I just received this deck this morning - and I am stunned by the beauty of the deck. I am the happy owner of most all the John & Caitlin Matthews decks, & have many more by other authors. The art of Tarot and Oracle decks have turned me into a collector (albeit a small one:). The Grail deck is a rare treasure, each card worked out beautifully down to the last card, in minute detail. The colourings are gorgeous. I lift my hat to Mr Caselli, he's a true artist. The book is done in lovely sepia colourings. I am very pleased with it .... there is but one thing that I do have to offer (and sadly) and that is ... I find the cards themselves to be rather thin - meaning that one will have treat them very carefully against scuffing or even folding & creasing them, when shuffling them. I love the deck to bits, but this is a bit of a drawback. Still I hope they sell like hotcakes, because anyone will count themselves truly Blessed to have this beautiful deck. L.B. Netherlands
"This deck re-tells the fabulous Grail legend - one of the most famous mysteries the world has ever known - and relates the quest for the sacred Christian relic to our desire to understand the puzzles of our own lives".
This well researched deck is unique, because the Major Arcana cards form one long picture when placed side by side. The art is detailed and evocative and the style seems fitting to the legend of the Grail, although the colouring is a little dull in places. The deck is loosely based on the Rider-Waite with the names of all the Major arcana cards changed to something that better represents the story of the Grail although the Rider-Waite system is still present. The suits are renamed to Stones (Pentacles), Vessels(Cups)and Lances (Wands), Swords obviously stay the same :)
The accompanying well bound and presented book offers a good introduction to its subject and goes on to list every card in detail, accompanied by a sepia graphic. Each card picture is described and then its background and the story behind the card is explained. Followed by the cards meaning with accompanying keywords as a quick reference.
John Matthews writing is easy to understand, in-depth and friendly. His knowledge of the Grail and its application to the Tarot is insightful and eye opening. He not only teaches the reader about the legend of the Grail but portrays the Tarot in a different and meaningful way. Double enjoyment for reader and seeker alike.
The borderless cards are a good thickness with a smooth glossy finish on the picture side, but have an unfinished back. They are slightly bigger than standard. They come in an box, in which the cards are inserted into the middle, with the accompanying book places on top.
If you are a beginner seeking to learn about the Tarot I would recommend learning the Rider-Waite deck first. If you are interested in learning about the Grail legend and have Tarot experience then this highly original deck is a must. Definitely one for the serious student.
A "must" for anyone interested in both tarot and the Templars, Gnostic Christianity or the Grail. The cards are beautiful and the book instructive with regard to the Templars and the Grail Quest.
Anyone already familiar with the tarot may struggle with some of the symbols used, especially for the trumps. Trump 6 for example, called The Lovers in most decks, is called The Two Knights of The Temple, and, for me it doesn't convey the essential meaning of The Lovers. I feel that Christ/Magdalene would have been better. The commetary in the book does, however, eventually get to the essence of the card's meaning.
All in all, though, I'm delighted with this deck and have benefited considerably from working with it. An insightful and meditative reading may even reveal some Grail secrets!
This is a fabulous deck. I have used it for over seven years. I have taken a star off because it is not immediately accessible to the beginner, unlike some decks such as the Hansen-Roberts, but it is worth the effort of becoming familiar with it. Pictorially it is superb. Each card fits exactly onto the touching cards to depict a single picture of the quest for the Holy Grail. it is wonderful and a joy to work with.