Review: Two Esoteric Tarots

“Two Esoteric Tarots” – A conversation between Peter Mark Adams and Christophe Poncet convened and with a foreword by César Pedreros

128 pp, illustrated throughout in colour.
(Issued in 3 editions – fine / standard hardback / digital)
ISBN 978-1-912316-75-5

Published by Scarlet Imprint

Peter Mark Adams is already known to our readers as the author of The Power of the Healing Field: Energy Medicine, Psi Abilities and Ancestral Healing”  (Reviewed Jan. 2022) and “Mystai – dancing out the mysteries of Dionysos” (Reviewed Feb. 2020). It is the latter book – also published by Scarlet Imprint – which is similar in feel to the book I want to review now. The quality of the paper and printing plus the 28 beautiful coloured illustrations are superb.

Described as “Two Esoteric Tarots is the record of a fascinating conversation between Peter Mark Adams and Christophe Poncet, convened and with a foreword by César Pedreros. They compare their journeys of discovery into two wildly contrasting tarot decks, the dark ritual landscape of the elite Sola-Busca Tarocchi, as revealed in The Game of Saturn, and the luminous and popular Tarot de Marseille, the subject of the forthcoming Tarot of Marsilio.”

From the Foreword, “Scholarly research has firmly maintained that the tarot had no spiritual, esoteric or divinatory dimension before the mid-eighteenth century. However, working independently, Peter Mark Adams and Christophe Poncet have shattered that consensus with their original research.”

Part 1: Two Journeys into the Tarot César begins by asking Christophe and Peter how their journeys into researching ‘the deeper currents in the tarot’ started.

Rather like a podcast, they talk about how they became interested in tarot and how their journey led them to, for example, the works of Plato and the history of Art.

The journey and discussion continue as they delve into Part 2, and what they understand when speaking of an ‘Esoteric Tarot’.  Why did they choose to compare the Sola-Busca Tarocchi with the Marseille Tarot? What is the significance of the Occult, the Performative and the Esoteric?

Looking at the two cards below – The Fool – one can see how the two decks differ dramatically:

(Fig 24. 0– Mato, Sola-Busca Tarocchi and Fig 23. 0 Le Mat, Tarot de Marseille)

In Part 3 Decoding the Sola-Busca, the conversation continues.

Unfortunately the publication deadline prevents me from continuing now. Here is an overview of the contents.



i Two Journeys into the Tarot
ii Occult, esoteric and performative
iii Decoding the Sola-Busca
iv How the tarot became esoteric
v Of libertine aesthetics: the grotesque and the abject
vi The Hellenistic revolution and the second renaissance
vii Tarot designers
viii The Dummett-Yates controversy
ix Cyphers and time
x The seven planets
xi Orality, writing and the art of memory
xii The esoteric call


Further information and references:

NB The reason I have decided to deliver a half-finished review is the following. I have the ‘standard hardback’. I have found a paperback version available via Amazon (POD) and Kindle, ISBN ‎ 978-1912316892. However, judging by the price of the paperback and the standard hardback, I would highly recommend ordering the hardback version via Scarlet Imprint. The price is £30!! which is amazing for the quality. I suspect this version will sell out very quickly!

I found this review too, so check it out and order the book, which I highly recommend, before it’s sold out 😊

Two Esoteric Tarots – exploring the Tarot’s hidden history [Full Review], by Foolish Fish:

PS   Good news! Last week during a visit to ISTANBUL, Turkey, Peter agreed to meet up for an interview. Thanks to Kenzie who did the filming .. and ‘Holiday Inn- Old City’ who allowed us to use the lobby; this is the result.

“Morgana Sythove and Peter Mark Adams conversing about Mystai and Two Esoteric Tarots” March 6, 2024


Over Morgana

"Morgana is Anglo/Dutch and lives in the Netherlands. She is a practising Gardnerian HPS. Over the years, she has facilitated a variety of Wiccan groups. She is co-editor of the international and bilingual "Wiccan Rede" magazine, which was launched in 1980 and is coordinator of Silver Circle, a Wiccan network in the Netherlands. As International Coordinator for PFI she travels extensively giving talks and workshops about Wicca and Paganism."
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