Fantod Tarot Deck
[Edited together and put into PDF format by Arcanaeum: 2003]
Before we get to the actual deck, you will want to read the following enlightening information regarding the deck.This is by a Brandi Weed, from her website which I found on the internet while researching. It will shed some light on the deck:
This deck is a bit of an oddity, as it's not really so much an actual cartomancy deck as a spoof of same.
Edward Gorey is probably known to most people for the animations on the title sequence of Mystery!, but he's quite an accomplished illustrator and artist in his own right, with a morbid yet strangely appealing sense of humor (one of his more famous pieces is a little alphabet called "The Gashlycrumb Tinies," about 26 children and the untimely ends they come to).
The Fantod Pack comes with a booklet by one "Madame Groeda Wyrde" (anagrams are another Gorey favorite), giving instructions for how to read with the deck. The booklet itself is quite funny, with instructions such as the following:
"Interpretation must always depend on the character and circumstances of the person consulting the pack. What might portend a wipe-out for a teenage hotdogger from Yokohama, might warn an octogenarian spinster in Minot, North Dakota, of a fall in the bathtub, though, of course, the results might come to much the same thing."
The artwork on the cards and the cover of the booklet are the classic Gorey style of finely detailed pen-and-ink work. The card backs and the booklet feature a strange little creature known as a 'Figbash'.
The 20 cards themselves feature symbols that I would consider peculiar to Gorey's artwork and style, such as The Urn, The Child (a skeleton!), The Waltzing Mouse, and an untitled card of an armless black doll. The meanings for each, as given in the booklet, are that sinister yet funny mix characteristic of Gorey, predicting such things as a forged letter, green sickness, loss of saliva(!), and other such unwholesome matters. Each card also represents a day or month which, as the booklet notes, "should prove particularly calamitous." The exception is the Black Doll which has only the particularly grim warning of "What most you fear / Is coming near".
The stock the cards are on is thick and glossy, with unrounded corners, and would shuffle nicely if you wanted to do so. They are moderately large but not unwieldy, measuring about 2-1/2 by 4-3/4 inches.
While you couldn't really do a reading with these cards (I hope!), Edward Gorey fans will probably want to grab it as soon as possible, and even serious cartomancers might be amused by the spoofery.
Note: according to the booklet in my deck, this was issued as a limited edition of 776(!), so it may not be in print anymore. The place to contact to find it, though, is the Gotham Book Mart in New York, who are the primary source of Goreyana. (Alas, they're not online!)
The Awful Vista ofthe Year.
Now (ha( you have learned of all (he dreadful things (ha( have overtaken your friends and relations during (he past year as scribbled on the inside of their Chirstmas card,, don't you want (o know what dreadful things lie in wait for you?
To (his end Madame Groeda Weyrd (a nom de gare; her (rue one is known (o few (his side ofthe grave) has consented (o have the faniod deck printed here. Madame Weyrd, who is of mixed Finnish and Egyptian extraction has devoted her life (o divination, and is the author of, among a shelf of other works, Floating Tambourines, a collection of esoteric verse, and The Future Speaks Through Entrails.
(er Career as one ofthe most celebrated (race mediums came (o a close when she lost two and a (hird fingers as a result of a contretemps during a ecioplasmic manifestation. She had long since been persona non grata (o many ofthe rich and famous because of her fearless predictions of disaster. She know makes her home on S(a(en Island ((he one (hat's pari of Tierra del Fuego) and is writing what is hoped may be the definitive (realise on (he Mystic &ean.Of the Fantod Pack itself Madame Weyrd will only say (ha( its origin may not be divulged, but i( is of incredible antiquity.
Interpretation ofthe card must always depend on the character and circumstances ofthe person consulting (he deck. What might portend a wipe out for a (eenage ho(-dogger a( Yokohama, might warn an octogenarian spinster in Minot, North Dakota, of a fall in (he bathtub, (hough, of course, (he results might come much (o the same thing. The day ofthe week or Month ofthe year given for each card should prove particularly calamitous. The meanings given are selective rather then exhaustive, and hints rather (hen assertions. /Lastly, you must rely on your own temerity and "imagination ofdisasier" (enryJames) (o gain full meaning ofthe cards.
January wasting loss of ears an accident in an elavator lurching sickness cracks false affection vapors a secret enemy misdirection demons estrangement chagrin
Febuary miscarriage of justice gapes a forged snapshot morbid sensations a useless sacrifice alopecia a generalized calamity broken promises ignominy an accident in a theatre fugues poverty
March a forged letter paralysis false arrest falling sickness evil communications estrangement a sudden affliction anemia strife a distasteful duty misconstruction
Continue reading here: The Ancestor
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