This has some of the finest artwork found in any Tarot deck. Sadly now it's out of print. The images are rich paintings, full of texture and detail which draw you into the cards. Each suit is based on an historical culture and , in my opinion, the cultures chosen for the imagery feel that they fit the suits. This is not a straight RWS clone, but the meanings and many of the images do follow the RWS 'standard' for a large part, but break away in places meaning that a few of the cards don't always fit entirely with the generally accepted meanings. There are many cards which have made me smile with their clever surprises and 'twists', and there is always an unexpected angle you can read from. These cards have a real human quality and seem rooted in the doings of people, not just abstract ideas, although, of course, as with any captivating deck, there is a strong element of fantasy.The paintings are truly beautiful making it a pleasure to read with, and the size and shape and feel of the cards is very pleasant, the card stock being of very good quality, as is the printing. There have been moments of head-scratching when I have tried to reconcile some cards with the 'accepted' meanings I have learned as some of the court cards seem to be in the wrong suit and some of the minors differ from the RWS, Golden Dawn or 'Marseille' meanings, but accepting some of it at face-value and just applying your own meaning here and there helps a great deal. It's worth the effort as it really is rare to find a deck as stunning as this one.
on 6 May 2012
This fully illustrated deck is so-called because it draws on cultural myths, beliefs and traditions past and present from across the globe, reminding us that one day we will be the ancestors of those yet to come. In the Major Arcana the 'Hanged Man' becomes the 'Hanged One', showing a foetus within the uterus, head down. The imagery of most of the Major cards is quite similar to that of the Rider-Waite, although the style is very different. I have already mentioned the 'Hanged One', and another card that is quite different is the 'Fool', which shows a modern-looking woman wearing a roll-neck jumper. She is sitting at a table spread with cards from this deck. Behind her is a mirror decorated with Punch and Judy images.
The Minor cards are similar to the Tarot of the Ages, in that each suit is based on individual cultures. The suit of Swords tells the story of the Japanese and Ainu cultures. The suit of Staves (Wands) is all about Egyptian culture. The suit of Cups, the Arthurian legends; and the suit of Sacred Circles (Pentacles) , the American Indian legends. In the Court cards, 'Page' becomes 'Princess'. There are some stunningly beautiful illustrations.
My favourite suit is the Sacred Circles, simply because there are many snow-scenes, and I like to see anything that has a 'snowy' setting, be it film, picture or postcard.