Spirit Keeper’s Tarot

Revelation Edition

2021 First Printing, 3,507 copies

The Revelation is the third of three editions from the Spirit Keeper’s Tarot family, evolving from black and white line drawings to sepia tones and now presented in full color.

These Keys reveal the invisible hand of the gods, and the spirits they send as their messengers. We’ll put a name and a face to anthropomorphize the celestial realms, to show the ways that divinity and humanity interact with one another.

For my own study and due diligence in crafting this deck, I pored through academic books published by university presses, written by authors native to the culture or who personally practiced the religion I would be depicting. I consulted with friends and the friends of friends who are native to those cultures or who are active, devoted practitioners of those religions.

I limited my leisure time to watching documentaries on the cultures and regions I was working on. While immersed in a specific culture, I’d follow traditional recipes for that culture’s cuisine and eat the foods of that culture, cooking with the spices of that region.

To create SKT Revelation, I endeavored for an immersive experience. Even the choice of color for fabrics the figures in the cards would wear were selected only after I researched what ingredients that civilization in that time period would have used to produce dyes, the dye process, textile-making, and devoted hours to archaeological artifacts.

In theology, revelation is the revealing or disclosing of truth and knowledge through communication with a deity or other supernatural entity. Revealed religions treat their sacred texts as divinely or supernaturally inspired.

The Ten Commandments were revealed to Moses by an external and higher divine power. In Christian mythos, Jesus and the Body of Christ is expressed as the ultimate revelation of God. The Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) received revelations of the Qur’an from Allah, when angels commanded the Prophet to recite the Words. The Book of Mormon was revealed to Joseph Smith.

In Buddhism, the enlightenment of Buddha is a form of revelation that comes when the ego merges indistinguishably with the universe, and the individual consciousness is integrated into the collective consciousness. The bodhisattva Kuan Yin asked the council of divinities in heaven for permission to reveal the words of the Great Compassion Mantra, words for healing humanity’s afflictions.

Divination itself is perceived as a form of revelation where the Divine reveals knowledge of itself, of Divine Will, and Divine Providence through the words spoken by a diviner.

The mission of the Spirit Keeper’s Tarot is to enable you to connect and fully occupy your divine higher genius. Through invocation or evocation of deities by name and image, you can overcome your sense of limited Self, transcend, and embody that divine higher genius, an inner transcendental aspect awakened by a call to the god and the goddess.

Pre-Order the Second Printing
of the Revelation Edition

My Self-Taught Art Journey

Vitruvian Edition (2019)

Limited Edition, 2000 copies. Out of print.

Spirit Keeper’s Tarot is a hand-illustrated 78-card tarot deck (with 2 additional versions of Key 0, for a total of 80 cards) inspired by late Renaissance woodcut prints, with symbology based predominantly on medieval European alchemy, Hermeticism, Zoroastrianism, astrology, the Kabbalah, Abrahamic angelology, Egyptian mythology, Sufism, and late Renaissance Christian mysticism.

Walk-through of all cards from the 2019 Vitruvian and 2018 First Edition:

CLICK HERE

The narrowly-tailored premise of Spirit Keeper’s Tarot is to transform tarot keys into calling cards for accessing a spirit world of beneficent immortals.

The namesake for this edition comes from Vitruvius, who lived around 80 B.C. to 15 B.C. Vitruvius was a Roman architect who taught that every structure must exhibit three qualities: stability, utility, and beauty. These three qualities have come to be known as the Vitruvian Triad.

A millennium after Vitruvius, Leonardo da Vinci was inspired by the Roman architect’s works. One of da Vinci’s most famous sketches–rendered in sepia ink–is the Vitruvian Man (1487).

All decks are anointed with hand-crafted holy anointing oil made of Ceylon cinnamon, cassia cinnamon, myrrh resin, and sweet lemongrass. I craft my own anointing oil from essences and macerated oils I make myself from raw ingredients painstakingly sourced to ensure quality.

The Ceylon cinnamon bark was purchased at the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey. The cassia cinnamon leaf was imported from India. I use whole, highest grade myrrh resin (tears of myrrh) and lots of it (because making your own true essential oils requires a lot of myrrh).

The lemongrass is fresh, local produce that is personally sun-dried over several months before the oil-making process even begins. And then the oil making process takes another several months before they’re ready.

The olive oil is from Athens, Greece. Multiple layering of astrologically-timed ritual work is crafted into the anointing oil.

To authenticate each and every limited edition SKT Vitruvian, I’m providing The Book of Names, which is a master list of all named SKT Vitruvian decks.

DOWNLOAD THE BOOK OF NAMES

Last updated 12 Nov 2019

F R E E   D O W N L O A D S :

First Edition (2018).

Limited Edition, 1000 copies. Out of print.

The pen and ink line drawings for all 80 cards took a month and a half to complete. I barely slept, barely ate, stumbled through every other aspect of life during that month and a half in a daze, and threw everything I got into drawing and the crafting of these cards.

I aspired to design a tarot deck scion that grafted together the Rider-Waite-Smith and the Thoth, to create an offspring that was a merger of the two. In a self-assessment of the deck, I’d say physically the SKT bears a greater resemblance to the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, but in terms of how it feels, how it reads, the deck’s personality and emotional values, it’s more Thoth.

Crowley (and to be fair, others) note that the Keys of the Major Arcana should be written with Roman numerals, not Arabic numerals. However, here I’ve opted to go with all Arabic numerals for numbering the Major Keys, in part as a tribute to Leonardo de Pisa (1175-1250), who is often credited for popularizing the Arabic numeral system in Europe.

By the way, he’s better known as Fibonacci, the namesake for Fibonacci numbers forming the spiral sequence and a fundamental basis in sacred geometry. Considering a more global perspective, the Hindu-Arabic numeral system, historically, was used across a broader region of our world than the Roman numerals, and so in this seemingly minor, insignificant decision, I’m passively taking a very particular stand.

For each and every card, I referenced Waite’s Pictorial Key and Crowley’s Book of Thoth so that I would include their intentions for each card as best as I could, while still designing the cards in a way that expressed me.

The artwork was done—as best as I could manage it—in the spirit of a Renaissance artist producing a hand-crafted tarot deck. Each and every illustration was drawn at actual tarot card size, so each original pen and ink drawing is approximately 7 cm x 12 cm, with the full card itself, including the handwritten captions, at approximately 7 cm x 16 cm.

However, Waite and Crowley differed (and disagreed) significantly on the interpretation of many keys in the tarot, so harmonizing both approaches wasn’t always easy. I acknowledge that some of the resulting cards I’ve drawn might end up alienating both camps.

Nonetheless, rudimentary knowledge of either the RWS or Thoth should be more than sufficient for operating Spirit Keeper’s Tarot. Apply your approach to tarot reading to the cards and go from there.

From the early Egyptian and Greek mystery traditions down the ages to Freemasonry and even in the reconstructionist mystery traditions of the modern era, the science of the occult traditions that the Seeker undertakes knowledge of are veiled in allegory.

Symbolism encoded into rituals, the tradition’s religious iconography, religious and alchemical texts or grimoires, and parables are designed to instruct an Initiate on the tradition’s teachings. In other words, it is through imparting symbolism that esoteric and occult teachings take place, not in the literal transmission of ideas or practices.

Pictorial keys, not spoken or written words, illuminate the mind’s darkness.

The intricate or “busy” art styles of the medieval and Renaissance periods were deeply symbolic and intended to transmit esoteric knowledge. Alchemical texts are a classic example: illustrations of lions, eagles, serpents, eggs, etc. interacting with one another were symbolic of specific alchemical instructions and processes. The illustrations were by necessity intricate and detailed because a significant amount of instruction was being conveyed through that single leaf illustration.

It is with that spirit that the Spirit Keeper’s Tarot is cast: to amplify a tarot reader’s psychic power through symbolism.

The artistic style of Spirit Keeper’s Tarot is rendered in the spirit of Renaissance humanism (circa the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries), a time when Christian mysticism and paganism merged. Thus, Hermeticism, traditional Western astrology, Platonic philosophy, alchemy, and the Kabbalah are the heavy-hitting influences over the imagery of this deck. The historic art styles that inspired Spirit Keeper were in turn inspired by Byzantine, Islamic, Viking, Carolingian, Celtic, Romanesque, and Gothic art styles, so those were the classic works of art I studied and referenced while drawing Spirit Keeper’s Tarot.

I tried to simulate medieval woodblock print art. All art in this deck are original pen and ink works hand-drawn by me, and not taken from actual historic woodblock prints. My only tools for drawing these cards were pencil, pen, straight edge, compass, and protractor.

Left: frontispiece from Der längst Gewäschte und Versprochene (1746) by Herman Fictuld. Right: my own illustration printed in the interior of the deck box.

There are, of course, instances where what I’ve drawn was heavily influenced by an existing historic woodblock print, but this is not a digitally cut and paste or multi-media collage deck. I did not draw these illustrations digitally on a tablet where I could simply hit the “undo” button when I made a line error.

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