Rackham Tarot Deck
Fairy tales are sometimes written not only for children. Adults will be able to see in them a reflection of real life, with all its joys and sorrows. Fairy tales help to understand and accept this reality. The Rackham Tarot deck opens the doors to the magical world. Maps allow you to explore your own inner universe, based on old stories. After all, the world hasn’t really changed much. It still has a place for love, struggle, honor and meanness. However, as in fictional reality, this life offers a chance for transformation. Everything depends on the person himself. Cards only help on the way to yourself.
History of creation of the Rackham Tarot Deck
The Rackham Tarot is a unique deck created by Lo Scarabeo publishing house based on the works of the famous artist. This divination system contains illustrations for old children’s fairy tales, as well as for the works of the Victorian era. Arthur Rackham worked on the border of two centuries – the 19th and 20th. This is the time of the industrial revolution, the reign of Queen Victoria and the decline of the former beautiful era. The artist tried to frame well-known fairy tales within the framework of eternity. Through his work, Rackham gave hope to people, immersed them in another reality. During this period, mysticism and romance were extremely popular. People believed in fairies, spirits and ghosts. The work of the British artist met with a standing ovation.
In fact, the Rackham Tarot deck is a collection of illustrations for the fairy tales of Charles Perrault and the Brothers Grimm, the stories of James Barry about Peter Pan, Undine by Friedrich de la Motte and others. Each image is taken out of context and shown in the light of the classic archetypal Arcana. The author of the illustrations shows a special fantasy world in which everything is possible. In addition to fairies and beautiful ladies, Arthur Rackham liked to work on images of trees. They were endowed with human features, had their own character. Interestingly, the Disney studio took these tree spirits as a prototype for their cartoons. Rackham made a huge contribution to the development of the art of illustration. And the Italian publishing house Lo Scarabeo immortalized the name of Arthur in their new deck.
Key features of the Rackham Tarot
The mantic system continues the tradition of Waite. There are 78 cards here, the Fool without a number, Strength – 8th. The Major Arcana of the Rackham Tarot are perfectly matched among illustrations for famous works. For example, the Empress shows a young mother holding a child in her arms, a black cat is sitting next to her. The card standardly demonstrates female power, new life. The scene is taken from Rip Van Winkle by Irving. Sleeping children are depicted at the Last Judgment. Their faces seem to be illuminated, reflecting quiet calm and tranquility. Angels hover above them. Interestingly, the seraphim have the faces of the same children. Perhaps they fell into an eternal sleep. That is why the deck has sad notes that refer to real life. These are fairy tales based on real stories.
The suits of the Rackham Tarot deck have remained classic. The publisher tried to pick up the most similar scenes from the works in order to show Waite’s motives. For example, the Seven of Wands depicts a confrontation between a guy and a giant from the Brave Little Tailor. The hero went for a trick – he picked up cheese instead of a stone and easily squeezed it with one right hand. On the Nine of Swords, an awakened girl is drawn. Her face expresses surprise or fear. Perhaps she had a nightmare, causing her to wake up in the middle of the night. However, if you know the background, the picture becomes a little different. In the original, the girl sees a hunchback in a red suit. This is the ballad "Young Bekie". The nightmare has become real.
In general, the Minor Arcana of the Rackham Tarot deck are quite simple and telling, if you don’t delve too much into the background. The court group still shows Pages, Knights, Queens and Kings. Sometimes female figures appear on the Pages, but this does not deviate too much from the main message of the card. There are also heroes on the Units. For example, on the Ace of Cups, a young girl holds the golden Grail. The scene perfectly describes the energies of the elements of Water. But on the Ace of Wands, a huge old tree occupies a central place. Small winged fairies are shown next to him. The tree symbol here is grotesque. This gives a reference to the staff – the main attribute of the suit of Wands, which sprouted, became powerful and strong.
Style and symbolism of the deck
The publishing house practically did not change anything in the illustrations of the artist. The ocher color scheme of the images is the merit of Arthur’s wife. One day, she suggested choosing a muted palette for her husband’s work. Such a move made it possible to express the nature of the scenes, to make them seem aged, mystical. Also in the style there is a love for small details. Faces, gestures of people are very well worked out. Thin lines give airiness and ephemerality. It seems that fairies and spirits seem to dissolve into space. The background in the Rackham Tarot is various landscapes or a beige substrate. This gives the deck the ability to inspire confidence, to be closer to the questioner.
Each card in the Rackham Tarot has an aged frame, decorated with an ornament. There is a number at the top and a suit symbol at the bottom. There are no signatures here, for a fortuneteller a whole field of meanings is open. For the court Arcana of Tarot, the rank symbol is also shown at the top. The back of the cards is decorated with a mirrored scene from Shakespeare’s "A Midsummer Night’s Dream". A beautiful girl sleeps under a tree in a flower meadow. The picture is framed with blue stars. This choice could be due to the desire to convey the mood of the deck. The scene plunges a person into a wonderful dream, which helps to find the truth in the real world.
Interpretation of the Rackham Tarot cards
The interpretation of the Rackham Tarot deck implies an intuitive approach. It is not at all necessary to study the works for which the artist painted illustrations. The context in this case may show a slightly different picture of what is happening. It is best to focus on the Waite interpretation. The Fool is a dummy and a simpleton, and not a Rip Van Winkle suddenly awakened, walking to his village. The publishing house tried to pick up the most similar scenes so that there was not much difference with the classics. However, as a result, the deck turned out to be original, speaking. Thin, sonorous and a little cunning. Through veiled images, the Arcana points to sometimes complex things.
That is why it is best to perceive Rackham Tarot through the prism of your own vision. The colors used, facial expressions and gestures of the characters, their clothes will tell a lot. For example, children from the Six of Cups easily correlate with the traditional meanings of the card – the past, memories, trust. An old woman in tattered clothes from the Five of Pentacles clearly alludes to poverty, want and disease. Witches rushing on their brooms from the Eight of Wands indicate the rapid development of the situation, activity and energy. A knight slaying a dragon on the Ten of Swords speaks of the end of a certain period. Moreover, in this context, the card can be considered more positive than in the classics.
What questions is the deck suitable for?
The Rackham Tarot layouts are suitable for working out the psychological aspects of a person. Veiled images are best taken as a metaphor for inner experiences and feelings. If you try to transfer these scenes to real life, you can simply get confused. But the Tarot deck perfectly draws a psychological portrait of a person, shows fears and hopes, secret desires. Each archetype can be considered as a face of one or another subpersonality – a part of the psyche of one person. Such looking in the mirror will help to cope with self-doubt, shame or constant anxiety. The deck invites you to find your talents and fully realize yourself.
Such study helps to reach certain heights in a career, personal life. In addition, fortune-telling on the Rackham Tarot deck perfectly shows the sphere of relationships. The cards seem to expose the soul of a person, allowing you to touch it. The prediction will be given in the key of self-development. After all, through his partner, a person can grow himself. A feature of the Rackham Tarot deck can be considered a soft, unobtrusive approach. Speaks through fairy tales, allowing you to feel and see the truth. Because of this, the truth is perceived much easier, without rejection. This method is good for people who find it difficult to adequately analyze their actions without falling into strong emotions.
Who are the Rackham Tarot cards for?
The Rackham Tarot will primarily appeal to fans of the Victorian style, not just the artist himself. These are refined images, metaphorical tales, beautiful and terrible heroes. Fantasy style allows you to independently invent the development of the plot and its ending. The ocher gamma relaxes and adjusts in the right way. Tarot cards will also appeal to dreamy people who want to believe in fairy tales. After all, not only children love the works of Perrault and Barry. It will be especially interesting to work with the deck for those people who have seen the adaptation of fairy tales and want to plunge into the atmosphere even more through the source.
Of course, the Rackham Tarot will appeal to the ladies. However, men can also work with the deck. It is quite multifaceted, not too cloying, and therefore becomes an excellent tool for predictive practice. Beginners can also interact with the Rackham Tarot deck. However, initially you should familiarize yourself with the developments of Waite. Lack of signatures can become a stumbling block. But those practitioners who are accustomed to unambiguous images will not be able to appreciate the deck. Tarot cards open the field for creativity. Such a nuance will not be clear to everyone. It is best to interact with the deck for a while in order to draw unambiguous conclusions.