The world of tarot is experiencing a Renaissance of sorts. The tarot has recently been making waves in the media, with movies like The Devil Wears Prada and Twilight promoting the cards as a trendy accessory. But the true power of the tarot is in its ability to tap into the archetypes of our humanity—sea foam green, while remaining utterly mysterious, is a perfect symbol of this. The symbols of the tarot transcend language, race, class, nationality and creed.
The Tarot is an ancient form of divination that uses cards to predict the future. Each card has a meaning and a story, although many people today may not be aware of the history behind the cards. I have created a deck titled “Heaven and Earth” that is based on the ancient Egyptian and Persian systems.
Jack Sephiroth is a renowned astrologer of the 20th and 21st centuries. His books, teachings, and iconography are a world unto themselves and have a tremendous impact on the astrology community. His style of astrology is usually described as mystical, and Jack has often been described as the “dreamer in the world of astrology”.
Tarot of Heaven and Earth Jack Sephiroth
Verified by Brigantia
Tarot of Heaven and Earth Concept and illustrations by Jack Sephiroth Published by Lo Scarabeo
First some details about the bridge: This set of 78 cards comes in a sturdy box with a hinged lid. So a box like this for storing cards should last a long time. It is a solid white paper (LWB) of 47 pages in English, with translations in Italian, Spanish, French and Portuguese; the information it contains is quite basic. The cards measure 7 x 12 cm (2.75 x 4.7 inches) and the game is solid and laminated. Overall, I find that the game mixes well and is easy to handle, even though I have fairly large hands. The beauty of the artwork is what drew me to this game. It looks otherworldly, dreamy and lost in the mists of time, with a predominance of sepia tones with white, grey and black and a few splashes of colour in the narrow brown to orange range used for clothing, fire and wood. It’s based on the Ryder Waite Smith (RWS) game with a few variations (in Lovers, for example, the woman is carried in the arms of a man), although I think the graphics make this game more three-dimensional and more vibrant than the original RWS. The introduction to the LWB states that these cards contain elements of the Tot Tarot, but since I have not used the Tot Tarot, I cannot figure out what that is; however,
I would say that anyone familiar with the RWS could easily read this deck. It also makes some background elements of RWS that are easily missed more visible, like the tower in the background of the five Cups; I’d forgotten it was there because it’s so small on RWS. As in RWS, the characters are white Europeans, although I think the representation of women in the game shows more character strength than in RWS. Instead of pages, there are princesses in play. While I’m no prude, I tend to be put off by graphic nudity in card games – I often wonder what kind of reaction you might get from someone questioning you – but I think the nudity in this game is understated and tastefully done.
One feature of this game that I find annoying is that there is a keyword on each card. This is a feature I generally don’t like, and the card design doesn’t allow for cutting off the bottom of the card to get rid of the key words. Each chart has the symbols of their astrological and elemental correspondence, as well as the correspondence of the letters of the major signs in Hebrew, which can be a useful reference for those who study them. However, the keyword can be a useful springboard for those new to tarot, in addition to the fact that the cards are very visual.
Two of my favorite cards are sticks and swords. The illustration combines respectively the raging fire and the tempestuous air in these cards in a way that very clearly expresses an essential aspect of the impulsive and impetuous nature of these knights. I also like the empress; she’s not as maternal as in other RWS-based games, and when she’s depicted pregnant, it’s a small bump (hard to see), but I see her as a force behind the throne. She’s not worth messing with!
To better understand this game, I questioned it and found the answers very interesting!
- Tell us about yourself, your most important quality: The three of dough. Life has its ups and downs, not everything is rosy. It’s a pile of hard truths that embellishes nothing, but tells it like it is.
- What are your strengths? In love. This game offers choices for harmony and integration on a spiritual level; it is meant to show the way to find wholeness and balance and move beyond the ego. As I looked at this map, it struck me: The mind is maya.
- What are your limits? The Princess of Cups. It seems to me that this is not a game that will be a gentle balm for emotional problems; because it indicates that it is a game of hard truth, it will provide direct, perhaps uncomfortable, answers to the truth.
- What can you teach me? The princess of the chopsticks. She will show me how to fully harness my power, raise my energy level and awaken the inner warrior in me. (This is very important to me right now!).
I love his energy and the visual expression of his illustrations, and he hit me immediately when I started reading with him. Besides the fact that this game is great to read, the interview I conducted shows that it is also a very useful tool for personal development.