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Quantum Tarot: A Tarot of New Physics [Paperback]

Kay Stopforth
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Paperback: 207 pages
  • Publisher: Kunati Inc; Tcr Crds edition (1 Sep 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1601641699
  • ISBN-13: 978-1601641694
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 8.9 x 5.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,677,402 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Combining 20th-century physics, astronomy, and quantum mechanics with the traditional archetypes of a tarot deck, this theoretical investigation lends poetic expression to extraordinary scientific theory. With gorgeous illustrations that offer a new glimpse of the universe, the accompanying cards offer both wonderful meditation images and basic tarot functionality. This fascinating analysis examines how the most important theories in modern physics play out in two extreme worlds - the vast expanses of the universe and the strange, invisible world inside the atom itself.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A stunning and imaginative deck 9 Oct 2008
In an extraordinary feat of knowledge and skill, Kay Stopforth and Chris Butler have brought together the ancient system of tarot with up to date scientific discovery and quantum physics. The images are imaginative (and, in some cases, quite breathtaking) and the accompanying book is informative and clearly written. Whether you buy this deck and book set for its new angle on modern science, or for the splendid pictures, or to use as a tarot deck in the traditional way, it's well worth having.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing 18 Nov 2008
I had been waiting for this deck for months, as the images I saw on the web looked great, and I wanted to see how quantum issues would be dealt with in the book. But when the deck finally came in I found it quite disappointing: the images weren't as profound as they seemed on screen; and the booklet was cramped and the pages difficult to keep open without breaking the binding. Nor did I find much that grabbed my attention in the text - a section on Jupiter to accompany one of the Kings promised a useful Jovian characterisation, but instead we were given facts and figures about the planet which didn't do anything to help me understand how to interpret the card. However, the deck is sturdy and well-printed, with silver edges: it will certainly appeal to many collectors.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Quantum tarot 12 May 2009
An excellent deck for the advanced they work very well at giving the energy of the card with out the interpretation been influenced by the pictures
Blessings Decia
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  17 reviews
55 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TOE: A Tarot of Everything? 3 Sep 2008
By doctordruidphd - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Quantum Tarot blends astronomical imagery, scientific theory and Tarot symbolism in a visually and theoretically breathtaking presentation reminiscent of the Voyager Tarot. In its time, the Voyager broke new ground with its photocollage style, in many cases incorporating astronomical photography with tarot symbolism. The Quantum takes that idea to a whole new level: just as the Hubble images used in the Quantum are a technological leap beyond what were available at the time the Voyager was created, the Quantum Tarot is an artistic jump into a world that the Voyager could only glimpse. Moreover, while I am not ordinarily a fan of Rider-Waite style decks, the Quantum Tarot adds an entirely new dimension -- well, maybe several of them -- to the style that makes the Rider-Waite-ness fade into the background. This is not the same old Tarot in new clothes; this is an entirely new world, entered by way of the Tarot.

That new world is the world of theoretical physics. Physics is the science of how things work, and as our understanding of the world grew beyond dropping things from the Leaning Tower of Pisa, so the theories that tie our observations of things into explanations of how they work grew in complexity. It became apparent that the theories that explain how very large things like planets and galaxies work, were on a collision course with the theories that explain how very small things like atoms work. Both sets of theories couldn't be true, and yet both seem to be. Even worse, it became obvious that all of these theories were incompatible in very basic ways with the theories that explain how ordinary things like clocks and bicycles work. While these new theories have given birth to a whole new world of technology, there remains the nagging problem of explaining how all of these things could possible work together, or even, in some cases, how they can work at all.

The Quantum Tarot takes us on a journey of this strange world of apparent contradictions and inconsistencies. Each card represents some theory, idea or object from the world of theoretical physics. Illustrated with a combination of astronomical imagery and Tarot symbolism, the cards invite one to expand one's understanding of the Tarot by considering how the Tarot symbol relates to some idea in physics. Maybe the other way around, too -- how these often disconnected concepts in physics might relate to a deeper understanding of things through Tarot symbolism. And this is where it starts to get interesting.

Take card XVII -- in the traditional Tarot, the Star; in the Quantum Tarot, String Theory. String theory is an attempt to reconcile the incompatibilities of quantum mechanics and relativity. That has been the dream of physicists for decades: to find a way of combining these two apparently un-combinable theories into a grand Theory of Everything, that would provide some basic explanatory framework of how everything, at bottom, large or small, works. It's been rough going, and it isn't there yet. Maybe it will never happen; there are reasons to suspect the Universe might not be reducible to a single explanatory framework. But the attempt has produced some interesting insights, not the least of which is, at a very basic level, the world is very different from what "common sense" tells us it is. That's a good thing, as common sense is more often a blinder to truth than a way of finding it.

This Tarot is in many ways its own mimic of string theory: it is an attempt to reconcile two things -- science and mysticism -- widely held to be incompatible and contradictory, into a unified framework of ideas. Now this is something I have always believed: that science, mysticism, and add to that philosophy, are convergent disciplines. I do not mean that any of those disciplines is reducible to any of the others -- that, for example, mysticism, or the Tarot as a form thereof, can be explained in terms of psychology, or that science ultimately reduces to logic (sorry Mr. Spock). What I do mean is that as our understanding of all of those disciplines advances, they become more similar than they are different, and each gives important insights as to how the others work. It would appear, for example, that the Uncertainty Principle, which has led some physicists to suggest a "participatory universe", is really the same principle, viewed through the lens of science, as sympathetic magick and its seasonal rituals, viewed from the standpoint of the nature mystic. QM and relativity shed a lot of light on how magick might work, and many physicists have noticed similarities between ideas in physics and mysticism -- books have been written on the Tao of this and the Zen of that. My guess is that the Theory of Everything, if there is such a thing, will ultimately look like some combination of ideas from these different disciplines, a twisted superstring in its own right, vibrating in every dimension of human thought.

To be sure, this isn't the easiest path to tread. If you'd rather meet a charmed quark than a strange one, and you assume a boson has bright red hair and wears a clown suit, you may be heading for rough waters here. I must say that the images on the cards aren't highly intuitive; while you certainly can read these as ordinary Tarot cards, you won't get the full measure of their wisdom without reading, and understanding, what the accompanying book has to say about them. The book is very good; its summaries of the scientific theories are excellent, but admittedly may be beyond those who have no interest or background in the subject. The Tarot of Everything might not be the Tarot for Everyone, but then again, what Tarot is? By drawing the reader into the parallel universe of theoretical physics, this Tarot challenges the reader to get beyond the repetitive and entrenched "meanings" of the cards, and enter a dimension in which the absolutes are uncertain, and the less believable something is, the more likely it is to be true.
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly gorgeous deck 4 Oct 2008
By B. Starbuck - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As a collector of Tarot decks, I usually guage them by the feeling I get when I first open them and hold them in my hands; if there's that immediate feeling of connectedness, I know I've made a good choice. And this one is right at the top.

I was initially interested in the concept of this deck: A Tarot of New Physics, and as a spiritual person who despises religious dogma, and a science junkie to boot, the idea of drawing the beauty and grandeur of the cosmos into the mysterious world of the Tarot, was too intriguing to pass up.

When I first opened the deck and began flipping through the cards, I was at once drawn to and awestruck by the images of the deck; resplendent cosmic vistas, interlaced with imagery from the traditional Tarot. It stirred a sense of the universal connectedness of all things in what we know and understand as the Universe at this point in our development as human beings. But it also evoked a sense of wonder and the possibility of the things we don't yet know about ourselves or our existence, the things we've yet to unlock or discover about who we are or what our place is on the cosmic stage.

On the practical side, the deck is a tad bigger than a standard Tarot deck, thus making shuffling a little difficult at first; but once you stretch your digits a bit, the deck has a pleasant feel to it. There's a nice matte finish to the cards that gives them a solid, grounded feel, so they're not going to go slip-sliding all over the place when you shuffle. The edges of the cards are gilded in a beautiful silver finish that adds a sense of opulence to the deck and adds to the overall beauty of it.

In short, this is a truly gorgeous deck that inspires at first sight. I love this deck and I think I will be working with it for many years to come. Highly recommended!
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Deck worth the wait! 14 Aug 2008
By K. Martens - Published on Amazon.com
Quantum Tarot: A Tarot of New Physics

Buy this deck...you will not be disappointed!

Since the first visuals were available for this deck I have been waiting for its release and I am not disappointed. My first viewing of the deck was sitting with the evening sun coming through the window, sharing a good glass of Australian Shiraz with a friend and listening to the music of Blackmore's Night -- Castles & Dreams. Blackmore's Night -- Castles & Dreams
The cards are beautiful and it will take many viewings to see and all of the images as there are the readily visible and the more subtle that come from contemplation. Thank you Kay and Chris for your work!
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Deck 25 Nov 2008
By Hayward H. Siegel - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
At first, I was disappointed with this deck. Not with the cards themselves, because they are beautiful, having photos of phenomena in space primarily from the Hubble Space Telescope as the backgrounds for the cards, but with the whole idea behind this deck. After reading the book included with the cards, I thought that integrating the theories of relativity and quantum mechanics, with the symbolic system of Tarot cards, just didn't work for me. I was lost in space! It was hard enough for me to understand the theories of quantum mechanics, but what do Fermions and Bosnons have to do with the 6 of Swords? What does Quantum Foam have to do with The Tower? I was asked by Amazon.com to write a review of the deck. So, I began to read through the book again, and look at the cards again, so I could find examples, to justify my 3-star rating, I was going to give the deck. I looked at the first 3 cards, The Fool, The Magician, The High Priestess, and read the explanation for each card. Each card has a separate scientific background and interpretation set forth. After reviewing these 3 cards, I just stopped, and had a quantum leap. I said to myself: "Wait a minute, there IS something to this deck!". After going over all the cards again, I realized that this is an amazing deck. Now, I may be going contrary to what the creators of the deck had intended for it, but I believe that I was mistaken in trying to integrate scientific principles(which I still have difficulty understanding), with Tarot symbolism. What this deck does, is show that what occurs in the expanse of the universe and the invisible world of the atom, can relate to what occurs in our psychological and spiritual being. They should not be integrated, but viewed side by side, and understood as having similarities. I still don't think that this is a good deck for beginners; some experience with Tarot interpretations is needed for this deck. In my opinion, it would also be helpful to Tarot readers, if some of the scientific background text for each card were eliminated. Some scientific background material would aid the reader, but I believe that too much of it was put in the book. It certainly frustrated me for awhile.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful fusion of science and magick 18 Sep 2008
By Emily Carding - Published on Amazon.com
New to Tarot publishing, Kunati have done a splendid job in producing this exquisite deck. Kay Stopforth and Chris Butler's unique vision is brought to luxurious life with vivid colours, (that really do seem to leap out of every card), sumptuous card stock, and a fabulous sturdy box. You couldn't ask for more!

As to the content of the deck itself, it is a truly stunning deck, which captures the mystery and beauty of the universe, without becoming so carried away with it's own cleverness that it becomes tricky to read. It is in fact remarkably easy to read with, the scientific information in the book giving a refreshing new angle that has never been seen in Tarot before. If you don't like to use the book, the images themselves are so evocative, they could certainly be used in a purely intuitive way.

Kay and Chris have brought a truly unique gem to the Tarot world, which is a challenge in a market which has new products arriving all the time. A treasure for collectors and readers alike!

Emily Carding, (creator of the Transparent Tarot)The Transparent Tarot
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