O'Leary's medium is block printing, with the light areas of the prints subsequently colored in rich hues. The result is bold and dramatic, almost overloading the senses. The block printing moves far enough away from realism to give the deck an archetypal quality without compromising earthiness and character.
When I get a new deck, I always run through it quickly to check out how the artist's interpretations of the different cards strike me. Mostly, interpretations seem good but unoriginal. Sometimes there are real duds. Other times there are "zings"-visions that leap out and tell the meaning of the card in a new and exciting way. This deck has no duds and lots of zings, from the incredible Tower card drawn from the perspective of one of the falling figures (How many centuries have we waited for a Tower card that didn't make it look like somebody else's problem?) to the gorgeously sensual Strength card, with a slender, nude African woman cradled in the body of the lion, to the hauntingly wise, comfortable, and self-confident Sybil (queen) of Swords on her mountaintop.
The imagery is also wonderfully multicultural, but unlike many decks that attempt this, there is little sense of clashing worlds-the block printing technique gives the whole deck a totally unified look and feel; we are drawn into some kind of alternate reality where people of all races and cultures live in interconnection, sharing a single vivid spiritual landscape.
The real magic of this deck is that for all its beauty and originality, it is immediately readable. The themes of the cards will be instantly familiar to anyone who has used a deck drawn from Waite-Smith images and images (which most are). Even if you are new to tarot, it's hard not to get clear messages from these images. The book is nicely done, but almost superfluous. I used this deck, straight out of the box, to give free readings at Pagan Pride Day last year, and it rocks.
I have been working with Tarot for several years and am a professional reader. Normally when I get a new deck to read with, I will work with it for a couple of weeks or a month if I decide I want to use it with clients.....
However, with this deck, I was using it to give reading's to my clients the very next day. It has proven to be a clear, accurate and percise deck.....
Intuition just flows with this deck. It's beauty is breath-taking and amzing, and all the many cultures and paradigms it incoroprates into the cards really helps one to tune in to situations...
For the beginner or the advanced reader, I highly reccommend this deck...............
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