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Sol Invictus: The God Tarot Paperback – 15 Oct 2007

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Schiffer Publishing Ltd (US); Tcr Crds/P edition (15 Oct. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764327615
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764327612
  • Product Dimensions: 29 x 4.1 x 15.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,756,715 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

XVI The Tower

Shiva

Hindu

As Shiva Nataraj dances upon the demon of ignorance his third eye opens and blasts the tower to pieces. Fires burn at the tower's weakening foundations, and a golden crown topples from its great height. From the ruined structure a white dove escapes, soaring into the darkness and away from the destruction. But Shiva continues dancing his cosmic dance - and he will not stop.

As above...

Gods and Symbols

"Listen, O Lord of the meeting rivers,
Things standing shall fall,
But the moving shall ever stay."
(Ramanujan, 1973, 88.)
(Hindu vacana poetry written in praise of Shiva)

Shiva - a Deva ("shining one") of India - is worshipped today in his many forms by Hindus and in particular Saivites (who see him as the only ultimate reality.) He has many forms, but most famous is his aspect as Shiva the Destroyer, one of the trimurti - Brahma the Creator, Vishnu the Preserver, and Shiva the Destroyer. This trinity work together to keep the universe in order: so when Shiva destroys he leaves room for Brahma to create once more.

As the destroyer, Shiva is often depicted enacting his dance of destruction, tandava, and is known as Nataraj. This dance never stops, because destruction is constant in the universe, but on an individual, human level it often feels terrible. Shiva's destruction can indicate death or decay, as well as the crumbling of one's way of life, but it can also be positive - such as the destruction of bad habits or false ideas. However, no matter what the destruction is it will always feel painful on a human level because we are in the wheel of samsara (reincarnation and thus, suffering), and not in the realm of the devas.

Shiva has many names, and they demonstrate his many aspects. He is often known as Tryambaka ("three-eyes") because as well as the usual two eyes he possesses a third eye (Jnana.) When he opens the eye of Jnana its gaze burns samsara to ashes - as we see illustrated in the card. Shiva's cosmic eye sends a lightning bolt out of the blue into the tower that symbolizes the human construct - whether that is habits, beliefs, ways of life, a business deal, or something more vital. It is interesting that Shiva also represents the lingam, or phallus, because the tower can be seen as symbolic of the penis - in this case, a phallus from which the essence is being released in an explosion. The image is undoubtedly one of sexual release or of frustrations being freed, and with it we get a more positive view of this card - for after the phallus has toppled like the tower, it will rise again (just as Brahma will create in the space Shiva has given him.)

In his aspect of Shiva Nilakantha ("blue-throated one"), Shiva is said to have swallowed a poison that threatened to engulf the world. This poison could not get further than his throat however, causing it to turn blue. It is said that when this cycle of the world comes to an end Shiva Nilakantha will vomit forth this fiery poison and destroy everything - just as fire destroys everything in its path (but also purifies.)

Shiva is also called Mahakala - Great Time. He is the all-powerful, all-destroying, inescapable time which humans are prey to, as is the rest of creation. All must crumble and fall. However, this indicates that Shiva does not destroy wantonly but instead in order to purify what has become corrupted and rotten. In fact, some people have interpreted the name `Shiva' to mean "he who purifies everyone by the utterance of his name."

In the card image Shiva tramples the demon of ignorance, or what we can interpret to be an aspect of one's self or the ego. Often we find that when everything crumbles down around us our egos are crushed as well, and thus we are given an opportunity for a fresh start with our personalities. The experience of XVI The Tower calls for a complete re-evaluation of our selves and lives after the destruction. The snakes that Shiva bears on his body are symbolic of the fact that the destruction he creates allows the continual purification and rebirth of the universe and the individual - just as the snake sheds its old skin in place of its new one.

The dance of Shiva Nataraj not only destroys - the shake-up he causes arouses energies and feelings that may have lain dormant in the psyche and the environment around us, and thus the Tower can be seen as a card of sudden realization or the blinding flash of inspiration: when the trappings of the building are torn down and the crown of the ego fallen, we can see clearer and are free to start rebuilding.

~ From "XVI The Tower"

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is a remarkable Sacred Tool of extraordinary power and versatility. When I first opened the handsome box, I was intrigued and frankly a bit puzzled as to how I might be able to use it.

But when a gay male pagan friend asked for a birthday oracular reading recently, and said he was looking for 12 Sacred Tasks which he could attempt in the coming year, I knew that no ordinary Tarot cards would suffice. I needed a truly out-of-the-ordinary tool. That turned out to be "The Sol Invictus -- The God Tarot".

This tool is highly versatile. It is fine for "as below" mundane questions about whether to buy that new home. But it is in the "as above" questions about Sacred Issues that the "Sol Invictus" cards really come into their own -- issues about your Spiritual Home, about which Spiritual Path you might choose to take to reach it.

The artistry of the cards may strike some as being a bit "naive" or "primitivistic". But, like much so-called "folk art", the art of these cards conveys powerful symbols in easily understood colours and forms without superfluous abstraction.

The hefty book which accompanies these cards is worth the purchase price by itself. I have never read such a concise yet scholarly compilation of pan-cultural myths. No matter how well-versed you believe you are in global mythology, this book will surprise you with new information you had never read before.

The presentation is erudite and yet quite personal. It is as though you have sat down with the authors for tea and they are excitedly telling you about their amazing discoveries about gods from all over the world.

And even if you are a jaded old Tarot reader who has "read it all before", you will delight at the mythological insights into the Tarot which this book offers.
Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
This is my favorites deck. The cards are very well researched and its nice to have a deck thats not just looking at the feminine aspect of tarot.
I recommend this to anyone who reads the cards.
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Format: Paperback
This deck is a pleasure to read with. The imagery is rich and beautiful and the book is well-researched and more scholarly than most accompanying books for tarot decks, as well as being passionately written. I would recommend this deck both for reading and for pathworking, although it may surprise people whose only experience of Tarot is the Rider Waite. As a fairly experienced reader of tarot I have found its new take on traditional tarot imagery refreshing without being jarring. I think it would be equally good for a beginner, as its symbolism is immediate and evocative and lends itself to intuitive reading.
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Format: Paperback
Amongst the mass produced, completely for profit and totally boring dozens of tarot decks which are produced every year, this deck stands out and shines brightly. Both the artwork and the very detailed book which accompanies it has been produced with thought and much care. The concept of doing a deck dedicated to the masculine divine is equally good and thoughtful. Well done and I hope that there will be more from this dynamic duo!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars 8 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly a one of a kind deck and book set 28 Dec. 2007
By Rashchupkina - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I've been waiting for this set to be published many years. The wait was well worth it!!

First off the presentation is excellent. A long colourful and gorgeous box that has a ribbon opener and a magnetic closure holds the deck and very large book. What a great storage concept!

I had seen the online scans of each card, but they certainly didn't do the images and colours justice! I oohed and ahhed as I paged through the deck. Each card is just wonderful! The Gods, legends, folk hero's and the like presented here are extremely diverse. There are many of my favourites and quite a few very new to me! The Gods etc are very well lined up with each card and it's generally accepted meaning. This is a whole new world opening up to me!

The cardstock is very sturdy, a matte lamination and a vibrant red sun in the center of the backs....completely reversible. The cards are about average in size, to me just the right size!

The book is huge, extremely well-researched and written. The stories, legends and folktales are fascinating and fit right in with the meanings, which are very knowledgable and written beautifully. I am having the most wonderful time looking through the deck, having a card catch my eye then reading the story and meaning behind the name and image. They fit together wonderfully! This book is one of the best written, researched, in-depth and fascinating companion books for a deck I've ever read.

Buy this set, it's truly one of a kind. No other Tarot decks are devoted just to the masculine divine and legend. The cards and images are top-rate and the book is excellent absorbing reading. You're going to come away from spending time with this set incredibly richer in knowledge and wisdom!
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Remarkable Sacred Tool 15 Jan. 2009
By Ernest Gill - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is a remarkable Sacred Tool of extraordinary power and versatility. When I first opened the handsome box, I was intrigued and frankly a bit puzzled as to how I might be able to use it.

But when a gay male pagan friend asked for a birthday oracular reading recently, and said he was looking for 12 Sacred Tasks which he could attempt in the coming year, I knew that no ordinary Tarot cards would suffice. I needed a truly out-of-the-ordinary tool. That turned out to be "The Sol Invictus -- The God Tarot".

This tool is highly versatile. It is fine for "as below" mundane questions about whether to buy that new home. But it is in the "as above" questions about Sacred Issues that the "Sol Invictus" cards really come into their own -- issues about your Spiritual Home, about which Spiritual Path you might choose to take to reach it.

The artistry of the cards may strike some as being a bit "naive" or "primitivistic". But, like much so-called "folk art", the art of these cards conveys powerful symbols in easily understood colours and forms without superfluous abstraction.

The hefty book which accompanies these cards is worth the purchase price by itself. I have never read such a concise yet scholarly compilation of pan-cultural myths. No matter how well-versed you believe you are in global mythology, this book will surprise you with new information you had never read before.

The presentation is erudite and yet quite personal. It is as though you have sat down with the authors for tea and they are excitedly telling you about their amazing discoveries about gods from all over the world.

And even if you are a jaded old Tarot reader who has "read it all before", you will delight at the mythological insights into the Tarot which this book offers. There will be times when you'll find yourself looking up from the book and saying, "Of course! Why have I never seen this connection before now myself?"

And don't let the "all-male energies" daunt you in the least. "Sol Invictus -- The God Tarot" is not just for men, and it is certainly not just for gay or transgender people. It is for anyone who wants to work with the God Energies which lie in each and every one of us, female or male, gay or straight.

There is a god or a hero or a saint or a character out of folk legend in each of us. "Sol Invictus -- The God Tarot" is a valuable tool to help us become acquainted with the many aspects of the Divine Masculine which lie largely dormant within ourselves.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sol Invictus is a Very Powerful and Useful Tarot Deck! 7 Mar. 2008
By Dustin A. Goodman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I think it is absolutely unfair to judge a tarot deck based solely on whether or not you, the card reader, are intune with the energies of a specific deck. I am a man who happens to be very good at tarot. Now, I don't neccessarily like the Motherpeace Tarot, but I would never ever deny its prophetic or magickal relevance because that would be denying the feminine part of myself. In fact, I may even buy the Motherpeace Tarot deck as a companion deck to the Sol Invictus-- Why?-- Because I truly believe they would work together harmoniously to balance masculine and feminine energies in my life. Regardless, I think ANY male tarot enthusiast would really enjoy this deck and will probably use it more often than most of their other decks.

The Sol Invictus is also extremely effective in summoning, invoking and accessing the various energies of the Masculine Divine. The power of this tarot deck should not be taken lightly, and it definately needs to be respected. Both the masculine and feminine need to be respected because they are equally important and equally valid. In the Spirit Realm, the scale isn't tipped in either camps' favor, and there is a strict and important balance between the two. Maybe this deck can help you bring balance to the physical plane as well.

Very highly recommended!
6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Infantile expression disturbs the impression 6 Jan. 2009
By Wilhelm Haas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First I wanna say that a God-Themed-Tarot was long overdue and I appreciate the idea and the work. But when it comes to maskuline archetypes they should be displayed in a grown up manner. And in my personal opinion and to my personal taste the "Sol Invictus" Deck doesnt manage to do that at all. The artwork of the cards is just to infantile and every god or archetype looks soft and childish. That might be okay for the card "Peter Pan" or the feminine god Shiva but its defenitely disturbing on gods like Loki, Tyr, Odin, and so on. For me the pictures are a very important energy-source in tarot and here they look simply like displayed in a book for kids. Without any "edges". And in my opinion that just doesnt work out.

The positive about the set, and the reason why I didnt give it just two stars, is the book and - as mentioned - the ambition and idea behind the project. As A Witch going through a lot of international articles and press i stumbled about an interview with the creators, prior to the release, and I was exited and felt very strong with the topic. So I highly anticipated the release of "Sol Invictus". But I expected the deck itself to be stronger in "style" and masculine expression.

The book itself is very good, though with some cards the author stretches the divinatory meaning and interpretation a little to far. Still the information is great, informative, well written and it shows the passion for the project.

Never mind. It's just my personal view. But for me the cards dont work and I will continue to find the gods stronger displayed in various oracle decks and other pagan based tarots.

Still good luck with the deck!
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb and unique tarot 15 April 2008
By Yukio - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I highly enjoy using this deck. The images are well drawn and have an excellent masculine trait to them. Very differant then a lot of 'goddess'/femine decks. The majors and minors are a refereshing change. Each of them are deep and rich in meaning and the book was excedingly well done explaining the meanings w/o going overboard. The handrawn artwork is just breathtaking. The majors did get a few changes but not so radical that one couldn't get them w/o help from the book. The packaging is well done to. I would suggest this deck for personal study as the images and accompanying text are just wrought in deep spiritual meanings and have often given me pause to think enough to take notes. I think this deck will be an excellent tool for readings and getting to know yourself, your divine self, on greater levels and will certainly be an eye opener for many for themselves and for the one who one does readings for.
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