The Alice Tarot
Author: Karen Mahony
Designed by: Alexandr Ukolov and Karen Mahony
Illustrated by: Alexandr Ukolov
Magic Realist Press
“The Alice Tarot” has been on my desk since it arrived … and it will stay there, along with Ciro Marchetti’s “Oracle of Visions”, and my reading deck, the “Morgan-Greer Tarot”. It is always nice to have a choice in the cards one wishes to work with!
This is a traditional, 78 card deck, following the structure of the Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot. This gives it form, a form within which we are encouraged to play, and expand our wisdom. It is certainly not a Rider-Waite clone. Oh, no … it has wisdom and imagery of its own, based on the Alice books (written by Lewis Carroll), and the creator’s desire to merge the enchantment of Alice with the magic of Tarot. The intention of this deck is to allow the reader to “go down the rabbit hole”, and see what they will find. This can be a strange, surreal world, one in which imagination is allowed to run rampant, and understanding comes in leaps and bounds. The deck is accompanied by a 40 page LWB. (Note, there is a larger, more definitive book available for purchase separately.) The cards and LWB come in a beautifully decorated, heavy cardboard box.
The card titles follow the traditional structure, with the suites being Wands, Cups, Swords, and Coins. Strength is VIII, Justice is XI. The court cards are Page, Knight, Queen, and King.
The LWB offer several spreads: a five card “Down The Rabbit Hole”, a four card “The Caucus Race”, a four card “The Tea Party”, and a five card “My Own Wonderland”.
For the Major Arcana, the creators matched the classic attributes of each Major Arcana card with scenes and characters from the Alice stories.
Each card is presented with what the energy is, keywords, and Alice meanings. For example:
The Mock Turtle
A deep spiritual or philosophical thinker*Taking time out on your own to consider the deeper questions of life* Cutting yourself off from others because you need a space to think clearly* Stepping aside from the business of everyday life in order to develop your spiritual side*Loneliness
An injustice*someone who pretends to be fair, but isn’t*Watch out! Don’t trust someone who is telling you what to do*A “cat and mouse” game … being lured into something under false pretenses
The cards are 3” by 5”, with a reversible blue and white floral background featuring two rabbits. The card faces show a ¼” white border surrounding the central image, with the card title in black letters against a white background along the bottom of the deck. The Major Arcana show title only – no numbers. The coloring is intense, with beautiful cold stamping on each of the cards that gives areas within the cards an iridescent look as the light catches them.
The High Priestess portrays Alice going through the Looking Glass. Alice meanings include going into another world, or finding another way of thinking in this world.
The Hanged Man features the Cheshire Cat. Alice meanings include giving yourself up to a joyous madness, and advice from someone who is perceptive and also, perhaps, somewhat irresponsible.
The Queen of Wands is the chess Red Queen. Alice meanings include someone who is always in a rush, and warm sexuality.
The King of Coins is the chess White King. Alice meanings include someone who thinks he is more practical than he is, and a kindly but ineffective man.
The Six of Wands shows the characters turning into cards as Alice wakes up. Alice meanings include realizing that a threat has no real substance, and refusing to be intimidated.
The Four of Swords shows the Dormouse sleeping. Alice meanings include calm amidst chaos, and sleep and dreaming.
The Ten of Coins shows the Mad Hatter juggling cakes. Alice meanings include having it all, and having fun with it, and a playful exuberance.
The Two of Wands shows Alice finally getting into the Wonderland garden. Alice meanings include seeing clearly where you want to go next, and longing to get to a better place.
“The Alice Tarot” is a rabbit hole that you will not regret going down!
© 2014 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author.