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Christine Payne-Towler Articles and Blogs

Enjoy every article and blog by expert Christine Payne-Towler


History of Tarot

This work began in 1970 when I purchased a used deck of the 20th Century Tarot in a book shop in Salem, Oregon. I was a freshman in college. With parents who were both therapists, I instantly recognized that Tarot was a tool with Read More »


Christine Payne-Towler

Christine Payne-Towler came to Tarot.com through founder Paul O'Brien's Pathways Radio program. Not only is she a gifted reader who adds deep psychology and hard-won wisdom to her Tarot readings, Christine is a world-class Tarot scholar with an encyclopedic knowledge of Tarot's origins and evolution. She has been featured on many broadcasts and is the author of The Underground Stream: Esoteric Tarot Unveiled, a book on the history and deeper meanings of Tarot decks and cards. Read More »


The Continental Tarots

In the essay entitled "The Major Arcana" I emphasize that "something happened" to the Tarot in the late 1600s, when a new trend emerged in the images of the Major Arcana. I point to the Marseilles family of decks and the Etteilla Tarots to illustrate my point. Read More »


Confluence of the Three Systems

In this essay we will examine the most esoteric, interior architecture that connects Tarot to the historical stream of Mystery School teachings passed down and grafted together from most ancient times. Read More »


Criteria for Esoteric Tarot

The term "esoteric Tarot" defines our approach to the unfolding history of Tarot. Throughout this program, it is the key concept and watchword. So the reader can follow the discussion, I have listed the following characteristics that must be met to qualify a deck as an esoteric Tarot:  Read More »


The Gnostic Tarot

The subject of Gnosticism is entirely too large to be dealt with in an essay such as this one. This spiritual path has a history longer than that of Christianity and covers a territory that includes most of western and eastern Europe Read More »


The Major Arcana Traditions

Over the years,friends have asked me in the course of compiling important minutiae of a comprehensible Tarot history, "Isn't this a bit too encyclopedic for the average Tarot user to care about?" Read More »


The English School of Tarot

A number of histories have been written to clarify the people and events connected to the founding of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, the most familiar of this century's Secret Societies and source of most of the Tarot decks sold today. Read More »


The Spanish School of Tarot

A few years ago, I was excited to acquire the Catalog of Playing Cards from Fournier, the Spanish cardmaker whose archive "must be the most numerous collection of its type in the world."The author, don Felix Alfaro Fournier, grandson of the founder of the press, claims his book to be "the most complete graphical repertoire of playing cards which has been published to date, with 4,000 illustrations in full color and 2,000 descriptions of packs." Read More »


Kabbalah Influences

For the first three decades during which I was assimilating information about Tarot, I avoided the history of the Kabalah. Not only had it seemed too abstruse and foreign, but the teachings had apparently fragmented due to the many forced migrations imposed upon the Jews throughout their history. Read More »


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