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Mutational Alchemy Tarot - tarot decks

Playing Cards
Playing Cards -> Tarot decks

Price: US $15.53

ProductID: alt0423

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About this item
  • The Mutational Alchemy Tarot is a 78-card tarot designed by and for experienced occultists. The vivid, complex, hand-
  • painted illustrations are based on a foundation of mutational alchemy theory but are also designed to be used intuitively.


Specifications
Name Mutational Alchemy Tarot
Creators m1thr0s, Izi Ningishzidda
Publisher The Abrahadabra Institute 2015
Deck Type Tarot Deck
Cards 78
Major Arcana 22
Minor Arcana 56
Card Size 3.46 x 4.96 in. = 8.80cm x 12.60cm
Card Language English
Card Back Reversible
Back Design Complex circular red mandala design on a black background
Companion Material A full companion book is available online for free.


Reviews

This deck has 78 cards – 22 Major Arcana and 56 Minor Arcana. The Major Arcana follows Crowley's titles and ordering; the Minor Arcana consists of four suits; Staves, Blades, Pentacles, and Alembics (Alembic is an alchemist’s still used for the distillation of chemicals). The Court cards again follow Crowley's titles and ordering – King, Prince, Princess, Queen. All Minor Arcana have number and suit, as well as the title given by Aleister Crowley. Major Arcana have their numbers given in Roman numerals, followed by their title.

The cards measure 88 x 126 mm, a comfortable size for a tarot deck, perhaps a little broader than some decks (Lo Scarabeo for example) but not by much. The card stock is excellent – flexible but not flimsy, smooth and low sheen on the face, and slightly toothy on the back. The cards are easy to handle and shuffle smoothly – these cards ‘flow' and are not prone to clumping or sticking together. The print quality of this deck is superb – the images are crisp and clear, with clean lines, and their fine details clearly delineated.

The artists have used a broad palette of rich colours. The Minor Arcana suits are colour-coded in line with their ruling elements – Staves/fire is dominated by reds, Blades/air by misty greens, Pentacles/earth by shades of brown and gold, and Alembics/water by blues. The art is closer to fantasy art than any other style – combining both realistic and fantastical elements to create a magickal atmosphere.

Each card has a complex central image rich with symbols and significant colours. In each corner is a rectangular box containing I Ching hexagrams, planetary alignments, Diamond Path designations, Geomantic figures, tetragrams, 3 tiered bigrams, elements, planets, Sun signs – which varies depending on whether the card is a Major Arcana, Court Card, or number card. Major Arcana and number cards also have a ruling hexagram contained in a black circle at the centre-top of the image. The cards have a black border. The print on the back is a broad field of I Ching hexagrams with a red circle of alchemical symbols, Kabbalistic Trees of Life and Diamond Sutra diagrams all flowing into a central point. This image is probably not technically reversible, but it is so complex that one would scarcely notice its orientation.

No little white book or guide of any kind is included with the cards, however if the Seeker follows the link printed on the bottom of the box they will be rewarded with a wealth of information about the cards. The online book is incredibly comprehensive, indeed one of the most detailed tarot books I have ever read. With characteristic generosity the creators of the MAT have made this available as a cost free download. This is a work in progress, so presumably entries will continue to be expanded.

Each entry covers all the significant symbolic elements, keywords for both upright and reversed cards, interpretations – historical, Golden Dawn, Thoth deck, and the Mutational Alchemy divinatory meaning. The scene depicted on the card is described in detail and its mythological background is expounded at great length; and finally the deck's creators address their significant additions and revisions.

The cards come packaged in a reasonably sturdy cardboard box printed in black and white with the design from the back of the cards, as well as other alchemical symbols, and a short paragraph about the decks creators.

This deck is an amazing achievement – a huge amount of occult and esoteric information has gone into its creation. It is clearly a labour of love and skill. The images are powerful and striking, and some are quite confronting. If you are uncomfortable with strong nudity then this deck may not be to your tastes. However if you are looking for a tarot deck that has taken Aleister Crowley's knowledge and expanded it into the new Aeon then this deck is an absolute must have.

If you are interested in the occult foundations of modern tarot then the Mutational Alchemy Tarot is utterly fascinating. And if you are a follower of the Left Hand Path, a Thelemite, or want to know more about these schools of magick and esoteric knowledge then this is the deck for you. I would not recommend this deck for beginners – it is both too complex and idiosyncratic for a novice reader. However if you are looking for a challenge or a new way to read and understand tarot the Mutational Alchemy Tarot certainly throws its hat into the ring. Truly impressive.


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