> > The tarot card below is interesting*****
> > it would be useful to see the rest of the pack before commenting
> > further. Where is it from?
> The card is from the Brotherhood of Light deck. Written for the
> Brotherhood of Light by C.C. Zain. C.C. Zain is the pen name
> chosen for...Elbert Benjamine.
> if you would like i can email some scans of the other cards?
The Brotherhood of Light deck is viewable online at:
From seeing the rest of the Major Arcana of this deck, it is clear
that this is a modified version of a regular tarot deck, but one that
has been stylised in an 'Egyptian' manner.
There is nothing wrong, in my opinion, with an individual applying
artistic licence to the tarot. Some very attractive decks have been
produced in this way. The litmus test of any artistic licence
however has to be whether it sheds light on the meaning of the tarot
or obscures it. A good example of the former is the 'Rider-Waite'
deck, illustrated by Pamela Coleman-Smith under the guidance of A.E.
Waite (who was a member of the Golden Dawn and -- I believe -- a
In this respect, it is interesting to note that the origin of the
Tarot can be traced back to about the time of the Inquisition (14th
Century approximately). The meaning of the major arcana was
expressed in wholly symbolic terms, and could only be understood by
someone who already had some insight into occult matters. This
protected it to a certain degree from the Inquisition.
Even in more modern times, the meaning of the tarot is still
protected this way. In the Rider-Waite version, for example, the
High Priestess is sitting before two pillars, one black, one white,
with the letters 'B' and 'J' inscribed on the pillars. The pack was
first produced in 1910, and Waite was circumspect about the meaning
of the letters. Anyone who understands Manicheanism and how this
runs as a thread through Western culture will have little difficulty
working out what is meant by 'B' and 'J'. Although such overt
Manicheanism is not to be found in earlier versions of the pack (the
Tarot de Marseilles for example), I think it is right to say that it
is implied. So Waite both used artistic licence and brought out some
of the less obvious meaning in the cards.
But thanks for drawing my attention to the C.C. Zain cards -- they