Villa Revak / A Tarot Website
By James W. Revak
GREAT TAROTISTS OF YESTERYEAR
BRIEF BIOGRAPHIES OF
SELECTED TAROT PERSONALITIES
By JAMES W. REVAK
Illustration (above): Fame (detail) from the Antiche Minichiate Etruria Tarot (1725) (copyright © 1995 Lo Scarabeo).
Great Tarotists of Yesteryear is a collection of brief biographical articles on selected significant Tarotists of the past. Each article introduces the subject Tarotist with a brief overview comprising:
- The Essentials, a capsule description of the Tarotist;
- Highlights From His Career, a short list of selected important events from his life; and
- Quotable Quote, a brief, thought-provoking passage from his writings.
Each overview is followed by a section titled His Life, which comprises the body of the article, and traces the career of the Tarotist, generally in chronological order. Each article highlights major achievements by its subject with regard to Tarot. Each article also discusses its subject within the context of Western Esotericism or occultism and provides modest information concerning his personal life.
Next comes a section titled An Assessment, which is a brief discussion concerning the subjects impact on Tarot and, to a lesser extent, Western Esotericism or occultism in the opinion of this writer. Naturally, the readers assessment may be very different.
Due to their brevity, these articles are neither comprehensive nor extremely detailed. Entire books have been written or could be written on each Tarotist. However, the articles do present, I believe, concise, factually accurate, and balanced sketches of their subjects. For readers who want to explore any Tarotist further, a section titled Resources suggests appropriate books, Tarot decks, and Websites.
Some of the profiles were previously published in a different form on two e-mail lists, viz., TarotL and ComparativeTarot. The collection is by no means complete. Additional profiles will be added from time to time. If you want to know when additional ones are added, you may subscribe to the Villa Revak Bulletin.
What’s New in This Version
The collection now includes a profile of Aleister Crowley..
ANTOINE COURT DE GÉBELIN:
Father of the Modern Esoteric Tarot (1719?-84)
ETTEILLA: The First Professional Tarotist (1738-91)
ÉLIPHAS LÉVI: Clergyman, Radical, Magus (1810-75)
PAPUS: Physician and Magician (1865-1916)
ALEISTER CROWLEY: Tarotist of the New Aeon (1875-1947)
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Copyright © 2001 James W. Revak. All rights reserved. Version 1.1 (11/23/01).