First of all... what does Archeon mean? Following is an excerpt taken from the LWB, written by deck creator Timothy Lantz:
"The name "Archeon Tarot" springs from several sources. "Archeons" were regents of ancient Athens, whose jurisdiction covered civil affairs. The word "anarchy" dates from a time when strife and chaos prevented archons from being appointed by the Athenians. "Archeon" also relates to archeology. An archeologist sifts through layers of the past to discover meaning. Those who consult the Archeon Tarot sift through the layers of imagery in the cards, thus finding a way to harvest order and meaning from chaotic or seemingly unrelated events of life. Finally, "Eons" were considered to be emanations sent forth by God, or embodiments of divine attributes.
Consider the Archeon Tarot a window into the mythology of one man's world, or at least how he imagines his world to be."
The Archeon Tarot is a digital collage deck, which normally I steer clear of. But the seamless and dreamlike way this one was done appealed to me. It does not scream "collage" in the traditional sense of disconnected images slapped together.
The images in this deck are dark. And by that I mean literally dark in hue. I don't find it to be so much a dark/gothic deck as a deck with incredible depth and layers. What I love about it is that the cards serve as a perfect gateway to your intuition, if you are open to allowing yourself to experience intuitive reading. There are no canned readings with the Archeon. When I pull this deck out, my intuitive muscles are stretched and I read from my soul rather than from my mind.
Now let's talk borders. I always have something to say about borders. The borders on this deck are actually very nice, and I really love the font used for the titles. However, the inner striped borders always distracted me and I couldn't get past that, so they had to go. Once I cut the borders off, I fell in love. The images became so much more powerful without the interference of borders. (This review features the cards with the borders intact.)
One of my favorite cards would have to be the Five of Swords (image at left). How hot is he?! I would gladly accept defeat at his hands as long as I could watch him do it. Another card that stood out was the Eight of Swords, because it reminds me so much of me! Not the naked-and-tied-up part, but the actual profile and hair of the woman. It's strange to see your likeness in the face of another, especially on a tarot card!
The Tower is another of my favorite cards in this deck, and probably my favorite Tower card of any deck. It just exudes the overwhelming feeling you're supposed to get with this card. There is a woman crouched down in the forefront of the card, protecting her head with her hands from the inferno ruining the building behind her.
The Four of Wands gives me this powerful "staring fresh" feeling. The Queen of Swords is hauntingly beautiful. The Six of Pentacles is effective in its simplicity. I really like the atmosphere of the Seven of Wands, in which an old house is made into a character.
There are a few cards that I haven't yet found easy to relate to, such as the solitary woman in the Ten of Cups, or the beautiful-yet-somber feeling Three of Cups. But they haven't yet come up for me in any of my readings, so perhaps when they do, I will understand their meaning as I am supposed to at the time, just like I have with the rest of the cards in the deck.
(All cards mentioned are shown in this review.)
I must also mention that there is a fair amount of female nudity in the deck which, in all honesty, I could do without because it is a bit distracting, but it's not enough of a deterrent for me to eschew this particular deck.
How it Reads
I clicked with the Archeon immediately on a soul level and the readings I do with it are hard to put into words. It's more of a comprehensive knowing I get, and all the images gel together to create a deep understanding of what I'm supposed to know. For that reason, I have not used this deck to read for anyone else. I would have a very difficult time vocalizing a reading with this deck because for me, it surpasses words. So the deck remains one that I only do readings for myself with.
I have found that these cards do not beat around the bush. They deliver the truth and nothing but the truth, no matter how ready you are to face it. One of the first drawings I did with the deck was inquiring if I could trust a certain man I had just met. I was having iffy feelings about his integrity. I pulled a single card, the Seven of Swords, which shows a raven holding in its mouth a shiny gold piece hanging from a chain. I knew instantly this man couldn't be trusted, and it turned out I was absolutely right.
The deck is not light and fluffy, sparing your feelings. It gets down to the nitty gritty, to the stuff you may have been shoving down in the back corners of your consciousness. So it's not for the faint of heart or mind, but rather for those brave souls who want to gain access to their inner (and outer) worlds, no matter how long the dust has been settled there, or how raw it will make your emotions. The Archeon Tarot surpasses the superficial and gets down to what's real. And for this, I find it an invaluable collection of 78 pieces of card stock!
The LWB and Spread Sheet
The Little White Book which accompanies the Archeon Tarot is deck specific and well written by the deck creator. The Majors give much more detailed descriptions than the Minors, offering with each card a famous quote, descriptive insight into the card, and upright and reversed keywords. The Minors each begin with a brief fragmented phrase, followed by keyword meanings for both upright and inverted positions. The 10-Card Celtic Cross spread is also included.
The Spread Sheet included with the Premier Edition (shown at left) is custom designed to accompany the Archeon Tarot and displays the Celtic Cross featured in the LWB. Spread sheet measures approximately 17" x 21" and folds up for easy storage.
I think this is one of those decks that you will either really connect with or not. It's not the type of deck that everyone will be ready for or comfortable with. I happened to bond with it instantly, and wouldn't be without it. If you are looking for a deck that will engage your intuition and you aren't afraid of what you might find there, then I highly recommend the Archeon Tarot.
See below for 12 more images.
Suits: Cups, Wands, Swords, Pentacles
Court Titles: Herald, Knight, Queen, King
Justice/Strength: Strength 8, Justice 11
Card Size: 2 3/4" x 4 3/4" (trimmed size: 2" x 3 5/16")
Card stock: Glossy
Deck-specific LWB: Yes
Deck-specific Spread Sheet: Yes
Artist: Timothy Lantz
Publisher: U.S. Games Systems, Inc.
Deck: The Archeon Tarot (published by U.S. Games Systems, Inc.)
This deck review was originally published on my previous blog (Tarot Dame) on 6/11/09.