Tarot of the Spirit
Images by Joyce Eakins, text by Pamela Eakins, 1992
The Tarot of the Spirit is the collaboration between Pamela Eakins, who wrote the book for this deck, and her mother Joyce Eakins, who painted the gorgeous images. The deck was published in 1992 by U.S.Games Systems.
Pamelas book is one of the best I've seen on the tarot. She discusses using the
I consider this a sister deck to Crowleys Thoth Tarot. Both have styles of imagery that lend themselves to intuitive visualization. Both integrate multiple influences into a cohesive system, although these images dont give you the feeling that you will have to study years before unraveling a complexity of symbols. Yet the teachings of the Order of the Golden Dawn and its many offshoots were some of the major influences in the concepts behind this deck. Another reason that I see a comparison to Crowleys deck is in the archetypal titling of the forty suit cards. Crowleys titles are sometimes considered pessimistic. Pamela has kept a few of those, but many of her card titles imply a more objective view of these aspects, in my opinion. That is why I would recommend this deck not only to those who enjoy Golden Dawn related decks but also to those who find Crowleys titles too dark. More important than the titles, though, are the detailed interpretations her book gives to each card.
|The paintings themselves are full of movement and texture. There are a few
figures on the trumps that I wish had either been painted more abstractly or painted with
more anatomical accuracy. On the other hand many of the figures on Joyces court
cards are painted so beautifully that they look like spiritual visions. Some of her
figures are rendered more realistically, such as in the Universe; others are quite
abstract, as in the Sister and Brother of the suit of Fire. The colors are all rich, even
on the darker paintings which have wonderfully rich colors. They all seem to have a
certain light or brightness that emanates from them, which may be from the way the artist
has woven the white paint into each picture. As I leaf quickly through the cards it looks
like she has integrated white paint into every one of the images. Even the darkest
paintings have swoops or sparks of white.
I think that this deck has inherited benefits from many sources, yet at the same time stands solidly on it's own. A lot of study, as well as inspiration, has gone into it, and though there is great depth to this deck I think that it could also be used easily by anyone new to the Tarot. To those interested in acquiring these cards I would recommend getting the book/deck set.
Review by Mark Filipas, 12/8/99