Russian Tarot of St. Petersburg by Yury Shakov

I cannot believe it’s taken me until 2021 to share my thoughts on the Russian Tarot of St. Petersburg. This deck was first published back in 1992 and was among my first and earliest collection of tarot decks. I loved this deck so much. It’s one of those decks that summon up the perfect atmosphere when doing public tarot readings.

These are Russian Palekh miniature paintings done by Yury Shakov (July 15, 1937 – March 10, 1989). Palekh miniature painting is a form of folk lacquer art done with tempera paints and varnish. Shakov specialized in this particular medium and the artwork on the Russian Tarot of St. Petersburg was his final commissioned work before he died. However, I also read that he didn’t finish this deck, and that another artist picked up where Shakov left off to complete these paintings.

In the Majors, you’ll find historical and cultural references. The Hierophant, for instance, features Saint Duke Vladimir holding a scepter and a Russian Orthodox cross.

Continue reading “Russian Tarot of St. Petersburg by Yury Shakov”

Pamela Colman Smith: The Untold Story

Pamela Colman Smith: The Untold Story is the most comprehensive, devotional, and poignant tribute to Pamela “Pixie” Colman Smith we’ll see this century. It’s a magnificent treatise and homage no tarot lover will want to miss. Co-authored by Stuart Kaplan, Mary K. Greer, Elizabeth Foley O’Connor, and Melinda Boyd Parsons, The Untold Story is the sum total of knowledge, research, data, and documents we have on the artist behind the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot deck and her works.

Perhaps its greatest accomplishment is how it has brought Pamela Colman Smith to life. You’ll get to know her life and works, her family, her art, her interests, her personal spirituality, her quirks, and her multifaceted personality. Her words, through letters and the articles and stories she penned, reveal an animated, unconventional, extraordinary woman.

The first quarter of the book, “Pamela’s Life,” is authored by Elizabeth Foley O’Connor, an academic researcher who is writing the literary biography of Pamela Colman Smith.

Corinne Pamela Colman Smith, who went by the nickname “Pixie,” defied so many social norms, it’s hard to keep count. The more you read about her, the more impressed you get.

Continue reading “Pamela Colman Smith: The Untold Story”