Brian Williams by Zoe Matoff
The release, from Llewellyn, of Brian's newest creation "The Ship of Fools Tarot," is expected this fall. Since I've already seen it as a
work-in-progress, I can tell you that it is full of artistic scope and integrity, and innovation. In his most recent work, The Minchiate Tarot,
Brian gives us a representation of a classic work that is one of my most readable decks. For a man who professes not to be a Tarot reader, he has
produced one of my very favorite reading decks. Brian's works initiate us into the relevancies of classical history and art in the development of the
Tarot. Brian's groundbreaking works continue that development. With Brian's work we get more than a glimpse of the continuity in creation that goes into
the mystery of this great and wonderful Tarot.
Brian's work spans centuries of truth, beauty and knowledge: In his Renaissance Tarot is displayed his grasp and appreciation of history, art, culture, poetry, music, the scope of which prompts me to ask of this accomplished and beautiful human being, "What planet are you from?!" His works would seem to display the labors of many, over much time and through much initiatory experience to masterhood.
And yet, Brian is so very young. And so playful. Anyone who has seen or worked with his PoMo Tarot can attest to this. Which brings me to another grand attribute of Mr. Brian Williams: his irreverence. Brian has got irreverence down to matters of truth and beauty. I think Brian will protest here because he is so humble and so desirous of being a force for the sort of truth which wounds no person, but let me say that Brian has the ability to put forward his strong commitments--and by now you understand the greatness of these--in ways which make one understand that it is the soul of Brian that is being laid bare and not the soul of any other whose views might diverge from his own.
Brian Hilary Williams has a livening spirit which infuses life, energy and hope into any gathering or communication. His presence is that which defines
community. Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, Brian is a rallying point and a rock upon which our community has been built. When I think of Brian's part in my own journey within this Tarot community, it is the words on the
Renaissance Tarot's Ace of Cups that come to mind: "Brian Hilary Williams Me
Fecit." It was this brilliant, joyful, committed man who made me proud to identify myself as part of this greater Tarot community. Narcissistically,
perhaps, I could glance at Brian and know that all was right with this Tarot world. I do know it. I thank my creator, Brian Hilary Williams, for making
me a humble part of his world.
Image © 1987 US Games
Essay © 2002 Zoe Matoff