Marseille Tarot- Past, Present, Projected future..

I have been working with the Marseille Tarot Majors for some while now. The Marseille deck has truly got my interest from the get go. I have taken to trying to integrate the concept if symbolic representation and synchronicity cards to my interpretations. Thank you to Enrique Enriquez who has declutterd the myths of the Marseille. Also, there are a few hardcore sites that are dedicated to the Art of reading the Marseille from a dynamic perspective and philosophical premise. Either way, what is needed is just logic, pattern recognition and an understanding of concept of each card.

I have in my possession at the moment, The Jodo-Camoin deck, The Universal Marseille by Lee Burnstein and Lo Scarabeo, Oswald Wirth and the beautiful facsimile of Nicolas Conver Marseille produced by Heron. I am still awaiting the impending arrival of the rather noble Noblet by Flornoy, the Dodal restored and the Veritable Marseille by Kris Hadar. Just some gorgeous trinkets to look forward to.

Now, the start of it all was from the discovery of the tirage en croix (simple cross) spread which was described by Stanislas de Guaita and the use of this spread with the Oswald Wirth tarot. Such a pretty and mesmerising deck in my opinion. But my fascination was further fuelled by the discovery of a certain Mr Camoin of the House of Camoin. He has a wonderful site dedicated to the restoration of the Jodo-CAmoin and also his personal techniques of reading the Marseille. Tres fascinating (

Now, I have been incorporating the dynamic simple cross to most of deck interpretation repertoires. Simple but potent answers derived from bringing a deck alive as players rather than jus pictures on paper.

Here is a draw using what basic information Mr Camoin was prepared to divulge on his site 🙂 Any Marseille can be used, although the recommended one is the Camoin Jodo. Here I am  illustrating with the Marseille from US Games (images for appreciation and education purposes only):


I am still practising the finesse of understanding the techniques involved.I hope this blog will let me experiment and grow with this technique to better my perception of Marseille. The 3 cards that denote the past, present and future are 21 World, 8 Justice and 14 Temperance respectively. In order to complete the gaze of the World card, I drew another card to the left which was 14 Tower. I think this should suffice, because the order is not to complicate but to elucidate.

See anything unique? Whats the dynamic of the characters and the arresting images? Strike any chords of thought or emotions? Do you hmm, aha or oh? Is there a story?

I am going to narrate. Once upon a time, a lady danced in her perfect world where everything was in balance. But all was not so before she came to be that way. She once stood atthetop of a tall tower which was struck by some mystical energy ball and she fell from high  to the ground. She didnt fall alone, she fell with someone. That was the past to her past. Now, the lady is dancing in her new world, where once her old one was shattered. The angel on top who governs her mind looks to Justice in the present. Maybe the angel who govern thoughts and air is fixed on Justices Sword (another air). The sword discriminates that which is worthy and unworthy, only seeking to permit who or what is permissable. The world is in balance now- only permit that which will encourage balance says the Scales. In my hands, I weigh the pro’s and cons and I will balance all that is opposing in your world purports Justice. LAlas, I am Karma too,, and that to shall come to pass. For which, in the future, Temperance pours her water into the jug in her right while looking at Justice’s Scales. I am the Temperate one, I am the face of patience in times of test. I will teach that in relinquishing ego, will you recognise that instant gratification in the material world lacks permanence. In my plane, I have wings yet my feet touch the ground. I am the lesson of being grounded in mind, body and spirit. For as long you seek balance and just rewards, your patience will be tried. Lady world, just as your material home collapsed, your spiritual world grew 4 fold, the law of justice in motion recognises 4 virtues (autonomy, beneficance, non malevolance and last by no means least Justice).

So, when Temperance advocates her gaze to Justice, there is reciprocacity and equilibrium. there is no blockage, there is no problem, proceed as you would, flow in to the future..:)

Incidentally- Look at the Tower- struck by lightning with 2 people tumbling down- this can also representthe kismet like reaction of being hit by cupids arrow and falling in love.. just a pointer i picked up alongthe way– fun eh!!! the Tower is not bad– it is symbolic..:)





3 Responses to “Marseille Tarot- Past, Present, Projected future..”

  1. Hello Stormy,

    As you know, I don’t have a Marseille deck – what makes the Marseille style of Tarot deck different than the Rider Waite type of Tarot? To me, the majors look essentially the same. I feel that somehow I’m missing something about why the Marsielle Tarot is different!


  2. indianstorm Says:

    hey Sammie..:)

    A very good question and very valid too.. If I were to cast your mind back to the origins then, the first true Tarot would be the Marseille deck with The Major Arcana as you see and non illustrated pips. The Rider waite and its various representations by different artists intriduced meanings and imageries to capture the meanings of the pips. The Major Arcanum however have remained with additions and subtractions to the positions.

    In the Marseille, I find that the rules if I could call it that is somewhat dependent on the interactions of the levels of the Arcanum. The Marseille is pretty standard and rather untainted version devoid of artstic interpretations of what it represents. They just symbolise the archetype. It is up to you to interpret the dynamics of the spread.

    The one analogy I have, is the rubber stamp images of each major arcanum, and up to you to find what ties then all together when you pull the cards. No corruptions of the images.

    I do love RW style cards still, i find them useful, but there are so many outhere each with its own unique take, but the Marseille has remained true to its creator through time. I do believe in essence, that the Marseille type deck offers a more standardised interpretation in simplicitywhereas the RW’s or Thoth type has too much clutter — that is my humble opinion.

    To interpreting the pips and courts in the Marseille, the simplicity is perhaps that there are no imagery, up to you to decipher the code of numbers and suites to gather the momentum of the spread.


  3. Thanks Stormy, I guess I will have to get a deck and try it to see if it feels any different to me.


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