Tarot Decks In Categories:
A Picture is Worth 1000 Words
With the notion that a variation should have more than half the searched for symbolism, I made the cutoff between variation and improvisation at 55% of the possible points of similarity, or 35 points.
For the Major Arcana, the cards selected also help differentiate decks varying RWS from those using the Marseilles or the Book "T" specification of the Golden Dawn. In the Lovers card, RWS’ Adam and Eve completely differs from the Marseilles’ man choosing between two women and Book "T"’s Andromeda and Perseus. In the Sun card, instead of two children in a walled garden, there is one riding horseback out of the walled garden.
- LOVERS (12 points possible)
- One man and one woman
- An angel above the people
- The angel has extended arms, red wings, violet mantle, and red/yellow and green flaming hair.
- The people are naked. The woman looks at the angel, the man looks at the woman.
- There are two trees in the background. One bears fruit and has a snake wrapped around it, the other has threefold flame foliage.
- There is a mountain in the background between the people. The sun is at top center, and a cloud is below the angel.
- SUN (12 points possible)
- A golden sun
- The sun has a human face, and alternating straight and wavy rays, and a human face.
- There is one child, and the child is naked.
- The child is riding a horse.
- The child holds a red/orange banner. The child’s floral headband has a red feather.
- A wall with sunflowers
- STRENGTH/JUSTICE - 2 points if Strength is numbered 8 and Justice is numbered 11.
- PAGE OF CUPS (12 points possible)
- The court card structure is Page, Knight, Queen, and King, not Princess, Prince, Queen, Knight or King, or some other structure.
- The Page has an intent contemplative expression.
- There is a fish emerging from the cup.
- The symbols specified by Book "T" are not present: there is no dolphin, swan with outspread wings or turtle.
- The Page’s clothing is blue and orange/pink, and decorated with lotuses.
- The Page is standing on the shore of a body of water in the background.
- 5 OF CUPS (12 points possible)
- The dominant figure stands with a stooped, brooding posture.
- The person wears a long black cloak.
- There are 3 spilled cups and 2 standing cups.
- In the background is a river, and there is a bridge across the river.
- There is a house/castle/keep across the river.
- The person is looking at the spilled cups, not the standing ones.
- 10 OF SWORDS (12 points possible)
- The dominant figure is pierced by swords.
- The figure is lying face down, with all the swords in his back, following a straight line along his backbone with one in his head or neck.
- There is no blood. There is a red cloth draped across the lower part of his body.
- The figure’s hand shows in the foreground, and it is forming a blessing mudra (the same one as the RWS Hierophant).
- The figure is lying on the shore/beach of a calm body of water. There are mountains in the distance on the other side.
- The sky is dark above and clearing below.
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This site is a subsite of my main tarot site, containing mini-reviews of around 70 decks.