Rosetta Tarot: Thoth and RWS “Love Child”

Rosetta Tarot The Fool Card

“The Fool is the archetypal initiate, a Dionysian or Bacchus figure stepping through a portal formed by a revolving Ouroboros. His number is zero, and as a representation of the Alpha, and also the Omega, he relates to the Zero Point of the zodiac which is both the beginning and the end.” -Book of Seshet

I’ve been watching the new Rosetta Tarot for a while now, following the artist’s progress. She describes it as the “Love Child of Thoth and RWS,” with Thoth ending up dominant. That doesn’t surprise me. Thoth is kind of like that, from what I can tell.

I’m really looking forward to getting my hands on it, because…well, it solves a problem for me.

I’ve always felt I “should” become better-versed in the Thoth and really, all things Golden Dawn–it’s the foundation of so much of today’s Tarot–but I never really had my heart in it. I have a Thoth deck, but it sits in a drawer. I like less abstract artwork. So much Tarot occult material feels heavy and dense, like I should set aside a few years to sort it out. It just didn’t call to me. So I’ve been waiting, for when it speaks to me a little louder, with a more appealing tone, I suppose.

The Rosetta Tarot provides the same arcane wisdom I’ve felt important to explore, but with that “more appealing tone.” The color scale and correspondences are Thoth and Golden Dawn, but the artwork provides some of what made RWS so enduring. And with so many mediocre decks out there, it’s always refreshing to see the work of an artist who is also truly a student of Tarot. I relish the education that lies within, hidden between well-formed lines. The deck will have a companion book, Book of Seshet, explaining the symbolism in detail.

One notable feature is choice of artistic mediums–the Major Arcana and each suit were created in mediums appropriate for that suit’s qualities.  Details like this serve to further infuse the suit’s energy in the cards. From the Rosetta Tarot site:

“The Major Arcana as the element of spirit, with their plasticity and elastic nature, were done as original acrylic paintings. The suit of Wands as the element of Fire and thus wood, were done in a combination of colored pencils and acrylic. The suit of Swords as Air were done in a dry-point etching technique…The Cups as Water were done in a mixed media technique of watercolor, water-based ink and acrylic. The Disks as Earth were done in oil pigments (which come from earth) and acrylic. The acrylic in all suits ties together the look and the spirit element of the cards.” –artist, M.M. Meleen

I’m very much looking forward to working with this deck, and will no doubt be featuring it in Everyday Tarot when it’s available. The deck is finished, and will probably have a limited edition release from the artist before it’s picked up by a publisher for mass distribution. Keep informed by signing up for the email list on the Rosetta Tarot website.

How does this Fool strike you?

(Artwork and excerpts used with permission.)

Everyday Tarot, 05/08/11: Knight of Swords and his Chaffing Armor


“Just do the best you can, Dixie. Because that’s all you can do.” My parents always told me this, and it was one of the things that stuck, I’m glad to say.

Most do fine with the “doing the best you can” part. It’s the letting it go afterward part that proves challenging. It can become a never-ending game of “What if?” if you’re not careful where you can never win.

Today’s Tarot is the Knight of Swords, associated with Air in Air. He tends towards an intellectual idealism. Sometimes cutting or sharp towards others, his judgment secretly falls most heavily upon himself when he falls short. Since his standards are based on ideals, he eventually will fall short.  In his black and white worldview, addressing his own fallibility can easily become an Achilles’ heel if he doesn’t learn to grant some latitude.

Ideal and Reality don't always machThe Knight of Sword misses the mark at times, refusing to acknowledge ambiguity. Always full of ideas and logic, life is an equation that doesn’t always add up properly. His ideals serve as a great starting point, a compass and guide, but life is lived in  everyday experience. The two do not necessarily coincide.

Those areas he’s most aggressive about controlling in others are almost always sore spots in his own self image. His armor chafes there, the swell of agitation internally prompted. This is where his sense of himself the ideals he wants to fight for are in conflict.

If you are the Knight of Swords, cut yourself some slack. Look after those raw spots with a little tenderness and care to allow them to heal. Trying to block it off is only rubbing the wound raw so cushion and tend. And if you know the Knight, approach him with the same kindness and compassion he has difficulty showing to himself. He’s demanding, but discerning. He can not only be soothed by your kindness, but learn from it.

Do you know a Knight of Swords?

Radiant Rider-Waite Tarot
by Us Games Systems

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