The English Magic Tarot was first published in 2015 by Weiser Books. According to its tagline, this deck is “rumoured to be the very key to the English Hermetic tradition . . . here restored in full.” Okay, you have my attention. Keep going.
This deck places you in that heyday of English magic, between the end of the Renaissance and the beginning of the Early Modern period. These cards are set in the turbulent times of King Henry VIII and onward for about a century. The courtier on The Sun card is wearing clothing in the style of the mid-1500s, which the guidebook likens to Sir Francis Drake. Judgement features a giant Wicker Man going up in flames.
How would I describe the art style? Dramatic, hardboiled pulp fiction featuring swashbuckler protagonists set in 17th century England. Think John Constantine meets Three Musketeers with lots of mystery and mysticism. Also, with the mannerisms of 1950s comic book illustration.
Now let’s get into the depths of the tarot deck’s premise.