LOGOS DIVINÆ is a 91-Count Playing Card Deck which can be used for traditional card games, divination readings, and modular gameplay experiences, featuring a unique design and beautiful artwork inspired by the artifacts of ancient western cultures. Based on years of research, the mystical & occult beliefs of the syncretic multicultural world of late antiquity, all the subjects are mythological figures long forgotten.
a SPECULATIVE prequel to tarot, LOGOS DIVINÆ is a celebration of the history of playing card games.
56× ELEMENTAL PIPS Suits of Fire, Water, Air, and Earth
26× ÆTHERAL ARCANAThe 5th Suit of Æther
7× LUDOGEMSOptional Modular Rule-Shifting Cards
3× JOKER & WILDCARDSOptional Cards used in specific Games
This deck is meant to play a wide variety of card games, use the entire deck for unique experiences, or remove cards for a 40, 52, or 78 format popular in Europe and America– Making this one deck capable of being used for Scopa, Primera, Poker, Go Fish, Crazy 8's, Tarocco– nearly any game from the 500 year history of playing card games.
An online guide for advanced and new games will be available after launch, as well as a database of information about each of the divinities featured in the artwork as well as a detailed guide to the historic nature of each of these mythological figures depicted on the cards. We are an independent studio and will fund this project via our Please consider supporting the on-going development of this project!
Colin Snyder is an artist & game designer. After working on the Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption series, he was a member of the NYC independent videogame arcade and art collective Babycastles. Colin has worked as a documentarian, games critic, organizer, graphic designer, & pizza maker.
His design & art studio, Little Red, is based in Brooklyn, New York.
Colin's art practice includes all forms of traditional 2D media, with a roots in oil painting & drawing. Trained in a print-based design discipline, he has mostly worked as a visual designer, his vector-based images has been utilized for titling, iconography, illustration, and typography, across many projects and innumerable clients. Every card in this deck has unique illustrations made up of digital "paintings" and hand-crafted graphics depicting the many historic symbols used in history. The process is a mixture of layers & graphics created in Procreate & Adobe software.
No artificial intelligence or image generation of any kind has been used in creating these artworks, instead Colin travelled the world looking for authentic visual references from all kinds of Mediterranean cultural artifacts, sacred architecture, and the mythological motifs which detail their character. The first edition is a limited run.
The 5th suit features different icons, called charaktres which represent the "Numen," the Roman animistic attributes of the gods. For tarot trumps, it has become common to find astrological associations with each of the major arcana. For instance, the 18th Arcana is "The Moon" in modern tarot cards is associated with the 12th zodiac sign, Pisces. In our deck, these associations are combined with their mythological precedents. For this card, Medjed has become the 18th Arcana, an elephant-snouted fish of the Nile with a variety of depictions across time, who in Egyptian mythology is associated with Osiris, his cult center being in Oxyrhynchus, a city which owes its name to this fish.
Each Numen represented here corresponds to Pisces ruling planet, planet in exaltation, detriment and fall, important aspects to consider in your horoscope. While for traditional games these symbols are not utilized, they open a new realm of gameplay unique to Logos Divinæ.
Each subject included in this game has been meticulously researched to be represented as true to form to their original nature or traditional figuration spanning many Mediterranean & Mesopotamia civilizations across North Africa, the Levantine, & Southern Europe–connected by the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, the oral & visual languages stemming from Proto-Indo European, Semitic, and African language groups form the foundation of much of the western world.
While it seems these symbols: elements, fruits & trees, animals, artistry & tools, mythogems, astrological and civil associations have drifted across time & cultures, the attempt was to effectively collage the motifs, icons, and depictions of divinities across large swathes of time. I hope that this work gives you insight into the fascinating world of Antiquity, where a cultural exchange of divinities was created in the wake of Alexander the Great– a time when all these deities began intermingling–it is the cultural context from which Christianity emerged, a world of mystery initiations, metaphysical philosophies, mystical apocalypses, & divine kingship.
Wherever possible multiple source images and likenesses were incorporated to best represent their wonderous and awe-ful visages, based on accounts in mythology, religious hymns, sacred texts, epic poetry, idol and votive iconography, theatre, literature, philosophy, mystical practices, magic rites, and ancient wisdom traditions, & world history. Any inventions are from aniconic sources or of unknown visual representations. Occasionally, modern sources & mistaken translations from esoteric works of the Renaissance to Industrial times have been interjected. A handful of these motifs are unknown to experts today. This game has been created to reflect the syncretic atmospohere of the 1st & 2nd Century of the Common Era.
In 1775, a pastor of the Reformed Church, a French Freemason named Antoine Court, published a volume of his anthology text Le Monde primitif, analysé et comparee avec le monde moderne. In a chapter devoted to Tarot, he speculates that the symbolism used by the cards must have come from an ancient Egyptian text. This is ten years before the Rosetta stone was found, and Court de Gébelin offers no historical evidence for his theory. Although stories survived from later Ptolemaic sources– the legendary "Emerald Tablet" of Hermes Trismegistos– it was said to be a sacred pictoral text written by the ibis-headed god, known as the Book of Thoth. There are only accounts of this text in Greek sources, we know today that these stories originated in Hellenistic Egypt, sometime after 331 BC. While such a text or work of art may have existed in Alexandria, it was lost to time. It was a said to be a guide to the cosmologies of the multicultural interpretio græca, a guide to the gods and divinities of the ancient world. This legendary text is a "Tobin's Spirit Guide" theorized before the translation of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, was the inspiration for the many tarot decks of the modern era: refined by the iconography of archeologically discoveries, occultists like Aleister Crowley & Lady Frieda Harris, Arthur Waite & Pamela Smith, and Austin Osman Spare were all familiar with a system of tarot that associated the elements, planets, and zodiac signs to particular cards in a 78 card deck, a methodology used by the initiation society, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.
The style of cards that became most popularly associated with cartomancy were in actuality based on the 14th century Italian playing card deck, which included a 5th suit of "trifoni" or triumph cards. These cards: known as "trumps" in gameplay or "major arcana" in divination, were used to play a variety of games all across Italy–with a multitude of variations in deck formations, suits, and card counts. There are many different playing card variations exist across Europe today– the style and format of playing cards continue to evolve over time. In English speaking countries, playing cards were traditionally in the French suited, familiar to any 52 card poker deck.
Nevertheless, the practice of cartomancy spread– especially across French & English speaking countries, crafted over time by a wide cast of artists, occultists, initiation societies, and esoteric sects– the tarot deck today is thought to have fortune-telling capacities, perhaps a result of the deus ex machina inherent in the probabilities of our material reality– decorated throughout time with sequences of virtuous images, mostly by Christian mystics, and later by Enlightenment era secret societies.
The deck is as much a collection of art prints as it is a playing card deck.
This game involved years of traveling the world and deep historical research into ancient cult ritual, iconography, mythology, & astrology. If you want to learn more about its myriad secrets, you're in luck.
Visit our Patreon to support the development of the ATLAS – a network of information useful to astrologers, artists, classicists, & historians, or for your next game night.
Learn new games, new card deck formats, and new insights into ancient history.
Launching later in 2024.
© Colin Snyder 2020-2024. All Rights Reserved.