I’d call this a review of the Rosetta Tarot, Papyrus Gold Edition, but let’s be honest here– it’s just going to be me fangirling for a dozen consecutive paragraphs.
You know how there is the writer’s writer, i.e., an author who is just highly lauded among the author community, or the artists that the art community itself is head over heels for? Whether the writer’s writer or artist’s artist attains mainstream commercial appeal might be a different story altogether, but among their professional and industry peers, these people hold clout.
M. M. Meleen is like that. I don’t think a deck collection will ever be complete without an M. M. Meleen deck. She’s the real deal. And she’s the total package. I’ve reviewed the Tabula Mundi Tarot before here. You can also watch a Sightsee the Tarot video workshop where we walk through a tarot spread from Meleen’s Book M: Liber Mundi.
The Rosetta Tarot, published back in 2011, is a Thoth-based deck. While her Tabula Mundi Tarot was, too, I feel like that one showed a lot more of the artist’s own hand and point of view. Whereas here in the Rosetta Tarot, the Thoth influence is a lot more pronounced.
One of the things that made me think was how similar my experiences with creating my deck were to Meleen’s path with the Rosetta Tarot. Meleen describes the initial intention of the Rosetta to be “the love-child of the Thoth tarot and the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot. As it evolved the genes of the Thoth parent proved dominant. (As a friend commented, ‘Thoth is kind of like that.’)” Whoa! I experienced the same exact situation with my SKT! With the SKT, I think physically it resembles the RWS more (whereas the Rosetta is quite unequivocally taking on the physical attributes of the Thoth). But echoing what Meleen says about her experience, I also feel like the SKT ended up with a personality that’s predominantly Thoth.