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5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading for the Brotherhood Tarot, 19 Mar. 2009
By 
Steve Craftman (Neath) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Brotherhood Tarot Companion (Paperback)
The Brotherhood Tarot Companion expands on the download-only Little White Book for the Brotherhood Tarot. It was published a couple of years after the Brotherhood Tarot itself was published, which is a shame as ideally they should be presented as a set.

The author generously and honestly shares of his life and motivations for making the Brotherhood Tarot throughout the book, as well as detailing the stories that inspired the illustration of the cards of each of the suits. Swords is based on the story of the Chinese emperor Ai-ti and his lover Mizi Xia. Cups tell the story of Zeus and Ganymede. The suit of Rods is based on the history of the Radical Faerie movement while the Pentacles detail Patric Stillman's journey in creating this Tarot. Unusually for a Tarot book, the author works through the minor arcana before tackling the major arcana.

The card interpretations are pretty much those of the Rider-Smith-Waite deck, but the astrological associations are very different. Although reversed meanings are given, I personally wouldn't use them as the reverse of the cards themselves is not symmetrical: you can tell before turning it over if a card is reversed. But then, that's just my personal quirk...

In the appendices there is a list of the men featured in the cards, but alas no matching of model with cards which would have been interesting just to know. A few spreads are illustrated, and surprisingly there are brief illustrated blurbs about the other gay Tarots that have emerged over the past ten years, a very generous move on the author's part.

The book reads more like a conversation with the author than a book about a Tarot deck, allowing us to see his thought processes and understand why a card is presented in a particular way. It's an interesting read in and of itself, through should really be bought together with the Tarot deck as the vibrant colour and gloss of the deck far surpass the monochrome images used in the book.

I doubt I'll use the deck itself for readings other than for myself (despite thirty decks or so on the shelves I still use a rather battered Thoth deck as my working deck), but I can see using it as a meditative tool, which the book would enance, especially with the frequency with which the Green Man appears.

If you've bought the deck, but this book: you need it. The downloaded LWB isn't enough information.

Finally, to Patric: thank you!
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Brotherhood Tarot Companion
Brotherhood Tarot Companion by Patric Stillman (Paperback - 12 Sept. 2007)
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