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The Triumphs of Egypt Urnash
March 4, 2009 11:08 AM   Subscribe

The Silicon Dawn Tarot, an exquisite creation by mefite Egypt Urnash. For those craving additional context, there's the Silicon Dawn LJ group devoted to this deck and Tarot in general. Via MeFi Projects
posted by hermitosis (23 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
Cool interface on first link, neat art as well. I don't know anything about tarot, but the images and design are pleasing.
posted by cjorgensen at 11:16 AM on March 4, 2009


Oh, yeah. I remember this. Haven't been into tarot since high school, but these images were still cool.
posted by cimbrog at 11:21 AM on March 4, 2009


Very nifty. I thought the three of swords image was especially striking.

And, for whatever reason, I found much of the art strongly reminiscent of that of phil foglio's style, despite the fact that its not really the same at all. I think its the evil leers on so many of the female characters.
posted by sotonohito at 11:42 AM on March 4, 2009


I like that the Emperor and Empress are pulling away from each other, and that the Empress is two-faced. And the Queen of Swords, my personal favorite, has her sword positioned as a phallus.
posted by zoomorphic at 11:57 AM on March 4, 2009


I have a friend who is very much into Tarot. I sent him the link. He was very unhappy with me for providing something else he "needs" when he's already struggling to make ends meet.

So you're starving a poor artist. I hope you're proud of yourself.
posted by Scattercat at 12:32 PM on March 4, 2009


Not to be confused with the Silicon Valley Tarot.
posted by gallois at 12:39 PM on March 4, 2009


I think its the evil leers huge tits on so many of the female characters.
posted by Monstrous Moonshine at 1:37 PM on March 4, 2009


The choice of image for the tower is somewhat loaded. I think it's appropriate for something as steeped in mysticism as the tarot, but I wonder if it provokes any controversy?
posted by BrotherCaine at 1:54 PM on March 4, 2009


sotonohito, Foglio is indeed one of my influences.

Caine, well, one of my major goals in this project was to take the complicated imagery and make it about now and the future, instead of the romantically-medievalist view that so many decks inherit from the RWS. 9/11 has a lot of resonance about tragedy, hubris, death, and disaster; it has a lot more emotional potency to a 21st century American than a stone tower out of medieval fantasy games. It's more relevant to me and you. Plus, my life has taught me that tragedy comes from a clear blue sky far more often than the dark storms of most Towers.
posted by egypturnash at 2:18 PM on March 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm glad I decided to read Metafilter today! This is quite a stunning Tarot deck. Very evocative images; the way a deck should be (and something that's often missed in modern interpretations of the Tarot). And there's some humor to it, too (I especially laughed at the King of Wands - unexpected!)
posted by muddgirl at 3:53 PM on March 4, 2009


Egypturnash, have you read any Tim Powers? He draws interesting parallels with Tarot in some of his fiction: Last Call, Earthquake Weather, Expiration Date.
posted by BrotherCaine at 4:04 PM on March 4, 2009


Back when I was playing with Tarot (mostly using the Barbara Walker deck) the King of Wands was "my" card. I find it fascinating that this deck pretty much depicts the K of W in a very personally relevant way -- tool in hand, eyeing up the next fucking thing I've got to fix.
posted by localroger at 4:49 PM on March 4, 2009


My eyes were caught by the 99 of pentacles. That led me to look up this blog entry, which I found interesting enough to share.
posted by ErWenn at 7:52 PM on March 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


Actually, I found the Tower card particularly compelling. Traditional tarot decks have a centered tower and figures falling from it (some times). The abyss presented by the two towers at the margins feels more in line with my own thoughts on The Tower Arcana.

Nice work! Wish I could have a copy.
posted by Severian at 8:58 PM on March 4, 2009


Wish I could have a copy.

From urnash.com:

I'm making a limited number of decks by hand: US$130 for 2½×3⅞", US$150 for 3½×5¼". $10 S&H. Email me for details.

Or you could buy the poster.
posted by BrotherCaine at 10:13 PM on March 4, 2009


I love tarot cards, they are my favourite stealth weapon in my skeptics toolkit. If you do a reading, using the cards to enhance and tell stories about what you cold read, and then, once the mark has told you how personally applicable it all was, you reveal that you just made that shit up as you went along based on elemental picture association, they feel so stupid!

And then they knife you and break your jaw. Because credulous people are, in fact, utter, utter, bastards.
posted by Sparx at 1:08 AM on March 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Beautiful! Just beautiful. I've been on the lookout for a new deck since I lost my faithful Rider/Waite, and this could well be it. Hope it finds a publisher soon.
posted by Pallas Athena at 2:14 AM on March 5, 2009


I did not find the trumps to be sufficiently in compliance with traditional symbols.
posted by Goofyy at 4:02 AM on March 5, 2009


Goofyy - if you go to the livejournal link she discusses many of the Trumps and how the symbology developed. Very fascinating.
posted by muddgirl at 5:46 AM on March 5, 2009


If you do a reading, using the cards to enhance and tell stories about what you cold read, and then, once the mark has told you how personally applicable it all was, you reveal that you just made that shit up as you went along based on elemental picture association, they feel so stupid!

If you're able to do all that by cold reading, you could probably accomplish a lot if you learned a little more about the cards!

It took me a long time as a reader to recognize when I was cold reading and to cut it out of my practice, and it's something I am constantly guarding myself against. It's an unnecessary crutch anyway, as the "elemental picture association" you mention really is the first step toward giving someone a thoroughly decent reading, because that's the backbone of the Tarot experience. Except instead of you cold-reading/associating and doing all the work of trying to reveal things "like magic," you welcome them to open up and share with you what THEY see in the images, and the process becomes collaborative, based on a real connection and willingness to help someone instead of blind assumption; that's where knowledge of the cards really pays off, because then you can elaborate on why the querent may have been drawn to certain symbols and what they mean in concert.

What you're doing is what most storefront psychics do, but it's not how the tarot really works. It's great to warn credulous people about how easy strangers can cold-read and manipulate them (I do it all the time), but I hope you'll consider that the whole blame-the-person-not-the-tool idea definitely applies here.
posted by hermitosis at 5:59 AM on March 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


> Egypturnash, have you read any Tim Powers?

Yeah, I'm a fan of his stuff. His descriptions of the psychic effects of the Sforza deck were one of the things kicking around my head while I worked on this.

> I did not find the trumps to be sufficiently in compliance with traditional symbols.

That was a large part of my goal, Goofyy. There are more than enough "I reproduced all of the RWS's compositions and symbolism" decks in the world; I pointedly did not look at the familiar RWS images while doing this deck. Each card is the result of pondering about a dozen different writers and different historical decks and putting down images that resonated with what I found in them.

If my imagery doesn't work for you, that's fine - the market has a lot to offer you already. Use the decks that speak to you. I wanted something that had a distinctly different voice from the Marseilles, the RWS, and the Crowley-Harris, because none of those really spoke my language. This one does.

Hopefully hermitosis' fpp on my deck will push me to get off my butt and send stuff to publishers; it's been a busy winter for me.
posted by egypturnash at 8:29 AM on March 5, 2009


you could probably accomplish a lot if you learned a little more about the cards!

Don't get me wrong - I was being snarky, but I was, at one point (why, yes, I was a teenager at the time), a student of the cards and their symbolism. I'm fully in favour of the cards being used as a way to approach a question from angles that you might not normally - the brain is quite adept of creating stories and associations and wondering how a particular card in a particular position might relate to a given problem can quite easily jolt your lines of thought into new and potentially useful directions.

On the other hand, I don't see anything particularly magical about the process. You can do the same with playing cards if you really want. Notions of Jungian Synchronicity or other occult attributes leave me cold. YMMV.
posted by Sparx at 1:15 PM on March 5, 2009


I hold absolutely no truck with the idea that there's something special or magic about tarot cards (or anything else, really), but I find them to be great for helping with free association thinking, etc.

So I never really paid much attention to the official meanings of the cards. Their value, to me, lies exclusively in how much they can help me stir up my subconscious and help me think. Which makes the fact that this isn't just the old RW tarot with slightly different art especially nice.
posted by sotonohito at 1:28 PM on March 5, 2009


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