Medevial's Traumzeit-TarotⓇ

When I first saw the Medevial's Traumzeit-Tarot, a self-published German deck by Stefan Beckhusen, I immediately thought that this would be what would be produced should Ciro Marchetti's Tarot of Dreams deck get together with Aleister's Crowley's Thoth Tarot deck.  This deck embraces the estoteric symbolism that is present in the Thoth, along with a reinterpretation of the classic Thoth imagery, but done in the smooth, realistic style similar to the Tarot of Dreams.  And yet it is so much more.  There is Hebrew writing, runic, and other symbolism intertwined within the images on the cards in this deck as well, making this a very deep and potentially dark deck in meaning.

Stefan Beckhusen is a true Renaissance Man.  He's an artist working in visual, physical, and audio media, he is known and respected for his 3D structural and corporate work, as well as for his visionary tattoo and musical talents.  He is self-publishing this deck, so it may be ordered via email to  I had my order within 2 weeks (from initial contact email, through payment via PayPal , through delivery at my house).

The cards are somewhat shorter than a traditional Tarot deck, approximately the size of a playing card deck.  The card stock is also reminiscent of playing cards, and the cards shuffle and are handled easily.  Each card has its title on the card, and for the Majors and Minors, the rank of the card is at one end and the suit is at the other.  In the case of the Majors, the name of the Trump is included on the card.  The card titles are in German, which shouldn't be a problem for any reader, as each archetype of the Majors is readily identifiable.  The backs of the cards are attractive, and display the name of the deck as well as depicting the Tree of Life surrounded by a long ribbon on each side with words written on it, with the entire design on a background of a starry universe.  Unfortunately, the writing on the ribbons is too small for me to read.  The deck is not intended to be read with reversals, as the back design is very directional and no reversal meanings or keywords are provided.  While there is amazing esoteric depth to this deck, it should not be passed on by any reader.  There is amazing richness and depth to the imagery that makes this deck very readable by anyone.

The Traumzeit-Tarot follows the traditional Tarot deck structure with 78 cards -- 22 Major Arcana and 56 Minor Arcana.  The Majors are numbered 0 through 21, with The Fool numbered as 0.  The card titles of the Majors deviate somewhat from both traditional and Crowley titles in some places.  For instance, what would be traditionally Justice (Adjustment in the Crowley Thoth), is Karma, and is numbered as 8, and Lust replaces Strength, and is numbered 11.  The artwork is stunning.  I really like the treatment of Narr (Fool) and Magier (Magician).  Stefan has depicted the figures in each as a mirror image of the other, with the Fool's world full of chaos and the darkness of the unknown, and the Magier's world being manifested by himself and very controlled as he balances on a beam of light that is part of the larger world.

Similarly structured like the Crowley Thoth, the courts in this deck replace the traditional and usually male Page with Princesses, Knights, are Princes, and the Kings are on horseback.  The traditional elemental suits are recognizable as Stäbe (Wands), Scheiben (Disks), Schwerter (Swords), and Kelche (Cups).  Something particularly interesting is that all the Minors in the Disks suit have different writings on the disks depicted in each card.  The exception is the 7 of Scheiben, which has no writing on the disks, but the disks seem to be reflecting part of something in them.  Also, the King and Queen of Scheiben have Asian coins depicted in their cards versus the disks that were in the others.  The 10 of Scheiben depicts the disks in the form of the Tree of Life, and each disk contains at least one Runic symbol from the Elder Futhark!

The deck doesn't come with a little white book (LWB), but does have three extra cards.  On the title card, Stefan gives a short description of the deck and provides contact information and links to his websites.  On the back, he lists the suits with elemental assignments, ranks of the Minors, courts, and Majors, with keywords.  I really like this format; it gives a basis of keywords to start working with the deck – and frequently insights, as everything is written in German, and the words that come up via translation can be very interesting.

On another card, he provides two spreads that can be used with the deck (one on each side).  One spread is "Das Kreuz" which translates to "Iron Cross," and consists of a four-card layout which is read 6 ways.  The other is "Inkarnation, das schöpferische Gesetz," which translates to "Incarnation, the Creative Act," and consists of a 10-card layout that replicates the Tree of Life form and is read 13 ways.  The third extra card is special and will only be included in the first 78 decks that Stefan sells.  It is an extra of any one of the cards in the deck, which he autographs and dates, making these first 78 decks very collectable!

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Tarot Reflections is published by the American Tarot Association - Copyright (C) 2008 

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