If you are fond of the Tarot of Marseille, the Maktub Tarot by Suada Agachi is definitively your cup of tea.
The traditional style of the French pattern has been brought to a new life through the guidance of Suada Agachi and by the hands of the Romanian painter Mihai Adrian Răceanu.
The old archetypes have been carefully examined, revisited and recreated. While the original French decks were raw and artistically limited due to the printing technology available at their time, the Maktub Tarot benefited from all the modern achievements and a fresh artistic viewpoint.
The traditional Marseille Tarot decks were originally printed from woodcuts and then coloured either by hand or using stencils. It is more the work of an artisan rather than an artist. The master carves an image into the surface of a block of wood, leaving the printing parts level with the surface while removing the non-printing parts. The surface is covered with ink by rolling over with an ink-covered brayer. Multiple colours can be printed by using a different woodblock for each colour. However, this technique mainly favours strong lines and loose colouring.
The cards of the Maktub Tarot have been manually painted with oil paint on canvas, then digitalised and printed on superior quality card stock with the latest, eco-friendly printing technology. The result is a bright, vibrant, modern Tarot deck revealing its vivid personality but keeping solid roots grounded in the ancient tradition.
Mihai Adrian Răceanu is a self-taught painter fond of surrealism, especially Salvador Dali. He started painting at the age of fourteen, initially landscapes, then religious icons, till he discovered H. R. Geiger, surrealism and ultimately Dali. The last was a life-changing experience and put Mihai Adrian Răceanu on his own path of painting surreal worlds inspired by night visions and dreams. He painted over 350 paintings, many of them being part of private collections worldwide. He also painted for three Orthodox churches and a series of thirteen icons for the Catholic Church in Navodari.
Therefore, the guidance and models provided by Suada Agachi combined with the visions and talent of Mihai Adrian Răceanu incarnated in the seventy-eight cards of the Maktub Tarot.
The twenty-two so-called Major Arcana cards feature archetypal images, while the fifty-six cards of the Minor Arcana reproduce the geometrical pattern style of the Tarot of Marseille.
Fascinated about ancient Egypt and all its still unrevealed mysteries, Suada Agachi found inspiration in the art and architecture of the ancient civilisation that once ruled the Nile Valley. In her travel through Egypt, she visited both the large cities and the least accessible areas to find meaningful stories and wisdom. An expert in face reading techniques, she has spent more than seven years researching the symbols and hidden messages of the cards.
Maktub means “it is written” in Arabic. The concept of maktub and determinism are deeply embedded into the Arab civilisation and school of thought.
Maktub is a word that repeatedly appears in The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. It means that everything is already written by the G_d. Whatever is happening with us is already written and destined.
Thus, if something is written, it is also readable, respectively predictable. According to Suada Agachi, this complex philosophy transposed to the seventy-eight Arcana of the Maktub Tarot signifies “this is how Life is written.”
Arcana means mystery, secret, or enigma, and Tarot means Life. The Tarot deck, with its seventy-eight cards, is the instrument for unlocking the mysteries of Life. Each card represents an essential chapter of our lives, but they are also small mirrors reflecting situations or choices.
The human soul, depicted by the Fool, evolves through the twenty-one stages representing the complete cycle of life’s span. The rest of the fifty-six cards are tools that the Fool has to master in order to reach perfection.
The Maktub Tarot is the personal guide someone needs once they choose to follow the path of self-exploration and wise decision-making.
The seventy-eight cards of the Maktub Tarot deck are delivered in a beautiful tuck box, including a printed mini-booklet with instructions in English and Romanian.
You may also purchase a specially designed Maktub display tablecloth and a high-quality velvet bag to safely keep and transport your deck.
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