ArcanaPress promotes the 600-year Tarot Tradition, especially the powerful simplicity of its once block-printed images. Tarot books in English rarely address these older decks having non-scenic pips, nor do they teach reading methods that predate the English tradition which is little more than 100 years old. Reproductions of historic decks are now available, and once understood, they will delight and inspire you!

In the United States, the Tarot is known primarily through a 20th century recreation—The Rider-Waite-Smith or Waite-Smith Tarot. This deck, published in England in 1909, was commissioned by Arthur Edward Waite and illustrated by Pamela Coleman Smith under his direction. It was designed to conform to the teachings of The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (an English metaphysical organization) thus it created its own tradition. This Tarot (or any other), was rarely seen in the United States until the 60s after which its ever-increasing popularity has continued to inspire other English-style decks. But this is recent history; the Tarot goes back to at least the early 1400s—a 600-year tradition. It is an enduring legacy.

What is the Tarot? Physically, it is a deck of two distinct kinds of cards:

1. The Major Arcana (Trumps)—22 picture cards that symbolize the major realities of a person’s life. These are the important issues or principles that force one to learn and grow through the life experience.

2. The Minor Arcana (Pips)—4 suits of 14 cards each, a total of 56. Each suit represents a  realm of life in which the principles of the Major Arcana are experienced. Traditional pips do not have scenic images; they have suit symbols and decorative floral motifs.

But the Tarot is more than a pack of cards; it is a filing system for your own thoughts, ideas, and emotions. It grows as you grow. It can be used for games, storytelling, creative problem solving, a memory aid, a meditative or contemplative focus, or as a tool for psychic development and divination. The perceived source of inspiration varies with each individual. For some, it is one’s Higher Self, for others it may be deep consciousness, the Akashic records, master teachers, guides, angels, or the divinity of one’s understanding. Tarot nourishes the soul – it is a celebration of life!

Historic Cards: Photo-reproductions and careful recreations of historic Tarots are available today, but few are purchased in the United States because their suit cards (pips) lack the scenic images that Americans have come to rely on in English decks. With few exceptions, books written in English teach only the English system,

but a new book is now available…     

                                                                                                                                  Click “BOOKS” below