Friday, 16 February 2018

The English Magic Tarot

Circle Network card deck review: The English Magic Tarot, boxed set of guidebook (160 pages) plus 45 cards published by Red Wheel/Weiser £19.99. Written by Andy Letcher, with art by Rex Van Ryn and Stephen Dooley (Rex provided the pencil sketches and Steve the inking and colouring). Foreword by Philip Carr-Gomm. 
Card size: 15cm x 21cm.

"It is human nature to create self-serving beliefs!"

With this deck, we enter the time from Henry VIII to the Restoration. We have dealings with the great minds of that time, Dr John Dee, John Aubrey and Sir Isaac Newton. 

The book contains information about the time in which the deck is set, on how to work with the cards, and how to create the Memory Palace - an old memory technique used in Renaissance magic. The deck is enjoyable with the Emperor featured as Good King Henry himself, the Fool is William Somers, who was court jester to Henry VIII whose job is to ridicule and expose our contradictions so we will develop a level head! The animal artwork is especially endearing.

These tarot cards are to be read upright only. I find the energy quite masculine (though this is not a criticism, I just think it doesn't have the feminine touch), so perhaps a young male with an interest in the occult of the 1500-1600 era would be the favoured market. This is an entertaining deck to work with, as is has twists and riddles, traditions of mystery and enchantment, and it is also a dynamic tool to let the cards speak and tell their own story. 
Each of the 78 cards is provided with a commentary and set of questions, each suit has a separate colour and meaning - Tudors, Cavaliers, Roundheads, Restoration England, we learn about our country's history from these cards. Most enjoyable is 'The Memory Palace', which improves our memory and was used in times past to unlock the deeper mysteries. I suggest everyone who uses this deck will get something special from it, though it is not a 'lightweight' or 'fluffy' deck but it is a practical, general everyday deck. If this is your only tarot deck, it will supply you with some very interesting readings. Review by Wendy Stokes

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