RE[2]: virus: List of Virion Symbols
Sat, 28 Sep 1996 21:38:21 -0600

> The Russian deck [independent design from Rider-Waite and
>reinterpret-decks] makes do with about 50, using compass-directions as
>positional data.

I believe you're referring to Svetlana Toutchkoff's "Russian Gypsy
Fortune Telling Deck" here. It definitely does have a different method and
structure -- but if I remember correctly, this is because the readings are
based on the chance appearance of cards that, edge-to-edge, form complete
illustrations (the reading ends up looking somewhat like a quilt).
[Other "Gypsy" decks, such as the one made by Raymond Buckland, are
usually contaminated by Wiccan philosophy -- the Touchkoff deck seems the
best of the bunch in terms of cultural authenticity.]
It's a good example of a non-Tarot based deck, but the method may be
too random for use if divinatory processes don't actually work. However, if
divination _does_ work, the fact that the system is unadulterated by
accretions of Fremasonic interpretation may account for its reputed greater
accuracy -- compared to the "standard" Tarot.
Other systems to check out in this vein would be the Oracle of the
Bones (Llewellyn Publications, I believe) or the Arthurian Tarot (same
publisher). While the latter does follow the modern Tarot structure, it is
unique in that it departs from modern interpratory meanings in favor of
ones drawn from the personalities in the Arthurian legends. [This applies
to the trumps, at least; I'm not sure about the pip cards.]

Toward the accumulation of useful information,