‘The Great Esoteric Tarot is the first true and wholy Spanish Tarot in origination and design – on the occasion of the 600th anniversary of the existing of playing cards in Europe’. Thus, wrote Heraclio Fournier in April 1976 in Vitoria, Spain.
The design of the cards by Luis Pena Longa resembles the standard TdM but is more colorful.
The major arcana cards are numbered and have titles in Spanish. Card number XIII, Death, is not numbered, probably because number 13 is considered an unlucky number. Astrological symbols and Hebrew letters have been assigned to the cards of the major arcana and the court cards. The minor arcana cards have numbers, but no titles.
It is often said that The Tarot of Marseilles belongs to the older tarot decks known by mankind. Although that might very well be true, the tarot deck that preceded it and from which it probably originates, is the Visconti Sforza tarot deck, originally designed for entertaining the Italian courts. From there it ‘travelled’, with the French troops, (after the French conquered Milano in 1499.), to Switzerland and France where it then became the most well-known tarot deck for the French speaking territories. And until today, still is.
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