Review by Bonnie Cehovet
This review is somewhat in the nature of a "sneak preview", as I am reviewing a proof copy which has no scans of the cards, and I do not have the deck. Needless to say, the complete review of both will follow, but when I took a good look at the content of "Revelation's Tarot Companion", I decided that it was worthy of mention on its own.
Zach Wong is both illustrator of the soon to be released Revelations Tarot, and author of the companion book. His background is that of architecture and illustration/graphic design. A current resident of Australia, he grew up in Malaysia, where he studied Western and Asian mythology. As with many artists, Wong's work grew out of his own personal journey of self-discovery. He created a deck that fit his own perception of the Tarot and his own needs, basing it on the traditional Rider-Waite structure. Toss in some bold colors and a bit of fantasy (including what Wong terms reversible imagery on each of the cards) and one has the soon to be released Revelations Tarot.
Most of the book is spent discussing the cards, rather than listening to what the author thinks Tarot life is all about. Each card represents a lesson to be learned, an actual being to be understood or a situation. Wong goes further, in that he states that each character carries a mask over his/her face, representing part of human life. The Major Arcana is seen as depicting the Fool's journey through life.
Each card will be depicted by a black and white scan (which is not there in this proof copy), followed by a definition and discussion of the upright meaning, a definition and discussion of the reversed meaning, and a listing of images and notes. For the Fool the upright meaning is given as: "He is a free spirit without worry, and full of optimism while embarking on a new journey. He sees the world with fresh new eyes, which are unconventional and lateral in thought." 1 For the Fool, the reversed meaning is given as: "He is cautious before he leaps, for he worries about the risks involved. He ponders his movements and takes things slowly." 2 Under Images and Notes, for the Fool Wong has notes on the butterfly, the baby in the rose, the mountains in the background, the moon, the floating/flying people in the background, and the canyon-like background.
I am impressed by the manner in which each card is covered, as well as the fact that in the discussion of each meaning, the card is addressed from the point of view of how it would be read if representing an individual, as well as how that same energy would be read if applied to a situation. This is a big heads up for new readers, and may give new life to the readings of those who have been reading for a while. Fresh eyes, as it were!
In the introduction to the Minor Arcana, Wong goes into definitions for each suit (for example: "The suit of wands is associated with the element of fire, intuition, magic, the powers of creation, and matters of the soul. The characters of the suit are magicians, warriors, sages, and opulent individuals. They embody the use of magic in everyday life. With their staves or wands, they move to create or fight."4 Basic definitions are also given for the numbers Ace through Ten, and for each of the Court Cards.
At the end of the book there is a short section on spreads, including the Past/Present/Future spread (used to ask questions or reflect), the Four Elements spread (used as a short reflective spread to determine what areas to focus on within the self), the Seven Days spread (used to answer a question in a manner that gives a possible outcome), and a Horoscope spread (used to look into specific life areas).
I certainly found food for thought here - and a new and different manner of looking at things. I think that this is going to be an outstanding Tarot kit, and I look forward to seeing it in its final form!
© February 2005
Bonnie Cehovet is Certified Tarot Grand Master, a professional Tarot reader with over ten years experience, a Reiki Master/Teacher and a writer. Bonnie has served in various capacities with the American Tarot Association, is co-founder of the World Tarot Network, and Vice President (as well as Director of Certification) for the American Board For Tarot Certification. She has had articles appear in the 2004 and 2005 Llewellyn Tarot Reader.