Arcus Arcanum Tarot
A Review by C.J. Rose


Conceived by Günter Hager and painted by Hansrudi Wäscher.
First Published in 1986 by AGMüller, Neuhausen, Switzerland
In the U. S. the deck is distributed by U.S. Games Systems Inc.

Book by Günter Hager, "Tarot - Wege zum Leben" (Tarot - way of life), Urania Verlag
AG (dept. of AGMüller). Both the deck and book are readily available throughout
Europe. The items are either sold separately or in a deck/book set.  The book is noaa2s.jpg (17156 bytes)t
available in the US.

suits are wands, cups, swords and disks
courts are page, knight, queen and king
illustrated pips, no captions
backs non-symmetrical
purpose: Two of Swords

The Arcus Arcanum translates to “Arc of Secrets.”  The card titles are traditional,
except for the Highpriest, all one word.

But the idiosyncratic symbolism is notable for its liberties.  The Fool’s familiar is a black cat.  The Magician stands before an “Arc of Secrets,” lettered with A and O, repeated in the lemniscate on the backs.  Presumably, these stand for Alpha and Omega, the Greek A and Z, beginning to end.

The Empress is without dove or other allusion to Venus.  The Emperor much resembles
Santa Claus; his jewel-encrusted scepter is topped with a reindeer, sometimes seen as
representing a lunar psychopomp, transmitting souls to higher realms.  The Highpriest
presides over a sword, rather than the classic polarities.  The Lovers (four) are
apparently without divine influence.  They walk among roses, symbol of fiveness,
rather than the lilies of sixness.  The Chariot is drawn by a pair of male goats,
rather than a more complimentary team and the charioteer carries a weapon.

The Wheel is turned by three blondes.  The LWB names them Urd, Werdandi, and Skuld,
Norns ( Scandinavian Fates) of past present and future.  The only other reference to
Nordic mythology seems to be the runes on the sword of Gabriel in Trump XX!

The Hanged Man is also armed, with spear and shield within reach of his tree.  The
Moon has only one canine.  The other has become a voluptuous babe.  The Sun repeats
the mysterious arc, in topiary, across the water from twins, who cavort.  In the
World card, Aquarius holds Scorpio’s cup, while Scorpio sports the Aquarian sword.

Given the chance to speak of its purpose, the deck spit up the Two of Swords.
Receptivity to ideas.  Learning.

Review Copyright (c) 1998 C.J. Rose Rosehips Productions

Images Copyright (c) AGMuller

 



This page is Copyright © 1998 by Michele Jackson