on 27 February 2014
The intent to produce a gentle and beautiful tarot deck has to be commended. The attention to detail, quality of card, colour and size is very good. What is especially wonderful are the descriptions for the card meanings, a joy to read and definitely helpful, I am very impressed with them, the authors should be congratulated on the written messages.
Now, the other stuff that goes into doing a reading with tarot. To have a herd of unicorns standing or lying on a card means nothing to me symbolically. Yes, beautiful animals, but nothing much is happening in the picture which relates to human questions. So the pictures are rather unrelated to the messages which means I cannot get a true feeling for each card when it is laid down in a reading. I have to resort to the booklet immediately and am still left feeling a bit vague - I don't seem to be able to connect to the reading fully when the pictures do not tell a similar story to the messages on the cards. Its like a mixed message card for me.
The original tarot deck pictures said it all. There is instant picture recognition with the messages. So, if like me, you need to visually connect to the picture to help with the meaning of the reading perhaps its best to concentrate on decks that generally follow the style of the rider waite deck or at least have pictures that correspond to the card meaning.
And the ego; The artist has used his face for Archangel Michael. Every time I look at the card I don't think Archangel Michael, I think "oh it's that artist again". Same with Doreen's face on the feminine styled cards - same reaction. If this deck had truly been formed with the buyer in mind then wouldn't it be more helpful to create a deck that leans more to neutral. So that the reader can feel more in tune with it. With the Angel tarot cards I feel like I am shuffling photos of those guys around and not the angels etc. Putting your own face on something claims it as yours. If that was their intention then it has been achieved, the deck feels like it is all about them. I wish I could have seen the pictures first then I would have known it's real style.
Some may be so happy with the deck as is. But as it is not possible to see each card before buying I decided to write this as an aid for other shoppers when it comes to deciding what they need from a deck and if this one fits or not.
on 10 June 2015
This is a Hay House Deck, so the box and the cards are standard Hay House.
The Cards measure 9 cm wide and 12,8 cm tall. The box is a little deeper than most Hay House deck boxes because this is a tarot deck, so it has more cards.
As far as the cards go, they are traditional Hay House thickness and they have a silver edge to them. Looking at the back of the cards and the images in the front of the cards, a gold edge would look better. Each card has the number on top then it's name and then keywords and after the image, on the bottom there are three small sentences to convey the basic meaning of the cards. In the court cards, instead of the keywords on top, there are four human qualities that could represent a person. This is good for beginners, because they can learn the various meanings of the cards using the booklet less. The major arcana have the Archangel that represents them instead of the keywords on top.
The images are well conceived and executed. They are vivid and some of them are quite stunning. Just look at the Queen of Fire (my favourite) and the Queen of Air. It is clear that the artist has a lot of talent and imagination, even if i don't like some cards or don't agree with some depictions. I'm not an angel person. I never was. Angel decks are usually boring and more of the same. This is a bit different. I found about this deck through friend, who is a big Doreen Virtue fan, a month after it was published. It took me ages of weighing the pros and the cons before i decided to buy it. In the past, i bought several DV decks and none worked for me because they were too fluffy, shallow (ill-conceived) or boring. The only one that survived the giveaway rush was the "Goddess Guidance Oracle Cards" deck, which is her best yet. Since this is a tarot deck and has a defined structure, i decided to give it a try. I really like the minor arcana. They are eclectic, because they have fairies, dragons, mermaids, unicorns, whales, other reptiles of unknown source, angels(few) and human sort of beings that seem to come from a different origin. The landscapes are beautiful. It looks like the artist had a vision of unknown worlds and painted them to lure us in.
However, there are things i don't like in the cards. The first thing is the colour. I love purple. I really do, but i don't see the the point in having a suit that can confuse itself with the Major Arcana. The Major Arcana are purple and suit of Air is a faded purple. Some say it is a bluish purple. It is still purple. The suit of Air is traditionally linked to yellow, so why not use a muted shade of this colour that could match the images? The deck would look better and less confusing. Some of the names of the Major Arcana have been changed. I prefer that the names stay the same, but i can understand why she changed the most challenging ones. She wanted to avoid negative feelings.
The Major Arcana are a disappointment. Some of the Angels are repeated, like Archangel Michael, who appears in three cards. Aren't there enough Angels to go around? The Dreamer (the fool) card is similar to the Ego Card (the devil) with a different background and most of the angels aren't depicted in their glory. Some of the images are plain. Where is the powerful Michael? Siting in a throne looking sullen. Archangel Michael could be the "ex libris" of the Major Arcana and he looks small and always in the same position. He also features in the back of the cards which are beautiful until his picture appears, making him feel tiny. The backs aren't reversible.
I also don't like the expressions on some of the cards. The angel in The Lovers has his lips painted red. That looks odd. The left man in the Two of Fire, looks like he is posing for a picture and the one on the Six of Fire looks silly. The King of Water looks like he is wearing too much makeup and the sirens in the Two and Ten of Water look like they have gothic eyeshadow.
The borders in the front of the cards are too big, especially in the Major Arcana. It is not that i hate borders, i just don't like waste of space.
The booklet that companies the deck is a traditional hay house one, so it is thick and it is the same size of the cards. It has 135 pages, but there are some half empty pages. Sometimes even three quarters empty pages. It has quite a bit of information, but it could have more if they used the aforementioned empty space on the pages. I guess the author did not want more information there, because she wrote a book about that deck called "The Big Book on Angel Tarot" and wants to sell it. Still it is a good booklet with a good feature: in the court cards there is a description for the situation and another for a person, in case the card represents a person or human qualities. This is good for beginners, because they can find out first hand that court cards can have various meanings, besides the physical aspect. As i said good, but not great.
I don't know if there was a glitch in the factory, of if it was that one in a million, but my deck was not in top shape. The lid on the box had one side a bit longer that the other and when it closes it touches my wood shelf and dents (slightly). The Suit of Earth (Green border cards) were damaged. Bits of the green border were missing in the front of the cards, so the white is showing. Two or three cards of Fire and Air had this too, but to a minor extent. The Dreamer was also damaged in several parts. Some of the cards have uncentered borders in the front. The one on the right is thinner than the one on the left.
The cards came like that and they were shrink wrapped. I have several Hay House Decks and they have good quality, so i'm willing to consider this a factory mistake.
Overall I find these cards beautiful (most of them) but not fluffy, although there are some disturbing images with conspicuous makeup.
There are no negative meanings in the booklet because she found a positive thing to say about each card. While i understand this, it is not my cup of tea. If a situation is negative, I want to know about so that i can take the most appropriate action in order to turn it into a positive one. There are good images for meditation and the bottom meanings of the cards help you get another picture of the situation, since we are used to traditional tarot meanings.
Reading with them has not been easy. Having beautiful images is a fine thing, but connecting them to card meanings is another. There are images that are easy to read and there are others that are puzzling, like the unicorns. That was the reason i bought the book. I understand the possibilities of this deck and i have stated them above. Still, i can't say that i connect well with the deck. Some readings are fairly accurate and some are not. It is possible this is happening because i never liked angels, but i think it is mostly due to all positive meanings written on the cards (which differ from the traditional meanings) and some fantasy images that don't seem to fit very well. Those are not intuitive at all. In order for me to improve, it will require more practice (lots of it) and more study of the Big Book (i have only read it once), which is not very deep, so i will need some luck too.
After i read the back of the box and information on the site, it made me a bit angry. This happened also when i bought the Big Book of Angel Tarot. First of all, it is not true that this is the first gentle tarot. I have The Tarot of Transformation by Willow Arlenea and Jasmine Cori, which came out in 2002 and you shall find nothing frightening or lurid in the deck or book. You shall not find it either in the Art Of Life Tarot by Charlene Livingstone. There are other decks published in the last century that have accomplished this.
If one wants to market one's product in a certain way, it's fine. Nevertheless, it is not right to do it at the expense of others, that have accomplished the deed long before. It is good to have pride in difference and accomplishment, but it is arrogance to think that because of it one's work is the only one that counts.
I don't regret buying this deck, because i believe that i can still learn from it, but it is not a deck that i will use regularly, nor will it be one of my favourites.
I guess this is a deck with more value to someone that loves angels, is a beginner, or has super sensitivity about "less" positive images.
A friend asked me to see this deck, because i complained a lot about its poor quality and she decided to keep it, since it was the only DV deck she didn't have. I have ordered another one for me from another seller and another one for my cousin from a third seller, because she loves angels. I hope i get decks with quality this time.
I will not gift this deck again, because i don't know if my friends that like fantasy themes, could use it and understand their readings comprehensively without the Big Book.
I felt an intuitive drawing towards the `Angel Tarot Cards', and not without reason. It seems we all do indeed attract what we need at the time when we need it, and these lovely cards were no exception. Encountering a radical life shift, I needed swift guidance that could provide more details and with impeccable accuracy, without any personal wishes distorting the self-reading (it is so easy to stand back if the reading is for another). I am receiving a plethora of blessings every time I engage with the cards, of which I connected with instantly. It would seem that no matter what I would wish to see from my reading, the cards seem to only pick up the vibration of factual or potential past, present or future potential outcomes. I have used may different oracle and tarot cards over the years (first commencing in 1992), yet I'm so delighted to still find something so new and enticing, cards that are so magical, so beautiful, that the images and words open doorways of consciousness that truly gift your life, welcoming you and enfolding you deep into the heart of truth, where healing occurs no matter what. Healing occurs when we can acknowledge what is occurring is part of our life, is meant to be, and apparent loss is but a stage of transformation, thus people and situations may enfold into our reality one moment, and then spin through the spiral to exit either for a short time or a long time, depending upon energetic attraction and soul magnetics that draw us to one another. If you truly love someone and/or respect and trust/surrender to life, you can view all is perfect. Although I deeply enjoyed and learnt so much from using traditional tarot, I'm truly mesmerized by the images that show the multidimensional aspects, and also deep healing through the light that is infused in each image, which enrobes you in compassion so deep, you emerged healed from each reading.
As I am at a juncture in my personal evolution at present, I have many questions, and as a busy woman, I don't have as much time to `tune in' and know it is accurate, or to study the books once again to remember all the symbolism of the traditional tarot, so I sincerely welcome this wonderful deck where I receive so many benefits of the tarot, without needing to guess many times if I have interpreted the card correctly. Everything thus far has been astoundingly accurate, so I must rate this my top deck of cards to date, as they are so comprehensive and all encompassing.
The collaboration between Doreen Virtue's angelic light and direct guidance, Radleigh Valentine's knowledge of the tarot that spans an excess of two decades, and Steve A.Roberts incredible enchanting art is truly a match made in heaven.
Five stars is not sufficient to rate the benefits I have received thus far at this important time in my life.