BOHEMIAN ANIMAL TAROT REVIEW
The Bohemian Animal Tarot has 80 delightful cards featuring the Rider-Waite-based archetypes of tarot that are represented by part-human and part-animal characters. The first deck of tarot from the oracle writer, Scott Alexander King.
The Bohemian Animal Tarot is a beautiful and intriguing deck that combines the innocence as well as the occasional brutality of the Grimm fairytale.
The hybrid creatures featured in this deck feature head of animals and human body which are a bit like Egyptian gods. The themes of this deck are a bit historical, ranging between past the Tudor and Elizabethan period through Baroque, Victorian, French and even some romantic Romany Gypsy imagery. There aren’t any regular characters or easily identifiable plots, the main point of the deck is Rider Waite Smith magic. This deck’s Major Arcana follows the traditional tale that is The Fool’s Journey – renamed here as the Innocent’s Quest. In the Minor Arcana, Minor Arcana plays out all the well-known scenes from the Rider-WaiteSmith standard. The animals featured in the deck can be described as anthropomorphic with human characteristics and totemic. They bring profound spiritual significance to each card.
BOHEMIAN ANIMAL TAROT CARD DETAILS
The Major Arcana contains a variety of changed names, but it still follows the spirit and intent that was the original Rider Waite Smith deck. The Fool transforms into The Innocent. The Magician is The High Priest. The Empress is The goddess; The Emperor The God. The Hierophant The Shaman The Chariot is The Carousel. Strength The Warrior The Hermit The Hermit – The Solitary The Judgment – Consequences; Moderation and Temperance. The Satan The Devil The lower World; The Tower – The Rook; The World – Mother Earth; Judgement – The Universe.
There’s also a fantastic 23rd card known as The Afterlife which embodies the virtues of Karma continuing, rebirth and attainment.
These Minor Arcana suits are named Air, Fire, Water and Earth However, the images on the cards show the traditional RWS scenes using Swords, Wands, Cups and Pentacles. The most significant deviation from the traditional tarot symbols is the reverse of two elements: Earth is currently South and Fire is now North within the Bohemian Animal Tarot. This is due to alignments within the Southern hemisphere, where the deck is based. For clarity The northern hemisphere is where If one travels to the north, they reach the Arctic and therefore the seasons of Winter and the element of Earth are assigned to the North. If you head north from the southern hemisphere, you will arrive at the scorching hot equator. Therefore, the season of summer and the element of Fire is assigned to the North. When you go south below the equator you find yourself in the Antarctic which means that it is the time of Winter and element of Earth is assigned to South. The alignments between East and West are exactly the same as those of northwestern hemisphere. Confusing?
The deck, which has 79 cards, is constructed from top card stock robust and flexible, with high-gloss, with sparkling golden edges. The cards measure around 80 x 130 millimeters, which is a bit bigger than normal Tarot cards, yet simple to use. The cards need to be separated one at a time because the gilding can make them stick together, but they are shuffled well and not too slippery. The cards feature a cream-colored border around the image that includes the number and title within a box beneath the image.
The image is clear. The colors are delicate and soft hue, with occasional bright highlights which is perfect for the fairytale feel in the images. The illustrations appear to be mixed media possibly pastels, paint or pencils, which adds to the vintage children’s book style in the illustration. The image on the back of the book, which shows the image of a Fox wizard handing out a fine lady Hare is not reversible.
The small white book, which is actually a hefty guidebook, is fantastic. It’s 238 pages full of details. First 25 pages give the reader an overview of the Tarot through the introduction. The book continues with details regarding ‘The Directions’ and their correspondences with Major as well as Minor Arcana as well as a short review of the traditional three-card draw as well as the Celtic Cross for reading the cards. The remaining portion part of the text is devoted to explaining Arcanum.
Each card comes with at least two pages of pertinent details, and sometimes more. These Major Arcana cards have details on ‘The Animal Archetype The Archetype covers the actual and totemic characteristics that (the animals represented) are the basis that the cards represent. The description of the card is comprehensive, describing not just the many symbols, but also the nature of the actions and motives of the characters featured in the cards. The Major Arcana tell an ongoing storyline of Innocent’s Quest… The story continues as The Innocent (The Fool) begins a journey of self-discovery by interacting with guidelines and conquering the challenges contained in every card.
There’s a brief list of key words, and then follows the “Divinatory Meanings” that are extremely detailed and provide a variety of possible scenarios. The meanings given to the cards don’t deviate from the traditional meanings, but they do provide a wide range of possibilities to interpret.
The Minor Arcana’s ‘Description’ includes a description of what the significance is for numerology of this card. The Court Cards include an outline of abstract and human concepts that they represent. The “Divinatory Meanings” for the Court Cards is a huge volume and contains one of the most precise information I’ve encountered in a reference book. This is a huge feat given how challenging Courts are to interpret. It’s a book on Tarot that stands by itself due to the depth and depth of information it offers.
The deck of cards and the book are packed in a beautiful sturdy cardboard case. The lid is closed by magnetic fasteners, and then can be folded back to reveal the book above each deck.
This deck is truly gorgeous. If you’re a fan of animals you should consider adding this deck to your collection. Bohemian Animal Tarot to your collection. If you’re looking for one that captures the distinct feeling of a fairytale or the innocent ambiance of children’s books, You shouldn’t skip this. If I may say so that if you’re searching for the perfect deck (which is in close alignment with that of the Rider-Waite deck) that is suitable for children or young people and you are looking for a deck that is suitable for children, you’ll find that the Bohemian Animal Tarot is just the right fit.