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This deck has simple line drawings of character forms in masks. The art style is very simple with little or no detail. There are no background scenes and there is very little symbolism. The Major Arcana have traditional names with the exception of the Wheel of Fortune, which has been changed to "Chance", The Star, which has been changed to the plural "The Stars" , and Judgment, which is now "The Angel". Strength is 11 and Justice is 8. The line drawings are done in black and white and placed on a colored background. The Fool is on a white background, the first 6 majors are on red backgrounds, the next six on gold, the next three on green and the last six on blue. There is no rhyme or reason to these assignments that I can ascertain other than to prevent the deck from being entirely black and white.The Court Cards are King, Queen Knight and Page, and again, a simple line figure is used, with the Knights having a horse. All figures are standing and holding the symbol of their suits. The Minors are illustrated with the figures in different poses, surrounded by the appropriate number of suit symbols. Swords are red, Staves are green, Coins are gold and Cups are blue. The backs are sort of a harlequin pattern in red, white and black. Each of the coins has a simple line profile of the artist, who calls him/herself Martin. No last name, just Martin.
The little booklet that comes with this deck is skimpier than most, only 12 pages. It provides short, upright interpretations and what the author calls the "9 card spread", which is laid out like and appears to be a variation of the Celtic Cross. The author states "The faces without features or expression and covered by the same masque signify that it is up to the questioner (and, in general, the human being) to decide which features will be given to each character and, consequently, to his or her own destiny. Behind a masque is actually whatever each Questioner wants to find out, good or evil, feeling absolutely free to make his or her own choice." Hmmmm. If Martin had some goal or point in this deck, it eludes me. One wonders how much the artist knew about the Tarot and how long it took him/her to complete the artwork (probably only a couple of hours). This deck has little to recommend it, so I won't.
See the Masquerade Tarot.
This page is Copyright © 1997 by Michele Jackson