'We must create once more a pure work' W B Yeats
Hallowquest Tarot Magic and the Arthurian Mysteries is the title of the companion book that accompanies The Arthurian Tarot Cards by Caitlin and John Matthews. This specialist deck and book style initiatory course in the Mysteries of Britain are based on the mediaeval stories from Britain and France of King Arthur, the Round Table and the search for the Holy Grail and feature the personalities, places and events that will be well known to students of these extraordinary tales. The authors are specialist tarot creators and this is one of their best! It presents a coherent deck which features the Greater Powers (Major Arcana) and Lesser Arcana (Court cards and Minor Arcana) correspond to the four seasons and the traditional cups, swords, pentacles and staves. Black and white scans are provided of the cards in the book. There are rituals, meditations, occult explorations and shamanic journeys and Hallowquest provides a year's meditation course as a series of doorways into the archetypes and symbolism in order to provide a structure for personal self development.
There is good information about the tarot and also about the use of the deck with the wonderful magical stories which have survived over the course of a thousand years so you engage and experience the ancient tales as though you are living them. Anyone who works with this deck will be transported into the story and its connection with learning about their life today. The Majors are explained in depth and are titled as characters from Merlin, Arthur, Guinevere, Taliesin, Prydwen, Gawain, The Wounded King and many others and the Court cards are Kings, Queens, Knights and Maidens and them their sacred quest for the Hallows.
There is information on how to use the deck and added to this are many exercises, games and meditations and you can find your personal totem. It is suggested that any revelations during working with the cards is recorded int he space provided. The cards can be used for a variety of purposes: for divination (upright meanings only); for storytelling; for myth making, for understanding the ancient story, and for self development. A valuable chapter on ethics when working with tarot is important. Spreads are related to the Matter of Britain too, with Merlin's Mirror and Excalibur. I found the book was accurate with regards to the academic nature of the research and I loved the beauty of the landscape and animals which speak The archetypes are magical, the nature of the personalities and the storyline is full of depth and complexity. Wonderful artwork by Miranda Gray - this deck is an investment!
Reviewer: Wendy Stokes