An interesting multi-ethnic deck that blends its creator’s combined Christian/Islamic background into a thought-provoking and very readable tarot. Full of appealing artwork, including many well-placed details that enhance rather than detract from the overall canvas.
This deck, by artist Emil Kazanlar was produced as an ‘Ecumenical Tarot”. The art is good with a lot of detail. The colours are rich and vibrant. There is also a lot of symbolism in the drawings, both Eastern and Western. The Major Arcana is a strange mix of old and new. Kazanlar obviously used his own vision to produce the scenes on the Majors. The High Priestess looks like Wirth’s, Strength and Temperance seem to be modified versions of the Marseilles cards of the same name, and the remainder of the Majors seem to have an Islamic influence. For example, the Hierophant has been renamed The Prophet and depicts Muhammad (face hidden by a veil) riding a horse. There is Arabic writing sprinkled throughout the Majors as well. Strength is number 11 and The Fool is number 22. The Court Cards are King, Queen, Knight and Page, and the suits are Wands, Cups, Swords and Disks, though the cards also use the playing card equivalents on the right-hand border.
The minors present us with an even more diverse mixture of cultures. Middle Eastern, Far Eastern, Egyptian, Hindu, and European culture are all represented. The Minors have even more symbolism than the majors. The Qabalistic Tree of Life correspondence for each Minor Arcana card is on the top and bottom of each scene. Kazanlar attributes all the court cards to En Soph. The Aces are attributed to Kether, twos to Chokmah, etc.. Kazanlar also provides the negative or “black” Sephirah at the bottom for reversals. There are astrological symbols in the left, and the card number, suit and some other symbol unknown to me on the right. Some of the Minors depict scenes from mythology, and Kazanlar indicates these in his booklet. The scenes on the Minors are not based on Waite-Smith. (tarotpassages.com)
In my opinion, the Western esoterism it’s shallow and nothing but a pale copy the long time lost teachings. On the other hand, unfortunately, Islam practically wiped out almost completely the original Far Eastern tradition, so everything we have left are scattered “fragments of an unknown teaching”. Each “master” add his own ideas and left off the things he did not understand or he disagrees with. The rituals are nothing but mechanical imitations of the forgotten Magick.
Dr Emil Kazanlár managed almost miraculously to merged together with the inheritance of his Iranian roots with the culture and folklore of his adoptive home, Hungary. Muhammad (V – The Prophet) make a good pair with Krishna (2 of Wands) and Budha (6 of Wands), with Traditional Hungarian characters such as Kukorica Jancsi (2 of Cups), Ferenc József (4 of Cups), Vitéz János (5 of Cups), Hunor és Magor (8 of Cups), Mátyás király (10 of Cups), Toldi Miklós (Page of Cups) and Szent István (King of Cups). Islamic and Christian saints and prophets are neighbouring ancient Egyptian Gods such as Thoth (Ace of Swords), Hathor (4 of Swords), Nut (6 of Swords), Isis and Osiris (Queen an King of Swords). While the Wands are populated by Buddhist figures, the Cups are reserved for Hungarian popular figures and Christian saints, the Swords are represented by the Egyptian Gods and finally, the Disks (Pentacles) are animated by Arab fairy tale figures such as Sinbad (5 of Disks) and Aladin (6 of Disks). On top of that, all these different cultures are bound together on the Kabbalistic Tree of Life.
Unfortunately, I don’t have any background information about Dr Kazanlár’s system, but definitively it’s an original and exciting approach, eventually a groundbreaking new path to explore.
Dr Emil Aminollah Kazanlár was born on the territory of the ancient Persia, today’s Iran’s capital Tehran, on 17 September 1939.
At the age of twenty-three, he moved to his mother’s home country, Hungary.
In Iran, he founded a puppet theatre, and he studied miniature painting at Tehran’s Fine Arts College.
At Budapest, he graduated the ELTE’s Academy specialized in Spanish and French languages, gained his doctorate in philosophy, and worked at the faculty of arts for eleven years as Persian-language assistant.
He has worked in the Hungarian Parliament as French, Spanish, English and Persian interpreter, was a journalist and worked for the Iranian embassy.
Since 1990, he had grown an interest for esoteric painting and Tarot.
Kazanlar Tarot Cards on Amazon for about $199.00.
Generally, you can find the original A. G. Müller edition, second hand and in good condition for 150-200 USD.