When I first picked up the Tarot Illuminati by Erik C. Dunne and Kim Huggens, I immediately knew I wanted more. Their take on the traditional Rider-Waite tarot is both beautiful and evocative, while staying refreshingly true to the inspiration.
Where the Illuminati served as an artistically-beautiful bridge between the mind and spirit of tarot, Apokalypsis transcends boundaries and ideas and invites us along on a journey across the many worlds of Spirit. The artwork is still just as aesthetically pleasing, but now much more evocative as Dunne's artistic skill and Huggens' insight form a sort of tarot 'dream team' of card creation. This decks images are richer, deeper, and more engaging than its predecessor's. The scenes are lush, vibrant, and overflowing with the imagery and symbolism which so many modern readers look for in their decks.
It's safe to say that the previous Illuminati was bound in may ways by the limitations of 'staying true' to an earlier idea. With Apokalypsis, on the other hand, we see this team of designers spread their wings and venture into a much more daring pursuit. The in-depth involvement of Huggens in the design of each card is apparent in the lush array of symbolism and meaning found in each illustration. Dunne, for his part, brings each illustration to life in ways that only he can. His artistic and creative talent effortlessly transports the reader across the world and through the ages in a way that never feels cliche or forced. We don't just see the scenes and enjoy the cards, we believe them. Each of the cards of the major arcana explores a different one of the world's many esoteric ideas. The form a deep and diligent catalog of mystery traditions, faiths, beliefs, and spiritual journeys. In short - they provide us with a vast and purposeful array of the ways humans have historically looked for meaning in life. It's worth noting the parallel here: using humans' history of looking for meaning, in a tool used for divination.
Huggens and Dunne clearly poured just as much attention and thought into the cards of the minor arcana. Here we explore a different ancient civilization in each suit, and the individual cards follow the often very personal journey from initiation through enlightenment. While the cultures featured may have existed very long ago in some instances, they are no less relatable for it. Each suit is as engaging and dynamic as the cards in the majors, making all the images feel relevant and iconic and making the deck a true and sincere joy to use.
I strongly recommend opting for the edition with the hardcover companion text. Not only is it rich and informative, but it's also hefty enough to suffice for any unexpected home-defense needs. The full-color illustrations along with thorough and plain-spoken descriptions make this an easy deck to recommend for all skill levels. Beginners will appreciate being guided by Kim Huggens' expert instructive hand, and more seasoned readers will find a pleasing and refreshing abundance of new perspectives and ideas to add to their readings.
Whether you're looking for a first deck to help begin your tarot journey, a new and refreshing take to reinvigorate your love for cards, a teaching tool, an exploration through a vast array of metaphysical concepts, a teaching tool, or just a wonderful art piece; the Tarot Apokalypsis definitely makes my list of decks which everyone ought to own.