Dictionary of the Tarot by Bill Butler                             Review by Michele Jackson

If you are interested in purchasing this book, click here.

 
This book, written in 1975 is an excellent resource for interpretations. At the time it was
written, there were not nearly as many different decks available as there are today and
there were fewer books on the subject as well. The author took what was available to him
at that time and consolidated it into an easy to use and fairly comprehensive reference
work. The book starts with some tarot history and background, including a section on the
Book of Thoth. This is followed by the dictionary sections. There is a section for each
Suit which gives various Tarot writers views on the suit. Each card description has two
sections. The first describes how the card is illustrated in various decks and the second
give interpretations from different authors. The decks described are: Marseilles,
Waite-Smith, Aquarian, Thoth and New Tarot for the Minor Arcana; the Major Arcana
descriptions include the previous and the Grigonnuer, Bembo, Swiss, Insight, Italian,
Wirth and B.O.T.A. The writers quoted are: Case, Crowley, Douglas, Gray, Grimaud,
Huson, Kahn, Kaplan, Mathers, Papus, Thierens and Waite for the Minors; the previous
and Christian, The Golden Dawn, Knight, Lind, Mayananda, Sadhu, and Ussher for the
Majors. There is also a suggested interpretation, presumably written by the author. Some
of these authors are rather obscure, but they had written Tarot books, mostly in Europe at
the time Butler wrote this book. The book is illustrated with line drawings of cards from
several decks. There is a brief section on divination and a short dictionary of symbols as
well. Overall this book is an excellent addition to ones Tarot library.
 
Dictionary of the Tarot
Author: Bill Butler
ISBN: 0-8052-0559-4

          If you are interested in purchasing this book, click here.


Excerpt
It is incredible the amount of nonsense that has been written over the past 170
years regarding the Tarot cards and the “science” of fortune telling with their assistance.
From the eighteenth century Parisian barber, Alliette, down to present day ‘experts’ book
after book has been produced to prove that the Tarot derives from the ancient Egyptians,
from Mahatmas in Tibet, from the Gypsies, from the Kabbala, from Chinese Sages or from
Arcane sources too esoteric to be named.
This book attempts to look at the symbolism of the cards themselves and at the
commentaries on the Tarot by a number of writers. Based upon these two sources a
theory of the Tarot is formulated which works for this writer and may work as a way
station for someone else.


Review Copyright 1996/97 Michele Jackson
Page Copyright 2000 Diane Wilkes