Thursday, 18 August 2016

The new classic English tarot.


Draws explicitly on the English magical tradition

Created by Rex Van Ryn , Steve Dooley and Andy Letcher

This captivating new tarot deck draws us into the vibrant but, often, hidden world of English magic, evoking a golden age of mysticism when the likes of John Dee was Queen Elizabeth's Court Astrologer, antiquarian, John Aubrey, began to rediscover ancient sacred sites and even the great physicist Isaac Newton studied alchemy. During this time of upheaval, archetypal forces were very much at play. The monarchs and mountebanks, visionaries and fools, knights and vagabonds that shaped the world are all there in the tarot too, making this a perfect setting for the cards..

· Dynamic, graphic-novel style design 
· Each card has a secret code 
· This complete tarot set includes a 160 page book and 78 full colour cards.

Available from deep books £19.99 inc VAT

About the Authors and Illustrators: 
Rex Van Ryn is a comic book artist who has worked for Marvel and IPC, producing strips for 2000 AD and Scorer, amongst others. He has worked as a story board artist for numerous films and TV shows. He has a new website dedicated to the English Magic tarot at 

Register at and you’ll be the first to hear, as exciting opportunities unfold. You’ll also be first in line to receive your special free gift*, when its ready.

*“Free gift”, is your own copy of a video interview with the English Magic Tarot’s” creator, Rex Van Ryn, in which he shares the history and Genesis behind this unique deck.

Steve Dooley has worked extensively in Britain and Europe painting murals and trompe-l’oeil frescoes. He has recently co-produced the Wind in the Willows app for the iPad.  

Andy Letcher is the author of Shroom: A Cultural History of the Magic Mushroom (Faber & Faber 2006 UK, Harper 2008 US) and numerous scholarly articles on paganism, shamanism and folklore.  He has been a practising Druid for twenty years and gave his first tarot reading aged eleven.

INTRODUCTION From the Reformation to the Restoration
A brief overview of this colourful period of English history.

An introduction to English magic. The foundations laid down by pre-Christian peoples. Hermes Trismegistus and Renaissance magic.  Alchemy and Sir Isaac Newton. High and low magic. The Hall of Magicians.

PART TWO: THE ENDLESS STORY Working with the cards
In keeping with the graphic style of the deck, users are encouraged to think less that the cards have a set of fixed meanings to be learned by rote and more that they provide a dynamic tool with which to tell stories. By treating each card as the frame of a graphic novel, readers can learn to let the cards ‘speak’. They can find their own stories in the cards and so ‘re-imagine’ their lives.
Exercises and suggested spreads are provided to guide readers through this unique approach – one that aims to let people take their place in the endless story of the tarot.

PART THREE: SIGNPOSTS ON THE WAY Pointers to the cards
Rather than providing a list of fixed meanings, each card is presented with a commentary and a set of questions that readers can use to deepen their appreciation. The Wands, Swords, Cups and Coins of the Minor Arcana are color-coded red, tan, blue and
green and are represented by Tudors, Cavaliers, Roundheads and people from Restoration England respectively. The court cards are divided into Page, Knight, Queen and King. The Major Arcana cards present a kind of parallel dreamworld of English magic. Broadly, the cards follow a similar structure to Pamela Colman Smith’s classic ‘Rider-Waite’ deck, though with some surprising twists to the imagery. 

While for the most part they show archetypal images, readers may spot actual historical characters (though no specialist historical knowledge is required). So, the Emperor depicts an aged Henry VIII; the Magician, John Dee and the Star, Sir Isaac Newton. Magical references, lore and riddles run through all the cards, deliberately buried there to encourage readers to look ever more closely into the images and discover increasingly rich layers of meaning.

PART FOUR: THE MEMORY PALACE Building a deeper relationship with the cards
The memory palace is technique for improving memory that derives from classical times. It was used extensively in English magic, and instructions are given here for building a memory palace to help unlock the deeper mysteries of the cards.