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Science Tarot Cards

Tarot CardThis is kind of hurting my head a little. The Science Tarot is a set of standard tarot cards illustrated with various scientific concepts, the point being to combine “science, art and mythology into a tarot deck to engage and awaken people’s curiosity about science and the natural world.”

Although I’m all over the idea of awakening curiosity about science, I’m not sure that the best medium (har!) to do that is tarot cards. Divination does not exactly lend itself to scientific rigor, and I dislike anything which promotes the notion that science and mysticism can be good bedfellows.

On the other hand, I have to give mad props to the clever artwork. The suit of Cups is represented by beakers, Swords are scalpels, Pentacles are magnifying glasses, and Wands are bunsen burners. The major arcana are all famous scientists, and the deck attempts to match their work with the various cards’ “meanings” (the nurturing Empress, for instance, is represented by Mendel and his peas). The minor arcana illuminate various scientific ideas, and again an effort has been made to match them appropriately: The ambitious Seven of Swords is represented by the expansion of a red giant star, and the partner-oriented Three of Cups is illustrated by an orchid and its symbiotic fungus.*

In particular, the fact that the Wheel of Fortune is represented by Schrödinger’s Cat is utter genius.

This might be an interesting gift for a collector of unusual decks, or for a scientist with a sense of humor.

(via BoingBoing)


*I’m familiar with the various card meanings, I hasten to note, because I do a tarot-reading schtick at parties. (“Madame Gazpacho Zorka. Cheaper Than a Consultant, Same Results.”)

Posted in Science November 10th, 2010 by Chip
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