Friday, June 25, 2010

Deck Review: The Archeon Tarot by Timothy Lantz

Name of Deck: The Archeon Tarot
Creator: Timothy Lantz
Illustrator: Timothy Lantz
ISBN-10: 1-57281-488-8/ ISBN-13:978-1-57281-488-2

Reviewed by Remi Daily of The Tarot Tributary.

“The power of Timothy Lantz’s art is awe inspiring. His
multi-dimensional imagery draws the individual toward spiritual
awakening, stirring the emotional repertoire of the soul. Timothy’s
gifted work contributes to a wealth of tarot imagery offered through
US Games throughout the world. I am eager to acquire a deck of my own”- Isha Lerner creator of Inner Child Cards

The Archeon Tarot brings to mind the era of post-industrial music. Wikipedia describes post-industrial music as an experimental musical style that draws on transgressive and provocative themes. Some people may not have understood the antics of Marilyn Manson or Trent Reznor of NIN, but no one could escape the rhythmically and wonderfully addictive beats of their songs. If you look beyond the darkness of the fa├žade, one will find two artists who are profoundly intelligent, gifted moneymakers, who have refined interests in the classical arts. These well-known leaders of post-industrial music represent what the Archeon Tarot is to me. The Archeon Tarot is a dark deck that isn’t so dark and beyond the images on the card you will find within the little white book a strong sense of depth entrenched in refined philosophical and artistic tastes.

I personally fell in love with this deck because of Timothy Lantz’s take on the High Priestess card. The High Priestess is personified with a glowing ball of Earth that hovers over the chest and stomach of a woman as she looks within for answers. Eager to get this deck in my hands, I immediately open it up and internally sighed. Fourteen cards that make up the 78-card deck display nude or semi-nude human forms, all female except for one male. Initially, this realization attacked my prudish sensibilities. However, as I was going through the deck I couldn’t keep from humming the refrain from Marilyn Manson’s song “The Beautiful People”. Despite the nudity, the models are esthetically attractive.

At first I had some difficulties using the deck due to my squeamishness of nude forms but second sight told me to hold onto this deck as I will find something special about it. When working with any deck, if the deck can provide you any insight and accuracy, you tend to look beyond any initial superficial indifference.

There is a transparent feel with these cards being owed to the layers of opaque images superimposed over another. For some readers, this transparent style of layering activates the intuitive nature while a connection is formed between the layering and the reader. The layering provides a message of what is real in conjunction to what is tangible and what lies beyond for each card. This experimental style, which Lantz calls symbolism, is what invokes transgressive and provocative themes that may be brought forth during a specific reading.

The symbols used for some of the cards may not be symbols or images readily accessible to everyone. Such examples would be the appearance of the crow or the few unexpected appearances of a Native American chief and its association with the moon. However, those who are learned in the history of the Tarot will find amusement in the Five of Wands card that features an aboriginal man with a hand imprint on the left side of his chest. The hand imprint on the chest is Lantz’s ingenious way of representing the internal/external conflict or changes one endures within the human form. Lantz also does something with the seven of swords that many contemporary decks have abandoned as he features this card with the image of a magpie holding a gold pocket watch in its mouth. This deck is a perfect balance of integrating the old with the new.

The color choices of the deck may appear dark but is accompanied with pleasing washes of accent colors. The accent colors are in hues of blue, red, yellow, and white. Despite the additional color, the images on these cards lend to an old-world photograph feel, similar to stumbling upon aged yellowed photographs in a time capsule you have just uncovered.

“Consider The Archeon Tarot a window into the mythology of one man’s world, or at least how he imagines his world to be.” would be the best way of summing up the artistic license Lantz has taken in formulating the meanings for the cards. I really do enjoy the LWB for this book as there is a list of word descriptors for each card in its upright and reversed form. For the major arcana, inspiration is a quote from a famous archetype in history or a quote from Lantz himself depicting the energies of the minor arcana. I relish in the quotes provided for Leonardo DaVinci and Eleanor Roosevelt for the Chariot and the Strength card:

“Obstacles cannot crush me. Every obstacle yields to stern resolve. He who is fixed to a star does not change his mind" -Leonardo DaVinci

“We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face…. We must do that which we think we cannot”- Eleanor Roosevelt

To sum up this deck I would compare it as the Quantum Tarot meets Vertigo Tarot. The Vertigo Tarot seems far darker in its illustrations than the Archeon, but uses the same juxtaposition of images on the cards. The background of The Archeon Tarot is very cosmic, mimicking The Quantum Tarot. Recently I’ve been exploring the world of Edgar Cayce and found a connection between the Cayce’s visions of the pre-mortal world and The Archeon deck. Cayce states that before we come to Earth we sometimes spend time on other planets expanding our thought forms to the qualities of that planet before we inhabit a body on Earth. Each card from The Archeon reminds me of traveling through space and being able to slow down just long enough to find the face of a vibrant Queen of Cups (who is Lantz’s wife) ruling over a particular solar system or an Indian Chief residing over a fiercely red planet called The Emperor.

How I Use This Deck:

The Archeon Tarot tends to give me succinct and spot on messages when reading for others. However, I am more connected to this deck on a spiritual level than on a divination level. It has been my spiritual best friend as it gives me astonishing and penetrating advice and insight into personal and spiritual matters. I often pull this deck out if I want to know their true motivations or understand the essence of other people’s soul as this deck seems to illuminate the positive and dark sides of personalities in an honest light. Recently, I’ve used it more as a channeling deck in conjunction to my spiritual questions.

There are no spreads highlighted in the LWB other than the traditional Celtic Cross. I usually use my personal 6-card spread that I came up with and it works well with this deck. I also enjoy using this deck in predicting for others what lies for each week in the month ahead using a 9 or 12 card spread that I will eventually post. This card is also good with the traditional Past, Present, Future spread.

Ratings: (Out of a total of 6 Stars, 6 being the highest of rank)

Cardstock Quality: 5 Stars (a good glossy finish, but the cards tend to warp a little in humid weather)
Insight: 5 Stars
LWB: 4-5 Stars
Readability: 5 Stars (you can use your intuition or simply use regular RW meanings but I find using Lantz’s meanings lends to more accurate readings)
Creativity: 5 Stars (given mostly in part to the creativity of the LWB)
Symbolism: 5 Stars

A Final Word About the Deck from the Deck Itself:

Eight of Cups Reversed (quoted from the LWB of The Archeon Tarot):

Tempest looks back at the destruction in her wake…
Trouble with commitments, boredom with lifestyle, feeling stuck in a rut

Okay, so when I first pulled this card I said to myself “Wow, this deck has a sense of humor” so I shuffled once more and then pulled another card from the spread and guess what… it was the 8 of cups reversed again! So I guess its being serious. But I take this card as representing the fact I tend to use this deck in matters when I am feeling stuck in a rut, disappointed with others and need guidance or when I’m bored. But maybe it can be related to something else… The traditional card meaning for the 8 of cups is drawing one into the wider world of surprises, adventures, creative energy, new opportunities, and the question for knowledge, and taking risks.

All rights are reserved to this deck review by Remi Daily. If you wish to use this review, please contact me for permission or please credit the review to Remi Daily and The Tarot Tributary.

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