Review by Christiana Gaudet
Dreaming Way Tarot is a new tarot deck from US
Games. Dreaming Way closely follows the Rider Waite Smith
traditions to the point that most people who are comfortable
with the RWS will have no problem immediately reading
with Dreaming Way.
Dreaming Way Tarot is a youthful
deck. I think it will be very popular with younger
readers especially. The art is very good. The faces of the
characters are delicate and detailed. Many of the images are
breathtaking and evocative. I particularly like the Aces, and
the Judgment card.
The scenic backgrounds seem random.
Some are beautiful color-washed tones. Others, for no
apparent reason, are textured. Some have a repeating
pattern that looks like old-fashioned wallpaper.
costuming of the characters is curious. Many wear huge,
elongated shoes. Some wear oversized top hats. The High
Priestess is a young girl in a black top hat and white knee
socks. It is images such as this which make me think this
is a deck for someone much younger than me. In my
tarot world, the High Priestess does not wear knee
There are some striking contrasts in the art. Many of
the costumes are colored in black-and-white checks.
The Cups are of varying sizes and shapes, and they are
decorated in large black-and-white polka dots.
some images that just make me shake my head. Most
notably, the Page of Cups is a sweet young girl in a dress,
holding a black and white cup. Fish are swimming through
the air. The image is lovely, except that the poor
Page has a teapot tied to her head.
What makes matters
worse is that the LWB is skimpy, and does not give the
reasons behind the crazy images. If I could explain to a
client the symbolism of the teapot hat I would feel
better about it.
Another problem I have is the facial
expressions of some of the characters. In some cards that are
traditionally happy, the characters look sullen and morose. I am
not sure how well my clients will react to a Ten of
Cups where Mom looks like she is coming home from a
All griping aside, there is something really special
about this deck. After looking through the cards a few
times I decided that Dreaming Way was just not a deck
for me. I put it to the side of my reading table to
sit rejected until I had a chance to review it.
had a couple of telephone readings to do. I began each
reading using my current professional deck, my trusty
Hanson-Roberts. Early on in both readings, I felt the Dreaming Way
call to me. "Use me! Use me!" it seemed to say. And so
Here's what I discovered. The stark black and
white graphics against the watery pastel washes evoke a
lot of intuition. As a full-time tarot professional I
could read with any deck and do a good job. But I must
admit Dreaming Way made my job easy.
I know that newborn
infants react to black-and-white graphics. Maybe the inner
child does too. Maybe the interesting and eye-catching
images work to open the third eye. We know that the third
eye is linked to psychic ability, eyesight and
imagination. For me, this is why every tarot deck is so
powerful. As the eyes view the tarot cards the images
stimulate the imagination, the intuition and the psychic
It may be that these odd Dreaming Way images have
some special ability to stimulate psychic awareness.
am still more comfortable using these images for
phone readings, where the clients can't see the cards.
Over time, I may come up with my own explanations for
the odd symbolism. Then I will be excited to take
Dreaming Way Tarot on the road with me.
Christiana is a professional tarot grandmaster based in
West Palm Beach Florida. She is the author of "Fortune
Stellar" and the organizer of several tarot meetup groups.
She also teaches tarot webinars to a world-wide audience.
Review by Benebell Wen
In the Introduction by the deck's author,
Rome Choi writes, "I also realized that there was no
evil in the world in the first place." That sentiment
applies to the Dreaming Way Tarot, which is why I found it
insufficient for practical application, because a tarot deck
that does not contain evil cannot adequately read about
a world that does.
The Dreaming Way Tarot is a
modernist and whimsical interpretation of the
Rider-Waite-Smith (RWS) system. Maintaining the suit names (Wands,
Cups, Swords, and Pentacles) and court titles (Page,
Knight, Queen, and King) it will be an easy deck to pick
up for anyone familiar with the RWS. But beginning on
the Dreaming Way for the committed tarot student is
not recommended because it omits a significant amount
of symbolism from the RWS that will make a transition
from the Dreaming Way to the RWS or any other serious
tarot deck a challenge.
Choi's deck is not for the
professional tarot practitioner. It would, however, make a
lovely and fun gift for a teenage girl. The soft
aesthetic of Kwon Shina's illustrations are charming and
precious. Key 13, the Death card is a very pretty card. Yes,
that's right, pretty. It depicts a pretty young woman
with a ponytail in a pretty black dress holding a
scythe. There is an autumnal feel to the card, with the
brown backdrop and outline of fern leaves. The
interpretation of Death omits much of the symbolism and essence
of the RWS Death card. Key 2, The High Priestess is
depicted as an innocent young schoolgirl, lacking the
spirituality and sensuality of most interpretations of the High
Priestess. In the Eight of Swords, the woman isn't even
bound. The Nine of Wands does not convey a man defending
over and protective of his domain, chin up and haughty,
but rather in Dreaming Way, he looks like a defeated
man, eyes cast down, in a wifebeater and sandals. The
Five of Cups shows the two filled cups in the
foreground and the three spilled ones in the back, behind
both human figures. To me, that seems to defeat the
point of the Five of Cups. The plaid and checkered
prints on The Emperor made no sense. I could go on and
on, card by card. They were all very, very pretty,
saturated with sweetness, but as a result, in all my
readings with the Dreaming Way, the tarot's messages came
across muted. Dreaming Way is a dreamer's deck, and not
powerful at all.
I did enjoy reading through the little
white booklet that accompanies the deck. Choi's
introduction offered context for his interpretation. The
glossary of card meanings were comprehensive and
digestible, especially for novices. The booklet includes an
overview of suit associations and basic numerology. Choi's
Dreaming Way Five-Card Spread is versatile enough to answer
both general and specific inquiries. I also appreciate
how self-sustaining the deck is: armed with just its
little white booklet, the tarot reader does not need
anything else. No extraneous knowledge of astrology, the
Kabbalah, Greco-Roman or Egyptian mythos, Hermeticism, or
Neo-Platonism is required to read with this deck. It is so kind
and compassionate that the prepubescent intuition is
all that is needed.
Dreaming Way is a suitable tarot
deck for answering the questions that a fair maiden may
have of life, but for this weathered old crone, it just
did not work. There are only two purposes I can think
of for the Dreaming Way: reading for children at a
party or as a gift to that fair maiden who likes to
dabble with the tarot, but has no serious intent in it as
Benebell Wen has been practicing tarot for over 15
years. She is a Certified Tarot Consultant with the TCBA.
Wen is a corporate and intellectual property attorney.
Her prior publications in law journals have been in
the areas of intellectual property law, feminist
theory, and First Amendment jurisprudence.
See card images from the Dreaming Way Tarot
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