Customer Review

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Groovin to their chakra vibe, 18 July 2012
This review is from: The Gaian Tarot (Cards)
I looked forward to this deck for years. Was it all I hoped? Well. No.

PROS:

*It is earth-honouring. An attempt is made to show the beauty of the natural world.
*It depicts contemporary neopagan types fitting their spirituality into their real everyday lives. It shows the artist's conception of the energies/meanings of the cards being played out through everyday activities.
*It is pretty and colorful.
*The deck features a variety of body types and ethnicities.
*It is overall a positive and affirming deck.

CONS:

*A very narrow life experience is depicted here--a particular community of apparently quite affluent suburban neopagans/New Agey types living in the Pacific Northwest.
*The deck lacks grittiness.
*The deck lacks scope for something beyond the Birkenstock sandals and genuine handmade buffalo drums.
*The photographic realism of some of the cards can be jarring. People look too much like real people, if that makes sense.
*The apparent perfection of the lives of these people (shopping in farmers markets, practising yoga facing the rising sun, surfing, working together in the kitchen to preserve their harvest of herbs, swimming in shimmering rivers, etc) is offputting to some. I think they may see these images as smug.

I have mixed feelings about the deck. It's fun to look through. I personally find their lifestyle appealing. While it's certainly a sanitized version of life, I also find it realistic, in some ways. We all really are pretty much well-fed,anti-bacterial soapified consumers--we live in the Western world. And when most of us do our spiritual practices, this is pretty much how we're dressed and how we look. So I don't have a problem with that.

One thing the deck lacks for me is a sense of mysticism. It's almost like a New Age hipster's photo album, snapshots of friends on holiday and daily outings. The deck seems very steeped, to me, in the day-to-day activities of this small circle of friends, and so it's hard for me to use for higher connections, meditation and contemplation. Readings done with the deck always seem to point to rather shallow answers.

There is not a lot of pain in this deck. There is a bit of angst and annoyance, but for the most part, the folks in the cards are groovin to their chakra vibes.

There has been some debate amongst tarot collectors over whether this is even a tarot deck. I can see that argument, and see why some people chop the borders and titles off to make it an oracle. To be honest, I hardly look at my copy of the deck. When I do get it out to look at it, I almost never go on to read with it. So I guess that means it's an unsuccessful deck, for me. If I want a reading, I choose something less personal and specific to a time, place, group, artist...
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