Favorite Books to Learn How to Read the Tarot de Marseille

I would love to learn what you think are the best books to learn how to read the Tarot de Marseille. I think my all time favorite book is The Castle of Crossed Destinies by Italo Calvino. I wrote a detailed post about the book which you can read on our blog.

Here is a list of my favorite books which I highly recommend.

What other books would you add to this list?


Bare-Bones Tarot by Vincent Pitisci (for working with key words and conceptual blending, his videos on YouTube are great, too).
Another Way for Tarot de Marseille by Helena Gavrielov (could use some better editing but I find it very useful)


Hi there, William.
I totally agree with you regarding Calvino, Ben-Dov and Flornoy.
This is a real good subject for a video, so I’ll prepare one in.
Certainly I would also add Tarology, by Enrique Enriquez.
I’ll think about it more deeply and I’ll post here the link to the video once it goes live.


Thank you for the fantastic recommendations! I forgot that I wrote a blog post about Tarot Revelations by Richard Roberts.

Joseph Campbell wrote the first chapter “Symbolism in the Marseilles Tarot.” His essay contains an excellent brief history of the Tarot, explains the origins and meanings of the four suits, and gives an overview of each Trump card.

I’ll also edit my post and add it to the top. You can read the book for free here.

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I think my favorite books on the Tarot are:

The Way of the Tarot by Jodorowsky

Seventy Eight Degrees of Wisdom by Rachel Pollack

However, I think reading more philosophical books have helped the most. It just helps to have a nice balance and understanding of life.

Zen Flesh Zen Bones by Paul Reps
Art of Peace by Morihei Ueshiba
Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
The Way of Zen by Alan Watts
Man and His Symbols by Carl Jung

Lastly just being interested in symbolism and art has helped greatly. I like thinking about why I feel a particular way when I experience a piece of art (or life for that matter).


I’d recommend ‘Untold Tarot. The Lost Art of Reading Ancient Tarots’ written by Caitlín Matthews.


hehe I drive my daughter bonkers…whenever she likes something, I ask her why.

Given your interests, have you tried out the Zhuangzi (aka Chuang Tzu)? Thomas Merton has a good set of selected passages in his book, available at the Open Library. (After reading Merton online, I spent a couple years starting and stopping the acclaimed Burton Watson translation. I finally bought a physical copy of the Merton book an have been happily reading them in parallel).


Thank you everyone for the recommendations. This will keep me quite busy for awhile. :slight_smile:

The other day I was talking with @MatthewSims. He reminded me of The Game of Tarots by Antoine Court de Gébelin.

Click here to read a free translation of the original French by Donald Tyson.

Does anyone know which cards were used for the illustrations?

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I haven’t! Thanks for the recommendation!

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I’m not sure but it looks like some of the first trials from the esoteric groups of the 19th century (Papus, Eliphas Levi,…)

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I rank Robert O’Neil’s Tarot Symbolism up there with Jean-Michel David’s book in terms of historical gold.

Also Ronald Decker’s Esoteric Tarot.

Also, thanks for making Marteau finally available in English!

AND, it’s short, but I found it a revelation: Looking At The Marseilles Tarot by Enrique Enriquez

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Thank you for your recommendations. I’ll need to check these out.

We can’t take credit for the Paul Marteau book. It was translated by Marius Høgnesen and was published by Circle and Triangle. He has a few other books available as well.

You can read an interview that we did with Marius here:


Besides those already mentioned Le Tarot de Marseille La maitrise du Tarot divinatoire by MF Turpaud is probably the book that has most influenced me.

Sadly enough it is hard to find but it summarises to me all that French Tarot practice had to offer in the 80’s and 90’s.

Just in case, a quick search on Google provides some results. It’s available in Amazon, Rakuten, Fnac, Abebooks and some others. :wink:

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As usual Cesar you are a useful help. Thank you.


Ooooh! Books!
Firstly, I’m so grateful I found out about Italo Calvino’s “The Castle of Crossed Destinies” through César’s @78puertas workshop a little while back run by @WilliamRader /Artisan Tarot. But if I had to recommend 3 books for the beginners to Marseille Tarot, they would be:
Yoav Ben-Dov’s " The Marseille Tarot Revealed"
Camelia Elias’ "Marseille Tarot ~ Towards the Art of Reading & Read like the Devil: The essential course in reading the Marseille Tarot also by her. xx


I’m glad to know I helped you to get familiar with that magnificent book. As you know I read it every summer, and the time is getting closer for a new re-reading of The Castle of the Crossed Destinies.

Greetings from Spain :grinning:

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Oh, maybe I should do the same, César! The time feels right to re-read the Castle of the Crossed Destinies for me! :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: :blush:

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Great recommendations @Mascha!

Eyecorner Press recently made digital editions for many of their books. This includes Enrique Enriquez’s Tarology. I’m also a fan of Camelia Elias’s Marseille Tarot: Towards the Art of Reading.

You can check them out here:


There are many great books available to help you learn how to read the Tarot de Marseille. Here are some recommendations:

  1. “Tarot de Marseille: The Art of Reading” by Jodorowsky and Camoin - This book is written by two experts in the Tarot de Marseille tradition and provides a comprehensive guide to reading and interpreting the cards. It includes detailed descriptions of each card and its symbolism, as well as instructions for various spreads and techniques.

  2. “The Tarot de Marseille: A Guide to Interpretation” by Mary K. Greer - This book offers a detailed history of the Tarot de Marseille and provides a step-by-step guide to reading the cards. It includes exercises, spreads, and interpretations for each card, as well as tips for developing your intuition and connecting with the cards.

  3. “Learning the Tarot: A Tarot Book for Beginners” by Joan Bunning - While not specifically focused on the Tarot de Marseille, this book is an excellent resource for anyone looking to learn how to read Tarot cards. It covers the basics of Tarot reading, including card meanings, spreads, and techniques for interpreting the cards.

  4. “The Complete Guide to the Tarot” by Eden Gray - This classic Tarot book covers a variety of Tarot decks, including the Tarot de Marseille. It includes detailed descriptions of each card and its symbolism, as well as instructions for various spreads and techniques.

  5. “The Tarot de Marseille: A New Interpretation” by Alejandro Jodorowsky - This book offers a fresh perspective on the Tarot de Marseille, combining traditional interpretations with modern insights and techniques. It includes detailed descriptions of each card and its symbolism, as well as exercises and techniques for developing your intuition and reading the cards.

Remember, learning to read the Tarot de Marseille (or any Tarot deck) takes practice and patience. It’s important to find a book or resource that resonates with you and to approach the cards with an open mind and heart.

If you want to practice a bit, I suggest thatyou use the app https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.zodiacsignszone.tarotreading.app . Works pretty cool