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The Kama Sutra Tarot

by Art School Vijai & Ram of Rajastan

The Kama Sutra Tarot
Price: $19.95

Number of cards in deck: 78

Measurements: 2.6 x 4.72 inches, or 66 x 120 mm.

Back of card: What looks like an Indian rug (or Persian, if you like), ornate, in grayish blues & pale gold. The border is the same shade of "orange" as the front. (Names of colors were never my strong suit.) May be inverted.

Booklet included: Yes, 64 pages, 2.6 x 4.74 inches, or 66 x 120 mm. Instructions in English, Italian, Spanish, French & German.

Publisher: Lo Scarabeo. Printed in Italy, imported by Llewellyn Worldwide.

Comments: The instructions say this deck is not what you think it is, but on the other hand, the instructions are none too clear on what, exactly, it is.

The instructions give a brief overview of the Kama Sutra itself. In creating the deck, consideration was given to depicting the famous 64 positions (as described in the Kama Sutra), but the deck's creators were unable to reconcile 64 images with 78 cards. This was the first problem.

The second problem was the tendency for users to mistake this as a pillow deck: Pick a card & let's try it out! The problem is that the positions are symbolic (but of what, exactly?) and many are anatomically impossible, as the instructions themselves point out.

The next problem is how & why you're supposed to use the deck. The how is in a candle-lit space, naked except for pleasant clouds of perfume. So far as I can tell, you are to be solitary. You shuffle the cards as if you were making love to them, or as if they were making love to themselves. Male users then lay out six cards in a vertical row, starting at the bottom. This represents a lingam. Female users set out six cards as a yoni. Card 1 is The Pressing, 2 is The Twining, 3 is The Clasping, 4 is The Rising, 5 is The Lotus, 6 is The Congress. This is, of course, linear, and would seem to fit lingams beter than yonis. (The instructions pointedly uses the terms, "penis" & "vagina", as if they were talking down to us, perhaps.)

You are then to contemplate the cards carefully. As replication of the six positions shown is said to be not a good idea, you are to search for meanings in the glance of the eyes, the position of a hand or foot, etc. (So why are the many couples in coitus, I wonder?) If you DO NOT like the outcome, you are to snuff the candles & wash all away in a pleasant bath. If you do like the outcome, you are to have sex, either alone or with a partner. At this point the book makes a flatly stupid suggestion, one I will not repeat.

The instructions point out that western users will tend to find the 78 positions repetitive, especially at first glance. They're not really, and the instructions say they will repay close study, but here I am puzzled. If the positions are difficult and/or painful to attempt, then are we to consider the male & female unions in some other fashion and if so, what, exactly? Suppose we superimpose the seven major chakras on each figure & note how they align? Suppose we consider that sex between a male & female to be a "horizontal" alignment that produces progeny, in which case male/female bonding results in triangulation (ie, a baby). Suppose we consider the relationship between Man and God to be vertical sex (mysticism defined), and suppose further that we consider a man & his dog to be another example of vertical sex, with the man as "God" and the dog as "Man" (they do worship us, you know)? Does any of this tell us why the man on the Five of Swords has two females?

The suits in this deck:

Wands: One or both partners are in an upright position, signifying a wand or lingam: Creation.

Cups: One or both are crouching, with the female in the superior position: Passive sex.

Swords: One or both kneeling or crouching, with the male in the superior position: Aggression.

Coins: Both partners lying on the ground. They symbolize the flat, passive expanse of the earth.

Of the face cards:
Knaves are shown having sex with cows or sheep behind them. The cows have horns.

Knights have sex on horseback. The genders of the horses are unknown, which makes one suspect mares, or gelded males.

Queens are shown copulating on camels.

Kings have fun on elephants.

If you're into royal families & all that, I can't see that queens mate with kings, or kings with their queens. For those of you who fancy one-eyed Jacks, all the animals shown on the face cards face left or right, but a quick analysis did not show any patterns.

If the Art School Vijai & Ram of Rajastan is actually located in Rajasthan (a state in north west India, bordering on Pakistan), then the backgrounds reflect the local architecture. Sure enough, I was looking at more than those naked bods.

The Astrology Center of America

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

Tarot Home Tarot Decks Tarot Books 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).