The Oswald Wirth Tarot                                                                                Review by Michele Jackson

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This deck 78 card deck is based on a limited edition 22 card deck done by Oswald Wirth in 1889. The Minor Arcana are not illustrated. The Major Arcana in this edition are well done, with bright colors on a gold metallic background. The Minors contain the suit symbols with color accents, also on a gold metallic background. What makes this deck interesting is the Major Arcana. The style is similar to that of the Marseille, with some changes Wirth made based on the writings of Eliphas Levi. Each card except Death has a Hebrew letter in the lower right corner, but Wirth does not use the Golden Dawn assignments. In Wirth’s system Aleph is assigned to The Magician, vice The Fool. The letters continue to be assigned in order until card 20. Wirth then assigns Shin to The Fool and Tau to The World. Death does not have a name or Hebrew letter on the bottom, though it is numbered 13 the top. There are very few Tarot writers who use this assignment of the Hebrew letters. Wirth's Tarot of the Magicians, Papus' Tarot of the Bohemians, Mouni Sadhu's The Tarot and Elisabeth Haich's Wisdom of the Tarot are the only books I could find that use this system.

This deck would be of interest to collectors and to those interested in esoteric Tarot.

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The Oswald Wirth Tarot
ISBN: 0-913866-52-0
Available from: U.S. Games Systems, 179 Ludlow St., Stamford CT 06902 (800)544-2637
Sample cards are copyright U.S. Games Systems. Further reproduction is prohibited.

This page is Copyright 1997 by Michele Jackson