Top positive review
25 people found this helpful
Stunning, glossy and sumptuous
on 12 June 2007
I am quite new to Tarot & I deliberately started off with a 'beginner's deck' - the excellent Sharman-Caselli deck. Although I personally found it a brilliant, easy deck to initiate me into the ways of Tarot, I also found it a little bland: soft colours, quite plain drawings and I found myself looking for something a little more glossy, more attractive and more sumptuous.
That's where the Gilded Tarot came in and not only ticked those boxes but blew them right out of the water. I cannot fault the artwork of these cards. Everything about the colours used, the images chosen & the design on the back of the cards just fits perfectly. My only slight criticism would be that sometimes the faces of the characters are a bit distracting as they are real photos whilst the rest of the body is a drawing which can be a bit weird but on the whole it is a beautiful deck.
The cards themselves pretty much stick to the traditional names for both Major and Minor Arcanas. In this deck, Strength is numbered 8 and Justice is numbered 11. The images themselves are, I find, quite different to the Rider Waite tradition (although the artist says he has tried to stick to it) thus many of the well known figures appear quite differently in this deck - the Fool is pictured as a court jester juggling signs of the zodiac with a gold hoop about his legs, the Emperor is also clutching the signs of the zodiac, the wheel also depicts signs of the zodiac around it with a big sunburst at the centre of the wheel. There are also a lot of references to machines and machinery throughout the cards which the author and artist explain in the accompanying booklet.
Court figures have usually lost their thrones and the backgrounds tend to be quite minimal although there are a lot of animals appearing in this deck which has a comforting feel - I am thinking about the 10 of swords where a stag looks over the body of the man stuck by swords.
The cards themselves are quite thick and glossy, relatively narrow & really lovely to hold but very slippery to shuffle! The cards have a black border which contain the gem that is coloured according to the suit that it belongs to e.g. green for pentacles etc etc. The borders are a lovely touch to the drawings and the gem helps you identify the suit immediately. Pip cards are illustrated.
The reverse of the cards shows a vibrant sunburst but are not reversible (i.e. you would not be able to tell if the card was upright or reversed until you turned it over).
The booklet provided also contains basic meanings for the cards and luckily includes meanings for the machine imagery included on the cards which actually turns out to be quite interesting. An organza bag is also included and is very handy for keeping the cards in but they also thoughtfully include a plain white box that you can illustrate yourself if you choose.
All in all, this deck of cards gets the 5 star treatment because of the artwork and presentation of the cards and the booklet. They are absolutely stunning.
However, they are not my favourite deck, because the images are pared down and have lost a lot of the traditional symbols, I find it really hard as a beginner to intuit the meanings of the cards, they just simply do not speak to me. I have tried to do a reading for a family member and whilst they really enjoyed it and said it was really relevant, I felt quite uncomfortable and not confident. I don't think that I am ready for these quite yet, but because they are so attractive, I think that once I become more confident with the Tarot as a whole, I would be more drawn to using these.
If you love Tarot, if you are a reader or even if you just collect, you will love having these in your collection.
The Fool in this deck of cards really looks like George Bush though - have a look for yourself, you'll see what I mean!!!