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Barleywine  Barleywine is offline
Elder Jabberwock
Join Date: 10 Jun 2011
Location: Where the wild things are
Posts: 9,055

I finally caught up to the images on the Abrahadabra website. Although highly professional and polished, this is a mixed bag for me. Some of them are beautifully expressive of the underlying symbolism - the Sun is one I like for its simplicity. In some cases, though, I don't think the color schemes of the minor cards carry the "quality" of the titles in the same way the Harris paintings do (the 7 of Pentacle vs. Disks - "Failure" - is a rather stark example, although other comparisons are more favorable). I think that's one thing Harris really nailed. Also, taking the Ace of Alembics/Cups as an example, I'm struck with a "Root of the Power of Ice" impression: very crystalline, which was probably intentional. I'm partial to the Thoth Ace of Cups, which looks like someone dropped a water balloon on a sidewalk; one great, big emotional "blarrrgh!" Although I haven't wrapped my head around their narrative intent, the human figures don't speak to me in the same way as the Thoth's evocative semi-abstractions. Also where is fiery Mars in the cool, blue Tower? The rectangles in the corners, carrying the "syncretic" symbolism, don't bother me, as they didn't bother me in any other previous attempt to infuse the cards with meaning from other systems of thought. Hermann Haindl, for example, put hexagrams on all of the minor cards and runes on the majors, while Anthony Clark also tried to expand the interpretive range of the Magickal Tarot (mainly through text). I can't say it's been done more precisely or thoroughly than here, but it has been done to some extent.
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