An exhibit against the idea of idolizing a traditional series of trumps. In other parts of this guide I have commented on the origins of the trumps being varied, connected to educational decks, and very open to interpretation. Simply because the U.S. inherited the French and the occult view of the trumps at the same time, we do not have the hindsight for a casual glance at the deck to see it as it appears for many in the old world, a living card game, whose imagery can have applied meanings that power a storytelling device.
I chose this deck from 1914 for its all around wackiness in the world of Tarot. We have an ocean liner company commissioning the deck, which results in four paintings of passenger ships. But it is a proper deck meant to play the game of Tarocci, with a two-faced Trump design that points to the game, candidate to explain why trump cards are said to have ‘reverse’ meanings. The delightful artwork comes with two scenes per Trump, a mixture of theatric Orientalism and Art Nouveau, while the suit cards are absolutely minimal. Elegant all around, the author was either instructed or asked to do away with any troubling cards, there is no Death or Devil, and more of life’s leisures than virtues have been folded into this deck, with only three trumps and the Fool bearing traditional titles. In place of antique symbolism, exotica visions of Egypt, Persia, Spain, and Japan stand in. One thing of special note, as I chose this deck because it is so atypical (and non-occult), is that this is one of few decks I have seen that is predominately people of color, and has slightly more women than men.
The owner of a deck, much like a book or artwork, has the right to see in it anything they choose, to reassign as they please, and disregard the rules completely. This wonderful series of paintings by Argio Orell introduces many new trumps that are as suitable as any for unlocking the mysteries of the mind by exercising nonlinear association, let alone being perfect for playing the game.
|I||Il Bagatto||The Juggler|
|IV||La Suonatrice||The Actress|
|V||Il Drago Guardiano||The Dragon Guardian|
|VI||La Sfinge||The Sphinx|
|VII||La Lotta||The Fight|
|VIII||Il Cantastorie||The Storyteller|
|X||Il Giardino||The Garden|
|XIII||La Notte||The Night|
|XIV||L’Uomo e La Donna||Man and Woman|
|XV||La Seduzione||The Seduction|
|XVI||La Fiera||The Fair|
|XIX||Il Parasole||The Umbrella|
|XX||Il Tempio||The Temple|
|XXI||La Danza||The Dance|
|0||Il Matto||The Fool|