28 June 2010

Rocambole-Tarot

This deck was the first truly Russian deck I ever discovered, although Russian… The artist behind it Anna Nikolaeva and the author of the book Sergey de Rocambole are Ukrainians* and the art is a geometric Mayan/Toltec style.
As with so many east-European decks from Russian or the former USSR, the structure is deviating from standard tarot decks, it has 89 cards made up of the majors + 3 extra fools and the minors have 6 person in the court cards, what gives balance in genders namely: a King and Queen, male and female Riders (who correspond to the Knight), and male and female Servants (who correspond to the Page). So despite the unusual number of cards a nicely balanced out whole.
Thought provoking innovative in structure yes but with a strong and logic structure it’s is a deck that is both modern and in line with classics, a nice addition to any collection, and for the tarot readers among us something you may try out and see on what strange ways it leads you.

The one thing that may hold many persons back are the non-scenic minors, but fear not they are not boring at all, and the decorations and positioning of the suit symbols is very reminiscent of the TdM**.

*(one of the former republics within the USSR, and also known for the Chernobyl disaster, the worst nuclear reactor accident in history – what is on the mind of most westerners ‘Russian’),
** TdM = Tarot de Marseille