Review: The Alchemical Visions Tarot

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this deck from Weiser Books in exchange for a review. Bonus for all US mailing address readers, Weiser gave me a special 33% off discount code JYMI which you can use on the whole site! This link expires 01/JAN/2020.

The Alchemical Visions Tarot
By Arthur Taussig, PhD.
Published by: Weiser Books
ISBN: 978-1-57863-641-9

The Magician from The Alchemical Visions Tarot
The Magician from The Alchemical Visions Tarot

When people think of tarot decks, they think of hand-sized cards with pictures on them which are used to divine fortunes or give advice. Not all decks are created equal and The Alchemical Visions Tarot is unique in its design. This is an oversized deck. At 5” by 7” it’s one of the bigger sized decks I’ve held. Which leaves me to the notion its creator, Arthur Taussig, PhD., crafted this deck for a specific purpose of reflection, self discovery, and deep dives into the study of alchemy and other occult sciences.  

This deck is 10 years in the making. Taussig spent a lot of time studying alchemy, Kabbalah, archetypes, and psychology to bring this deck to life. He even did his own deep dive into tarot studies with the Marseilles tarot and the Rider Waite Smith deck where he would spend many days in close comparison studies with each system. All of this study led him to carefully craft The Alchemical Visions Tarot. His goal for this deck was “to respect the past, summon the mystical powers within the cards, and yet be a deck that would visually speak to the modern Traveler on the path of individuation.” And I think he hit his mark.

The Six of Wands from The Alchemical Visions Tarot
The Six of Wands from The Alchemical Visions Tarot

In a recent discussion on Tarot Visions, Rose Red, Benebell Wen, and myself spoke about the idea of an everyday tarot versus the occult tarot. For me, The Alchemical Visions Tarot is a perfect example of an occult deck. The oversized cards feature a unique combination of intricate imagery: black and white backgrounds which  brightly colored figures are placed in the forefront. This combination of styles lends itself well to a deep-dive study of the occult practices it contains, and the idea of using a deck to understand one’s self better. An occult deck has thicker card stock, is oversized so it can stand up or be placed somewhere for reflection and study, and makes the reader think about connections relating back to themselves and various metaphysical studies. While the every day reading deck is smaller, fit in the hand, has card stock which is easy to shuffle, and can be interpreted intuitively. 

The Knight of Coins from The Alchemical Visions Tarot
The Knight of Coins from The Alchemical Visions Tarot

I am not sure I could read with this deck for every day use. And that is fine with me. For this deck, like Wen’s Spirit Keeper’s Tarot, and many other occult tarot decks which come before them, is a great study deck. One you will want to savor the imagery slowly and you uncover the intricate details and symbolism contained within each card. This is a deck which will change your outlook of tarot and the world you live in once you work with it. The deck itself comes with a 182 page companion book. The book contains a short introduction to Taussig’s work, and the practices he taught himself to create the deck. Then each card is explained in detail with meanings and occult lore. The book does not include spreads, which also lends in to the idea that this tarot is meant for self-study.

The box is also a nice touch. It is made of a sturdy, thick cardboard and closes with magnets. Weiser Books crafted a lovely presentation with both cardstock and box, and The Alchemical Visions Tarot will last a long time. The printing for the book is not set in a standard book size. The typeset is small, so it may be harder to read. I would love to know if Weiser offers a pdf version of the book for the vision impaired.

Bottom Line: If you want to go deep in a deck study then The Alchemical Visions Tarot is perfect for you. This deck has a wonderful archaic feel in that it reflects medieval alchemical paintings, combined with modern day lore. The oversized cards allow for a better view of all the minute details.

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Review: Konxari Cards

Konxari Cards
IRM Foundation, 2009
Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Konxari (pronounced kon-zar-ee) Cards is a new spirit-focused divination deck, created by the IRM Foundation and featuring the photography of Paul Michael Kane. The idea is that you take the deck with you to a spooky location, shuffle and let the spirits relay messages to you through the cards. An updated version of the ouija board, the cards use photographs, words, and symbols to give you many ways to connect with spirits. The publishers of the deck claim that Konxari has roots in ancient Egypt and that it, along with tarot cards, have come from this era. Erroneous information aside (as far as the tarot goes), my curiosity got the best of me and I had to check this deck out.

The deck of 88 cards comes in a long rectangular box. The whole package of box, book and 44-cards sitting next to one another, gives the impression that this deck is more entertainment designed than to be used as a true spiritual tool. The cards themselves measure two by three inches and are printed on a light-weight card-stock with a semi-glossy coating. Their size, along with the glossy coating, makes the cards hard to shuffle when stacked together. Each card features a image, a title, a symbol (or color spot), and a letter (or number). Some cars are printed in a landscape rotation. The instruction booklet has 32 pages and contains “Quick” and “Expanded” rules for using the cards. It also provides meanings to some of the cards; symbol definitions; and includes two alternative spreads to use with the cards when you are not out searching for ghosts.

My partner and I put the Konxari Cards to the test at Samhain. We followed the rules of the booklet (“never play Konxari cards alone”) and we sat in a darkened room of our home. We hoped that the cards would connect with something and relay a message that we’d understand. We shuffled the cards and laid them out according to the main layout found inside the booklet. We removed four cards and were left with eight remaining cards: hiding, attic, door, prophesy, thermal, suffering, aura and shadow. The images and words caught our eyes and from this we figured that the impressions came from something we call “the house fae”. There is a closet on our first floor that tends to be popular with our cats. They’re always running in and out, as if they’re chasing something into that space. We also tend to use the space as our “attic” in that we store boxes, and decorations in it. Therefore the first few cards seemed to align with our experiences. Since the booklet also recommends playing with the cards and rearranging them to spell out words (remember, each card has letters on it) we shifted the cards around so they spelled words or phrases. We came up with Requim B6 (or 6B), and Be Quirm 6. Neither seemed important or seemed meaningful.

As I do with my tarot decks, I asked the Konxari Cards if they had anything to share about themselves. I drew the moon card for my first question, “What can I learn from you?” This card suggests using Konxari Cards could help expose or draw us closer to the mysteries we commonly associate with the moon: magick, death, and nature itself. I drew the Mirror card for my second question, “What is your speciality?” Here, the card represents the deck’s desire to show us reflections of the spirit world as they mirror or our lives and pasts. It is also said that mirrors are a portal to other realms and that this deck could be seen as a portal for contacting those realms. Finally, I drew the Hallway card for my final question of, “How does your personality differ from other decks?” The Eye of Horus drawn on this card suggests that the deck give “the dead the ability to see again”— a trait that other decks do not address.

Konxari Cards offer a new and portable tool to reach out and connect with the dead. If you’re a ghost hunter looking for a compact spirit communication tool to add to your arsenal then give these cards a shot. I also recommend Konxari Cards to the divination curious and would like to uncover a new type of cartomancy. To learn more about Konxari cards, visit The site contains the deck’s history, descriptions of the cards, and some videos of the cards in use and creative direction.