The Daemon Tarot: The Forbidden Wisdom of the Infernal Dictionary is a book and deck of cards by Ariana Osborne, due from Sterling Ethos on November 5, 2013, and has arrived at the Reading Room courtesy of the publisher.
First things first: this is not actually a tarot deck. There are no suits, no major/minor arcana, and the deck has 69 cards. However, personally, I think that’s a good thing. Instead of being yet another novelty themed tarot deck which merely swaps out images from any other, this is something actually new and different.
Ariana Osborne is a print designer, from Portland, OR, who has taken inspiration from Jacques Auguste Simon Collin de Plancy’s 1818 Le Dictionnaire Infernal and the commissioned engravings by Luis Breton of these many entities for a later edition, and used those to create a cartomancy deck useful for creative divination, study and more. In fact, I’d previously mentioned her “Cartes Infernales” crowdfunding effort for this, and so it is actually quite wonderful to see this become a major release.
Each card has a name, image and brief description of one entity; and the companion book is primarily comprised of a reference for each card with additional information, including an annotation about the entity, an inspiration as relevant connection to the modern world, and a divination with suggested meaning for those using the cards for cartomancy.
There’s a tiny bit of dancing apologetics in the preface, which, you know, is fine if it soothes the squares and avoids being burnt alive or worse when the narrow-minded mob becomes nasty during Consumermas, but even with that this is a nice, cleanly designed reference and divinatory set of uncommonly complex entities which could be of interest to you.
“What does the Daemon Tarot hold in store for you? Summon the power of infernal beings to guide you on your path …
For the 1893 sixth edition of his Dictionnaire Infernal (‘Infernal Dictionary’), a volume filled with entries about magic and the occult, demonologist Jacques Auguste Simon Collin de Plancy commissioned over five hundred unique engravings—including 69 signed illustrations by Luis Breton, mostly compelling portraits of named daemons. Now author Ariana Osborne has created a matched set of 69 cards out of Breton’s works and written a companion book of illustrated entries for each. These entries detail each daemon’s attributes compiled not only from the Dictionnaire, but from a variety of other sources; Osborne’s own interpretations and insights into the subject of each card; and focused meanings to use in a traditional one-card draw or a six-card spread—’the next best thing to dragging a daemon into your living room to answer all your questions.'” — box copy
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