Review by Pandora MoonRaven
Here is a deck that took my by total surprise. I have waited forever for a tree deck, not an oracle but an actual tree deck to arrive. This is THE tree deck. What really took me by surprise is that the artist did such a fantastic job of truly bringing the meanings into the cards using just trees, no people..just the essence of the trees. From a tree lover to the artist a strong Kudos.
With all that said the cards are fairly small. I measured them at 2 ½” x 3 ½”. These are a little small for my tastes, but for smaller hands these will work like a dream. I would LOVE if this came out in a larger version. The cards are glossy and thin. Card backs have a tree design with branches top and bottom that are fully reversible. They are a beautiful green and blue wash. The colors throughout the deck are equally as dazzling. They come in a small purple flap box typical of card decks.
You can get a full color instructional book from the artist’s website however I decided I just wanted to go fully on my intuition with this deck.
This deck reflects the system of the RWS. The Major Arcana are standard with the exception of the Hanged Man which has been changed to the Inverted Tree. Strength is numbered 8 and Justice is 11. I do like that in close inspection the Major Arcana has various seasonal themes which link them to the seasonal themes in the Minor Arcana, for instance the Chariot is in the fall season which links the Swords energies to this card. This is a good and easy way to know what suit each Major is linked too. The Minor Arcana are Wands (Summer), Swords (Fall), Pentacles (Winter) and Cups (Spring). Looking at this scenery can certainly assist in timeline readings. The Court Cards are standard Page, Knight, Queen and King.
As previously mentioned the marvel of this deck is the ability to turn a tree into so much meaning that reflects in the card. Here are some of my favorites that really shine out to me the value of this great little gem:
Strength – In this card we see a small tree that is deeply rooted into the side of a cliff. By keeping its strong roots deeply embedded in the cliff it keeps itself out of danger. It also shows an ability to adapt to adversity. Quiet strength can come in small packages.
Judgement – We see a little acorn below the soil and it has split and up begins a baby mighty oak. It may seem small now, but out of just the acorn life is born.
The Emperor – We see here a large stately and obviously aged tree. Under it are many tiny little trees growing up. This card to me is so very cute as all these baby trees begin to grow in its shadow, to become a mighty full grown tree like him. It reminds me of learning and teaching. Of growing under ones protection and tutelage.
2 of Swords – We see here a tiny tree with a few fall leaves left on its limbs. It is bent over with the weight of two large swords crossing over the top of it holding it down. However what we know of trees is that they can break rocks, grow through boulders and concrete. This tree is closed off and held down, however it has the strength to overcome this time.
Queen of Pentacles – Often I think of the Queen of Pentacles as a mother, a generous and protective nurturer and teacher. She is kind and loving and comfortable with herself. In this picture we see a winter scene and we are in a snow storm. There is a glowing pentacle and keep it warm and glowing and safe from the snow is a tree that is bent protectively over it. She takes the snow on her back to keep it safe and flourishing. This is someone who nurtures others spiritually and also protects her investments.
5 of cups – In this picture a tree holds 2 cups, three have broken its branches and the cups lay spilled as water drips from the broken limbs. The tree is bent over as if in despair. It ignores that the other two cups are held firmly in its branches.
5 of Wands – Here are 5 trees and they lean towards each other, they tangle each other’s branches. Play or conflict. Struggle, they overcrowd and push each other.
Needless to say these are just a very few examples of why I like the deck. The colors are done with watercolors I believe. The summer Wands scenes are very green and blue, we see many evergreens and white snow in the winter Pentacles. The Cups have heavy usage of greens and yellows to illustrate the spring scenes and the Swords are bright reds and oranges of fall. Colors that go well with not only the seasons but the situations depicted in these cards.
I have used these cards in professional readings as well as readings for friends and myself. They are appropriate for every age level and they are not only fun and beautiful but they have strong meaning in each and every one. I would gift this deck to other nature and tree lovers in a second. I can recommend this deck for both beginners and advanced readers.
See card images from the Tarot of Trees
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