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A nod to British occultists of the early modern period, the English Magic Tarot is a solid deck with a graphic novel feel. It is the collaboration of three artistic minds: Magician and comic book artist Rex Van Ryn, London painter Steve Dooley, and Andy Letcher, Druid and author of Shroom: A Cultural History of the Magic Mushroom.
It is interestingly a period tarot deck — cursorily dealing with historical happenings of the British Isles between Henry VIII’s ascension to the throne (1509) and the death of Charles II (1685). Drawing from such brilliant and enigmatic occult personalities such as John Dee and Isaac Newton, the deck is very animated. Van Ryn’s pen and ink work is highly dynamic, changing perspectives in a way that makes every card dance and bend, while Dooley’s coloring is bold and simple—a series of solid base colors each with a bit of earthy grit to them, keeping the deck’s feel rustic and warm.
The Major Arcana holds some great new twists on classic themes, while we are given a new series of wonderfully illustrative Minor Arcana cards, each with a thick bold border corresponding to their elemental attribution. The Majors remain borderless, but the entire deck from Fool to Page of Coins simply brims with life.