Russian / Slavic Decks? (and a little hello)

Greetings folk!
I'm new here... told about the forum by Robert, whom I've communicated with briefly regarding my soon-to-be-embarked-upon tarot deck.
I'll introduce myself briefly here, as it seems a good a place as any:
I'm an artist with a particular interest in folklore and story, in historic games and popular folk magic, and altogether, otherness in all its guises. You can see more of my work at the links below.

I am about to embark on painting a tarot deck, and am in the enjoyable stages of researching the imagery and antiquity of it all.
I'm not an expert or a longtime initiate into the world of tarot at all, but I am particularly interested in sequential systems in art and folklore.. like counting rhymes, zodiacs and alphabets. So I'm delving in with fresh eyes and an excitement for this project which is bound to take me years (I am a slow and detailed painter). I had a Marseilles deck as a kid, and invented a game with those cards, before knowing anything about their history. Now I am returning to the imagery, quite horrified by the sea of ugly decks that are available these days, and determined to make something with beauty, integrity and skill, that will feel ancient from the start.

ANYWAY.... I have a particular love for Slavic folk art and story.. and wondered if anyone here could point me to some beautiful examples of Russian or East European tarot decks? I have more questions.. but shall endeavour to take them to the correct rooms :)
Good wishes to you all from Dartmoor...
Rima are a couple of examples of my painting to be going on with:


Dark Mountain
Oils on Wood
Rima Staines 2011


The Alchemist
Rima Staines 2012


Come Away O Human Child From A World More Full of Weeping Than You Can Understand
Oil painted wooden clock
Rima Staines 2009

Re: Russian / Slavic Decks? (and a little hello)

Hi Rima, welcome to the forum!

Your art is so beautiful, it would be a pleasure to see your rendition of a Tarot.

I don't know anything approaching Slavic folk art, but one tarot that found a niche in my youthful heart was the Zigeuner Tarot by Walter Wegmüller, from the 1970s (I don't know the exact date).

It's obviously not ancient, but if you really want to be inspired by 15th century Italian images, there are plenty to be had, of all the trumps but the Devil. And we can get you a 16th century image of him.


Re: Russian / Slavic Decks? (and a little hello)

Thank you Ross :)
I spotted that deck in a book I have, actually, as one which particularly stood out to me...
I'm not specifically after only ancient decks... from the Russian and Eastern European artists working nowadays, I imagine there'll be many wonders being published still. I'm just interested in what tarot art has emerged from that side of Europe over the centuries....
Many thanks for your appreciation of my work :)
I shall enjoy rifling through the archives and insights here :)


Re: Russian / Slavic Decks? (and a little hello)

Without meaning to embarass Rima, this is a post where I mentioned her work from several years ago.


I love her style, and know that whatever she ends up producing will be simply amazing.

I intend to help as much as I can in her endevour as talent like this applied to tarot will no doubt have astonishing results.

Rima, I suggest you look through the threads in Bianca's Garden as a great starting point.

One thing that you'll need to be aware of is that most decks published these days use the Waite/Coleman system which began in the early 20th century, and that may be a requirement of your publisher to stick to the iconography of that system. There are many folks here who are familiar with that system and can help you keep within it while bringing your own creative eye to it, assuming that is one of the requirements of your publisher.

Whatever you end up doing, I'm very much looking forward to the end result, and am happy to help in any way I can. Please feel free to ask anything that comes to mind, I'm sure many of us would be pleased to help how we can.
The Tarot will lose all its vitality for one who allows himself to be side-tracked by its pedantry. - Aleister Crowley

Re: Russian / Slavic Decks? (and a little hello)

Hello Rima.

Your work is very nice, and I'm looking forward to seeing what you will do.

Here are a couple of Eastern European decks:
(You can also find additional photos for most of them by searching in Google Images.)

Udovichenko Ex-Libris Tarot ... chenko.jpg ... forum_id=5

Glass Tarot #2 ... 2cards.gif ... 2info.html

Glass Tarot #1
(can't find any images)

Storm Tarot - Frantisek Storm
(Photos do not capture the incredible engraving quality.) ... mcards.gif

A non-tarot deck, but it may interest you anyway:
Karten Fabrik Cobi ... forum_id=9

There are quite a few fabulous modern tarot decks, but unfortunately, more often than not, they are either ignored or given very little attention by most of the Tarot Community, in favor of more easily available commercial tarot products.

Here are some other modern decks that are among my favorites:

22 Arcana Maggiori di Donata Lanzoni ... forum_id=4

Michael's Tarot

D'Onofrio Portfolio- Corte dei Tarocchi- 2 vols ... ocards.gif

Arcanos Mayores de Catalina Cabrera ... forum_id=4

Iona Tarot ... forum_id=4

Tarocchi dei Labirinto
(Look under "Publications")

Tarot de Merlusine by Charles Pasino ... ecards.gif ... einfo.html

Pen Tarot

Tarot of the Midnight Masquerade ... asquerade/

Vito Tumati's Sinfonia di Tarocchi ... forum_id=4

Enrico Prometti Acani Maggiori ... forum_id=4
I am not a cannibal.

Re: Russian / Slavic Decks? (and a little hello)

Thanks so much Robert and OnePotato :)

Robert - you're right in one way about the system - I have to paint illustrated "narrative" pip cards rather than just geometric patterns, but I think beyond that my interpretation can be my own. I'm currently digging back before the R-W meanings to find something that really resonates for me.
I really appreciate your offer to provide so much help - I'm sure I'll be glad of it :)

OnePotato - you've reinvigorated my trust that there are some beautiful tarot decks still being created! Thank you! Some of those are incredible.
Couldn't see them all as I'm not registered at tarotcollectors - Have asked if I can be :)

Best wishes to all

Re: Russian / Slavic Decks? (and a little hello)

Dear Rima,
I'm delighted to see that you are contemplating creating tarot images. I very much look forward to seeing what you produce. I've been admiring the Tarot History website for quite a while and seeing your post finally prompted me to sign up as a member.
All best wishes to you and all the members,

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