Deck Name: Tabula Mundi
Creator: M.M. Meleen
Tabula Mundi, a Thoth based deck by M.M. Meleen, is a work of pure genius. Like Thoth, each card in this deck contains a plethora of symbolism condensed into one image. However, instead of merely repeating Crowley and Harris’ work, it’s clear that every picture has been carefully meditated upon and expressed through Meleen’s own interpretation.
The creator has reimagined the minor arcana much like how the Thoth deck had reimagined the pips. In Thoth, additional details were added to the pip cards to incite emotional reactions from each card. Instead of just swords and cups, it had broken swords and cups that gushed water like fountains.
Likewise, Tabula Mundi is also a pip deck reinvented. It does so by brilliantly utilizing the planets and zodiac signs associated with each card to derive the images of the minor arcana.
Staying true to the Thoth deck, each major arcana is assigned either a zodiac sign, one of the traditional planets or an element. Each minor arcana is paired to a planet and a zodiac sign. The Tabula Mundi makes use of these assignments by incorporating concepts, colours and/or images from its associated majors in the minor arcana.
The 5 of Disks is a perfect example. As the zodiac sign and planet are Taurus and Mercury, it’s related majors are The Hierophant and Magus. Combine the two energies and the result is Worry, in which the free flowing energies of the Magus is blocked by the oppressively slow and stable tendencies of the Hierophant.
The major arcana is equally worthy of applause. Each image contains elements that are both modern and timeless. Justice is a skater gliding on a sword. The Emperor is attending to the bees.
The Fool is my favourite card in this deck and quite possibly my favourite Fool of all time. This is the card that made me fall head over heels in love with this deck. Instead of standing on the edge of a cliff, the Fool stands at the edge of an abyss that will take him to a whole new time and place. I love not just the concept but the execution – the perspective of this card makes it so mesmerizing!
In addition to the incredible visual aid that helps readers understand the energetic relationships between the major and minor arcana, there is also a beautifully written guidebook to further assist readers in deciphering all the symbolism embedded in this deck. Book M: Liber Mundi (sold separately), is a treasure trove that acts as a great companion to the Book of Thoth. While both guidebooks contain a wealth of information, Book M is much easier to comprehend. Meleen is crystal clear regarding what each symbol is meant to express.
With both pictures and words, the Tabula Mundi acts as a perfect bridge between the complex and intimidating Thoth and the modern user. It is perfect for both new and experienced users of the Thoth system.
This deck comes in two sizes, a regular version measuring 3.25” x 5” and mini version that is 2.125” x 3.25”. The regular version can be purchased with an expansion set that includes 14 extra cards (12 decan cards, new Lust card, and Minutum Mundum reference card). The mini version can be purchased with an extra Lust card.
I purchased the mini version and was pleasantly surprised to find that, in addition to the additional Lust card, the package also included an extra full sized Princess of Disks as well as an extra large copy of the Tower.
For all the Thoth enthusiasts as well as those who’d like to become more familiar with this system, the Tabula Mundi and Book M are perfect additions to your deck collection. For me, the only decision was deciding between the regular or mini version!