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Renaissance Tarot Deck [With Book] Cards – March, 2003
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Top customer reviews
The book accompanying the deck is a tour-de-force study of renaissance symbolism in art and literature as it applies to the tarot. The major arcana are related to mythology, Christianity, alchemy, astrology, and other cultural influences of the time. Much more than just a guide to this particular deck, the book is an essential resource for any serious student of the tarot.
Although the deck includes many variations from the more commonly encountered tarot imagery (being based on the Italian tradition rather than, like most decks, the Anglo-French traditon), it still manages to be very comfortable and easy to learn for those already familiar with other decks.
A superb set, highly recommended for beginner and experienced tarot user alike. There are few better ways to spend $30 on tarot.
The book that comes with the deck is a tour-de-force study of renaissance symbolism in art and literature, as it applies to the tarot. Williams relates the tarot trumps to mythology, Christianity, alchemy, astrology and the other cultural influences of the time. Not just a guide to this particular deck, it is an important resource for all serious tarot students.
Although this deck differs in many ways from most contemporary decks (which are based on the Anglo-French tradition rather than the Italian), it still manages to be comfortable and easy to learn for those already familiar with other decks.
I recommend this set wholeheartedly for beginners and experienced tarot users alike.
The cards: The illustrations have a tenderness to them, are illuminated (have gold around them), and the images are wonderfully detailed. The image on the backs of the cards is a one-way design, and will indicate whether cards are reversed.
The book: The book gives a wonderful history of Tarot; Williams' explanations for the images he selected for each card are a crash-course in world history, art history, mythology and historical artifact...as well as a profound testament to the wisdom of listening to one's inner voice.
This may be unique to the boxed set; however, the cards I received are thinner and more flexible than I expected. On one hand, this makes them easier to shuffle. On the other, I am mildly concerned about their durability.
Mr Williams was probably the greatest scholar of the tarot to come from the U.S. to date. He passed in 2002 and left this wonderful legacy for all to share for generations to come. There are few books that mean as much. He gave the best in the business as far as I am concerned.
If you are looking for mysterious links to Egypt, Atlantis or Gypsies, look elsewhere. This beautifully illustrated book is packed with historical facts and mythological references that take you back to the real origins of the Tarot-Italy. It is well reseached with many original drawings by Brian himself.
This may be a new perspective for some in the New Age world. Tarot is something that can be translted into many different themes and philosophies. There is nothing wrong with that. It is the most universal tool of its kind. I have seen Egyptian, Hebrew, Celtic, Norse, Chinese, Middle Eastern and various fantasy themes that are all launched from these not so humble origins-The Classical worlds of Greece and Rome snuggled within the Italian Renaissance!
Whether you prefer this deck or not, if you have any draw to study the Tarot, do yourself a favor and read this precious book! It is a complete course in valid Tarot history. Not bad, considering the price. Oh yes, I recommend this with a good Tuscan Chianti.