Friday, July 13, 2007


The Wheel & Force in The Dorflinger Tarot, by Johannes Dorflinger (b. 1941), granolitho prints on paper.

The Dorflinger Tarot is what can be termed an "artist's Tarot." Still a divinatory device, but also "a more self-conscious means of artistic expression..." (p.203, The Art of the Tarot), like the Salvador Dali deck. I don't know how I'd fare trying to do a reading with the Dorflinger Tarot. (I haven't even been able to determine if the Courts and Minors were ever printed, though reading with just the Majors is often done with Tarot decks.) But I do know I really like the art work, as art. The scans in this post do not do full justice to these wonderful pointillist art cards. Unfortunately, I could not post some of my favorites because the prints are so softly colored my scanner did not pick up on the subtle shadings at all. (See "Resource" at bottom of this post for a link to a site with smaller scans of all the majors.)

Judgment and The Devil in The Dorflinger Tarot.

The designs are so reduced and abstracted that on first viewing I was hard pressed to relate them to the more traditional Tarot images, though I liked them immediately anyway. There is something archteypal about them that draws me. Many put me in mind of ancient Goddess statues, like the famous Venus of Willendorf. I find them very moving and powerful. Sometimes as I view a print for the umpteenth time more of it's Tarot life begins to come through. However, that is gravy as I so love savoring these designs simply as very pleasing and stirring art. And that is just as well since they are not available as a deck. Sigh.

* * * *

Resource: Asian site with Dorflinger Majors. Be patient, it can take quite a while to load. Also note that although the cards are not identified, they run from left to right, starting with I, top left, and ending with 0, bottom right.

‘til next time, keep relishing the art that is 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 Tarot poetry and Roswila’s Taiga Tarot for taiga (illustrated tanka).****



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