1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A new road in Tarot,
This review is from: The Mary-el Tarot (Paperback)
Marie White conceived this deck as a synthesis of the Waite-Smith, Thoth and Marseille decks, but it's so much more. She adds an extra layer of her own, a new way of viewing the images and meanings of the cards.
For instance, the 5 of Cups, normally a card of bitterness and regret, is presented as an 8-legged unicorn, the fountain of life and the two trees in the garden of Eden: the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and the Tree of Eternal Life. What does this mean? It means that we find heaven within ourselves, and that by eating the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (so that's "good times and bad times") we come closer to the fountain, to the mythic unicorn, Sleppnir, Odin's mount, and the Tree of Eternal Life.
I'll be the first to admit I'm a very fussy woman, having spent 5 years studying painting and as an artist subsequently, with very rigid ideas about what makes good technical ability, and I have to say that Marie's artwork ticks every box on my checklist and more. Using oil paint to seal the deal, each card is a mini masterpiece in itself, with only a couple of images that didn't quite make it for me.
The only other problem I have with this deck is the stickiness of the surface of the cards that make them hard to shuffle at first, although this becomes slightly easier with use. I'm also worried that the plastic coating of the cards is not permanent and might start peeling off with time, this is a complaint I'm reading a lot about this deck and it would be something that the publishers will want to address in subsequent reprints. That being said, the cards are nice and big and the stock is good, heavy and thick, which gives the cards a icon-like feel which I like a lot. The images also have a plain black border, which is a blessed relief after the borders added by publishers on some other decks I won't mention.
This is now The Deck that I use, the images are sometimes darker than usual (10 of Cups!) and sometimes lighter (all the 5s) but the extra dimension of meaning adds to the language of Tarot because of Ms White's incredible knowledge of esoteric and ethnological systems. This would not be the best deck for beginners, whereas the Waite-Smith, Golden Tarot or Thoth would be, as they deal with the Golden Dawn symbolism more directly, but it's the perfect deck for people who want to take their Tarot to another dimension.
Can't recommend highly enough. Buy it now.