The Astrology Center of America, 207 Victory Lane, Bel Air, MD 21014
Tel: 410-638-7761; Fax:410-638-5154; Toll-free (orders only): 800-475-2272
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The Glastonbury Tarot Deck & Book Set

by Lisa Tenzin-Dolma

The Glastonbury Tarot Deck & Book Set
Price: $29.95
Number of cards in deck: 78

Measurements: 3.15 x 4.7 inches, or 80 x 120 mm.

Back of card: A pop art swirl of colors: A greenish mound with the Tor above it & the sun behind, a sky that ranges from deep orange behind the hill to yellow white to light blue at the very top. Not for inversion, & not a very pretty back, either.

Book included: Yes, 167 pages, 4.7 x 7.1 inches, or 12 x 18 cm. Illustrated.

Publisher: Samuel Weiser. Printed in Hong Kong.

Comments: This seems similar to other Arthurian-inspired tarot decks, particularly the Major Arcana cards. One exception: The Hanged Man/Fisher King. It didn't make any sense to me even when I read the story in the book, how Percival missed the opportunity to find the Grail in the procession of lance, sword & chalice. Just didn't seem like serenity to me.

Suits in this deck are:

Staffs are Wands
Chalices are Cups
Swords are Swords
Vesicas are Pentacles

Court cards are Maid, Knight, Queen & King.

With the Vesica we are again confronted with the politically correct world the author wants us to believe, rather than the world as it is. The Vesica has always been the female counterpart to the male phallus, eg, the Vesica represents the external female sex organ. In old Church images you will often see the lozenge-shape behind pictures of Jesus. It represents the vulva of the Virgin. And the Church has never been squeamish about saying so. There is no mention of any of this in the book, which strips this suit of much of its symbolic meaning.

On the Maid of Vesicas this is taken to absurd lengths. The card shows a very pregnant woman, naked above the waist. She is holding a Vesica between her navel & sex organ, while another Vesica is placed on her forehead. Of course she has her own, built-in Vesica in the usual place & from that will soon come her child. Since maids are young unmarried women & as the white cloth across her legs represents purity (the book at least got that right), the card easily represents the Virgin Mary. The three Vesicas carry the image further: From the one on the forehead will come God the Holy Ghost, from the one hidden will come her child, the Savior, which means that from the one in her hands will come God the Father. You will notice that the Queen of Vesicas (above) is not pregnant.

At Glastonbury is Chalice Well, which was once covered with an old iron plate (manhole cover) which featured the two interlocking circles that make up the vesica. Vandals damaged it & it was replaced by translucent perspex (circa 1974).

I'm also having fun with the Ten of Swords card (above). According to the book, the man, dressed in red & black, has come to terms with his anger. The book is very specific. It says the ten swords pierce the ground behind the man, who floats above the ground, looking at his double floating further above. Once we establish that the swords have nothing to do with either figure I wonder why they're there. To me, the red represents life & vitality & the body floating off the ground is an elan or spirit, a level of excitement that propels the prone man upwards, a darned hard trick.

A note on packaging: One seam on the outer slip cover separated. Since I only open one package I never know if a defect like this is typical. A bit of rubber cement will fix it, if it should happens to your copy.

The Astrology Center of America

207 Victory Lane, Bel Air, MD 21014
Tel: 410-638-7761; Fax:410-638-5154; Toll-free (orders only): 800-475-2272

Tarot Home Tarot Decks Tarot Books Join our tarot mailing list Astrology Home E-Mail: Dave

Established 1993, The Astrology Center of America is owned & operated by David Roell. Except where noted, this entire site (AstroAmerica.com) & its contents are Copyright © 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000 by William R. Roell. All rights reserved. Tarot card images are Copyright © by the copyright holder (generally the publisher).