Using the Tarot for Creativity and Empowerment

Deck Review: The Sol Invictus – The God Tarot

Deck Authors: Kim Huggens & Nic Phillips
ISBN #: 978-0764327612
Number of Cards: 78 Major Arcana: 22 Minor Arcana: 56
Card Size: About 2.8” x 4.75”
Publisher:Published by Schiffer Publishing 2007
Deck Tradition: Rider-Waite-Smith
Deck Theme: The Divine Male
Suits: Cups, Swords, Wands, Coins
Court Cards: Awakening (Page), Quester (Knight), Nurturer (Queen), Master (King)
Major Titles: 0 – The Fool, 1 – The Magician, 2 – Inner Wisdom, 3 – The Creative, 4- The Emperor, 5- The Hierophant, 6 – The Lovers, 7 – The Quest, 8 – Strength, 9 – The Hermit, 10 – The Wheel of Fortune, 11 – Justice, 12 – The Mystic, 13 – Death, 14 – Alchemy, 15 – The Underworld, 16 – The Tower, 17 – The Star, 18 – The Moon, 19 – The Sun, 20 – New Aeon, 21 – The Universe
The Fool is 0, Strength is 11, Justice is 8
Card Back: Reversible – White back with red Sun in Center
Companion Material: 264-page companion book in English
Language: English

Awhile back, I was browsing the “Top Ten Lists” over at Aeclectic Tarot and to my delight, I stumbled across Sol Invictus: The God Tarot. I have several decks of the Divine Feminine theme but none featuring the Divine Masculine. So I snatched up this one as soon as I discovered it for I had been searching for a God-themed deck for quite awhile.

Sol Invictus: The God Tarot, created by Kim Huggens & Nic Phillips, is a deck that explores that many facets of the Divine Masculine. Through story and myth, the deck presents male deities, heros, saints, male folklore figures and other historical men throughout the ages, all in the spirit of Tarot. The cards feature male dieties such as Odin, Pan, Loki, Dionysus, Ganesh and Thoth — to folklore figures such as Santa Clause — to well-known historical men such as Alexander the Great, William Shakespeare, Socrates, Genghis Khan and Casanova — and even Jesus of Nazareth as the Hierophant. What I especially like is that the figures in the deck are not from a specific culture but range from many cultures and time periods. I found this multicultural approach refreshing.

First off, the presentation of the kit is beautiful. The deck, published by Schiffer Publishing Ltd., comes packaged in a colorful sturdy box, measuring about 11.5” x 6″ with a compartment for the deck and another for the book. The box has a magnetic closure to keep the lid firmly closed and a ribbon opener extending from the top cover to help open the container.

Sol Invictus Box image

The deck consists of 78 cards and all of the pips are fully illustrated. While the deck does follow the Rider-Waite-Smith tradition, the imagery and symbolism are vastly different; however, those familiar with the traditional symbolism should have little difficulty in interpreting the cards. An example is the Two of Wands. This card features Alexander the Great who points to his next conquest on a map . One truly gets a sense of planning, control, domination and confidence from this card.

2 of Wands from the Sol Invictus God Tarot image

Two of Wands

I love the 5 of Wands card – it features the age old battle between the Oak King and the Holly King as found in many Neo-pagan traditions and in folklore. Here, the two kings take part in the twice-yearly combat (at the Summer Solstice and again at Yule) for the domination for the light and dark part of the year.

5 of Wands from the Sol Invictus God Tarot image

5 of Wands

The card stock is quite sturdy and rather thick. The thickness of the cards is especially evident when the deck is placed next to a standard tarot deck – the Sol Invictus: The God Tarot is considerably taller. It took a couple of days before the cards became flexible enough to shuffle easily — but note that the cards are laminated and extremely durable. The art is done in watercolor pencils and inks and I found it vivid, evocative and very well-done. It is in somewhat of a folk-art style and its vividness easily conveys the symbols intended in the cards — it resonated quite strongly with me, in fact. A 1/4″ area of white space (call it a border, if you will) surrounds each card, which in no way distracts from the main image. The back of the card is reversible and features a white back with a brillant red sun in the center.

Card Back from the Sol Invictus God Tarot image

Back of Card

The deck uses wands-fire, swords-air symbology with the suits of the minors being Wands, Cups, Swords and Coins. The traditional Court Card personalities have been renamed to Awakening (Page or Princess), Quester (Knight), Nurturer (Queen), and the Master (King). At first, I was a bit surprised that the artists featured Genghis Khan as the Master of Swords. After all, he is known for being a brutal and ruthless killer. However, the companion book explains that he was successful in his conquests due to his intelligence, strategy and tactics — a keen, sharp mind that worked like a machine. It makes perfect sense when look at in that light.

King of Swords from the Sol Invictus God Tarot image

Master of Swords

Another of my favorite court cards is the Nurturer of Cups (traditionally the Queen of Cups) featuring William Shakespeare working on the play Romeo & Juliet. He has a dreamy look about him and is surrounded by wine. There are roses strewn at his feet. The book describes this card as follows:

The Nurturer of Cups can be seen as the mirror that reflects all human emotion and activity. His actions, chosen profession or hobbies express emotion and feeling — he may be a writer, singer, actor, an artist, or a film director – and he also nurtures emotion and encourages others to express it.

Nurturer of Cups from the Sol Invictus God Tarot image

Nurturer of Cups

The Major Arcana cards lists the number of the card, the name of the card and the figure that is represented in the card. For instance, the Hermit card lists: IX The Hermit and then Nietzsche’s Zarathustra on the second line.

The Hermit Card from the Sol Invictus God Tarot image

The Hermit

Also, some of the traditional card names in the Major Arcana have been changed. These are as follows:

The High Priestess becomes Inner Wisdom
The Empress becomes The Creative
The Chariot becomes The Quest
The Hanged Man becomes The Mystic
Temperance becomes Alchemy
The Devil becomes The Underworld
Judgment becomes New Aeon
The World becomes The Universe

Don’t worry if you are not familiar with all of the figures portrayed in the cards – the 264 page companion book goes into a detailed explanation of each card, explaining the symbolism, the myth/historical event on which the card is based and the divinatory meanings for each card. I have to say that this is one of most well-researched and detailed companion books that I have come across. The book is divided into six sections:

  1. Introduction
  2. The Major Arcana
  3. The Minor Arcana
  4. The Court Cards
  5. Using the Tarot
  6. Tarot Spreads

In the Using the Tarot section, the books discusses fate & freewill, using the God Tarot in ritual and Astral Pathworking using the deck. Lots of goodies in this section! I also particularly liked the Tarot spreads section, featuring spreads put together especially for The God Tarot deck. I’ve already used The Sorcerer Spread recently on the blog, to give you an idea.

This deck is a delight to read with and I recommend it for any student of tarot who wishes to explore the masculine energies of divinity. It is not just for men however (as I personally have several goddess-themed decks that I use) or those interested in the masculine divine – for male energies reside inside all of us. Anyone who has an interest in folklore and mythology or would like to learn more about these topics should enjoy this deck as well. This was certainly a welcome additional to my personal collection. Recommended!

Additional Card Images Below:

3 of Cups from the Sol Invictus God Tarot image

3 of Cups

Alchemy card from the Sol Invictus God Tarot image

Alchemy card

Inner Wisdom card from the Sol Invictus God Tarot image

Inner Wisdom card

4 of Swords from the Sol Invictus God Tarot image

4 of Swords

Buy the deck HERE

All images of the Sol Invictus: The God Tarot © Copyright Kim Huggens & Nic Phillips

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