"The true tarot, the authentic tarot, the Tarot de Marseille"
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Welcome to Tarot Authentique.com

Tarot Authentique brazenly promotes the Tarot de Marseille as the authentic Tarot, the preeminent tarot, and the truest Tarot. There is an undeniable charm and genuineness in reading the tarot authentique, the Marseilles Tarot.

Although the Marseilles Tarot (English translation) was actually not the very first Tarot made, it was the first major Tarot deck printed for the masses that established the prototype for Tarot decks to come, including the ubiquitous Rider-Waite Tarot and Crowley Book of Thoth Tarot decks. Outside of Europe, the tradition of the Tarot de Marseille has been largely invisible within the Western countries, eclipsed by the Rider-Waite Tarot, the Aleister Crowley Thoth Tarot and their clones.


Arthur E. Waite rider waite tarot 3 cards Virtually every modern Tarot deck simulates one or the other of two decks. First, the deck painted by Pamela Coleman Smith under the direction of occultist Arthur E. Waite was the most influential deck for Western audiences, who especially sought to improve upon the “non-illustrated” pips (Minor Arcana, numbered cards) of the Marseilles Tarot by constructing little cartoon scenes for each Minor Arcana card to illustrate the supposed meaning.



Aleister Crowley

Aleister Crowley tarot 3 cards The second most popular tarot deck is the deck painted by Frieda Harris, under the tutelage of the controversial magician Aleister Crowley. Crowley sought to improve upon Waite’s deck and produced a psychedelic, muddied deck with so much flamboyant art and esoteric symbolism crammed into the cards that the forest was surely lost for the trees.



  Would you trust this man

with your Tarot deck?

Golden Dawn secret society Both men were members of the Golden Dawn secret society. As will be elucidated in other articles, the Golden Dawn has dominated the Western Tarot tradition, but has not successfully infiltrated the Tarot de Marseille tradition. The Golden Dawn has dominated the iconography of Tarot decks and has dictated the meanings of the cards—especially the Minor Arcana. Is there life after the Rider-Waite deck, the Thoth deck, and the Golden Dawn? Or, perhaps more accurately, was there life before?




tarot de marseille grimaud 3cardsFor too long, the Tarot de Marseille has been viewed by many popular Tarotists as merely a primitive prototype for modern and more appealing designs. While it is not argued that Tarot-art in all of its permutations is not aesthetically valuable, it is a misfortune that the simple, iconic beauty and elegant utility of the Tarot de Marseille has been hidden to many tarot readers.




tarot de marseille Nicolas Conver 3cards In fact, rather than modern decks being improvements upon the Tarot de Marseille, we assert that the Marseilles Tarot stands on its own as a jewel of Tarot iconography and boasts its own school of Tarot scholarship, which has been muddied by the invasion of the Tarot deck clones!tarot clones invasion tarot clones invasiontarot clones invasionIndeed, tarot decks created after the Rider-Waite deck any the Crowley-Thoth deck have cloned their aesthetic. The Tarot de Marseille has become in many modern Tarot circles at most an historical artifact, and at least the seed for supposedly better decks with better art.


Choose a good tarot deck !

las vegas tarot ?

Undeniably, the seduction of modern Tarots is strong. Given that virtually every popular theme has been co-opted into popular Tarot, with imagery of dragons, faeries, gnomes, or even cats and dogs, the Tarot industry has evolved (or devolved) into simulacra of the Tarot de Marseille, such as the Tarot of the Flowers, the Tarot of the Aztecs, the Tarot of the Dwarves, or the Tarot of Celine Dion. (O.k. we use some exaggeration here.) It seems that there is a Tarot deck for everyone, and the Tarot field has resulted in a kind of Tarot-meets-Las Vegas phenomenon, wherein the charm of the original Tarot deck is lost in synthetic imitations, much like the Las Vegas New York skyline is a simulacrum of New York, but does not capture its essence, and in fact diminishes it.

 IWinet is our assertion that the Tarot de Marseille offers a finer Tarot, much the same as a Burgundy Pinot Noir wine offers the sommelier a superior experience to boxed-wine. So, we unashamedly promote the transcendence of the Tarot de Marseille as one would promote a truffle over a button-mushroom.

We understand that this position may incite the ire of many modern Tarotists; it may appear to be snobbery; or, the kind of hubris that many love to hate in the French; or, the disingenuous marketing zeal that many find annoying in Americans. But, please consider, isn’t a truffle a qualitatively different when juxtaposed to other fungi? Is there not a difference between Colby Jack cheese and Camembert? Both are enjoyable, but one is more sophisticated in flavor.

Notwithstanding, we appreciate that this is opinion only. Thus, only those who share our opinion may find this site delicious; others may find it pretentious; so, we invite all to take what they like and leave the rest.

We also value that many a competent Tarot reader may deliver a quality Tarot reading with, say, the Tarot of the Ferns (admittedly, our sarcasm is dripping). Yet, unapologetically, we believe the Tarot de Marseille offers the Tarotist a superior reading experience and offers the querent a more charming and old world mystique to the reading.

However, many Tarotists have asked, how do we read this seemingly impenetrable deck? Indeed, the imagery of the Tarot de Marseille seems frustratingly primitive; the Minor Arcana “pips” seem inaccessible, because they appear to offer no comic book pictures for translation purposes; and the Courts or Les Honneurs are apparently naïve. Some modern Tarotists complain that “there are no images of which to grab a hold”. But, this is only a first glance assessment. Actually, the Tarot de Marseille is the Jewel in the Lotus; the very qualities that appear to render it unreadable actually reveal its charisma and utility.

Tarot Authentique offers a door to accessing this charming Tarot, and you don’t have to speak French! lafayette_and_washington.jpg


animated-flag-usa-compressed.gifVia the alliance of Frenchman A. Anderson and American Paul B. Williams, Tarot Authentique offers a means of understanding a European Tarot tradition that is alive and well; a key to unlocking the meanings of the Tarot de Marseille that offers Tarotists readings of richness and accuracy; and a charming antiquity to the reading that is like having tea with special china inherited from one’s great grandmother. 


Join the Alliance!

Be a part of the Tarot de Marseille Revolution!

The methods of reading the Tarot de Marseille are harvested from multiple sources, both classical and modern, but will present ways of reading the cards that unlock the symbolism of the cards; that interpret cards in relation to each other rather than the one-card-per-position methods of current vogue; and finally offer a way of reading those pesky unillustrated Minors!

In the words of the French, amusez-vous bien and in English, cheers!

  Copyright © Paul B. Williams

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