Reading and Understanding the Marseille Tarot by Anna Maria Morsucci and Antonella Aloi is the first book that actually got me interested in this style of deck. I really love looking at the Majors laid out in the familiar three rows of seven. Morsucci and Aloi cover that but also discuss the less common two rows of ten.

You can read what they have to say below and find out more HERE.

In the Majora Arcana, other than the division by sevens, we can also find another division, composed of two sets of ten, where the Arcana are grouped according to the last letter of their number. Therefore, the High Priestess (II) and the Hanged Man (XII) are connected. Two Arcana are the exception: The World and the Fool. The World dominates all of the Arcana. The Fool, on the contrary, represents the number 0 and is seen as outside of any hierarchy. It is considered separate and complementary to all the other Tarot. The subdivision in ten is present also in the numerical cards of the Minor Arcana, which are 10 for each suit. The Minor Arcana therefore are connected to the Major Arcana in function of their number.

Returning to the Major Arcana, in the first ten, from the Magician to the Wheel of Fortune, we find a series of human or animal figures which can be found in situations and practical activities, all of which are very understandable. The landscape is almost absent and within this the figures and their actions appear dominant. In the second set of ten, from Strength to Judgement, there is scenery and situations where the human figure appears to be inserted into a landscape that gradually becomes richer, with references to the forces of nature and the cosmos becoming more evident. Furthermore, following the sequence of the Arcana, the allegorical and fantasy aspects increase. It is very interesting to place the two Major Arcana sets of ten side by side. Immediately it can be seen that the images of the cards express the same concepts with the opposite meanings.


Written by Barbara Moore
The tarot has been a part of Barbara Moore’s personal and professional lives for over a decade. In college, the tarot intrigued her with its marvelous blending of mythology, psychology, art, and history. Later, she served as the tarot specialist for Llewellyn Publications. Over the years, she has ...