The Tarot of Cornelius Agrippa

I was searching through my Tarot books yesterday, and came across a book that I had not read in a long time. It is such a pleasure to come across little gems that one is not looking for, that I had to take it out and read through it. I say “read” through it, but the images in this book are as important as the text, with the two combining into a wonderful trip into the world of Tarot.

The book is “The Tarot of Cornelius Agrippa”, by Frederick Morgan (Sagarin Press, 1974, 1978). It is a series of short essays (prose parables), which are matched to one of the Major Arcana from the Tarot. The illustrations are from the Gioseppe Maria Mitelli deck of Tarot cards engraved in 1664. They are from the private collection of Albert Field, and used with his permission.

I have had quite a good time going through this book, looking at the black and white illustrations, mentally comparing them to today’s Tarot cards. The stories are short, and very simply written. From the card of the High Priestess: “She leans forward then. “Who are you?” she asks. Looking into the black pools of her eyes, I am at once aware of a reality that is to be found neither in the landscape of dream, nor in the one I assume when I awake, but in a dimension which can only be attained through her. As I answer her question, she smiles very faintly. “I have your name,” she whispers, –  and my blood leaps in terror and exaltation as I recognize her, the eternal one, SORCERESS, gateway to the self.”

I put this book back on my shelf, having thoroughly enjoyed this short journey. I don’t know why it came to me, but I am sure that its importance will make itself known soon.

© February 2010 Bonnie Cehovet

One comment on “The Tarot of Cornelius Agrippa

  1. alisoncross says:

    Hmmm – you have fairly whetted my appetite for a mosey through this little book.

    Another one for my list!

    Thank you Bonnie 😉

    Ali x

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