Review by Tom LeBlanc, CTC
Created by a true aficionado of the holiday, the
Halloween Tarot attempts to capture the energetic, festive feel of
Halloween in juxtaposition with the artistic symbolism of
the Rider-Waite-Smith format. In doing so, she has
created a seasonal deck that is remarkably easy to use for
someone who has at least some experience with the RWS
Of course, some changes were made to facilitate
this. For example, the Wands—the fiery RWS Tarot
represntations—have been replaced by Imps, the watery Cups are now
Ghosts, Air-associated Swords become the winged Bats, and
the Earthy Coins are transformed into Pumpkins.
While symbolic "themes" of the Halloween Tarot are
consistent with the RWS system (e.g., the Seven of Bats
features a ghoulish creature sneaking away with a bag of
seven stolen bats and the Six of Pumpkins are
characterized by a group of trick-or-treaters receiving goodies
from the hands of a philanthropic witch), other cards
have undertaken considerable transformations. The
Lovers, for example, seems to recall Count Dracula and
Mina Murray while the artist asks "Can a vampiric
visitor corrupt true love?" While some of the more subtle
symbols common to many decks seem to have been omitted,
still others have been provided (e.g., a death's head
moth makes a regular appearance throughout the deck and
the words "Nidhogg was here" are carved into what
appears to be the World Tree). Nonetheless, the themes
are well-conceived and lend themselves well to the
standard RWS meanings.
Partially owing to the fact that
they are printed on remarkably thin board, these cards
seem especially easy to shuffle. Perhaps, however, the
finest accomplishment of the artist is her ability to
capture the feeling and themes of Halloween night without
creating oppressively dark pictures. That is, she brings
the feeling of ghoulish nighttime frolicking into the
deck without sacrificing color or light.
included with the deck is easy-to-read, quite charming, and
gives a brief overview of the deck conceptualization.
It also provides quick-and-simple meanings for each
card and the typical suggested spread layouts of the
three-card spread and the Celtic Cross.
In sum, the
Halloween Tarot is a deck of great fun that is ideal for the
reader who is familiar with the RWS system and desires a
seasonal flair to his or her readings.
While learning to read Tarot as a young child, Tom LeBlanc had no idea what role Tarot would one day play in his life. Having grown up providing readings to family and friends, he took his trusty deck to college and discovered that he could partially support himself by reading for others. Now a Certified Tarot Consultant with over 25 years experience, a Ph.D. in Psychology, Tom enjoys providing occasional readings in addition to writing. Tom is currently involved in designing a Tarot Certification course for the College of the Sacred Mists.