Review by Bonnie Cehovet
heard the talk about this deck for what seems forever,
and had seen scans of the cards, so I was quite
excited about having it in my hands and being able to work
with it. One word reaction - stupendous! This deck blew
The presentation and the deck support each
other - and both are outstanding. The book and deck come
in a sleeve type box, with two wells for the cards
and the book on top of that. (Hint to publishers: the
sleeve type presentation box preserves the integrity of
the box longer, and is easier to access than other
boxes. Enough said!) The front cover of the book shows a
partial graphic of the Empress, with a an eye in the area
of the heart chakra and a spiraling vortex under her.
This is surrounded by six smaller pictures of other
cards from the deck. Intense color here, and a good
representation of the work in the deck itself.
The cards are 3"
by 5" - slightly larger than a regular deck, but
still able to be used by those with fairly small hands.
The card stock is good quality, and there is a glossy
finish to the cards that enhances the striking use of
color in this deck. The deck composition is interesting
- photo collage done with the use of a computer.
What we see is a mix of fantasy and reality - real
people mixed with fantasy settings. The combination could
be less than useless, especially as Postman based
this deck on the works of both Waite and Crowley - but
what emerges, while not traditional Tarot, is vibrant,
appealing and done with style and class.
The front of the
cards uses a 1/4" white border, with the number and name
of the card across the bottom. The backs, while busy,
are really quite attractive. There is a 1/4" black
border surrounding a center that is divided into four
parts. Each of the four parts, and the center circle, are
bordered in gold. The center circle contains and eye, while
the four corners express the four elements - Fire,
Water, Air and Earth.
Three of the Major Arcana have
been renamed: Justice becomes Balance, Temperance
becomes Art and Judgment becomes Emergence. There is one
other innovation that I have not seen in any other deck:
the Lovers is presented in three different styles -
male/male, female/female and male/female. The Cherub that
floats over each couple is reflected as the same sex as
the couple. If, when giving a reading, one knows ahead
of time the lifestyle preference of the Seeker, this
could be a small tweak that would put the Seeker in
their own comfort zone with the cards.
The art and
thought in this deck represent multiple cultural
traditions. Expect to find lots of floating eyes, and lots of
flowers wandering through these cards! Several of the
cards in this deck really caught my eye. OK - almost all
of the cards did, but I am only going to describe a
few of them! The Hierophant is one of the cards that I
look at in each deck, along with the hermit. The
Hierophant in this deck shows the upper torso and head of an
Asian appearing male, with his arms folded in front of
him. This is reflected twice more above the main
graphic, in progressively smaller size and as "ghosts",
moving up through a ray of light that is coming from the
sky and surrounding the main figure. The background is
shimmering with many small eyes. And no - this is not a scary
The Hermit is shown as a figure standing in the middle
of a stone archway. The scene behind the figure is
night, and a new moon shines in the sky. In his left hand
he holds a light. To the bottom of the picture we see
an inset of flowers, while the body of the figure
acts as a frame for a scene containing a blue sky,
fluffy clouds and a beautiful tree filled with green
leaves in the middle of a meadow.
The Nine of Swords is
another quite evocative card. Four swords line the top of
the picture, with tips facing down; five swords line
the bottom of the picture, with the tips facing up and
coming between the top swords. The sword blades are
shimmering - not solid. "Ghost" arms and hands come from
either side of the picture to gather the swords together.
In the center of the swords is a "ghost" image of a
bird with head up and wings outspread. The shimmering
swords are piercing the wings and body of the bird. Again
- not gruesome, but certainly food for thought.
introduction to the book and the text is written, and written
well, by Eric Ganther. In his own words, he sees the
Tarot as akin to a map, showing the universal energies
in life. Ganther's words are gentle and flowing - a
very good accompaniment for Stevee Postman's work. I
had to smile when I read Ganther's advise about the
interpretation's for the cards - if the interpretation in the book
differed from the reader's personal interpretation, that
they should feel free to use their own!
Each card is
presented along with a black and white photo of the card.
There is a discussion of the energy of the card, along
with the divinatory meaning. The major arcana are
gifted with short poems, the minor arcana (pips and court
cards) are gifted with sub titles that act as
There is a small section at the back of the book that
speaks of getting to know your cards, storing them,
working with daily meditations and doing readings. Several
spreads that really open up the cards are given. One and
two card spreads; a three card spread dealing with
body/mind/spirit; two five card spreads that deal with working
through situations/issues; a nine card "Cosmic Eye"
meditation mandala and the ten card Celtic Cross
This is very much a modern, fantasy type deck, with
nudity (which I did not find offensive) and a
non-traditional way of interpreting the cards. However, I find the
deck well done, easy to work with and shimmering with
energy! I recommend this deck to those that want to open
up their readings, or to those that have clients with
alternative lifestyles. If I only used this deck once a year,
I would find it worthwhile to own. It will find its
place on the path of many Tarot aficionados.
Bonnie Cehovet is Certified Tarot Grand Master, a professional Tarot reader with over ten years experience, a Reiki Master/Teacher and a writer. Bonnie has served in various capacities with the American Tarot Association, is co-founder of the World Tarot Network, and Vice President (as well as Director of Certification) for the American Board For Tarot Certification. She has had articles appear in the 2004 and 2005 Llewellyn Tarot Reader.
Review by Jewel
My first impression when looking through the cards
of this deck was WOW! The images on the computer
screen just did not do justice to the real thing. What I
purchased originally as a novelty has quickly become my
favorite deck to work with.
The Cosmic Tribe is
photographic collage enhanced with computer graphic elements
creating a lively and vibrant deck reflecting the new
century. The three dimensional effects add both depth and
movement to the cards. The colors used are bright and
deliberately selected adding to the meaning of the cards.
There is a playfulness in this deck that I have not seen
any other of its high caliber.
The deck synthesizes
elements of various cultural traditions including
paganaism, indigenous shamanism, Hinduism, and Buddhism. The
deck uses nudity as one of its primary elements and as
a key part of its design. It is NOT an erotic
deck. The nudity is artistic, tasteful and within the
context of the cards. All genders and body types are
portrayed. This deck is definitely not suited for those that
are offended by graphic nudity. From my experience
here at Aeclectic Tarot Forums, people either love or hate this
deck, there seems to be no in-between.
are used on the Major Arcana, with Balance as card 8
and Strength as 11. Justice has been renamed Balance
(8) and Judgment has been renamed Emergence (20).
There are three Lovers cards from which to choose:
male/female, female/female, and male/male. Card suits and
elemental correspondence is: swords/air, wands/fire,
cups/water and disks/earth. The Cosmic Tribe is largely
based on Crowley's Thoth deck.
Court cards are Queen,
Knight, Princess and Prince. The Minor Arcana are pips
with graphic design elements, but are not illustrated
completely as in the Raider Waite type decks. However, it is
important to note that the use of color and the graphic
designs are extremely evocative.
Cards are a little
oversized, measuring 5" X 3". The backs of the cards are
non-reversible with 4 mini-cards representing the elements on
each fourth of the card and a large cosmic eye in the
center. Each of the elemental mini-cards also includes a
cosmic eye, which is a theme that runs through this deck.
The border on the back of the cards is black, this
the edges begin to show a little wear quickly due to
the quality of the card stock. If there was one thing
I would change about this deck it would be for it to
be printed on higher quality card-stock. The faces
of the cards have a thin white border, which nicely
off-sets the vibrant colors.
The book that accompanies the
deck is excellent guiding the reader to understand the
cards and their power, not simply giving cookie-mold
definitions of the meanings of the cards. Poetry related to
each card is included, and although most of the book is
dedicated to the actual cards, there is also a section on
working with the cards that includes spreads, meditation
and information on deck storage.
Overall I think this
is an excellent deck and book set! I have found The
Cosmic Tribe to be extremely clear in readings and very
easy use. It is also good for meditative work. I would
recommend this deck to Tarot enthusiasts of all experience
levels, and is a must for deck collectors. It is
refreshing to see such a wonderful creation. Thank you
See sample card images from the Cosmic Tribe Tarot
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