"I devoted much time and pleasure in designing this Tarot deck, which portrays the four seasons. These cards pay homage to nature, its fauna and its flora, my sources of inspiration." - Nathalie Hertz, from the L(ittle) W(hite) B(ook)
The Faerie Tarot is a very special deck for French artist Nathalie Hertz, primarily because her two daughters were born during its creation. In fact, as she was designing The World card for this deck, she was pregnant with her first child. Convinced it was a girl, she painted a wee female fairy amid a delicate orchid for the central image of this favorable card.
Resplendent with bright colors, the Faerie Tarot emanates a soothing, gentle presence, but doesn't shy away from addressing the vagaries and challenges that touch worlds both human and fae. From the impish, playful and proud Devil to the ageless fairy High Priestess crowned with a spangled diadem, the Major Arcana cards speak of wisdom and folly, hope and discouragement, achievement and respite.
The Minor Arcana cards find their home among the four seasons: Cups for Spring, Pentacles for Summer, Wands for Autumn and Swords for Winter. Although the vivid borders lack a definitive color scheme, the cards within each of the four Minor Arcana suits do reflect the hallmarks of their respective season.
The Faerie Tarot Swords show snowy landscapes, while pinecones and fallen leaves pepper the autumnal Wands. Blooming flowers and lush sheaves of wheat adorn the summery Pentacles, as the spring Cups suit sparkles with newness and promise.
Measuring approximately 4 ¼ x 3 ¼ inches, the cards shuffle wonderfully, especially for smaller hands. The reversible card backing features a pleasing design in cornflower blue that washes out to softer hues, interspersed with white and sunny yellow accents.
The Premiere Edition of the Faerie Tarot comes with a large folded poster (measuring approximately 19 x 17 inches) with a Celtic Cross template. The position placements are the size of the cards and surrounding text provides simple explanations for each. A starry night sky, leafless tree and white speckled red mushrooms serve as the enchanting backdrop for the spread sheet.
Hertz wastes not a speck of space with her detailed art, so some may find the illustrations of the Faerie Tarot a bit "busy". Imagery alone doesn't suggest much meaning in some cards, but those who read intuitively or enjoy interacting with the cards via journaling will likely cull insight regardless.
Because of the vagueness of some of the paintings (for example, the Eight of Pentacles merely shows a fairy holding a harp while eight golden disks encircle her), this deck may not be a good first deck for absolute beginners. However, the 47-page LWB is above average, so readers aren't entirely left in the dark should they be new to Tarot or find the imagery too static.
Yet, a few of the card interpretations in the LWB offer similar or even the same meaning among several cards so this may cause a bit of confusion for beginners.
I find the Faerie Tarot to be a very readable, accurate deck, especially for emotional and spiritual concerns. With its non-threatening, colorful imagery, this would be an excellent deck for children. Those who love fairies, as well as lighthearted decks, will likely gravitate to this lovely offering by Ms. Hertz and U.S. Games.
(To see 16 images from this deck, visit the Reviews--Decks section at [...])
Janet Boyer, author of The Back in Time Tarot Book: Picture the Past, Experience the Cards, Understand the Present