A few books from the public domain are worth adding to your library. These are the seminal works of tarot study that serious practitioners should know:

Pictorial key to the Tarot, A. E. Waite (1911). Download by CLICKING (Source Credit to SacredTexts). Recommendation: A great starter book that is keyed to Rider-Waite Smith deck.

Oracle of the Tarot By Paul Foster Case (1933). Download by clicking HERE. Source Credit: TarotWorks. Note:Keyed the Knapp-Hall Tarot.

Book T Harriet Felkin (1888). Download by clicking HERENote: While not keyed in Rider-Waite Smith and possibly unreasonably dense for a novice tarot reader, BookT offers a solid foundation to the Golden Dawn system.

Tarot for the Bohemians By Papus (1892). Download by clicking HERENote that refers to the Tarot de Marseille (which is a Marseille-based Tarot deck with some modifications).

Start with Waite’s pictorial key and Case’s Oracle if you are a beginner.

However, I prefer Case’s and Waite’s books as beginner’s guides. It is a given that Holistic Tarot will be my recommendation, but here are the books which taught me how to use beginner’s tarot: Mary Greer, Eden Gray, and Anthony Louis. Later, I read through Joan Bunning’s and Barbara Moore’s books and found both to be excellent foundational resources. These books are not available in the public domain so you will need to buy them. These books are an excellent addition to your tarot collection, and I highly recommend them.

7 thoughts about “Public Domain Tarot Books”.

Bruce Babcock

We are grateful for your PD sheets and books. The Amazon reviews are very positive about your book. I have added your book to my wishlist.

Hi Benebell,

Your work resonates with me as a fellow tarot reader. Since 2012, I have been building a large online school. Due to my health problems interfering with class teaching and client bookings, I started to concentrate more on tarot writing. I feel more at ease as a teacher/writer of tarot than as a reader. For those who wish, I offer a donation option. However, I am currently compiling a series of books that focus on deep analysis and interpretations for love or relationship readings. These books will be available for purchase only. I am about half way through the Wands Book. The sheer amount of content in the Book means that I will release the Book in installments. My problem is with Rider-Waite Smith card imagery that I intend to use in conjunction with my written content. Although I know that coloured images cannot be used due to copyright protection by US Games the Black and White Ink images from The Pictorial Key To The Tarot were allowed. They were safe to use, but I have been perplexed by recent research. This book and its contents have been listed as being in the Public Domain. I would love to use them. But, I am from Ireland (Europe) so I wonder if there are any copyright laws in Ireland. Your wonderful book, “Holistic Tarot”, contains information about permission from US Games Systems to reproduce cards of Golden Tarot by Kat Black in Chapter 13. However, there is no mention in the chapter 13 of Rider-Waite images that are used for card analysis. Maybe you didn’t need it.

Any advice you might have would be greatly appreciated. We are grateful for your assistance.

Vivien Ni Dhuinn

Your style is very different from other people I have read things from.
Many thanks for sharing your thoughts hen you had the chance.
You can bookmark it, I guess.

Page 104 is where the PDF for the Tarot of the Bohemians ends. This is a problem that I have not experienced before. These are amazing. Amazing. It was fascinating to read Waite’s perspective on the meanings of each card and the overall significance of the Tarot. Cool stuff.


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