The Cosmic Tarot deck by German artist Norbert Lösche isn’t a new deck; it’s been around since the 1980s and inbetween it was out of print for a while.
But because it’s one of my all time favourites, I felt the urge to write a little review about it, especially now that I’ve bought the companion book for it, too.
My copy of the Cosmic Tarot deck is an F.X. Schmid edition from 1988, and I connect fond memories with it.
It was the era of the cold war slowly coming to an end, my time at uni coming to an end, and New Age topics gaining more interest mainly due to feminist and green/alternative movements.
There was massive change in the air, which is reflected in the cards; the Cosmic Tarot is not a traditional deck.
Although many images bear some resemblance to the RWS (Rider Waite Smith) Tarot and its clones, others depict contemporary scenes and modern symbolism, such as men in suits and yoga poses.
The overall feel of this deck is one of inter-connectedness and the individual’s connection to the cosmos. We see celestial symbols – the sun, moon and stars – on most of the images, and if not, there is at least a little sparkle somewhere in the scene.
Astrological symbolism based on the Golden Dawn correspondences has also been added, although not consistently on each image, and some is a little misleading.
For example, we see a lion in the background of the Nine of Wands, which can be mistaken for this card to be linked to the zodiac sign Leo. However, the Nine of Wands is linked to Moon in Sagittarius.
In order to make sense of some of the card meanings, it is worthwhile purchasing the companion book.
There is a lot of information on the Major Arcana cards, and each one is explored in relation to the cosmos, the human community and the individual, with keyword meanings as a summary.
The Minor Arcana cards are tackled more briefly, which is a little disappointing, but you will still pick up new insights on each one of them.
It’s important to note that the meanings of some Minor Arcana cards in the Cosmic Tarot differ considerably from the standard RWS deck, which is reflected in the images, so again it does makes sense to buy the companion book.
The court cards – King, Queen, Prince, Princess – all depict people just like in a traditional deck. The companion book reveals that some of them are based on movie stars, such as the Prince of Wands (Tom Cruise) and Queen of Swords (Ingrid Bergmann).
Bygone movie stars are also hidden on other cards, but those are for you to discover
There are also new spreads to try out, such as the Cosmic Pentagram and Human Community spread. Both involve a large number of cards (11 and 10 respectively).
Overall, I do love using this deck, and if you are looking for a deck with a more modern and inclusive feel, then this one is for you.
Nowadays the Cosmic Tarot is published by US Games. The book is sold separately, and you can buy both items at the Book Depository (free worldwide delivery):
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