Patrick MailleJun 1, 2021
The Evolution and Power of Tarot
In The Cards: The History and Power of Tarot (University Press of Mississippi, 2021), Patrick Maille examines the history of Tarot cards and their place in popular culture. The Cards starts with an extensive review of the history of Tarot from its roots as a game to its supposed connection to ancient Egyptian magic, through its place in secret societies, and to its current use in meditation and psychology. Part Two delves into specific areas of popular culture—art, television, movies, and comics—and how Tarot is used in works such as The Andy Griffith Show, Dark Shadows, Neil Gaiman's Books of Magic, and Live and Let Die. While Tarot means many different things to many different people, the cards somehow strike universal chords that can resonate through popular culture. The symbolism within the cards, and the cards as symbols themselves, make Tarot an excellent device for the media of popular culture in numerous ways. The cards are evocative images in their own right, but the mystical fascination they inspire makes them a fantastic tool to be used in our favorite shows and stories.
Rebekah Buchanan is an Associate Professor of English and Director of English Education at Western Illinois University. Her research focuses on feminism, activism, and literacy practices in youth culture, specifically through zines and music.