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Tarot Decks > Tarot of Marseille - Free Reading

Tarot of Marseille Cards
Tarot card illustrations © Lo Scarabeo

Occult interest in divination with tarot decks began with the French Tarots of Marseille. The Marseille ruled tarot circles until being supplanted by the Rider-Waite-Smith in the early 20th century, thanks to the imaginative illustrations of Pamela Smith who had the vision to illustrate the pip cards, thereby opening new vistas for interpretation. Nonetheless the Marseille still commands the respect of serious tarot students, as its' imagery hearkens back to the earliest days of trump design.

There are many versions of Tarot de Marseille, none of them a true original since the first decks are lost in time and incomplete. The version pictured here is Tarot de Marseille deck by Paul Marteau created in 1930.

This deck is a recommended acquisition for those of you interested in symbols of perennial medieval esoteric representations.

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The Swords are curved (like scimitars in the earliest tradition decks) and crossed when even-numbered. If odd-numbered, the pairs are crossed and a single straight sword is placed pointing upwards in the middle. The Staffs (Batons) are straight so the two suits are easily differentiated.

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