I recently spent a couple weeks away from home, ‘on the road’ as it were, for both work and play.
I took two new decks with me that I was unfamiliar with. What follows appears to be long, but it was a hell of a trip with two new friends.
The Bianco Nero Tarot
First off, I have to state that I used the WCS for 29 years. Seventeen years ago, I found myself in the market for a replacement.
And I was bored with the RWS images. I just didn’t find them inspiring anymore. To me, the images had become feigned, and ersatz. The 1909 images had become anachronistic, dull, and archaic.
Massive deck acquisition followed, but I’ve always had a soft-spot in my heart for the qualities and concepts that the WCS utilized with it’s stand-offish dated approach.
The recent tarot market keeps producing clones that seem more crowded, busy, shoving symbols and image content into an already crowded space.
I think I’m in a stage where I’m downsizing. Both literal and figuratively - headed toward the more minimal.
Enter Bianco Nero Tarot by Marco Proietto.
The obvious. Bianco Nero means…ready for it?
Black and White.
The images are very Waite-Smith…sans Smith. I know, some of you will object.
I find this a very fresh wind.
It’s approachable, whereas the PCS deck art is often distant and aloof.
The courts are human, they make sense.
Waite without Smith.
It’s my new favorite Waite deck.
You know, some folks still have an issue with Aleister Crowley, believing the bad press as opposed to facts. The Crowley-Harris Thoth gets the “Oh, not for beginners” rap…
(“He’s so Evil”)
Enter New Era Elements Tarot by Eleonore F. Pieper, PhD.
I think of this as Thoth updated. Dragged kicking and screaming from the dead Edwardian-Georgian post-Victorian era.
The deck is fully scenic, with titles updated with modern English.
Some of the images a tad disturbing – but it’s the Thoth updated, right?
Some will be turned off by the limited colour palette (sepia toned), but it sells the whole thing. As opposed to being lulled with pretty colours or eye-popping in-your-face images, we get stark wonder.
It’s a multi-cultural deck, and you know each and every person depicted in the courts (something we’ve found to be the Achilles heel of many decks). This is a deck that understands the courts. And you will too.
And the LWB rocks.
So yeah – enjoy the Thoth without the Crowley.
BOTH of these decks are highly recommended, and get high marks in our books.