2017 has arrived, the 100th anniversary of the 1917 October Revolution in Russia.
No matter how we treat the event, what it did is it dramatically changed the course of mankind’s history and affected the lives of all people, nations, and states of the 20th century.
Researchers keep finding occult roots of the October coup, it was accompanied by misterious events and associated with misterious personalities. The esoteric community simply can’t but respond to the forthcoming centenary.
The Silhouette Publishers hereby invites you to an international non-profit project of developing a Tarot deck* dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the 1917 Revolution.
*Tarot cards is a system of symbols, a deck of 78 cards, which supposedly appeared in the Middle Ages, around the 14th—16th century and is used nowdays mostly for divination. Tarot card pictures are interpreted in a most intricate way from astrology, occultism and alchemy perspectives, hence Tarot is traditionally associated with “secret knowledge” and believed to be enigmatic. Source: Wikipedia.
There have been Tarot issue projects dedicated to other important and vital events like the 500th anniversary of America’s discovery by Columbus (22 Arcani Cristoforo Colombo 1492-1992, Il Meneghello, 1992), the 9/11 of 2001 (“Spirit of the World”, or “Spiritus mundi”, by Karen Mahony and Alex Ukolov). Various artists contributed to the design of those decks. The good thing about this approach is that it reflects different, often opposite, views of what happened in the past.
The plan is to publish a full deck, consisting of 22 Major Arcana and 56 Court Cards and Minor Arcana, in two sets: 100 copies of a bigger-size gift set in a de luxe box and 1917 copies of a standard-size deck.
The gift set would be distributed free among the concept authors and designers, members of the project’s editorial board, famous public figures, and Tarot celebrities. The standard set would be sold commercially.
The project is expected to receive contributions from a lot of well-known artists, Tarot card deck designers from all over the world. The project participants would be asked to design one undistributed card of any Arcanum at their own discretion. They may offer several cards in various Arcana. Should more than one designer offer several works on the same Arcanum subject, the editorial board reserves the right to select the work of their choice in preparing the full set.
The work progress and the details of the project participants and events associated with the deck design would be posted on the Web at www.1917tarot.com and in social networks.
22 Arcani Cristoforo Colombo 1492-1992
The expected date of issue of the deck is October 2017.
The international presentation of the deck is scheduled for October 2017, at an International Festival of Tarot Readers in St. Petersburg, Russia.
The availability status of the Arcana is marked with a colour:
white is vacant, grey reserved, brown received by the editorial board,
An Arcanum can be reserved for design via the editorial board's e-mail address:
or by means of the form attached below:
0 – The Fool. The key word is “god willing1”. Our fundamental, never-ending hope… Do first, think later; actually, no need to think: god willing, it’ll work all right! So it did work! All over the globe! And is still working. Only due to the Russian god willing could this social experiment, the “Russian rebellion”, ever happen.
I – The Magician. Who is behind all this? Who conceived and implemented all this? Lenin? Trotsky? German counterintelligence? A Masonic conspiracy? Aliens?.. Or perhaps the imminent historic process?
II – The High Priestess. Russian intellectuals. Option Empress Alexandra Fedorovna.
III – The Empress. Motherland Russia.
IV – The Emperor. The idea of absolutism replaced by the idea of “all power to the Soviets!2” Absolutism transformed into the personality cult.
V – The Hierophant. Communism. “The Marxist doctrine is omnipotent because it is true.3” The triumph of ideology. The idea rules the world. Utopia is a source of communism.
VI – The Lovers. Choice. The declared universal suffrage boils down to a “shared candidate of the Communist Party and non-Party individuals’ bloc4”. Where is it different? Russia? The U.S.? Europe? The Provisional Government? An attempt to build a parliamentary state, on the one hand, and the Petrograd Soviet5 representing revolutionary government, on the other. The time of dual power, diarchy.
VII – The Chariot. “Our steam train is speeding ahead/Our next stop is the commune6”.
VIII – The Force. “Russian bear.” Grigory Rasputin.
IX – The Hermit. Nicolas II.
X – The Wheel of Fortune. “We have been naught, we shall be all7”. “If there is a person there is a problem, no person no problem8”. Change of era, regime, ideology.
XI – The Justice. Bolshevism. “Aggressive-obedient majority”. Revolutionary justice: some have booze, others a snack. “He is right who has more rights”. “Troika9”. Vecheka10. Dzerzhinsky.
XII – The Hanged Man. Priority of public interests versus personal interests. The royal family. Dissidence, anti-Soviets, “traitors to Motherland”.
XIII – The Death. Red terror.
XIV– The Temperance. Levelling11. Brezhnev’s time stagnation.
XV – The Devil. Fat cat. Capitalist. Pestiferous impact of the West12.
XVI – The Tower. Rebellion. Destruction of the government system. The collapse of the empire. The capture of the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, a symbol of bourgeois government in 1917.
XVII – The Star. Red star. The Aurora battle cruiser as a symbol of the “working people’s aspiration” (Aurora is the morning star, a goddess). Kremlin stars.
XVIII – The Moon. Drunken riots. Propaganda. Everybody’s suspiciousness. “Brother against brother, son against father” (Pavlik Morozov13).
XIX – The Sun. “We need no sun, the party is shining!14”
XX – The Judgement. The 20th Congress of the Communist Party. Denunciation of the personality cult.
XXI – The World. Export of the revolution. “It’s all up with exploiters now. We’ll set the world on fire, we vow15”.
1 In the Russian original, an interjection meaning, depending on the context, “with a little bit of luck”, “god willing”, “hopefully”, etc.
2 The popular motto during the October Revolution of 1917.
3 A phrase from Lenin’s “Three sources and three component parts of Marxism”, an article included in the curriculum of Soviet high school and university students.
4 A political formula in Soviet election campaigns
5 Council, a representative and legislative body of government from a village to the Supreme Soviet.
6 Two lines from a very popular song of the early years of the 1917 Revolution through the end of the Soviet time.
7 A line from the Internationale, the left-wing anthem all over the globe including Russia.
8 Attributed to Joseph Stalin; however, there is no proof he ever said this. This phrase often meant that the easiest way to solve problems in the Soviet Union, especially in the purges of the 1930’s, was to get rid of opponents.
9 Attributed to Joseph Stalin; however, there is no proof he ever said this. This phrase often meant that the easiest way to solve problems in the Soviet Union, especially in the purges of the 1930’s, was to get rid of opponents.
10 In the 1930’s, an unconstitutional group consisting of three persons (two from the Ministry of the Interior and one from the prosecutor’s office) and actually replacing courts in cases of banishment, exile or camp imprisonment for a term of up to 5 years.
11 Russian abbreviation standing for the All-Russian Extraordinary Commission Against Counter-Revolution and Sabotage, basically secret police in 1917-1922 (later replaced by GPU and subsequently KGB).
Often implied wage-levelling, regardless of the contribution; in a broader sense, the negative side of equality.
12 Typical Soviet phraseology describing inappropriate features in Soviet life that were perceived as borrowed from the West.
13 A 14-year-old boy in the Urals who informed the authorities of his father’s crimes and was killed by relatives. During the Soviet times he was seen as a hero, during perestroika as an informer, later as a victim of a crime.
14 Sarcastic song, seems to be written in the 1970’s or 1980’s. Author unknown.
15 Two lines from Alexander Blok’s poem “Twelve”.
Flags (Cups): ideology, Communist Party, Soviet intellectuals.
Stars (Pentacles)” New Economic Policy, planned economy, speculation, finance.
Bayonets (Swords): army, militia, state security.
Hammer and sickle (Wands): workers, kolkhoz (collective farm) peasants.
King of Flags – Karl Marx, the founder of scientific communism.
Queen of Flags – Alexander Kerensky
Knight of Flags – Leon Trotsky, one of the leaders of the 1917 revolution in Russia.
Page of Flags – Inessa Armand, Russian revolutionary and Lenin’s comrade-in-arms, Lyubov Orlova (performing as collective farm members, shock workers)
King of Stars – Vladimir Lenin, leader of the 1917 revolution.
Queen of Stars – Nadezhda Krupskaya, Lenin’s wife, revolution activist.
Knight of Flags – Sergo Ordzhonikidze, revolutionary, member of the Central Committee of the Bolshevik Party and Minister of the Heavy Industry.
Page of Stars – Pasha Angelina, one of the first women tractor drivers.
King of Bayonets – Felix Dzerzhinsky, revolutionary, head of Vecheka.
Queen of Bayonets – Yekaterina Furtseva, head of the Moscow City Communist Party, Minister of Culture of the USSR.
Knight of Bayonets – Semyon Budyonny, commander of the First Cavalry Army, famous marshal, hero of the Civil War.
Page of Bayonets – Arkady Gaidar, famous children’s writer, the grandfather of President Yeltsin’s Prime Minister Yegor Gaidar.
Hammer and Sickle:
King of Hammer and Sickle – Joseph Stalin
Queen of Hammer and Sickle – Alexandra Kollontai, the world’s first woman minister and world’s second woman ambassador.
Knight of Hammer and Sickle – Mikhail Kalinin, a peasant by origin; formally, head of the Supreme Soviet.
Page of Hammer and Sickle – Alexei Stakhanov, famous coal miner, hero of Socialist Labour; Nestor Machno
Ace: USSR flag as a symbol of the suit.
2 – a worker and a collective farmer, the union of the working class and peasantry.
3 – a drinking “threesome”, a party cell, fun, a holiday.
4 – solid citizens/kulaks16 (4 persons, 4 cups) are drinking tea at a samovar while a demonstration, subbotnik or collective farm work can be seen in the window.
5 – Russian emigration; from the coast, one can see an outgoing ship; in the distance, on the horizon, there is fire; devastation, 5 broken flags lie on the ground (or 3 ships are on fire and 2 more are going away against the background of fire).
6 – homeless kids receive gifts or 5 persons are admitted to the pioneer organization, the pioneer leader ties their ties while in the background a kulak grins and is going to hide grain.
7 – promise of communism, a bright future where the next generation was to have lived17.
8 – the thawing, 1960’ers.
9 – May 9, Victory Day, global jubilation.
10 – Mausoleum, celebration of October Revolution anniversary, a jubilant crowd looks extatically at the government leaders standing on the Mausoleum.
16 A comparatively wealthy peasant who employed hired labor or possessed farm machinery and who was viewed and treated by the Communists during the drive to collectivize agriculture in the 1920s and 1930s as an oppressor and class enemy.
17 Kruschev’s promised in the late 1950’s that the next generation of the Soviet people would live to see communism.
Ace – the Hammer and Sickle medal of Hero of Socialist Labour as a symbol of the suit.
2 – the debt to credit ratio, state planning agency.
3 – receiving an award diploma for the victory in a socialist emulation campaign.
4 – kulaks.
5 – hunger, homelessness.
6 – economic aid to the country.
7 – Belomorkanal (the White Sea canal), the Baikal-Amur Railway, putting the virgin lands to the plough.
8 – the work of a shoemaker, craftsman, worker.
9 – nepman18.
10 – a well-off collective farm (“millionaire collective farm”).
18 A person who, for whatever reason, was well off during the New Economic Policy (NEP) in the early 1920’s.
Ace – Order of Red Star as a symbol of the suit.
2 – Brest Peace Treaty of March 3, 1918.
3 – Civil War of 1918-1922.
4 – Voroshilov shot19, sniper, sitting in a trench.
5 – repression of the late 1920’s through the early 1950’s.
6 – a military train, an engine with a star, soldiers sitting on car roofs.
7 – sabotage, destruction of property, harvest arson, subversion.
8 – execution of a Red Army soldier or White Guards soldier.
9 – prison, prison van, night, the inmate doesn’t know if he will see the dawn.
10 – the shooting of the royal family.
19 “Top gun”, named after the then Minister of Defence, Marshal Voroshilov.
Hammer and sickle:
Ace – emblem of the USSR as a symbol of the deck.
2 – a field on which there is a person with a sickle and a person on a harvester, or a person making a choice between a sickle (old way) and a harvester (new way), the first five-year plan.
3 – electrification of the country.
4 – harvest fair (plus a shot from a film like “The Kuban Cossacks”).
5 – socialist emulation campaign, a challenge banner or pennant.
6 – podium, the man on top stands higher than everybody else. The idea of primacy can also be conveyed by means of Yuri Gagarin’s space flight.
7 – “protect this country’s borders”: a border guard with a dog. Iron curtain motifs.
8 – Chkalov. The first non-stop flight from Moscow via the North Pole to Vancouver. Salute dedicated to an anniversary of the 1917 Revolution.
9 – Construction of the Moscow metro. Lenin ice-breaker crushing 9 blocks of ice. Miner Stakhanov with a jackhammer in his hands, with another 8 cutters behind him.
10 – industrialization, hard manual labour workers: blacksmiths, steelmakers.
1. The designs you send should match the proportions close to the A4 size (210 x 297 mm) portrait format. Raster images are accepted in .tif and .jpg format (with minimal compression) and sized at least 2100 x 3000 pixels. The acceptable vector images include .ai, .eps, and .cdr. In exceptional cases, the authors' originals can be accepted.
2. The card design will be uniform in style, hence the authors' pictures must not include design elements characteristic of Tarot cards. Exceptions, where the card design is fundamental to the author's concept, are subject to discussion with the editorial board.
3. The deadline for project registration is August 20, 2017.
4. The deadline for design submissions is August 31, 2017.
The Tarot 2017 project concept authors include
Vladimir Sitnikov, Natalya Plakhina, Elena Yudina.
Translated into English by Elena Yudina.
© Silhouette Publishers, 2016–17