The Archangel Power Tarot is the second foray into tarot by highly popular New Age author, Doreen Virtue. This heavily modified deck features Photoshopped, collaged art that ranges from fantasy to medieval to modern, with a pretty archangel and a positive message on each card.
Doreen Virtue is a New Age writer with more than 26 card decks and 50 books to her name. The focus of most of these books is Angels, Fairies, and Ascended Masters. This particular deck focuses on empowering the seeker by connecting them to Archangels. The messages related by the Archangels aims to convey guidance in a gentle and empowering voice. The messages, especially from more negative cards (i.e. The Tower, any "Five" card) are conveyed in a positive light, without compromising traditional interpretations. Make no mistake this is an authentic tarot deck.
This deck has a traditional structure of 22 Major Arcana and 56 Minor Arcana. In the Major Arcana each card has its own Archangel whose attributes enhance the meanings of the cards. The seeker can call upon these Archangels to assist them with guidance, support, or in dealing with a particular circumstance which may arise.
The Minor Arcana are divided into suits: Wands are under the guidance of Archangel Gabriel, Cups Raphael, Swords Michael, and Pentacles Ariel. The cards are colour-coded with the Major Arcana a vibrant violet, Wands are muted orange, Cups are Forest Green, Swords are Royal blue, and Pentacles are baby doll pink.
The cards measure 89 x 126 mm which is a little larger than standard tarot decks, but not unmanageable. The cards are made from good card stock, very high gloss, smooth, well finished and flexible, with gleaming gilded edges. These cards shuffle well without being too slippery.
The quality of the artwork on these cards varies from deft computer graphics to unintentionally hilarious collages of seriously poor quality. On one hand we have the gorgeous Queen of Gabriel - a dignified Egyptian-type regent, on the other hand is the Knight of Michael - winged knight with an oversized head tilted at a most peculiar angle. The image on each card is framed in pale green.
The Major Arcana have a number, title, and Archangel designation at the top; the Minor Arcana have their title at the top of the card. At the bottom of every card is an encouraging message which relates to traditional tarot interpretations. The design on the back of the cards four coloured pennants with elemental/Archangelic symbols on each is not reversible
The Little White Book is in fact a solid little guidebook of 185 pages, written by Doreen Virtue and Radleigh Valentine. It features a brief guide to working with the cards; clearing and consecrating the deck, asking a question, shuffling and choosing a card, followed by two standard spreads the three card draw, and the Celtic Cross. The bulk of the book is given over to the meanings of the cards. The Major Arcana get a meaning, an "Additional Meaning"; a small description of the quality of the Archangel governing the card ,and how the seeker can petition them for help with a specific issue. As an example The Lovers is under the rule of Archangel Raphael - who watches over those who are seeking a soul mate. Whether the desired relationship is romantic, a close friendship, or even career based, Raphael can help you make the perfect connection.
The Minor Arcana gives a sizeable interpretation and additional meanings; and the court cards are given a Situation, People, and Additional Meanings. The interpretations given to all cards are consistently positive in their outlook, inspiring confidence, they are supportive and motivational.
This is a good quality deck that suffers from fairly mediocre artwork. This does not preclude it from being a highly functional deck with excellent advice and information for the seeker. If you are unfamiliar with Doreen Virtue's teachings this is as good a place as any to start, and if you are already a fan I'm sure that you'll enjoy these cards.