When was lucky enough to get an Amazon affiliate voucher through the other week. I wanted to treat myself to something special but didn’t know quite what… I instantly knew that the Illuminati Tarot by Casey Duhamel was the deck I was meant to have as soon as I saw the earth tones. The colours might have been what drew me in but reading about it, I was even more determined to have this deck, even if it meant adding a few more quid on top of the value of the voucher.
The Illuminati reflects several organizations commonly known as secret societies. (…) The Priory of Sion (Majors), the Rosicrucians (Cups), the Freemasons (Swords), the Martinists (Coins), and the Golden Dawn (Wands) are all clandestine fraternities that have not only wielded direct influence on Western mysticism but have also exerted global influence, both politically and socially.
Though I have some fleeting and basic knowledge of a couple of these societies, I have been wanting to learn more for quite some time since I have begun to realise that many people with worldly power have been part of them. What’s not to love about occult history?! The other obvious reason is, of course, that these secret societies have helped shape our modern understanding of the Tarot.
The Illuminati Tarot is a Schiffer Publishing offering. True to form, it comes in a sturdy box with a magnetic lid. The companion book is in full colour and contains some really interesting thoughts on Tarot History (trust me, you won’t hear me say that very often!). The cards themselves are of good quality cardstock and quite thick which may or may not appeal depending on your shuffling style. I do find the cards a bit on the glossy side for my taste. It makes them have a bit of a plastic feel and makes them trickier to take pictures of. All in all, it is a very good quality set though and with Schiffer behind it, I knew I’d be getting nothing less.
One of the most appealing features of this deck is the card backs (another thing you won’t hear me say very often)… They’re just so darn yummy! The artwork for this deck is by Bob Greyvenstein. The fully illustrated cards in the Major Arcana are stunning. My favourite is The Lovers. If you like scenic pips this deck may leave you wanting though.
Being used to the Golden Dawn system of planetary correspondences, I was in for a bit of a shock. This is not the system Duhamel adheres to. But I’m up for a challenge and rethinking what I have been taking for granted for so long. If anything, I can see that working with this system will give me a broader understanding of the energy of each Key and how it may be applied… So bring it!
Thankfully, the Elemental correspondences for the suits remain the same…
Wands – Fire
Cups – Water
Swords – Air
Pentacles – Earth
Swapping Air and Fire around is the one thing that really rubs me the wrong way and I’ve had to get rid of a couple of decks when I realised that this is what was going on with them. It just doesn’t work for me. The courtiers have been arranged as follows:
Page – Novice
Knight – Initiate
Queen – Adept
King – Magus
This does work very well in showing the maturation of an individual’s energy without the gender constraints.
I’m working with my old trusty deck interview layout for this reading:
1. Describe yourself in three words or less
2. How would your best friend describe you using only three words?
3. What gift do you bring?
4. What do you expect in return?
5. How can you help me serve?
6. Is there anything else you would like to tell me about yourself?
The Illuminati Tarot Deck Interview
1. Describe yourself in three words or less – 3 of Swords
IT: forgotten and lonely…
Me: Oh gosh, that’s sad… but I suppose much of your history is rather sad, as well as filled with intrigue and drama. Now it seems very few people are aware of how important a role you played in history. Is this the reason why you chose those words?
IT: It is indeed.
2. How would your best friend describe you using only three words? – The Sun
IT: My best friend is my horse. We have been questing together since forever. He knows a side to me that others rarely get to see. He’d probably say that I’m a rather ‘jolly and brave’ sort of fellow.
3. What gift do you bring? – 10 of Pentacles
IT: A priceless legacy.
Me: So true. Can’t wait to learn more!
4. What do you expect in return? – 4 of Wands
IT: A good, welcoming forever home. I’d also like to be taken out to be used on special occasions.
Me: Sounds totally doable!
5. How can you help me serve? – 7 of Wands
IT: I can help you to bravely stand your ground when people attack the value of traditional occult learning.
Me: Thanks, I appreciate that. I do value the legacy you have brought me here, even though my opinions will differ from time to time.
6. Is there anything else you would like to tell me about yourself? – 10 of Swords
IT: Only that you were totally right about the drama and the intrigue… Backstabbing and treachery galore. This is why I can help you resolve those types of situations.
Me: Awesome! I’ll bear that in mind… but fingers crossed I won’t have to reach for you for that reason.
I hope you enjoyed this mini review and deck interview. Please leave a comment and give this post a share if you did!
Love and Blessings,