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William Blake Tarot
William Blake Tarot - Based On The Art Of William Blake
If you're looking for creative, unusual and artsy or artistic tarot cards, the William Blake tarot is one worth checking out.
I got myself this tarot deck from Ebay (it's sold out at Amazon, but you can still get it from Amazon sellers at reasonable prices) and initially I have found it difficult to read the tarot cards with, so I put them aside for about a year.
Eventually I picked them up again because my fingers were itching to try something new, and I really wanted to get aquainted myself with these cards. Afterall they were just gathering dust next to my many other tarot decks, and I paid some nice money for the deck.
The William Blake Tarot
This deck is a revolutionary consideration of Blake's work, taking it out of the purely academic and intellectual level and placing it squarely where Blake's passion lay--the imaginal realm.
Who Was William Blake - The Artist
William Blake was a very erudit artist living between 1757 - 1827. He was an English painter, a poet, as well as a printmaker. Like most famous artists, during his liftimes he was a nobody in the realms of art. Only after his death he became well known and sought after.
His first works very early on were engravings of various Greek antiquities (copies) that his father bought him. He prefered engraving to actual drawing. During this time he got exposed to the works of the famous Michelangelo, Raphael and Albrecht Durer.
While his poems are also famous, we will focus here on his visual art which lead to the creation of the William Blake tarot deck.
One of the most prominent way of creating his books, his poems and his pantings was through something called relief etching, whcih is also called illuminated printing (something that he is mostly famous for).
For example he is well known for having done the engravings for the Dante's Divine Comedy. Sadly his death in 1827 stopped his work short, and he only managed to create 7 of the actual commisioned engravings.
William Blake's art is considered in the Romantic style, and the follow this style quite well. Each of the 72 cards in the deck show a reproduction of the work collage by William Blake. William Blake tarot cards
Musing from the William Blake Tarot
Personal Review Of The William Blake Tarot Of The Creative Imagination
The William Blake tarot was designed by Ed Buryn (with the help of Mary Greer) based on some images of Blake's works that strongly resembled the Major Arcana.
When I finally sat down with the cards, I didn't start reading with them right away. I first wanted and had to get to know them. I wanted to make friends with them and lure out their secrets and mysteries.
As usual I shuffled well the cards since they were new, and then started randomly taking out cards, regardless of whether they were Major Arcana or Minor Arcana.
The truth is that I was so blown away by the beauty of William Blake's work, that I eventually ended buying his Complete Illuminated Books at Amazon because the art is simply too beautiful to brush aside.
At some point though I got over my "open jaw" syndrome and I seriously started to study the cards. And it was worth all the time spent!
One thing I've immediately noticed is that the names of the cards have been changed. For example the suits (from wands, cups, swords and pentacles) have become Painting, Science, Music and Poetry.
Also some of the Major Arcana cards are renamed as shown below:
00 Eternity - there is no corresponding card for this
0 Innocence - Fool
1 Magic - Magician
2 Mystery - High Priestess
3 Nature - Empress
4 Reason - Emperor
5 Religion - Hierophant
6 Knowledge - Lovers
7 Experience - Chariot
8 Assessment - Justice
9 Imagination - Hermit
10 Whirlwind - Wheel Of Fortune
11 Energy - Strength
12 Reversal - Hanged Man
13 Transformation - Death
14 Forgiveness - Temperance
15 Error - Devil
16 Lightening - Tower
17 Stars - Star
18 Moon - Moon (remained the same)
19 Sun - Sun (remained the same)
20 Liberty - Judgment
21 Union - The World
If you are very used to work with the typical Rider Waite style decks, you might find it a bit awkward to learn to read cards with this deck simply because these new names will take a bit to get used to. Of course some of the first cards I looked at was the Death, Devil and Tower. Interestingly enough, the new card names were quite appropriate and I found myself nodding in agreement on the meanings.
I always saw the Death card as a card of transformation and the Devil with the "erroneous ways". So I realized that it will not be that difficult to read with these cards afterall, especially when the names seem to tell a rich story by themselves, full of symbolism.
Liberty from the William Blake Tarot
The William Blake Tarot Deck Style
The cards in the William Blake Tarot deck are all surrounded by a white border with the card titles being at the top. The suit and numbers are at the bottom for the numbered cards.
While the traditional cards have the king, queen, knight and page as characters, the William Blake tarot deck uses instead the angel, child, woman and man.
Each of the 79 cards comes in color and I found that the cards themselves help greatly with readings that enhance the creative process of a person. Sometimes the cards are collaged, and it seems that the art quality imitates quite well that of the original art pieces.
There is just a bit of nudity in the cards, so you might want to keep away the cards from small children.
Do You Also Find The William Blake Tarot Intriguing?
Angel from the William Blake Tarot
© 2011 Marika