Dan Horn’s Tarot of Physics

I had the great pleasure of meeting Dan Horn at the Reader’s Studio this year and he graciously gave me a introduction to The Tarot of Physics deck he created with Corrine Kenner  and he performed my first reading with it for me. I was so hooked that I immediately purchased a copy from my friends at The Tarot Garden and ran back to Dan to get him to sign my copy.

The Tarot of Physics is a subtle deck design: the cards are parchment-like, with a glossy backside and matte front. The cards aren’t very large; I’d almost call this a ‘pocket deck’ because it could almost easily fit is a jacket or shirt pocket. The parchment appearance of the cards gives them an older feel, and the symbolic drawings demonstrating the science concepts feel like something out of da Vinci journal or something Newton would have doodled to illustrate a concept to a student. This very brevity makes the messages stand out even more.

The best thing about the Tarot of Physics is how it combines real science terms and concepts with the metaphysical structure of a Tarot deck. It still has a suit of twenty-two Major Arcana and four suits minor Arcana; appropriately named Energy, Space, Time and Matter. Each Arcana  starts from simple principles and builds to complex and powerful concepts; each Ace is is the simplest (the line, the Planck epoch, the atom and the battery) and the Ten the largest or most complex example of that suit. Each card details has it’s place in the Tarot (Ace of Energy, for example) as well as the principle of science it embodies (The Ace of Energy being “The Battery”) and when needed, a description of that principle complete with simple yet effective illustration.

image from http://tarotofphysics.wordpress.com/
The Fool - the Big Bang
The Magician - the light wave
The Magician - The Light Wave

(all images from http://tarotofphysics.wordpress.com/)

One may think that a “physics” themed Tarot is just a “guy” thing but I can tell you that’s absolutely not true. Since getting my copy I have shown the Tarot of Physics to female friends of mine, some far smarter and better educated in Science than I, and they grok’d the theme and feel for it immediately. Science, when you get to the areas that are still theories and unproven laws, becomes highly philosophical and very “meta.” Much like the many fields of science, one can immerse ones self into the numbers and deep symbolism and relationships and history of every card of the Tarot, but it’s not necessary. Science is also a philosophy and once viewed as such, is easier to grasp as a whole; just as the Tarot can seem intimidating and full of details that must be remembered.

I’m very grateful for the opportunity to have met Dan and gotten the chance to give the Tarot of Physics a try. It’s now one of my ‘always nearby’ tarot decks. If you’re interested in getting your own copy, and if you’re a science geek like me you will want to, check out The Tarot Garden who are the exclusive carriers of the Tarot of Physics.

~Andrew