In the last few months I felt like two people fighting to write a review. The Game of Saturn, Decoding the Sola-Busca tarocchi by author Peter Mark Adams (Scarlet Imprint) is a tough nut to crack. The Game of Saturn is the first extensive scientific research in the English language on this rather special historical tarot deck, but that is also where my difficulty lay: I am not just a tarot reader. I am a historian as well and both parts of my brain read the book in a different way. After starting over several times I finally decided which course to take and this is the result. The Game of Saturn might just be the most talked about book of the last year in what you could loosely call ‘the historical tarot community’. With his thesis esotericist, tarot reader and professional energy worker Peter Mark Adams delivered the first scientifically charged book on ‘that weird deck’, which also happens to be the oldest surviving complete tarot – and a museum piece at that. Up until now historical tarot readers had scarce materials about decks older than the Waite Smith, and the Sola Busca in particular, and there’s still a lot…
Whilst my present Starlight Dragon book (TSQ: The companion Travelling with Starlight Dragons is just released) is focused on the elementary associations of tarot (Golden Dawn tradition) plus the grand mythic tales of great dragons, I am preparing another on a more advanced level with work on tarot correspondences to astrology, kabbalah and alchemy, which have been only touched upon in the first book.
As a very special and exclusive pre-taste
Decks that are based on mythology or different cultures aren’t exactly new. It will ask a lot of a deck designer to find an angle that’ll attract an audience eager to check his or her work out, and be original and consistent at the same time. The American Gods Tarot Majors Only, a newly released and very limited edition tarot (first edition only 25 copies) from the hands of Anastasia Kashian is exactly such a deck. Here’s my review & interview with the designer in one.
If you want you can even use the happiest, most colourful tarot deck for shadow work, but a deck specifically made for doing so could work better. The Spirit Within Tarot by writer and tarot reader Steven Bright is a good example of that. This tarot from the Schiffer/Red Feather stall is supposed to present the shadows in your life, past, present
This review almost didn’t exist. Last year my planning was pretty full each month and a stay on Crete led me to skip a few pages in a certain publisher’s catalogue. Luckily I was later on convinced that it was “all about the review itself and not the date it was published”. That means you’ll get to read an article on The Star Tarot deck after all and myself would not have wanted to miss it for the world!