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The Archeon Tarot [With Tarot Spread Sheet and Instruction Booklet]

Rating: (out of 1 reviews)

List Price: CDN$ 22.97

Price: CDN$ 15.20

One Response to The Archeon Tarot [With Tarot Spread Sheet and Instruction Booklet]

  • Nathalie Wigmore says:

    Review by Nathalie Wigmore for The Archeon Tarot [With Tarot Spread Sheet and Instruction Booklet]
    The Archeon Tarot is a deck that lends itself very well to a wide range of readings, from the Celtic Cross and Tree of Life to small spreads of two or three cards as well as single-card meditations. The deck is made up of the usual 22 Major Arcana, with VIII as Strength and XI as Justice, and the usual 56 Minor Arcana. The four Minor suits are Wands, Cups, Swords and Pentacles. Court cards are standard except Pages are called Heralds. The cards measure 2.75″ by 4.75″, and this deck comes with a Celtic Cross spreadsheet and the usual little white booklet for card interpretation.

    The good:

    – Stunning contemporary art. Artist Timothy Lantz has created a deck that incorporates a blend of digital art with a kind of transluscent, watercolour-type fluidity. There is tremendous depth to each card, as if the artist had added layer upon layer of subtle meaning with each colour wash. Dominant colour ranges are orange, blue and greyish-green. There is no clear theme to this deck – images used cover a wide spectrum, such as a Japanese geisha for the Ten of Cups and the use of a raven in the Seven of Swords.

    – Most of the cards follow the standard RW interpretation, although there are several notable deviations, most in the Minor suits.

    – Excellent quality cardstock, with a smooth finish and glossy shine, making shuffling and maintenance hassle-free.

    – Although most of the cards are visually appealing, several stand out in my books as exceptional and are worthy of note: the Empress, Strength, Justice, Ten of Cups, Six of Cups, Nine of Cups, King of Cups, Six of Swords, the Fool, the Hierophant and the Wheel of Fortune.

    The not-so-good:

    – There is no accompanying book with this deck. The little white booklet offers rather thin information for the Majors and next to nothing for the Minors. Experienced readers who know the ins and outs of the RW tradition might be able to transfer most of its standard meanings to the Archeon deck (even though some images just don’t fit the usual meanings assigned to them, ie Three of

    Cups), but newcomers to the Tarot might very well find the lack of accompanying book a major disadvantage.

    – There is a fair amount of nudity, nearly all of it female (one full frontal male nude and 13 female nudes). That’s nearly one-fifth of the entire deck. I don’t consider myself a prude by any stretch of the imagination, but in my opinion, most of the nudity is unecessary and rather detracts from the symbolic depth of the card. The most notable nudes are the Two of Cups and the Herald of Cups. In both cards the female’s breasts practically leap out at the reader. The Two of Wands isn’t quite as in-your-face, but the eye is nonetheless inevitably drawn towards the figure’s breasts.

    Again, there is nothing intrinsically wrong with nudity per se in a Tarot deck; there are many decks out there that contain nudity in varying degrees. But in the case of the Archeon, I can’t help but think that some of it feels vaguely gratuitous. Having said that, none of it feels outright pornographic in the less savoury sense of the word, and certainly this is not the artist’s intent, as the rest of the deck can attest to. Nevertheless, there is something about a few of the nudes in this deck that feels a bit shallow compared to the richness of depth in the rest of the cards.

    Overall, the Archeon Tarot is a solid, gorgeous deck with fabulous depth and symbolism, and seasoned Tarot readers will be able to adapt it to their own use without too much blood, sweat and tears. Art, as always, remains entirely subjective, and there will be some people who won’t feel the same way I do about the nudity issue I have addressed. In spite of said issue, I would have given this deck a five-star rating had the artist provided a companion book. This is one instance where I firmly believe it would’ve been an enormous advantage to have one. The Archeon, by its very nature, invites the reader to explore great depths of meaning with each card. Without a book to understand the artist’s personal spin on his creation, it makes it that much more difficult to figure out one’s own stance viz the artist’s.

    Still, in my opinion, the Archeon is a masterpiece that will appeal to Tarot enthusiasts who feel drawn to the fluid, the blurry, the deep and the abstract.

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