I have another deck by this same author, Golden Dawn Magical Tarot, which I am a big fan of, so I am happy to say that having perused the companion book and looked through the cards, I quite like this one, too! The art style is just like the Golden Dawn Magical Tarot, and as there is no credit given anywhere that I can see in the book, I assume that Sandra Tabatha Cicero has done them all herself. I quite like the art style of both decks, though some might call it 'naive' or 'primitive'. I like a deck that looks hand drawn (and I also like a deck that looks quite accomplished--I like both as long as the art work is not so slick that it looks like perhaps a human hand had no involvement.)
The Babylonian Tarot is based on the pantheon of ancient Mesopotamia and Sumeria. All of the majors and most of the courts and minors refer to gods, goddesses and stories from this ancient tradition. However, the majority of the images are such that you would not usually find them confusing or distracting if you wanted to read the deck with traditional meanings without reference to the 'Babylonian' aspect. The deck is closely aligned with Thoth, and in fact the coloration on some cards as well as the design are directly influenced by the artwork of Lady Freida Harris. I will show a few of those later in the week.
Another thing you'll notice about this deck is there is an extra set of court cards in addition to princess, prince, queen and king--the kerub. This rounds out the five elements -- earth, air, water, fire and spirit. I am not sure I'll shuffle those in the deck when I use it. I am fairly traditional when it comes to the structure of tarot. But I'll consider it. They seem to be sort of like elementals. Here they are:
|Babylonian Tarot, Cicero 2006|
So my usual way of examining a new deck is to select my three most favourite and my three least favourite cards from the deck. They are:
|My favourite cards from Babylonian Tarot|
I like the dynamic portrayal of the Emperor, who is often depicted as quite static. But he must have some dynamism about him or he'd never have become Emperor in the first place, so it's nice to see him in motion. I also like the astronomers depicted doing their work, honing their craft. And the image of the lovers Ishtar and Tammuz is just really pretty and appealing to me.
|My least favourite cards from Babylonian Tarot|
What I'm supposed to do next is read the shadow meanings of each for myself, but I am out of time for now, so will have a go and it later.