At my initiation I was gifted the Book of Thoth conceived by Aleister Crowley and birthed by Lady Frieda Harris and it was with that book I remained for 20 years.
Sure I was introduced to other decks some of which I obtained however they never to nearly came close to Thoth. They either never had the correct astrological symbolism or the correct numbering of the Major Arcana cards. One way or another these decks did not fit.
My good friend Mhairead MacDonald introduced myself to the Mary-El by Marie White. Mhairead ,(M), was excited by it and after looking at the visuals etc had placed her order as usual I was dubious.
Perhaps a day or so went past M was still there waving the Page of Wands Pennant - which appears to be the Artists Card within this Deck.
I eventually touched the buttons and clicked the links, Firstly it was a video; I was enchanted. Then another's link... Looking and Feeling Good. And then the official Mary-El Tarot website and like the fool I leapt out off the precipice and clicked to buy.
M received her deck a little before myself and of course was thrilled. I asked her to double check the numbering of the Major Arcana and they were sitting as they should be.
Patience is my enemy I waited...
An imagination is my ally; I filled my space.
They arrived. Gently opening the packaging so as not to scratch the treasure chest. It appeared as The Sacred Ship from The Holiest of The Holies it had been born in the imagination and through time and craft it was manifest This Arc of The Abyss.
The box and presentation is produced by Schiffer so you do have that moment of perception that it is a magick box. It looked good, it felt good it even smelled good. I chose to stop short at tasting the cards.
There in within lay the deck ever so securely snug to the right hand pillar. And to the left was The Landscape of The Abyss , that is the book that accompanies The Mary-El.
I went straight to Deck and out it came and I went through slowly each Image as I did so I recalled where I was, and where I had been...
Standing at the Edge.
Standing at the Edge of My Own Time, Depth, Information and Space.
What had I been waiting for?
When did I enter The Abyss was it earlier this year when I changed everything and decided to become a professional Tarot reader? Was it the moment M introduced myself to the Mary-El? Was it when I clicked confirm? Or the very moment I began to use all of my senses to absorb this visual feast?
I looked again and again.
The cards themselves are of a preferred size not quite as large in dimensions as my Thoth Deck yet larger than some standard Tarot. The colours are encapsulated in a high gloss and vivid as lucid dreams. The back of the cards show two intertwined Ouroborus suggesting eternity. Ouroborus always reminds me of the day dream of One of the most famous, and most controversial, dreams in the history of science - The Vision of Ouroboros – the snake consuming its own tail – that revealed the shape of the benzene ring to German chemist Friedrich August Kekulé (1829-1896). In that vision he cracked the formula. It suggests the reality of our collective unconsciousness and also how powerful archetypal symbols are in the past, present and future.
Not wanting to have the cards too scratched from use I placed them into a prepared Tarot bag. For use this deck I have and I will. Perhaps when the universe provided I will obtain another copy to keep in situ. Or even to frame for that is how ascetically pleasing the Mary-El is.
I went to the accompanying book, opened and a nice touch in that the Golden Pen of Marie White had signed it and dated it in the American fashion, it was dated Beltaine... That bodes well.
Honestly I have not read the book I have dipped into it here and there and I will read it all eventually. The cards speak to me, sometimes it is a roar, others a subtle whisper, a rising image or a sea wave of reflection.
There has been such care put into the art and the understanding of myth in this deck it qualifies it energy by that alone. To find images that stand side by side and are joined is a delight. An example would be the 5 of Disks and the 5 of Sword and The Moon XVIII & The Sun XIX.
These cards do simply work on levels that do not exists in the majority of other decks and dare I say I FEEL - they have surpassed The Thoth and I KNOW - they have been a Catalyst that has Taken myself beyond The Veil of the Abyss.
The Four Suits arrive thus:-
Wands are The Fiery Trees, Batons Spears and Arrow some are the nature of the wolf, others like the 8 of Wands simply explode off the card.
Swords are the Things that fly move navigate and support the air. Here we find many a raven, crow and eagle or the beautiful 2 of Swords as a Dragonfly poised yet ready to advance.
The Cups are the Grail Mystery Strong and Powerful Unicorns not fluffy by any means a shell on a storm wracked beach under a brooding sky, a bountiful waterfall with far to go. Again another wolf in the sevens.
The Disks Truly show the majesty and splendour of the kingdom of earth. From The Shamanic 2 of disks to the internal Eden of The 5 of disks and a excellently crafted Baphomet of The 9 of Disks - magickal energy continuing to be resolved by way of a spiral horn.
And there is my offering however to experience one needs to obtain this the key and then one needs to invoke and ingest it all. And there is only one proper way to do that, go to the Source.
Below is an example of the Tetractys Spread.
Note the 7 of Disks - William Blake could of done no better.
Khabs Am Pekht
The Magus 9°= 2□ XI°
I Tego Arcana Dei