The Atavist Tarot (英語) ペーパーバック – 2003/3
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Sally Annett, the gifted artist, was raised in an academic family where her intuitive foresight was recognised and nutured. Sally was consulting her cards at aged thirteen and her depth of understanding is rare indeed. Alongside her painting, her further academic study of Tarot iconography and its multi-cultural interpretations has produced a unique multi-layered treatment with which to work. Rowena Shepherd also specialised in the history of Tarot imagery as an academic historian. Now a successful curator, she is a practitioner of the Western magical tradition and the book combines her life's expertise in both these areas.
Annett is a substantial talent and her paintings are to be found in galleries around the world. This unique combination of extraordinary gifts allows her to communicate in both the physical and spiritual worlds
Shepherd's interest in magic and the occult began when she was very young. Now a respected academic, her search for understanding of the spiritual within art and the physical reality of magic has led her to study the hidden symbolism within the Tarot cards.
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Something said on a tarot forum piqued my interest enough to acquire the companion book of the Atavist Tarot.
Looking at the deck and the book, one can see that artist Sally Annett did not use traditional or even meaningful symbolism. (images are hazy or integrate photographs in a collage sort of way) I counted no less than 8 cards where she had used herself as a model. (see photos on the book)
The book itself claims 2 things: First that Ms. Annett knew nothing of tarot when she did her paintings for the cards, and second that she has been studying tarot for most of her life. Which is it? From what I see, I am tending give credence to the first statement.
Reading the companion book, one may see the usual division of the deck into it's suits. The Major Arcana and Minor Arcana have their own sections. Rowena Shepherd, in a wooden, and somewhat tedious way, provides card explanations, a few layouts that can be tried. She lays out the background of tarot, giving nod to her art history background, both dry and factual, with the occasional drip of of sheer speculation on tarot origins. Further, she ties in Qabala to the cards. Most certainly, Qabala is well known in relation to tarot, unfortunately Ms. Shepherd appears to not have a true understanding of it.
One of the things that strikes me most about this book is the impression it gives of information copied from other sources, very little in the way of original thought or new ideas.
The point being, choose another deck and other books if you want a real tarot and a quide to actually understanding it.