Terrestrial Tarot Reviews
The Terrestrial Tarot has 82 non-traditional cards of insectoid and alien-looking Tarot imagery. Each card has a symmetrical image of animal parts in a predominant colour. The deck also has four extra cards for Fire, Earth, Water and Air.
Tarot Deck - 82 Cards - US Games 1996
Review by Spacegoat
Ewwwwwwhhhh, I needed therapy after seeing this deck for the first time – but it has a strange magnetism about it which kept me infatuated for a while.
Published by US Games in 1996, it came during a relatively dry spell in the world of tarot – the period just before lo scarabeo began publishing their 78 card decks (bless their cotton socks for keeping my tarot fetish satisfied, despite their oft-repeated mangling of what constitutes a tarot deck).
Watkins, my London source for tarot in the last 17 years, didn’t have samples of this deck, but I bought it sight unseen anyway. What a shock! The images sent me reeling, knocking over a pile of self-help books, buddhas and joss-sticks.
The LWB explains that the images are from nature, however these images have been mirror-imaged so the end result is disturbing and mutated. Despite this, there has clearly been some effort to find images which in some way express the meanings of the cards – the forlorn looking mutant on the 5 of Cups, the expansive, benevolent creature on the 6 of Coins.
It’s been out of print for a long time, deservedly so. However, on the positive side, it presents a challenge to attempt to make a relationship with the images and discover how they express the meanings. And despite the weird imagery, this was one of a limited number of decks that were published in the late ‘90’s that challenged the RWS clones, without changing (in most instances) the traditional meanings of the cards (by traditional I mean those agreed by the Golden Dawn, and expressed in the Thoth and RWS).
If you find a copy, I hope you have fun with it – and not too many nightmares!
SpaceGoat is a music-therapist and teacher, based in London, UK. His current music project can be heard at MySpace and if you have time on your hands and love the guitar, you may also like to visit his works at Youtube.