After Tarot Kit Review
Conceptualized by Pietro Alligo
Illustrated by Giulia Francesca Massaglia
Companion Book by Corinne Kenner
Publisher: Lo Scarabeo February 2017
The After Tarot deck is a companion deck to the Tarot of the New Vision deck, also conceptualized by Pietro Alligio.
This is directly from the back of the book:
Most of us are familiar with tarot card images. They’ve become part of our collective wisdom – snapshots in time, frozen in place, permanent and unchanging.
But the river of time is constantly flowing and the tarot cards we’re used to seeing don’t tell the whole story. The Fool doesn’t stand on the cliff forever.
What if you could see beyond the here and now – a glimpse of the future? That’s what tarot if all about, after all.
On page 7, Corinne Kenner explains The After Tarot take RWS’s work a little further.
Some of the cards are generally the same, with one or two added features and some with added characters. While others illustrate what you could imagine happening just a moment later.
For example, the man and woman in the Two of Cups – can you imagine them hugging? That’s exactly what they do and below there’s a white cat rubbing against the woman’s leg.
The High Priestess is almost identical with a small but significant change. Her right hand is now visible, holding the crossed keys found in the Hierophant; the keys, one gold, one silver, which are needed (in Masonry) to open the two doors to King Solomon’s Temple or in Catholicism, to open the pearly gates of heaven. An absolute brilliant addition!
Here are some of my favorites, comparing them to the original Rider Waite Smith.
The Fool – he walked off the cliff but was able to grab onto the ledge preventing his fall. However, pebbles are falling and he doesn’t seem to care. (see Majors above)
The Magician – through sheer will, he’s able to raise the tools of the Tarot off the table.
The Hanged Man – now has a woman bending down to offer the man some water.
Judgement – instead of the dead bodies rising, souls are rising leaving their skeletons below.
Five of Wands – instead of them fighting/sparring, one man stands in the middle while the others sit and listen. They all hold their wand upright, like tent posts, as if a structure could be built upon them.
Four of Cups – the man takes the cup and pours the contents out.
Eight of Cups – As the person sneaks off, a woman picks up one of cups and gazes into its depth.
Ace of Swords – The hand now is holding a falcon, the messenger of Kings.
Three of Swords – The swords have fallen out of the heart and the heart has bloody bandages.
Eight of Swords – A man is cutting the ties that bound her, with a sword he pulled out of the ground.
Here are some of my least favorites:
Eight of Wands – An archer, dressed for combat, stands in front of the flying wands about to send an arrow.
Five of Cups – is almost identical except for the man drowning in the river screaming for help. But the man does not hear him.
Two of Swords – The blindfolded woman still sits in front of the ocean however, she no longer is holding the swords. Instead, there are two men, crossing the swords, challenging each other to a possible fight (dual).
Four of Swords – A woman offers the knight in effigy, a rose. Rest in peace?
Knight of Swords – This Knight is a little shocking. His horse’s body is airborne and the knight is about to stab an enemy.
Four of Pentacles – The miser card. In this card, death is upon the miser as he continues to hold tight his money. Death and taxes.
The book gives brief explanations of the structure of the deck, the suit associations and meanings, a quick note on reversed cards, ten tips and hints how to read the Tarot, and a nice chart called the ‘Tarot Datebook’, showing how the Major and Minors correspond to the astrological year. They also offer three spreads, with one to three cards, as well as the ‘After Tarot Spread’ which is quite interesting.
It tells us to begin with a single card to represent your current situation. Then deal two parallel rows of cards next to it, to reveal two possible courses you could take; two separate futures you can choose from.
I love this idea. Instead of presenting the Querent with one choice, this allows you to offer two.
In section 2, the card descriptions are sorted by their number and their reduced two-digit number counterpart. i.e. The chapter ‘The Ones’ discusses the Aces along with the Magician.
Each set of cards (1-10) begins with an explanation of what the number itself is associated with. The Major card is discussed first and then the Pip cards. Each has a short metaphor or message of the card for example; The Ace of Wands is: “Too hot to handle”. Then there’s a short description of the card, followed by their key symbols, and suggested interpretations.
The Court cards has its own devoted section and in my opinion, it is too short. For example, the Ten of Pentacles takes up the entire page while in the Courts, there are two cards on one page. In addition, the Pages are barely spoken of however, the card meanings are included. Whereas, the Knights, the Queens, and the Kings, primarily focus on just the description.
Regarding the book, this is my only disappointment. Otherwise, the book is well-written, to the point, and includes crucial symbols in each card, not just the Majors.
After Tarot is creative concept and I applaud the idea as well as the effort.
I find that many of the After Tarot cards do enhance the original card meaning and may push a beginner to look past Waite-Smith’s images, which is always a positive. However, some of the additions have in my opinion, distorted the meanings and some cards have strangely added some unnecessary, negative connotations. Therefore, they may be confusing to a Tarot newbie.
I would recommend this deck for someone who has a sound understanding of the card meanings but not for a true beginner.
I love the way After Tarot is packaged. It comes in a sturdy box with a magnetic closure on the side.
The cover depicts the Two of Cups and above the caduceus it says, “Tarot: One Moment After”. The inside cover depicts the Moon card and on the right edge, only seen when you open it, is the Fool. Inside, the book sits upon a cardboard frame, with a lovely red ribbon, making it much easier to lift the book as well as the deck sitting just below it, in its own compartment.
The Deck Structure and Cardstock:
It follows the structure of the RWS – The Fool as 0, Strength as 8 and Justice as 11.
All the Major, Pip and Royal cards are also titled the same.
The cards stock is quite nice. It’s a heavy weight, but not too heavy. It has a slight slip and easy to shuffle poker style without worrying about the edges getting ripped. It also fans well. It has a semi-matte finish, the colors are vibrant and the back design is simply divine.
Conceptualized by Pietro Alligo (of Tarot of the New Vision & Tarot Mucha)
Illustrated by Giulia Francesca Massaglia (of Romantic Tarot & Tarot Mucha)
Companion Book by Corinne Kenner (of Tarot Journaling & Wizard Tarot)
Publisher: Lo Scarabeo February 2017
Card Size: 60 X 120mm approx. 2.6 X 4.7 in. (6.5 X 12 cm)
Back Design: Reversible
Deck Type: Tarot, RWS inspired. 78 cards.
Companion Book: 160 pages
Here is a picture of the After Tarot card back design and I placed it over the original Rider Pack from U.S. Games Inc. to show the size difference. The length is the same but the width is slightly smaller.