David Bowie was an example of the Divine Creative in action. Creativity oozed from his pores. He was the inspirational chameleon that gave us permission to transform ourselves into anything we envisioned, at any moment. He was the ultimate artist.
A force such as Bowie only enters our gravitational sphere once every few lifetimes. We were lucky to be witnesses to this super nova in ours. We were not only blessed with his music and films, but thanks to Davide and Esther De Angelis, we can experience the Spirit of Bowie at any time through the Starman Tarot.
The exquisite visual experience of this deck vibrates with color, and is filled with layers of meaning. Davide and his wife Esther have travelled the world and studied many esoteric traditions, and it shows. Both are involved with the human potential movement and creativity is in their blood. Davide had envisioned creating a deck for years. In the accompanying book that comes with this deck, he states, “every aspect of the artwork in this Tarot deck aims to capture the energy and essence of our kaleidoscopic relationship with life: maps of consciousness. It is multi-cultural, inter-dimensional, mysterious, strange, and provocative. I present this as an ongoing relationship between the ancient system of Tarot, the artistic energy catalyzed by my work with Bowie, and you, the user of the Starman Tarot.”
He first met David Bowie when he was a lad of ten. Bowie walked into the restaurant his father managed, which as fate would have it, was just yards away from the Trident Studios where my all time favorite album, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars was recorded. Their paths would cross again years later when Bowie discovered Davide’s creative work and philosophy in a magazine, and decided to call him up. Davide collaborated and worked with Bowie on his Outside and Earthling albums, and other projects over a seven year period. The initial seed for the imagery of this project started in 1995 while working with Bowie, but he never had the time to dedicate to the creation of a deck.
Davide was shocked to hear of Bowie’s death in January of 2016. Over two nights following this news, he had vivid dreams where he was holding the Starman deck in his hands. He was able to see the cards clearly. When he told his wife Esther about these dreams, she said he had to make the time to create this deck. And with Esther’s support, the Starman Tarot was born.
This deck is larger than the standard. It is a borderless, and measures 3” x 5 1/2”. Since I have small hands, I have to use a casino shuffle, but the card stock is strong yet flexible, so this isn’t a problem. Each image has a black background that causes the bright, almost neon colors to jump off the cards. The backs of the cards have a design that Davide refers to as ‘alien calligraphy’. The book that comes with the deck, is 191 pages of insightful information and full color awesomeness. Some of the traditional names of the cards have changed, but the reasons for doing so can be found in the book. Personally, I find the new perspectives refreshing. The Fool in this deck is called the Sacred Clown, invoking a trickster-type energy. The Alchemist, aka Magician, is named the Starman. Bowie referred to Davide as “The Visual Alchemist”, and considering the influence Bowie had on DeAngelis, this seems very appropriate. The Hermit has been changed to The Alien, which is of course, a Ziggy Stardust reference. The Wheel of Fortune is called The Wheel of Life in the Starman Tarot, and the royal court has Princesses and Princes, instead of the traditional Pages and Knights. The rest of this deck’s descriptive labels are standard. The protective box is an artwork within itself. It is made of thick cardboard with an image of the Starman on the front. The iconic lighting bolt bridges the box with its lid. The deck is published by Lo Scarabeo, and can be found on Amazon, and elsewhere. It normally cost around $32.00 USD, but at the time of this review, you can purchase it for $16.42 on Amazon. I’d hurry up and get it. That’s an amazing price for such a beautiful deck!
The Starman Tarot emphasizes creativity and the creative process. It is highly detailed with many layers, so it might not resonate with those who prefer a more simple symbolism. Myself, I tend to be drawn into a heavily ladened image. Each time I peer into a card, I see something new. If you enjoy hoarding Tarot decks, this is definitely one you need to have in your collection. It is 78 pieces of pure imagination. I’ve never seen a deck quite like this. You will not be disappointed. It will become a treasured possession. I would even dare say, it is like taking a stroll through the Akashic Records. Get this version of Tarot, and let Bowie’s Spirit shine through the gorgeous artwork. Discover the Starman for yourself.