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Ibis Tarot Cards

The name Ibis refers to the bird associated with the Egyptian god Thoth, who instructed mankind in the sacred arts of language and hieroglyphics. It is Thoth, therefore, who is sometimes called the author of the “Book of Tarot”. The ibis bird can be seen on the side of the Magician’s table. Deck artist Josef Machynka describes it as symbolizing “the divine power worshiped by the Magician.”

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The Ibis Tarot is based on tarot teachings and designs from the book Practical Astrology by Comte C. de Saint-Germain (aka Edgar de Valcourt-Vermont) -- published in 1901. Machynka faithfully followed the stylized ancient Egyptian figures, hieroglyphs, and symbols for the Major Arcana that are found in the aforementioned book (starting on page 186) and created more appealing versions for the Minor Arcana. The deck follows a traditional structure but the names and symbology reflect the culture of ancient Egypt. For example, card 3 is Isis-Urania rather than the more typical Empress. The Fool is number 22 (instead of zero) and is called the Crocodile. The court cards are the Master, Mistress, Warrior and Slave.

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Tarot card illustrations © U.S. Games Systems, Inc.

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