Legend: The Arthurian Tarot ISBN: 1-56718-267-4 - 34.95 US 51.95

If you would like to purchase Legend: The Arthurian Tarot Book/Deck set, click here.
 

Canadian Available from Llewellyn Worldwide - 1-800-843-6666 Llewellyn is also the Publisher - "Llewelllyn Publications" Lewellyn's Email for info is: lwlpc@llewellyn.com
 
The Deck is by Anna-Marie Ferguson - Poetry by Ray Rue The deck itself is based on Arthurian "tales" and does itself a great diservice by describing tarot, as well as itself, as a myth drawing on early chronicles, medieval romances and the Quest for the Holy Grail for its images. The cards have a purplish tint to them and although the color, with blue is associated with mystic knowledge, they may not be too pleasing on every eye, in fact, it's somewhat distracting. Each of the major arcana are named, as follows: The Fool Percivale The Magician Merlin (of course) The Priestess Nimue The Empress Guenevere The Emperor Arthur The Hierophant Taliesin (hi George!) The Lovers Garth & Lyones The Chariot Battle of Mount Badon Strength Percivale's Vision The Hermit Lancelot in Exile Wheel of Fortune Arthur's Dream Justice Lady of the Lake The Hanged Man Castle Perilous Death Gwyn Ab Nudd & the Wild Hunt Temperance The Cauldron of Annwn The Horned One Cernunnos (The Devil) The Tower Vortigern's Fortress The Star The Firedrake The Moon Morgan Le Fay The Sun Lleu Judgement Avalon The Universe The Giants' Dance Of course, the magician caught my eye right of as Merlin is depicted as a plumb robed man with a shawl of Pheasant wings and his companion is a gray wolf. The depiction is correct, however, with Merlin looking back over his shoulder at water running downstream in a brook. For such a revered and powerful magician and visionary - Merlin did a lot of looking back instead of looking ahead. I'll surrender to the argument that one must look back in order to understand what's ahead, yes..history repeats itself, we all learn from our mistakes, etc., etc. The Priestess, Nimue is depicted as a golden blonde sitting upon her throne with a supposed depiction of the tree of life behind her. Inside the tree of life is a caricature of the devil or a gremlin/gnome, as well as another looking over her shoulder. Of course, she is clearly seated in her world - her present which also depicts her ability to foster a presence in both worlds, the real, and perhaps the nether. The Hierophant - Taliesin is seen in a forest playing a harp with three small children as his audience. All about there are images of gremlins, a little devil as well as a few tikki or peruvian type totems embedded into the rocks behind. Perhaps they were summoned into the present world by the music of the harp - which is one of the attributes of music it is said. The Chariot is an interesting card in that this chariot is drawn by two horses, one black, one white. While the black steed is in high gallop, the white horse has it's head reared in what appears to be an attempt to bring the charging chariot in the Battle of Mount Badon to a halt. While the triumph, victory and leadership attributes normally depicted by this card are easily associated with the charging black steed, the white steed gives the appearance that there is an uncertainess about those attributes. The Wheel of fortune depicts Arthur in his throne atop the wheel. The throne has golden wings that are spread in flight. The wheel is balanced by two figures, both appear female and one is in a crown. They hold the wheel above a swamp which contains dragons feasting on bodies floating in the water. Figures in the water also claw at the figures holding the wheel in desperation. A fairly somber picture for a card of destiny and luck. The Hanged Man is exactly that. Rather than the traditional man hanging from his feet, this one hangs from the neck, as do others nearby although all we can see of them is their feet. He has been hanged with his shield and sword in tact but unlike the others in the picture, his feet have not been bound. An interesting aspect here is that while all of the trees in the picture are baren of leaves, depicting perhaps a season...there is clearly lush foilage all around on the grounds. The Devil is depicted as a Gwyn like creature - a man with horns - seven points each. The half man/half horse (or other hooved animal) sits in the forest with a rising moon in the background, attended by his forest companions, the frog, the bore, the fox and a deer. The Tower is quite a depiction. While not only is a storm attacking the "castle" with lightning, high atop it also sits a blood red dragon with it's wings spread sneering at the castle below. In the foregrounda white dragon in flight sneers back at the red dragon. If ever a card of woe was depicted well, this may be it. I'd like to have a poster of this one. The minor cards have some very good artwork to them. Interesting is that the page cards are all depicted by animals Shields: Badger, Cups: Salmon, Spears: the Hare, and Swords: the Adder, while the knight, king and queens are all people, either devaluing the need for the human feel in a page, or, possibly adding a bit of mysticism and power to the page himself. A highlight of this set is the inclusion of a matte finished spread sheet with a nice depiction of the tree of life, with an eight card spread. Quality Trade paperback book entitled A Keeper of Words, about 285 Pages.

If you would like to purchase Legend: The Arthurian Tarot Book/Deck set, click here.