Xultun Tarot

Xultun Tarot: The Maya Tarot Deck

Xultun Tarot: The Maya Tarot Deck

総合評価:4  [総評者:榊原紗耶奈
定価: ¥ 1,937、 発売日: --


I decided to get this deck since I live in the Yucatán peninsula in México, where the mayan culture also settled.
The deck comes in a green medium-sturdy box that contains the 78 card deck and a little booklet that introduces you to the Xultún Tarot, the method of shuffling the cards, and keywords for each of the Major and Minor Arcana. I think the art is beautiful and the card stock quite good. The back of the cards is a green jade with a pattern of white mayan glyph.

THE MAJOR ARCANA: They are borderless, which gives you the feeling of expansion; no titles are included and the numbers are in the style of the mayan culture: a point means 1, a line means 5….So if you see in the bottom of the card 2 horizontal lines and one point above (the sum is 11, which relates to the Justice). This might be quite hard at the beggining, since there's no explanation for this in the LWB.

THE MINOR ARCANA: A thick black border at the bottom, with the tittle of the card in 5 languages (english, french, german, italian and spanish). The images are RWS based, but in a mayan art style, like a mayan codex. The suits have been renamed as follows: Swords and Cups have remained the same, but Wands were changed into Staffs and Pentacles have been renamed Jades. As for the Court Cards, these are Servants(Pages), Warriors(Knights), Ladies(Queens) and Lords (Kings).

I use this deck burning some incense and listening to tribal soft melodies, and as far as I've been reading with it, the more easy is to me to understand the cards.

I haven't done any readings with it yet (so this may be amended later) but so far I'm not too sure about this deck. As someone fascinated with Mayan/Aztec culture and history, it's very cool (and if you get The Flight of the Feathered Serpent, the purple book written to go along with this deck WHICH YOU SHOULD GET or else you will have trouble understanding it!, chock-full of interesting information on the ancient Mayans).... but as someone fascinated with Tarot, this deck is a headache, and I'm not yet sure if it is worth it, haha.

The design of the cards leaves a bit to be desired, though I may be biased as a graphic designer myself. This seems like more of a show-off deck or a collector's deck than one meant for a reader. The major (higher) arcana is made up of cards with a picture on them (no words or titles, only numbered in the mayan numeral system... which is cool, but terribly impractical if you're trying to do a quick reading) that, when you arrange all together, make up a giant, multi-card mural. Awesome, but again, impractical.

The minor (lower) arcana isn't very easy on the eyes either. While the art itself is in the mayan style and very interesting, a contrasting big, black blob is at the bottom of each card with the number of the card and the title written in multiple languages in a font that doesn't match well at all. No symmetry with a line at the top or anything.

The images selected for both the major and minor arcana don't really fit the readable meaning of the card much... which is a problem in many decks, I will admit... but still one that makes me knock a star off on my rating. This is a problem for the major arcana since they aren't even labeled with anything other than the mayan numerals.

I haven't actually done any readings with this deck yet, but so far I've been impressed only by the actual pictures and research that went into the deck, not the actual look of the cards nor their theoretical usability.

My suggestion would be to get this deck if you are a collector or an aficionado of tarot and the Mayans-- but if you are a newbie to tarot just looking to learn from a pretty deck, steer clear. For general readers that aren't new to tarot but are not looking to just collect, I'm still not quite sure yet -- there still may be a chance that, with a big learning curve, it could be great for readings.
Peter Balin deserves attention for his portrayal of maya images and devotion to the imagery of the Maya Tarot. The deck is very interesting in that its arcana creates larger picture. The picture or tree of life has much more depth of understanding about human self-reflection than is described in the cards instruction booklet. The accompanying book Flight of the Feathered serpent is an easy to read text of Peter Balin's interpretation of these ancient maya images and how they relate to human self-reflection. A great read for non-academics who enjoy his line art and maya idealogy woven with tarot wisdom.
This is one of the most magnificent decks I have ever encountered in terms of depth and sheer beauty -- find a way to get it. Although it is apparently out of print,(...). It is one of the most unusual -- and beautiful -- interpretations of contemporary tarot.
After over 30 years I have come to finally observe this splendid Mayan Tarot deck. Originally published in 1976, this stunning interpretation of traditional Tarot translates wonderfully to the often overlooked and misunderstood "lost civilization" of Central America. More than a kitschy tribute, this deck bridges the wonders of both Tarot and the wonderful artwork of the Maya.

I am no expert by any means of the Maya, but I know a labor of love when I see it. The major trumps are all numbered with the Mayan numerological system. Oddly enough, these glyphs resemble trigrams from the I-Ching. China is an ocean away from the Yucatan, yet one cannot deny the similarities in both systems. I would have to say it is an odd coincidence. The creation myths of the Maya are stranger yet! Other star sytems and people from the sea bring to mind legends of Atlantis and UFOs. Mere speculation, but grist for the mill in certain esoteric circles. After all, this fully developed civilization had access to the Atlantic ocean!

By all means, if you can get your hand on a copy of this masterpiece do so. Just because it is out of print, doesnt make it impossible to find. A tarot archeologist like myself finds it worth the effort to track down this amazing addition to your collection!


⇒ Xultun Tarot: The Maya Tarot Deck