Friday, November 03, 2006

THE FANTASY SHOWCASE TAROT (Comments & Sample Cards)

THE FANTASY SHOWCASE TAROT, Little White Book ("LWB") Cover; The Empress card (artist Maxine Miller), which is in color, of course, on the actual card.

I suppose I could have as readily called this a review, only this deck is 26 years old and out of print, originally published by U.S. Games in 1980, with some of its card designs going back as far as 1969. I recalled it while answering comments to my earlier post here on The Chariot card about what it would be like reading with a deck with artwork by 78 different artists. The Fantasy Showcase Tarot has 85 cards by 85 different artists. The extras being two new Majors designed for the deck ("Separation" XXII, and "The Farrier" XXIII) and an innovation of the editor’s ("The Lady," a young woman who fits between the Knight and The Queen of the Court cards).

The cards were done entirely by fantasy and science fiction artists. Many clearly reflect the style of the times (see the Three of Cups below) and that brings back many memories of my own hippie years. But many still appear timeless and I will post some examples of this type in the future. The cards range from humorous to artistic. Many offer interpretations of the cards that are intriguing to me to this day.

This is not a deck I have ever been able to read with. Not only due to the incredible overwhelming diversity of styles, but because the cards frequently are not clearly labeled. The designs are in a couple of cases so different from traditional Tarot it is a huge challenge to identify which cards they are.* However, I can’t stress enough that for me it is an utterly delightful deck to have as a panorama of possible Tarot art styles and interpretations. And being a huge fantasy and science fiction fan, who at one time collected books and prints of fantasy artists’ work, it’s a particular delight. Kudos to Bruce Pelz, editor, the originator of the idea who pulled it all together.

I initially selected a dozen cards to share, in a range of styles in this deck. However, I have been having an extremely difficult time uploading images to blogger for days now. (I thought, from the coding in my pages, I had succeeded finally in getting all 12 of the cards loaded. However, nine of them are only lovely pastel boxes, with no images in them. Grrrrrr.....) So, suffice it to say I only have the three below to share. Unfortunately, only three cards cannot reflect the incredible, fantastic diversity of this deck's designs.

FIRST CARD -- Three of Cups (very 1960's in style, as many of the cards are, but each in their unique way), artist Ellen Green.
SECOND CARD -- Separation XXII (one of the new Majors), artist Gordon Monson. Meanings from the LWB: Loneliness; inability to communicate with others. Conversely, reconciliation; unity of purpose; sharing of emotions.
THIRD CARD -- The Farrier XXIII (the other new Major), artist Dian Crayne. Meanings from the LWB: Forces of the universe; destiny's hand. Conversely, lack of purpose; randomity.

As blogger's system permits, I'll post additional designs from this unique deck in the future. The Fantasy Showcase Tarot has universes that are well worth wandering through and wondering over. (Note of November 5, 2006 -- the next two posts will be about this deck.)

* * * *

* Some cards don’t have signatures or even initials so they cannot be found in the little white book, which has the artists' names by their cards. There’s a note you may have read above on the back outside page of the booklet, that the cards are packed in the order in which they are listed in the little white book. But I only saw that too late. I tend to shuffle and read without even cracking any accompanying book/let that comes with a deck, just to get a first fresh feel of the deck. I can imagine many folk missed that note, too. I may someday re-order the deck by the booklet as much as possible, then see if I can determine how which "left-over" card might fit which "empty" space.

Please see the top of the sidebar for my background with the Tarot and a recommendation to beginners.

‘til next time, keep enjoying the wild and wondrous universe of The Tarot,


[aka: Patricia Kelly]

****If you wish to copy or use any of my writing, please email me for permission (under “View my complete profile”)**** SEE ALSO: Roswila’s Dream & Poetry Realm for some articles about Tarot.****



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