Ship of Fools Tarot

[Star] [6 of Wands] The Ship of Fools Tarot is an entire deck built around the Fool "the human personality in its sweetest, simplest, most innocent, most impetuous, most courageous state." Artist and writer Brian Williams was inspired by Das Narrenschiff, a masterpiece of German literature written by Sebastian Brant and published in 1494. Das Narrenschiff translates as the Ship of Fools. It contains about 100 woodcut illustrations that capture humanity's neverending capacity for foolishness. Williams discovered some of these woodcuts fit the themes of the major arcana perfectly. He "borrowed" these without change, and others with only slight adjustments. For the minor arcana, he created composite cards based on Das Narrenschiff images and those of the Rider-Waite deck. Some minor arcana cards follow this deck closely (see 8 of Pentacles to the right). Others deviate quite a bit (see the 8 of Swords below). The Ship of Fools Tarot is only available as a deck/book set with the companion Book of Fools by Williams. This book offers divinatory meanings and guidance, but also fascinating picture comparisons for each card using illustrations from Das Narrenschiff, the Rider-Waite and a Marseilles-style deck, Tarot Classic. Williams also recommends Zeydel's 1944 classic translation of Das Narrenschiff, The Ship of Fools. Other projects by Brian Williams are the Renaissance Tarot, Minchiate Tarot, and Light and Shadow Tarot.

Number of Cards Size Copyright Book Cover Back Design
22 major/56 minor
3 1/4" x 4 5/8" 2002 [back design]
Order - Amazon

Language of Card Titles: English

Also Included: instruction book (240 pages), 2 spread cards

Major Arcana:
Vagabond, Mountebank, Papess, Empress, Emperor, Pope,
Love, Cart, Strength, Hermit, Wheel of Fortune, Justice,
Hanged Man, Death, Temperance, Devil, Tower,
Stars, Moon, Sun, Judgment, World

Suit Names: Staves (Wands), Cups, Swords, Coins (Pentacles)

Court Cards: King, Queen, Knight, Page


[Page of Swords] [3 of Cups] [Hanged Man]


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