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Tel: 410-638-7761; Fax:410-638-5154; Toll-free (orders only): 800-475-2272
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Via Tarot Deck & Book Set

The Path of Life
by Susan Jameson & John Bonner

Via Tarot Deck & Book Set, the path of life
Price: $36.00

Number of cards in deck: 78

Measurements: 3.75 x 5.5 inches, or 95 x 140 mm. Large.

Back of card: Keep up with me: In the center, a six petaled red flower with a yellow center on a black cross (Rosicrucian), all inside a thin white circle. Inscribed inside the circle, in white, is a seven-sided figure, folded to look as if it's a three & a four sided figures placed on top each other. Outside the circle: the heads of four angels: Man, eagle, lion & bull, which are, of course, the four fixed signs of the zodiac, the four cardinal directions, the four Evangelists, etc. & which are usually found in corners of the World Card, though not in this deck. Technically speaking, the back not symmetrical, so not for inversion, but it's so busy you won't notice anyway.

Book included: Yes, 166 pages, 4.6 x 7.1 inches, or 11.7 x 18 cm. Illustrated.

Publisher: Urania. The wrapping on the cards bore a curious sticker that said, "AG Muller, Made in Belgium." Muller is Swiss, it was bought a few years ago by Carta Mundi, which is Belgian.

Comments: Said to be inspired by Crowley's Thoth Tarot. The book has an introduction by the current head of Crowley's organization (Ordo Templi Orientis), Hymenaeus Beta, Frater Superior (not his/her real name, of course). In his remarks he waxes long about Crowley, mentioning this deck & its artist, Susan Jameson, only in passing. Who are the great, published, tarot artists? Frater Beta gives us the answer: Robert Wang, Sally Ann Glassman, Dali, H.R. Geiger, and, of course, Jameson. Lady Frieda Harris is mentioned only of necessity, Waite & Coleman-Smith not at all. Thus the tenor of the deck.

Major Arcana, in order:
0 Fool
1 Magus
2 High Priestess
3 Empress
4 Emperor
5 Hierophant
6 Lovers
7 Chariot
8 Adjustment
9 Hermit
10 Wheel
11 Lust
12 Hanged Man
13 Death
14 Art
15 Devil
16 House of God
17 Star
18 Moon
19 Sun
20 Aeon
21 Universe

Pip cards are done to a pattern. I've shown it above, with the Five cards: A figure at the bottom holds up the items in question, placed inside a circle, with some sort of figure or demon above that. When possible, the items are arranged in patterns: All the threes are triangles, all the fours squares, all the fives pentagons, all the sixes double triangles/Stars of David, etc. Lots of symbolism on each card, but not graphically interesting per se.

Most figures on the majors are nude, as are many on the court cards. Men's genitalia is only shown when it has to be (the Fool, frontally nude) & when so, the genitalia is blurred, dark & small. On most of the others (Hanged Man), genitalia is clearly omitted. I faulted D.J. Conway for this on The Shapeshifter Tarot & I'm going to revisit that now.

The first thing that must be realized is that, in tarot, showing a woman's bare breasts, or a man's naked loins, is never done by accident. There are cards that require nudity, which is why most tarot decks have so much of it. The next thing is that, for men's loins, there are various clever dodges for the prudish - a scrap of cloth, a tree branch, the celebrated fig leaf. To omit the dodge, show the loins but omit the genitalia itself, is to make a clear political/sexual statement, one of castration & powerlessness. Both Conway & Jameson are said to be practicing magicians, which, as they are both female, means they are both witches. Witchery is female magic, and all magic is sexual. Crowley's Thoth Tarot, in particular the rejected Magicians, is distinctly male, in an earthy sense (as was Crowley himself). These two women are as least as aware of male magic as I am, their treatment of males in their decks is as to exclude men from the process. This may be good, it may be bad, it may be many other things besides. Magic is a funny thing. The closest I've seen to real magic in a tarot deck, male/female, male/male, female/female, remains Tarot Erotica. Tarot Erotica is a sexually empowering deck.

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).