Oct 9, 2008

Zolar's Planetary Fortune Telling Cards

The Man and I picked up the Cruiser today (to see more about that visit Dear Diary), and stopped at an antique market that's open Thursday-Sunday.

Not only did I find him birthday gifts (again, those will be posted on Dear Diary), but I found this:

There were two decks, one was $8 and one was $9, so The Man bought one and I bought the other. Both have all their cards as well as instructions, it's just that one box was a bit more beat up.

Here is what the deck looks like:

Apparently the packaging was copyrighted in 1940, and the actual cards and directions were copyrighted in 1942.

So, looking up some information on the Zolar Publishing Company, here is what I've found:


A modern tycoon of astrology who used the pseudonym Zolar. Born in Chicago, King became an actor, stockbroker, and eventually part owner of a radio station in Los Angeles. The station had an astrologer named Kobar as general manager, and King was impressed with his financial success. In the same week that Kobar left the station to go to Hollywood, another astrologer demonstrated a dime-in-the-slot horoscope machine to King. The two men went into partnership in the Astrolograph Company, putting the machines in movie theaters.

King later conceived the idea of making horoscopes for chain stores and established a highly successful business. It was then that he took the pseudonym Zolar, derived from the word zodiacastrology and occultism. with echoes of "Kobar." He later sold approximately 100 million horoscopes and published a variety of popular books on

King died January 16, 1976.


Zolar [Bruce King]. Black Magic. New York: Arco Publishing, 1972.

——. Dreams and Your Horoscope. New York: Zolar Publishing, 1970.

——. The Encyclopedia of Ancient and Forbidden Knowledge. Los Angeles: Nash, 1970.

——. Fortune Telling with Cards, Palmistry. New York: Arco Publishing, 1973.

——. History of Astrology. New York: Arco Publishing, 1972.

——. It's All in the Stars. New York: Zolar Publishing, 1962.

——. Nature's Mysteries. New York: Arco Publishing, 1972.

——. Sex and the Zodiac. New York: Zolar Publishing, 1971.

(From: Answers.com)

I am working on a biography of Bruce King aka Zolar. What I know is very little. He was born in Chicago IL. July 22, 1897. Moved to Los Angeles CA sometime around 1920. He married Billie A. before 1930. He owned in part a radio station there and did an horoscope show. He went on to become a well known author of pop occult works on astrology and other like topics. Bruce died Jan 16, 1976 at his home in New York city. I am trying to fill out this very sketchy outine to show the man behind the name.

(From: a geneology message board)

One of America’s first and still best-known authorities in the field of astrology, Zolar is not actually one man but two: Bruce King, the original “Zolar,” followed by his understudy and successor, Robert Donald Papon. Together the two have had a profound influence on the awareness of astrology in the modern world, and continue to be among the most recognizable and popular authorities on the subject.

In 1932, King began his studies of astrology after a successful career as a securities salesman. Building on an extensive background in business, sociology and psychology, he learned to cast astrological charts and embarked on a mission to bring astrology out of its shadows and revive this ancient science. Combining the words “zodiac” and “solar” to create the astrological pen name Zolar, King founded and operated a successful astrology publishing company during the depression era. He patterned “Zolar” after the legendary English astrologer and occultist, Raphael, who seemed to have lived for many generations. With Zolar’s influence in the world of astrology, he was named “the Dean of Astrologers” by The New Yorker magazine. In the late 1960s, Zolar commissioned Papon to help him with his astrology magazine, and when the magazine ended the two remained friends.

King became ill and made his transition in 1972. Nearing his death, he called Papon to his apartment, held his hand, and told him that he should be the “next Zolar.” After King died in 1976, many new Zolar books were written by Papon and published by Simon & Shuster.

(From: Zolar: The Men Behind the Crown)

Here is a photo from the above article:


Tori said...

Wow! Those cards look like they are in good condition for being so old.

Glad you found something new to add to your collection!

mrsb said...

Great find! I love decks of divination cards. I have a great set of runic tarot cards and a set of Gypsy playing cards that I love :O)

solsticedreamer said...

what an unusual find!

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