There are a few public domain books that are worth adding to your personal library. The following are considered seminal works in tarot studies that the serious practitioner should be familiar with:
- Pictorial Key to the Tarot by A. E. Waite (1911). Download by CLICKING HERE (Source Credit: SacredTexts). Recommended: Great starter book keyed to the Rider-Waite-Smith deck.
- Oracle of the Tarot by Paul Foster Case (1933). Download by CLICKING HERE (Source Credit: TarotWorks). Note: Keyed to the Knapp-Hall Tarot.
- Book T by MacGregor Mathers and Harriet Felkin (1888). Download by CLICKING HERE. Note: Although not keyed to the Rider-Waite-Smith and perhaps unreasonably dense reading material for the novice tarot practitioner, Book T provides a good introductory foundation into the Golden Dawn system of tarot interpretation.
- Tarot of the Bohemians by Papus (1892). Download by CLICKING HERE. Note: References the Tarot de Marseille and Oswald-Wirth Tarot (which is a Marseille-based tarot deck, with some changes).
If you’re a beginner reading this, start with Waite’s Pictorial Key and Case’s Oracle. The other two books won’t make any sense to you until after you’ve reached an intermediate level of practice.
That said, neither Waite’s nor Case’s books are my preferred beginner’s manual. It’s kind of a given that I’m going to want to recommend my own book, Holistic Tarot, but here are the books that taught me beginner’s tarot: Eden Gray, Mary Greer, and Anthony Louis. I later perused through Joan Bunning and Barbara Moore and find both their texts to be phenomenal foundational resources as well. Now, these listed books are NOT in the public domain, so you will have to purchase them. They are valuable additions to your tarot library, so I strongly recommend.