Donald Tyson presents this intriguing tarot deck as the third part of his trilogy devoted to the writings of H. P. Lovecraft, particularly his descriptions of the adventures of the disturbed scientist, Abdul Alhazred. All of the usual characters of the Tarot are presented in a rather dark fashion, represented by ghouls, monsters, and sometimes grotesque creatures who symbolize the dark fantasy world common to Lovecraft's work.
The images on each card are dark yet very professionally fashioned and exquisite in their own way. Anne Stokes is well known for her mythic amazing art work (click on her name to view her online gallery). Symbols from astrology, the elements and other mystical systems grace each card. I was impressed with the package design of this deck. The box opens from the top, affording easy access to the manual, deck and bag inside. The manual itself is impressively configured. The landscape format to the pages, with a flexible side binding makes the manual impressively easy to refer to as one learns to read the tarot using this deck. Most books are annoying in the way they flop shut if you release them, making it difficult to read both the cards and book at the same time. As well, each deck card has its own two pages in the manual, making it easier to find the reference to each card. The deck itself fits nicely into a woman's or man's hands (or teen's for that matter), with a slick smooth feeling material.
The back of each card has an artistic, evil yet mesmerizing looking tentacled monster with a gleaming all-seeing eye gazing from its central shadow. The graphics themselves are well drawn and resemble scenes from a video game - in fact, as I wrote this review and examined the cards, my teenage son came up and said they looked like scenes from "The Evil Dead" game, especially the ones where the Necronomicon book was part of the game play. This reminded me that this book was also used in the Evil Dead movies.
The deck contains the usual 22 Major Arcana cards, and four suits of 14 cards, plus two extra cards with a listing of the symbolism of the suits and Major Arcana cards:
MAJOR ARCANA CARDS
0 Fool - Azothoth (Air)
I Magician - Nyarlathotep (Mercury)
II High Priestess - Bast (Moon)
III Empress - Shug-Niggurath (Venus)
IV Emperor - Amun (Aries)
V Hierophant - Dagon (Taurus)
VI Lovers - Deep One & Bride (Gemini)
VII Chariot - Beast of Babylon (Cancer)
VIII Strength - Shoggoth (Leo)
IX Hermit - I'thakuah (Virog)
X Wheel - Yog Sothoth (Jupiter)
XI Justice - Spawn in Sphere (Libra)
XII Hanged Man - Well of the Seraph (Water)
XIII Death - Tsathoggua (Scorpio)
XIV Temperance - Reanimators (Sagittarius)
XV Devil - Cthulhu (Capricorn)
XVI Tower - Great Ziggurat (Mars)
XVII Star - Ishtar (Aquarius)
XVIII Moon - Hounds of Leng (Pisces)
XIX Sun - The Empty Space (Sun)
XX Judgement - Guardian of Eden (Fire)
XXI World - Yig (Saturn)
The four suits are called the traditional Swords, Cups, Wands, and Disks, each represented by distinct clusters of gothically designed Court characters and colors.
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Published in 2007, the deck includes 78 cards, with 22 Major and 56 Minor Arcana cards in a compact size to fit easily in an adult's hand.
Images: Necronomicon Tarot by Donald Tyson and Anne Stokes. Llewellyn Publishing. © 2007. Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd. PO Box 64383, St. Paul, MN 55164. All rights reserved.
Llewellyn site for the Deck: http://www.llewellyn.com/bookstore/book.php?pn=H086