The Ancient Egyptian Tarot by Clive Barrett

The Ancient Egyptian Tarot, 1995

I still remember my first tarot deck.

I was a teenager and I had gone to visit my brother. I don’t remember where he was staying at the time, but I remember the gift he gave me. My brother gave me a copy of The Ancient Egyptian Tarot by Clive Barrett. He knew that I loved everything having to do with Egypt and the mysteries that it held. “This looks like something you’d enjoy,” he said.

Never having looked at a tarot deck before, I was unsure of what to do. I followed the direction in the book, shuffled the cards, pull a card for myself and read the meaning in the card. That’s it. Though I loved the artwork of the deck, I didn’t connect with the deck, and I had no idea what to with it. Eventually, I gave the deck away to a friend.

Flash forwards a few years. The Ancient Egyptian Tarot had sparked something in me. I wanted to know more about myself and the world around me. I was drawn to the occult and the tarot once more and began to learn with the Thoth Tarot. Every time that I flicked through the cards, I couldn’t help but remember The Ancient Egyptian Tarot.

I began collecting decks and with each deck, I was able to find a piece of myself that I hadn’t known that I had lost along the way. As humans, we’re all made up of facets, different pieces that make up a whole. I began to find myself in the cards and the strength to delve into the facets that I was made of.

There came a time when my brother was no longer in my life. I began to think of the deck that he had gifted me with. I thought that if I was able to hold on to that deck again, I would at least have a piece of my brother in my life, even if it was only in spirit. When I contacted the friend that I had given the deck to, it was to find that they too had parted ways with it.

The Ancient Egyptian Taro, 2022

I began to look for a copy of The Ancient Egyptian Tarot. I was disheartened to find that it had gone out of print. I thought that shouldn’t be a problem. I looked everywhere online, and I found copies of the paperback book that had come with the cards, but no deck. I did find a copy on eBay, but I wasn’t sure it was a legitimate post and I didn’t want to shell out $300 for something that may be a scam.

I kept up my search throughout the years. It was always the same, I found copies of the book, but there were no cards in sight. I don’t know why I never considered Etsy. I figured that if the original deck was published in 1995 and the cards were long gone, chances were that the original creator was no longer making cards.

Imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon Clive Barrett’s Etsy page, and my further astonishment that he had made a new edition of The Ancient Egyptian Tarot. The only thing that it wasn’t available. When I messaged him, he told me that there were issues with the Royal Mail from England and to check back. He would list the deck when it was available to be mailed out internationally.

I checked this afternoon, and the deck was there. Only one copy was listed. Of course, I ordered it. I’m thrilled that after all these years, I’m this much closer to having a copy of The Ancient Egyptian Tarot. It actually seems unreal at this point.

It won’t be the same as having the copy of The Ancient Egyptian Tarot that my brother had given me, I know that. However, with it being a new edition of the deck, it’s my hope that I can form a new relationship with the cards, a relationship that I didn’t have and wasn’t capable of all those years ago.

I know that when I get my copy of the deck, I will take a moment to say thank you to my brother for that gift all those years go.