Dan Horn’s Tarot of Physics
I had the great pleasure of meeting Dan Horn at the Reader’s Studio this year and he graciously gave me a introduction to The Tarot of Physics deck he created with Corrine Kenner and he performed my first reading with it for me. I was so hooked that I immediately purchased a copy from my friends at The Tarot Garden and ran back to Dan to get him to sign my copy.
The Tarot of Physics is a subtle deck design: the cards are parchment-like, with a glossy backside and matte front. The cards aren’t very large; I’d almost call this a ‘pocket deck’ because it could almost easily fit is a jacket or shirt pocket. The parchment appearance of the cards gives them an older feel, and the symbolic drawings demonstrating the science concepts feel like something out of da Vinci journal or something Newton would have doodled to illustrate a concept to a student. This very brevity makes the messages stand out even more.
The best thing about the Tarot of Physics is how it combines real science terms and concepts with the metaphysical structure of a Tarot deck. It still has a suit of twenty-two Major Arcana and four suits minor Arcana; appropriately named Energy, Space, Time and Matter. Each Arcana starts from simple principles and builds to complex and powerful concepts; each Ace is is the simplest (the line, the Planck epoch, the atom and the battery) and the Ten the largest or most complex example of that suit. Each card details has it’s place in the Tarot (Ace of Energy, for example) as well as the principle of science it embodies (The Ace of Energy being “The Battery”) and when needed, a description of that principle complete with simple yet effective illustration.
One may think that a “physics” themed Tarot is just a “guy” thing but I can tell you that’s absolutely not true. Since getting my copy I have shown the Tarot of Physics to female friends of mine, some far smarter and better educated in Science than I, and they grok’d the theme and feel for it immediately. Science, when you get to the areas that are still theories and unproven laws, becomes highly philosophical and very “meta.” Much like the many fields of science, one can immerse ones self into the numbers and deep symbolism and relationships and history of every card of the Tarot, but it’s not necessary. Science is also a philosophy and once viewed as such, is easier to grasp as a whole; just as the Tarot can seem intimidating and full of details that must be remembered.
I’m very grateful for the opportunity to have met Dan and gotten the chance to give the Tarot of Physics a try. It’s now one of my ‘always nearby’ tarot decks. If you’re interested in getting your own copy, and if you’re a science geek like me you will want to, check out The Tarot Garden who are the exclusive carriers of the Tarot of Physics.
Tarot of Physics by Dan Horn & Corrine Kenner
Clean schematic minimalists images on pale yellow/beige background, that remind of high-school science textbooks, are used to link a different theory or application from physics to a tarot interpretations . In sync with the theme the suits have been renamed to Energy, Space, Time, and Matter.
As a special feature for those who want to use them the cards are only laminated on the backs so one could add notes, colors or anything you want to them.
A Big Flush Theory
Now there is a whole new area of science and technology to explore and discuss. As well as cross over. I’ve spent half of my life wearing two hats, doing non technological pursuits such as working with Reiki, psychic development, phenomenon and Tarot. As a geeky kid with an older brother who was a physics professor, I always felt that personal energy would one day find explanations in science.
It wasn’t until the free spirited ’90′s that science and the psychic began to merge and spiritual people like myself began talking about Quantum Mechanics and phenomenon. In fact someone actually went ahead and built the Tarot of Physics by Dan Horn & Corrine Kenner. It isn’t as pretty as The Quantum Tarot, which seems superficial, the clean looking graphics look like real physics notes. Each theory or application from physics has been made into to Tarot with the suits being Energy, Space, Time, and Matter…
Great deck. Really clear and witty too!
I am so happy. My deck just arrived. Wonderfully made.
AstaCakes: Oh wow, I just discovered this deck while browsing Tarot Garden … This is the scientific deck I’ve been waiting for! Unbelievably simple, elegant, and with specific examples of real physics theorys/applications and the suits changed to Energy, Space, Time, and Matter … I am just a lowly engineer with a rudimentary knowledge of Physics and a passing interest, but these cards just seem really cool. I think I like the fact that they are so clinical, as opposed to the Quantum. And again I’d hope to maybe learn something interesting so I can show off when I’m using them.
Rachelcat: Another completionist nerd here. I took the Quantum, Science, and Physics to a tarot society meeting and a friend and I played with three-deck readings. Everybody else avoided us–the mad scientists!
I like that all the info you need is on the cards themselves. And the logical suit organization. And the cute little cotton bag!
Aerin: I have a physics degree and worked in research for a while, although it is some time ago ’tis true. Gerbear looks to be more up to date than I am. I just had to have these when they came out. I like the way the diagrams look like they are out of a textbook (sad, huh?).
Sapienza: I read through this thread thinking ‘a physics tarot – definitely not my thing’, and then I clicked on the link and had a look. How very intriguing! The images are sparce but I feel like they draw you in.
Aerin: I got this on Saturday. Mine isn’t a grey paper like the picture, it is a warmer colour – parchmenty? The colour is textured as per the card images on TG. The diagrams are rather beautiful and the font offsets them really well, like an old fashioned textbook, and each card has a sentence so it is like its own LWB.
My first deck spread, about the deck and reading with it :
- Insight: 6 The Lovers – Fusion. The deck may look a bit offputting at first but if you work with it you can overcome this feeling and it will make for a very strong partnership.
- Setback: Ace of Space – a line. There’s a danger that readings may seem a little one dimensional unless you look beyond the physics to the underlying metaphor.
- Insight to overcome the setback: 5 of Energy Potential Energy. There’s a lot in this deck that at first sight may seem to be dormant. Think about ways of releasing what’s within yourself as well as the deck to get the most out of it.
So there you go. There was one card that snapped out at me as one I felt uncomfortable with – The World (Multiverse) , and that’s down to one word “explain”. “theories of alternate dimensions explain quantum mechanics”. To me that word could make it sound as if things are understood and finalised, and they aren’t. The cards, as it says in the blurb on TG, are laminated on the back only. It’s a deck that I shall handle carefully and I don’t want to write on the fronts, my mess would spoil them… They come in a plain bag which suits them extremely well. ps wish I’d had them at college. What fun to whip them out in the middle of a tutorial or a practical to get some advice – not that I would have dared of course…
Sidhe-Ra: I just got mine and I love it! So simple and elegant. And the Chariot is the Flux Capacitor! HOW COOL IS THAT?!
Selmainsley: Mine arrived bent so is currently being compressed. (Application of mechanical force). I loved the visuals and am becoming impatient to use it, to see what reading with it is like. The science seems mostly sound, although they snuck in a flux capacitor, which was a bit cheeky.