Review by Kim Huggens
I acquired this lovely deck a few months ago from
another Aeclectic member, and I must say that it has
proved to be not only a wonderful addition to my
collection, but a very good reading deck too.
The artist, Louisa Poole, whilst keeping largely to the Rider Waite
and some Thoth meanings, has done a wonderful job of
interpreting each card differently, often changing the images
in the cards and sometimes the names of the cards, a change quite noticeable in the Major Arcana. For
instance, the Hanged Man is titled the JourneyMan, and
instead of showing the traditional hanging man, this deck
shows a man with large white wings, meditating on what
looks like a small bubble. His feet are limited by
metal bars, and behind his is a spoked wheel.
All the cards have keywords on them too, and depending on your
view of the keywords, this could be either beneficial
or limiting. Often when reading with this deck I find
them to be beneficial, and most of the time the images
overpower the keywords.
The Minors in this deck are fully
illustrated, and the artwork itself can only be described as
colourful, detailed, and sumptuous. This deck is also a very
multi-cultural deck, as Louisa uses people from all walks of life
to illustrate the cards. All the cards are packed
with symbolism: Even the Court cards, which is an
achievement within itself! The Courts in this deck are
definitely one of its strong points, as each on is very
symbolic and easy to read. However, instead of the
traditional King, Queen, Knight and Page, this deck uses
Kings, which are more god-like figures, Queens which are
human, Warriors, and Elementals: mythical creatures
which usually represent each of the four elements. For
instance, the Page of Swords in this deck is the elemental
Pegasus, which represents the element of the swords, Air.
An interesting convention of this deck is Louisa
Polle's numerology associations for each card. I myself
have never been one for numerology, and found if
difficult to get my head round the numerological
associations for each card. However, these associations are
not vital for effective use of this deck, and I'm sure
more in depth study of the concept would yield very
positive and rewarding results.
Overall, this deck can be
considered a treasure. Not only is it refreshing, creative,
and innovative, but it is interesting, attractive, and
very readable. I find it brings out the child in me,
and the colourful depiction of fantasy creatures in
this deck makes me yearn for a walk in nature. This
is a deck for beginners and more advanced readers
alike, and is one for the collector as well as the reader
who is looking for a useable deck.
Kim Huggens is a 24 year old PhD student in the Ancient History and Archaeology department of Cardiff University. She has been studying and reading Tarot since the age of 9, and has a deck collection numbering over 250. She is the co-creator of the Sol Invictus: The God Tarot and is currently working on a second deck, Pistis Sophia: The Goddess Tarot", and a book for Llewellyn Publications, due for release Autumn 2010.