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Quantum Tarot

Tarot Deck by Kay Stopforth and Chris Butler, published by Kunati

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Physics Meets the Tarot

  • Jul 17, 2009
  • by
"Quantum Tarot combines the revolutionary theories of the 20th century physics with the traditional 78-card structure of a tarot deck. Quantum mechanics, Einstein's theories of relativity and superstring theory offer new and strange views of our world. The Quantum Tarot makes these startling ideas accessible through the symbolism of the tarot, giving poetic expression to dry theory. The deck examines how the most important theories of modern physics play out in two extreme worlds; the vast expanses of the universe and the strange, invisible world inside the atom." - From the Quantum Tarot companion book

From Planck's constant to black holes, gluons to quarks, such ideas may evoke fear, intimidation, or even yawns in those remembering science classes of bygone days. Yet, in the Quantum Tarot, author Kay Stopforth elegantly and brilliantly correlates potentially Byzantine theories to each of the 78 cards.

This is no small feat, to be sure.

Somehow, Kay not only makes physics understandable and intriguing, but also adeptly explains and connects how theories, planets, laws, stars, processes and effects can offer insightful meanings to everyday human life.

Artist and digital illustrator Chris Butler weaves dazzling images from the Hubble Space Telescope and NASA Solar System missions with traditional card symbols, silhouettes, and faces, resulting in a stellar synthesis of the ethereal and the mundane, the minute and the colossal.

Measuring approximately 4 ¾ x 2 ¾, these vibrant, borderless cards feature reversible backings with numbered and named Trumps. Minor suits are Pentacles, Cups, Swords and Wands, while the Court Cards follow the Page, Knight, Queen and King designation.

Handsome enough without it, the Quantum Tarot has the additional attractive touch of platinum edging, something I haven't seen before. (Hard to believe, but I think I like it even better than gilt edging!) The cards and the companion booklet are nestled in a sturdy "cigar box" with a removable lid.

The 199-page companion booklet depicts black and white miniatures of each card, as well as a short essay on scientific background, Tarot interpretation, and a contemplative question.

Here are but a few of the correlations within the Quantum Tarot:

* The Empress - Gravity
* The Hierophant - Newton's Laws of Motion
* The Devil - Black Hole
* The Star - String Theory
* The World - Theory of Everything
* Page of Wands - Orion
* 6 of Swords - Fermions and Bosons
* 8 of Pentacles - Galaxy Formation
* 5 of Cups - Particle Decay

For the last year, every time I've used the Quantum Tarot, I've had incredibly accurate readings. A simple 3-card reading yields stunning clarity, especially when I take into consideration Kay's scientific and Tarot interpretations.

This deck wouldn't be a good choice for those brand new to Tarot, only because the subject matter could further complicate an already daunting study of the cards. However, for those familiar with the Tarot who are also interested in the various permutations of physics--as well as those enamored with the stunning images from the Hubble Space Telescope--will find the Quantum Tarot to be a deck full of wonder and surprising messages.

-- Janet Boyer, author of The Back in Time Tarot Book

(To see 15 images from this deck, visit the Reviews--Decks section at JanetBoyer.com)


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About the reviewer
Janet Boyer ()
Ranked #195
Author of The Back in Time Tarot BookandTarot in Reverse. Co-creator of theSnowlandDeck. Amazon.com Hall ofFame/ VineReviewer; Freelance Writer/Reviewer; Blogger; Professional Tarot Reader/Teacher; Lover … more
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Combining 20th-century physics, astronomy, and quantum mechanics with the traditional archetypes of a tarot deck, this theoretical investigation lends poetic expression to extraordinary scientific theory. With gorgeous illustrations that offer a new glimpse of the universe, the accompanying cards offer both wonderful meditation images and basic tarot functionality. This fascinating analysis examines how the most important theories in modern physics play out in two extreme worlds—the vast expanses of the universe and the strange, invisible world inside the atom itself.
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