I stumbled onto this rather strange video presentation of Brian William’s Renaissance Tarot Deck. I have no idea where it came from although it mentions, at the beginning, “tarocon,” which was the name of Brian’s website:
Brian died almost nine years ago. He was the creator of four tarot deck & book sets: the Renaissance, POMO, Minchiate and Ship of Fools, plus the Angel Journey cards and the book to Michael Goepferd’s Light and Shadow Tarot. I had also taken a tarot journey with him to Italy in 2000, and he’ll be coming along with us (in spirit) on the upcoming Italian Tarot Tour this September. During Brian’s memorial service I pulled a card from his POMO deck, seeking a message directly from him. He responded with The Hermit: 9-Out of It. Description: “The bearded old guy on card 9, ‘Out of It,’ points a flashlight into an empty corner,” thus confirming, to me, that Brian had moved on. On page 22 (an auspicious number) Brian had written about the card:
“Our character is Out of It, like all these venerable incarnations, but also out of the game, out of the loop. . . . There are consequences of absenting oneself from the world, from the scene, from the rat race: delightful consequences and otherwise. There is peace and quiet, inner calm, perspective, detachment.”
It was clear that Brian was letting us know that, although he was “out of the game,” he was more than okay.
Afterwards, over pizza and wine, about a dozen of us taroteers inaugurated our first Patron Saint of Tarot – Santo Briano (there is no such name as Brian in Italian – so that’s the name they made up for him in Italy). We also came up with the following prayer that contains many oblique references to his holy symbols and sacred acts. Eros and Thanatos (see below, also known as “the cabana boys”) were his imaginary sidekicks who kept him in as much trouble as possible.
Santo Briano, full of Grace,
To bring a blush to the Oracle’s face,
Tie us up in leather and lace.
Lying in the lap of Eros,
Surrendering to Thanatos,
You whom the angels hold close,
Guide us in wearing wisdom’s glove,
Look down on us from above,
Lead us to the door of love,
Living in a house of trees,
Possessor of the handsome knees,
Delight in beauty, joy in pain,
Pour your blessings down like rain,
Santo Briano, tie me up again.
[And bless my oracular ejaculations.]