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Conventional wisdom traces tarot cards to medieval Italy, but their roots go much further back in time and draw on a startling variety of cultures and spiritual traditions. Combining pioneering scholarship with practical spiritual instruction, this ambitious book is the first to unveil the full range of the ancient streams of wisdom from which tarot emerged. Author Dai Léon explores a confluence of philosophical schools from East and West as they relate to tarot, giving each its due in the exposition of a universal procession of evolution and the soul’s quest for enlightenment. That the tarot reflects such a great history of conscious realization and cosmological principles has never been demonstrated in such depth. Origins of the Tarot incorporates and synthesizes material from Kabbalah, Western esotericism and alchemy, Buddhism, Taoism, yogic disciplines, Sufism, mystical Christianity, Gnosticism, and Neoplatonism. Léon traces the origins of the tarot’s names and hierarchy and makes a thoughtful analysis of the tarot trumps and their richly interwoven symbolism. The book’s unprecedented range of references is sure to attract close study among students both of the world’s most enduring esoteric tradition and of esotericism itself.