A Deck Review by Hope Ballard CTC
Tarot Nova by Dennis Fairchild, Illustrated by Julie Paschkis is a 78 card miniature tarot deck published by Running Press Book Publishers.
This little Rider-Waite-Smith based deck is charming and I give it a hearty thumb up, as a matter of fact I can go so far as to say that I just love it. I have always had a fondness for miniature sized decks as I have small hands and they are easy for me to handle. The cards in this deck measure 3.1 x 2.9 x 1.9 inches; are printed on a heavy card stock and have a very glossy laminate coating.
The card backs are lush with green vines, a centered sun, two crescent moons, and two small people juggling. The art work is clever and done in a way that makes them fully reversible.
The cards are unusual in that they are black with colorfully illustrated majors, pips, and courts. The majors are numbered 0-21 with 0 being the Fool, 8 for Justice, and 11 for Strength. The Court cards consist of Pages, Knights, Queens and Kings.
The writing on the cards is English and the numbers are written with roman numerals; all of which is in white which is easily legible even for my on the verge of bifocal eyesight! The only borders on the cards are the tips which denote the suits; yellow tips for swords, green tips for pentacles, blue tips for cups, red tips for wands, and purple tips for the majors.
This darling deck is suitable for all ages and I would recommend this deck for children who wish to read the tarot. Sneaky mice, greedy pigs, people, and lush plant life are all depicted in these cards. Cards that could be disturbing in other decks do not seem frightening in this one. For instance the gentleman in the 10 of Swords card looks rather like a porcupine and has a perplexed expression on his face as he looks around at the 10 swords sticking out of his back. The 5 of swords shows a mouse chasing another well dressed mouse and although he has managed to pierce the mouse with on of his swords the chase continues! The death card shows a winged skull on top of an hourglass with three butterflies circling the card. Our naked lovers in the lovers card are discreetly covered Adam and Eve style with a green flowering vine, and although the woman in the strength card is fully naked, the picture is drawn in a childlike manner so her nudity is a non issue to me.
The next great thing about this deck is the English only companion book. Yes, a little 88 page bound book the size of the cards with a hard cardboard cover. This tiny book has a short introduction of tarot, an explanation of the major arcana, and the suits of the minor arcana. It is illustrated with black and white pictures of each of the cards and provides both upright and reversed interpretations that for the most part make sense with the correlating picture. A paper mat is provided with spread information, mine quickly got lost.
When I need a deck to throw in my purse, I grab this one! When I want a direct too the point answer to my question, I choose this deck. When my eyes are tired of the busy, cluttered images in my other decks, I choose this deck for respite! This great little deck continues to be one of my all time favorites.
This miniature deck can be purchased alone or in a kit with the addition of Palm Reading information.