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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Review of the Alchemy 1977 England Tarot

This article was written by Barbara Moore on December 14, 2012
posted under Alchemy 1977 England Tarot

Summary

No one does gothic quite a beautifully or quite as smartly as Alchemy Gothic. Their new Tarot deck combines enchanting fantasy art with clever and unique perspectives on the Major Arcana of traditional Tarot. Alchemy 1977 England Tarot takes you on a journey through mysterious and provocative realms.

 

 In-Depth Review

This company, Alchemy Gothic, is well known for their artistic gothic aesthetic. They create jewelry and clothing as well as art. This deck is very representative of their style. If you like creative, provocative, and sometimes surprisingly smart gothic images, you'll find lots to enjoy in these cards.

First, though, I must tell you that this is a Marseilles style deck. That is, the numbered cards in the Minor Arcana are pips rather than scenic images. All the suits are traditional and represented by the usual emblems (pentacles, swords, and cups) except for wands, which is called wands in the book but is represented by black roses on the cards.

The Majors are mostly stunning and easily recognizable as the traditional cards. Some are not just visually stunning but also symbolically interesting. For example, the Hanged Man is a mummy hanging upside down. His hands are opening the bandages on his chest revealing a large scarab. 

I particularly love the Strength card. It shows a naked, tattooed woman shedding a dragon skin—or is she assuming it? It is hard to tell if she is becoming the dragon or emerging from it. The mystery of it makes it even more intriguing and powerful. 

The Justice card shows a female angel with a huge sword atop a pile of human skeletons. Underneath is a banner that says: Tonight we drink in Valhalla.

The World card shows a female angel garbed in white with black hair and a skeleton clothed in a black robe. They swirl together, forming a circle, a yin yang, with her black hair and his white head forming the of opposing color.

The Moon card is really different from the currently popular representation. Usually these days artists focus on the positive aspects of the Moon symbol because it is sometimes associated with feminine energy. Instead, this one shows a werewolf bound with strong chains to rocks and howling visciously at the full moon.

If you either work with pips or would work with just the Majors, this is a compelling and darkly beautiful deck.

  

Deck Attributes

Name of deck: Alchemy 1977 England Tarot

Publisher: Lo Scarabeo

ISBN: 9780738733630

Creator's name: Alchemy Gothic

Name of accompanying booklet: Alchemy 1977 England Tarot

Number of pages of booklet: Booklet is 86 pages; 14 in English

Available in a boxed kit?: No

Reading Uses: General

Artistic Style: Fantasy

Theme: Gothic

Tarot, Divination Deck, Other: Tarot

Does it follow Rider-Waite-Smith Standard?: Yes

Does it have extra cards? No

Does it have alternate names for Major Arcana cards?: No

Does it have alternate names for Minor Arcana suits?: No

Does it have alternate names for the Court Cards?: No

Why was deck created?: To show how one can achieve deep healing by exploring pain 


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