The “Nine Lives Tarot”, skillfully illustrated by Australian artist/designer Annette Abolins, represents the artist’s creative and spiritual perspective on life. The illustrations are figurative, portraying experiences in life as a visual story. Whilst admittedly a free interpretation of the Rider-Waite-Smith system, additional inspiration has been drawn from imagination, mythology and from people close to the artist, whilst finding a deeper symbolic meaning to the ups-and-downs, opportunities and mysteries encountered on the path.
The artwork began as ink drawings on paper, which were then digitised and coloured using illustration software, retaining the sense of freedom and expressiveness of the original drawings. The whole deck took more than 3 years to complete and was finally launched in November 2013.
The Major Arcana
The four court cards in each of the suits of pentacles, rods, cups and swords represent personal influences in the realms of the home & hearth, spirit & creativity, the heart and the mind. Each suit is coded according to its association with star signs as well as the elements of earth, fire, water and air respectively. The colourful and life-affirming illustrations include visual connections between the cards to suggest different aspects and phases of Self.
The Kings, Queens and Knights from the Nine Lives tarot were subsequently redrawn and converted into a 52-card deck of illustrated playing cards, published in 2016. See here►
The minor arcana cards represent everyday situations, depicted in terms of prosperity, creativity, love and the mysteries of the mind. Thus, current influences from within the different suits provide clues to help better understand challenges, seize opportunities or confront life-changing events depicted in the archetypal, major arcana cards, thereby revealing the ‘bigger’ picture.
The title of “Nine Lives Tarot” was chosen because of the way the tarot depicts the cyclic movement through life. At no point does one card speak of finality and physical death; instead the cards work together to weave a picture with an open road to interpretation...
The Kings, Queens and Knights from the Nine Lives tarot were subsequently redrawn into a 52-card deck of playing cards, published in 2016. See here►
Comic Fortune-Telling Cards published by Reynolds & Sons, c.1850.
Playing cards are used for fortune-telling, predicting the future or even as a psychological adjunct to folk medicine and therapy.
Fortune Telling cards by Whitman Publishing Co., 1940.
La Sibylle des Salons facsimile of 19th century deck published by J M Simon, 1979.
Le Jeu du Destin Antique, originally published by Grimaud in XIX c., republished many times since...
Playtex - le jeu de la beauté et du destin, Grimaud, 1971.
Egyptian Tarot published by Naipes La Banca, Buenos Aires, c.1980.
“El Oráculo de la Bruja” fortune-telling cards, 2003.
Facsimile of Tarot de Marseille by Iohann Christoph Hes, Augsburg, c.1750.
Kinney Bros Transparent playing cards with hidden images and fortunes, c.1890.
Bharata Major Arcana Tarot by Ishan Trivedi & Sunish Chabba, 2018. Inspired by Indian art forms.
Georgian Fortune Telling Cards, c.1800.
Black Cat Fortune Telling Cards published by Parker Bros, 1897
Tarocchini Bolognesi by Carlo Zanardi, c.1850
Piatnik’s ‘Bourgeois Tarot’ in a version published in 1987 with nice quality images, especially the double-ended trump cards.
V. F. Solesio Tarot, Genoa, mid-late 19th century
Wüst Lenormand deck, c.1860
The Cagliostro Tarot was first published in 1912 as “Il Destino Svelato Dal Tarocco”.
English Fortune Telling cards probably published c.1770.
Rolla Nordic Tarot was drawn by Paul Mathison.
“Le Grand Tarot Belline” after drawings by Edmond Billaudot (1829-1881).
The so-called Tarocchi di Mantegna (c.1465) reflect an ideological structure bringing to mind the soul's progress towards perfection.
Aleister Crowley Tarot - Crowley and Lady Freda Harris worked on the illustrations between 1938 and 1943
Tarot, originally a 15th century card game from Italy, has evolved into a form of personal mysticism and spirituality.
The designs of these fortune-telling cards are largely taken from nineteenth century Austrian "Rural Scenes" Tarock cards.
The Sola-Busca Tarocchi, c.1491
Nine Lives Tarot by Annette Abolins, 2013
The ‘Housewives Tarot’ designed by Paul Kepple & Jude Buffum, published by Quirk Books, 2004.
“Naipes Tu Destino” Cartomancy Cards from Peru will ease any stress in your interpersonal relationships c.1975.
The ‘Mystic’ Fortune Teller card game by Clifford Toys.
French edition of the ‘Bourgeois’ Tarot by Héron
Tarot des Pompiers de Paris, a French Fire Brigade tribute tarot deck
The Picture Book of Ana Cortez is an original work of art designed to facilitate Divination.
Stefano Vergnano’s Tarot and playing card factory holds a special place in the history of the Tarot.
“Gipsy” fortune-telling cards with original artwork by Hylton Cock, published by Thomas de la Rue & Co Ltd., c.1910.
“Tarjetas de la Felicidad” containing positive mental affirmations by Lauro Trevisan, Buenos Aires (Argentina) c.2001
Designed by Cesare Asaro to simulate decks from the 1700s or earlier, the Tarot of Musterberg is based on the traditional Tarot de Marseille but with an imaginary historical background.
The highly individual Sicilian Tarot has the Italo-Portuguese suit system with straight, interlocking swords and batons, and maids instead of jacks
“Encyclopedic Tarot” by C. L. Wüst with “bourgeois” views of life on the Trumps.
Playing Card Oracles - Alchemy Edition - by Charles J. Freeman and Ana Cortez