Dienstag, 15. August 2017

Merrimack Tarot

Creator(s): Pamela Coleman-Smith
Date: 1961
Country: USA
Publisher: Merrimack
Number of Cards: 78
ISBN:
Type: RWS
Reference: 








Merrimack SpreadsheetNotes:
In principle this is a Smith-Waite deck made as a cheap novelty fortune-telling deck. Each card has keywords for it's meaning printed below the titles to make for easy interpretation. It also has a fold-out paper to show where to place the cards and what each position means.

Merrimack card backsThere is no mention of Rider-Waite-Smith anywhere on the box or in the instructions but the imagery is the exact artwork of Pamela Colman Smith. It is brightly colored and the colour doesn't always stay in the lines.  The back has a brownish tiled-looking mosaic pattern on it and is not reversible. It was printed in Hong Kong in 1961 and distributed by Merrimack Publishing Corp.




Merrimack box - frontMerrimack box - top / bottomMerrimack box - sideMerrimack box - back

Sonntag, 29. September 2013

Tarocchino Milanese a Doppia Figura

Creator(s): Bordoni
Date: 1880* reproduction 2000
Country: Italy
Publisher: Bordoni*, Il Meneghello
Number of Cards: 78
ISBN:
Type: Milanese
Reference: Encyclopedia of Tarot, vol. IV pp. 680, 682








Notes:
This is a reproduction of a deck printed by Bordoni circa 1880.  The Ace of Coins contains an Italian monarchic tax stamp, 50 centesimi (valid mid-1880/1890s) and a stamp of the Milanese tax office dated 1890, but tax stamps don't give an exact date, because they may be applied years after the deck was first published.

This reproduction was printed as a limited and numbered edition of 2000 by Il Meneghello. There was another edition of the same deck - also by Il Meneghello - named "Tarocco Lombardo (a doppia figura)" that one is limited to 1500 copies.

This deck it is one of the earliest known to have double figures (doppia figura), or mirror reflections of the images on the cards. The back design shows a lancer on horseback.
 
The original was stencil colored lithography and has the backs printed on a separate sheet and glued to the cards, with the edges wrapped around the front. This edition also reproduces the backing paper edges on the front.

The cards came in a solid cardboard box with a wax seal of Il Meneghello.

Montag, 23. September 2013

Elisabeth Haich Tarot

Creator(s): Elisabeth Haich, Oswald Wirth
Date: 1983
Country: Germany

Publisher: Drei Eichen Verlag 
Number of Cards: 22
ISBN: 3-7699-0408-7    

Type: Papus-Wirth
Reference: Decker/Dummet A History of the Occult Tarot p. 185-187





Notes:
Elisabeth Haich (1897-1994) was an internationally recognized sculptor, painter and author of several books on spirituality. Together with Selva Yesudian she was instrumental in popularization of yoga in Central Europe.

She created 22 cards in the style of the Oswald Wirth deck to accompany her book Tarot. Die zweiundzwanzig Bewußtseinsstufen des Menschen, which was first published in 1969.

Her book does not advocate the use of Tarot to predict the future, nor  Tarot readings for any other purpose. She simply explains her mystical interpretations of the Major Arcana. Haich claimes that Tarot cards were created by initiates of prehistoric times and her interpretations of the cards make some use of Hindu ideas.

She aknowledges Oswald Wirth as the artist who originally created the set of Major Arcana,  which came with the book. For the edition printed in 1969 Haich reproduces his design, but without the borders and Wirth's ideograms. In the reprint of book and cards from 1983, the ornamented borders returned and the colors are a bit different.

Both editions have blank backs and very thin cardstock.

Creator(s): Elisabeth Haich, Oswald Wirth
Date: 1969
Country: Germany

Publisher: J. Fink Verlag 
Number of Cards: 22
ISBN:     

Type: Papus-Wirth
Reference: Decker/Dummet A History of the Occult Tarot p. 185-187



Sonntag, 22. September 2013

Le Tarot Magique

Creator(s): Frédéric Lionel
Date: 1980, 1982
Country: Germany

Publisher: Aurum 
Number of Cards: 22
ISBN: 3-59108179-5    

Type: other
Reference:
Encyclopedia of Tarot, vol. III, pp.329-332



 




Notes:
Frédéric Lionel was a prolific writer on philosophical and esoteric subjects. His  cards were originally published in 1980 by the French publishing house Editions du Rocher to accompany the book Le Tarot Magique. In 1982, the German publisher Aurum issued the cards with a German edition of Lionel 's book, entitled Das Spiel der Spiele: Tarot.

The Roman numerals in the upper left-hand corner represent the symbolic quality of the card, while Arabic numerals in the upper right-hand corner indicate the cards' representative stages along the path of initiation. Neither numbering system follows traditional tarot numbering.

Most of the cards have the conventional titles (exeptions are The Divine Mistress / The Master instead of High Priestess / Hierophant and Serenity replacing Strength).The artwork is abstract and geometrical, consisting of line drawings with some regions coloured with watercolour.

The images as a composition look like the sigils found in magical manuscripts. They are constructed from various elements. There are a number of Egyptian images, like the eye of Ra or the Ankh, also appearing are the Chinese Ying-Yang, astrological signs, constellations and planets.The design of each card represents an abstraction of the idea of each arcana.

Donnerstag, 19. September 2013

Sacred India Tarot

Creator(s): Rohit Arya, Jane Adams
Date: 2011

Country: India
Publisher: Yogi Impressions
Number of Cards: 82
ISBN: 978-81-88479-78-8 
Type: RWS
Reference: artist's page






Notes:
Rohit Arya works and writes in India, and Jane Adams is an artist in the UK; they started to work on the project in 2001, exchanging images and ideas by email.

The Sacred India Tarot
combines Tarot and Indian mythology. The Major Arcana depict the archetypal forms of the gods and goddesses of India. Initially, the project was called the Hindu mythology, Tarot, but the name was changed because the cards also draw plenty of Jainism and Buddhism.

The Suit of Staves (Wands) is inspired by the Indian epic Ramayana. The love story of  Shiva and Parvati is shown in the suit of Lotusses (Cups). The Suit of Arrows, based on themes from the Bheeshma episode of the Mahabharata. The author uses arrows instead of swords, because Indian myth is primarily an archer culture, swordsmanship being mythically of no account. The Suit of Disks (Pentacles) depict scenes from the life of the Buddha.


The allocation of the elements to the Cards in the Sacred India Tarot is:

Page - Air
Knight - Fire
Queen - Water
King - Earth

Staves (Wands) - Fire
Arrows (Swords) - Air
Lotuses (Cups) - Water
Discs (Pentacles) - Earth

The deck comes with 4 extra cards. There are two "blessings" cards called Ganesha and Babaji and there are alternative death and world cards.  The accompanying book provides information on the background of the Indian gods and goddess forms. The cards are in a box in the insert, which contains an image of Babaji, which can be pulled out and used as an altar.

Dienstag, 17. September 2013

Rumi Tarot

Creator(s): Nigel Jackson
Date: 2009

Country: USA
Publisher: US Games
Number of Cards: 78
ISBN: 978-0-7387-1168-3 
Type: RWS
Reference: aeclectic

Notes:
The Rumi Tarot has a traditional structure: 78 cards, traditional titles (with exception of the High Priestess, which becomes the Priestess, and Strength which becomes Fortitude), the four suits are entitled Swords, Cups, Staves and Coins, with the Court cards entitled King, Queen, Knight and Page. The minor arcana show a mix of both pip styling and small RWS-like scenes. 

The images are based on Rumi and Sufi beliefs, some of the features of the Rumi Tarot court cards are taken from the fifteenth-century cards of Mamluk design. Each card  has a verse from Rumi at the bottom.

The suits of the Minor Arcana symbolize the four Aristotelian elements and are corresponding to the alchemical mysteries of the Sufi path.  The basic positioning of the Trump figures and elements looks like in RWS Tarots, but everything from costume to architecture is Arabic.

The original paintings for the cards, done in tempera, are the same size as the cards themselves, also for the Minors, done in miniature portrait style.  The background color for the Major Arcana is blue, for the Minor Arcana and Court Cards it is green.

The box set comes with the 312 page companion book and a black organdy pouch. The book gives some history and background on Rumi and Sufism, offers a complete guide to the Tarot’s divinatory meanings, and also associates one of the 99 names of God with each card.

Montag, 16. September 2013

Tarot de Louttre B

Creator(s): Marc-Antoine Bissiere
Date: 1981
Country: France

Publisher: Grimaud 
Number of Cards: 78
ISBN:    

Type: Marseilles
Reference:
Encyclopedia of Tarot, vol. III, pp.320, 323

Notes:
Louttre B is the pseudonym of the French painter Marc-Antoine Bissiere (1926-2012). The deck was published in 1981 by Musee des Arts Decoratifs in cooperation with Grimaud on the opening of an exhibition called "Antique Playing Cards - A Collectors Dream". The cards originally were part of a book called "Le Tarot des familles", which was printed in a limited edition of only 75 copies. The book contains hand painted engravings of the cards with explanations.

The deck shows no human figures, but only the objects taken from Tarot de Marseilles. The images of this deck play with symmetry in various aspects. The three cards, where the symmetry of Roman numbers allows it, have mirror-inverted images. That leads to the first impression, that both The Emperor and The Lovers have number VI and Sun and Fool both have number XXI.

La Force (Strength) has no explicit number, but the number XI is part of the image.

Card titles are in French. The suits are d'Epee, Baton, Coupe, and Deniers. The courts are Valet, Cavalier, Reine, and Roi.  The backs are reversible. The 78 cards plus titlecard and a French only lwb came in a lidded cardboard box.

Sonntag, 15. September 2013

Linol-Tarot

Creator(s): Gerhard Haack
Date: 1988
Country: Germany

Publisher: self-published 
Number of Cards: 79
ISBN:    

Type: RWS
Reference:
Encyclopedia of Tarot, vol. IV, pp.401, 403




Notes:
The deck is printed as "Linol-Farbdruck", that means not the black lines (which are line drawings), but only the five different colors were applied as linoleum block prints.

The minors were fully illustrated, they are inspired by the RWS images but not clones. The cards have German titles and Roman numbers, Strength is 8, Justice 11.


The deck has 78 cards plus an untitled extra card showing a man with a club.

It is a limited edition of 150 decks. The cardboard box of the deck is signed and numbered by the artist, mine is number 123. There is no lwb.


Samstag, 14. September 2013

Tarot de Alma Ajo

Creator(s): Alma Ajo
Date: 2010
Country: Spain

Publisher: self-published 
Number of Cards: 22
ISBN:    

Type: other
Reference: artist's page


Notes:
The art is a combination of surrealistic paintings and collage. The cards are numbered, Strength is 8, Justice 11, the titles are in Spanish. The deck came without book or lwb.

The deck exists in a standard version and as hand-colored version. The hand-colored decks have  paint and glitter applied to make each deck unique. There are 20 decks of each version. Mine is number 6 from the standard version.

Freitag, 13. September 2013

Arcani Maggiori Tarocchi (Bulgaria)

Creator(s): Ciavdar Ghiuselev
Date: ca. 1991/92
Country: Bulgaria

Publisher: A-Ya Publishing / AZ Advertising 
Number of Cards: 22
ISBN:    

Type: Marseilles
Reference: Tarotgarden 











Notes:
The illustrations show the standard Tarot Marseilles personnages set against a plain, white background.

Card titles in Italian above the illustrations, and in Bulgarian at the bottom of the cards. The cards are numbered at the bottom and came with a lwb in Bulgarian only.

The box is like those of the LoScarabeo Tarocchi d'Arte series, but the cardstock is much thinner. 

Tarot de las Hadas (Zarzuela)

Creator(s): Alejandra Ramirez Zarzuela, Sandra Aguilar Latorre
Date: 2006
Country: Spain

Publisher: Libsa
Number of Cards: 78
ISBN: 84-662-1285-X   

Type: other
Reference:


Notes:
Tarot de las Hadas is Spanish for Tarot of the Fairies. Alejandra Ramirez Zarzuela is a published author and illustrator of children's books, who had done a lot of books on fairies.

Most of the majors, including Death and Devil, are female. Only The Emperor (El Rey Dagda) and The Hierophant (El druida) are male.

The titles of the majors are non standard, the minors are pips. The suits are color coded and the illustrations on the court cards match the corresponding element of the suit.

It is a deck suitable for children, completely without violence, even death and devil are represented by beautiful fairies.

Boxed set containing a deck of 78 tarot cards and a 192 page softcover book in Spanish with a lot of full-color illustrations.

Donnerstag, 12. September 2013

Primavera Tarot (Tarot Art Nouveau)

Creator(s): Antonella Castelli
Date: 1998
Country: Italy

Publisher: Lo Scarabeo
Number of Cards: 78
ISBN:   

Type: RWS
Reference:
Encyclopedia of Tarot, vol. IV, pp. 222, 223  
Notes:
The Primavera Tarot was also called  Tarot Art Nouveau, but there is another deck by Matt Myers called the Art Nouveau Tarot. The Myers deck is less representative of art nouveau and shows mainly influence of stained glass design, while Castelli's tarot looks like the works by Alphonse Mucha and Aubrey Beardsley.

The cards are are elegant, flowery and ornate, the minor arcana do show a distant influence from the Waite-Smith designs. People, which are the focus of the deck, are uniformly young and attractive. The colours are soft greens, blues,  pinks, and yellows, inset into a white border. The main title, in Italian, is purple; other language titles are pink.

There are Knights and Knaves, rather than Prince and Princess or Knight and female Page; but the Kings all have women beside them who appear to be consorts, whereas the Queens are alone. Most of the minor arcana cards have only women in them.

Death is female and Strength is male, the rest of the majors adhere to the genders usually assigned to them. There were no deeper esoteric meanings, no associiations with Kabbala, Numerology or Astrology.

The deck comes with a lwb that gives very brief card meanings.

Mittwoch, 11. September 2013

Tarot of the Curious East

Creator(s): Lynyrd-Jym Narciso
Date: 2010
Country: Philippines

Publisher: self-published
Number of Cards: 22
ISBN:  

Type: other

Reference: aeclectic




Notes:
The cards are landscape format and have traditional titles. Strength is 8, Justice 11.

The images contain elements from a variety of Asian mythos.

The Tarot of the Curious East was featured on the Tarot Lovers Calendar 2011.

It is a signed and numbered limited edition of 50 copies. Mine is number 48.