The Rohrig Tarot is a sexy, glossy Tarot deck that has been thoroughly modernised - the Chariot shows a Formula One motor racing car - and overall the artwork is beautifully done and finely detailed. There are two versions of the deck: the US edition and an earlier German edition with uncovered nudity.
Carl W. Rohrig
Tarot Deck - 78 Cards - US Games 1995
When I view a Tarot deck for purchase, it's usually over the internet - but there's nothing like holding it in your hands for the first time that rings the bell.
Cutting to the noodle, as a collector and user of Tarot what happens for me is a sort of vibration letting me know if we have a psychic connection or not. I quickly read the introduction schmatter on the back of the deck's shell and then forget it. Next, letting my hands reach out and do the dive into the water of the deck by retrieving the cards from their sleepy little place; saying with gusto and warmth "hello babies", I toss them out onto my desk. After gathering the cards, I pay extra close attention to those that have separated themselves or flipped upright and over others. The awakening to the deck begins, as it did with the Rohrig Tarot. Oh, if you are a traditionalist, you can light a candle, any color will do. They don't mind.
For four months I've used Carl's deck exclusively for one telephone client. This client never viewed the cards until the end of our path work months later. The readings unfolded to be more like a Jungian journey. At first I couldn't understand why we were taking a deep subconscious trip to far away Jupiter, instead of nailing down some much needed urgent information. I was stumped. But I remembered how electric the cards had been to me when we first met each other and I decided not to give up on them. The artwork was vibrant, sophisticated and tasteful, only a little bit air brushed-risqué, but the picture stories really fit my Silicon Valley entrepreneur-dot com'er!
Midway through the four months - I got it! Finally. These cards never let me down, spoke to me in many dream sequences, and always told the truth with no BS. That's the essence of this deck, which was published in 1995 by Bluestar Communications, Belgium. The artist-Taroist Carl W. Rohrig, loves women, loves the world, hates cheapness of any kind, sees the many levels of humanity as well as the many paths to God-Love. My client was thrilled with the work we accomplished and at the end of the journey I had planned to mail this deck to him so he could also hold and experience the pictures, stories, and vibrations for himself.
But before I could find another deck, I pointed him to a couple of internet sites with pictures. Gee whiz, I don't know why I was surprised to learn how stunned and shocked he was when he saw the pictures for the first time. He expected a medieval dressed bunch of Knights and Queens, however his first visual introduction was the Chariot. A race car driver in some sort of Indy 500 hotty car. I'm still laughing about this…..once he got over the shock and I explained the cards to him, he settled down and got back into it. Here's my point it's the holding of the cards and these "hold" wonderfully. Though they seem a little strange at first from viewing on the internet they will fall in love with you and you them, if it's right.
This artist - Tarotist Carl W. Rohrig - is a magnificent gift to the Tarot community and his inspiration comes from some extraordinary place outside of the mundane parts of our world today. This deck integrates and delightfully honors us with its artful telling of today's human story. He loves women, there's no doubt, so much so that he elected to let the Kings take a vacation and replaced them with non-competing court cards. His Queens are absolutely beautiful, charming when they need to be, hard hitting when they should be and very loving when necessary to be. Some of the minor arcana come right out of the Silicon Valley Dot Com bust and transcend to the new stock market reality of today.
His costuming of these individuals L'Archetype is creative genius. I could divide this deck into three stacks; Spectacular Medieval influenced costuming with modern-day make up or hairdo's, Dali-inspired implications of doom and gloom, Business-suited lackey's trapped in the corporate ick. No woman or man, straight or gay would be offended by the limited amount of nudity, which by the way demeans no one. This deck tells the whole story, sticks to the fundamentals of the Tarot greats and honors us all.
Tarot collector and reader with a confidential but robust practice in Silicon Valley and the Mid-West. Over twenty years in the high-tech field and lived 45 minutes drive from Roswell, New Mexico in 1946-47-48. Experience with many first hand phenoms and was "pushed" into first Tarot experience in San Francisco, in the late 70s. Now a loyal devotee of the Tarot.
© Kristin Lee-Gray, 26 October 2003
The surrealistic, archetypical images on the collage style cards were striking and impressive. The dreamlike quality of Rohrig's artwork is beautiful, fanciful, and frightening by turns. It works very well to stimulate the subconscious mind, and thus bring to light hidden knowledge. For me, it's the best deck I've ever used. The deck has been wonderful in readings, lending itself perfectly to those readers who intuit the cards' meanings in a reading rather than consulting a knowledge base of the common written explanations. (The booklet that comes with the deck is so spare in its descriptions as to be practically useless.) Instead, I use the cards almost like Rorschach inkblots, allowing my subconscious mind to see what it will in each card.
I recommend this deck for someone who already knows the Tarot well and is ready to move beyond the books and start exploring the cards on their own. The deck lends itself well to several different spreads, including one that I created myself, based loosely on the Celtic Cross and the structure of the human body. There's very little of the Judeo-Christian symbolism of traditional decks, or the Pagan symbolism of many popular modern decks. Instead, it is archetypical and modern. (It may be difficult to use if you're accustomed to traditional Tarot symbolism.) Although there is some of this (often in the form of Rohrig's sketches of Rider-Waite cards in the background), his interpretations of the cards can be very unusual. An example: instead of a somewhat pregnant-looking Empress looking all nurturing and natural, Rohrig depicts a voluptuous woman with punk hair in soft and feathery clothes. Still, I find that even if the symbolism is very different from traditional, the *feeling* is usually the same.
A word of warning:
my friends call this deck the "titty deck" because of
the large amount of nudity on the cards. It's
tastefully done, though, and very artistic. Not really a deck
for young people, though. Highly recommended by a
long-time card reader and witch.
If you're looking for a deck which contains striking imagery, you might consider the Rohrig Tarot. The artwork, painted by Carl Rohrig, are not the sweet gentle images that you'll find in the Robin Wood deck.
The photo-realistic art will evoke feelings in the intuitive reader, and are gallery quality. The deck s larger than average, at about 3.5 by 6.5 inches. The swoosh method of shuffling is best with this deck. The Rohrig is a bit pricey, at $25 for the deck alone.
Aiding the reader are notebook type pages on the cards, giving guidance on the card meanings. While present on mast cards, they are not as diatracting as keywords on other decks. The majors contain hebrew letters, runes, and zodaical symbols.
The book, at $15.95 contains full color, full
size illustrations, so you won't need to switch back to
the deck to examine the card. Author Francesca
Marzano-Fritz adequately describes the major arcana - but
barely. The minors have only one or two sentance
descriptions. This is a shame, given the quality of the
illustrations in this book and deck. A few simple spreads are
present, but are not well described. A more detailed book
is definitely needed for this deck.
I've noticed a few other reviews for this deck so I will try to provide insight that has not been covered.
Let's start with the availability of this deck. I purchased a used Rohrig Tarot deck with the extra book written by Francesca Marzano-Fritz on Ebay for around $120.00 US. There are 3 different versions available. The original German version which CAN still be purchased on Amazon's Germany website for roughly $22.00 + shipping. German version is the original uncensored version where you see more body parts such as a penis on The Hanged Man, female's parts covered with hair and plenty of breasts. The English version only has the breasts and other parts covered up. Normally I am not about censorship but I personally like the English version better. Even with the multiple breasts it still puts off some of my clients. Both versions the cards measure quite large, 3.5" X 6.5" but are of good quality with a smooth glossy coating.
The 3rd version is the Spanish version; I believe are standard tarot card size.
Like most LWB's, the card meanings are not very detailed. The much larger book by Francesca Marzano-Fritz in my opinion is not much better. If anything the major arcana are the best parts while the minors are barely covered. I personally believe this deck is not meant for beginners and the deck is meant to be used without reading any of the books. This is how I approached the deck after not being satisfied with the meanings and I am grateful for doing so.
The size of the deck for doing readings in person does throw off a lot of my clients. In some ways I'm glad it's bigger because it forces them to gently shuffle the deck since this deck is so rare and expensive.
On each of the cards has a one word meaning at the top along with the name of the card. This is both a blessing and a curse. When I do readings some clients look at the word and jump to conclusions. Most of the words do fit the image while others do not. From what I understand, the deck draws heavily from the Thoth deck. I will admit some cards at first threw me off. For example, most 7 of Cups represent indecision and being faced with multiple choices that all seem desirable. The 7 of Cups in this deck has an image of a barren wasteland with strange things going on in the sky. The one card meaning is simply 'Debauch'. At first when using this deck I was so tied down to traditional meanings of the cards that it negatively affected my readings. When I began to start to accept this deck was different then the deck started to shine. When I first interpreted the 7 of Cups based upon 'debauch, after the reading the client shock my hand and said it was 'dead on'. Long story short is this deck is good but only if you allow your mind to deviate from traditional meanings.
Most cards have both English and German words written on the cards, which usually fit the image.
The main reason I bought this deck was the images spoke to me and they are stunning! The cards honestly look better in person when holding them in your hands. I really like most of the major arcana, especially The Fool and The Hermit. The images have many layers for you to discover what they mean to you and again I HIGHLY suggest just dive in and not bother with reading the book. This is an excellent deck to use for clients over the phone. Some clients love this deck in person while others do not. I do feel Carl Rohrig did go a bit over board on the breasts department. The suits are the same except pentacles are disks. The court cards are prince, princess, knight and queen. I think the knight is supposed to be the king but I could be wrong.
Using the deck I find it offers clients very blunt readings that get straight to the point. Some client's love it while others often try to pretend that the advice the cards are giving to them is wrong. You have to judge for yourself before doing a reading if they can take it.
After spending over $100.00
on a single deck do I think it's worth it? Yes! Like
most things in life the deck is not perfect but the
negatives far outweigh the positives, namely, beautifully
illustrated cards with deep symbolism. Eventually when I fully
grasp this deck I may consider getting the smaller
Spanish version, which is simply more practical to use for