This recently-published Tarot is to be commended on several points. First, it is written by Sandra Tabatha Cicero, a world-renowned Tarot scholar and one of the few people in the world today who really are steeped in the traditions of the Golden Dawn. If this sounds daunting, don't be daunted-the book is intelligently and clearly-written, not patronizing and not obscure, either. Second, the art work (also by Cicero), is good. The Majors and Minors are in full (but not gaudy) colour and the Minors are not simply pips-they have the symbol on them (e.g. Six of Cups) but also a small picture at the centre of the card. Personally, I find this much more satisfying than the symbol on its own. Third, the basis of this Tarot deck is the mythology of the ancient Babylonians, so if you enjoy stories, and gods, and monsters, and so on, this will be a real treasure. I approached the deck knowing little of this pantheon-I'm delighted to be extending my knowledge of mythology AND have an attractive and well-thought out Tarot at the same time.
The Babylonian Tarot is based on the pantheon of ancient Mesopotamia and Sumeria. All of the majors and most of the courts and minors refer to gods, goddesses and stories from this ancient tradition. However, the majority of the images are such that you would not usually find them confusing or distracting if you wanted to read the deck with traditional meanings without reference to the 'Babylonian' aspect. The deck is closely aligned with Thoth, and in fact the coloration on some cards as well as the design are directly influenced by the artwork of Lady Freida Harris.
Another thing you'll notice about this deck is there is an extra set of court cards in addition to princess, prince, queen and king--the kerub. This rounds out the five elements -- earth, air, water, fire and spirit. I am not sure I'll shuffle those in the deck when I use it. I am fairly traditional when it comes to the structure of tarot. But I'll consider it. They seem to be sort of like elementals.
There's also an additional major that comes 'before the concept of zero' called Genesis. It represents the creation of the universe and birth of the gods, and the companion book shows the original Babylonian text from Enuma Elish ('When on High', the Babylonian epic of creation) beside the first verses of the book of Genesis from the Bible. Very similar, except that in the older Babylonian text, two primeval forces, Apsu and Tiamat, 'mingled their waters' and the gods began to be birthed 'in the midst of heaven' before any sign of earth was to be seen.
I have another deck by this same author, Golden Dawn Magical Tarot, which I am a big fan of, so I am happy to say that having perused the companion book and looked through the cards, I quite like this one, too! The art style is just like the Golden Dawn Magical Tarot, and as there is no credit given anywhere that I can see in the book, I assume that Sandra Tabatha Cicero has done them all herself. I quite like the art style of both decks, though some might call it 'naive' or 'primitive'. I like a deck that looks hand drawn (and I also like a deck that looks quite accomplished--I like both as long as the art work is not so slick that it looks like perhaps a human hand had no involvement.)