ancient Crete. Connect with mysterious snake priestesses, labyrinthine temple complexes, and courageous bull-leapers. Explore gender-balanced face cards reflecting the egalitarian nature of Minoan society that makes this deck especially relevant for modern users: Priest and Priestess, Lord and Lady, Youth and Maid.

Each card displays symbols from an ancient writing system reflecting literal image concepts or pointing to deeper meanings. This deck and comprehensive guidebook can also be used for meditation and personal growth. Experienced or new readers will find The Minoan Tarot a natural tool.

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