Thirty Days Hath . . .

Thirty days hath September, April, June and . . . you guessed it. November!

Since this is the thirtieth, tomorrow starts a new month, and that means a new tarot deck for me. I had a hard time deciding which to use of the dozens I own.

Some of the traditional decks passed down from medieval times are too odd and the images too angular and misshapen for my tastes (deriving as they do from traditional woodcuts), and so are many of the decks based on those old cards.

Some of the newer versions, though intending to seem old, using as they do, images from the Renaissance, are often too . . . natural . . . for my tastes. I don’t need to see anatomically correct pictures (or at least anatomically correct enough to know which cards depict males). It seems jarring, though I’m sure there is symbolism in the nudity, perhaps showing the necessity to put off the falsehood of clothes, and be who we are, but I can get that symbolism with clothed images, too, since the raiment people don is also symbolic. (Even in today’s culture, clothes are symbolic, though I doubt people stop to think what it is they are trying to broadcast with their apparel.)

Some of the decks are simply too symbolic, with more icons and Jewish letters and astrologic signs and qabalistic codes than I wish to study right now. I’m still trying to get comfortable with the cards themselves, as well as trying to find the deck that speaks most clearly to me.

So far, the deck I like the most is The Cosmic Tarot, created by Norbert Losche and printed in Germany in 1988. The cards have a hint of the 1920’s about them, and most seem evocative of something, even if not what was intended. The following is the Queen of Wands from that deck:

The deck I decided to use this month is the Egorov Tarot, a Russian-inspired deck that is so very elegant with shiny gold borders and highlights. (Unfortunately, the gold photographed as brown, but you can still see the vast difference between this deck and The Cosmic Tarot.)

Someday, if I get bored or ambitious, it would be interesting to photograph all the queen of wands from all the decks and see how they compare. Meantime, I’m just glad I made the decision which deck to use during the coming month.

***

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5 Responses to “Thirty Days Hath . . .”

  1. rami ungar the writer Says:

    Imagine what it would be like to design Tarot decks! I mean, that might require some art skills, but it would still be cool to create and sell Tarot decks of your own designs. In my case, they could be horror-themed, or Victorian England, or ballet, or anything else I can think of!

  2. mickeyhoffman Says:

    I did an etching where I designed the Major Arcana. I think I did that in about 1970 because I remember driving my roommate insane while figuring it out. A friend later cut the etching up, it was 16×20, and so the cards could be used but
    to fit on the copper plate, a few cards were not same size :). Anyhow, she painted them and put on a million layers of
    acrylic gel and they got thick enough to use. Another friend made me a leather case for them. I gave the whole thing
    away around 1984 to someone who was in need of good vibes.


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