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Top Ten

Top ten recommendations:
books and tarot

In the classic scenario as to what I'd take if I knew I'd be stuck in some isolated location for a prolonged period, here is my short-list.


New Jerusalem Bible

New Jerusalem Bible

The Occidental esoteric and spiritual tradition is grounded, first and foremost, in the Tanakh and New Testament. The difficulty for me would be to only bring one copy and translation, with so much therein inevitably missing – including a sense as to what Hebrew and Greek terms were used. Still, I'd opt for the New Jerusalem Bible as about the most accurate (as far as I can tell). What would be wonderful is to have a single text that included the Tanakh in its original, with the Septuagint translation adjacent, and its New Jerusalem adjacent that, all with annotations and footnotes, bringing various references and sources together into a single work.


Tarot deck
Jean Noblet Tarot

I'd of course like to bring various decks along, but really, with only one choice, it would have to be this most wonderful of foundational decks.

If given the choice, I'd opt for the original copy currently in the BN in Paris. Given this would unlikely be an option, J-C. Flornoy's incredible rendition would be a most wonderful companion for further meditative-imaginative work.

Noblet Marseille Tarot Deck


arranged chronologically


Theurgy - On the Egyptian Mysteries

This classic reflects an essential foundation to the Western Esoteric paths.


Consolation of Philosophy

This little classic has had more influence on the history of western Europe than possibly any other book apart from the Bible... and is well worth a periodical re-read!


R. Steiner
Philosophy of Freedom, Knowledge of the Higher Worlds

With Steiner, the question is which to choose when restricted to a couple of works. With Philosophy of Freedom, however, there is an absolute essential text that presents insights into humanity's humanity. Knowledge of the Higher Worlds I'd choose above some of the others simply due to its style and as a balance to the other books I've thus far chosen.

Ideally, I'd like to bring along not just one, but the various (early) translations of Philosophy of Freedom (in both English and in French) alongside the original German work. Still, if having to choose only one translation, it's a tough call between the Wilson and the Lindeman translation of the second edition – with probably the latter winning out. Given that the first edition is now also back in print, it's extremely likely I'd take that one.


Meditations on the Tarot

This of course is not simply a book on tarot, and in this case would take the French (original) edition.


J. Deely
Basics of Semiotics, Four Ages of Understanding

These two books are bound to become very long-term classics, with their influence and importance inversely matching their popularity.


J-M. David
Reading the Marseille Tarot

This book is a combination of, effectively, my notes on various things and not just, in isolation, tarot.

Not only would this enable me to recall the many things I left behind – for I know that which I left out when writing – but also give me the opportunity to improve the tome. I would not, of course, expect others to list this book, but would expect anyone else who has made an extensive study to choose, amongst their top books, their own striving.


There are a number of other books I'd really like to take along as well... and they would have been left next to the door, in a pile of last minute indecisions as to what to leave behind. Amongst this pile would lie many of the ones I otherwise list in the other tabs on this page!

jmd's books

jmd - JM David - Reading the Marseille Tarot








J-M. David
Reading the Marseille Tarot
a self-paced tarot course based on the Jean Noblet 1650 Paris deck

Available in both print and as an e.book

(click on cover for purchase options)


Boethius - Consolation of Philosophy

Consolation of Philosophia

> Fishpond - Australian online seller

Steiner - Philosophy of Freedom

Rudolf Steiner
GA.4 Philosophy of Freedom

read online

Deely - Basics of Semiotics

John Deely
Basics of Semiotics


Lonergan - Insight

Bernard Lonergan





Kripke - naming and necessity

Saul Kripke
Naming and Necessity

Taylor - A Secular Age

Charles Taylor
A Secular Age

Deely - Four ages of understanding

John Deely
Four Ages of Understanding

Lonergan - Method in Theology

Bernard Lonergan
Method in Theology



Sefer Yetzirah

Sefer Yetzirah





Living Torah

Aryeh Kaplan
The Living Torah


     N.B. these     ↑
include important commentary by R. Aryeh Kaplan



Yitzchak Ginsburg



Idel - Kabbalah New Perspectives

Moshe Idel
Kabbalah: New Perspectives

Laibl Wolf - Practical Kabbalah

Laibl Wolf
Practical Kabbalah



see also the Philosophy and Freemasonry sections for books by Rudolf Steiner

Steiner - Philosophy of Spiritual Activity

Rudolf Steiner
GA.4 Philosophy of Spiritual Activity

read online

Steiner - Knowledge of the Higher Worlds

Rudolf Steiner
GA.10 Kowledge of the Higher Worlds

read online

Steiner - Theosophy

Rudolf Steiner
GA.9 Theosophy

read online

Steiner - Occult Science

Rudolf Steiner
GA.10 Occult Science

read online




Steiner - Social Issues and the threefold social order

Rudolf Steiner
GA.10 Social Issues:
Meditative Thinking and the Threefold Social Order





Essential books towards understanding Steiner-Waldorf education

Stockmeyer –

Karl Stockmeyer (ed)
Rudolf Steiner's Curriculum for Waldorf Schools

Steiner - Temple Legend

Rudolf Steiner
The Education of the Child

Jones - Freemasons' Guide and Compendium

Francis Gladstone (ed)
Republican Academies




Naudon - Secret History of Freemasonry

Paul Naudon
Secret History of Freemasonry

Steiner - Temple Legend

Rudolf Steiner
GA.10 The Temple Legend

Jones - Freemasons' Guide and Compendium

Bernard Jones
Freemasons' Guide & Compendium












New Jerusalem Bible

Jerusalem Bible

Steiner - Christianity as a Mystical Fact

Rudolf Steiner
GA.8 Christianity as a Mystical Fact

read online

von Balthasar - Credo

von Balthasar
Meditations on the Apostles' Creed






Roman Missal

R+C Church
Roman Missal




Tarot Books

Meditations on the Tarot

Meditations on the Tarot

Dummett, Decker, DePaulis - Wicked Pack of Cards

Decker, DePaulis & Dummett
Wicked Pack of Cards

Dummett & Decker - History of the Occult Tarot

Decker and Dummett
History of the Occult Tarot

Payne-Towler - Underground Stream

Christine Payne-Towler
The Underground Stream









Alfred Douglas - The Tarot

Alfred Douglas
The Tarot


Tarot Decks

tarot decks available directly from linked sellers (please mention my name when ordering)

some tarot decks are also available directly from myself if you are based in Australia or New Zealand

Noblet and Dodal tarot decks

Noblet and Dodal hand made tarot decks



full 78 card deck

Noblet Tarot
restored by J-C. Flornoy
cf also Tarot Garden

full 78 card deck

Dodal Tarot
restored by J-C. Flornoy
cf also Tarot Garden

22 trumps only

Noblet Tarot
hand-restored by J-C. Flornoy
cf also Tarot Garden

22 trumps only

Dodal Tarot
hand-restored by J-C. Flornoy
cf also Tarot Garden


Magic Realist Press

for a variety of beautiful novel Tarot, see
Magic Realist Press
cf also Tarot Garden



Search amazon.com


Use the option above to search Amazon for books in any of five areas mentioned on this site.



RunRev LiveCode

runRev software

For those amongst us who recall Hypercard (or its copycats SuperCard, HyperStudio, ToolBook, & MetaCard), it's great to see a successor that is powerful, well designed and multiplatform.

Please mention my name (J-M David) – I don't get any monies, but a little kudos never does any harm!

Coding with RunRev LiveCode is as simple as it gets, with far more power most of us will ever need (and it can, in any case, be combined with php and html). Below is the code for the random card displayed on the right hand side (the first three lines, as can be observed, simply html CSS styling and the displayed words).

  1. <link href="http://www.fourhares.com/jmd.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" />
  2. <h2 align="center">Random Noblet Card</h2>
  3. <p align="center" class="small"><a href="noblet.irev" class="smallbottomlink">click for a new card</a></p>
  4. <p align="center"><?rev
  5. put random(78) into randomthis
  6. put "<a href=noblet.irev><img src=images/noblet/"&randomthis&".jpg border=0 /></a>" into tempimage
  7. put tempimage
  8. ?></p>



Time Cycles Research Astrology software

If you use an Apple Mac, then there's an outstanding astrology package that's well worth supporting - even if you're not a professional astrologer!

> Io Edition from Time Cycles Research