I first encountered this material around 1970, in
The Tarot of the Bohemians by Papus. To say it was over my head is an understatement. I came back to it intermittently over the years, and wrestled with it again - both in the Papus book and in Oswald Wirth’s own Tarot of the Magicians - while working on Planets for Pagans, where I finally decided to put it aside and move on, since Tarot wasn’t the focus of my Planets work anyway.

But Wirth still wouldn’t go away. I came back to the material again and gradually worked out several points that I’d found confusing, mainly resolving the dilemma of an illustration that tries to portray both south- and north-facing views of the night sky simultaneously without ever saying that’s what’s going on.

I’d found the key to the highway and it finally started to make sky-sense.

Around the same time, Weiser issued a reprint of
Tarot of the Magicians, with a new Introduction by Mary K. Greer. I’m delighted to see this book remain available. My reinterpretation came when the new edition had already gone to press, but I’m sharing the reworked illustration here with Weiser’s blessing.

Wirth has insights that continue to expand our understanding of Tarot, and his work with the non-zodiacal constellations is a powerful avenue into myth. And here’s an accompanying sky-map that makes more sense, with that Celestial Mythic Reference readily visible and spinning around the North Star overhead.

Click on this link for a down-loadable pdf of this corrections page. Wirth Corrections.pdf

You can order Tarot of the Magicians from Amazon



Oswald Wirth’s Astronomical Tarot

Including non-Zodiacal Constellations

Go to Planets for Pagans page