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This deck adds an intensely personalized, multi-leveled rendition to the tarot gallery. Traumzeit means ‘dream time,’ and the wide diversity of images bears out the intent indicated by the title. Depictions from historic monuments like pyramids mingle with the totem poles of the Northwest costal Amerindians. Characters rise out of misty, swirling landscapes. Some are composite human-animal creatures. The renderings reveal the artist’s background in fantasy illustration and tattoo art.

Although the titles are in German, the card images are, for the most part, self-explanatory. Suit-element associations follow the majority: Stabe (Staves) = fire; Schwerter (Swords) = air.

The artist conveys divinatory meanings through ingenious devices. In the Two of Wands a pair of hands twirl sticks to create a fire. The Pentacles (Scheiben) and a few of the Cups (Kelche) pip cards include esoteric and Hermetic symbols. The Four of Pentacles is distinctly Crowley-esque, as it depicts a castle built on an isolated plateau. Beckhauser adds epic drama to the Lovers card (Liebende). Some cards, like the Ace of Cups and the Seven of Pentacles, portray galactic space-scapes.    

This unique self-published deck presents an unusual amalgamation of historic and global symbols, epic renderings, and powerful characters. In some images, the central figure is overwhelmed by the background, or the rendering’s small details are lost when reduced to card size (2.75” x 3.85”). The backs are non-reversible and feature the deck’s title woven into a kabalistic Tree of Life-Sephiroth graphic. In the Minor Arcana, the suit titles are so faint as to be nearly illegible. Nevertheless, this deck is excellent for divination, exceptionally evocative for personal meditation, and highly collectible to boot.

~review by Elizabeth Hazel
Deck and book by Stefan Beckhauser
Self-published, 2008.
78 cards and booklet in box.  Deck – 18,50 Euros, book – 27,50 Euros (check exchange rate for equivalent in dollars) at www.traumzeit-tarot.de/com.
 
(previously published in the ATA Quarterly Journal, Summer 2008 issue)

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