After I posted my review of the Crystal Tarot, I then read a review by someone else at Amazon.com. If this poster is correct, the Minors for this deck is based on a lesser-known Spanish system of cartomancy called Eudes Picard.
In this system, Swords is the water element--which would explain why there is water and moon symbols in the Crystal Tarot Swords (something that I found perplexing, and addressed in my review.) Perhaps this is also why there are butterflies on the Chalices suit--because this becomes the Air suit in that cartomantic system.
This poster also mentions that the images from this Tarot were from images painted from tempera on glass--something that is utterly intriguing, not to mention skillful (especially when you see the final product!)
Now, can someone please tell me why, oh WHY, this kind of information isn't printed in the LWB? There are some of us who don't have the time or inclination to hang out at Discussion Boards or do extensive research on the many bookless decks out there.
Which brings me to the reason for this article.
What is the point of an artist pouring their time, talent and labor into a deck that, without a book explaining the vision behind it, is virtually worthless? It's like possessing a piece of literature whose words flow like honey--except, it's not written in a language you understand.
Granted, some of the imagery may be universal (after all, we are dealing with archetypes here), but what of unusual imagery that is compelling and artistically remarkable--but inexplicable?
Can I connect with the cards on my own terms, making it up as I go along? Of course.
But how much richer to know, for example, that an artist uses a lesser-known form of cartomancy? And perhaps why Swords is connected to Water and Chalices to Air in that system? Or to know why M. Filadoro and L. Di Giammarino chose an anthropomorphic train to represent the 4 of Pentacles with the meaning "road of blind change"? Or what about the Pagan Tarot by Gina Pace? Sure, it supposedly has a companion book now--but why weren't consumers provided with an explanation to some of the unusual card images when it first came out? As usual, the LWB was practically worthless. (When I talked briefly with Gina some time ago, she told me that she initially submitted pages and pages of a Word Doc--and couldn't understand why the final product, at that time, was shortened so much.)
This brings me to the point of this post: don't publishers do a great disservice to an artist (and consumers) when a complete vision of the cards aren't provided? How much easier it is to relegate a deck to mere "art deck" status, collecting dust somewhere, all because the publisher didn't feel it was necessary to communicate the vision (or history) behind a deck?
God knows I've already devoted hours to studying, practicing, and writing about the Tarot. Should I have to do a publisher's leg work, too? Or don't these publisher's care--truly care--whether or not a deck becomes a "reading" deck--or, at least, a well-used deck?
Or is it just me?
Related Articles and Reviews
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.