Most helpful positive review
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Baroque, opulent and detailed tarot
on 25 July 2011
What you are getting here is a combination of a set of tarot cards illustrated by Mr Ian Daniels along with a book on tarot which serves as a guide to the cards, their significances, relationships and potential role in divination, as well as being a great theoretical grounding in tarot.
My first warning is that this is by no means a "beginner's tarot". There are quite simply too many relationships here for the guide nor the cards for it to be "pick up and play".
Daniels takes an occultists view on the cards and is hugely well informed on the astrological, planetary, mythological, qabalah and alchemical influences present on each card. It is seemingly very influenced by the hermetic order of the golden dawn and its acolytes (such as Crowley) and related victorian and early 20th century occultists, like Dion Fortune. You will get the most from this deck and book if you are already slightly familiar with all these strands of mysticism. If not, it may take you a while to get used to the concepts and I will admit, at times it can be overwhelming in its thoroughness and complexity. Of course this means that, having worked with the cards you will be very aware of each subtle influence that the card suggests is in effect when drawn.
Daniels also has not made it easy by not naming each minor arcana with a single word title- instead, a list of maybe 20 is offered as the cards' "essence", so the book will probably also form a reference guide.
Otherwise the deck itself is beautifully illustrated with seductive and rich vampyre imagery, containing pertinent clues in terms of the narrative in the image, influences of planets and astrological signs and other influences. Bear in mind though that occasionally these are omitted.
I suggest that one picks a tarot deck to work with by focusing on the imagery, calling and religious inclinations of your own soul. To make these clear here, I would say that this is a deck most suitable for those who feel attracted to the spiritual implications of vampyre stories, the gothic in spirituality, who is a non-christian in terms of religion, an occultist or interest in western (and eastern) mysticism and someone of a meditative and experiential approach to their spirituality. People who also don't mind an amount of work as well as intuitive elements to a reading.
In summary: rich, deep and rewarding, but definitely not for absolutely everyone. An enjoyable deck to use and one that has enlightened me quite a lot after uneven progress with Crowley's writing. It has made a lot of sense and combined prior knowledge, and stands me in very good stead for further learning.