In the Court of Trumps

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In the Court of Trumps


This book while mainly in Italian, has the important sections translated into English by co-writers, Morena Poltronieri and Ernesto Fazioli, with certain sections edited by Arnell Ando. The English portion of the book begins with the mysterious origins of the Tarot, bringing many possible cultural influences to the table, beginning with the probable invention of playing cards in China. Some intriguing influences that are considered include India, Egypt and other such hypotheses. The history of Tarot cards in Italy is also discussed at length. The individual Major Arcana cards are described in detail, however there is no card image of each Major Arcana together with the corresponding text as is usually found in such descriptions. This would have been useful, however there are plenty of examples of the Major Arcana cards towards the back of the book (albeit, small and some more traditional in nature than others.) Next, a few basic Tarot spreads (which are familiar to most readers) are depicted, but if you need to see diagrams, you'll want to look on pages 56-58 in the Italian portion of the book.

A fascinating section describes what scents and flavors connect with the essence of each Major Arcana. The Emperor, for instance reads as follows; The Solemn cinnamon consecrated by the Sun, a divine plant on a par with incense, of myrrh and other ritual aromas. The male essence of this card fuses with the flavor of liquorices, the symbol of masculinity and luck.

Each Italian and international correspondent writes about their personal connection to Tarot as well as the path that lead them to the Tarot Museum, including Fern Mercier who co-hosted the LiteraTarot Oceania, Swati Prakash, of India (host of LiteraTarot Asia) and Arnell Ando (host of LiteraTarot America). All the artists featured in the book and in the various decks published by Hermatena are listed in the appendix.

There is also a section about the Museo Dei Tarocchi itself, highlights of the surrounding area and how to arrive by car or train. It would have been nice if there were more photos of this magical place, besides the one on the cover, but Morena Poltronieri explained that they had to follow the parameters set by the Ministry of Culture, while she promised this is only volume one, with much more to come, including photos of this incredible international Museum of Tarot.

This is a good book to have as a reference for Tarot collectors, scholars and those interested in reading alternative descriptions of the Majors, and for viewing a colorful portfolio of the many wonderful decks so far published by Museo dei Tarocchi.


Morena Poltronieri and Ernesto Fazioli


Tarot history, Major Arcana descriptions, etc. with a full color portfolio of the decks published by Hermatena

Date of Publication



Publisher's websites

  • This book, In the Court of Trumps, is available in the bookshop on this page of the Museo dei Tarocchi site: [2]
  • Museo dei Tarocchi Website [3]
  • A mini website created by Arnell Ando to showcase the Tarot Museum in Italy[4]
  • Also, most Tarot decks published by Museo dei Tarocchi - Hermatena are listed on Tarotpedia.


  • This review includes a few sample pages of illustratons from the book:[5]
  • Read a review by Bonnie Cehovet, CTGM:


  • To see the various decks published by Museo dei Tarocchi with details and card samples, go here: [7]

Online Deck Images - links