Tarot is a Profound Source of Insight - Page 20

Tarot Articles and Blogs

Learn how Tarot cards and their meanings influence your life here and now


Introduction to Iconology of the Early Tarot

"The first function of history is to open our minds to the infinite wealth of possible worlds and to help us to understand that our own view, whatever it may be, is precarious, limited, and open to sudden and radical change." Read More »


Fool Cards

Figure 1 shows the four intact cards from the 15/16th century decks. The fool appears in a variety of guises from the goitered idiot with feathers in his hair to the homeless man with bells to warn of his approach. In two cases, he is being played with or tormented by children. In all cases he is carrying an object: a staff, a branch, or a belt of bells. In two cases he has a foolscap with the ears of a jackass. In all cases his clothing is inadequate. Read More »


Tarot Symbolism

Welcome to the Dr. Robert V. O'Neill Tarot Library. Included here are research excerpts focusing on Tarot symbolism, iconology and influences. Read More »


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 »


Tarot Bagatto Cards

In the 15th century, the modern Magician card was known as "Bagatto". The five surviving images of the Bagatto from the 15/16th century are shown in Figure 1. All show a man standing or sitting at a table. They wear Read More »


Tarot Death Cards

IntroductionThe material is this essay will eventually be developed into a complete analysis of the iconology of the 15/16th century Tarot images. But since I have decided to begin in the middle of the trumps, some brief introduction is required. Read More »


Emperor Cards

 The Emperor appears as trump card #3  in the type B ordering we are following in this essay. A number of examples of the Emperor card have survived from the 15/16th centuries (Fig. 1) although it is clear that some of the images are copies or adaptations of others. 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 »


Virtue Cards

 The three Tarot trumps that represent cardinal or moral virtues (Temperance, Fortitude, Justice) will be covered in separate chapters. However, the virtues form an integral subset of the symbolic system and some general observations are in order. Read More »


Pope Cards

Figure 1 shows the 6 extant Pope cards from the 15th and 16th centuries. As with the Emperor, all of the figures are enthroned. The keys of St. Peter are shown on three of the cards, Read More »


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