Alan’s Tarot Cards were published by Edizione Modiano, Trieste (Italy) in 1981. This edition to be distributed by U.S. Games Systems, Stamford, USA.
Why the deck is named after Alan, a pseudonym for Mauro Boldi, an astrologer and card reader from Milan is not entirely clear. It may be that he is or was (also unclear) a TV and radio personality during the days of the early eighties of the twentieth century. In any case, he probably compiled the accompanying booklet to the cards designed by Argio Orell (1884-1942), an Italian artist also from Trieste (Italy). The booklet offers fair descriptions of the cards as well as several inspiring spreads like for instance ‘The Snake Spread’.
"If you hear hoofbeats, think of a zebra."
Paintings by Londa Marks (Febr. 26, 1952, in Marietta Ohio)
The Londa Tarot arose from the displeasure of the designer with the already existing decks with which she couldn’t connect. Experiences from a past as a creative designing costumes and make up for a rock band and an interest for Native Americans ultimately led to the unusual design of the cards that show an otherworldly style varying from gothic to classic Italian. The images also reflect a typical early nineties feeling: a lot of Big Hair is shown while the figurines are somewhat elfin. A bit like David Bowie going Bold and the Beautiful. These extraordinary cards possess all the qualities necessary to become true cult tarot cards.
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.
The Hermetic Tarot was published in 1979 by US Games Systems Inc. (copyright mentioned on the cards). The booklet shows a copyright of 1980. This first edition was printed in Spain by Fournier and distributed by US Games System Inc. We don’t know how big the first print run was, but according to the enclosed control paper, this one might be copy number 5618.
The cards are printed entirely in black and white and the details and symbols in each card reveal many of the esoteric workings of the Secret Order of the Golden Dawn, which flourished around the turn of the century.
‘Most people have the desire to choose the right relationship; want to know what might evolve next and how to prepare for it’. That is the first sentence of the introductory leaflet included in this first edition of the Morgan-Greer Tarot, published in 1979
From the back of the box
The Gareth Knight Tarot is the work of the leading occultist Gareth Knight (pseud. Basil Wilby, England 1930 and member of the Fraternity of Inner Light, related to the Golden Dawn), and the Dutch artist Sander Littel (Zwijndrecht 1939), who united their understanding and talents to create a tarot deck of great artistic and esoteric value.
In 1963 Knight and Little met in the artist’s studio, the corner of a 500-year old warehouse high above the streets of Dordrecht, NL. Together they planned the rough designs of the deck, exchanging ideas and information on both art and the occult. Little researched kabbalistic literature suggested by Knight, while Knight gathered inspiration from old tarot designs in antiquarian bookshops, public museums and libraries.
From the back of the box:
‘Witchcraft is the practice of natural and supernatural acts including evil power. In ancient times, the supernatural power of the witch was not always evil, but often was used for the power of prophecy. One of the most famous ancient witches was the Witch of Endon who lived in Palestine. The bible tells us that Saul, the first King of the Hebrews, consulted her before the battle with the Philistines. (I Sam. 28:7).’
- Page 1 of the instruction booklet
Papus is a pseudonym for Dr. Gérard Analect Vincent Encausse (GE), born on July 13, 1865 in Coruña (Spain) and deceased in 1916 in Paris on October 25 (Tubercolosis).
He was a significant French occultist and one of the founders of the French Theosophical Society (TS) that he parted from in 1890. Papus then founded another group, a sort of anti-TS, the ‘Groupe indépendant d’étude ésotériques’ based on pure esoteric values.
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