Review by Simon Cyrus Christopher
Thoughts on the Philosopher's Stone Tarot by artist Simon Cyrus Christopher
When I first started this deck, on a whim inspired by a dear friend I have never met, I thought of it as an exercise to improve my artistic skills. However, having now completed all of the card images, and a reasonable number of the fully bordered cards, I can tell you that this exercise has turned out to be something very, very different. (And, more-so than improving, I would say my artistic style has solidified).
Shortly after starting the deck, I started to notice that I was experiencing, in one way or another, each card as it was created. I haven't done any sort of historical study of the Tarot deck and their creators, so I don't know if this is a normal phenomena. Maybe it's because I chose to use images depicting myself, my family, and my friends. I don't know. But the effect of creating this deck has had on my life is uncanny. Although my record of the synchronities is spotty through the creation of the Major Arcana, as it was during the creation of these cards that I was beginning to realize these synchronicities, I have kept as accurate a record as I could through the creation of the Minor Arcana and Court Cards. Some examples would be...
The completion of my daughter's Major Arcana card, Strength (she's a Leo) on her birthday, or the completion of my own sign card, The Hermit on my birthday a few weeks later. The prophetic depiction of a pregnant woman in the Universe card... my wife became pregnant, unexpectedly but not necessarily unwanted, less than a year later, during the Five of Cups - spilt milk. Her inscrutiating pregnancy pains hit their peak at the agony card, The Nine of Swords, and my son Holden was born less than a week before I competed the family card, The Ten of Cups. As I depicted my dear friend Ned Hogan in the world dominion card, the Two of Wands, he was travelling to China in order to unite with his soul mate. Their marriage was consummated with the Two of Cups. I lost a chance to be a hero due to my fear during the Seven of Swords, celebrated Christmas during the Nine of Cups, and fought to have my neighbour evicted, after they dragged 120 bags of garbage out of her house, that next January while creating the Ten of Swords. The deck was completed with a depiction of myself as the King of Pentacles on my 40th birthday.