Insight Editions New ‘Necronomicon Tarot Deck’ is a Journey Through Cosmic Terrors

Necronomicon Tarot Deck
Credit: Insight Editions

Insight Editions is back with another great tarot deck for horror fans! The Necronomicon Tarot Deck is inspired by the fantastical visions of H.P. Lovecraft with, hopefully, lower chances of accidentally summoning a cosmic demon. This deck is beautifully illustrated by James Bousema who brings to life the beings too terrifying to imagine while including human characters who are racially diverse in a way that Lovecraft himself would have hated. I love it. The guidebook is written by Christopher March and contains excerpts from the stories depicted as well as notes on how to read the cards and a handful of options for spreads.

The really interesting thing about this deck is in how it reimagines the Major Arcana. These 22 cards that typically depict the Fool’s journey through the tarot do start off the same way, with the Fool, but from there the cards move through representations of our darkest fears. As March states in the opening of the instructions “The deck is designed to help you to name, understand, confront, overcome, and maybe even love your deepest fears.” This is not one of those “love and light” decks, this is for those seeking the dark side.

The suits of the Minor Arcana are depicted differently from standard decks as well. We still have Pentacle but the other suits are Books, Torches, and Beakers that appear to come closest to Swords, Wands and Cups respectively. Although the traditional ways of reading those suits might be good jumping off points, readers with this deck will want to check out the guidebook along with reading the feelings the art presents to them.

The guidebook for this deck provides more words of warning than other decks I’ve seen that have been inspired by pop culture and art, perhaps because Lovecraft’s subject matter is, itself, dark and dangerous. Although this is a beautiful collector’s item for a general Lovecraft fan, if it is to be used for readings practitioners might want to be sure to set intentions and work in a protected and safe space due to the deck’s dark nature. Another real treat in the guidebook is the detailed account of the dangerous adventures that brought the deck to us and its travels through the years.

Lovecraft fans will cherish this deck as a journey through cosmic horrors and adventurous tarot readers will find it useful in addressing the darkest recesses of the mind to embrace fears as power.

The Necronomicon Tarot Deck and Guidebook will be available for purchase wherever books are sold starting September 5th, 2023, and you can pre-order your set here.

Credit: Insight Editions