African Tarot Cards – 12 Mar 1997
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An unusual and fun deck of Tarot, modelled on the Rider-Waite but with its own twists. Marvellous to own.
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The "African Tarot: Journey into the Self" is a teeny little deck based on Rider-Waite symbology. It also looks like it was drawn by a child with talent -- the sort of art that you'd *want* to put on your fridge. The people are brown and have kinky hair, and they live in an African village -- after that, and a few liberties with the suit cards -- it's a standard deck.
The suits, by the way, are traditionally named. However, the art shows Swords as spears, Cups as gourds and Pentacles as coins or disks. The art is rich and perhaps a tad dark for some, perhaps it's best not to read this one in low light -- but then, it's far from a gothic deck. The back design is equally darling -- two colorful tortoises in the sun, reversed from each other so you can see one of them upright as long as you're holding the card lengthwise. According to the South African author, the Shangaan culture considers this animal a symbol of "the slow coming of justice" -- appropraite enough considering its country of origin.
The cards are approximately 3" x 2.5" and covered with what I assume is a standard, slick coating. This makes them easy to shuffle, but I have a habit of dropping some cards if I'm just going through them while holding them in my hands.
I even find the package a total keeper: a brown, corregated cardboard box with descriptive cards glued to the back and front. A rubberband to keep the box closed and you could probably drop this deck into your backpack and only have the box take damage. However, the box is so cute, why would you want to?
The little booklet inside confirms the image that this is a feel-good deck -- many of the interpretations are positive or at least encouraging of growth. So, while this isn't an all-ocassion deck, I certainly think it's worth a look!
I grew up under strict religious beliefs, and it took me a while to come to terms with my fascination and interest in tarot cards. This deck felt very non-threatening to me, and helped me to familiarize myself with the tarot. It was just a good starting point for me.
The sub-title to these cards: "Journey into the Self" -was also appealing to me, because I didn't feel like I was using the cards for taboos like fortune telling, or spell casting. -I was trying to find out more about myself and the world I live in.
I really like the LWB that comes with the cards. For such a small book, it was extremely helpful and I liked the interpretations. The box is a really cute corregated cardboard.
The images are based on the Rider-Waite-Smith deck in that the pictures are so similar. The RWS deck is far more detailed and true to life pictures whereas these are more cartoonish type.
I'd highly recommend this deck. Choosing a deck, especially your first one, is a personal choice and you need to go with one that you have good feelings about and feel comfortable with. If you want to see the whole deck, you can view it at the tarot.com website.