Author: Maja Zaworoska
Artist: Tomasz Maronski
In 2007 (out of Poland) came the self-published, Majors only “Maroon Tarot”, by Maja Zaworska and Tomasz Maronski. A gorgeous ephemeral digital fantasy themed deck, there was an intention at the time to eventually publish a full 78 card version. That time has come! The full version is now available, along with an extra card (ala the Happy Squirrel in Kat Black’s “Touchstone Tarot”, or the Artist in Monika Clio Sakki’s “Sakki Sakki Tarot”) entitled the Reader. There is no LWB that comes with this deck, but there is a companion book due out later this year (The Maroon Tarot Companion), written by Chris Frost.
The cards follow a traditional theme, with traditional titles (Strength at VIII and Justice at XI). The suits are Wands, Cups, Swords and Coins. The Court Cards are King, Queen, Knight and Page.
The box that the cards come in is traditional, opening from the top. The cards are approximately 2 3/8” by 4 3/8”, of good quality card stock, with a semi-matt oil lack on both sides. The overall coloring is dark maroon, with reddish-gold highlights. The back shows a ¼” dark border, with a lighter, reddish-gold pattern surrounding a darker egg shape in the center of the card. In playing with the cards (which I am wont to do!), I found that by fanning them out (which some readers do, as part of choosing the cards to be read), a fantastic pattern of color bands forms. Okay – I may be easily amused, but try it – the effect produced is amazing!
The Major Arcana show the card name in gold lettering, in Polish, on the top left hand side of the card. On the top right hand side, in gold, are glyphs for the Hebrew letter and astrological sign/planet associated with the card. There are also elemental associations shown for The Fool, The Hanged Man, Judgment and The World. Under this, in the middle of the top of the card, is the Roman numeral assigned to the card. On the bottom of the card, in gold lettering, is the card title in English.
There is a reddish-gold “picture frame” type border surrounding the card graphic. The colors used are muted and largely dark, with lighter colored accents in blue, reddish-gold and a silver-white. The artwork is done in digital format, with a fantasy theme. Amongst my favorite cards are the Fool (shown facing the reader, holding aluminous butterfly on his right hand), the High Priestess (which shows a female figure in a futuristic setting, looking up a luminous figures in the sky), the Empress (which shows a young female figure, dressed in white, standing on a balcony, facing the left hand side of the card, looking out), and the Emperor (which shows a male figure in white robes, standing on a balcony, facing the right hand side of the card and looking out).
We cannot forget the Hermit! In this deck, we see a white robed, white bearded figure standing in a mist, facing the left hand side of the card. He carries a staf over his right shoulder, with a lit lamp hanging from the end of it.
The pips (numbered cards) show the card number and suit name in gold, in Polish, on the top left hand side of the card. The card number and suit are written across the bottom of the card, in English, in gold lettering. The Court Cards show the title and suit in gold lettering, in Polish, on the top left hand side of the card. The title and suit are written in English, in gold lettering, across the bottom of the card.
Some things will be noticed as the reader works with the cards. In some cards the figures will appear to be a normal size (compared to their surrounding), while in other cards they appear to be much smaller (i.e. the Magician, the High Priestess, the Lovers, the Chariot, and Judgment). The “Maroon Tarot” creates a fantasy world of its own, where all of this seems “normal”. All of the figures represent power of one sort or another. Another very interesting aspect of this deck is that while the overall color tone is dark, on each card there is a literal point of light to catch the eye!
I loved the Court Cards – they carry very special energy int his deck. In the suit of Coins, the King and Queen are both seated, facing the reader (with the Queen looking to the right hand side of the card), while the Knight and Page are both standing. In the suit of Wands, the King is seated, facing the left hand side of the card, while the Queen is standing, facing the reader, but looking to the right hand side of the card. The Knight and Page are both standing, looking to the right hand side of the card. In the suit of Cups, the King and Queen are shown in large blue shells, with the king standing, a staff in his left hand and his right hand holding a cup up to the sky. The Queen is seated, facing the reader. The Knight is standing, leading his horse, with his back to the reader. The page is standing, facing a cup on the right hand side of the card. The King of Swords is seated, facing forward. The Queen of Swords is seated, facing the right hand side of the card. The Page is standing, facing he right hand side of the card, while the Knight is seated on a horse, facing the right hand side of the card.
I find this deck very easy to work with, and adore the extra card (The Reader), who appears as a dark silhouette wearing a juggler type hat. This deck could be used for readings, in journeying or visualization, or as a focus for meditation. Because of the fantasy nature of the imagery, doors open to new levels of understanding. (For me they did … I feel they will for others also.)
This is an independently published deck, and can be purchased through the deck site – http://www.kartytarota.pl/. Please be very careful where you purchase this deck. It has been pirated by individuals in the Ukraine, and is being sold by them. The quality of these cards is poor, and should not be associated with the true deck. Please check the site for details.
© October 2010 Bonnie Cehovet