The Aquarian Tarot Deck was first published by Morgan Press in 1970. Eventually it was distributed by U.S. Games Systems, Inc. The cards were designed by David Palladini, an American illustrator born in Italy.
The cards of the major arcana follow the sequence of cards as introduced by A.E. Waite, thus changing the numbers eight and eleven. In order to create a more modern version of the tarot, Palladini combined the symbols of the traditional Tarot with images borrowed from a combination of Art Deco and Art Nouveau styles. This resulted in a very stylish, though rather impersonal and flat design that might make interpreting the cards a little more complicated for the layman then less artsy cards.
Oswald Wirth was born on august 5, 1860 in Brienz, Switzerland. Around 1880 he went to Paris where he joined the army. After his military service, he worked both as an artist and accountant and got interested in the occult. He befriended the famous Italian artist and occultist Stanislas de Guaita. This friendship ultimately resulted in 1889 in the publication of the tarot deck Les 22 Arcanes du Tarot du Tarot dessinés a l’usage des initiés sur les indications de Stanislas de Guaita. (published by Georges Poirel). This was a limited edition of ca. 100 beautifully hand colored copies and is very rare. The exact quantity of this edition is somewhat unclear. It is interesting that another famous occultist from Fin de Siècle Paris, Papus, in the same period published (other)images of the cards of the major arcana of the tarot in his famous work Le Tarot des Bohémiens.
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