Study Course on the Artwork of Modern Tarot
by Adam McLean
Modern tarot designs began from about the 1960's and there have been well over 2000 tarots decks published in the last fifty years. With such a mass of material available it is very difficult for people to get a overall picture of exactly what is going on in this exciting world of tarot symbolism. There now exist such a wide variety of tarots, from those designed by major artists, through a spectrum down to simple promotional decks given away free in magazines. All of these provide a window onto our contemporary culture. They are like the emblem books of the 16th and 17th centuries, communicating universal and deep ideas within a seemingly simple framework. Tarot designs are usually the work of enthusiasts and their artwork reveals clearly their intentions and the way they think about the world. There are mythological, shamanistic, magical, psychological, dark and serious, light and playful tarots. There are tarots celebrating all sorts of interests, addressing various issues. There are regional tarots in which an artist tries to locate tarot imagery within their own culture or region, tarots in the style of various earlier artists and so on.
What this course is not about:
This course will not teach you anything about cartomancy or fortune telling using tarot cards - there are a multitude of courses and books doing that
This course will not teach you anything about tarot reading
This course does not deal with esoteric interpretations of tarot - there are already so many books on this theme
This course does not teach the early history and origins of tarot, it deals with modern tarot only
What this course does attempt to teach:
This course aims to give you a wide appreciation of the artwork of modern tarot card designs
This course will guide you through the maze of the many different modern tarot and provide you with some tools for understanding, analysing them and placing them in their context within the tarot tradition
This course will help people who are beginning to build a collection by showing the relationships between different decks and the ways in which they can be grouped and linked together thematically
This course parallels Adam McLean's other courses on alchemical symbolism and adopts a similar methodology. He tries to find what is actually there in the image or symbol without projecting an external interpretation upon it. His stance towards the artwork of modern tarot is not based on personal taste, but instead in a non-judgemental way he tries to explore and discover the delights of the artwork in its own terms. Adam McLean has extensively studied alchemical, emblematic, and esoteric symbolism for nearly 40 years. He has created seven study courses on alchemical symbolism and texts, and produced over 1000 coloured emblems. He has now turned his attention to modern tarot and his course is based on his own extensive collection of over 2100 tarots.
This is not an intellectually challenging or primarily scholarly course, though it is written by a scholar of symbolism, emblems and allegory. Instead the course is designed as a kind of exploration of the world of modern tarots. At the end of this course you are guaranteed to have a wide appreciation of the many facets of modern tarot.