People are the focus of this earthy but lighthearted tarot deck: people of every shape, age, hue and ethnicity. The World Spirit Tarot has recognisable and readable tarot scenes that were created by being carved out of lino, printed, then hand coloured. It isn't pretty art, as such, but it is lively, inclusive and joyful. First published in 2001 and now reprinted in 2006.
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Tarot Deck - 78 Cards - Published by Llewellyn 2001Published by Llewellyn 2006
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Review by Solandia
The World Spirit Tarot is all-inclusive, multicultural and non-gender biased. People are the focus of this light hearted and earthy tarot deck, which shows people of every shape, age, hue and ethnicity.
People appear in Renaissance cities, African savannahs and Germanic villages. There are Romans, rock stars, artists, hippies, Ancient Egyptians, Pacific Islanders. The artists wasn't afraid to show nudity, either, as both people of both sexes appear naked in various positions on different cards.
The suits have been renamed from the usual King, Queen, Knight, and Page to the more ambiguous Sage, Sibyl, Seeker, and Seer. Some cards, like the Hermit, show people of indeterminate gender.
The cards come packaged in a fold out box with a pocket size, 160-page instruction book, very similar to that of the Nigel Jackson Tarot. The glossy, slippery cards are wider than usual, and have a thick black background (of a similar fashion as the Osho-Zen Tarot). A thin coloured border surrounds each picture, the colour of which changes depending on which suit the card is in.
The tarot artwork itself was created with linocut prints, then hand coloured. The style is vaguely reminiscent of woodcuts but with a more modern edge. Due to the method its creation, the overall effect is darkly shadowed and unusual.
It isn't pretty as such, but it is arresting.
The World Spirit Tarot does use a form of reversals, but the book doesn't call them as such. It mentions the ‘gift' and ‘shadow' of each card instead of the more traditional upright and reversed meanings. As the back of the cards show an hourglass, with a sun in the top left corner and a crescent moon in the bottom right, it's easy to tell which cards are upright or not. Using the ‘gift' and ‘shadow' may be only possible if you are drawing cards with your eyes shut…
There is one slight flaw in the World Spirit Tarot - the Sun card, which shows a white baby seated on a lotus flower. The baby's face is oddly mature and doesn't suit the body. The effect is disconcerting. But I like the rest of the deck and the Sun card doesn't come up often enough in readings to be a huge distraction.
The World Spirit Tarot draws on all eras and places, yet somehow manages to be both contemporary and relevant. This is one of my new favourite tarot decks.
Review by Pozt
After going through so many samples on Aeclectic
Tarot, my attention drew to the World Spirit Tarot. That
very day, I hopped to my local New Age Store and got it
for a pretty hefty price.
For the first few months,
I didn't read with it because I felt the cards were
too slippery and too "wide" for my hands. It was quite
difficult to shuffle. But later, I started to feel a bond
towards this deck and decided to give ti another
I love the way the colours are harmonized and not
sharp to the eyes. The black background and sun-moon
illustrations n the back fo the card add to the mysterious
allure. Although all the pips are illustrated in colour
and in the traditional Rider-Waite style, I feel that
it still remains simplistic, and therefore easy to
Even better is that the author is not
afraid of showing nudity, and also includes all races,
hence the "World Spirit". I own a great many beautiful
decks, but what makes this stand out from the others is
that I can really connect to it. On my very first
reading with this deck, I achieved stunningly accurate
results. This is quite a different experience from other
decks, where I had to so several "trial" readings before
I started to get any accurate results.
doesn't use "page", "knight", "queen", or "king". Instead,
we have the "seeker", "seer", "sybil" and "sage".
Still, this does not confuse the reader because the
author does not think there should be hierachies
The drawback is the LWB included with the deck.
Because of its colour and allure, I woud've expected a
more detailed LWB to explain its meanings. In addition,
the book seems to explain only the "Light" (upright)
meanings of the cards but not the "Shadow" (reversed). It
serves as a simplistic explanation of the cards, but
leaves us wanting more.
Review by Lilitu Babalon
This beautiful deck, with original lino-cuts by
Lauren Leary was a pleasure to work with the images once
again giving a great part of this pleasure.
This is a more traditional deck with the suits of swords, wands,
cups and pentacles, with some changes to the court
cards (for example, Sybils instead of Queens which I
like). The images sometimes reflect tarots such as the
Rider Waite, but sometimes really choice images have
been chosen for certain cards, such as the figure of
Anubis as Judegment, weighing the life of the person
against some indesipherable symbol, and a voluptous
dancing woman, surrounded by Ourobouros as The Universe.
Well, they made sense to me at least.
I also liked the way the creators play with gender, with The Fool,
traditionally a male figure, being replaced by a woman jumping
from a roof to be with the birds while her dog tries to
grab the hem of her skirt and pull her back. Meanwhile
the birds fly around her with flowers in their
In the two of cups, a card which I think signifies a
loving relationship or partnership even more so than the
Lovers, two people make a commitment to each other within
a circle, their arms entwined with their cups,
symbols of the emotions, toasting the future. In the sky
both Pan and Kuan Yin bring pleasure and peace to their
union. I liked the androgenous feel of the couple and the
inclusivity that brings.
There are so many decks around today
that it's hard to choose and I imagine that a beginner
would feel overwhelmed by the variety. I'd recommend
this deck for experienced tarot readers and beginners.
While it doesn't stray too far from the traditional
tarot suits and cards, it brings a new dimension with
the vibrant art and inclusive imagery.
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