Sunday, December 11, 2011

on the Rosetta Tarot

I have recently had the opportunity to work with and review the wonderful Rosetta Tarot, created and self published by M.M. Meleen.  Also available is a companion book titled 'Book of Seshet - Guide to the Rosetta Tarot'.  I've included in this post some cards from the deck, a few excerpts of my review (which can be read in full here), and some additional comments.

Below are four of my favourite cards from the Major Arcana.

One of my favourite things about this deck is the vibrant colours of the artwork which really draw you in.  The creator has used a range of different artistic mediums to represent the essence of each of the suits.

While the Rosetta Tarot is certainly a Thoth inspired deck the creator has based the designs on meanings in the Golden Dawn’s ‘Book T’ and so in some cases there is variation in the imagery from the Thoth deck.  This is not simply a re-drawn Thoth.  The creator has interpreted the symbolism in her own way, without obscuring the meanings.  While some cards have a very similar look to the Thoth deck, others are quite unique in the interpretation.   

The Nine of Cups from the Rosetta Tarot on the left and the Thoth on the Right
The 8 of Disks from the Rosetta on the left and the Thoth on the right.

I love how in the Eight of Disks above the image looks very similar to the Thoth deck, but the owl has been added and the roots of the plant are formed in the shape of the glyph for Virgo.

In my opinion, the Thoth deck is a unique masterpiece.  The Thoth is based on a system with depth and substance to which you can devote a lifetime of study. It is a system which in the RWS has been somewhat obscured, and with the proliferation of prettied-up RWS clone or inspired decks has become all but lost in many cases.  The Thoth gives us the opportunity to actually work with the Golden Dawn system and understand what lies at the core of most modern tarots.  Over the years many people have expressed to me that, for some reason or another, the Thoth feels impenetrable and aloof.  I know for some it even strikes feelings of fear and for that reason some curious souls stay away.  I believe the Rosetta Tarot is a perfect way to access this system with a deck that perhaps feels a little more approachable.  The colouring is vibrant, and yet the imagery is softer than the Thoth.  The deck has a ‘home made’ feel without seeming amateur.  There is warmth that may be lacking in the Thoth.   I don’t believe the Thoth can be improved on or bettered at all, and I don’t believe that the creator of the Rosetta has tried to do this.  What the Rosetta offers is another path into this world, another way to begin the journey that all serious students of the tarot must surely take at some point.

I always believe that when a deck is created by someone who passionately believes in what they are doing, and who pours their knowledge out through their artwork, the results are very special indeed.  This deck should not really be compared to the Thoth, it stands on its own merits and for those willing to spend the time, I’m confident it will deliver.

For further information you can visit the creators web-site here.
The creator is also involved in an on-line discussion, and possibly study group, at the Aeclectic tarot forum here.

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