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Rose Tarot


Author:  Nigel Jackson

Artist:  Nigel Jackson

Publisher:  Llewellyn Publications

Publication date:  2021

ISBN:  978-0-7387-5854-1

Card Size:  3 x 4.5 inches

Box:  5.5 x 8.25 x 2 inches

Language:  English

Purchase on Llewellyn site

From the album:

Artistic Decks

· 36 images
  • 36 images

Photo Information

  • Taken with LG Electronics LM-Q610(FGN)
  • Focal Length 3.7 mm
  • Exposure Time 333/10000
  • f Aperture f/2.2
  • ISO Speed 100


   2 of 2 members found this review helpful 2 / 2 members

Nigel Jackson is a British artist with knowledge about (and, in all likelihood, experience of) some forms of Neopaganism, pre-modern European esotericism, Sufism, and dissident 18th century illuminist-theurgical Christian mysticism.


The 22 trumps of Rose Tarot are useful for contemplative practice in my experience, and personally I find the artwork mild and harmonic, but your mileage may vary. Observant Jews and Neopagans may find the design of The Chariot (which here alludes to Ezekiel chs. 1 & 10) uncomfortable, but for opposite reasons. Users familiar with Agrippa-derived ceremonial magic will not be particularly surprised.


The accompanying paperback book approach the symbolism of tarot ahistorically through the interpretive lens of Paracelsian mysticism of the 16th and 17th centuries and such esotericism, that existed in France, Great Britain and Germany in the 18th century, i.e. no deeper similarities with the trajectory English-speaking western occultism took after 1875 (Theosophical Society) and 1888 (Golden Dawn). Users who just expect a quick and handy guide to cartomancy will find p. 181-230 superfluous, but the matter contained in these pages certainly has its particular audience, I'm sure. If you are interested in pre-industrial mainland continental European esotericism, they may serve as a brief introduction to that matter. Pages 9-180 afford two pages to each card: One page focusing on divination, one page giving a more 'western esoteric' approach along the lines mentioned above.


The court cards revive and preserve the French renaissance custom to associate the court cards of the 52 playingcard deck (French suits) with historical figures or literary characters, but Rose Tarot do this in a slightly different manner, than Dame Fortune's Wheel Tarot do the same. In DFWT Alexander is King of Coins and Julius Cæsar King of Batons, but their rôles (and all court cards in their respective suites) are switched around in Rose Tarot. The debate regarding the divinatory equivalents to clubs and diamonds in tarot decks goes back to the 18th century, and although their artistic counterparts undoubtly are clubs = batons; diamonds = coins, the debate, whether divinatory keywords follow the artistic counterparts or follow their own separate logic, will probably not fade out of existence any day soon.


The four suits have the following correspondences in this deck:


  • Swords: Justice, aristocracy
  • Cups: Temperance, priesthood
  • Coins: Prudence, merchants
  • Batons: Strength (by which is meant Courage), the peasantry


Although the Ace of Cups overflows of water, elemental symbolism isn't explicitly present in the design of the suite cards, which might comfort users, who doesn't wish to be forced into adherence to an unfamiliar system of correspondences.


The suite cards are simultaneously non-scenic and scenic in a very clever manner, by using a mandorla-shaped insert into each otherwise non-scenic pip card.


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