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Published August 27, 2017 Updated March 11, 2023

Rolla Nordic Tarot

Rolla Nordic Tarot was drawn by Paul Mathison.

1960 United Kingdom Paul Mathison Tarot Add to Collection

Rolla Nordic Tarot was conceived by Rolla Nordic, whose real name was Murielle Doris Berulfsen (1898-1996) and who was an avowed practitioner of divination, rune stones, celtic witchcraft and ceremonial magic, and author of the book “The Tarot Shows the Path” (1960 & 1990) first published during the hippie tarot revival (see cover notes). The artwork was produced by Paul Mathison in black and white so that the owner might colour the cards by hand to complement their learning process and enhance the personal nature of tarot reading. The drawings are attractive and appealing in themselves and more or less follow a traditional tarot format with debts to Frank Lind (Insight Institute) and the Waite/Smith deck.


Whilst playing card historians generally maintain that tarot originated in Italy during the early 15th century, Rolla Nordic, like her mentors, locates the origins of tarot symbolism in much earlier initiation mysteries. The artist, accordingly, seeks to reveal a higher reality through symbolism.

Above: Rolla Nordic Tarot designed by Paul Mathison, several editions from 1960 onwards. 90 x 57 mm. The trumps conform mostly to the Marseille tarot but with some details borrowed from Pamela Colman Smith.

REFERENCES & ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Rider-Waite Tarot   Insight Institute Tarot

Paul Mathison also designed “Classic” playing cards for Lanselle Co.

All images and additional research courtesy Adam West-Watson.

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By Adam West-Watson

Member since September 01, 2014

I have been fascinated by playing cards ever since I can remember, and still have several of the card games I had as a child. And although I had accumulated quite a number of packs of various sorts over the years, it wasn't until I was in my 50s that I began collecting in earnest. My tastes are quite varied, and my collection of 800 or so decks includes:- children's games, standard and non-standard playing cards, adult games, fortune telling and oracle cards, tarot cards, and even cigarette cards.


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