- Hardcover: 48 pages
- Publisher: Top That! Publishing (1 Oct. 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1842298305
- ISBN-13: 978-1842298305
- Product Dimensions: 15 x 15.5 x 5.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,681,570 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Tarot (Cachet) Hardcover – 1 Oct 2003
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Top Customer Reviews
Unfortunately, this proves to be a misleading claim here. OK each suit has its own background (a green field for Wands, a castle window for Swords, a coastal setting for Pentacles and a landscape with hills and a stretch of water for Cups). Over each of these backgrounds floats one club, or two swords, or three pentacles, or four cups, or etc etc. Not symbolic at all, just descriptive and bland giving no suggestion to the possible meanings of each card.
The introduction then goes on to explain that the major arcana "form a sequence of 21 numbered cards, plus one card called the Fool". This is usually true. Not here. None of the major arcana are numbered. And unwrapping the pack, they are presented in an arbitrary sequence which is no help at all.
Overall, these large colourful cards with their simple and clear designs look more like a stage prop than a workable tarot pack.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
First, the backs of the cards are in black & white, which is sad because they are nicely illustated with images used in the faces of the cards. I suspect that the artwork for the back of the deck was originally done in color but printed in black & white to save money on the color printing costs.
Second, some of the cards look like the artwork was pieced together from different sources. Mostly, this was done pretty well to achieve a good-looking image on a card, but there are flaws. In some cases, details were overlooked, such as the draping of the sleeves on the Queen of Pentacles -- they were apparently drawn for a different throne than the one she's sitting on.
Third, it looks like a number of the cards were designed with little or no knowledge of the traditional meanings behind them. My biggest issue is that one female face with a sad expression was apparently recycled through the deck. For some cards, it's not an issue, but the Queen of Swords looks like she's going to burst into tears. Strength suffers from the same problem of a sad expression, plus being confounded by an aggressive warrior stance on top of a lion that looks like it's being tickled, resulting in an emotionaly disjointed image. The King of Pentacles should probably change places with the King of Wands. The Pages and Knights were done right, in my opinion, and better express their role in their suit compared to the other court cards.
My last artistic quibble is that the Major Arcana lacks cohesion in imagery. For example, the Fool is a typical medieval European court Jester, and he's followed by three clearly ancient Egyptian figures in the High Priestess, Emperor and Empress; then it's back to a medieval European Heirophant.
I really like the vivid colors, the gorgeous card borders and that most of the artwork looks more hand-drawn than computer generated. (The numbered cards of the Minor Arcana are only pips, and obviously computer-drawn over the same background as the Pages.) This deck could have been so much better, but it's not suprising that there are flaws, since the publisher seems to do a lot of business in putting together kits and boxed sets for a wide range of areas. From the publisher's standpoint, getting a kit product out probably took precedent.
For those that do readings, I have some additional comments, in case you are looking to find and purchase this deck. The cards are kind of large for small hands (I have smaller hands) to shuffle, but it's doable. Traditional Rider-Waite symbols are largely absent. The little hard-bound book that goes with the deck contains brief meanings, with upright and reversals for the Major Arcana, upright meanings only for the Minor Aracana. Some of the more typically negative or troubling meanings seem to have been toned way down or even radically changed, and I'm guessing that this kit was meant for an audience that had no previous knowledge of Tarot. Likewise, even the typically "scary" cards don't seem that scary. There is some nudity in the deck (an issue for some), but nothing frontal, and all but one discreet female breast covered with something. Many of the female figures are of the busty type and those with clothing seem to be scantily dressed or are wearing something close-fitting. I guess this, along with the strong colors, makes me think that this deck might be good for readings done for/with the husband or boyfriend, who doesn't know anything about Tarot, who got dragged along to a reading by his wife/girlfriend.
Overall, it's a nice deck, but it seems that it was aimed at a market that doesn't know Tarot and probably doesn't have more than a passing interest in it. Like entertainment at a dinner party or something similar. After that, experienced Tarot readers who've memorized the meanings of the cards might find this deck useful for clients who would be put off by darker or more frightening images in other decks.