The Gnostic Tarot has been 20 years in the making. Begun in 2000, each card is a reproduction of a uniquely created, full-size oil painting. Based on the Perennial Wisdom of the Gnostics, the entire deck has been carefully researched and thought out with a special focus on Querents reading for themselves. Using the psychology of Carl Jung, a self-described modern-day Gnostic, this deck is uniquely geared for soul-searching, spiritual contemplation, and Shadow work.
The Gnostics were a sect of spiritual seekers who relied on a first-hand experience of the Divine rather than the orthodox pontifications of a self-appointed clergy. As a result, they were branded heretics by the Catholic Church. Their pursuit of inner experience continued in secret, appearing through the ages in such groups as the Cathars, the Alchemists, the Theosophists, and mystics the world over. Jung viewed Gnosticism as a map to the development of the human psyche based on an experiential awareness of the Self. The Gnostic Tarot is an expansion of this idea of psychological Individuation and spiritual awareness drawing on the traditional understanding of Tarot meaning as refined by the Golden Dawn.
Each suit of the Minor Arcana is represented by its corresponding element: Fire [Wands], Water [Cups], Air [Swords], and Earth [Pentacles]. The 22 cards of the Major Arcana echo the traditional Marseille and Rider-Waite-Smith Tarots, while adding unique meanings and allusions of their own from psychology and esoteric teaching. Each Court card is represented by an Archetype. In place of out-dated royalty, these Archetypes are represented by a Boy and Girl and a Man and Woman. The Male suits of Fire and Air are headed by patriarchs while the Female suits of Water and Earth are led by Matriarchs. Aside from the Court Archetypes, many of the characters in The Gnostic Tarot exhibit an unspecified gender, leaving the question of gender open for the Querent.
In 2019, the final painting for The Gnostic Tarot was completed. Throughout 2020, the Tarot-maker and founder of Welkin Tarot assembled the material for the deck and edited the accompanying notes into the deck's companion book. The result is a 300-page colour trade-paperback packed with invaluable information and insight. Each card is reproduced in the book alongside a simplified version of the card, outlined and coded with letters for easy identification in the text. Each card's explanation is presented in point form, to keep ideas clear and themes bundled in easily accessed groupings. Each exegesis ends with a simplified set of interpretations, single-word definitions for upright and reversed pulls, and relevant quotes from the author, Jung, Gnostics, and scripture.