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- The Philosopher's Stone Self-Awareness Deck is more commonly used for self-awareness. Each card depicts rocks, some with faces and some in groups. Card names are printed in three different languages.
Philosopher's Stone Self-Awareness Deck
DE ES Schwertberge
depicting a painting by artist De Es Schwertberger, along
with a particular quality or condition. Schwertberger's
preferred subjects seem to consist entirely of stones with
human faces, stone figures, and stones over plain
backgrounds. The artist seems to have applied an enormous
talent to an extremely narrow subject matter.
the associations seem arbitrary - number 8,
"Composure," is a profile of a stone-face, with an irregular
stone conglomeration directly in front of it. Forcing an
association, it suggests composure in the face of a threat.
Other cards are completely obvious - number 6,
"Confrontation," is similar except the stone confronting the face
is smooth. The next card, "Breakthrough," is
identical except for a fissure running through the stone.
Number 12, "Hazard," shows a stone approaching an
unsuspecting stone-head from the rear; the following card,
"Return," has the stone hitting the head and apparently
knocking it out. Inevitably, the viewer attempts to "solve"
the cards by mentally proposing connections between
the words and images.
The instructions or "Rules of
the Game" involve taking five cards at random, and
arranging them in a cross, with positions of "inner" and
"outer" world, "past," and "future." These invite
comparisons and contrasts. Lower numbers are "weak," while
higher numbers are "strong," suggesting that the reader
"observe where your strengths and weaknesses lie." Like a
Tarot deck, each card also has other associations that
are listed, for example, number 15, "Insight,"
indicates "depth, study, intuition, vision." The reader is
encouraged to come up with their own ways of using the
Physically, the cards are beautifully printed, on stock of
excellent quality, with just the right amount of coating to
facilitate shuffling without being too slippery, but with no
hint of grittiness. They come in a fitted plastic case
that offers protection and easy accessibility. It's as
well-done as the best Tarot decks. The images, however,
unlike those of the Tarot, are suggestive but not iconic.
At best, it's a brief, thought-provoking diversion,
with none of the historical force and archtypal
suggestivity of the Tarot. It is, however, unique, and worth
owning as part of a collection.