The Aquarian Tarot | US Games
My acquisitive quest for tarot decks is on an enforced go-slow at the moment and as a result, I am diving back in to some old decks that have fallen off my tarot rota.
Today I wanted to chat about the Aquarian Tarot by David Palladini.
The deck was originally published in 1970 (Morgan Press) and the version that I have is a later version from US Games.
I loved the brand Biba in the 70s (still do!) and everything about The Palladini Tarot deck reminds me of that same stylised Art Deco feel with a 70s twist. It’s a full 78-card RWS-style deck with Strength as VIII and Justice at XI.
The Aquarian Tarot, despite its style, feels like quite a masculine deck. Many of the characters are male (or at least androgynous) so it’s a good one to have in your list of ‘fayre’ decks to have a good spread of ‘styles’ for sitters to choose from.
Shall we look at the courts?
The structure of the Court Arcana is traditional – Page, Knight, Queen and King.
Here are the Cups family: Although the Page, Knight and Queen both have floral symbols, this isn’t carried across the deck in a uniform manner. Both tulips and roses stand for love, which does tie in nicely with our understanding of this suit.
The second family to consider are the Rods (Wands). The Page has bullrushes (gentleness) and the Queen has a sunflower (loyalty, adoration), there is precious little going on florally with the Knight or the King. Maybe your could say that the plume on the Knight’s helmet is very lush and verdant, but the King’s wand doesn’t look a whole lot different to the other Rods.
With the Pentacles family, the sky becomes infused with blue. The Cups and Rods having what I call a Scottish Afternoon Sky. In other words, it’s white. No floral aspects at all, but this time, the bull of Taurus lurks over the shoulder of the bulky-shouldered King.
The Swords courts have the most colourful skies of the lot, a smouldering, pulsing pink purple which I find quite oppressive in comparison to the other backgrounds.
Some people don’t like the uncoloured faces in this deck, but I do; they are so white that they are almost like kabuki characters – masks.
For me the courts are masks, a set of behaviours that each of us exhibits – to one extent or another. Nobody is entirely the sweet-natured Queen of Cups nor the dashing adventurer of the Knight of Rods. We’re all a little bit of all of them.
You might think that these cards are difficult to work with and, certainly, if you look to the content of the card – horses, backgrounds, skies etc – for your interpretations for the Court Arcana, there isn’t a whole lot to go on, but there is a calmness and poise about this deck that make it a pleasure to work with.
Favourite cards? The Lovers (see top image) and The Sun. Look at That Lovers card – see what I mean about it being quite a male energy deck? The female lover is only visible as a head, where the male lover dominates the card. Is that a Biba jacket he’s wearing, I wonder?
Do you use this deck? what do you think of it?
Inner Whispers · 7th October 2018 at 4:41 pm
This is one I never gelled with enough to buy – which is saying something 😀 I like your perspective on the white faces as masks, though!
Fortune Telling and Tarot Readings · 15th June 2018 at 3:06 pm
I like it too and I think the Queen of Cups is magnificent.
Caroline Blackler · 4th June 2018 at 4:02 pm
I love this deck, but never looked so closely at the courts before, thank you for guiding me through them 🙂