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Brotherhood Tarot - tarot decks

Playing Cards
Playing Cards -> Tarot decks

Price: US $15.53

ProductID: alt710

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About this item
  • The Brotherhood Tarot is a masculine themed fantasy deck with digitally enhanced photography. It incorporates gay
  • history, mythology, Radical Faerie imagery, and celebrates the natural resources of California while maintaining a close
  • tie to the Rider-Waite. Now available.

Name Brotherhood Tarot
Creators Patric Stillman aka Pipa Phalange
Publisher Self Published 2004
Deck Type Tarot Deck
Cards 78
Major Arcana 22
Minor Arcana 56
Deck Tradition Unique
Minor Arcana Style RWS-Based Scenes
Cups, Swords, Rods, Pentacles Court Cards
The Fool is 0
Strength is 8
Justice is 11
Card Size 3.15 x 4.72 in. = 8.00cm x 12.00cm
Card Back Unknown
Companion Material A separate 200 page companion book, rotherhood Tarot Companion, explains the stories within the deck and its creation.


Pipa made some core decisions (and choices) when he chose to put his energy into this project. He founded his own company, Oak Grove Oracle, and set up an Internet site to act as the venue through which he could establish an on-line community of like minded people to explore the arts of Radical Faeries and showcase the wide range of their digital artistry.

The next part of Pipa's journey was indeed a physical journey throughout the state of California - photographing scenes ranging from the ancient Red Wood forests to the Mojave and Anza Borrego Deserts. He then gathered friends together, and they put together the objects and costumes that we see in these cards.

Here is a good place to note that Pipa stuck to the traditional structure of the Tarot, and that his cards reflect the energy of the Tarot archetypes simply through another lens - that of the gay men's lifestyle. He has taken each of the suits and made a story within a story - as Tarot always is. For instance, the storyline of the suit of Cups is that of Zeus' lust for the mortal Ganymede, while the storyline of the suit of Swords is that of what Pipa refers to as the "cut sleeve" incident from 6 BC, which to this day acts as a euphemism for homosexuality in Chinese literature.

I also need to say here that much of the information that I am discussing was either included in a separate paper (called the Backstory), or taken from the Oak Grove site, as there was no LWB (Little White Book) accompanying the deck. However, Pipa is working on a companion book for the deck that should be out this year (2005).

The cards themselves come in a flip top box that carries all of the information that I like to see - what the concept of the deck is, where the inspiration came from, who the author is etc. In other words - care was taken in designing the box, as well as the cards. This is a limited edition of 2,500 decks that was created with a great deal of respect, and should be addressed with the same.

The cards are 3" by 4 3/4", of good quality, glossy cardstock. The back of the cards shows sunlight filtered through the trees onto a floor of yellow and brown leaves. In the middle of the card, in white, is the logo for the Oak Grove Oracle - three circles. The two end circles have white borders, a darker inner circle and an inner white circle. The middle circle shows the same white border, and a dark inner circle, divided by a white line. It would not be possible to determine if a card were drawn upright or reversed until it was turned over.

The card faces show a 1/4" white border, surrounding the picture. The Major Arcana have the number in Roman numerals and the title in black across the top of the card. The Minor Arcana have the number of the card in text, as well as the suit across the top of the card in black. The Court Cards have the title and suit across the top of the cards in black. The format for the graphics is digital photography, and t he colors come through cleanly and clearly.

One of the cards that I am really drawn to is the Ace of Pentacles. Here we see a white pentagram in a lavender disc, nestled in amongst a field of green leaves with the sun shining down on it through the trees.

In the Ace of Cups, we see a rocky shore, with a sand dollar in the foreground. Perched in the sand we see a lovely cup, facing the water, with the emblem of a sand dollar on its side and the sun glinting off of it. Anyone who has spent any amount of time at the ocean would be drawn to the sense of aloneness in this card, as well as the sense of potential.

The card of the Lovers is a card of complete grace. Here we see two male figures, lying against the background of what looks like a field. While certainly sensuality is implied here, there is more of a sense of deep connection, peace, and commitment.

What had to be one of the hardest cards to do, in my opinion, was the High Priestess. Here we see a male figure seated, with what appears to be a desert background behind him, and green foliage at his feet. He is wearing a deep purple shirt, with a long red cape draped around him. He looks directly out at the reader, with a sense of peace and knowing about him. Between his hands he holds a globe with a reflection of the world around him. The intuitive, mystical nature of this archetype comes through clearly.

The card of Judgement is another card that is absolutely stunning. In the background we see a grove of tall trees. In the foreground we see a grassy green knoll, where four male figures stand, in dark robes, facing the trees with lanterns, or some source of light in their hand. There are a group of three men - two standing together, the third standing slightly in front of them, with a solitary fourth figure standing to the left of the group. The archetypal energy of learning to accept ones self shines through here, in a very heart felt manner.

The King of Rods is a most interesting person. Here we have a male figure, dressed in black leather and holding a staff in his hand as he faces t he reader. He stands in the middle of a path that weaves through a wooded area and ends up at a large rock formation.

This deck has an edge to it - these are Radical Faeries, after all! Their world is not the world of day to day modern living, such as is expressed in the recent alternative lifestyle deck ay Tarot.

There are two extra cards that come with the deck. One card is about the site itself, the Oak Grove community and their goals. The other card details what the site offers in terms of t he Brotherhood Tarot.

I feel that this is a well done deck, and that it has a place in the Tarot world. It can be a gateway to understanding some of the difference amongst people. Pipa will be coming out with a companion book to this deck, which will go into much greater depth about what the cards are to him, and the process of his creating them. I look forward to reading the book - it will be the gateway through which the Tarot world will be best able to access the knowledge, history, and mythology that this deck represents.

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