Tarot of Oz Reviews
L. Frank Baum's fifteen Oz books, the most famous of which is the Wizard of Oz, provided the inspiration for these polished and charming tarot cards. Even non-Oz fans can enjoy the Tarot of Oz.
Tarot Deck - 78 Cards - Llewellyn 1997
Review by Solandia
From the creator of the Winged Spirit Tarot, David Sexton, is a whimsical tarot deck based on the mythology created by L. Frank Baum in his fifteen Oz books. Of the series written between 1900 and 1920, the first book is the most famous - the Wizard of Oz.
The cards of the Tarot of Oz have a large logo that is repeated through the deck, on every card face and every card back. The logo is a Z inside an O, a disk that is coloured depending on the suit and cards. Majors are yellow with individually coloured interiors; Cups are aqua, blue and yellow; Wands are lilac and lavender; Swords are red and grey; Stones are green and blue. (The Oz symbol in the suits also has the emblem of the suit to either side - fire, a chalice, a sword and a coin.) The logo isn't overly intrusive, instead an anchor and backdrop for the actual tarot scene or figure, but does serve to instantly identify the cards as being from the Tarot of Oz.
The major arcana cards are linked to characters that exemplify the archetype from the Oz universe. Dorothy is, of course, the Fool. The Wizard of Oz is the Magician, the Tin Woodman, the Emperor, and the Cowardly Lion, Strength. (My favourite is the Cyclone as the Wheel of Fortune.) The minor arcana suits are Cups, Wands, Swords and Stones and the cards are lively scenes with Oz characters and situations.
The Tarot of Oz is a high quality deck in almost all aspects. The packaging is the pocket size 'mini-kit' variety from Llewellyn, with a box for the cards and a case for it and the book. (The same kind as the Nigel Jackson Tarot and the World Spirit Tarot.) The artwork is professionally illustrated; the theme is strong. The only mar in the finish of this book and deck set is very minor: there are randomly missing pictures in the companion book. The book shows a black and white image of each card along with one to two pages of text, explaining the tale of the character and the associated traditional meaning. Oddly, some minors have no picture to go with the text. (Were the cards unfinished when the book was laid out, or were there too many pages in the book?)
I'm not a huge fan of the Wizard of Oz book or the movie, but I liked the Tarot of Oz. Its simplicity, quality and clarity of theme make it appealing and an appropriate deck for Oz devotees and the young at heart to "follow the path to enlightenment, paved with bright yellow bricks".
Kate Hill (also known as Solandia) is the founder and editor of Aeclectic Tarot, and has reviewed more than 200 decks over the years.