aka: Baphomet: The Tarot of the Underworld
Author: Akron | Illustrator: H.R. Giger | Page Count: 223
This is the usual Tarot package, which means it’s a book giving details of readings and spreads and a deck with which to use. The cards are beautifully presented, large format card but totally impractical for use; nor is it a full deck, it’s just the Major Arcana. Worse, some of them have been changed. The Hanged Man is now The Hanged Woman, to better represent the painting Akron has chosen, and Temperance has become Alchemy. It doesn't really matter as they weren't painted to commission; like I said, they were simply chosen, the paintings existed before the book was conceived and have none of the traditional imagery or symbolism necessary for the user.
I've no doubt Giger could have produced a fundamentally different Tarot if he set his mind to it, one which included the necessary symbolism and still managed to maintain his sexually fuelled nightmarish imagery. The book includes a chinagraph pencil sketch for each of the 22 cards, most of which would have been better suited to the purpose had they been fully painted.
After a brief introduction wherein Akron gives his reasons and justifications for using the paintings, he gives his interpretation of the meanings of the cards. Some of Akron’s writings are deep and insightful; had the book been written as a mere observational piece it could have been fascinating.
I know there are people that collect decks regardless of their usefulness, so for those people, and especially for fans of Giger, it’s an interesting package. The collection is available in the German or English language. It contains: a soft cover book by the occultist Akron, 22 fully illustrated Tarot cards and a spread mat for laying the cards on during readings.
If you want a proper Tarot deck get the Rider-Waite deck, not this. I'm scoring this from a Giger fan POV and ignoring the lack of practicality.
5 biomechanical phallic disturbances out of 5