When we hear the word Renaissance, we may envision a host of key events that took place during this time period. Renaissance means rebirth and focused mainly on art, architecture, and literature. The original renaissance period was between the 14th and 17th centuries and started in Florence, Italy. Leonardo da Vinci was an artist, sculptor, inventor, architect, and engineer, who lived during this period. Michelangelo, Raphael, Galileo, Lorenzo de’ Medici, Copernicus, and many others left their mark during the renaissance period. And some of the major events that took place during this era were the printing of the Gutenberg Bible in 1454, Columbus sailed the blue in 1492, Michelangelo finished his David sculptor in 1504 and the first atlas was published in 1570 to name a few. It’s these people and advents that most of us associate with the renaissance era. But, did you know there was an American renaissance?
The America Renaissance period was approximately between the years 1830 – 1917, although some say it ended with the end of the Civil War. Some of the most influential people during this time were Edgar Allan Poe, Oliver Wendall Holmes, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Walt Whitman, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. It was during this time period that the epic fight to abolish slavery, transcendentalism and mysticism took root. Many writers were influenced by these and their works are still celebrated today. So much so, that even a tarot deck was fashioned after The American Renaissance.
For the purpose of the tarot deck, the author covered over thirty writers from the years 1825 to 1875. Their profiles in this project expertly reveal how America’s metaphysical history is at work beneath the surface of its classic literature.
The American Renaissance case looks like an old medieval stained, burnished and weathered leather tome with opulent brass hinges and double cap rivets. Once you open the lightly magnetic lid, you will see a large guidebook that you can remove with the included green ribbon. Underneath the guidebook, you’ll find the tarot cards divided into two stacks. The interior of the box is made also out of corrugated material and looks like grass.
I cannot say I’ve seen a guidebook this massive before. The cover features a human eye with wings. Inside you’ll find a forward, preface, acknowledgments, introduction, and The American Renaissance Tarot Spread. The pages looked stained and aged which I really like. The introduction includes:
🟤 The Major Arcana
🟤The Minor Arcana
🟤But is it Tarot
🟤Reading, Writing, and Magic
🟤How to Use This Deck
🟤The Consciousness that is Aware
🟤The Other I Am
🟤The Scarlet Letter
🟤Angels and Demons
Each of the cards in both the Major and Minor Arcana’s are assigned a person, title, or event that existed during the era. For instance, the Fool – Joseph Smith, the Hermit – Hendry David Thoreau, Ace of Swords – The Raven, Ten of Wands – Ishmael and Six of Coins – Clotel as examples. The guidebook shares details on each card and the literary correspondent it represents. They also feature some keywords and a quote for a quick reference. Each author still has a tale to tell long after they are gone.
The American Renaissance Tarot deck is a little taller and wider than a standard deck, but still comfortable to hold and use. The cards are firm but flexible and feature the same image on the back as the guidebook cover. I personally don’t care for it and cannot see the relevance to the deck. Each card is beautifully illustrated with bold colors and unique images.
The American Renaissance Tarot is a gorgeous deck and would be a fun addition to any collection.
Disclaimer: I received complimentary products to facilitate a review. All opinions are my own, yours may differ.