Tarot of the Sephiroth Card Deck Cards – 30 Sep 2000
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A popular avenue of mysticism today is the ancient, yet newly re-discovered Kabbalah. The tarot of the Sephiroth delivers access and answers to its secrets, re-interpreting and re-defining traditional tarot images to reveal the tarot-Kabbalah connection.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The Major Arcana are richly detailed, retaining much of the original symbolism of the Rider-Waite decks. Also, each Major Arcana card is drawn taking place over the appropriate path between Sephiroth, along with the appropriate Hebrew letter and astrological sign. The included book indicates that all 78 cards can be arranged in a Tree of Life, but I didn't get the feeling that would work or be very attractive to the eye if it were done as I've messed around with the deck.
Details on the Minor Arcana are somewhat sparse; usually a simple figure constructed with the number of the suit symbol, and the appropriate astrological sign somewhere. The circular border color is appropriate to the Sephiroth within Briah (as should be expected). Almost all of the Rider-Waite details are abandoned in the Minor Arcana, which will either suit you or not depending on whether you choose the Qabalistic interpretations or the traditional Tarotic interpretations.
The court cards can be arranged in such a way as to construct the lower four sephiroth, all the Princesses combining for Malkuth, for example. Otherwise, some people may be offended by the propensity of the artist to display breasts hanging out of clothes wherever possible (mainly Princesses and Major Arcana, the Queens given a sort of additional respect in additional clothing). At first I found it somewhat awkward, but it was easy to get used to.
I am finding that although it is a beautiful deck to work with and the cards are well-constructed and rich in their own sort of symbolism, it is rather difficult to learn from them. I'll be purchasing the Light and Contrast deck soon, which seems to deviate less from the accepted standard of interpretation (Rider-Waite symbolism). I think that most people these days have a strong reaction against the Rider-Waite deck as ugly and encouraging a strong negative reaction in people, but the symbolism does seem to be valid and standardized for the most part.
The artistic style reminds me a bit of Erte, with a little touch of Marvel comics, but with more depth, more background, more sensitivity and more subtle action. The colors are rich and saturated, and employ the use of transparent, filtering forms over fantastic scenarios.
While the compositions for each card seem to illustrate concepts already established by the Golden Dawn (and other Hermetic organizations that fuse Qabalah with Tarot,) the portrayal of said concepts are, in this deck, quite strikingly unique. That unique vision is what really makes the cards in this deck shine. They have a vibrant Modernist quality that is far more "electric" than the kind of imagery you might see in the Rider-Waite Deck (or other decks with a more definitively representational approach.) There is a quality in each card that i can only describe as "kinectic," as each picture seems to "dance" for the viewer.
The deck was explicitly designed less for divination and more for meditation, which is how I prefer to use Tarot. So i have really enjoyed this deck. The cards are also designed in such a way so that they can be joined to form a Giant Qabalistic Tree of Life... sort of like the Adrian Tarot deck.
All in all, this a beautiful and engaging deck that is a marvelous specimen of illustrative art.
As for the associated book, "Guide to the Tarot of the Sephiroth," I am not such a huge fan. I wrote a review on it's own product page, for those who are interested.