The Book of Shadows | Andrea Aste | Page of Swords |Kickstarter
I first encountered the delightful genius of Andrea Aste when I was on Arnell Ando’s Tarot Tour of Italy back in April and I was struck a) by the amazing artwork that he showed us and b) the overall vision of his Tarot project.
“Thus I started to create the deck and the book.. but While working on them I had many ideas.. the tarot started to tell me their stories, new suggestions, a plot, feelings. I imagine strange places, old dusty libraries, strange alchemists and secret sects..I had a plot for a film..and I did it!
Me: Tell me about the Tarot deck itself – is it ‘traditional’ in that it has 78 cards, four suits, 22 Majors etc?
Andrea: “The deck is very traditional in its concept. I wanted to present it as the first ever created, the origin of all tarot decks. It is a game of fantasy, but a challenge too!
Me: Have you renamed any of the cards?
Andrea: “Actually the card has the name given by the tradition of the Marseille’s deck… but I didn’t want to write in any language: Old Latin? Old English? German? Italian? Which language could ever being used to create the first tarot?
Me: Let’s look specifically at the Page of Swords (on right) – there are no keywords or titles as such on the card … but there are those mysterious symbols! Can you explain for me the symbols and what the card represents within your deck?
Andrea: “Every symbols has a meaning, a set of meanings all correlated one to the others.
Me: I think that you will be VERY busy in the future, Andrea! Here at Tarot Thrones, I focus on the court cards of the Tarot. Your courts are structured Page, Knight, Queen and King – what do those ranks mean within your deck?
Andrea: “I respected the traditional ranks and names of the traditional decks. I’ve just taken the “tetragonal” structure of the 4 cards and give them a fantastic-fictional background.
Me: Could a beginner Tarotist use your deck or is it aimed at experienced readers?
Andrea: “I guess a beginner could have lot of fun with this deck and project, but like in every aspect of life, the more culture, curious, and active toward the world you are, the better you can reach out and understand it.
Me: Tell me about the other items that make up your whole Book of Shadows project?
Andrea: “The Book of Shadows is a deck, a book that tells part of its stories and with all the “technical” data about the cards, along with the new spreads inspired to the major constellations, the symbols, etc… and the film.
“The pivotal point of the project is the mockumentary: “The Book of Shadows”. It’s an historical thriller revolving around the mystery of the manuscript and the tarot created by the Alchemist.
“Philosophy, history and science are intermingled with fictional facts, invented arcane references and symbols, citations of esoteric passages from fabricated manuscripts, all of which are used to create an illusion of authenticity and truthfulness. The narration is accompanied by sensationalised newspaper articles, commentary and arguments by fictional cultural intellectuals, logicians, archaeologists and art historians, etc…
“To create a perfect illusion of veracity some selected guests, who are well known international experts in different fields, have been contacted to be interviewed, so that they could express their point of view about the Alchemist’s works as if they were real. Fiction and reality had to be totally fused together: Prof. Roger Scruton, Prof. Augustus Casely-Hayford, Mary K. Greer, Chris Butler, Arnell Ando.
“In certain moments the fabric of the parallel world is ripped apart and another level of reality appear: an animation, narrated by international star Arturo Brachetti, tells the Alchemist’s story.
“In his search for knowledge, the Alchemist devises a new game: the Tarot cards. He wanted to challenge Nature and, by cheating her, to gain her secrets. But Destiny thwarts his plans and reality shatters into thousands of pieces. The Tarot cards take life transporting the Alchemist into a discovery journey…
Me: It sounds amazing! You are showcasing your work in Australia soon?
Andrea: “I will present the Film, the international première and the project 🙂 yes.
Me: There are only a few days left on the kickstarter – can people still contribute?
It’s not too late to support Andrea’s vision – and bag yourself a copy of this intriguing deck!
or you can keep up with the deck’s development on facebook!
TABI has backed this project!
*** EDIT 21 April 2017 *** The deck and accompanying book can now be purchased on Amazon as ‘The Lost Code of Tarot‘