03 October 2011

Tarot of the Holy Light by Christine Payne-Towler and Michael Dowers

If there is one deck I'd advise to get it would be this one (in my humble opinion worthy of the title deck of the year, decennium or even bigger...)

It is an, as they artist state (and strongly emphasize), a traditional Continental-style deck, nothing modern, nothing (post) Golden Dawn to be found, not in images nor in the underlying system. Here the images project us in the world of the 16- and 1700's science and magic, the images used in alchemical, gnostic & hermetic texts...all the esoteric knowledge of the time - the art itself is consistent throughout the deck and what i would call in equilibrium, between the positive and negative energies represented by each arcanum. The framework these images where build upon, as by a skilled architect (or would I in this context use mason), by Michael is from that same period and world view, forming an alchemical marriage of flesh and mind. To know more about the correspondences uses Christine advises to get a copy of The Occult Power of Numbers, by W. Wynn Westcott, but i think Agrippa's three books of occult philosophy could also provide a wealth of information.

So indeed an impressive work deep mysterious and powerful, BUT you do not need to get your study books out and spend hours immersing in the esoteric systems, the deck can be used right out of the box.

The cards are printed upon nice quality textured (linnen-like) card-stock, sturdy yet not stiff supple without being bendy, so they will stay looking good for a very long time!

You may notice the art upon the box is completely different from those in the cards, the reason is simple, box and cards where made by 2 different artists -  Michael found it important his brother made the art for the box, and that he did his own thing to it.

The deck can be obtained through here and there is a lot more of information to be found about it there also.


Update: The deck is now available as an app for iPhone and iPad  here (as well for the The Rosetta Tarot and others)