3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Liber T: Tarot of Stars Eternal (Cards)
I wasn't sure at first whether I would like this deck, as it is a reworking of the Thoth, which I love, so I was almost wondering: what's the point? Well, it seems, the point is to illustrate the minors with more emphasis on the 'Decans'- an astrological system used by the Golden Dawn but only partially present in Crowley's version.
Well, it has to be said, the artwork is amazing. While it's not Lady Frieda Harris' breathtaking original paintings, it is sympathetic to the feel of the originals and each of the Majors is immediately recognisable. I was a bit perturbed by the departure from the Golden Dawn colour prescriptions in places- notably the Empress- for some reason the artist has changed the colours a bit. The artwork is even more astral and otherworldly than in the Crowley version and is a huge achievement in that it is not completely redundant- Lady Frieda Harris is a hard act to follow!
What the artist has done on most of the minors is to keep the Frieda Harris stylized pip illustrations, and change the angle and/or size so that it still dominates the cards, but leaves room for a scene surrounding the pips or in the background/ foreground. This may be welcomed by Thoth fans as they will be able to recognize the pips straight away. also, if you hated the keywords on the Thoth, you'll be pleased to hear they have been omitted on this deck.I am still getting to grips with the illustrations, as they don't always fit what you have in your mind for that card. At the top of each one there is a night sky scene with the astrological assignments picked out in the stars.
The card stock is a little bit flimsy, not the worst I have seen but a bit thinner than most LS decks (this one is Llewellyn and Lo Scarabeo and Llewellyn decks are sometimes poor quality). The cards feel very nice and are not over laminated. There are multilingual titles at the top and bottom of each card which is not too bad as it's very small and not too intrusive- not like the huge side borders you often get on LS decks. The borders themselves are not too bad and don't distract too much from the artwork. The backs are a recycled card image unfortunately, but as it's done in shades of blue, it's not so bad, but you can see it's the 'adjustment' card image which can be distracting.
I actually love this deck, as I said before, I am still getting my head round the pip illustrations so the jury's out on them, but it's a stunning deck which feels very magickal and is not in any way 'twee', fluffy, girlie or sweet!! Yessss!