The Hezicos Tarot Deck (78 Cards, 56 page Book + Box) Paperback – Box set, 10 Jan 2010
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"I recommend this deck for Tarot readers ~ beginners and advanced alike, and to collectors, especially those with a penchant for merriment as brought on by the magic of mystical creatures. This deck set was obviously a labor of love for the artist and is presented with enormous care and attention to detail. The quality of production is exceptional and the art a real joy to behold. It became available to order as of January, 2010, directly from the artist's site. Mary Griffin is offering free shipping worldwide and this set can be ordered via Paypal and Amazon." --Arnell Ando
"I am not an expert on fairies and fantasy realms, on the contrary; my world is a lot more concrete. I have, however, seen tarot decks based upon fantasy themes by the dozen, most of them drawn by commissioned illustrators with no particular affection for the subject. The Hezicos tarot is a work of love by a competent artist within her arena. I am not in doubt either, that it can be a successful seller in these days where more and more people, with the help of books, comic strips, film and tarot decks, retract from reality to explore more agreeable and exciting worlds, than the one they actually live in." --K. Frank Jensen
"I loved the pastel coloring in this deck, as well as the lack of borders. The imagery is well drawn and highly detailed, pulling one into the picture. I would recommend this deck for all levels of Tarot readers. It would appeal to those interested in the faerie realm, those interested in theme decks, those interested in artwork, and those looking for a ?gentle? deck to offer their clients." --Bonnie Cehovet
"Every time I open the oh-so-pretty box (it's a painted package!) and see the cards, my heart gives a gentle leap and I break out in a smile. How many Tarot decks can do that? It's joy in a box, truth in whimsy--78 works of art. " --Janet Boyer
From the Author
The deck comes sealed in a very unusual box which can be used to store the cards. The whole of the exterior of the box has been illustrated using a Trompe l'oeil technique.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The card stock is good and well-finished. The cards are fully-illustrated and borderless, with a reversible design on the back in shades of brown and gold. All four of the suit symbols are incorporated into the design.
The booklet accompanying the deck is made from excellent quality glossy paper and is bound in a green cover designed to look like a school exercise book. The author gives the reader a personal insight into her artistic life, creative process and the materials used in the execution of the deck. The cards themselves are reproduced in miniature and in full colour. For the Majors, there is a description, along with upright and reversed meanings, whilst the Minors give a description for the Court cards only. Three spreads are described, the Three-Card, the Romany and the Celtic Cross, but no sample readings.
The Major card names and numbers follow the Rider-Waite tradition, along with easily recognisable depictions in vibrant colours. They are very bold and strong. The author has her own unique take on the images, e.g. The Emperor is depicted sitting on a large quartz crystal, flanked by other crystal points and with a hound at his feet; the Death card shows two skulls, one human with a butterfly on top, and one animal. The card that stands out from the rest, maybe slightly incongruously due to its large black background, is the Moon.
In the Minor Arcana, the suit names are Swords, Rods, Cup and Pentacles, and the colours blue and yellow seem predominant.Read more ›
The cards themselves are a decent size and I tend to shuffle them long ways up rather than side ways. The card quality is how I like them and they shuffle well. Rather than the LWB though Mary, I would love to have been able to buy a book to accompany them :-)
I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them to people as they seem like they are going to be a fun loving deck, that for me were so easy to connect to. Thanks
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Her deck which is populated by wee fairies, pixies, sprites and other woodland creatures and majestic beasts follows a (Rider) Waite-Smith theme so, as she puts it "enabling beginners to learn with ease". I am not usually attracted to overly sweet decks, but Hezicos Tarot, while delightfully charming and whimsical is also rich in symbolism, which may not be immediately apparent when first absorbing the brilliance of the colors and beauty of the artwork. The imagery has an earthiness and timeless quality as shared by this gifted illustrator. The deck is consistently alluring throughout and as much attention was given to designing the Minor Arcana and Court cards as was to the Majors. The titles on the Major Arcana cards are in a cheerful font and the numbers are the more familiar kind we use in our daily lives (1,2, 3, etc.) and not the more traditional Roman numerals (I, II, III) found in most Tarot decks. The Pip cards have the number and title written as well as the number of corresponding symbols depicted for each suit. The Wands are called Rods in this deck and the elfin folk that populate this suit have the appropriate number of Rods put to work within the scenes of the cards. The Cup cards are mostly surrounded by beach and aquatic scenery and Ms. Griffin has found clever ways to incorporate Cups into the imagery. Many of the Sword cards have a slightly darker air, in keeping with the traditional meanings of the cards, and as is often the case with this deck, a familiar atmosphere to anyone used to working with the Waite-Smith deck. The Pentacle/Coin suit has fairy folk with little Coins which have an 'h' embossed on them (for Hezicos, no doubt). The four Aces stand out from the rest of the Pip cards as they are lovely paintings of the suit symbol without the background scenery found in the rest of the deck. The Court cards are especially striking as they are headshot portraits of each noble King, Queen, Knight and Page; each one carrying the energy of the suit and looking more regal than the last. They all wear symbols of their suit in the form of earrings, headdresses, and/or necklaces. The card size is approximately 4.5" High by 3" Wide (11.68 x 7.62 cm.) There are no borders on the imagery, which flows to the edges of the cards. The backs of the cards are an earth-tone design incorporating all 4 suit symbols and are reversible. The corners of the cards are rounded and the deck should hold up very well to years of use. The cards are printed on semi-gloss cardstock.
The book that comes enclosed with the deck is written in a straight forward, down to earth manner that will be comfortable for readers to follow at any level. It has the card images in color which is a nice touch, and 2 or 3 cards are shared per page. The Majors and Court cards offer descriptions of the cards along with the upright and reversed meanings, while the Pip cards share only the interpretations in both positions (sans the card descriptions). The Court cards each give a description of the type of personality associated with that card which can be useful to beginning readers and those that have challenges interpreting who these people may represent in their daily lives; while the card meaning explains how this energy may be apparent in the querrent's situation within the reading. My only frustration (minor as it is) would be that the font in the book, while lovely, is a bit tiny for my eyes and takes some focus (but then I am in dire need of a stronger prescription for reading glasses). In her book, Ms. Griffin also shares how she created the artwork in great detail which I found interesting.
The 2-piece box is made of sturdy, thick cardstock and makes for a comfortable home for the deck and book. It appears that a couple of those mischievous little creatures are trying to escape the packaging; out from the top of the box (such clever, artistic details are one of the things that make this set so charming). I enthusiastically recommend this deck for Tarot readers ~ beginners and advanced alike, and to collectors, especially those with a penchant for merriment as brought on by the magic of mystical creatures.
Reviewed by: Arnell Ando (creator of Transformational Tarot, Lucky Pack, and Hero's Journey Tarot)
When I opened the parcel, I was quite honestly shocked at the quality of the set, as the box alone far surpassed the standards of most mass marketed decks. The box is designed to look like a package, wrapped in twine all the way around. There are ladybugs and spunky faeries on the box, one even attempting to escape. The two-piece box itself is thick and sturdy and creates such an attractive storage unit for the deck that I am more inclined to set it up for display rather than put it away in a drawer or shelf.
The Cards: First of all, the cards are borderless! That makes me a very happy camper, right off the bat. The card stock has a lovely matte finish, and they shuffle beautifully. The cards measure 3" x 4 5/8" and the backs are reversible, featuring a dryad holding the four suit symbols.
The illustrations were done in watercolor and ink. I am particularly fond of the look of bright watercolors bleeding together (rather than blending seamlessly), and there are countless cards in this deck where the artist has done just that, and that is a big part of the charm in this deck for me personally.
The Majors and Minors in the Hezicos Tarot differ from each other, in that the Majors feature human characters while the Minors portray members of the fae world. The Court cards are head shots with a tribal look to them, with the Pages looking to the left, Knights looking to the right, and Queen and King facing forward. The Aces show the singular suit symbol with a plain background, to match the background of the Courts of the same suit.
The two Majors that jumped out to me first were the Moon and Sun, as they are quite stark, illustrating simply a moon and a sun, rather like cards from a Lenormand deck. I wondered how this would play out in a reading, as they didn't seem to blend in, though I was drawn to them in a positive way. When I drew the Moon several times during the first week of using this deck, I found that the bluntness of the card helped to emphasize the powerful effect of its influence over the other cards. Perhaps these two cards *should* stand out in this way, as they are such a significant part of our world, yet at the same time, not of Earth.
One of my favorites from the Major Arcana is the Hermit. This is one of my favorite cards in tarot, so I'm always interested to see what the artist does with the Hermit. The Hezicos Hermit is wonderful... a bald, rotund Buddha seeking enlightenment. The Empress is also one of my favorites because of its rich colors and the fact that she protectively yet gently holds a child on her lap. The Death card is another one that grabbed my attention and didn't want to let go. Every time I see this card, it reminds me of the cover of the book, Inkdeath. I love the human skull beside the feline skull, and the butterfly (representing metamorphosis) resting on top, as well as the significance of the bluebells rising from the death. I love the combination of purples and greens in this card, using color to portray the concepts of death and rebirth.
Talking about some of my favorites in the Minor Arcana is tricky, because I could be here a long time. First of all, the suit of Rods is usually my least favorite suit. So when an artist is able to make the Rods my favorite suit, it's a rare event. Mary Griffin has done just that, bringing her rods to life, chock full of character! The Eight of Rods makes me smile with glee every time. The sticks, complete with faces and arms, are flying through the air, arms outstretched like Superman. The Five of Rods features five of them, not so much fighting brutally, but appearing to be trying to push each other out of the way, like annoyed, grumpy old men. The Four of Rods, one of my favorites from any deck, shows the four rods holding up a platform upon which a lovely little cottage sits. The expressions on the rods' faces are precious and keep this suit interesting for me, which is very refreshing.
The Cups and Swords are integrated in the cards in normal RWS fashion, however there are several cards from the Coins suit where the coins are just lined up at the bottom or side of the card. I find that a little distracting, and would have liked to see all the coins blend into the setting a bit more. The coins themselves are blue circles, framed in yellow with the letter "h" in each center, which I assume stands for "Hezicos". I find the deviation from the pentacle symbol a nice change of pace.
The Minors really have a lot of character. The faeries vary from nude fey-like beings, to troll-like elves or faeries, who are very charming and lovable. Even the scenery is enchanting, for example the crooked stairs leading up to crooked doors in the side of a mountain in the Five of Swords. Or the mushroom house in the Ten of Coins. There are a couple of shell houses, and other hidden, whimsical treasures tucked away in these cards, which really are a feast for the eyes.
How it Reads: The Hezicos Tarot is a very quirky deck, in that there are many ways in which it strays from the norm. There is the obvious simplicity in the Moon and Sun cards, as well as the way the Aces and Courts were done. Then you have the Human Majors which were done in a mostly traditional manner, and the whimsical Fae Minors. There are cards that scream with vibrant color while others are more muted and subtle. How will all of this combine together in a reading? Very well, actually. The cards playfully compliment each other. If there is a simple card that stands out from the others, it provides a stronger emphasis and direction for the rest of the cards. I'm all about the flow in a reading, so I was surprised at how the different elements from this deck didn't affect my readings in a negative way, but rather enhanced them.
I find this deck to be very intuitive and accurate, as well as charming and endearing.
I will say that I think that one would need to have familiarity with Court cards to comfortably read with this deck. There isn't a whole lot to go on (mere headshots), and their expressions are very similar to one another. So you really need to rely on your knowledge of their individual traits.
The LWB: The 56-page Little White Book has a thick green cover, and full color pictures of the cards inside. It is designed to look like a student's composition notebook, with an awesome ink splotch on the cover that looks rather fae like, as far as ink splotches go. There is an introduction, and a section about the artist. The next two pages discuss the actual artistic process, including details about the materials used. Also included are brief sections on cleansing the deck, shuffling, and using a significator card. The spreads included include a 3-card Yes/No spread, a 21-card Romany spread, and the Celtic Cross.
There is a small color image of each card in the book accompanied by upright and reversed meanings. The Majors feature a brief description of each card, and the Courts include a quick personality description. There are four pages for notes at the back of the LWB.
I am quite enamored with this deck, box and LWB. The production quality is excellent, and the cards themselves are wonderfully quirky and beautifully drawn and painted. It's a solid reading deck with aspects of both human and fae life.
The deck is available directly through the artist at HezicosTarot.com, where you can preview the entire deck. While you're there, I also recommend visiting her gallery of fascinating Trompe l'oeil work.
Suits: Cups, Rods, Swords, Coins
Court Titles: Page, Knight, Queen, King
Justice/Strength: Strength 8, Justice 11
Card Size: 3" x 4 5/8"
Card stock: Matte
Artist: Mary Griffin
Publisher: Self Published
(See my blog for images of the cards and readings I've done with this deck.)