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Women of Tarot: An Illustrated History of Divinators, Card Readers, and Mystics - Cat Willett

  • Cat Willett

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Discover the hidden stories of tarot and divination—traced through the lives and contributions of Lady Frieda Harris, Marie Anne Lenormand, Pamela Colman Smith, and Rachel Pollack—in this vividly illustrated popular history of the cards. 

Tarot's storied history takes us from the highest circles of Italian Renaissance society through to present day card creators. And throughout that time, women have been the primary drivers of both artistic and magical innovation in the form, though they haven't always been given adequate credit for doing so. Now, for the first time, readers can explore the lives and work of some of the women who have brought us the word's most popular divinatory art. 

In Women of Tarot celebrated artist and author Cat Willett traces the lives of four women who have pioneered work in tarot and divination. There is Lady Frieda Harris, the nineteenth century British artist and mystic who created the Thoth Tarot with the occultist Aleister Crowley, and Marie Anne Lenormand, the most celebrated fortune teller of eighteenth century France, who brought card reading to the masses. Then readers will meet Pamela Colman Smith, the iconic cross-continental artist whose illustrations adorn the world's most popular tarot deck—the Rider-Waite-Smith Deck—and finally Rachel Pollack, the trans woman responsible for creating scores of decks in her lifetime, as she strove to make tarot an art that was inclusive of all practitioners, especially the LGBTQIA+ community. 

Woven throughout is a timeline of the development of tarot, as well as miniature profiles of women from cultures around the world whose work has impacted divination and fortune telling, including Nefertiti, Voodoo Queen of New Orleans Marie Laveau, author Zora Neale Hurston, and contemporary artist Nanse Kawashima.


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