Tag: oracles

Runes, by Laura Tuan

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Wooden Rune Kit, by Laura Tuan and Lo Scarabeo
Kit: Wooden runes, accompanied by a book, Runes: The Gods’ Magical Alphabet, by Laura Tuan, Lo Scarabeo, distributed by Llewellyn Worldwide, 9780738713939, 64 pp, 2008

This set consists of 25 runes, a black bag, and a 64 page book. I have minor quibbles with some of the information contained in this book, as well as the inclusion of the 25th (blank) rune. However, before I explain what I object to I have to say that the runic set itself is well made, for the most part. The runes are burned into the surface of the wooden tiles rather lightly. In fact, the rune “Rado” is almost indistinguishable from “Wunjo” in the set I received. A slightly deeper burn would make them more durable in the long run, but perhaps the purchaser could make this modification themselves, as a way of putting their own energy into the runes.

In the traditional 24 runes of the futhark set there are Continue reading


Transparent Tarot, by Emily Carding

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The Transparent Tarot by Emily CardingThe Transparent Tarot, by Emily CardingThe Transparent Tarot, by Emily Carding
Schiffer Publishing, 9780764330032, 280 pp., 72 cards, 2008

Emily Carding provides a rather extensive book with her tarot deck, I felt I would cover them together. It’s nice to see a deck that’s published without the dreaded “little white book”. The Transparent Tarot comes with a book that’s nearly three hundred pages long, a book that’s appreciated even as a seasoned tarot reader, and would be invaluable if this deck happened to be someone’s first.

Carding explores the cards one by one in a standard fashion, not only describing her art and interpretation but relating it back to the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot to help people understand where she is coming from and how she is viewing the deck and revisioning it in her creation. Continue reading


Review: The Anubis Oracle, by Nicki Scully and Linda Star Wolf

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The Anubis Oracle: A Journey into the Shamanic Mysteries of Egypt, by Nicki Scully and Linda Star Wolf, illustrated by Kris Waldherr
Bear & Company, 9781591430902, 165 pp., 2008

The Anubis Oracle contains a deck of thirty-five cards and a companion booklet bearing the same name as the kit.

Loosely inspired by Egyptian iconography, the illustrations in the deck are quite sweet with the same serene, soft imagery that helped make Kris Waldherr’s earlier Goddess Tarot Deck so popular. Continue reading


Review: The Housewives Tarot, by Paul Kepple & Jude Buffum

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The Housewives tarot: A Domestic Divination Kit with Deck and Instruction Book, by Paul Kepple & Jude Buffum
Cards: Quirk Books, Quirk Books, 78 cards, 96 pp. booklet, 2004

The Housewives Tarot consists of 78 cards, 22 trumps or major arcana and 56 minor arcana. The cards come in a mock recipe box, complete with actual recipes on the tabs that separate the minor and major arcana, and instruction booklet. The cards are styled as pure fifties kitsch; charming and often irreverent with clever interpretations of traditional modern esoteric tarot symbolism. Continue reading


Tattooed Tarot, by Pietro Alligo

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Tattooed TarotTattooed TarotTattooed Tarot, designed by Pietro Alligo and illustrated by Cristiano Spadoni
Lo Scarabeo, 0738710571, 78 (+2)

The Tattooed Tarot consists of 78 cards, with an additional cover card and advertisement for additional decks published by Lo Scarabeo. The cards are bordered in black, with the card name printed in six languages on the top and bottom edges. The reverse side depicts a mirror image of the two tigers found on the Five of Wands on a green and black design. Continue reading


Review: Mystical Origins of the Tarot, by Paul Huson

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Mystical Origins of the Tarot: From Ancient Roots to Modern Usage, by Paul Huson
Destiny Books, 0892811900, 335 p. (incl. appendices, notes, bibliography and index), 2004

This is Paul Huson’s second book on tarot; his previous Devil’s Picturebook was a mainstay for tarot enthusiasts. In Mystical Origins of the Tarot he has updated many of his theories in light of new research and opens up new realms of tarot interpretation.

Regarding tarot’s history, Huson’s stance is that “if you take the art of tarot reading seriously (and expect others to), it might behove you to know something about the actual historical roots of your chosen field” – a sentiment with which I fully agree! Many tarot authors continue to perpetuate the old myths – myths which were refuted in the seventeenth century, and for which there is little excuse to see repeated in contemporary texts today. It has now been more than ten years since Ronald Decker, Thierry Depaulis and Michael Dummett wrote A Wicked Pack of Cards, the first in depth study of tarot’s historical roots. Huson acknowledges his debt to these fine scholars (Dummett’s work especially), though also notes where he differs from their conclusions, but it is refreshing to see the scholarly approach he takes in this work on.

Many of tarot’s origin theories are revisited, including the line of thought which attributed the four “minor” suits of the tarot to the “four magical talismans that belonged to the pagan gods of Irish Celtic legend – the cauldron of the Dagda, the sword of Nuada, the stone of Fal, and the spear of Lugh”, which he lightly mocks – a bit cheekily, as he was a proponent of this origin myth in The Devil’s Picturebook!

Huson provides an intriguing theory into tarot’s origins, tracing its roots back to ancient Persia. He believes that symbolic meanings were always an integral part of their use and here his theorizing becomes somewhat less convincing, but remains stimulating.

The trump card analyses derive mainly from medieval and Renaissance mystery plays, from which he quotes liberally from where parallels can be drawn. He also includes cartomantic descriptions from Etteilla, Pratesi’s Cartomancer, De Mellet, Court de Gébelin, Éliphas Lévi, Paul Christian, S. L. MacGregor Mathers, the Golden Dawn, A. E. Waite, tracing the lines of thought, and also offers his own interpretations.

Mystical Origins of the Tarot is Huson’s most solid work to date, and I highly recommend it to all serious students of tarot.


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