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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Review of the Tarot of the Mystic Spiral

This article was written by Barbara Moore on November 30, -0001
posted under Tarot of the Mystic Spiral

Summary:

Use the Tarot of the Mystic Spiral to seek the underlying patterns of your life and of the universe. As you gain knowledge and control over your life, expand your understanding of the world and how it works.

In-Depth Review:

This is a deck to study and savor. It is not one to “get” or to “understand” in the sense of seeing a clear pattern or system. For this is a deck that examines math and physics and mysteries. There is the idea of a spiral…no, of many spirals…that may be all echoes of some great spiral that resonates through all of existence. How do spirals manifest in architecture, mathematics, nature, human history, and mythology? Is it the shape and energy of the spiral that unites everything that is? This deck attempts to explore that idea. In that sense, this deck is both a Tarot deck, useful for reading and divining your own future, and a consciousness-expanding tool, created to challenge your ideas about life, the universe, and, well, everything.

One reason this deck is hard to explain is because while there is a unifying theme…that of the spiral…there is no rigid system such as the Swords being all mathematical spirals, Cups being all spirals in mythology, and Pentacles being all spirals found in nature. No, nothing quite that simple and straightforward. Part of the magic of the spiral, I think, is that it makes your head spin. The spiral, whether in mathematics or in art, has within it an element of mystery and magic. And so it is truer to the theme to resist our left brain desire to create a rigid system.

So let’s simply take a sampling of a few cards to give you taste of the wonders that await.

Temperance is the archangel Raphael who brings health and harmony to divided energies that pass like souls from one container to anther in the form of a double helix. Opposites are neutralized when balanced.

The 5 of Cups shows the melancholy brought on by loss and manifests itself as the loss of control over energies that descend the spiral staircase down into the abyss.

The 5 of Pentacles features ants carrying coins along a Moebius ring.

The 7 of Pentacles shows Stonehenge in the background with crop circles in the foreground.

The Knave of Swords is Archimedes studying the spirals at the siege of Syracuse and stopping a soldier who is about to kill him (the pen, or in this case the compass, is mightier than the sword!).

The King of Swords is Bernoulli standing by the stone of his own tomb with the Golden Spiral and lemniscate curve. His mind and its gifts lasted far longer than the body that encased it.

The Tarot of the Mystic Spiral is certainly a mystical trip. For those who are willing to let go of preconceptions about Tarot and who already have (or wish to cultivate) a love for the mystery that is this great universe, this deck can take you places no other deck can. 

Deck Attributes

Name of deck: Tarot of the Mystic Spiral
Publisher: Lo Scarabeo
ISBN: 9780738732381
Creator’s name: Giovanni Pelosini
Brief biography of creator: Giovanni Pelosini is eclectic teacher and writer in various fields including Tarot, astrology, symbolism, yoga, theatre and cinema.
Artist’s name: Giuseppe Palumbo
Brief biography of artist: Palumbo is an artist who has also drawn the Afro-Brazilian Tarot. He has worked on various comic books including the well known “Martin Mystere” series.
Name of accompanying booklet: Tarot of the Mystic Spiral
Number of pages ofbooklet: 63, 14 in English
Author of booklet: Giovanni Pelosini
Available in a boxed kit?: No
Magical Uses: None
Reading Uses: General
Tarot, Divination Deck, Other: Tarot
Does it follow Rider-Waite-Smith Standard?: Yes
Does it have extra cards?: No
Why was deck created?: To explore the idea of the spiral throughout the physical world, spiritual worlds, and human history. 


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