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Nefertari Tarot deck and Sphynx Tarot Deck

Thread originally posted on the Aeclectic Tarot Forum on 28 Feb 2004, and now archived in the Forum Library.

Rusty Neon  28 Feb 2004 
I've got the Sphynx Tarot which is essentially the same deck as the Nefertari Tarot, except that it's without the metal foil and its images are mirror reversed. It's a pretty deck to look at, and much of the imagery is close enough to the Rider-Waite to get by. However, it's frustrating that I can't get explanations for much of the deck's symbolism. The LWB doesn't explain the Egyptian imagery. Has anyone had luck finding any books (e.g., Egyptian Art books) that are helpful for going through the Egyptian symbolism? Any Egyptian Art books I've looked at can only give explain imagery of a couple of the cards.

Thanks for any replies. 

HudsonGray  29 Feb 2004 
I've got the I Tarocchi Egiziani, which is different but still has a lot of the same symbols.

For the different gods & goddesses, just do a search on "Egyptian Gods and Goddesses" on There's so many you have to check each one out individually--they all have stories.

Lotus flowers are symbols of life, blue lotus are actually almost extinct now & were used at parties (eaten to get a hallucinatory high, they were really valued!). The crook & flail were symbols of the pharaoh's power. Scarabs stood for rebirth. The Eye of Horus (the black ringed eye) stood for Horus the all seeing. A baboon was considered a sun worshiper and stood for Thoth, the god of books/learning/knowledge.

A quick check under Egyptian mythology can help I think. 

Macavity  29 Feb 2004 
You have a good point ... there are (imo) significant INTERESTING (and deliberate) departures from the RWS symbolism in these decks. Furthermore some of these are alluded to in the LWB. I have always hoped e.g. a companion book might become available

My own (albeit amateur) interest in all things Ancient Egyptian preceeded that for Tarot! Certainly, many of the images are indeed familiar from e.g. tomb paintings. My own little "Egyptian Library" is based around some half a dozen (heavily illustrated) volumes by publisher Thames and Hudson. Their titles are:

The Complete Pyramids
The Complete Tutankhamun
The Complete Valley of the Kings
The Complete Temples of Ancient Egypt
and the original "Chronical of the Pharaohs"

I also intend to get their "Gods and Goddesses" soon? Perhaps rather a LOT to extract limited information? But I now see they have a volume called "Symbolism in Egyptian Art" which I don't have either. Heck, a man's gotta have a hobby, right? :D

Another nice book (again many colour illustrations) is called "Egyptian Art" by Jaromir Malek (of my "local" Ashmolean museum) Pub. Phaidon in their "Art and Ideas" series.

It can be found by searching site: ;)


Cerulean  29 Feb 2004 
I found the Egyptian by Sylvana Alasia similar to the Ibis Tarot, but the book/deck set has replaced my earlier liking to pair the Ibis booklet with Sylvana Alasia's designs...I actually like the pretty mini-tarot to carry around, which is the same designs on a white background and the book from the set...(the mini was about 9.00 from The set:

Maybe can order the book separately if that works for you

But I just thought of a good suggestion if you really wanted Egyptian information to accompany your purchases and complement the tarot sets you have. This oracle is not really tarot in the standard way, although the book does have an appendix with a 22 trump sequence and the equivalent in the oracle deck to assist such divination. The entire set has 65 cards.

Book of Doors at sure to look inside the book for table of contents to help your decision.

Good review:

The cards are stunning and if you wanted one other companion deck/book to assist with mythology, meaning and interesting's a great set.

Mari H. 

The Nefertari Tarot deck and Sphynx Tarot Deck thread was originally posted on 28 Feb 2004 in the Tarot Decks board, and is now archived in the Forum Library. Read the active threads in Tarot Decks, or read more archived threads.


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