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The Tarot Set: The Illustrated Book of Tarot Paperback – 31 Aug 2003
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The Illustrated Book of Tarot by Jane Lyle.
Discover the Mysteries.
A Clear and Concise Guide to Tarot, explaining the theories behind the practice including:
* The Major Arcana
* The Minor Arcana
* A Step-by-Step guide to reading Tarot
* Complete explanation of the Spreads
This book does NOT include any cards!
Bounty Books Reprinted 2005
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
I totally love the way these old fashioned scans looked like. I am at a stage where I can't take illustrated decks any longer so I wanted something plain and truly original. I was dreaming to buy a Marseilles deck but all of them were too expensive for me at the time so this cheap version was a life saver.
The cards are covered in wax finishing which is VERY hard to shuffle as they don't separate from each other easily. My thumb and small finger muscles used to hurt after using. The cards are very thick and sturdy. They feel similar in thickness to the Original Rider Waite deck. I loved the the fact they were that thick. That means they will not likely to ever tear, break, bend. It's possible to say that this deck can stand the use of MANY years. From this point of view, I would call it "a very high quality deck". Plain and strong.
Except for the shuffling part, the deck is lovely. Loveliness comes from simplicity and authenticity. It does look like the original Marseilles deck from the old times and it does feel that way. The backs are plain white with purple line work - not too impressive but mysterious enough.The size is larger than the Original Rider Waite or Lo Scarabeo's "Ancient Italian", for example. The cards are contained in a sturdy waxy purple box with a very nice lid. The product feels nice and heavy.
For the practical reasons I ended up cutting off it's borders and even the black outlines too. After that it became the same size as "Original Rider Waite", for example.
I recommend it for those who need a beautiful ancient deck for a small price.
Jane Lyle's book, unfortunately, while good enough in itself, is a poor fit for the deck. She gives mostly Rider-Waite-Smith meanings for the cards without the "training wheels" of the Rider-Waite-Smith illustrated pip cards. For a beginner, using that system with these cards is going to involve a lot of memorization. For learning to read the Tarot de Marseille, a system based on numerology would be more appropriate. The French "tirage en croix" system, which uses only the trump cards, could also be taught with this deck. I gather that the book and deck were put together as a marketing decision. Still, it's an excellent deck, and a fairly good beginner's book, but the unique virtues of the deck are not mirrored in the book.
It is also a good thing that the book is so strong, because the deck that is included isn't the greatest. It is a Marseille deck, and the cards are cheaply made. They are usable, but that's about it. (The pip cards in the Marseille deck, unlike many others, give no indication of the meaning of the card - one must memorize the symbolism from other sources.) They are not well colored and the cardboard is not something that will hold up. Also, I have small hands and found them hard to manage.
If the cards were just a little nicer I would have given this set five stars.