Upon my first walkthrough of this deck, Nigel Jackson’s Secrets of the Rose Tarot skyrocketed immediately up to my top faves. This deck is beautiful. Steeped in Christian mysticism, Cabala, hermetic theosophy, and alchemy, the Rose Tarot is a seamless tapestry of Western esotericism. Not to mention the artwork is just beautiful.
There’s a Paul Huson Dame Fortune’s Wheel Tarot vibe, meets an echo of the card layout design from the Russian Tarot of St. Petersburg in the pips, with the color palette of a William Blake painting, all rendered in a reconstructed medieval illuminated manuscript art style. The Rose Tarot is totally my aesthetic.
In the Preface of the guidebook, Jackson opens by describing the tarot as “a language of symbols, an emblematic poem, an oracular device, a game of chance.” Surviving from the European Middle Ages, this deck has truly evolved over the centuries into a diversity of refractions. The Rose Tarot takes it back to the cards’ medieval paradigm as revelations of eschatological mysteries.