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can't find this deck anywhere
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 Posted: Fri Jun 19th, 2009 03:58 am
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Agonistes
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a few years back i traded with a guy who gave me a deck of tarot cards, made in philadelphia, i think he said.  i have ten files of scans but i will post one here, in hopes anyone can recognize this deck or tell me who the artist might be.


i'm also happy to post the rest of the scans if anyone wants to see the rest of this deck.  i've never seen anything like it.








i apologize for the large size but i wanted them to be visible.

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 Posted: Fri Jun 19th, 2009 04:14 am
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Agonistes
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i thought i would include the scan that has the name of the artist on it, as well:


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 Posted: Fri Jun 19th, 2009 05:28 am
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Abrac
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That's a really unusual looking deck. It's not in the Encyclopedia of Tarot volumes 3 or 4 where they have the unpublished and rare decks. Maybe someone here has seen it but I'll bet it's one of a kind or extremely rare.

There's a book by Peter Stafford, published in 1971, called Psychedelic Baby Reaches Puberty and it's illustrated by a Robin Barnitz. If you could locate a copy you could compare the illustrations in the book to your cards. That number 269 might be the date, 2/1969.

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 Posted: Fri Jun 19th, 2009 05:37 am
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tantricknite
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Those are really cool cards .They kind of remind me of the Story Teller Tarot only these are much more graphic.I would think that would be a good guess that Robin Barnitz of the book is the one who did these cards based on the psychedelic art work and the book is a commentary about Hallucinogenics........
The book can be bought here but their is only one left.

http://www.gojaba.com/book/361009/Psychedelic-Baby-Reaches-Puberty-Stafford-Peter-Editor-Robin-Barnitz

Last edited on Fri Jun 19th, 2009 05:54 am by tantricknite

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 Posted: Fri Jun 19th, 2009 11:37 am
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Agonistes
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thanks for your answers.  i'm happy to post the other scans, if anyone wants to see them, or just wants to preserve the designs, but i didn't want to take up too much space or anything.

i did google the artist, and i would like to order the book (something i didn't find).  hopefully they will still have a copy around payday, lol.  what i know about the deck is scant.  the fellow i traded with (i gave him a two hundred dollar tattoo for this deck; i figured it was worth it after glancing at two or three of the cards) told me he got this set in philadelphia and was told then the artist was an heir to a wealthy family who spent much of his time homeless, but came back periodically to his home and in between, was published on a small scale by whom, we don't know.

this particular set, and i am not certain it is even a full set (there are only 58 cards plus a cover card and a blank card that has little blue lines on it like an index card), is printed on flimsy card-stock with no pattern on the back.  they are definitely printed, not drawn, which is why i hoped there might be more of this deck around, even though i knew it was most likely rare.  i can't find a set to compare them to, they all seem like major arcana cards to me, with no suits, but there seems to be some relation to voodoo in the art.

and, if nothing else, i just wanted some people to see this deck (which i keep put away and rarely touch with my fingers).  the art's so cool and unique, it deserves to be seen.

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 Posted: Fri Jun 19th, 2009 02:16 pm
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skad1
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Wow, it's an amazing deck.  I would love to see more, and keep us posted if you learn more about the designer.

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 Posted: Fri Jun 19th, 2009 03:32 pm
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goldenweb
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Abrac wrote:
There's a book by Peter Stafford, published in 1971, called Psychedelic Baby Reaches Puberty and it's illustrated by a Robin Barnitz. If you could locate a copy you could compare the illustrations in the book to your cards. That number 269 might be the date, 2/1969.


There's actually one/some? s/hand on Amazon.com - not sure if it's the right edition, but it's a lot cheaper.

Amazing cards - (thanks so much for posting, Agonistes, and welcome to the forum.) Would love to see more of them...

Pen

 

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 Posted: Fri Jun 19th, 2009 05:05 pm
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Abrac
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That number 269 could mean 269 of 300 or 400, and if that's the case then there would be more of them out there. It doesn't sound like it's complete. Normally it would have either 22 or 78 but 58 is a bit odd. You never know though.

I would like to see the rest of it if you don't mind putting them up. I don't know if there's a policy here about space restriction. You could check with tarotcol, the site administrator, if you wanted to be sure.

Last edited on Fri Jun 19th, 2009 05:10 pm by Abrac

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 Posted: Fri Jun 19th, 2009 05:29 pm
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skad1
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Here's Peter Staffords web site
http://www.geocities.com/psychedelics101/Index.html

According to wiki he died in 2007  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Stafford

http://www.abebooks.com/ has the Psychedelic Baby Reaches Puberty
for 5.88 used.
this link has few pix of the book.  http://www.geocities.com/psychedelics101/psychency.html

None seem like the cards shown above.  I am really curious now.

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 Posted: Fri Jun 19th, 2009 06:01 pm
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skad1
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Found another link where the illustrations look similar, but are not done in card form.  the book is called the sisters of the extreme.

 http://www.geocities.com/psychedelics101b/books8.html

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 Posted: Fri Jun 19th, 2009 06:38 pm
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Agonistes
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wow, thank you all for your responses and links.  i'm happy to post the other eight files.....i think art like this should be shared, definitely.  no reason why this deck shouldn't be available for viewing, rare though it seems to be.

here they are.









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 Posted: Fri Jun 19th, 2009 06:41 pm
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Agonistes
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 Posted: Fri Jun 19th, 2009 08:54 pm
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Abrac
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These are definitely some of the coolest cards I've ever seen. I don't think it's actually a tarot. Some of the cards have been influenced by the tarot but it's clearly something else. A lot of the cards aren't numbered, and I see one that looks like it's #34. Check out the one called The Duel, "Shun evils as sins against the Lord" vs. "Do what thou wilt."  Looking forward to giving them a good going over. :ok

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 Posted: Fri Jun 19th, 2009 09:13 pm
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Agonistes
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Abrac wrote: These are definitely some of the coolest cards I've ever seen. I don't think it's actually a tarot. Some of the cards have been influenced by the tarot but it's clearly something else. A lot of the cards aren't numbered, and I see one that looks like it's #34. Check out the one called The Duel, "Shun evils as sins against the Lord" vs. "Do what thou wilt."  Looking forward to giving them a good going over. :ok


makes sense.  they are made out of awesome, aren't they?  the drawings attract me mainly because i love pen work, and do most of my own drawing like that, albeit much less distorted and dreamlike.

i think the hanged man is my favorite.

  i've looked at them pretty closely (there is writing on almost every card, all over them), but not for a few years because they are frail, bendy, and already yellowed.  i made the scans about three years ago so that i could look at them without touching them, and possibly post them if i found a collector or someone who could tell me something more about them.

also, out of curiosity, i have asked a practicing reader to look at them.  she didn't like their energy, she said, and was loath to touch the cards themselves, shuffling them gingerly in the plastic bag i kept them in at the time.

as i said, the only card i didn't scan was the one that looked like it was cut from an index card.

i've looked also to see if there were numbers or symbols hidden in the artwork, and can't really decide if i am seeing things in some cards, or not.  there doesn't seem to be that sort of hidden pictures, but in some of the cards it's hard to be sure.

how can i best preserve these?  i've thought of putting them in an album so they would be protected, but still viewable.  i'm not an avid collector of anything in particular, but i have a lot of comic books and some collector's cards, but of course card albums are generally too small.

Last edited on Fri Jun 19th, 2009 09:14 pm by Agonistes

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 Posted: Fri Jun 19th, 2009 09:25 pm
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Agonistes
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i noticed on the 'nemesis' card it is signed on the left side, 'robin maclean barnitz.'  i googled this name without much result, however.  i might try a refined search in the philly area.

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 Posted: Fri Jun 19th, 2009 11:23 pm
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tantricknite
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Agonistes wrote:

also, out of curiosity, i have asked a practicing reader to look at them.  she didn't like their energy, she said, and was loath to touch the cards themselves, shuffling them gingerly in the plastic bag i kept them in at the time.
 
What! A fluff bunny card reader was shocked by the pictures !?!    LOL
Most readers use soft tarot images .. And some readers are suspicious of touching other readers cards ...



i've looked also to see if there were numbers or symbols hidden in the artwork, and can't really decide if i am seeing things in some cards, or not.  there doesn't seem to be that sort of hidden pictures, but in some of the cards it's hard to be sure.

Thats the L.S.D......

 "Do what thou wilt" sounds Thelemic.
What impresses me is the multicultural aspect of the art work for that period. I may be wrong about this but I don't know of any tarot deck that showed multicultural themes in the late sixties. May be the early seventies ...
Thanks for posting more card images ... Theres a lot going on in the cards yet they don't seem to busy.Their quit fascinating ....

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 Posted: Sat Jun 20th, 2009 12:01 am
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OnePotato
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Hello Agonistes.

Very interesting deck!
It looks like 21 numbered cards of a standard tarot, extended with non-numbered, non-standard cards to 58.
An artifact of the old hippy era.
Reminds me of old Greenwich Village NYC style.
Thanks for posting the whole thing.

Get yourself an Itoya Evolution Portfolio 5x7 to store it in.
24 sleeves will give you 48 views, so you may need two volumes.
It will be very easy to page through to look at, but very well protected.
It's ridiculously cheap, archival, acid free, and polypropylene.

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 Posted: Sat Jun 20th, 2009 01:08 am
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Abrac
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Has anyone found one with #2 on it? There are two slash marks below The Guide's left elbow that I thought might represent 2, but that's the best I can come up with.

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 Posted: Sat Jun 20th, 2009 03:14 am
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Agonistes
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tantricknite, i thought they might be early seventies, myself.  the book mentioned (which i found on amazon for ten bucks--yay!-- and ordered today) is dated 1971, so i'm thinking if it is the same artist, the LSD art career might have been somewhat short-lived, if the apocryphal tale i got along with the deck was anywhere near true, and he was a wanderer with a lot of money inherited at home.  it's a strange style to imagine coming from philly, to me; they look so much like louisiana lowcountry art; even the buildings depicted have kind of a ramshackle new orleans look to them.


a friend of mine who is well versed in tarot history along with various cult and pagan theology thinks it might be intended as a set of voodoo cards, drawn to represent the major arcana of course, but also extended to biblical and lore figures and concepts rather than suits.  she points out the liberal use of biblical language and icons in voodoo.

i believe by the fine quality of the lines that the art was reduced in size before printing...unless this fellow (or lady) used an extremely fine rapidograph pen, but some of the detail is so minute that i'm convinced it was reduced.

skad1, thank you for the links.  they were helpful, as well as interesting.

onepotato, i agree with the grenwich village style also, in composition, mainly.  the figures themselves are still very representative to me of southern folk art, but you'd have seen that more in paint than pen and ink, i think.  the pen style reminds me a lot of r. crumb's art of that era, as well.  thanks also for the suggestion of the book, for storage; i will look one up for sure.


thank you all for looking at these for me and helping me solve what they are and where they came from, as well.  i kind of appeared on this forum without introduction, but i was so excited to find a forum that i could talk to folks who actually could give me helpful advice, and share this cool art with.

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 Posted: Sat Jun 20th, 2009 04:14 am
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tantricknite
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I like card 16, the tower card. "The whore of Babalon and the foretelling of the destruction of the city". Thats a neat interpretation of that card....

Last edited on Sat Jun 20th, 2009 04:15 am by tantricknite

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 Posted: Sat Jun 20th, 2009 04:55 am
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Abrac
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It's part tarot, part oracle and part educational. There are definitely strong Biblical themes. The artist seems to have drawn influence from many different sources and brought them all together. It has all the earmarks of something from the 60s or early 70s.

I like the Candy Man. "What giveth he more to the children than candy?" :cool:

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 Posted: Mon Jan 17th, 2011 01:43 am
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t.ready
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Your deck of tarot cards was drawn by the late Robin Barnitz of Bryn Athyn, Pa.  I was fortunate enough to have known him.  He had some copies made of his tarot cards and would sell them to family and friends.  He was a brilliant artist and an amazing person.  You got a lucky trade when you got these cards.  If you should ever decide to part with them please let me know.  They have sentimental value for me.  Thank you for sharing the scans.  t.ready

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 Posted: Sun Jan 23rd, 2011 03:01 pm
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soaper9
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This is a beautiful deck! I agree, that was a very lucky trade! I would use this deck as a 1 card draw dealing with my attitude. As far as preserving this deck while still allowing it to be usable, one of those photo binders that are acid free may work. Then you can take the pages out for shuffling.

soaper9

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 Posted: Wed Mar 2nd, 2011 12:35 am
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cablafire
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Hey there. I was very good friends with the artist Robin Barnitz who made this potent deck of Tarot cards. I actually lived with him for a while in Huntingdon Valley Pa. back in the 70s. He died about ten (?) years ago. He was also my 6th grade art teacher! A very brilliant, well-read man, and obviously gifted artist. If there were an afterlife, don't you think he and William Blake would hit it off?

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 Posted: Wed Mar 2nd, 2011 01:40 am
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psycheready
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Last edited on Wed Mar 2nd, 2011 01:41 am by psycheready

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 Posted: Fri Apr 15th, 2011 09:08 pm
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lynnkie
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I just found your post and am so sorry to read that Robin Barnitz has passed. He and his wife Karen camped beside us along the Navarro River in Mendocino, CA summer of "70. We spent maybe a month together before they moved to the Bay Area.  One night we all went to see Most Allison together in North Beach.  When we came out, the car had been towed.  With anyone else, it would have been a downer, but with Robin, it just became  an extended adventure for the evening. I saw them last in Montauk for New Year's '72, I think.       Were you friends with them? Were  he and Karen still together? I've tried on and off for the past several years to google him and this is the first time to find anything.  I loved his drawings; a true mystic. And now it's too late to see him again.  I'd love to find Karen.
Lynn Kiesewetter, still in Mendocino

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 Posted: Fri Apr 15th, 2011 09:10 pm
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lynnkie
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Yes, he did always remind me of Blake, too. Do you know if he was married to Karen still? I haven't been in contact since the '70s and am so sad to hear he's gone.

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 Posted: Sat Apr 16th, 2011 04:50 am
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cablafire
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Hey there-
I'm not sure if they ever were legally divorced, but in all the years I knew him, he was no longer with Karen. I don't know where she is. He was the sweetest, and extremely tormented soul. I loved him a lot.

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 Posted: Sat Apr 16th, 2011 04:53 am
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cablafire
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Robin's dad was a Swedenborgian minister, if that clarifies some of the background to the cards. Robin also had a very deep knowledge of Swedenborg himself, as far as I could gather.

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 Posted: Sat Apr 16th, 2011 04:54 am
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cablafire
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For the many years I knew dear Robin, he and Karen were no longer together.

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 Posted: Sat Apr 16th, 2011 04:55 am
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cablafire
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Facebook, or people search her.

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 Posted: Sat Apr 16th, 2011 05:00 am
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cablafire
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Going through the cards, I notice that Robin himself appears in them frequently. Like Hitchcock showing up in his own movies.

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 Posted: Sat Apr 16th, 2011 05:04 am
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cablafire
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The Angel Mother is beautiful. Some of these cards jump you like someone on the street! POTENT

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 Posted: Fri Jun 17th, 2011 11:46 pm
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Geslina
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Cool cards, interesting story, and a mystery solved. 

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