Sneak peek: Arcanum X, modern Tarot de Marseille

30 September 2016

double-coins-arcanum-x Arcanum XIt’s always very exciting when a designer announces a new project and I feel especially flattered that this one decided to use The Queen’s Sword as his podium for The Big Reveal. In 2017 we can enjoy a modern take on the Tarot de Marseille called Arcanum X.

The Arcanum X Tarot is currently being designed by… …..drumroll….

Orbifold Tarot creator and tarot reader, Michael Bridge-Dickson! His first deck, The Orbifold Tarot, will soon be shown in my Winter Wonderland of extraordinary tarot decks since it is a deck that shows something no-one has done before, but you can definitely count on a review of his second deck too.

Loosely based on the TdM’s forms, the Arcanum X Tarot develops organic elements of the traditional designs, making them more prevalent. The familiar flourishes that decorate the TdM’s minors are elaborated upon and more clearly defined, then integrated with some of the visual markings traditionally seen on the TdM’s objects, more intimately integrating the natural with man-made objects.

4s-arcanum-mbd2s-arcanum-mbdArcanum X is not a restoration, but more of a reworking of the Marseille’s classic forms. Michael will be combining traditional hand-drawing outlines with modern digital coloring for an effect that, like the foliage making up the designs, “grows from the past and links it with the contemporary”.

His Orbifold revolved around the elements and color-coding was an important part of the art. I can already see this little stylistic idea comes back in the suits of Arcanum X, where the Coins have a green (earth) background, the Swords a grey-ish one, et cetera. (There were no Cups ready to show yet)

According to Michael Bridge-Dickson himself, this will be his sophomore deck, involving research of various editions of the TdM and historic decks in the French and Italian traditions. He will enrich the deck by botanical symbolism in art and culture from the ancient world through medieval and renaissance Europe to current uses. It will surely also incorporate aspects of this creator’s reading style and experience in the artistic and design details. I know Michael to have an exceptional and very interesting reading style, already visible on his website Mirrors of Consciousness.

Arcanum XArcanum XMichael is beginning with designing the 40 pip Minors, which will be previewed first here on The Queen’s Sword once this first half of the deck is complete. Yep, a different choice than most designers make- to start with the minors instead of the majors. I love it. Reminds me of Spanish Tarot and Playing cards, so Cartomancers beware!
Don’t forget: you saw it FIRST on The Queen’s Sword 😉