on 23 March 1999
This deck leapt out at me from the shelf at my local bookstore and screamed "take me home!" The deck is a good size (it is also available in a miniature version) and has an ivory marble look to the backs. The intense colors add layers of depth and meaning to the pictures--I have never seen a deck with this kind of coloring before, and that is a lot of what drew this deck to me. The colors are especially vibrant when I use the deck for readings or meditations. While Connolly does stick to the "traditional" tarot for the most part (e.g. suits cups, pentacles, wands, swords), she changes two cards in the major arcana: Death is "Transition" and The Devil is "Materialism." Personally, I wish she had left these cards alone. Also I dislike her rendition of the ten of swords, which is a woman with ten sword hilts around her (the blade portion of the sword would be out of the picture). Finally, you should be warned that Connolly works a lot of angel symbolism into her deck and her books. This may bother some people, though it has never hindered me. Overall, I like the feel and look of this deck.
on 12 October 2013
If you are happy to take a little time to get familiar with it the Connolly tarot becomes a fascinating and useful deck to work with. It is not how it first seems, and it goes deeper than it may perhaps initially look.
I originally got it for a simple reason: I wanted a deck where the images appeared safe and gave no nasty surprises for the more vulnerable or anxious client. I thought the Connolly would be ideal to use for some people who have never seen a typical deck and who may become anxious and require a bit of reassurance on seeing cards like, for example, the Ten of Swords. In the Connolly tarot Death becomes "Transformation", The Devil becomes "Materialism", The Hanged Man has a look of meditative calm as he views things with his new perspective, and the images on the Swords cards will not give anyone nightmares. So far, so good.
The problem however was that at first the deck seemed so bland that it was really difficult to get anything from it, readings were just empty. So I put it to one side as a failed experiment. All I can say is that I'm really glad I picked it up again and started looking deeply at the images. With just a little effort you can find a story in each card. (There is a little guide booklet that comes with the deck but it has just one-liners for each card and it's not much practical use.)
So, for just one example, Connolly's Nine of Swords has a woman walking across a snow-covered winter's landscape, the sky is dark and brooding, she carries eight swords and one is at her feet. The cold wind whips at her hair and clothing, and although she is dressed for the cruel weather her journey looks as though it will be difficult. She looks strong though, and you know she will make it. This challenge will only make her stronger. These are elements in all our lives and it is easy to weave them into a reading. It is easy to focus on either the positive aspects or the challenge itself depending on how the reading is presenting itself. There is plenty of room for inspiration, intuition, and interpretation.
These are lovely pictures in vivid and vibrant colours and each one has a story or two to tell. Once I properly connected with the cards in this way readings became intuitive and satisfying both for myself and the person having the reading. In short, a wonderful deck of images which will challenge and inspire you to produce good and satisfying readings.
on 29 March 1999
I love this deck! It was the first one I ever purchased...the beauty of it's colors and illustrations make it irresistable (it's a little like stained glass). She does change the "Death" card to "Transition" and the "Devil" card to "Materialism"--changes that I personally find appropriate, and I would recommend the deck to someone who gives tarot readings frequently (so many find the original card references a little scary). The Connollys have a definite Christan slant to this tarot approach, which you can see from Eileen's writing and some card illustrations that include cherubs; but the deck is worth buying for any lover of beautiful tarot, whatever your religious orientation.