Here’s a deck that’s been taking the Tarot world by storm: the Tarot Illuminati by Erik C. Dunne. The great news is that this deck is now in production, and is due for release on May 8th, 2013, by Lo Scarabeo. It will come in a 78-card deck and book set, with 160-page companion book by Kim Huggens.
II The High Priestess
Here we have the passive feminine (as opposed to the Empress’ active feminine), complete receptive and silent. The High Priestess forms a complement with the Hierophant, she representing inner wisdom, and he representing received wisdom. Together they present to us two equally useful modes of learning and understanding. It is this card that has become the “cover girl” for the Tarot Illuminati, and which gives a wonderful insight into the style of this beautiful deck.
The Princess of Pentacles
Earth, being the lowest and most manifest of the four elements, may at times be seen as less interesting or disconnected from the spiritual plane, and thus the Princess of Pentacles may also seem like the lowest manifestation of energy in the Tarot. However, Earth is fertile and fruitful, it provides us with all of our sustenance, a foundation for our lives, and it is in the plane of Earth that we grow. Thus, although the Princess of Pentacles is, indeed, the lowest of the cards of the Tarot, she is also the most fertile. All the energy of manifestation has fallen into this card, and now it lies within the belly of the Princess, who will bring it to birth. Essentially, in this card we find rebirth for the Tarot itself, as we can imagine that each card is contained within the Princess’ womb, just as all the seeds of life are contained within the earth.
Ten of Pentacles
“I am very old, and the sounds of my bones cracking when I move is the sound of the earth shifting; the sound of my rasping breath is the sound of the wind in the mountains and my fragile frame bends like the weeping willow over a river. But my experience is like the fountain of youth and my wisdom the elixir of immortality, for I offer it to those that have come after me, and I will live on in their joys and achievements, their comforts and their challenges. I have worked all the days of my life and seen the wide world, and I have tales to tell that are truly wondrous. I may not be blessed with many more days, but what I have I will give whole-heartedly to my family, so they may know from whence they came, and what awaits them in life. May the best days of my life be their worst, and may they live to see as many seasons turn as I. But let them never forget their ancestors, let them always know that those who came before are smiling upon them… not because their spirits linger (we deserve our rest after our long travels!) but because they leave a legacy upon earth that blesses their descendants. I did not always know the comfort in which I now rest, nor the luxury and wealth in which we now thrive; I began with little more than the ability to work hard and work well. It was the sweat of my brow and my tenacity of will, the hours I put in and the effort I expended, that raised me up in the world and in spirit and wisdom. My family now want for nothing, yet I wish for them to know the value of work, and this I will teach them before I am gone. Most importantly, I will show them what it means to be family, and what they will do for each other when called upon. My final legacy to my descendants shall be to teach them how to love one another unconditionally, how to respect one another and their elders, how to work well, celebrate joyously and frequently, and how to pick each other up when they fall. This they too will pass on to their grandchildren when the cracking of their bones is the sound of the shifting earth and the rasping of their breath is the sound of the wind in the mountains, and my days shall continue unto the end of my line.” [Excerpt from the companion book, by Kim Huggens]
About the artist
Twenty Five years ago, Erik discovered the art of Tarot quite by chance and thus began a journey that would inevitably result in the creation of his own deck, the Tarot Illuminati. Although he presently resides in the United States, he has traveled extensively Abroad and actually lived for some years in the Middle East. He has retraced the footsteps of legendary kings and queens, ridden camels across the dunes of Persia and galloped heavy steeds across fields of gold. His diverse life experiences are matched only by his opulent imagination, both of which are apparent in his artful creation of a cast of rich characters and fantastical realms. Although a classically trained artist, his medium of choice is digital, where he has allowed his passion for costume design and his roots in the theater to lend their resounding voice to each and every card of the Tarot Illuminati. Erik is presently a freelance graphic artist working on diverse commissioned projects, and has recently begun work on a much anticipated sister deck to the Illuminati, loosely based on the translations of ancient Sumerian texts.