The SHAKESPEARE TAROT

INTRODUCTION

 There is a school of thought which argues an artists's life is irrelevant to their work, or should be. By claiming a body of work should and must stand on its own, this ideal quietly suggests the details of an artist's existence and the times in which they lived only undermine and deprive one of the work's enjoyment and acceptance.

 This way of thinking is apology for myth-making. Unknowns remain even in the most so-called of "knowns", and a full understanding of a person's being can only be approached if at all by said person themself. Too much information, like too much of a good thing, can be a deficit. To fight for ignorance, however, on top of proffering speculative error after speculative error, is beyond arguing. Complete ignorance of a life and its times, its struggles and versions of success, is tantamount to maintaining ignorance of the very meanings of the words a poet employs. The school arguing this maintained ignorance in essence argues the simple sound of the words should be and is poetry enough.

 Others, however, maintain that while complete understanding is beyond the ken of everyone, a deeper understanding of the truth never is. As the author's identity comes into focus, so too do many areas of the oeuvre, large and small, which for centuries now remained obdurately obscure. So often, orthodox thinking perceived the forest but could see only the odd branch of its trees. As the dank impoverished hypotheses dry up and the many-coloured threads as of a tapestry are seen, not only revealed is the author's dramatic life and the unique times in which he lived, but the very berth of his ambitions and the full scope of his success are realized. 

 The truth of who the man behind the pseudonym Shake-speare was in few ways affects ostensibly the allocation of cards in The Shakespeare Tarot. Rather than detract, mislead, and leave in the dark as orthodox Stratfordianism must, knowledge of Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, as the heart, mind, and soul behind the Shakespeare mask enriches, brings together, and elucidates. Acceptance of the truth is not necessary for appreciation and application of The Shakespeare Tarot, any more than it is for Shakespeare's oeuvre. Truth, however, is truth, though never so old, and time cannot make that false which was once true. Any student of Shakespeare who rejects this truth out of hand is failing themself and their teacher.