Arcus Arcanum Tarot a rare deck, not only in that it is hard to find, but also rare in its style: the bold, masculine energy that is not found as often as the feminine or gender-neutral decks, of which there are dozens readily available. Yet, it is not only bold, but subtle, beautiful, and clear in form and meaning. The first glance is deceptive - leaving the impression of a caricature of only the most obvious meanings, yet when one looks deeper, really studies and meditates on the images, the plethora of nuances stand forward. The coloring is truly masterful.
There is a significant Nordic feel to the deck as well. `The Chariot', for instance, features a figure resembling Thor in a chariot pulled by two goats... `The Three of Cups' displays a man standing between two women, all three holding large golden goblets, and both woman looking towards the man, obviously highly entertained by a story he is relating... but there is also the undercurrent of loving feelings between the three people, as in close friends... it could be a celebratory reunion after returning from a Viking trip. `The Wheel' might seem simplistic at first, featuring three white-clad blonde women around a wooden wheel, but it is reminiscent of the three fates, and the wheel a spinning wheel, on which the threads of life are spun before being woven into the tapestry of time.
The backs of the cards are not reversible, which I find to be a minor detracting point, but only minor. I was lucky to find a twenty-year-old deck in nearly new condition, and I can guarantee I won't be letting it go. You can check out plenty of card images by doing a google image search for `Arcus Arcanum'.
The Arcus Arcanum deck is worth the effort to find. The fact that it does take a bit more effort to find would suggest that this deck will most likely end up with those who it truly fits. But who knows, it might be re-printed again some day.