Alchemical Tarot Renewed - Robert M. Place
Originally published by Thorsons in 1995, when the Alchemical Tarot went out of print, many clamored to buy both the deck and companion book—often at a steep price. In fact, the original edition still fetches hundreds of dollars with the companion book by Rosemary Ellen Guiley going for $75 or more online.












Fortunately for Tarot enthusiasts, Hermes Publications/Robert M. Place have issued an updated version of this deck called The Alchemical Tarot Renewed.

The two main differences between the original and the renewed version is that the cards no longer have the pillars flanking the imagery, making more room for the art to shine. Also, the Alchemical Tarot Renewed contains TWO versions of the Lovers card: the original, which was deemed too sexy for publication, and the cleaned up version which was included in the original deck.

When I first bought this deck, the cards were quite flexible, causing me some concern as to their durability. I’m happy to report that I’ve been using the Alchemical Tarot Renewed exclusively for my client readings and the card are holding up admirably—even better than decks from large publishers, in fact.

Although I found the austere images intriguing, I admit to being flummoxed with some of the alchemical symbolism in this deck. So I thought I’d put it on the shelf until a companion book became available to unlock its secrets.

In the short interim, tt just so happened that I stumbled upon a series of teleclasses given by Robert Place; although I was disappointed at the time to discover I had missed the live classes on the Alchemical Tarot itself, I was thrilled that he was offering a teleclass called the Hieroglyphs of the Soul.

That class was about Robert’s innovative 3-card divination style and interpreting readings following his method (which is similar to dream interpretation). Although Robert didn’t talk much about the actual symbolism of his deck, something inexplicable happened in that teleclass that virtually unlocked the Alchemical Tarot Renewed for me.

And I’ve used no other deck for my clients since.

This deck, and Robert’s method, are “scary accurate”. Of course, I test drove it on myself before using it on my clients! I’m happy to report that they have found my readings with it quite accurate (so it’s not just my impression), as well.

Although Robert discusses the 3-card divination method (and the Relationship Reading) in his book The Tarot: History, Symbolism and Divination, the teleclass brought it to life for me—and my readings have never been the same.

The Little White Book is only 14 pages and Robert’s card meanings (and imagery) deviate from common RWS depiction, which is refreshing. So if you’re open to seeing the Tarot in a brand new light, the Alchemical Tarot Renewed will certainly give you a new prism through which to see the cards. However, because there is no background information on the symbolism, I feel this may be a difficult deck for some to use—especially absolute beginners.

The four suits in the Alchemical Tarot Renewed are Vessels (Water), Staffs (Fire), Swords (Air) and Coins (Earth). The Court cards are designated Lady, Knight, Queen and King.

Measuring approximately 4 ¾ x 2 ¾ inches, the card backing featuring a simple rose design in muted reds and greens. Because Robert doesn’t read cards upside down, the backs are understandably non-reversible.

Here are a few of the card depictions and meanings that I’ve found especially intriguing and useful:

• Ten of Coins – A man with curly gray hair and beard has coins all over his face, two covering his eyes. Each is embossed with a different symbol. Robert calls this card The Materialist, indicating “selfishness” and “only seeing the physical”.

• Five of Vessels – Called The Quake, five vessels were placed upon two shelves. The topmost two remain upright, but the middle has spilled golden liquid, the fourth is on its way down to the ground and the fifth has broken open—and two flying birds emerge from the cracked vessel. Robert says this card indicates “breaking of position, “a sudden breakthrough” and “new possibilities”.

• Five of Wands – An open hand shows five fingers ablaze, as if they’ve turned into tree trunks towards the tips. Called The Burning Hand, this card means “creative energy”.

• King of Swords – A majestic eagle wearing a crown and bearing a large sword in his left talon faces left on this card. The interpretation offered for this card is “clear thinking” and “confidence”.

I’ve recently acquired the audio and class notes of the Symbolism of Alchemy teleclass (the one that I missed live but is now available here), but haven’t yet read the 50-page mini-book or listened to the audio because I felt it was only fair to review the Alchemical Tarot Renewed by itself. After all, it’s only the deck and LWB that’s available on its own at Amazon.com and other retailers.

However, you may purchase additional teleclasses and Alchemical Tarot Renewed related products at TarotConnection.net if you’d like elucidation into this handsome deck. I, for one, am excited to begin delving deeper into its mysteries!

Below are 13 images from this deck:



























































































































Alchemical Tarot Renewed © 1994-2007 Robert M. Place. All rights reserved.

Related Reviews
The Back in Time Tarot Book - Janet Boyer
The Fairy Tale Tarot - Lisa Hunt
Legacy of the Divine Tarot - Ciro Marchetti
Silver Era Tarot - Aunia Kahn
Shadowscapes Tarot - Stephanie Pui-Mun Law
ShadowFox Tarot - Richard and Jennifer ShadowFox
Twilight Realm A Tarot of Faery - Beth Wilder
Otherworld Tarot - Alison Williams and Sarah Nowell
Morgan's Tarot - Morgan Robbins and Darshan Chorpash
Shining Angels Tarot – Giuditta Dembech and Federico Penco
Heart Tarot - Maria Distefano
Imperial Dragon Oracle (Majors Only) - Andy Baggott and Peter Pracownik
Hallmark Tarot - Darla Hallmark
Hezicos Tarot - Mary Griffin
The Vampires Tarot of the Eternal Night - Davide Corsi
Tarot of the Animal Lords - Angelo Giannini
Tarot of the Sweet Twilight - Cristina Benintende
The Transparent Tarot - Emily Carding
Pamela Colman Smith Commemorative Set (Smith Waite Centennial Tarot)
Paulina Tarot - Paulina Cassidy
Mythical Goddess Tarot - Sage Holloway and Katherine Skaggs
Affirmations for the Everyday Goddess Deck (Majors Only) - Pamela Wells
Quantum Tarot - Kay Stopforth and Chris Butler
Tell-Me Tarot - Arik Eyal and Nir Cassuto
Trump L’oeil: Tarot of Portmeirion - Craig Conley
Pirate Tarot - Lucas and Carrie Amodio; Liz "Galindorf" Harper
Faerie Tarot - Nathalie Hertz
The Truth-Seeker's Tarot - David Fontana
Undersea Tarot - Frank Fradella
Deviant Moon Tarot - Patrick Valenza
Pearls of Wisdom Tarot - Roxi Sim and Caeli Fullbrite
Tarot of the Angels - Arturo Picca & Giordano Berti
Circle of Life Tarot - Maria Distefano
Pictorial Key Tarot - Davide Corsi
Tarot of the Pirates - Bepi Vigna, Michele Benevento, & Arturro Picca
Lo Scarabeo Tarot - Mark McElroy and Anna Lazzarini
Fantastical Creatures Tarot - Lisa Hunt and D.J. Conway
Sorcerers Tarot - Antonella Castelli
Phantasmagoric Theater Tarot - Graham Cameron
Jean Noblet Tarot - Jean-Claude Flornoy
Vanessa Tarot - Lynyrd Narciso
Mystic Faerie Tarot - Linda Ravenscroft and Barbara Moore
UFO Tarot - Arturo Picca
Arthurian Tarot (2007 Version) - Caitlín and John Matthews
Sharman-Caselli Tarot - Juliet Sharman-Burke and Giovanni Caselli
Ancient Tarot of Lombardy - Ferdinando Gumppenberg (1810)
Ramses: Tarot of Eternity - Giordano Berti and Severino Baraldi
Tarot of the III Millenium - Iassen Ghiuselev
Egyptian Tarots Mini (Lo Scarabeo)
Spirit of Flowers Tarot -  Laura Tuan and Antonella Castelli
Lover's Path Tarot - Kris Waldherr
Hudes Tarot - Susan Hudes
Hermetic Tarot - Godfrey Dowson
Forest Folklore Tarot - Kessia Beverley-Smith
Napo Tarot - Betty Lopez and Napo
Easy Tarot Kit (Gilded Tarot) - Josephine Ellershaw
Crystal Tarot - Elisabetta Trevisan
Universal Fantasy Tarot - Paolo Martinello
Fantastical Tarot - Nathalie Hertz
Fenestra Tarot - Chatriya Hemharnvibul
Tarot of the Saints - Robert M. Place
Halloween Tarot - Kipling West
The Instant Tarot Reader (Zerner/Farber Deck) - Monte Farber and Amy Zerner
Tarot Discovery Kit (Zerner/Farber Deck) - Monte Farber and Amy Zerner
Medieval Enchantment - The NIgel Jackson Tarot
Victorian Romantic Tarot – Karen Mahony and Alex Ukolov
Tarot of Oz - David Sexton
Maria Shaw's Tarot Kit for Teens - Maria Shaw
Tarot of the Dead - Monica Knighton
Tarot of Prague - Karen Mahony and Alex Ukolov
Tarot of the Spirit World – Robert De Angelis
My Tarot: Colour Your Own Deck - Juliet Sharman-Burke
Llewellyn Tarot - Anna-Marie Ferguson
World Spirit Tarot - Lauren O'Leary and Jessica Godino
Baroque Bohemian Cats' Tarot - Karen Mahony and Alex Ukolov
Animals Divine Tarot - Lisa Hunt
WorldTree Tarot - Ann Cass
Tarot of Reflections – Francesco Ciampi and Pietro Alligo
Tarot of Metamorphosis – M. Filadoro and L. Di Giammarino
Fairytale Tarot - Karen Mahony, Alex Ukolov, and Irena Triskova
Transformational Tarot - Arnell Ando
Da Vinci Tarot - Mark McElroy, Iassen Ghuiselev, and Atanas Atanassov
Rohrig Tarot - Carl-W. Rohrig
True Love Tarot - Amy Zerner and Monte Farber
Babylonian Tarot - Sandra Tabatha Cicero
Pagan Tarot - Gina Pace
Golden Tarot of Klimt - A.A. Atanassov
Bright Idea Deck - Mark McElroy
Archeon Tarot - Timothy Lantz
Housewives Tarot - Paul Kepple and Jude Buffum
Epicurean Tarot Recipe Cards - Corrine Kenner
Tarot of Dreams - Ciro Marchetti and Lee Bursten
Revelations Tarot - Zach Wong
Tarot of the Four Elements - Isha Lerner and Amy Ericksen
DruidCraft Tarot - Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm; Will Worthington
Gilded Tarot - Ciro Marchetti
Oracle Tarot - Lucy Cavendish
Golden Tarot - Kat Black
Tarot de Paris - J. Philip Thomas
Quest Tarot - Joseph Ernest Martin
In the Cards: Fame - Mariah Fredericks
Beginner's Guide to Tarot - Juliet Sharman-Burke and Giovanni Caselli
Wild Mercy: Tarot Inspired Musings - Elizabeth Cunningham
In the Cards: Love - Mariah Fredericks
Easy Tarot Kit - Josephine Ellershaw
Learning Tarot Spreads - Joan Bunning
The Everything Tarot Book (2nd Edition) - Skye Alexander
Tarot Discovery Kit - Amy Zerner and Monte Farber
The Instant Tarot Reader - Monte Farber and Amy Zerner
Llewellyn's 2007 Tarot Reader
21 Ways to Read a Tarot Card - Mary K. Greer
Absolute Beginner's Guide to Tarot - Mark McElroy
Maria Shaw's Tarot Kit for Teens - Maria Shaw
Tarot Tells the Tale - James Ricklef
Tarot Journaling - Corrine Kenner
Everyday Tarot: A Choice Centered Approach - Gail Fairfield
The Encyclopedia of Tarot Volume IV - Stuart Kaplan and Jean Huets
The 2-Hour Tarot Tutor - Wilma Carroll
Seeker: The Tarot Unveiled - Rachel Pollack
Llewellyn's 2006 Tarot Reader
Tarot Workbook - Juliet Sharman-Burke
Tarot for Life - Prospero
Tarot Tips - Ruth Ann and Wald Amberstone
What's in the Cards For You? - Mark McElroy
Power Tarot: More Than 100 Spreads - Trish Magregor and Phyllis Vega
What Tarot Can Do For You: Your Future in the Cards - Barbara Moore

Content copyright © by Janet Boyer. All rights reserved. This review was written by Janet Boyer. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission.