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Tarot. The Library of Esoterica

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Trace the hidden history of Tarot in the first volume from TASCHEN’s Library of Esoterica, a series documenting the creative ways we strive to connect to the divine. Artfully arranged according to the sequencing of the Major and Minor Arcana, this visual compendium gathers more than 500 cards and works of original art from around the world in the ultimate exploration of a centuries-old art form.
Hardcover, quarter-bound6.7 x 9.4 in.3.90 lb520 pages
“The ‘Library of Esoterica’ acts as a bridge between the dark halls of history and the vast data at our fingertips.”
Los Angeles Times
“Spiritual or not, it’s a beauty for the coffee table.”
“An exceptional selection of artist card images.”
“For those fascinated with the occult, but wary of dabbling, this gorgeous art book on tarot may be the answer.”
“This book reminds us of our eternal and universal search for meaning, purpose, and the divine.”
“Even skeptics can appreciate the artistry that’s gone into these artifacts.”
“Jessica Hundley traces the fascinating history behind the occult tradition of tarot, which has served as a source of artistic expression and self-exploration for over 600 years.”
“Combining historical timelines, scholarly insight, philosophical readings and an in-depth dissection of the symbolism of each card, it provides a crash course in cartomancy.”
“This wonderful volume weds erudition and killer visuals – it’s a beautifully illustrated and completely fascinating study of tarot.”
Tarot. The Library of Esoterica

Tarot. The Library of Esoterica


Divine Decks

A visual history of Tarot

To explore the Tarot is to explore ourselves, to be reminded of the universality of our longing for meaning, for purpose and for a connection to the divine. This 600-year-old tradition reflects not only a history of seekers, but our journey of artistic expression and the ways we communicate our collective human story.

For many in the West, Tarot exists in the shadow place of our cultural consciousness, a metaphysical tradition assigned to the dusty glass cabinets of the arcane. Its history, long and obscure, has been passed down through secret writing, oral tradition, and the scholarly tomes of philosophers and sages. Hundreds of years and hundreds of creative hands—mystics and artists often working in collaboration—have transformed what was essentially a parlor game into a source of divination and system of self-exploration, as each new generation has sought to evolve the form and reinterpret the medium.

Author Jessica Hundley traces this fascinating history in Tarot, the debut volume in TASCHEN’s Library of Esoterica series. The book explores the symbolic meaning behind more than 500 cards and works of original art, two thirds of which have never been published outside of the decks themselves. It's the first ever visual compendium of its kind, spanning from Medieval to modern, and artfully arranged according to the sequencing of the 78 cards of the Major and Minor Arcana. It explores the powerful influence of Tarot as muse to artists like Salvador Dalí and Niki de Saint Phalle and includes the decks of nearly 100 diverse contemporary artists from around the world, all of whom have embraced the medium for its capacity to push cultural identity forward. Rounding out the volume are excerpts from thinkers such as Éliphas Lévi, Carl Jung, and Joseph Campbell; a foreword by artist Penny Slinger; a guide to reading the cards by Johannes Fiebig; and an essay on oracle decks by Marcella Kroll.
The editor and author

Jessica Hundley is an author, filmmaker and journalist. She has written for the likes of Vogue, Rolling Stone, and The New York Times, and has authored books on artists including Dennis Hopper, David Lynch, and Gram Parsons. Hundley often explores the counterculture in her work, with a focus on metaphysics, psychedelia, and magic.

The contributing authors

Johannes Fiebig is one of the most successful authors in the field of Tarot and a leading expert in the psychological interpretation of symbols. He published his first book in 1984. Since then, his books have sold over 2 million copies, appearing in more than a dozen languages. In 1989, he co-founded and co-owned Königsfurt publishing house, which later became the publishing houses Königsfurt-Urania and AGM-Urania, of which he was managing director until 2018. Since then, he has been an independent writer based in Kiel.

Marcella Kroll is an artist, tarot reader, metaphysical teacher, and host of the podcast Saved by the Spell. She is a program director for the Los Angeles Public Library, leading public classes for teens on Tarot and other divination subjects, and is the creator of two popular oracle decks.

Tarot. The Library of Esoterica
Hardcover, quarter-bound17 x 24 cm1.77 kg520 pages

ISBN 978-3-8365-7987-2

Edition: English

ISBN 978-3-8365-8454-8

Edition: French

ISBN 978-3-8365-8456-2

Edition: Spanish
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The Library of Esoterica explores how centuries of artists have given form to mysticism, translating the arcane and the obscure into enduring, visionary works of art. Each subject is showcased through both modern and archival imagery culled from private collectors, libraries, and museums around the globe. The result forms an inclusive visual history, a study of our primal pull to dream and nightmare, and the creative ways we strive to connect to the divine.



137 Ratings

The beauty

Blake,October 30, 2021
I cannot believe the quality of the these books. The shock I had when first opened the book was one for the ages. Truly a book that is a work of fine art.

Approachable for both secular and occult readers

Phillip,October 29, 2021
The Library of Esoterica series is written in a very direct and respectful tone that helps develop an appreciation for its subjects without expecting any specific belief from the reader. It allows the rich history and artwork to speak for itself and for the reader to reach their own understanding with the what's provided. As someone only passingly familiar with tarot and astrology, this approach also left me wanting more detail than could be included, but it served as a wonderful introduction.

Dip into symbols

Lana,October 28, 2021
Amazing book if you like to understand the great arcanas better. Many decks as examples to show the energy and symbology of each card.

Fantastic book

Tom,October 28, 2021
Filled with great information and great historical tarot cards, my wife loved this book!

Superb book

Alison,October 27, 2021
Absolutely brilliant book full of interesting facts & pictures. If you like Tarot cards would highly recommend this book.