Time Capsule #3
A rediscovered deck . . .
First—a couple of follow-up notes related to recent stories.
If you’d like to see the 1947 version of Nightmare Alley—discussed in EP’s recent Tarot Noir post—the entire film is available free on YouTube. The Tarot scenes are very effective (about 16 minutes into the film, and then at 1 hour).
I neglected to mention in Sunday’s San Francisco Oracle story that there’s also a “San Francisco Oracle” deck which celebrates the “bohemian history” of SF. The 58-card deck, which has its own divinatory system, was funded on Indiegogo in 2020, and remaining copies of the deck seem to be available there. A peek:
And now—this week’s rediscovery from the Time Capsule.
Just to offer some context . . . the physical “Time Capsule” contains (among other things) hundreds of pieces of paper. In little or no order.
So getting from one discovery to the next is slow sledding! But after a bit of floundering, I found the one big thing for today:
Peter Ra’s Salmon Tarot
I don’t own this deck, but the artist sent me some photocopies when I was gathering illustrations for my second book, and his work always stayed in my mind as eccentric and elegant. I believe this deck was published in a limited edition.
Here’s what I have for the full set of Major Arcana cards:
I also have a resume (through 1995) for Peter Ra, in which he is described as a “Modern Multimedia Artist,” whose art projects include painting, sculpture, film and ceramics. Ra was born in Scotland, which has its own version of a mythic tale that is found in many cultures: the Salmon of Wisdom.
I don’t know whether he produced other complete decks, but I have several individual card samples, which cover a wide range of styles. The color work is very different from what is shown here.
Fortunately—since I’m featuring The Fool in every January newsletter—one of the samples I have is:
This Fool is labeled “Kone Tarot,” 1995.
Since then, Ra has been engaged in a wide variety of projects—visit his website for examples. On the site, he describes his practice this way:
I like the idea of drawing every dream. And of course, I wonder how that connects with his interest in Tarot. But this is all I could find out.
No idea what next week’s Time Capsule discovery might be—but in the meantime, Thursday’s newsletter will be a surprise in its own way. Thanks so much for reading.
Warmest regards, Cynthia